Although now a back alley, this Qing Dynasty street used to be an important passage between Monga [present-day Wanhua] and Guting Districts prior to losing its status to Guangzhou Street as the major link between the two districts.
There are conflicting stories as to how Bopiliao [剝皮寮] got its name: Some sources say that the name originates from when the area was used to peel timber that was imported from Fuzhou Province [Bopi means “to peel”], while another legend suggests that the name comes from the skinning of animal pelts.
Restoration of the area began in 2003 and was recently completed in June of last year. Since then the historic street has hosted several performances as well as art and cultural exhibitions.
The upcoming movie Monga [website, trailer] filmed in the area and you can find several exhibits featuring props used in the film. Blogger Patrick Cowsill had an interesting post about the film and its portrayal of the area a couple months ago.
Bopiliao Old Street is located a short walk from Longshan Temple MRT Station and is an excellent site to visit for anyone touring the historic and cultural sites that Wanhua has to offer.
- New Life for an Old Street [Taiwan Review]
- Bopiliao Old Street Sheds Light on Another Era [Taiwan Today]
- A Fresh Image for a Qing-era District: Meet the New Bopiliao [Culture Express]