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No. 51, 2012

“Pearl in the Mountains”


Han Tang Yuefu Shuili Snake Kiln Beauty Salons Sand Sculpture Festival

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Eastern Taiwan


Butterfly Migration


Flower Cuisine

The Official Bimonthly English Magazine of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. Advertisement Website: ht tp: //t aiwan. net .t w

Welcome to Taiwan! Dear Traveler, One thing you should know about Taiwan is that whatever you like to do most on your travels – cycling, hiking, enjoying traditional opera, butterf ly watching, even creating sand sculptures or exploring f loral cuisine – you have many high-quality options here. Another thing you should know is that wherever these are done, in the mountains or by the sea, in the big city or in the small town, our transportation system is comprehensive and is world-class, and will get you there fast, comfortably, and at budget-friendly cost. The warmth of summer has settled over the land, so in this issue of Travel in Taiwan we spend a lot of time outdoors. In our Feature section we take you to lovely Sun Moon Lake, in the central mountains. Here you can walk or cycle shady lakeside boardwalks, cycle the loop road, hike well-marked trails, take a scenic cable-car ride, go on a breezy yacht tour, and explore the traditional cultures of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples – notably the Thao, who arrived at Sun Moon Lake before everyone else and who today still thrive. And as always with our Feature, we offer leads on special places to stay, special foods to eat, and special souvenir items to buy. The section is capped with a round-island tour of local tourists’ favorite lakes and reservoirs. We stay outside for some seaside sand-sculpting on the northeast coast, where during the annual Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival the competition attracts v isitors in great number. It’s then south to the bucolic East Rif t Valley for long, lazy, leisurely cycle outings, the routes dotted with myriad scenic and cultural attractions. We stay in the south, but jump to the island’s west side, to witness a remarkable natural phenomenon: the annual migration of purple crow butterf lies. We do spend some time indoors as well in this issue, of course – watching a riveting Han Tang Yuef u performance combining ancient Chinese music and opera, along w ith sampling tasty f lower cuisine in rustic Puli Township and visiting the unique Shuili Snake Kiln heritage complex in Shuili Township. We also suggest some relaxing hair and manicure care, visiting upscale Taipei beauty salons where service and prices are friendly, and soothing head and shoulder massages are part of the package. Enjoy your time here with us.

David W. J. Hsieh Director General Tourism Bureau, MOTC, R.O.C.


May ~ June 2012


32 ,

PUBLISHER David W. J. Hsieh Editing Consultant 

Producer Vision Int l Publ. Co., Ltd. Address Rm. 5, 10F, 2 Fuxing N. Rd., Taipei, 104 Taiwan

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Tel: 886-2-2711-5403 Fax: 886-2-2721-2790 E-mail: endy L. C. Yen General Manager W rank K. Yen Deputy General Manager F Editor in Chief Johannes Twellmann English Editors Rick Charette, Richard Saunders DIRECTOR OF PLANNING & EDITING DEPT Joe Lee MANAGING EDITOR Sunny Su EDITORS Ming-Jing Yin, Vivian Liu, Gemma Cheng, April Su CONTRIBUTORS R ick Charette, Owain Mckimm, Mark Caltonhill, Steven Crook, Amanda Hsiao, Kurt Weidner PHOTOGRAPHERS Sunny Su, Maggie Song, Ivy Chen ART DIRECTOR Sting Chen DESIGNERS Ivy Chen, Maggie Song, Eve Chiang, Kirk Cheng ui-chun Tsai, Nai-jen Liu, Xiou Mieng Jiang Administrative Dept H 86-2-2721-5412 Advertising Hotline 8

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台 灣 觀 光 雙 月 刊 Travel in Taiwan Bimonthly May/June, 2012 Tourism Bureau, MOTC First published in Jan./Feb., 2004 ISSN: 18177964 GPN: 2009305475 Price: NT$200 Copyright ©   2012 Tourism Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written permission is prohibited.


