Raving About Taipei’s Riverside

Words cannot describe how in love I am with Taipei’s system of Riverside Parks.

In the past two months that I’ve been living in Taipei, the Riverside system has become my favorite part of the city – and where I try to spend as much of my time as possible. Every time I hit the Riverside, I discover something new, and I am thoroughly convinced it’s the best way to be outdoors without having to go too far away from Taipei.

Here are a few of the reasons why Taipei’s Riverside is one of the best parts of the city:

Beautiful Views

First and foremost, the Taipei Riverside system is a beautifully developed collection of 29 parks with a total area of 514 hectares in the greater Taipei and Keelung area. Each park has its own distinct characteristics, from the series of love-inspired sculptures and flower beds at Guting Riverside Park to the wetlands that border Longshan Riverside Park to the iconic multicolored bridges that dominate the scenery at Rainbow Riverside Park, every kilometer brings with it a new atmosphere and a new way to appreciate the river.

Guting Riverside Park heart-shaped sculptures. Photo credit: Taiwan News.
View of Rainbow Park. Photo credit: Angie Korabik


Daonan Riverside Park. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Sunset at Yanping Riverside Park. Photo Credit: Angie Korabik

Exercise!

The Taipei Riverside system hosts an impressive 112 kilometers of bike paths that weave along the Tamsui River, Keelung River, and Xindian Creek. These paths provide a convenient, beautiful location to get in a solid run or bike ride, but don’t worry – you don’t only have to focus on cardio. Every few kilometers you can build strength on public gym equipment that includes pull up bars, core-exercise platforms, etc.
Are you more of a team player than a solo exerciser? The Riverside is lined with a number of fields and courts for baseball, soccer, basketball, and tennis, and on any given weekend you can watch local teams compete against each other.
Open bike paths for miles. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Take a quick break on your bike ride for a game of pick up? Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Riverside Gym Equipment. Photo credit: Angie Korabik


Good Food and Drink

Who doesn’t love some good food or drinks with a water front view?  The Riverside system hosts several areas that are a great place to grab a bite to eat or something to drink. Go to Gongguan Waterfront Plaza for cheap craft beer and great pizza, Dadaocheng Pier Plaza for champagne and noodles, or grab some coffee or traditional Taiwanese snacks at Dajia Riverside Park. Alternatively, bring your own food to the Riverside and have a picnic!

Dajia Riverside Park food vendors. Photo credit: Angie Korabik
Gongguan Waterfront Plaza. Photo credit: The Poutinerie & Snack Shack

Dadaocheng Wharf. Photo credit: Google Images

Ecological Refuge

While the Riverwalk System has a largely recreational function, it is also an ecological refuge for numerous species. Of Taipei’s four Nature Conservation Areas, two are located along the riverside bordering Taipei proper: Taipei City Waterbird Refuge (located along the top half of Xiandian creek, connecting to Tamsui River) and Huajiang Wild Duck Nature Park (located at the north end of Shuangyuan Riverside Park).   Both of these areas boast restored habitats and contain largely diverse populations of native flora and fauna. Additionally, Shezidao hosts wetlands for wetland conservation where you can birdwatch and learn about the local environment.

The Riverside system also acts as the host for numerous environmental education, public outreach programs, and cultural events, such as the annual Taipei Riverside Festival.

Between 2007 and 2016, the River Pollution Index (RPI) value for Taipei’s border rivers has been steadily been improving, and with the amount of attention the Taipei City Government gives to these areas, we can expect it to improve even further in the future!

Cattle Egret. Photo credit: Angie Korabik

Salamander. Photo credit: Angie Korabik 
Chengmei Left Bank Riverside Park. Photo credit: Angie Korabik


Packs of wild dogs often roam the riverside. Don't worry, they're relatively tame. Photo credit: Angie Korabik
Convenience!

But the best part about the Taipei Riverside? Homey Hostel is located only 1 km from Yanping Riverside Park!

How to get there:
By foot: Turn left when you exit Homey’s building, and walk along Chang’an West Road (長安西路) until you reach Tacheng Street (塔城街) and turn right. Walk north about 1 block, and turn left onto Nanjing West Road (南京西路) – Make sure you turn west, because Nanjing Road changes direction at this intersection. Walk for about 3 more blocks, and then pass through Yuquan Evacuation Gate玉泉疏散門 (淡四號疏散門)You’ve reached the Riverside Park! Enjoy it!

Map to walk to Yuquan Evacuation Gate. Photo credit: Google Maps

By bike: Turn left when you exit Homey’s building, and turn left again when you reach Taiyuan Road 太原路.  Ride south two blocks until you reach Zhengzhou Road 鄭州路 (the one with the huge over pass) and turn right. Ride for about 1km, and then pass through Yanping Evacuation Gate延平疏散門(淡三號疏散門)。You’ve reached the Riverside Park! Happy riding!

Map to bike to Yanping Evacuation Gate. Photo credit: Google Maps
Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I’ll tell you about the best spots to visit along the Riverside and what you can do there!

Your Favorite Homey LTR (Long Term Resident), Angie

Post a Comment