Nanzhuang, a township in Miaoli that simply translates its full name of 南庄鄉 to “south township,” is a tourist hot-spot on the weekends. Towns like these are common throughout Taiwan as the locale mixes an aboriginal heritage with traditional and modern Chinese-Taiwanese influence. David on Formosa also has a great guide to this place as other favorites of mine, Beipu and Lion’s Head Mountain.
Starting off is a temple situated on the “old street” at the top of a hill in the town. This was one of the few places with some “breathing room” right off the crowded street full of markets and shops.
Further into the mountains is an aboriginal village of Xiang Tian Hu (向天湖), which is an important ceremonial and cultural center for the Saisiat tribe.
Back down in the main town is a large old-fashioned movie theater, now converted to a restaurant. I was pretty interested in the mid-20th century style it possesses and the character it brings to the neighborhood.