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A Guide to Visiting the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park

2024-04-03
Zoe Parrott (巴柔依)提供
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A view of the The Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park’s Main Building, as seen from inside the Park.
A view of the The Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park’s Main Building, as seen from inside the Park.
A water mill connected to a system of irrigation channels in the Eco-Ditch.
A water mill connected to a system of irrigation channels in the Eco-Ditch.
A colorful, ornate shrine housing a  black lacquered table and incense bowl.
A colorful, ornate shrine housing a black lacquered table and incense bowl.
Handmade hanging ornaments decorating the main building’s interior.
Handmade hanging ornaments decorating the main building’s interior.

In 2008, Taipei City’s former Children's Museum of Transportation went under construction, and, in 2011, was transformed into the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park (臺北市客家文化主題公園). The Park is open everyday except for Monday, from 9am to 6pm, and serves as an educational institution regarding the Hakka culture, people, and their influence and history in Taiwan. The many exhibitions, both outdoor and indoor, allow visitors to experience and learn about multiple facets of Hakka life. Below is a comprehensive guide to visiting the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park.

The outdoor section of the Park consists of multiple educational features: the Tobacco Farm, which is emblematic of the Hakka people’s historic role as tobacco-farmers, the Terraced Field, which houses a plethora of edible vegetables and herbs, the Eco-Ditch, which is dotted with multiple irrigation channels designed to grow native plant life, a few pavilions, including the Pavilion of the Earth God, Bagon, the Respect Words Pavilion, and the Holy Monument Pavilion, which holds the Oblation Furnace, and some pedestrian-friendly areas, such as the Central Plaza, the Walking Trail, and the Cross-Dike Platform, which is connected to the Guting Riverside Park of the nearby Danshui River area. No matter the weather, the Park’s outdoor section is interesting and filled with nature, allowing for pleasant strolls and leisurely bike rides.

The Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park also notably houses The Hakka Theatre (客家音樂戲劇中心), which occasionally hosts relevant guests, like dance troupes and opera groups. Be sure to keep an eye out for these special events, as they often only occur a few times a year.

The main building consists of four floors. Inside, find a curling straw dragon with a belly full of paper lanterns, a miniature wooden layout of a traditional Hakka living compound, multiple interactive exhibitions, a tasseled blue palanquin, a life-size reconstruction of a Hakka shrine and bedroom (complete with a flowery canopy bed, an antique dresser, cloth shoes, and baby swing), preserved artifacts and symbolic plants, and many more relics. Many exhibitions are accompanied with English translations, and staff/volunteers are often more than able to explain and elaborate, and even give tours.

The Park also offers groups the ability to pre-register for Hakka cultural classes, such as a session to make Hakka Lei Cha (a tea made of sesame seeds, peanuts, green tea, pumpkin seeds, etc.) or Hakka sticky rice cake (glutinous rice that is hammered with a mallet and then rolled in, generally, sweet peanut powder). These classes make great use of Hakka culinary history and customs to encourage a deeper understanding of the traditional Hakka lifestyle.

The Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park not only acts as a central location between the popular shopping districts of Gongguan and the Guting Riverside Park, but also as an amazing educational resource for any school group or visitor interested in Hakka customs and culture.

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