I’m cooling my heels and having a Taiwanese Tea Latte served in a hand-made ceramic bowl and partnered with a slice of apple pie in a graham crumble crust at Fleisch Cafe at Dihua Street.
Last Sunday, I met up with my Taiwanese friend, Martha, a coffee connoisseur and passionate heritage enthusiast. Fleisch Cafe at Dihua St was the perfect spot to meet. It was a sign of this area’s success— a dynamic heritage street where tradition is re-imagined alongside the future.
Almost a kilometer long, Dihua’s proximity to the DaoDacheng Pier made it a merchant street during the Qing Dynasty. Traditional Chinese medicine was it’s chief business.
Today, medicine shops with bags and bags of herbs, roots, and animal parts still assault the senses but alongside these are less traditional offerings such as cafes, fair trade shops, and independent clothing stores.
Dihua is a prime example of adaptive use of heritage architecture. When the Japanese set foot in Taiwan, they not only brought with them their love for baths but also their love for European baroque architecture.
Gaze up and you see shophouses with this architectural style.
Newer structures likewise conform to this architecture.
You can spend an afternoon just walking the length of the street in the shadows of shady corridors.
Peering at interesting shops such as this one selling lanterns.
Or simply finding a quiet corner at the end of the street.
Mushrooms and a motorcycle.
Refresh with freshly-squeezed orange juice at this corner stall.
So many oranges sacrificed their lives just so people don’t die of the humidity. Life was literally squeezed out of them.
Dihua St. is also home to Xhi Hai Temple where one goes to pray for a spouse.
I also headed to the Puppet Theater at the building at the street entrance. Interesting exhibit of puppets. The opera house was, unfortunately, closed.
From Beiman MRT, take exit 2 and just go straight ahead. Tascheng St. narrows into Dihua St. About 10 mins walk.