1.Wu-Nan Culture Plaza, 6, Zhongshan Rd., Central Dist., Taichung City 40043 886-4-2226-0330 2.N ational Bookstore, 1F., No.209, Songjiang Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City 10485 886-2-2518-0207

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Sun Moon Lake, one of the most popular scenic areas in Taiwan (Photo by Lin Meiru)

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This magazine is printed on FSC certified paper. Any product with the FSC logo on it comes from a forest that has been responsibly maintained and harvested in a sustainable manner.

28 40 48 FEATURE



Sun Moon Lake

— Main How to Do Sun Moon Lake – Bus, Boat, Bike, Cable Car, Foot = Joy — Stay Above Emerald Waters – Sun Moon Lake Hotels that Match the Area’s Beauty — Eat Unbeatable Meal Combos – Great Scenery & Great Food — Buy The Sun Moon Lake Character, in Take-Home Form

22 24

Indigenous Culture — Living in Paradise – The Thao Tribe of Sun Moon Lake



— Amazing Sculptures Grace Fulong Beach Once a Year



Interview — New Director-General of the Tourism Bureau, David W. J. Hsieh

The Shuili Snake Kiln — F  iring Your Love for Traditional

32 Traversing the Fault Line

ART 52


— T he Han Tang Yuefu Ensemble Combines Ancient Music and Opera

— Cycling in the East Rift Valley

and Mesmerizing


Finding Beauty in Taiwan — Beauty Salons that Help You Become Prettier



On the Trail of the Purple Crow — Butterflying in Southern Taiwan

Scenic Spots — Scenic Lakes and Reservoirs – Destinations for Weekend Outings

1 Publisher’s Note 8 Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings 6 News & Events around Taiwan 44 Festivals and Events 7 Report 45 What Is This?

Sensational Sand Art


Feasting on Flowers — Sampling Innovative Floral Delicacies


Travel in Taiwan


The Future of Taiwan Tourism A Chat with Mr. David W. J. Hsieh, the New Director-General of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau

Travel in Taiwan: Do you plan to maintain the bureau’s existing course, or set out on new headings?

culture, and the warmth and f riendly hospitality of our people.

Director General Hsieh: We are charting many new initiatives. In recent years the central government has placed greater emphasis on promoting Taiwan tourism and building up Taiwan’s brand image. The Tourism Bureau is f ront and center in this effort. In the coming years we will be signif icantly stepping up our overseas marketing. Our clarion call for 2012-2013 is “Taiwan – The Heart of Asia,” signif ying the centrality of Taiwan’s geographical location in terms of Asia travel, our centrality in both protecting and fostering traditional culture as well as developing “new”

We will continue with our focus on Taiwan’s most scenic sights: the Taipei 101 tower, Taroko Gorge, the mountain sunrises of Alishan, the beach f un and eco-touring at Kenting National Park, and so on. But there are also many other lesser-known attractions that I want to promote.


Travel in Taiwan

“I want our tourism to be based on “stor y-telling.” By this I mean that ever y place, and the people of a place, has a unique stor y, and travelers love to hear them.”

Photos/ Vision lnt'l

There is a new person at the helm of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Mr. David W. J. Hsieh. In his two most recent postings, the Director General was the Tourism Bureau’s Deputy Director General, and before that was Director of the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area in southern Taiwan. Travel in Taiwan recently sat down with Mr. Hsieh to learn more about the directions in which the new helmsman plans to steer Taiwan tourism. By Rick Charette

INTERVIEW Dapeng Bay, where I was previously posted, is a prime example, a world-class eco-exploration lagoon area. In terms of lesser-known draws, one initiative we are working on is a campaign centered on our 10 most popular small tourist towns. I want our tourism to be based on “story-telling.” By this I mean that every place, and the people of a place, have a unique story, and travelers love to hear them because they create a traveler-locale intimacy, quickly “humanizing” any unfamiliar place visited. We are now working with National Geographic, for example, on a promotion initiative for these towns, which have also been reported on by CNNGo. Travel in Taiwan: Can you give us some other examples of new marketing initiatives that are being developed? Hsieh: CNNGo has also included Sun Moon Lake in its most recent list of the world’s most breathtaking 10 cycling routes. Lonely Planet has placed Taiwan amongst the 10 most highly recommended countries to visit in 2012. And FOX News has named Taipei as one of the world’s top 10 budget-travel destinations for 2012. Building on this increasing awareness of what Taiwan has to offer, we are working on combination trips to entice tourists f rom faraway lands to come explore Asia. For example, we are working with Thailand’s tourism authority on special Taiwan/ Thailand packages, and may seek to work with mainland China and other countries.

