This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Haggler's Row, Taipei, Taiwan

Unofficially known as The China Bazaar, Haggler's Row was the place to shop and be entertained during our time in Taipei.

For us, any evening planned for Shimending always began with a walk beside the buildings on Chung Hua Road.

The 8 buildings opened in 1961 and closed in 1992. The 30 years in between provided a place to shop for tourists and citizens alike. A place to live for the shop owners was also part of the contract.

Eventually, lack of parking and the construction of more modern shopping centers nearby spelled the end for The Chung Hua Market.

Any ride down to the bazaar always took us by the train station.

This photo shows most of The Row. It must have been taken shortly before it opened. 

Left of the first building at the top of the picture is the American Embassy.

The particulars . . .

Photo by Steve Callis; courtesy of

On a hazy day, this picture still looks great. The cab driver probably pulled over to the right curb. The camera angle and the view toward Shimending are excellent.
Photo by Steve Callis; courtesy of

Looking back from the previous picture is the traffic circle leading onto Chung Hua Road.

In the center of the traffic circle is the North Gate, a remnant from Taipei's past.

The city was surrounded by a wall with entrance provided by one of 5 gates. Three exist today.

This North Gate, however, is the only one that retains its original architectural style.

Today, the North Gate stands here. However, it has been relocated to the north and east where it stands next to an overhead expressway.

Kent Mathieu was walking toward the train station when he came upon the site of the old traffic circle location. To see it and its present resting place, click HERE.

Kent's walking tours can be found at YouTube under hawaiikent.

Notice the barbed wire down the length of the median. Imagine how many pedestrians were struck before it went up. 

My flash memory is of red and green jade being sold by many vendors as were records, particularly Chinese opera.

Too bad pictures don't come with sound and smell.

Taken from the pedestrian bridge at the Shimending entrance, this photo is looking back north toward the first building of The Row.

Taken from the same bridge, this picture shows the east side of Chung Hua Road, including the First Department Store (First Company Limited).

This wall is all that remains of the Chung Hua Market.

Today, you can see the train station in the upper right. Chung Hua Road is shown as Highway 3. Road 104 is the Shimending entrance.

The little green dots to the left of the road are tops of trees planted on the Haggler's Row building sites.


  1. >The city was surrounded by a wall with entrance provided by one of 5 gates. Three exist today.

    Matter of fact, four exist today.
    East Gate東門

    North Gate北門

    South Gate南門

    Little South Gate小南門

  2. As usual, thank you, Victor.

  3. Hello John, thanks very much for sharing the precious photos and memories. As far as I know, the 8 buildings of the so-called Haggler's row were eventually torn down to give way for metro (Taipei MRT) construction project, though they were already out-competed by more modern rivals and also became old and outdated before that.
    BTW, is the name "Haggler's Row" a term specifically referring to this area in Taipei? Or is it a general term or places like this? Thank you.

  4. J_translator, I hope you will forgive me in responding to your question. In this context, Haggler's Row is specific for the 8 buildings. The term "haggle" means to negotiate a lower price, a common practice at the time (so, the practice itself was used in any store and with select vendors in all of Taiwan).