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11 rare historical maps and nearly 200 historical photos

The first Taichung travel guide synchronized with a digital app

A guide for time traveling leads you on an enthralling journey that will make you fall in love with Taichung!


Walking into the Past and Present series presents a new volume! The sequel takes the reader on an expedition to Taichung, offering a cultural journey interwoven with historical accounts and high-tech features.


The Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures (ASCDC) has collaborated with the Center for GIS, RCHSS, Academia Sinica. Through the help of Geographic Information System (GIS), a selection of eleven historical maps, with the earliest tracing back to 1895, was accompanied by the precious old photos taken by Yu Ju-Chi and Lin Chuan-Chu, two renowned photographers based in Taichung. The old maps are integrated with their modern counterparts, allowing a juxtaposition of the streets and landmarks of Taichung belonging to different periods.


One can visit places located by the free mobile app, “Taichung Historical Map,” (臺中歷史地圖) by scanning the QR code inserted in the book. Photos of the historical streetscape will pop out simultaneously with the contemporary scene in situ, providing a personal experience of time travel.


For a more in-depth understanding of historical contexts and anecdotes, a group of experts has been invited to write articles on seventeen topics spanning from the colonial period of Japanese rule to the days after the Second World War. Numerous aspects of Taichung’s history across a century include urban development, cultural activities, and social life. With a multi-layered and vivid representation of Taichung, one is brought back to the old city through an anatomy of history, enjoying the élan of reading and imagination.


The book is composed of five chapters, taking us on a journey to encounter the old Taichung:


“From desolation to prosperity”

This chapter examines the enormous change which Taichung has gone through from the early settlements, the province capital under Qing rule, the first urban planning and modern infrastructure brought by the Japanese, all the way to the formation of a massive city after the Second World War. Whereas Taichung has metamorphosed from a wide green plain into a jungle of skyscrapers, the charm of its cultural wealth remains dazzling throughout the century. 


“The Hustle and Bustle: The Encounter and Exchange of People”

To name the souvenirs of Taichung’s economy growth, it is fair to mention the launching of the western line railway, the century-old market boasting a unique gamut of gourmet food, the conflicts of banana trade, and the rise and decline of the city’s harbor. Endowed with a nice location and the rail service, Taichung became a trade hub tied up with the come and go of people and goods as well as the flow of social rapport. 


“The Crevice of Time and Refreshing New Air”

Some of the “firsts” in Taiwanese history took place in Taichung: the first female doctor Tsai A-hsin, the first High School open to Taiwanese pupil, and what is to be applauded as the first community-based society advocating for cultural enlightenment, the Wu Feng I-Hsin Hue. Dashing figures of Taichung are like shooting stars zipping through time; their burning youth marks a page of a particular weight. 


“Enjoying Life and the Arts”

What is it like to live in the refined city of Taichung? One’s choices are widened with the excitement offered by the theaters and literary clubs as well as hypnotizing pleasures oozed from the pubs and discos. Cultivation of the arts and myriad indulgence are there to be taken to drink life to the lees.


“The Contour of the City and the Shift of Culture”

Taichung should also be recognized as a center of religious faith, the remnant of US military alliance during the Cold War, and the heart of the reconstruction of cultural heritage after what came to be known as the 921 Earthquake in 1999. The city displays a variegated texture of culture, and the people coming to and fro leave their mark as shapes and colors are found on an amazing painting. 


Start exploring Taichung through historical maps and old photos, Walking into Taichung’s Past and Present is now available on, Kingstone bookstores, Eslite Bookstores and TAAZE.



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