General Information About Hsinchu
LocationHsinchu is a city found in Taiwan, Taiwan. It is located 24.80 latitude and 120.97 longitude and it is situated at elevation 22 meters above sea level. Hsinchu has a population of 404,109 making it the 3rd biggest city in Taiwan. It operates on the CDT time zone, which means that it follows the same time zone as Taichung. Hsinchu City is a town with a colorful history. It is commonly known as Taiwan’s "windy city" because of its famous gusts. Presently Hsinchu is the technology center of Taiwan. From a geographical standpoint, Hsinchu is situated in a favorable location: the driving distance to Taipei is around 1 hour; Tao Yaun International airport is a 40-minute drive; and to the south, the city of Taichung is only 60 minutes away. Neighboring the Science Park are two of Taiwan's top-notch higher education institutions, National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University. These internationally renowned universities cultivate a myriad of talent each year. The healthy competition between the two universities is often the talk of the town. For example, every March there is the Meichu Competition which heighthen the campus spirit on both sides. Hsinchu has a charming quality that can be best described as "old meets new," and a flavor that somehow mixes rural and urban culture. Many ancient architectural structures and artifacts remain intact in the city, gently painting an idyllic and down-to-earth background to blend with the city's technological glamour. In the center of the city lies the "Heart of Hsinchu", the ancient East Gate. Also downtown is the famous City God Temple (Cheng Huang Miao), where some of the best local delicacies are available. Other points of interest may be the harbor at Nanliao, the beach area to the south of Hsinchu, and the Museum of Glass. Even though Hsinchu is not a large city and carries a small-town atmosphere, the streets of downtown are adorned with fashionable department stores, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and boutiques.
HistoryHaving a rich history of almost 400 years, Hsinchu is considered the oldest city in northern Taiwan province, Republic of China. Nicknamed “Windy City” for its breezy climate, it is also famous for being the City of Technology of Taiwan. Being Taiwan’s Silicon Valley it has given Hsinchu its appeal throughout the world. In order to appreciate more the beginnings of this place, one must take a look at facts in Hsinchu History.
Hsinchu History – Its Humble BeginningsThe aboriginal tribe known as Taokas was the first settlers in the city of Hsinchu. Back then, the aborigines called the place Chuchien, meaning seashore. They originally settled by the coast of Siangshan Wetland and slowly expanded northeast and developed the area. After the Spanish conquered the northern part of Taiwan in 1626, the Spanish missionaries reached the Taokas settlement at Chuchien. In 1642, the Dutch successfully drove the Spanish out of Taiwan.
Hsinchu History - During the Qing DynastyIn 1711, Wang Shi Jie became the first Chinese settler from southern Fuchien to reside in Hsinchu and began developing farmlands. In fact, many farming areas in the present Hsinchu were established way back. By 1723, the Qing Dynasty set up Danshuei Sub-prefecture in Chuchien, which was bounded by bamboo groves that acted as defense walls and gates. In 1825, the bamboo walls and city gates surrounding Danshuei wer changed into brick and stone walls (only the East gate survived). After the Danshuei sub-prefecture was dissolved in 1875, the north of Taiwan was split into Danshuei, Yilan and Hsinchu. The Chuchien area comprised the newly formed Hsinchu, meaning new bamboo.
Hsinchu History - During the Japanese OccupationWhen Taiwan was handed to the Japanese after the first Sino-Japanese War in 1895, the Japanese forces established the Hsinchu Sub-prefecture, becoming the main administrative center between Taipei and Taichung. Under the Japanese reign, the city had undergone a major face lift. Roads and railways were built and many traditional buildings, even the city wall surrounding the former Danshuei Sub-prefecture, were demolished. During this time, Hsinchu was introduced to the glass making industry the city became famous for in the later years. It made the city the center of excellence for decorative glass manufacturing.
Hsinchu History - From 1945 to the PresentWhen the Kuomintang Nationalist Government took over Taiwan after World War II, it established the Hsinchu City Government and focused on the industrial development of the area. In 1980, ‘The Science Park’ was founded by the government, which greatly enhanced the economy of the city and established Hsinchu as a science and technology hub. Under the President’s order in 1982, Hsinchu city merged with Siangshan Township to officially become a provincially-governed city of Hsinchu. Hsinchu History shows what the city is all about. If you want to learn more about the Asian continent, take a peek at facts provided by Taipei History and Taichung History.
