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Taichung Second Market

Words by Information Bureau of Taichung City Government
Translated by Anna Yang

Taichung's Second Market--originally known as Xinfuding Market--has been a key part of life for several generations of Taichung residents. As the market celebrates its hundredth year, Taichung City Government has made renovation plans that will celebrate the start of a fresh era in its history.

Taichung Second Market Taichung Second Market
Left: This 3D street painting features popular scenic spots, Second Market and delicious Taiwanese eateries.
Right: Crisscrossed by six alleyways, Second Market's brick building was built in 1917.

"Let's make the market and its eateries a part of Taichung," Mayor Lin Chia-lung has said in regards to Second Market, which is located in Central District and during the Japanese colonial era was known as Xinfuding Market. Its large brick structure is crisscrossed by six alleyways, giving it a maze-like atmosphere.

Taichung City Government's renovation plans call for the use of professional expertise to maintain the market's nostalgic ambiance and appeal, including its passageways, piping and SanMin Road-facing vendors like Wanki Radish Cake, Ah-ma Shansi (相思) Noodle Shop, Cho's Pie, and Lao Lai Tea Shop, whose signage and ceilings will be updated.

Taichung Second Market Taichung Second Market
Left: Inside the market, Wude Temple honors the Guanshengdi and Mazu deities.
Right: Imported products were not available during the Japanese colonial period, but Japanese clothing and daily-living items are now among items sold here.

Second Market, also nicknamed the "rich woman's market", saw a cluster of business people setting up shop in this flourishing Luchuan area during the Japanese colonial era. A variety of restaurants and hotels, including the largest "Tsui-yue-lo" (醉月樓) eatery, also were located in this neighborhood, offering classic local cuisine. Based on original coverage of this restaurant's cuisine by Taiwan Daily News in 1907 and 1934, Taichung City Government recently selected 13 classic Taiwanese dishes as the most representative banquet fare of that time. Originally known by their Japanese names, these Tsui-yue-lo menu items include Braised Fish in Brown Sauce, Fish Cakes, the Ba-feng Dish and Tu-si Shrimp, and in May this year the city government will once again present them to the public at the market, allowing visitors to savor original Taiwanese flavors from a long time ago.

Second Market vendors remain quite competitive to this day and include a number of nostalgic, yet creative, eateries that continue to lure customers, with long waiting lines to be found at places like Maochuan Meatballs, Guocheng Food Inc., Yenki Meat Buns, Laolai Tea Shop, Mitsang Sweet Potatoes, 1/3 Coffee, and Wang Coffee.

Taichung Second Market Taichung Second Market
Left: A number of popular eateries are hidden inside the market.

To cater to visitors from Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Korea and elsewhere, the city government has already translated 16 popular market dish names into multiple languages. Taichung City Government Economic Development Bureau Director Lu has also devised a mnemonic Chinese catch phrase (based on the first character in each shop's name) to represent the 16 special dishes: "Yang-Lin-Lao-Wang-Ah-Cho-Lan, Yen-Wen-Fu-Mao-Shan-Li-Tsong".

Besides its promotion of tasty delicacies, Taichung City Government is holding a series of centennial celebratory events that include local tours, a treasure hunt, handicrafts, and an exhibition of photographer Lin Chuan-chu's Taichung pictures.

Taichung Second Market Taichung Second Market
Right: Century-old food vendors selling delicious food attract many customers from abroad.

There will be four guided tour routes. The first "Delight Classic" tour covers attractions such as Taichung Railway Station, Hanqian Herbal Street, Ruiyi Oil Shop, Baoxin Rice Shop, Sanmin Tatami Store, Chen's Sculpture Shop, and Second Market. The second "Culture and Creative Discovery" tour visits Second Market, Qiantse Handicrafts, Taiwanese Sun Cake Museum, Yawentsai Ink Shop, Ronyu Silk Store, and the Luchuan area. The third "Cultural Landmarks" tour includes stops at Taichung Railway Station, Cheng-huang Temple, Taichung Literature Park, the old Taichung City Hall, Taichung Story Hall, and Second Market. Finally, the "Temples and Heritage" tour visits Second Market, Wude Temple, Wanchun Temple, Nantien Guanshengdi Temple, LeCheng Temple, and Taichung Railway Station.

Central District is the cradle of Taichung culture and history and visitors are welcomed to explore its scenic destinations and sample its local delicacies as they enjoy the city's beautiful climate.

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