Hsinchu, the city of traditions/新竹-帶有傳統的城市

The Hsinchu area in the vicinity of mountains preserves the rich and traditional aboriginal and Hakka styles.

National Highway 3, Provincial Highway 3 and County Road 118 link up with several Hakka townships, such as Guanxi, Hsinpu, Zhu-dong and Chiung-lin, resembling the shape of a pearl necklace made of the east side high mountain foothills.

To explore these townships, you can either come from Zhu-lin Interchange or Guanxi Interchange.

We picked Guanxi Interchange.

To get to downtown Guanxi, get off the interchange to connect to County Road 118. You will get there after a short drive uphill heading southeast.
要到關西市區,下交流道接118縣道,往東南一小段上坡路後就到了。 b7cdfb58d6c114623ad0587da2518eab

Continue going east, and the road gets narrower as you come by Guanxi Catholic Church.
一直往東走,遇到關西天主堂,道路寬度會縮小。 68df6a776e91ead64dd4f34a71f31dc3


Continue going forward, and the road becomes Guanxi Old Street. You'll arrive at Guanxi Traditional Food Market.
再一直走,道路變成關西老街, 您會遇到關西傳統菜市場。

President Tsai Ing-wen's Hakka office is situated on this old street.

You'll see supermarkets, Hakka restaurants, and stands that sell Hakka Radish Bun.

Here on this street of small Hakka town, you will not find traditional Taiwanese temples, yet you can see the spire of a Catholic Church, and a convent "Notre Dame."
這個客家小鎮大街,找不到台灣傳統廟宇,卻可以看到天主教堂尖塔,還有一個修女隱修院「聖母院」。 d8fc0802296a682afc58744d5146a077

You may wonder why the catholic atmosphere is in such abundance here.
您會想, 為什麼這裡天主教的風氣這麼興盛。

Turn around on County Road 118 to cross the highway interchange and you will know why.

Here is the Notre Dame de Lourdes.
這裡有露德聖母朝聖地。 d8457f903c95b7607a2e016ad459f3d5

The Holy Mother here does not refer to the Sea Goddess Matsu that Taiwanese have an affinity with, nor the Queen Mother of the West in Taoism, but the Virgin Mary in Catholicism.

To get to the Notre Dame, you'll need to walk the trail uphill.

Due to reports of uphill disturbance by the locals back in 1958, a catholic priest constructed the Notre Dame imitating Notre Dame de Lourdes, France, using building materials transported from the bottom of the hill.

Notre Dame De Lourdes, France has at least 6 million people going on pilgrimage every year. This is the Taiwan version of the Notre Dame.
法國的露德聖母朝聖地一年至少有6百萬人前往朝聖。這裡也是台灣的聖母朝聖地。 10f167b0fa57553e841a88e5d6c2830d

There is even a bus station named Holy Mother Mountain (Sheng-mu-Shan). There is an influx of people during May and October every year.
甚至還有公車站名,就叫「聖母山」。每年的5月或10月會湧進人潮。 2f0294c1794fb5174d5cf29a11318c12

There are three entrances to the trail. Two are around the corner by the busy highway.

The trail entrance established by the Town Hall is right below the highway. There are maps and direction signs.
鎮公所興建的步道入口,就在高速公路正下方,有地圖和指示標誌。 0b1d6da5afb8205062beb1238f1c58d9




Continuing forward is another entrance with a large "Notre Dame De Lourdes" painted on the wall.
再往前是另一個入口,牆壁上漆著大大的「露德聖母山朝聖地」。 0b1f4e14e02cbed1fb78354333c3f9fb

Walking uphill, you'll see a cement archway. Through the archway and bridge is the entrance to the trail.
走上山坡,可以看到水泥拱門,穿越拱門過橋就是步道入口。 ecd5a057af9499f55a48e980aa36f1d3



We happened to see someone coming down from the hill. Evidently, this holy land is also a good place for hiking and exercising during normal days.
我們看到有人從山上下來,可見一般日子,聖地也是爬山鍛練身體的好地方。 c398a930097d57cbe538ea671d3faca9

Shi Guang Historic Trail


The third entrance is the Shi Guang Historic Trail by Shi Guang Middle School.