Hsinchu Travel Guide – People and CultureBeing the center of high-tech businesses and industries in the whole of Taiwan, Hsinchu has become quite a cosmopolitan city – the city has a sizeable ex-pat (people belonging to different nations of the world) population side-by-side its Hakka Chinese people and its small number of aboriginals. This mixed population gives the city a unique charm with its mixed culture dominated by Hakka/Chinese elements – be it in terms of Hsinchu art or architecture, cuisine or festivities, clothing, other life-style matters or just about anything. Before we end this Hsinchu travel guide, we must add that although a visit during the Lunar New Year can indeed get exciting, not everyone will be able to bear with the ‘chilly’ winter of this ‘Windy City’. But if you choose to visit Hsinchu during the festival, you will have a gala-time. Try Ba wan, rice noodles, pork meatballs and even floral Hakka attires, you will come to like the city and its people. A little knowledge of Chinese will be your added advantage in Hsinchu.
Hsinchu Travel Guide – Economy and InfrastructureHsinchu has always enjoyed a special significance as an industrial base of Taiwan – earlier it used to be the center of traditional industries like glass-production but post establishment of the Hsinchu Science and Technology Industrial Park in 1980, the city has become the hub of Taiwan’s high-tech industry. Known as the ‘Silicon Valley of Taiwan’, the Park houses world-renowned high-tech companies/businesses like Epistar, Holtek, Philips and a whole host of other companies; the existence of these companies has not only created high-income employment opportunities for the Hsinchu-people, these have also turned the city into an international R&D/ manufacturing center of hi-tech products. Hsinchu’s good transportation links is undoubtedly one of the plus points of Hsinchu travel and you can reach Hsinchu from any of the major cities by air, by road or by rail; buses and taxis are available for going around within the city. Hsinchu also promises excellent accommodation facilities.
Hsinchu Travel Guide – ArchitectureHsinchu city, as said, is one of Taiwan’s early settled areas but still the city does not boast of many traditional structures except for a very few like the 1748-built City God Temple and the East Gate (or the Yingxi Gate built in the first half of the 19th century under Qing Dynasty’s rule). The basic planning of the present city was done by the Japanese, specifically Japanese army (who had pulled down many of the city’s old buildings and structures after taking over the control of Taiwan from the Qing Dynasty rulers). The present city is more or less defined as a modern city with many towering structures and wide streets. Educational institutes of Hsinchu, like the National Hsinchu University of Education, National Tsing Hua University and Yuanpei Institute of Science and Technology and the Hsinchu Train Station, etc. are some important buildings of present-day Hsinchu city.
Hsinchu Sights and Landmarks Guide, TaiwanAlthough it is not the typical tourist hot spot, as most of the travelers come here for conferences and the like, Hsinchu is still a good place to visit. The city is a mixture of the past and present juxtaposed together to give a very unassuming vibe despite being a highly technological area. Also, the city provides high class hotels and transportation links that make staying and touring in the city pleasurable to the travelers. Hsinchu Sights guarantees a fun time for every tourist – young and old alike.
Hsinchu Sights – Famous LandmarksDespite the city’s high tech reputation, numerous ancient structures and historic sites have remained intact and blended well with the city streets. Most of them are found in the center of the city itself and have been a source of pride for the locals living in the area. East Gate. Situated at the intersection of Dongmen and Zhongzheng roads, it is the city’s most notable landmark. Designated as a Class 2 historic site, the ancient East Gate of Hsinchu lies in the center of the city and rightly merits the name ‘Heart of Hsinchu.’ It was originally built of bamboo poles and granite base then renovated in concrete in 1826. Cheng Huang Temple. Located at the junction of Zhongshan Road and Dongmen Street is a mid-18th century Taoist temple having a pair of stone-carved lions on its façade. The temple was commissioned to be built by the officer of Tamshuen Jen Z-Ing in 1784. An added attraction to this temple is its most important relic, board sign, saying “the protection of the Golden Gate,” which was given by Qing Emperor Guangxu. Hsinchu Zoo. Famed as the oldest and smallest zoo in Taiwan, the zoo is home to over 300 animals of about 100 species, with 23 protected species. Founded in 1936 by the Japanese, Hsinchu Zoo is one of the most visited sites in Hsinchu City. Municipal Glass Arts And Crafts Museum. Officially opened in December 1999, the museum was opened to showcase Hsinchu’s long history in glass making. One of the two museum structures was once used as a Japanese royalty residence and banquet hall in 1936. It can be found in the north western quarter of Second Park right behind the railway station.