Europe and North America are very large markets, with Europe cut up into many small countries, so we must be selective in our marketing, targeting caref ully. One thing we will do is target the 10 largest travel f irms in different markets, focusing our resources more precisely. Another way we will precision-focus is to make a connection between Taiwan’s iconic images and iconic images of selected countries around the world, thus creating the strongest possible positive associations. Examples include placing large Taiwan images in New York’s Times Square; putting Taiwan promotions on London’s famous cabs; and placing Taiwan ads right behind home plate in markets where well-known Taiwan athletes play pro baseball, such as Los Angeles. We’ll also build on the fame of sports personalities f rom Taiwan, such as Yani Tseng, the No. 1 female golfer in the world, and former New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming, inviting them to act as spokespersons in overseas promotions. Travel in Taiwan: We know you’re an avid golfer. Anything special going on in the golf area? Hsieh: Indeed there is. We’re setting up special golfcentered packages. Taiwan is very mountainous, making for wonderf ul scenery when out on the links, and our clubresort facilities are f irst-rate. We’re mainly targeting golfers f rom around the Asian area, because of their proximity, but I promise golfers from North America, Europe, and elsewhere that time spent on Taiwan tours, with golf the main focus, will be time well spent indeed.

We are also working on special packages focused on the use of our f riendly and convenient local public-transport system, eliminating the stress of car rental and navigating about on your own. For example, our High Speed Rail system is world-class, and whisks you north to south in just 90 minutes. Westerners enjoy eco-touring, and we will be systematically developing our “green tourism.” This means introducing such novel experiences as tours to our beautif ul, pristine, and eco-unique offshore islands, but goes much f urther than this, meaning the act of travel itself will also be green.


Travel in Taiwan


Sun Moon Lake among Most Breathtaking Cycling Routes

According to a list on the website CNNGO, the cycling route around Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan is among the world’s most breathtaking. It takes about three hours to circle the lake by bicycle, during which cyclists enjoy charming mountain-and-lake scenery, stops at temples, and local indigenous cultures.

E WS & EVEN TS A ROU N D TA I WA N Culture Airlines

Mazu Temple Made of Glass in Changhua

There is certainly no shortage of temples dedicated to the goddess Mazu around Taiwan, but this temple truly stands out. Located in Changhua Coastal Industrial Park in central Taiwan, the main building material at Husheng Temple is glass. The 1,000-square-meter temple, a copy of the historic Tianhou Temple in Changhua County's Lugang Township, was built by Taiwan Mirror Glass Enterprise Co. at a cost of NT$70 million. More than 70,000 pieces of glass from 132 glass makers and other related manufacturers around the country went into the construction of the temple, which is not just a place for worship but also stands as a symbol for the local glass industry. In the daytime, the sun floods the temple with natural light and in the evening it is beautifully illuminated with modern LED lighting – both sights truly impressive.


Taiwan’s 10 Favorite Small Towns Named

In a recent popular vote for Taiwan's top 10 small towns, Daxi Township in Taoyuan County garnered the most votes, followed by Sanyi Township in Miaoli County and Anping District in Tainan City. People voted via the Internet and by sending postcards from the end of January to early March. Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast. The popular vote accounted for 20 percent of the final results, with 80 percent based on evaluations by experts. For all results, visit (Chinese).

Airlines Garuda Indonesia to Resume Flights to Taiwan After a gap of almost eight years, Garuda Indonesia has announced that it will resume flights to Taiwan this May. The airline, Indonesia’s flag carrier, will offer one round-trip flight per day between Jakarta and Taipei, starting May 25. China Airlines and EVA Airways of Taiwan also provide daily round-trip flights between Taipei and Jakarta.


