Kaohsiung City's Chinese New Year Supply Avenue Sanfong Jong Street / 高雄市年貨大街 三鳳中街
Kaohsiung City's Chinese New Year Supply Avenue Sanfong Jong Street
◎Text by Fang-Ju Lin ◎Photos by Chung-Hui Pao
If you want to experience the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year, Sanfong Jong Street in Kaohsiung City is the place to go. Sanfong Jong Street has recently undergone a space make-over and has a brand new look. Around the Chinese New Year time, it attracts many people to shop for New Year supplies such as sun-dried food, candies, biscuits, etc. Many of the shops here have been running for decades. The friendliness these shops offer thickens the festive atmosphere indeed.
Sanfong Jong Street is not far from Kaohsiung Railway Station. It has been the wholesale centre of groceries since the Japanese Era. The main business of the street is the wholesale and retailing of groceries, including farm produce, seafood products, games, and Chinese herbal medicines. In line with the transformation of consumption style, the shops here also offer goods such as imported confectionary, herbal teas and thousands of other products. When Chinese New Year draws near, every year people rush to Sanfong Jong Street for their New Year supplies.
Sanfong Jong Street got its name from the Sanfong Temple nearby. There are more than one hundred shops on the street with more than half of them in business for more than two generations. After the renovations, Sanfong Jong Street has broken free from the image of a stereotypical traditional New Year supplies street to a beautiful granitic street in baroque style. The whole street is sheltered with canopies, so the shoppers do not have to worry about getting wet when it rains.
Sanfong Jong Street is about 400 meters long. The shops here mainly sell groceries and food products, such as dried farm and seafood produce, grains, snacks, dried mushrooms, Chinese herbal medicines, confectionary, dried fruits, tea leaves, etc. The wholesale displays of huge bags of goods really stir up the spirit of the New Year celebration.
Sanfong Jong Street is still the biggest wholesale centre of groceries in Kaohsiung City. The successful renovation of the street brings new business opportunities to this area. The main customers who shop on this street are people who are in the catering and restaurant business, and retailers for groceries. In Cing Dynasty time, there were nine major market streets in Kaohsiung, now Sanfong Jong Street is the only one remaining.
In 2000, Sanfong Jong Street was officially accredited by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs as the Demo Avenue for the renovated commercial zones. The Department of Commerce, Ministry of Economic Affairs guided the old stores in Sanfong Jong Street with the help of expertise and strengthened their business roots. They have renovated the whole area and paved the street with beautiful granite to spruce up the image of the integrated commercial areas. Sanfong Jong Street was transformed into a commercial zone equipped with both cultural charm and tourism value.
There are a lot of famous shops that have been around for decades on this street. For example, the New Jengfong Store located at No.12; its best selling items are dried shredded pork, tapioca balls, biscuits, and dried fruits. The owner remembers that the shop was already in business during his grandfather's generation. The busiest times during the day is 10-11 o'clock in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.
Another famous shop is called Jiafu Store at No.108. It opened in 1977. It sells groceries such as dried mushrooms, green beans, and red beans. The best selling item in the shop is dried mushrooms.
As for Hejeng Store at No. 88, the best selling items are bean paste cakes and sweet potatoes. Apart from candies, biscuits, and dried watermelon seeds, it also sells some traditional Taiwanese toys like drawing games. The Dahsing Boutiques' top selling items are candies and imported food. The shop is modernly decorated; however, it is an old store which was established in 1972. It mainly sells bathroom essentials, essential oils, skincare products, green products, aromatherapy lines, and imported food. During the New Year period, shoppers come here for sweets and food products.