Guanxi is a small town of Hakka traditions. You can stroll around here, eat some Hakka dishes and experience the customs of this township before heading to Neiwan.

To get to Neiwan from Guanxi, you can take County Road 118 to connect to Provincial Highway 3 and then connect to County Road 120.

This is the only road to Jianshi Township Hot Springs in the mountain area.

Alternatively, you can take Taiwan Railways to arrive at Hsinchu Railway Transfer Station and then take the Neiwan Line.

Neiwan Line is one of the three Taiwan Railways branch lines for tourism.

Aside from Neiwan Line, there are the Jiji Line near Sun Moon Lake and Pingxi Line up north.

From Provincial Highway 3 to County Road 120, there is a section of the train route happening to run parallelly to the highway.

If you get lucky, you may see the Neiwan Line train passing by your car.

Hexing Railway Station


When passing by Hexing Railway Station, we happened to see trains pulling in.
我們經過合興站時,剛好遇到火車進站。 4db368d439ca30fae07e2d5cc1edd9d0



The train station is right below the highway. Standing next to the highway fence and looking down, we saw a unique sight of a painted train parked by an ancient train station.
車站就在公路下方,站在公路的圍欄往下看,彩繪火車停在古老的車站旁,相當特別。 0e99b1ad8fb3a3da389caf04a828853a

Panlong Suspension Bridge


Coming to Neiwan, you'll first arrive at Panlong Suspension Bridge first. Be sure to make a stop and check out the suspension bridge.
到了內灣,會先遇到攀龍吊橋,記得停下腳步,到吊橋走一走。 0fe4194c283b296728d46e3318a9c5c2

To figure out how the name Neiwan came about, get on Panlong Suspension Bridge to see the village from a bird's eye view and you'll understand.
內灣的名字到底怎麼來,登上攀龍吊橋,往村莊方向鳥瞰就知道。 5c68679cc016e7e0aa81eaf8213a499d






Neiwan in Chinese means "inner bay."

The village is right on the top of a very large river basin. There are trails along the river by the river basin brimming with greenery.
村莊就在一個很大的河灣上方。河灣旁沿河有步道,綠意盎然。 4dd855e7af6e86bbbbc74a1924d1160c


Neiwan used to be where the Atayal Tribe resided. Legend has it that there were cherry flowers all over the mountains and plains, earning Atayal the name "Cherry Flower Tribe" during the Japanese colonial era.

Most of the cherry flower trees were cut down, you'll have to go along the railway or go to the local police station to be able to see cherry flowers during the cherry blossom season.

After the Han Chinese settled here, the aborigines moved to Jianshi Township in the deeper mountains.

The aborigine residing in Smangus, located in the remote mountains of Jianshi Township, transformed the little mountain tribal site into an ecological site, recently gaining great popularity and becoming an important attraction.

Neiwan Old Street


Going up from the Neiwan Old Street entrance, you'll see houses one after another alongside the hill, all the way to the train station.
從內灣老街入口走上去,你可以看到沿山房屋一棟又一棟,一直到火車站前。 a98ba5a74e96c5c12d236d79a513f52d



There used to be a theater to the left side of the train station, but it's now transformed into a restaurant.
火車站前左邊還有一座戲院,不過,現在改成了餐廳。 840e956f2252da71d7db48ab039b0943

There are mostly Hakka snacks on the old street.
老街上大多是客家特色小吃。 6e41df8eb613b10a4bb346c4569fdb60

Zhu-dong Station


Neiwan Line final stop used to be Zhu-dong Station. The terminal station eventually extended to Neiwan to allow for transportation of coal mines and wood. This little village Neiwan therefore used to be very affluent.
內灣支線終點站原本只到竹東站,終站後來延長到內灣,運送煤礦木材出去。所以內灣這個小小山村曾經很富裕。 31cd4e43b1ad922bbf906c15ee10ced6


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