Travel in Taiwan

WHAT IS THIS? It looks like jelly. Could it be some sort of sweet dessert, or an icy treat? Or is it a piece of fine art – a type of precious stone, maybe? Can you tell what it is? Hint: It doesn’t really smell that pleasant…. Find the answer on page 45.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK! We, the producers of Travel in Taiwan, wish to improve our magazine with each issue and give you the best possible help when planning – or carrying out – your next trip to Taiwan. Tell us what you think by filling out our short online questionnaire at Senders of the first 10 completed questionnaires for each issue will receive three free issues of Travel in Taiwan. Thank you in advance for your feedback.


Who Was This Year’s Best?

Taipei College Wins the National College Creative Song Jiang Battle Array Competition One of the most colorful and thrilling spectacles from among Taiwan’s many different colorful and thrilling temple-festival spectacles is the Song Jiang Battle Array. Each spring the popular and hotly-contested “National College Creative Song Jiang Battle Array” competition is staged in Kaohsiung’s Neimen District, and this year National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (Taipei) marched away with the crown. By Rick Charette


order to f ind out more about the winning college, Travel in Taiwan visited the school’s Neihu campus and talked to some key members of its battle-array troupe, while others rolled by on unicycles and practiced backf lips, somersaults, pyramid-building, spinning plates on sticks, juggling, and other skills.

Teacher Chen Ju-wen started off with a history lesson. “‘Song Jiang’ was the main character in the classical Chinese novel Water Margin. He formed his men into intricate formations emphasizing quick transformation to different f ighting techniques. Today’s battle-array performers wield old-style weapons, rattan shields, etc., and some dress as characters f rom the novel (108 in total). The battle-array tradition started in the old days with martial-arts teams, centered on temples, that served as militia. Isolated Neimen, for example, was under constant threat of aborigine and bandit attack. “The competition is an elimination contest that goes on many days. I started our troupe a number of years ago to do

our part in preserving Taiwan’s folk-art traditions, which are struggling in the modern world, and help our students to better grasp Taiwan’s roots and character. We’ve also mixed in traditional Taiwan music styles and other elements. Teams must strike a balance between battle-array traditions and innovative creativity; in the past our weakness was not f ully understanding performance traditions and taboos, so we’ve brought in a master from Kaohsiung, this art form’s center in Taiwan, to teach us.” Ku Sheng-chieh is the tou qi or “head f lag,” whose intricate f lag movements direct the numerous battle-array squads. This year’s array had 110 members in total (36 is standard today), including musicians who, unusually, joined in the dancing. The tou qi is the Song Jiang character, i.e. the general. “I think our advantage over the other troupes,” Ku says, “was that we are a school of traditional performing arts, which means we have a foundation in martial arts upon which we can add many more creative elements such as traditional opera, acrobatics, tumbling, juggling, and as you can see, even unicycling and triangular rope skipping.” National Taiwan College of Performing Arts, third-best in last year's competition, won for the f irst time this year, receiving NT$500,000 in prize money, while previous winner University of Tainan came in second and Lunghwa University of Science and Technology f inished in third place. ENGLISH & CHINESE

陳儒文 Chen Ju-wen 古盛傑 Ku Sheng-chieh National College Creative 全國大專院校創意宋江陣 Song Jiang Battle Array 國立臺灣戲曲學院 National Taiwan College of Performing Arts 內門區 Neimen District 宋江陣 Song Jiang Battle Array 頭旗 tou qi 水滸傳 Water Margin


Travel in Taiwan

April 1 ~ June 25

oncerts, s, n o i t i b i h x E a nd s g n i n e p p a H Taiwan has a diverse cultural scene, with art venues ranging from international-caliber concert halls and theaters to makeshift stages on temple plazas. Among Taiwan’s museums is the world-famous National Palace Museum as well as many smaller museums dedicated to different art forms and aspects of Taiwanese culture. Here is a brief selection of upcoming happenings. For more information, please visit the websites of the listed venues. May 11~ 13

National Theater

les ballets C de la B: Gardenia 比利時當代舞團 梔子花 This play was inspired by the Spanish documentary Yo Soy Asi, which describes the private lives of a group of elderly performers in a transvestite cabaret in Barcelona on the eve of its closing. The performance blurs the lines between male and female, reality and illusion, past and present, dealing with self-identification and self-realization through dance, music, drama, and cabaret.


