Tamsui/Danshui District is located in the Northern part of Taiwan and is 45 minutes away through MRT from the Taipei Main Station. Its name is derived from “淡 (dàn)” which means fresh and “水 (shuǐ)” for water since the place is surrounded by a river. Just like any other districts in Taiwan, Tamsui District also has a lot of tourist spots to offer to all locals and travelers that come to visit.
So let’s start!
From Taipei Main Station you can take the MRT Red Line going to Tamsui. It costs around 40NTD for a 45-minute ride.
1. Fort San Domingo
Located on a hilltop that provides a picturesque view of the Tamsui River is Fort San Domingo that was originally built by the Spanish in 1628 during their occupation in Taiwan which served as their wall and defense during war. This is considered as Tamsui’s most prominent monument. The Fort was nicknamed as Hong Mao Chen (紅毛城) which means “red hair fortress”.
Upon entering Fort San Domingo, you can come across its souvenir shop that sells very cute stuffs at reasonable prices.
2. Aletheia University / Oxford College
Upon exiting Fort San Domingo, you will see directions going to Aletheia University. This is one of the oldest institutions in Taiwan and was originally named as Oxford College way back in 1882 that has characteristics of traditional Chinese architecture with a symmetrical structure. The school was founded by Dr. Mackay who used to preach Taiwanese people outdoors until he felt the urge to build a school of his own.
3. Tamkang Senior High School
The school was also founded by Dr. George Leslie Mackay which is the first school for girls and prides a museum highlighting philanthropic works. The school also houses a fully operational rugby field which is home of their award winning rugby team. This landmark attracts thousands of tourists from afar and some of the scenes of Jay Chou’s “Secret” were also filmed here. The brilliant hues of red and white buildings were designed by Japanese architects that serve as timeless monuments with a touch of modern styles.
4. Custom’s Residence House/Little White House
This is also one of the historical landmarks in Tamsui. In the 1860’s, foreign officers that were appointed as customs reside in this colonial style white mansion. It has a white outer walls, a terrace with a superb view, a veranda with arched columns, and a vintage fireplace. The building has a square lay-out with a splendid view of the Tamsui River and Mt. Guanyin. The place is often a popular spot for pre-wedding photoshoots.
5. Hobe’s Fort
The Fort boasts a history of more than a century with has thick earthen walls, massive gates, steep steps to its ramparts to deter intruders.
If Fort San Domingo is meant to convey authority, Hobe’s Fort was built for military action. The Fort was never used in any wars and is well preserved with secret tunnels for exhibition purposes.
There is also a park nearby the Hobe's Fort where you can take a rest and breathe fresh air while enjoying the scenic view.
6. Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf
The Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the must visit spots in Taiwan. It is well known for its beautiful sunsets, fresh seafoods, and scenic views. Through the years, the wharf has gone renovations which already include new buildings, hotels, restaurants, and the famous 196-meter Lover’s Bridge which illuminates with a variety of colors at night.
7. Tamsui Old Street
Tamsui Old Street is a boardwalk-like place that is full of roadside stalls which sells fried and grilled sea foods and fresh fruit drinks, carnival games, and cafes. As you walk along the street, you will also be entertained by street performers that will surely catch your attention.