Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文创园区@ Xinyi District, Taipei
There are many reasons to fall in love with Taipei, from the charming culture and history to the magnificent architectural structures as well as fashionable shopping plazas. Besides these, the cultural/creative industry also another potential sector that being widely promoted by the Taiwan’s government. Many municipal governments have established cultural/creative parks as outlets for local cultural creativity to enable visitors to experience Taiwan’s cultural strengths, for example the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park at Xinyi District, Taipei. As I’ve promised in my Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus post earlier, I will tell you more about each tourist spot in more detail. Let’s start with Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文创园区.
A former tobacco factory under the name Songshan Tobacco Plant of the Monopoly Bureau of the Taiwan Governor’s Office, now this place has transformed into a creative park, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文创园区. Being one of the city’s primary creative centers, it becomes a hosting ground for some of Taiwan’s most significant cultural activities and exhibitions.
Songshan Cultural and Creative Park was positioned as “Creative Hub of Taipei” in 2012. The park is aimed for the creativity and innovation projects to echo with the modern trend industries. This park provides a platform for attendants who have inspiring and innovation spirit to grow. The four keys strategies for the park to achieve the goals of becoming the “Creative Hub of Taipei” are “Creative Lab”, “Creative Co-Op”, “Creative School”, and “Creative Showcase”. From time to time, the park will invite various cultural artists around the world, creativity events, and performances as platform for the public audience can explore their curiosities or seek for some inspirations.
Map of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
The park is divided into several areas which include The Office Building, Warehouses and Conveyor Belt, Tobacco Fctory, The Boiler Room, The Inspection Room, The Machine Repair Plant, The Nursery Room, Baroque Garden, Eco-Pond and The Multi-Showcase Exhibition Hall.
The Tobacco Factory
Most exhibition halls and shops are located within the old tobacco factory and surrounding a large, beautiful Baroque Garden where guests can stroll or relax.
When the factory was in operation, it was also home to its employees and provided accommodation and food services, as well as education opportunities and nursery services. Today, those spaces have been modernized while retaining their original purposes, inviting guests to explore Taiwan’s history and culture during the Japanese occupation era.
Yue Yue Bookshop 阅乐书店
A bookshop cum cafe cum space for assorted events.
Operating Hours: 9.00am to 2.00am daily
Located at The Machine Repair Plant area.
Eco-Pond, visitors can experience wildlife and learn about local species native to northern Taiwan.
Palm Tree Ave
The Park is open to the public free of charge; however, the admission fee for the exhibitions and performances presented inside the Park is determined individually by each event presenter.
Taipei New Horizon
A shopping centre home to a new Eslite Living (誠品生活), a multistory complex housing an Eslite Bookstore, music and vinyl record shop, food court (美食街), as well as independent merchants selling unique art pieces and running workshops for the public to join.
The second floor of Eslite is home to a large number of independent shops and merchants where guests can participate in creative art workshops (known in Taiwan as DIY) or request custom pieces. Some of the products available include custom jewelry production (around 2-3 hours total from start to finish), needlepoint and embroidery, Japanese-style plants and decoration, glass blowing, DIY ceramic art studio available for all levels, custom leather products, and countless other interesting products. It is recommended to take a stroll through the second floor to learn more about the local art industry and maybe take home a unique souvenir for friends and family.
On the top floor, is the Taiwanese bookstore chain Eslite, and below are dozens of shops run by, or at least carrying the creations (primarily) of, local designers.
The first floor is devoted to high end and sometimes odd-ball fashions. Thanks for the chuckles to Dleet for its “twin” and “triplet” clothes; the first is a shirt with four sleeves, the second a dress with three tubes in which to put your legs—it looks different each time you wear the garment. Dleet is joined by, among others, the clothing store Pamper Heiress, the jeweler Lin Shao Tung and the famed Isabelle Wen whose gowns and ensembles look like they were co-designed by Chanel and Bob Mackie (think: rich, drapery–like fabrics in conservative cuts but with lots of studs, beads and other bling).
The second floor has a carnival atmosphere to it, partially because it offers such a wide range of goods at small outposts, from handmade guitars, to herbal soaps, to all sorts of housewares, gifts and food treats. Most fun are the areas where the customers get to become designers; amazingly enough, you can sign up to learn glass-blowing and pottery in the store. There are complete studios for both.
In the basement is a terrific food mall, with all of Taipei’s top chains which include world champion bakery ~ Wu Pao Chun Bakery (吴宝春麦方店) & the origin of Pearl Milk Tea ~ Chun Shui Tang (春水堂).
Wu Pao Chun Bakery 吴宝春麦方店
Wu Pao Chun, best known for winning the champion of Bakery Masters in the prestigious Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie 2010 held in Paris. Above photos are 酒酿桂圆 (Fermented Glutinous Rice and Dried Longan Bread) and champion bread” for 2010, 荔枝玫瑰麵包 (Taiwan Lychee Rose Champion Bread). As you see from the photo above, the price of bread are not cheap at all! NT350 for a loaf of bread which nearly equivalent to RM50! (NT100 = RM 14.13) =.=”
The founder of Chun Shui Tang (春水堂), Liu Han-Chieh, first came up with the idea of serving Chinese tea cold in the early 1980s after visiting Japan where he saw coffee served cold. But the inventor of the first Pearl Milk Tea is his product development manager, Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui. She poured the typical Taiwanese dessert tapioca balls called fen yuan (粉圆) into her milk tea and drank it, that was the birth of first glass of Pearl Milk Tea!
Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文创园区
No.133, Guangfu South Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City 11072, Taiwan
Operating Hours: Indoor areas on the park premises ~ 9.00am to 6.00pm
Outdoor areas on the park premises ~ 8.00am to 10.00pm
Areas outside the park (including the ecological landscape pond and areas near the boiler room) are open around the clock
Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文创园区 is on the route of Taipei Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus (Red Line)