Saturday, October 6, 2012

Taipei City - Qing Guang Market District

Qing Guang Market 晴光市場 Tour: October  5, 2012

晴光市場 臺北市中山區農安街2巷及雙城街12巷 上午9時至下午9時

Lane 2, NóngĀn St, Jhongshan District, Taipei (near Zhong Shan N Rd, Sec 3)
MRT Red Line, Minquan W. Road Station

Yesterday I was invited to attend a tour of the Qing Guang Market area of Taipei, an event sponsored by the Taipei City Office of Commerce. The morning was a gorgeous and sunny day with temperatures near 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  More than 20 reporters and bloggers attended this event the full day event.  Just before we started this portion of the tour, a light rain started to fall and lasted until early evening.

The afternoon portion of the tour that I attended started around 3pm next to the Mitsui Japanese Restaurants on Nong-An St. in Taipei City.   This restaurant is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in Taipei, and I often visit and enjoy their delicious cuisine.

One of my favorite Taipei Restaurants

Our tour started at the Sheng Fu ancestral village shrine/temple located at Lane 38 Nong-An Street.  A legend happened here many years ago when an American solider 's child offended one of the lower level Village Gods.  The child became very sick with a high fever and his family was so very worried for his life.  Finally the American soldier told his child to show his apology and pray to the God.  Like a miracle, the child soon recovered fully and lived a very long and healthy life.  

Just beyond this temple was the Liugong Irrigation canal that was the primary water source and drain for the people and farmers in this village many, many years ago.  This famous canal irrigated the largest area in northern Taiwan during the Qing (清) dynasty era, and the reign of Emperor Qianlong [乾隆] .  It took almost 25 years to complete the canal in the Taipei basin and was completed in approximately 1765. Today the canal is no longer here and the canal area is the foundation for the above ground expressway in Taipei and the area around the Qing Guang Market.


We next visited the ancient house where the famous Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault and his wife, Anna Chennault, born Chen Xiangmei (Chinese: 陳香梅),.   


Claire Lee Chennault served in the US military as a pilot in World War I.  On April 30, 1937, he retired from the US military, leaving with the rank of captain. He then went to China with a group of American civilians training Chinese airmen.  The Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) broke out in July, and he served as "air adviser" to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek.  At the onset of World War II, he founded (1941-42) and led the famous “Flying Tigers” during the war.  
The photo above is from Wikipedia.

He married Anna in 1947, 32 years her senior, and their life is remembered as a true love story in there generation.  He passed away in 1958.  The Wedding Photo below is from Wikipedia.

The photo above is from Wikipedia.

We then walked towards ZhongShan N. Road Section 3 to the famous Jing Fu Temple.  This marvelous structure was started 135 years ago and is the biggest Temple for a Village God in Taipei.  Established in 1875, the temple has had many additions over the years, and is a very popular stop for the foreign visitors.

Walking to our next  stop along Zhongshan North Road is the only church in Taipei that still celebrates its Mass in English.  St. Christopher’s Catholic church, was built in 1957.  

The church is located in the heart of this area established by many Philippine families over the years searching for mostly servant jobs in Taipei.  The area has many Philippine stores that only sell food and goods from the Philippines.  

We headed for the central Quin Guang shopping district.  Our first stop is the famous FLORIDA Bakery established in 1949.  

Taipei has many wonderful small bakeries in every neighborhood that bake fresh bread, pastries, cookies, cakes, and much more.  But few if any are as large as the Florida’s store on Zhongshan N. Road.  We sampled their very famous Garlic Bread and Plum juice, and walked away with a small bag of goodies including fresh tortilla chips and cookies. 

Tempting French Garlic Bread to Sample

So Good it was almost all gone just moments later...... Yummmmmmm !!!

When In Taipei, you simply must stop at this bakery and enjoy the best baked goods in Taipei.  let your eyes feast on some of the sights and delights in this store !!!!!!

Just a few steps away from Florida Bakery is a small narrow alley that leads into an area with some of the best shops in Qing Guang Market Area.  These alleys seem to be endless with so many little shops, stores and stands.  Here you can find a wide variety of goods including clothing, sexy ladies undergarments, shoes, ladies make up, herbs, and fabulous jewelry stores with incredible Jade, Coral, and diamond jewelry. 

Nestled in this area near one of the corner alleys is the famous Red Bean Cake food stand (晴光紅豆餅).  Here they serve a very delicious, Japanese style,  vanilla cream or red bean desert.  They start with a very hot cooking wheel with many small “muffin” like pockets.  They pour in the batter and whisk around the top of the pocket.  As the batter quickly cooks, it is formed into a small “pie” shaped shell.  They take out these shells, and add the vanilla cream or sweet red bean paste and let it cool slightly.  They make additional shells and as they cook, they put a filled shell with the vanilla cream or red bean paste on top until the bottom shell is completely cooked and they serve it to their customers hot and ready to eat.   At peak shopping times, people line up in long lines waiting for one of these true delights of Taipei.

What a great dessert !!!   

Just a short distance away is yet another small place that sells Sweet ToFu (丁香豆花), which is simply loved by everyone.  We suggest that you stop here on your next trip to the Qing Guang Market area.

At the end of the last alley of shopping district is the small but beautiful Jhen Guang Church (真光堂), established in 1954.   

At the other end of this alley is a small block full of vendors selling fresh cooked food including seafood, goose, chicken, tofu and much more.  So, when in the Qing Guang Market area sight-seeing, shopping or just out for a nice walk in Taipei City, just stop by these food stands, order, and then sit down and relax at a small table to enjoy the true tastes of local Taipei food.


  1. Great information regarding this Qing Guang Market District , I will like to visit these places soon when I go to Taipei!!!

  2. Wow! Great article about the area. You will become popular very soon.

  3. You missed a restaurant called "San Dong She Xaio" ( San Dong Province Dumpling Restaurant). They have good broiled or pan fried dumplings. It is located not far from the Jhen Guang Church (真光堂). The restaurant serves great dumplings, fried pork chops, and egg and tomato soup.

    We always stayed in Sunroute Hotel next to the Starbucks on Ming Chung E. Road. The alley right next to the hotel leads us to the Qing Guang Market.

    I am glad that you gave a good description of the area. I miss the place already. Hope I will go there again before May this year.