Travel in Taiwan

National Palace Museum

From the Brush of Xuande: Painting and Calligraphy of the Ming Emperor Xuanzong 宣德宸翰—明宣宗書畫展 During his time in power, which lasted only about a decade, Ming dynasty emperor Xuande (posthumous temple name Xuanzong; 1399 ~ 1435) appointed virtuous and capable officials, establishing what historians have called a golden era of stable development and making him a celebrated ruler for his upholding and consolidation of the Ming court. The emperor demonstrated considerable talent in the arts, making him stand out even more conspicuously among the rulers of Chinese history. He was quite fond of calligraphy, and also a gifted painter. In his paintings, Xuanzong tended to choose bird-and-flower, animal, and monochrome-ink subjects with symbolic and allegorical double meaning.

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

March 24 ~ July 1

Passing on a Lasting Legacy: Paintings by Lin Yu-shan 典範傳移 林玉山繪畫藝術特展 This exhibition features a total of 46 gouache paintings and ink paintings, along with 25 plein air paintings, by Taiwanese artist Lin Yu-shan (1907 ~ 2004). The works on display were done using sketching, watercolor, and ink-color techniques, and cover a wide variety of subjects, including flowers and plants, birds, animals, and scenery. Lin Yu-shan's art was nurtured by various cultural and artistic traditions, ranging from traditional Chinese folk painting, classical Japanese painting, and the classical painting of the Song Dynasty to the ink paintings of the Chinese Cultural Renaissance Movement in post-war Taiwan.

April 21 ~ May 31

National Museum of History

To Gaze and to Look Beyond: Eyes of Formosa 凝視 對望 福爾摩莎之眼攝影展 Photos by 28 contemporary Taiwanese photographers are shown in this exhibition. The photographers explore the relationship between the reality and the imaginary in crafted images. The exhibition offers a great way to look at Taiwan through the eyes of local photographers; street scenes, portraits of local people, public art, landscapes, architecture, and nature are explored in what are mostly b/w shots. Through these photos the spectator can get a feel for life in Taiwan while learning about trends in modern photography.

March 17 ~ May 27

Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts

Naruwan – Life Finds a Way: Taiwan Indigenous Artists Exhibition 2012 那路很會彎—第三屆原住民藝術工作者駐村 計畫聯展

Venues Taipei Taipei Zhongshan Hall (台北中山堂)

Add: 98, Yanping S. Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市延平南 路 9 8 號 )

Tel: (02) 2381-3137 Nearest MRT Station: Ximen

Taipei International Convention Center (台北國際會議中心)

Add: 1, Xinyi Rd., Sec.5, Taipei City ( 台北市信義 路五段 1 號 )

Tel: (02) 2725-5200, ext. 3517, 3518 Nearest MRT Station: Taipei City Hall

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall(國立中正紀念堂) Add: 21 Zhongshan S. Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市中山南 路 21 號 )   

Tel: (02) 2343-1100~3 Nearest MRT Station: CKS Memorial Hall

After the Evolving Beyond the Past exhibition in 2010, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts is this year once again jointly organizing this exhibition with the Executive Yuan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples and the College of the Arts at National Dong Hwa University. It showcases over 80 works by 42 indigenous artists from around Taiwan. The works are divided into five categories, based on content and theme. Of particular interest is the “Torchpassing Achievement” category, which features the well-known and highly accomplished artists Haku, from the Puyuma Tribe, and Pairang Pavavaljung, from the Paiwan Tribe.

