Fùgāng Old Street 富岡老街 is an obscure anachronism in the western part of Táoyuán 桃園, Taiwan. It extends from a railway station that opened during the Japanese colonial era in 1929 through the heart of this small Hakka town. The coming of the railroad brought prosperity to the area and several ornate shophouses were built around the station in a mishmash of architectural styles common at the time. Nowadays it is just another street in rural Taiwan, albeit one with a little more history than most, possibly because it is too unimportant a place for modernization to have swept away these vestiges of the past.
The most interesting building on this unusually short old street is the exquisitely-crafted Lǚjiāshēng Mansion 呂家聲洋樓, a western-style shophouse from the early 1930s. I can’t really comment on its architectural features as I am no expert in this domain—so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Apart from that one building the rest aren’t anything to write home about. To be honest, I might not have likely visited Fugang Village 富岡村 at all were I not living in Zhōnglì 中壢 at the time. I undertook a number of short bicycle trips (including this one) around Táoyuán 桃園 to check out a number of roadside attractions like Longtan Weird House 龍潭怪怪屋. Fugang came up while browsing around Google Maps for potential targets, and even though there wasn’t very much to see, I’m happy to share a little of what I found here on my blog.
I find this last building quite charming. It’s the only one I haven’t seen show up on any other blogs, possibly because it’s in a slightly strange location, or perhaps it doesn’t really fit with the classical style of the other buildings along the actual old street. Whatever the case, Taiwanese bloggers have done a much better job than I have explaining the history and architectural features of Fugang Old Street. If you can read (or don’t mind translating) Chinese, try here, here, here, here, here, and here. And for a tour around Yángméi 楊梅 with a brief stopover in Fugang check out this comprehensive post. Be sure to also check out my full account of the entire day’s ride.