The floral alleys of Changhua City

Postcards From Changhua City 1 彰化市明信片一號

I moved to Changhua City 彰化市 in November 2014 to see what it’s like living in a traditional town in central Taiwan. I had an interesting time staying in Tainan 台南 for three months earlier that year so I figured why not give Changhua 彰化 a shot for the wintertime? Changhua is nowhere near as lively and interesting as Taiwan’s old southern capital but it is not without charm. Here I have gathered up some of the more representative images I captured during my first two months of residency, mostly of the area immediately to the east of the train station, which also happens to be the oldest part of town. Explanations are given in the caption of each photo, where available.

The floral alleys of Changhua City
Floral murals along an alleyway in Changhua City.
Vintage cleaners in Changhua City
Vintage cleaners south of the station. This place has been in operation for more than 50 years.
In front of Changhua Station
In front of Changhua Station. You can see the Qiáoyǒu Building 喬友大廈 in the distance. Cross the street and you’ll find the main bicycle rental depot on a traffic island.
Falling apart in Changhua City
Just north and east of the station one will find this block of decaying storefronts.
Unique colonial homes in Changhua City
A unique set of colonial storefronts on Zhongzheng Road.
Weihui Temple 威惠宮
Wēihuì Temple 威惠宮, a popular place for the elderly to congregate and play board games.
Bawan corner, Changhua City
Famous bawan (Taiwanese meatball) shops just south of the station. The store on the corner was featured in a film; the others are copycats.
Changhua City’s Jincheng Hotel 金城旅社
The vintage entrance to Jīnchéng Hotel 金城旅社 on Cháng’ān Street 長安街. “Istirahat” is Indonesian for rest.
Yongle Street, Changhua City
Yongle Street, Changhua City’s main pedestrian shopping street. They call it a night market but it’s mostly clothing vendors.
Kaihua Temple 開化寺
Kāihuà Temple 開化寺, one of Changhua City’s oldest and most famous. It was originally built as a shrine to Guanyin in 1724.
The main shrine at Kaihua Temple, Changhua City
The main altar at Kaihua Temple is dedicated to the Three Great Emperor-Officials 三官大帝.
Inside old Dingguang Temple in Changhua City
Candlelight in front of a land god shrine at the back of the historic Dìngguāng Buddhist Temple 定光佛廟 near the train station. The front of this Qing dynasty temple was destroyed in the Japanese colonial era to facilitate a road widening but the back retains its old appearance.
Temple figure, Changhua City
There are many temples in Changhua City’s old downtown core. This old figurine stands inside one of them.
Working in a Changhua City temple
Slinging code inside a study room in Qìng’ān Temple 慶安宮, a third-grade historic site originally built in 1817. They’ve got desks, power, hot water for tea or instant noodles, bathroom facilities, and free wifi, what more could you need for a good day of work?
Geometric flower in the Changhua City roundabout
The weird geometric flower in a roundabout just east of the station.
24 hour cafe in Changhua City
This 24 hour cafe is a popular hang-out for locals. I always see groups of people smoking and drinking late into the night when I ride by.
An old wooden facade in Changhua City
An old wooden facade on Zhongzheng Road.
A popular cake shop in Changhua City
Zhen’s Traditional Cake Shop 蓁古早味現烤蛋糕 is always popular. I regularly ride by here and there’s always a line-up. The cakes are actually pretty good: light, fluffy, with various fillings (chocolate, pumpkin, cream, and so on).
A lonesome pink bicycle in Changhua City
A lonesome pink bicycle along an alleyway not far from the station.
The outer gate to the Confucius Temple in Changhua City
The stark outer gate of Changhua City’s famous Confucius Temple 彰化孔子廟.
Confucius Temple, Changhua City
The elegant simplicity of the Confucius Temple in Changhua City, originally built in 1726.
One of the classrooms at the Confucius Temple in Changhua City
A classroom in the wings of the Changhua Confucius Temple.
A traditional home hidden in back alley Changhua City
A traditional farmhouse hidden in the alleyways behind the Confucius Temple. This one is in surprisingly good shape.
A canal in Changhua City
Old irrigation canals weave through much of the city unseen.
An old colonial building in downtown Changhua City
One of many disused buildings from the Japanese colonial era on Cháng’ān Road 長安路. This one happens to have been the office of a petroleum company founded in 1925.
Storefronts along a busy road in Changhua City
Storefronts along a busy road in Changhua City.
Changhua City police station
This police station was built during the Japanese colonial period in 1936 and is still in active use. The tower in the background is a much more recent addition.
The fan-shaped roundhouse in Changhua City
The Changhua Roundhouse, the only one of its kind. Truly one of the most unique sights in central Taiwan!
The railway line from an abandoned building in Changhua City
There are entire abandoned neighbourhoods next to the railway line in Changhua City, evidently the target of an urban renewal project.
Changhua City alleyway mural
An artist adding lettering to a wall mural in an alleyway next to the roundhouse.
Bamboo scaffolding yard, Changhua City
A small corner lot used to store bamboo scaffolding.
An old wooden house in Changhua City
An old wooden house near the southern edge of the old part of town. The city walls used to run along here somewhere.
A fabric shop in Changhua City
A fabric shop near the train station.
Taiwanese window texture in Changhua City
Vintage star-crossed patterned glass, an ubiquitous sight in the older parts of Taiwan.
The view from the third floor
The view from the third floor of a building on Sanmin Road.
Broken sign on Sanmin Road
Broken signs along Sanmin Road not far from the train station.
The ruins of Golden Horse Entertainment World
The ruins of Golden Horse Entertainment World in Changhua City.
A vintage barber shop, Changhua City
A vintage barber shop near the main highway.
Yongan day market, Changhua City
Yongan day market. This place is always busy when the sun is up.
Big sign in Changhua City
A quirky oyster omelette restaurant with an oversized street sign emblazoned with the name 蚵ㄚ仁.
A peculiar roadside shrine in Changhua City
Zhōngzhèng Temple 中正宮, a roadside land god shrine south of the station. Apart from its diminutive size there is an unusual number of signs plastered all around the entrance.
An amusing campaign slogan seen in Changhua City
“Yes, we can”, the campaign banner reads. It’s a good thing there’s no marks for originality in elections!
Looking through my front door in Changhua City
Looking through the patterned glass of my front door.
Vintage optometry kit
Vintage optometry kit at the Changhua Christian Hospital 彰化基督教醫院.
Azhang Bawan 阿璋肉圓
The famous Azhang Bawan 阿璋肉圓.
Glowing Chicken Foot
A giant glowing chicken foot.
Buddha on the skyline
The Buddha of Baguashan seen from the streets of Changhua City.
The gateway to Baguashan
The gateway to Baguashan.
The Big Buddha of Baguashan
The Big Buddha of Baguashan, Changhua City’s most iconic sight.
The gods walk the streets of Changhua City
The gods walk the streets of Changhua City.

If you enjoy these images you may want to browse all my content from Changhua 彰化 (and specifically Changhua City 彰化市). I also ended up publishing more postcards from Changhua City.

1 Comment

  1. I lived in Taichung for most of the 90’s. It looks like Changhua hasn’t changed at all.
    Great photos.

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