In between the 1940s and 1950s, many Nationalist soldiers from Mainland China had to relocate to Taiwan along with their families. For this reason, military villages had to be built all around the island, including in big cities such as Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, etc. Although many villages have been demolished, some are still preserved as cultural and historical sites, including one located in the capital of Taiwan, the 44 South Village (四四南村). Since this site is not always written on usual travel guidebooks, it is still less traveled by, which makes it perfect for travelers who love to take the path less trodden!
A quick history of 44 South Village
The earliest military village ever built in Taipei was the 44 South Village located just behind the majestic Taipei 101. Unfortunately, due to the construction of new buildings in the 1990s, a significant amount of houses in village had to be demolished. What was left of the village, however, was salvaged and turned into a historical site. Nowadays, aside from being a tourist attraction, 44 South Village serves as a creative community center for Taiwanese designers looking to establish themselves.
A retro village under Taipei 101
Admittedly, compared to other parks and outdoor destinations in Taipei, 44 South Village is not very big. However, this small preserved area brings you tranquility with its old retro buildings and colorful doors. While observing the village, travelers can see that the houses were built very close to each other, showing that long ago, military veterans possessed their own society. Now, the walls have faded into a gray-like color, causing the doors and window to become the center of the attention at each house. Aside from its old designs, the contrasting landscape between Taipei 101 and this retro village will indeed invite travelers to reflect upon the history and development of this city.
What to do at the 44 South Village?
The remaining of the 44 South Village, aside being preserved from the outside, was also refurbished from the inside, turning the houses into an art center, a store, and a café, called Good Cho’s. The café introduces food made from locally grown ingredients, and the retail store, called the Simple Life, sells products also from the locals. Sundays would be the best day to visit since there is a small market similar to the farmers market available in other countries, which introduces local artists who specialize in handmade souvenirs.
Travelers, families, and photographers visit the 44 South Village to enjoy the day, spend quality time, and, of course, hunt for photos. This park-like historic site is the perfect place for families to hang out and spend quality time together. For a traveler, this is a very nice space to get the view of Taipei 101 from a different angle, and a good place to learn a little history about the historical events regarding the military relocation.
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How to get there
Getting to the 44 South Village is very easy since it is near to one of the MRT stations. Take the red line train heading to Xiangshan, and stop at the Taipei 101 station. Leave the station from Exit 2, and head east then turn left to Zhuangjing Road. The village is located on the left side of the road. Take note the art gallery is closed at 5pm, but the café stays open up until 9pm.
Find yourself in the tranquility of the 44 South Village
It is easy for a traveler to get lost in most go-to destinations of a city when traveling. However, sometimes there is the desire to enjoy a place that is less traveled to, and the 44 South Village in Taipei is definitely one of those destinations. Overall, the area is not big, but in this very petite village, travelers are taken back in time. So if you are a traveler in Taipei looking for an escape inside the city, then make your way down to the 44 South Village!
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