Many people come to Keelung is to visit the famous Miaokou (gate of the temple) Night Market. In addition to enjoying tasty snacks, there are a lot of interesting hidden attractions near the market. From the side door of Tien-Ji Temple, you can find the entrance to Herb Alley behind it. Next to this is the well-known A-Hua fried noodles stand.
“Keelung Herb Alley” refers to the alleys extending from Tien-Ji Temple. Originally, Keelung as a city developed in accordance with the major temple. Zhangzhou immigrants gathered in the city to improve their health because of frequent epidemics and not enough support of Chinese medicinal cures. Therefore, they relied on traditional herbal remedies. In the alley’s heyday, there were twelve shops, but people gradually reduces their use of herbs, leaving only three shops today.
Walk out of the Miaokou Night Market and stand in front of these herb shops that are hundreds of years old. It’s like a mini-botanical garden, overflowing with green and written in ancient wisdom. An aluminum box with red paper says the never-seen name: Guanyin string, gold belt, double-sided thorn, watery lilac, white dragon boat. Behind each, there are more stories.
Smell the incense of dried grass and have a cup of herbal tea. Do not be shy – talk with the shop owner freely about Taiwanese traditions!