In 1834 the Qin dynasty court granted the right to develop the area to two pioneers, a Cantonese farmer named Jiang Siou-luan and a Fujianese merchant named Jhou Bang-Jheng. After half a century of arduous effort they had developed Beipu into a regiona administrative and economic center. Today the town is a center of Hakka culture and is filled with historic sites such as the Jiang residence, Jin-guang-fu administrative, the Jiang-ah-hsin residence, and others.
By car, take the number 3 highway from Taoyuan or the 122 highway from Hsinchu and turn right at Judong. Alternatively, take Route 124 from Toufen which accesses Provincial Highway 3. Go north (clearly marked) into Beipu.
Park the car, NT 100, a bit outside the town center and walk on foot. The central streets are nicely paved.
History and cultureEdit
- 1 Jiang A-Sin Ancient House (姜阿新洋樓), No. 10, Beipu Street, ☏ . 09:00-17:00. An old, historic house. There are guided tours of the house available.
- 2 Beipu Old Street (北埔老街). 09:30-17:30. The area of town contains a number of historic buildings.
- 3 Jingguangfu House (金廣福公館), No. 6, Zhongzheng Road. 09:00-17:00. A Chinese-style mansion built in 1835.
- 4 Zhongshu Hall (忠恕堂), No. 20, Gongyuan Street, ☏ . 10:00-16:30.
- 5 Citian Temple (北埔慈天宮). The temple is dedicated to the Guanyin, the 'Goddess of Peace'. It was built in 1835 by local farmers to pray for peace after several encounters with the indigineous population.
- The thing to do in Beipu is to have traditional Hakka tea in one of the tea houses that line the small streets in the center of town. You grind a combination of tea leaves, peanuts and rice into a thick paste to which hot water is added. It's delicious and no doubt very good for you. The shops themselves are built in traditional Hakka materials and the staff is very friendly.
- Beipu provides a great starting point for day trips into the Lionhead's Mountain Scenic Area.
- There is also a cold spring which produces weakly alkaline carbonic acid water at temperatures of 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. The water is good for treating skin ailments, gout, arthritis. and gastric problems, but is not good for drinking.
- 1 Green World Ecological Farm (綠世界生態農場). Covering 70 hectares, the park includes an educational farm, a house, a zoo, and a botanical garden that occupies about 173 acres (70 ha) and hosts over 2,000 species of plants and animals.
- 2 Swan Lake (天鵝湖).
- Water Plant Park (水生植物園區).
- 3 Beipu Cold Spring (北埔冷泉). A scenic area which contains a waterfall, fish pong, and a number of picnic facilities.
- There are many small shops in the center of town selling all kinds of local specialties: pears (nashi) during the summer season; lucky charms, honey vinegar or locally produced tea.