Hsinchu Sights – Scenic SpotsApart from the many historic sites found in the city, Hsinchu is blessed to be surrounded with a naturally beautiful rural environment, owing to its funnel shaped topography. Eighteen Peaks Mountain. Boarding the eastern and southern neighborhood of Hsinchu is a crescent shaped mountain named after its 18 peaks. It offers scenic views of the city below and beyond and is a perfect place for trail trekking. Green Grass Lake. Considered as one of the best and oldest scenic places in Taiwan, Green Grass (Cingcao) Lake also functions as a water reservoir, storing water coming from Yaker River. Lined with ancient temples and lush greenery, the lake proves to be a great place to lay back and relax. These relatively breathtaking spots in Hsinchu Sights made a mark for the city to be recognized not only in Asia but in the world alone. Learn about this spectacular continent through Taipei Sights and Taichung Sights.
Hsinchu Map, TaiwanIf you feel like you need some help to find your way in your destination city, you are in the right place. This Hsinchu Map will certainly help you to seek out the best restaurants, clubs and sights in town. You want to know what is the best place for a walk? Or what you should be watching out for during your visit? Learn more about the best things to do in the city reading our travel tips and then get around in Hsinchu with Travelgrove's map. While searching for places, you can also check some cheap flights or deals or you can take a look at our user's galleries about the city. We hope you will find our city map of Hsinchu useful. Enjoy your trip and come back to share your travel experience about Hsinchu!
Culture and History Hsinchu
Hsinchu City god Temple (Chenghuang Temple) is regarded as the highest-ranking of all City God temples in Taiwan, due to the superior spiritual power of its City God in protecting the town.
In front of the temple is a market with a lot of small stalls selling delicious Taiwanese snacks, including rice noodles, meat balls, thick cuttlefish broth, and Zhuqian Biscuit (Zhuqian is the original name of Hsinchu).
Hsinchu is famous for a number of specialty foods, especially Hsinchu rice noodles, which are produced in Nanshr Village, Hsinchu City. Another famous product of Hsinchu is shiangfen, a traditional cosmetic powder which was used by women throughout Taiwan before the arrival of foreign-style cosmetic products. The powder is also used in offerings to Qiniangma, the guardian spirit of children. Only one store, run by the Tsai Family in Julian Street, still produces this powder. Although there are many stalls from which Hsinchu meatballs can be purchased, many are concentrated around the Chenghuang Temple. The famous Peanut Butter is sold mainly along Dongda Road, and if you want to try Zhuqian Biscuits, you should go to the Shinfujen Cake Shop at No.26 Beimen Street.
Tek-kham: According to recent research, the name Hsinchu is derived from Tek-kham, the name given to this area by the Taokas indigenous tribe of ancient times. In year 15 of the Yongli Reign of the Ming Dynasty in China (1661), Zuo Xianfeng was dispatched to lead a garrison at Tek-kham. In year 57 of the Kangxi Reign (1718), Wang Shijie directed the first land reclamations off Tongan. This was the beginning of Han Chinese settlements around Tek-kham, present-day Hsinchu.
Tamsui Hall: Because of the gradual development of the northern region of Taiwan, the Tamsui Marine Defense Office was established in year 1 of the Yongzheng Reign (1723) at Banxian (Changhua). This was a branch office charged with marine defense, piracy combating, and illegal fishery prevention north of the Huwei River. As of year 9 of the Yongzheng Reign, all affairs north of the Dajia River were handled by the local Tamsui Liaison Office, which was upgraded to Bureau level. Two years later the liaison office was moved to Tek-kham, which became the seat of administration on Taiwan.
