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East Gate

Hsinchu (新竹; Xīnzhú) is a city in the north-western part of Taiwan.

Understand[edit]

With a history of almost 400 years, Hsinchu is the oldest city in northern Taiwan. It was originally inhabited by an aboriginal tribe called Taokas who called the city 'Chuchien', and the present name, Hsinchu, was adopted at the end of the 19th century, during the reign of the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu. It was also during the later Qing Dynasty that the city was expanded and the city's walls constructed, of which only the Eastern Gate remains.

During the Japanese colonial era (1895 to 1945), Hsinchu was the main administrative center between Taipei and Taichung, and it was during this period that glass production (for which Hsinchu later became famous) was introduced to the city. Production used to be limited to medical equipment, but with the founding of the island's largest glass company in 1954, production was expanded, though still limited to mostly industrial glass. Craft items were added to the list of products in the 1960s, and soon Hsinchu gained recognition as a center of excellence for decorative glass products.

In 1980, the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park (more often called simply 'The Science Park') was founded. The park has been very successful, and hosts companies like TSMC, AU Optronics, UMC and numerous other semiconductor manufacturers. The establishment of the park was a major boost to the economy of the area and as a result, Hsinchu, despite its relatively small population (around 350,000), has some surprisingly high standard hotels and shopping complexes. The average wage of the citizens of Hsinchu is now the highest in Taiwan, surpassing even that of the capital, Taipei.

Hsinchu is a very pleasant city, though definitely not a tourist destination, and most overseas visitors travel here only to attend conferences or business meetings. However, with its abundance of hotels and good transportation links, the city is perhaps the best location to explore the beautiful mountain areas of Hsinchu County.

Due to the constant gusts of wind that blow in from the Taiwan Strait, Hsinchu is often referred to as the Windy City. While the wind keeps the city relatively pollution free, it also makes it a very cold place in the winter, especially around the time of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year celebrations.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Hsinchu is on the main Taipei - Kaohsiung rail and freeway routes, and it takes about one hour and ten minutes to reach the city from Taipei.

Take highway number 1 or 3. There are two toll gates between Taipei and Hsinchu. Books of 9+1 tickets can be bought at the gates with yellow sign at NT$40 each. Tickets can also be bought at post offices for a little less then NT$40. Tickets holders can use gates with a blue sign.

The speed limit on Highway number one is in general 100 km/h and on number 3 110 km/h. Speed cameras are active and there are regular speed traps.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is Taoyuan International Airport, which is about a thirty minute drive in the dead of night with no traffic and a speeding taxi driver. Safest to allow around an hour from Science Park or a little longer from down-town.

By bus[edit]

From Taipei

  • The How-Tai Bus Company (豪泰客運) (NT$110) run a fast, bus company with efficient and very comfortable (extra wide seats with personal video screens) service from Taipei to Hsinchu. In Taipei, the red buses depart every fifteen minutes from bay 22 at the Taipei Bus Terminal (See: Taipei 'Get in'). From Hsinchu, the buses depart from next to the Hsinchu Railway Station (when exiting the station, the bus stop is a two-minute walk to the left, just past the Hsinchu Bus Station), and makes a stop at the National Tsing Hua University bus station en-route to the freeway. If your ticket is not collected before departure, hang on to it. It will need to be given to the driver when getting off. The journey takes between 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

From Taoyuan Taiwan Airport

  • There are no direct buses from Taoyuan Taiwan Airport (Taipei International Airport) to Hsinchu, but the U-bus company offers a link, with passengers changing buses at the 'Jhongli Transit Station'.

From Taichung

  • Taichung Bus (台中客運) and Guoguang Bus (國光客運) connect Hsinchu to Taichung.

By train[edit]

  • The TRA (or regular train) station is in the city centre and is a major stop on the main line between Taipei and Kaohsiung/Taichung. It costs from NT$114 to NT$180 for an adult and takes approximately one to two hours to get there from Taipei main station, depending upon the type of train you take. 1 Hsinchu railway station is located along Zhonghua Rd.
  • The 2 Hsinchu HSR station on Wikipedia has a Hsinchu stop located in the neighbouring city of Chupei (竹北; zhúbĕi) and is approximately 30 minutes by taxi from the city centre. A local train line (Liujia Line) runs between Hsinchu and Liujia TRA stations (Liujia being located less than 100 m from the THSR station). The THSR also offers a free shuttle service from the station to Hsinchu approximately every 20 minutes. The journey from Taipei takes approximately 30 minutes [1].

