The eight-branched intersection in the heart of Ximending District teems with Taiwan’s youth come to shop, eat, see and be seen. The intersection was originally established during the days of the Japanese occupation, when it attracted wealthy residents to its theaters and cinemas. If you’re interested in the history of the area, be sure to visit the historic Red House Theater and the Ximending Mazu Temple, two sites all to frequently overlooked.
Today it’s the commercial center of the country, its streets and alleys lined with shops, boutiques, and restaurants geared toward the young and hip. On evenings and weekends, you’ll often see street performers along the pedestrian streets northwest of the intersection. The people watching is just as entertaining, as Taiwan’s edgy youth come to hang out in their favorite shops.
Besides being Taiwan’s largest commercial pedestrian area, Ximending is also the epicenter of the LGBT community in the city, with many of the area’s clubs and bars catering to them.