Miaoli: Hakka Old Streets

Miaoli Old Street | 苗栗老街

The Miaoli section of Provincial Highway 3 includes Nanzhuang Old Street, Shitan Old Street and Wenshui Old Street. Because of the different industrial culture and cultural customs of the three old streets, after years of development as well as landscape reconstruction, they have not only retained their original character, but also show a diverse new look.


Nanzhuang Old Street | 南庄老街

Nanzhuang is located in the center of Miaoli’s Lion’s Head Mountain. As there are famous scenic spots here, such as Shenxian Valley and Xiangtian Lake, Nanzhuang’s atmosphere is more simple and restrained. In fact, in the Nanzhuang area during the Japanese occupation era, the forestry and mining industries were quite developed, playing a pivotal role in the economy at that time. After the 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake, the Nanzhuang area was severely damaged. During the reconstruction, the Japanese planned to rebuild the houses created the two-story Japanese-style wooden buildings on both sides of today's old street.

Popular attractions are concentrated in Zhongzheng Road near Yongchanggong and a side lane, as well as Guihua Lane, Nanzhuang Old Post Office, Yongchanggong, the Old Maple Tree and other must-see attractions. Visitors should also try the local snacks, such as osmanthus wine, stuffed dumplings, osmanthus iced sweet dumplings, osmanthus-flavored plums, Hakka lei cha, marinated dried bean curd, and Hakka dishes. These are all key highlights that travelers cannot miss.

© Tourism Bureau (Photo credit: Lin Hsu-hong)

Shitan Old Street |獅潭老街

Shitan Old Street, also known as Xindian Old Street, is located in Xindian Village, Shitan Township. In the early days, the most lively part of Xindian Street was not the current city center, but the part that runs from the deserted house in front of Shitan Elementary School, south to Dadongshikou. At that time, the storefronts were still made of wood and the shops were Japanese-style buildings. After the retrocession, in addition to the township office, the farmers’ association, the health center, the public service station and the police stations were built; the grocery store also came into being.

It was only then that the Xindian city center was transferred to the current site, and became the only most lively place with a street in Shitan Township. Xintan Village is the administrative center of Shitan Township. It is close to scenic and recreation areas such as Xianshan Scenic Area, Mingfeng Ancient Road and Xilu Ancient Road. At present, there are cultural halls, farmers’ associations, post offices, police stations, public service stations and a market on Shitan Old Street. Xianshan Chinese mesona jelly and other famous long-existing food and beverage outlets on Shitan Old Street, combined with Mingfeng Ancient Road, Guanyu Trail, Riverside Park, and Shitan Tea Street, are all must-see attractions in Miaoli.


Wenshui Old Street |汶水老街:

Miaoli’s Wenshui Old Street is located on Provincial Highway 6 and was a route travelers must go through to reach Dahu. It is about 1,200 meters long. It was also the cargo distribution center of Shitan Township, Tai'an Township and Dahu Township in the early years. After the opening of Provincial Highway 72’s east-west expressway, the traffic on Wenshui Old Street was significantly reduced. After the transformation of the “Community Overall Construction Plan,” it was transformed into an art and cultural street, providing visitors with a place for leisure and recreation on week-ends.

Today's Wenshui Old Street has been transformed from the commercial atmosphere it had in the early days. It’s now a place that offers a variety of Hakka traditional snacks, art and special events. Visitors can see special signs on the old streets, and textured art tiles. In order to pass down the traditional Hakka culture, modern art and traditional culture have been combined to create the unique style of Wenshui Old Street. Wenshui Old Street has many old houses and signs with a historical flavor; it also has various types of restaurants and strawberry gardens. From December to April every year, it’s strawberry season in Dahu.