Get around[edit]

  • Hsinchu is large enough for a local bus service, which connects the suburbs with the downtown area, though not large enough for taxis to cruise. You'll need to go to the station or a department store to pick one up from a taxi rank - or call, if you can speak Chinese.

See[edit]

Parks and scenic sites[edit]

  • The medians of Wenhua, Xinyi and Sanmin roads have been converted into linear parks. These stretches of green are great for taking a leisurely stroll on a sultry summer day or escaping from the office during lunch break. The parks along Wenhua and Xinyi streets are especially pleasant--and quite romantic at night--as they have incorporated the city's historic moat into their design.
  • 1 Eighteen Peaks Mountain (十八尖山) (drive along Guang Fu Road, turning left onto Nanda Road, and then onto Baoshan Rd). best described as a large hill or small mountainous area circling the eastern and southern suburbs of Hsinchu. The highest of the 18 peaks is 131.79 m and the lowest 50 m. It has a lot of well-maintained stepways, concrete paths and Tarmac pathways, making it ideal for walks in the forest without the hardships of true country hiking. It can get very crowded at weekends or in the early morning, and some may find the canned music a little unnatural. If you do not mind crowds the best time to visit is during a flower festival, at this time you may be lucky enough to be able to visit the Japanese underground shelters that are sometimes opened on these occasions. From some locations you are able to enjoy views of Hsinchu, but generally there are limited views of the city due to heavy tree cover.
  • 2 Hsinchu Botanical Garden, Baoshan Road (near the Tsing-hua University). has some great hiking trails and provides the opportunity to become acquainted with more than 300 varieties of Taiwan's indigeneous flora.
  • 3 Green Grass Lake (青草湖). Also called Qing-cao Hu, off Ming-hu Road is a parkland surrounding a lake - a great place to relax and watch water fowl gliding with the clouds.
  • 4 [dead link] Hsinchu Zoo (新竹市立動物園), 279 Kungyung Road. Tu-Su 08:30 to 17:00 all year, closed on Chinese New Year's Eve. This is the oldest and smallest zoo in Taiwan, founded by the Japanese in 1936. The zoo has been very tastefully renovated and proudly displays 250 animals and 70 species, including tigers, crocodiles, monkeys, bears and all kinds of birds. The grounds are lovely and garden like and the animals seem to be having a good time. A great place to bring children. NT$10.

Landmarks and temples[edit]

Food stands around the City God Temple
  • 5 City God Temple (城隍廟;chénghuángmiào). Built in 1748, on the corner of Zhongshan Road and Dongmen Street. It is a typical Taoist temple with lots of colorful frescoes.
  • 6 Guan Di Temple (新竹關帝廟), No. 109-1, Nanmen Street, +886 3 522 1339. Built in 1776, on the corner of Wenchang St. and Zhongshan Road. It is noted for its refined ornamentation and inscriptions carved by local scholars on the temple pillars.
  • 7 East Gate (東門). Constructed from granite and with a distinctive arched entrance, the historic East Gate is the city center's most well known landmark. It is at the junction of Dongmen and Zhongzheng Roads.
  • 8 Hsinchu Railway Station (新竹火車站), 445 Sec 2 Zhonghua Rd. Built in 1913 in the classic Baroque style that was popular in Taiwan at the beginning of the 20th century. There is nothing to see inside, but the facade provides a good backdrop for souvenir photographs of the city. Hsinchu TRA station (Q11084074) on Wikidata Hsinchu railway station on Wikipedia

Museums and galleries[edit]

