In 1858, following the second opium war, Taiwan was forced to open its ports for free trade under The Beijing and The Tienjin Treaties. Four years later, a customs office was established in Tamsui following the opening of Tamsui Port.
Initially, there were only a few foreign taxation officers, most of whom lived in the customs office building or rental houses near by. Tamsui Customs then purchased a piece of land in 1866 and started building the residences in 1869.
The building has a square layout and a splendid view on the Tamsui River and Mt. Guanyin. The foundation of the building is elevated three feet high, capturing humidity within the house, which is then carried away through the square shaped ventilation holes by the flowing breeze. The structure is a classic colonial style building known as a "bungalow".
It was nicknamed "Xiao Bai Gong", meaning the "Little White House" due to its ash white appearance. It features ash white outer walls, a terrace with a magnificent view, a veranda with arched columns, and a vintage fireplace.
Photographed with TOU babes at 淡水小白宫 on Oct 19, 2012 during my two weeks stay in Taiwan.
Tamsui District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
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