A Taiwanese Winter: Danshui Across the Keelung River


For the last month or so we’ve been enduring the usual northern Taiwan winter weather:  Cold, gray, rainy skies.  The temperature hadn’t been too low yet, but it wasn’t shirtsleeve weather either.  We had started to fall into the emotional winter grays, as well.  Living in northern Taiwan in the winter is like I imagine living through England’s winter weather would be.

The main differences between a northern Taiwanese winter and a normal English winter are heaters and fireplaces.  Very few, if any central heaters in homes and apartments exist and to this day I have never even seen a chimney indicating a fireplace here.  If you think about it, Taiwan is a small island and if everyone was burning wood all winter the islands would be balder than I am.  So winter, because of the high double-digit humidity and the utter lack of heating in homes, can get bone-chillingly cold.
I don’t do well in cold weather. I have a tendency to hole up next to a space heater and mutter incoherently, but enough about me.  Let’s
just say that the weather wasn’t beautiful. Then, last Saturday, December 29,  as if a miracle had occurred I thrust off the blankets.  The joints didn’t hurt, the mumbling had stopped, I almost spoke a coherent sentence.  Last Saturday dawned brilliantly.  Last Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous, warm, spring-like day.  Life returned to northern Taiwan.
My daughters and a number of their friends took a trip to Danshui.  Danshui is in the north of Taipei just across the Keelung River:  The very last stop on the MRT. Here are some striking pictures they took of Danshui, Fisherman’s wharf, and the Taipei Skyline.


A couple of electric bicycles and about a gazillion people
An Evening Shot

Chris Banducci
Chris Banducci is a pastor and missionary in Taiwan. He has, at other times of his life, been a white-water rafter, rock climber and adventurer. He left the corporate world of Solid Waste Recycling in 1996 and went into full-time ministry, where he pioneered a church in Riverside, California for the Potter’s House Christian Fellowship and is now engaged in the same endeavor in Taoyuan City, Taiwan. He writes on the culture, religion, tradition, and day-to-day life in Taiwan. Twenty-six years of living with Muscular Dystrophy may have weakened his muscles but not his spirit.
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2 Responses to A Taiwanese Winter: Danshui Across the Keelung River

  1. Brett Domue January 7, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    Winter in Taiwan definitely came as a shock to us. Never expected to be sleeping under a down comforter wearing a sweatshirt, but that’s what we had to do until we wound up moving to another apartment that had heat (not because of the heat, but it did contribute to our need to move…and was a criteria we looked at when choosing our second place)

  2. Chris Banducci
    Chris Banducci January 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    It was a surprise to me as well. I thought warm mild winters this far south. Taipei has the same latitude as Miami…go figure.

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