Treasure Hill, a Village in the Metropolis

Taipei City is not a metropolis like the ones you see in the western countries. On the contrary, it’s a place full of diversities and surprises! It’s the ideal destination not only for people who seek cosmopolitan and luxurious life style or vacation, but also for anyone who looks for more alternative and out-of-the-ordinary destinations. In other words, Taipei is your place to be!

Treasure Hill (寶藏巖 Pao Tsang Yen / Bao Zang Yan) is one of the most pleasant surprises in Taipei and a striking example of the many contrasts you can see in the city.

Because the village was built by the hill, there are some big tree in the neighborhood.
Because the village was built by the hill, there are some big tree in the neighborhood.

Treasure Hill is a city within the Taipei City where the old style faces the new and reclaims its position in history, culture and tradition. It is one of the few oldest settlements preserved in Taipei.

Treasure Hill Temple, viewed from the side of its exit.
Entering the Twilight Zone Treasure Hill Temple.

Treasure Hill is originally established as “Kuan-Im Gum-Ah” (觀音巖仔 Kuan-Yin Yen-Tsai / Guan-Yin Yan-Zai)* a small Buddist temple for Kuan Yin Bodhisattva (觀世音菩薩 Kuan-Shih-Yin P’u-sa / Guan-Shi-Yin Pusa, originally Avalokiteśvara) in the 17th century and served as the religious center for locals who were An-khoe descendants. The Kuan-Im Gum-Ah merged with surrounding temples made for other gods and Buddhas under a bigger containing building into “Treasure Hill”, hence the name for the village, which was formed by the settlement built around the temple. The place expanded rapidly from 1960s to 1980s with the squatters. Although part of houses were demolished in 1990s due to their illegal status, the whole area was preserved and now there are various of handicraft shops and artists here.

Treasure Hill Temple, viewed from the side of its exit.
Treasure Hill Temple, viewed from the side of its exit.
  • Gum-Ah” (Choâⁿ-chiu accent) or “Giam-ah” (Chiāng-chiu accent) originally refers “cave”, but most of time it means a temple by the mountain.
  • There is a also statue of Kuan-Im in Da-An Forest Park.
Treasure Hill Temple is surrounded by houses nowadays
Treasure Hill Temple is surrounded by houses nowadays.

In this picturesque village, you can find old temples and houses; a post office forgotten from time; small shops where hand-made “treasures” are created by craftsmen who preserve the traditional techniques and style; a lovely hotel where you can spend the night and enjoy the amazing view – the village is by the river and the nature all around is fantastic.

Surrounding environment of Treasure Hill
Surrounding environment of Treasure Hill.

Finally, you can meet some enthusiasts who cultivate organic groceries.

Vegetable gardens in Treasure Hill
Vegetable gardens in Treasure Hill

The best thing about Treasure Hill is that you can reach the village easy because it is within walking distance from Green Line subway station “Kung Kuan” (公館 or Gong Guan).Therefore, for all of you who want to live in the country side without leaving the big city, Treasure Hill is the ideal choice!!

Visiting Information: Take MRT Green Line to [G07] Kung Kuan (Gung Guan) Station and leave from exit 1, following the map as provided here:

*Phew*, this is our journey today!.
Phew, this is our journey today!

Oh wait! I forgot to tell you, the journey isn’t end yet! After we left the village, we found that there is a river neighboring the village!! We’ll go on in an adventure into this area next time!!

Well, sun is say goodbye to us. See you another day!
Well, sun is saying goodbye to us. See you another day!