Throughout the reign of the Qianlong Emperor during the Qing Dynasty, a number of people from Fujian, a coastal province on Mainland China, began to immigrate into present-day Taoyuan to develop and farm the land. They planted peach trees, which, when fully bloomed in spring, were so beautiful that the people named the land "Taoziyuan" which in Chinese means "Peach Garden." Taoyuan District was designated the capital of Taoyuan City on April 21st, 1971.
In the early years, Taoyuan was the home of the Pingpu aboriginal tribe. Before the history of written language, the Ketagalan Tribe of the Pingpu Aboriginal Tribe settled in Nankan. Nankan Stream is the headwaters of Nankan River. Written records only began when the Han people arrived and developed this place. It was originally called "HumaoZhuang." However, it was later renamed "Taozaiyuan," because the people started to plant peach trees everywhere, so whenever they blossomed, the ground was covered in pink, just like a red cloud covering the ground. In addition, the land was all covered with rivers, and the Han tribe built forts for defense. For this reason, it was renamed "Taochienbo." According to historical records, in 1680, "Cheng Ko-Shuang defeated Chen and stationed him in Nankan Ditch to defend it." Then in 1694, "Minnan people went to the rivers and plains in Taoyuan and expanded Nankan." These are the earliest records of the entry of Han people into Taoyuan City.
In 1727, “Kao Tienkuang of Changchou visited Taiwan, expanded Dayuan, Zhuwei till Danshui, Parrigon." Later in 1733, highways were built connecting Taipei and Taoyuan (running through Guilun Mountain path, which is now the location for Taiwan Provincial Road No.1). Then the Nankanshe School was built. The following year, Xinzhuang, Jiulukeng, Taozaiyuan were expanded as far as Zhonglixin Road. At that time, people from the south started to move to the north to develop the land, and some of these people settled on Takuham (Ta Han) and Yuanshulin. Taoyuan’s transportation was primarily based on the Tamshui River as the exit to Taipei and also depended on Nankan Port and Xucuogang as the major ports to China, which later developed into sea and land transportation.
In the early years, during colonization by the Dutch, Spanish, and Cheng He of the Ming Dynasty, there was no large-scale cultivation or industrial activities. During the reign of the Qing Dynasty, people from Guangdong province and Fujian province gradually migrated there and developed Han agricultural settlements. They excavated land and built irrigation channels, so Taoyuan has now developed into a well-equipped city in terms of its functions and constitution. In the reign of the sixth year of Qianlong, Xiaoli and Dazun were excavated, and the water channels of rivers were connected, converging to the ponds, thereby developing Taoyuan’s water resources. This is significant to the development of several hundred miles of rivers in Taoyuan during the Japanese occupation and American Aid.
During the Japanese occupation, under the staged migration policy of the Japanese government, Taoyuan District had developed into a highly political model city. For example, the temples and worshipping paths (currently Martyrs' Shrine on Chenggong Road) symbolizing cultural systems, Wude Temple (which has been torn down, the original site has been reconstructed as a business building) for military systems, and the old Taoyuan District Office for political systems are all there. As post-war Taoyuan was at the edge of the Greater Taipei Region, structural changes in society changed life styles inside Taoyuan City, and also introduced even more new residents. Due to trade prosperity in recent years, Taoyuan has developed into a major economic circle in Northern Taiwan, with business opportunities everywhere. The passenger and freight transport of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport has turned Taoyuan into the most important gateway of Taiwan to the outside and major sea routes to Southeast and Northeast sea transportation. Taoyuan has developed from a former agricultural and fishing town to an industrial and business county.
Geography & Climate
Taoyuan City (121°E and 24.5° N) is located in the northwestern corner of Taiwan (see Figure 3.1). To the north is the Greater Taipei Region, the hub of Taiwan’s political and economic activities, and to the south is Hsinchu County, the country’s center of high-tech industry. Occupying 1,221 km², the County stretches from the coast of the Taiwan Strait is the west to the Xueshan Mountain Range in the east. Taoyuan boasts a variety of attractive tourism resources which stem from the interaction of three different landforms; namely the coastline and coastal plains, hills and plateau, and mountain range. The Shimen Reservoir provides fresh water for Taoyuan and Taipei City and feeds the north flowing Ta Han River. Runoff from the mountains in the east, the west flowing Nankan River and irrigation canals carry water used extensively for agricultural and recreational purposes.
Taoyuan enjoys a relatively mild climate without seasonal differences being relatively indiscernible. The average summer temperature is approximately 27°C and the average winter temperature is 13°C. Humidity averages 83% throughout the year and the annual rainfall is in the 1,500-2,000 ml. range.
For administrative purposes, Taoyuan City is divided into 5 cities, 1 urban township and 7 rural townships. The names of the administrative districts and land areas are shown in Table 3.1 below. Relative locations are shown in Figure 3.2
Table 3.1: Administrative Districts
Figure 3.2: Administrative Districts