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.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

West Side Story; Taipei, Taiwan, Late 1960s

Using the west side of Chung Shan North Road, going south, you would eventually come upon a narrow alley which led back to the rear entrance of the Sea Dragon Club.  

Unless you were headed to the group of buildings known as Sugar Daddy Row, there would be little reason to use the west side of Chung Shan to walk to the south.  

However, Fu Shun Street was also on the west side which proved to be quite a great attraction for men on R and R as well as those stationed in and around Taipei.

Photo by Jack Hornbeck; courtesy of taipeiairstation,

This is a clever angle Jack took advantage of while standing on a traffic island and shooting south, toward the King's Hotel, seen in the distance.

There were many access roads which allowed cabs to drop people off and not be concerned about being hit by the heavy traffic.  

Looking at the picture above, Jack was standing almost parallel to the Sea Dragon Club located just about to his right.   

Note the gas station sign and the Ice Cream ad on the building.

Photo by S. Callas,; courtesy of

Taken from the east side of Chung Shan, this photo shows just the minor part of the gas station across the street.

Not only is the area of the old gas station shown in this picture, but new buildings constructed by the Tatung Corporation show the company's expanded presence.

This is the present day view of the gas station site on the west side of Chung Shan.  It is actually good sized area.  

Assuming that the first picture in this post was taken next to the front of the Sea Dragon Club, we see the back of the place as it appeared in 1969.  

This alley was back of the Sea Dragon Club and proceeded south and emptied onto Fu Shun Street.  

To follow Kent Mathieu's adventure to discover the old Sea Dragon site. click HERE.

Continuing Kent's stroll, which includes a new Burger King, click HERE.

Finally, ending up at the corner, click HERE.

Following the alley in the present day, the Tatung Corporation's new buildings dominate the area back of the old alley.  

This path stops at the intersection of Fu Shun Street and Chung Shan North Road. 

Whether this building has been around as long as its sign says is doubtful. However, its bright orange facade serves as  a point of reference.

From the east side of the road looking north, the orange building on the corner can  be  seen. 

From there on south is an uninterrupted string of commercial buildings.

Compare this last Google  Earth picture with the first picture in this post. Can you pick out the old King's Hotel location?


Photo courtesy of Marvin Faulkner

Does anyone else remember a free-standing ice cream parlor on the west side of Chung Shan North Road?  It was sort of set back from the other commercial establishments.  

It had an American name such as Baskin and Robbins or some other chain.  It seemed strange that it would be in the middle of Taipei.  

I am not sure exactly where it was located, but my guess is that it was not too far south of the West Compound.  

I am almost certain that it was not Foremost. Maybe the business was further south. 


  1. The store with orange signboard in the 8th image is a branch of a chain restaurant, whose original store was established in Tainan in 1895.
    I suppose Foremost was on the intersection of Zhongshan North Road and Zhongzheng Road, where McDonald's is located today.,121.527956,3a,52.5y,80h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1slnfYarH3CjuAqpbU4UfkYg!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0xbe04da25ed9ee4e4!6m1!1e1?hl=en

  2. John,

    As always, the pictures brought back memories of the good old days. Concerning the ice cream parlor, I have no recollection of such a thing. :) Back in the day, I was looking for other things, certainly not ice cream parlors. Now, you ask me about any bar in Taipei, Keelung, Kaohsiung from back in the day and I will probably have some knowledge. :) I really like what you are doing here, please keep it up.

    Merry Christmas!

    Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

  3. John, Even my wife remembers the ice cream establishment. Hopefully, someone else will remember this place. John

  4. I was at Shu Linkou AS 1971-72. Don't remember the ice cream shop; and I spent a lot of time in that neighborhood. But with all the other 'distractions' I may not have noticed it.

    I went back in 2011 and 2014, and the clubs and bars have been replaced with wedding related businesses; wedding dress shops, wedding photographers, wedding planers, etc. There is a certain irony to that. I call it wedding store street.

    Camera store street, Bo-Ai Rd. near the train station is still there.

    Couldn't find Hojo's noodle stand but there are equally good one's still there to the east of the Florida Bakery, which is still there also, for over 60 years as they told me.


  5. Jim,
    You would appreciate Kent Mathieu's walking tours of Taipei. They are on youtube under "hawaiikent".
    Bridesmaids' dresses at the OK and Suzie Wong. Ironic for sure!

  6. John,
    Yes, I have seen them, very well done.
    Last November I rented an apartment for a month.

    One day we took the MRT to the Minchuan W. Rd. station and did a similar walk to Kent's. We went east on Minchuan to Chungshan and picked out where the China Night, Prince, San Francisco, Kings, 77, Monte Carlo and ABC Clubs used to be along with the 63 Bar, Playboy Bar, and Kings Hotel.

    From there we went north on Chungshan passing Fushun St where the Queens Club was and continued past where the gas station and Wuchou's were. At Nongan St. near where the Sea Dragon club was we crossed over to the east side of Chungshan. Went in the Florida Bakery, down the alley to where the little church was (still is).

    From there we wandered east and North past the former locations of the Imperial Club, Napoleon Club and Presidents Hotel. The little temple on the corner of Linsen N. Rd. and Dehui St. (Sugar Daddy Row) is now a big temple on the corner.

    Heading further east past the old big binjou (gone) I even found my old apartment. I may have had a tear in my eye at that point. Those good old days are long gone, but it was good for the soul to revisit that place.


  7. Jim,

    Great details on your walk back through time. During our Taipei days, the Kings was the point of reference. Now, it is the Florida Bakery. John

  8. Hi.....There was a Baskin Robins ice cream store next to the PX in the compound....Built late 75 or early 76......The stand alone location you mentioned was no longer there by that time.....

    Regards, Bill