Knock, Knock: Traditional Doors in Taiwan


Roaming Around Taiwan

I love roaming around Taiwan on a quest to uncover and discover pieces of Taiwan that I have not yet seen or never knew existed.

I especially enjoy scouting out the older regions of historical towns where the architecture speaks of years gone by. And I don’t mean the run down, dilapidated areas but areas where traditional architecture is evident, areas which give clues about the past, areas which speak about the early years of Taiwan, and areas which give glimpses of what life was like in Taiwan several years ago.

And through my several days of exploring and getting lost in the process, I have found some unique gems – traditional Taiwan doors!




Common Characteristics of Traditional Doors in Taiwan


Typical traditional doors in Taiwan are known for their vibrant and rich colors. Shades of red, blue, and earth tone brown are commonly used. The paint peeling off just adds to the old-time feel and gives the door a little extra ‘wear and tear’ character.

Door Knockers:

Their typical large round knockers and large size lion heads demand your attention. They speak of a time when a tap on the door was a good enough gesture to gain entrance.

Main Component – Wood:

These visually attractive pieces were hand-crafted with wood which has stood the test of time.

Spring Couplets:

The red banners surrounding the sides and top of the entrance speaks words of wisdom and wishes of hope. They portray the traditions of the people and customs that they hold near and dear to their heart.


Door 1


My Personal Reflections on Traditional Doors

While I wander through the preserved old streets of Taiwan, I can’t help but wonder about the past occupants of these households. I wonder what life was like long ago in Taiwan. I contemplate how government influenced the lives of the people here all those years ago.

Then, I immediately ponder the reasons as to why there are such drastic differences in traditional and modern household entrances. These old doors have stood the test of time, and, in my opinion, are visually stunning. They depict the traditional architecture of years gone by. Then, my mind starts to contemplate the reasons why these quaint structures have been replaced with steel entrances covered with garage doors in modern homes.

The doors may be old, but their presence emote a certain traditional charm and by default, grabs your attention and draws you into a world that existed long ago.

Now over to you!! Which type of architecture do you prefer to explore – traditional or modern? Old-world charm or new engineering feats? Be sure to leave me a note in the comment box below. I would love to hear from each and every one of you!!



39 thoughts on “Knock, Knock: Traditional Doors in Taiwan

  1. Interesting. One doesn’t see much traditional architecture in Shenzhen, perhaps more in other cities. It’s great that Taiwan preserves the echoes of the past, let’s you imagine the lives of the people who have lived before…

    Still, I’m sure most modern Chinese people prefer typical Western doors. It’s important to both keep the old buildings for exploring, and create cumfy new buildings for living.

  2. I love doors too especially when you can see the history through them. I am a big fan of architecture as you might know and I cannot say which one I prefer, both modern and old can be very interesting for me.

  3. I love to go around older parts of towns just to see old buildings and entrances(not only in China but every country I visit). Sadly in Xi’an, the city I mostly frequent in China, has not many old parts left except the Muslim Street and few other haunts

      1. Yes and no, of course there are many great palces to visit but it is same as so many other Chinese cities: (nearly) Everything old get torn down and replaced but mostly ugly new buildings. At least they kept thus far more or less the muslim street(s) intact and several other old areas got restorated instead of torn down

  4. I do like exploring the less trodden paths of Riga (as you can probably tell 😉 ) It’s possible to find some real gems but unfortunately, so much of it is woefully run-down. Stunning doors!

  5. How old are some of these? Or how old is the particular style? I see some similarities with door elsewhere, mainly in the handles and knockers.

  6. “Visually stunning” is a great way to explain these photos! There is such character in these doors, reminds me of my trip to Puerto Rico, they take their doors very seriously there too.

  7. We love old doors and windows and have found some beautiful ones in our travels. While we were in Cuenca, Ecuador, Dan had to run a short errand and ended up photographing a bazillion balconies on his way. We’d never suspected just how many there could be along one short route. Thirteen of them were so pretty that they ended up as a post on our blog … and that post was a hit!

  8. I like that you took the time to talk about these small architectural details. I love exploring old and traditional parts of cities when I travel. And I’m a sucker for old, colorful homes. Great pictures!!

  9. I’ve noticed some of the traditional doors here in Taiwan, and they’re beautiful. I actually quite like the metal ones too, though, as they can still have a lot of detail on them. I do wish more places would make the effort to preserve their old buildings, though. South Korean cities often look identical, and the old is just torn down and replaced with grey concrete monstrosities.

  10. My parents designed our house in the States and they wanted to keep some of the door details so we have a red door with a big knocker (not super elaborate) on the front. I know they have some beliefs about color, decoration, details, etc. to keep out bad spirits and such. I’ll have to ask my parents about it, never really thought too much into it but it is very interesting!

  11. I love posts that dig deeper into cities than the main attractions. I usually go for street lights when they are unique. Your pictures do make me think about how it would be like to live in a place with so much culture and history!

  12. I love doors! There’s something so intriguing about them – all the visitors who have been through them and the events they have witnessed. I love those Taiwanese doors, gorgeous red lacquer. And brilliant door knockers too!

  13. Thanks for directing me here…I love your post on “doors!” The photos are lovely…I especially like the big knockers. I, too, wonder why we have gone to such drab non – descriptive entryways for our homes…it should be an area of beauty and celebration!

  14. Those are some lovely doorsーI especially love the second one from the top. I’d love to see the elaborate patterns up close!

    As for old vs. new, I think they both have their own charm, but I do tend to be drawn towards the more “romantic” older architectureーregardless of country or culture.

      1. I’m glad to hear there’s some active preservation efforts. 🙂 All too often things just get replaced by the new and supposedly better… :/

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