  • [dead link] Craft Glass Museum, 2 Dongda Road, +886 3 562-6091. W-Su 09:00-17:00 (ticket office closes at 16:30). The, sec 1. A gallery dedicated to Hsinchu's long association with the craft of glass making. It is in the park directly behind the railway station.
  • Space, warehouses 3, 4 and 5 Hsinchu Railway Station - a space for art workshops and exhibitions. Also includes a humanistic recreation area with restaurant.
  • 9 Hsinchu City Art Gallery & Reclaimation Hall (新竹市美術館), No. 116, Zhongyang Road, +886 3 531 9756. 09:00-17:00.
  • 10 Hsinchu City Fire Museum (新竹市消防博物館), No. 4, Zhongshan Road, +886 3 522 2050. 0900-1700. A small museum in a converted fire station dedicated to the history of firefighting in Taiwan.
  • 11 Image Museum of Hsinchu City (新竹市影像博物館), No. 65, Zhongzheng Road, +886 3 528 5840. 0900-2100. The museum is in the renovated former movie theater building, and in addition to images and documents of film and theater in Taiwan, the museum also has an auditorium where movies and plays are performed.
  • 12 Hsinchu City Black Bat Squadron Memorial Hall (黑蝙蝠中隊文物紀念館), No. 16, Section 2, Dongda Road, +886 3 542 5061. A memorial dedicated to those who lost their lives in the conflict between Taiwan and Mainland China.
  • The Residence of Hsin Chih-Ping
  • 13 Hsinchu Museum of Military Dependents Village (新竹市眷村博物館), No. 105, Section 2, Dongda Road, +886 3 533 8442. 0900-1700. Hsinchu Museum of Military Dependents Village (Q15226316) on Wikidata Hsinchu Museum of Military Dependents Village on Wikipedia
  • TSMC Museum of Innovation (台積創新館), No. 1, Li Hsin Rd. 7, Hsinchu Science Park 300-78, +886-3-5636968. 0900-1700.

Do[edit]

Concerts[edit]

  • Hsinchu Playhouse and Gallery, 17 Dongda Road, +886 3 542-0121. Sec 2 (corner of Beida Road). A large concert hall and gallery featuring local and international events.

Learn[edit]

Universities[edit]

Buy[edit]

Malls[edit]

  • Big City (Big City遠東巨城購物中心) - 229 Zhongyang Rd
  • Far Eastern Hsinchu Store (新竹大遠百) - 323 Xida Rd
  • Crystal City Shopping Plaza (晶品城購物廣場) - 18 Linsen Rd
  • TAROKO SQUARE (大魯閣湳雅廣場) - 91-2 Nanya St

Specialist stores[edit]

  • Xinfuzhen Trading Co. (新復珍商行) - 6 Beimen St - *sells pastries*
  • Hai Rui Meatballs (海瑞貢丸) - multiple locations - *fish balls restaurant*
  • Nanxing Rice Noodles (南興米粉) - multiple locations - *rice noodles*

English books[edit]

  • Eslite Bookstore, corner of Minquan and Zhongyang Roads. The best selection of English titles in Hsinchu.

Eat[edit]

From left to right are rice noodles, meatball soup and stuffed meatball.

Hsinchu is a typical Taiwanese city containing thousands of restaurants.

Local specialties[edit]

Local dishes popular with domestic tourists include rice noodles (米粉; mĭfēn), meatballs served in a broth soup (貢丸湯; gòngwántāng) and stuffed meatball (肉圓; ròuyuán). There are numerous small booths selling these inexpensive delicacies in the area around the Chenghuang Temple, both fresh and uncooked.

  • Double Star Tianbula (雙星甜不辣) - 42 Datong Rd
  • Feilong Meat Balls (飛龍肉圓) - 104 Ximen St
  • Fuye Crispy Red Bean Cake (富爺脆皮紅豆餅) - 3 Dongshan St
  • Golden Fortune Seafood (金運海鮮) - 10 Dongda Rd, Section 4, Lane 204
  • Miaokou Duck Rice (廟口鴨香飯) - 142 Zhongshan Rd
  • Shijia Fish Balls (石家魚丸) - 27-28-29 Xingxue St
  • Shiji Fish Balls (石記魚丸) - 44 Xingxue St
  • Zhushanyi Noodles (竹山意麵) - 13 Aiwen St

International cuisine[edit]

Because of Hsinchu's relatively large expat community, there are also many restaurants that offer international cuisine.

  • Buono Bella Italian Restaurant (波諾義大利料理) - 525 Nanda Rd
  • Shengbodian (勝博殿) - multiple locations - Japanese tonkatsu
  • Uomachi Japanese Donburi (魚町日式丼飯) - 170 Dongda Rd, Section 2 - Japanese donburi

Night markets[edit]

The night market at the end of GuangFu Road (Garden Street), otherwise rather disappointing, has a very popular shop selling food from Singapore. It is located close to the entrance of the night market. The curries and fried noodles start from around NT$60. The night market here is one of the few places to find real homemade American-style cookies but the vendor is not always there. If you really have a craving you can order them and have them delivered by calling 0973200868.

