Tamsui, also known as Danshui, is a historic town by the coast north of Taipei. It was one of the first places to open to foreign trade in the 19th century, but even before then it had a rich history. It was a Spanish colony, and later a Dutch one, and it was the site of a battle in the 19th century as the French tried to take it. The legacy of Taiwan’s first western residents, including the missionary George Leslie Mackay, is visible in the red brick church and old school buildings. These days the waterfront and old street are popular day trips from Taipei.
I’ve visited Tamsui a lot over the years I’ve lived in Taiwan. For a small town it has a huge density of interesting places, from the impressive red brick villas on the hills to temples and market streets on the lower slopes. Each time I visited, including on the visits I made to create this drawing, I found new places. I remember on early trips being a little disappointed with the town. The old street is mostly modern buildings and the waterfront, while having some pretty views of Mt Guanyin, is a busy tourist trap at weekends. On later trips I found the Danshui I really liked was more in the backstreets and up on the hills, especially in the Chongjian Street area and around the old fort. The waterfront is also more serene and beautiful when you head north past the ferry piers and under a row of big banyan trees.
I’ve drawn the town on a typical “people mountain people sea” weekend day as that’s how I’ve mostly experienced it! The old fort is on the left with Aletheia University and the MRT station is on the right. Between them is the core of old Tamsui with all its tiny shops and temples. The complicated area around Chongjian was particularly hard to draw correctly. As one of my more detailed drawings I decided against adding color or traffic as it is already a busy enough image!
Size including frame:
Treated with fixative to protect it
Drawn on archival watercolor paper. It is acid free (so not as brilliant white as some papers). The inks are fade-proof pigment inks
Delivery within Taiwan is free!
Check out some pictures and videos here: https://www.tomrookart.com/tamsui