Hsinchu: As Tamsui Port grew, prosperity spread over northern Taiwan. The saying “Six months in Tek-kham, six months in Mong-ga” described the ideal situation. In the first year of the Guangxu Reign (1875), in response to new developments, Shen Baozhen, Viceroy of Liangjiang (whose jurisdiction included Taiwan) established branches of the Tamsui Bureau in Hsinchu County, Tamsui County, and founded Taipei City (which covered the present-day counties of Tamsui, Hsinchu, and Yilan). Hsinchu County stretched from the Touchong River (present-day Shezi River) in the north to the Dajia River in the south. The place name Tek-kham was expanded with xin/hsin (new). The new place name meant ‘new bamboo fortification’, and the town was upgraded to county-level. Since then, Tek-kham became known as Hsinchu City (New Bamboo City), and the Tek-kham District was renamed Hsinchu District.
Hsinchu was the earliest city to develop in northern Taiwan, and its subsequent names of Tek-kham, Tamsui Bureau Fortification, and Hsinchu reflect its different administrative roles through the ages.
Hsinchu’s history as a proper city starts in year 11 of the Yongzheng Reign (1733), when Hsinchu received permission to plant a bamboo grove by way of city wall. Next, Tucheng was founded to combat piracy, and in year 6 of the Guangxu Reign (1826), the Hsinchu notable and Taiwan’s first jinshi degree-holder Zheng Yongxi was granted permission to build a brick wall, which was completed in year 9 of the Daoguang Reign (1829, giving Hsinchu the appearance and stature of a proper city. By the late Meiji Period (1868-1911), the city walls were gradually take down until by the time of the City Renewal of 1905 only the East Gate was left standing.
During the period of Japanese governance, Hsinchu held different administrative roles as Hsinchu Branch Bureau of Taipei County (1895), Hsinchu Affairs Office of Hsinchu County (1897), Hsinchu Department (1901), Hsinchu Town, Hsinchu District, Hsinchu Prefecture (1920). Showa 5 years (1930) will be upgraded for the city of Hsinchu Street, set the city hall, which is located in Hsinchu City beginning. In year 16 of the Showa Reign (1941) of the Japanese emperor, the villages of Xiangshan, Jiugang, and part of Liujia were merged and added to Hsinchu City, which then counted 25 municipal districts.
In 1945 the Japanese army ceded rule of Taiwan to the ROC military, which established a Taiwan administration that included as of November 9 a Hsinchu Prefecture Caretaker Commission. On November 17, the commission was renamed Hsinchu Municipal Hall, which was in turn succeeded by the Hsinchu City Government. The lower-level caretaker commissions were all dissolved into the original district offices. In January 1946 the Caretaker Commission was terminated and the Hsinchu County Government was established and was temporarily housed in the offices of the previous Hsinchu Prefecture Administration. The Hsinchu County Government moved to Taoyuan on February 28, while Hsinchu City became a provincial-level city as part of an islandwide reorganization. As of then, Hsinchu City comprised seven districts: East, West, South, North, Zhudong, Baoshan, and Xiangshan. The Hsinchu City Government relocated to the former prefectural administration offices. At this point the province of Taiwan comprised five large counties, three small counties, nine provincial-level cities, and 17 county-level cities.
On October 25, 1950, the Implementation Outlines for the Self-Administration of the Cities and Counties of Taiwan Province rearranged the administrative divisions of Taiwan province into 21 counties and cities. Under this reorganization, the former big Hsinchu County was divided into the three counties of Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, while Hsinchu City consisted of the former provincial-level city of Hsinchu expanded with the seven towns of Guanxi, Xinpu,Hukou, Hongmao, Zhubei, Huangshan, Qionglin, Beipu, and Emei, which were transferred from the former Hsinchu County. The townships of Jianshi and Wufeng were merged into Hsinchu County, with the county capital at Hsinchu City.
On December 1, 1951, the former East, West, South, and North Districts of Hsinchu City were merged into a new county-level city. In the summer of 1955, the Hsinchu City Hall relocated from the former East District Office on Zhongzheng Road to the former high school on Linsen Road (the site of the old Confucius Temple). In June 1982, Presidential Decree No. Tai-Tong (1) Yi-Zi-3441 of June 10, 1982 granted permission to merge Xiangshan Township of the former Hsinchu County into the county-level city of Hsinchu as per July 1, 1982, and to upgrade the expanded city of Hsinchu to a provincial city as per the same date. On November 1, 1990, Hsinchu’s East, North, and Xiangshan District Offices were officially divided into district offices.