There's a night market on NanDa Road behind the train station every Tuesday and Thursday. Follow the crowds, you can't miss it.

Drink[edit]

Most restaurants, pubs, and even high-class hotels carry a paltry selection of beer, consisting mainly of Heineken, Kirin, Taiwan Beer and one of a variety of mass-marketed, mass-produced American beers (Budweiser, Coors, etc.) In some bars also the German Erdinger is available.

Bars[edit]

Hsinchu has no shortage of bars. Here are some of the most well-known ones:

  • Coach PUB (黃包車PUB) - 33-39 Minzu Rd
  • BAR SPEAKEASY - 587 Jingguo Rd

Cafes[edit]

  • Flying tree house CAFE (飛行樹屋咖啡) - 17 Guangfu Rd, Section 2, Lane 18

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • AMBASSADOR HOTEL Hsinchu (新竹國賓大飯店), 188 Zhonghua Rd, Section 2, +886 3 515 1111. 5-star hotel, close to the city center, near shopping centers, good for car travel.
  • Hotel Royal Hsinchu (新竹老爺酒店), 227 Guangfu Rd, Section 1, +886 3 563 1122. 5-star hotel with large rooms and floor-to-ceiling windows on the upper levels. Convenient location. Features a Cantonese and a teppanyaki restaurant on premises.
  • Sol Hotel (迎曦大飯店), 10 Wenhua St, +886 3 534 7266. This high-end hotel has a gorgeous porch, adjacent to the historic Hsinchu East Gate and the city moat. It takes 7 minutes and 9 minutes to walk to Hsinchu Railway Station and Hsinchu City God Temple. Simple, modern room with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, and tea and coffee making facilities. Suites have an additional living room; some rooms also have balconies. Complimentary buffet breakfast is provided. Other facilities include an Italian restaurant, a fitness center, and coin-operated laundry machines.

Splurge[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Hsinchu is one of the safest cities you'll probably ever visit and street crime is extremely rare. However, in case of an emergency, English speaking police officers can be contacted at the main foreign affairs police department: Tel+886 3 524-2103. Otherwise, like elsewhere in Taiwan, emergency numbers are:

  • Police: 110
  • Ambulance, Fire brigade: 119

Connect[edit]

Dialling code[edit]

The area dialling code for Hsinchu is 03. From overseas, dial +886 3 XXXXXXX.

Hospital[edit]

  • Hsin-chu Hospital (新竹醫院) - 25, Lane 442, Jinguo Road, Sec. 1. Tel:+886 3 532-6151.
  • Mackay Memorial Hospital, Hsinchu (馬偕醫院新竹分院) - 690, Guangfu Rd, Sec. 2. Tel:+886 3 611-9595.
  • Cathay General Hospital, Hsinchu (國泰綜合醫院新竹分院) - 678, Zhonghua Road, Sec. 2. Tel:+886 3 527-8999.

Cope[edit]

Visa applications and extensions can be made at the Foreign Affairs Police Bureau, 1 Chungshan Road. Tel:+886 3 522-4168

Go next[edit]

  • Shih-tou Shan (Lion's Head Mountain) is a mountainous area on the borders of Hsinchu County and Miaoli County famous for its Buddhist temples and scenery.
  • Shei-pa National Park (雪霸國家公園) spans mountains and rivers offering some great hiking, climbing and relaxation.
  • Located near Hsinchu City is the Little Ding-Dong Science Park (小叮噹科學遊樂區). It is the only outdoor science theme park in Taiwan.
  • Chi'ding Resort Beach, half an hour south of Hsinchu along route 61, has a basic beach. Closed during typhoons. This area has a very flat beach area great for skim boarding. The resort has jetskis, windsurfers and kite boarding.
This city travel guide to Hsinchu is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.


Routes through Hsinchu (THSR)
TaipeiTaoyuan  N Taiwan High Speed Rail (Logo Only).svg S  MiaoliTaichung


Routes through Hsinchu (National Highway)
TaoyuanHsinchu County  N TWHW1.svg S  MiaoliTaichung
TaoyuanHsinchu County  N TWHW3.svg S  MiaoliTaichung