Taipei’s North Gate – 承恩門

Heard an interesting thing on the radio today. The North Gate of Taipei (北門) or Beimen – that little arch surrounded by roads near the central post office – was formerly used for officials to pass through, while ordinary people entered the city through the south gate – this is why the gate is called “承恩門” as 承恩 translates to “to receive the benevolence or favor [of the monarch or emperor].” Another interesting point he mentioned is that normally city gates face in one of the four points of the compass  – but the front of the north gate of Taipei, instead faces towards the highest point in Taipei – Qixing (七星) mountain in Yangmingshan (陽明山).


The guy who provided the information hosts historical running tours of the city. Sounds like a blast!

Which is prettier 「媺」 or 「美」?

My coworker referred me to 媺 [女山山大 / ㄇㄟˇ / mei3 / unicode u5ABA ] a variant of 美 [廿土大 / ㄇㄟˇ / mei3 / unicode u7F8E , though she didn’t provide the context in which she found it.

If anyone comes across any variants in every day life (ie not just hidden in the obscure sections of your dictionary) then you can submit it in the comments sections.