National Concert Hall(國家音樂聽) National Theater(國家戲劇院) Add: 21-1 Zhongshan S. Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市中山南 路 21-1 號 )

Tel: (02) 3393-9888 Nearest MRT Station: CKS Memorial Hall

National Museum of History (國立歷史博物館)

Add: 49 Nanhai Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市 南 海路 4 9 號 )

Taipei Arena

Wu Bai and China Blue World Tour Concert 伍佰& China Blue 20 週年大感謝世界巡迴演唱會 Since their emergence 20 years ago, during a time when live-rock bands in Taiwan were still a novelty, Wu Bai and his band China Blue have played a pioneering role in the development of the local rock-music scene. Though successful recording artists, Wu Bai and China Blue are best known for their dynamic and uplifting live concerts. Amazingly, the line-up of the band hasn’t changed over the last two decades and, if anything, the bond between the artists has become stronger over the years. To celebrate their 20th anniversary playing together and to thank their many fans around the world, the musicians are launching a world tour June 16 in Taipei, then heading to Singapore, mainland China, Los Angeles, and other destinations.

Add: 181 Zhongshan N. Rd., Sec. 3, Taipei City ( 台北市中山北 路 3 段 181 號 )

Tel: (02) 2595-7656 Nearest MRT Station: Yuanshan

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei(台北當代藝術館) Add: 39 Chang-an W. Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市長 安 西 路 3 9 號 )

Tel: (02) 2552-3720 Nearest MRT Station: Zhongshan

National Taiwan Science Education Center(台灣科學教育館) Add: 189 Shishang Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市 士商路 189 號 ) Tel: (02) 6610-1234 Nearest MRT Station: Shilin

National Taiwan University Sports Center(台大綜合體育館) Add: 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Rd., Taipei City ( 臺北市羅斯福路四段一號 ) Tel: (02) 3366-5959

Taichung Taichung Zhongshan Hall(台中中山堂) Add: 98 Xueshi Rd., Taichung City ( 台中市學士路 9 8 號 )

Tel: (04) 2230-3100

Tel: (02) 2361-0270 Nearest MRT Station: CKS Memorial Hall

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts(國立台灣美術館)

National Palace Museum

( 台中市五權 西 路 一段 2 號 )


National Concert Hall June 16

Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館)

Add: 221 Zhishan Rd., Sec. 2, Taipei City ( 台北市至 善路 2 段 2 21 號 )

Tel: (02) 2881-2021 Nearest MRT Station: Shilin

National Taiwan Museum (國立臺灣博物館)

Add: 2 Xiangyang Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市 襄 陽 路二號 )

Add: 2 Wuquan W. Rd., Sec. 1, Taichung City Tel: (04) 2372-3552

Tainan Tainan City Cultural Center (台南市立文化中心)

Add: 332 Zhonghua E. Rd., Sec. 3, Tainan City ( 台南 市中華東 路 3 段 332 號 )

Tel: (06) 269-2864

Tel: (02) 2382-2566 Nearest MRT Station: NTU Hospital


Novel Hall(新舞臺)

Kaohsiung City Chungcheng Cultural Center(高雄市立中正文化中心)

Add: 3 Songshou Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市松 壽路 3 號 )

Tel: (02) 2722-4302 Nearest MRT Station: Taipei City Hall

National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館)

Add: 505 Ren-ai Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City ( 台北市仁 愛 路 四 段 5 0 5 號 )

Tel: (02) 2758-8008 Nearest MRT Station: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Taipei Arena(台北小巨蛋) Add: 2 Nanjing E. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City ( 台北市 南 京 東 路 4 段 2 號 )

Tel: (02) 2577-3500 Nearest MRT Station: Nanjing E. Rd.

Add: 67 Wufu 1st Rd., Kaohsiung City ( 高 雄 市五福 一路 67 號 )

Tel: (07) 222-5136 ext. 8908, 8909, 8910 (Chinese only) Nearest KMRT Station: Cultural Center

Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts(高雄市立美術館) Add: 80 Meishuguan Rd., Kaohsiung City ( 高 雄 市美 術館 路 8 0 號 )

Tel: (07) 555-0331 Nearest KMRT Station: Aozihdi Station

Kaohsiung Museum of History (高雄市立歷史博物館)

Add: 272 Zhongzheng 4th Rd., Kaohsiung City ( 高 雄 市中正四 路 27 2 號 )

Tel: (07) 531-2560 Nearest KMRT Station: City Council


Travel in Taiwan


Bus, Boat, Bike, Cable Car, Foot = Joy


Travel in Taiwan



Ita Thao Pier, Sun Moon Lake


Travel in Taiwan

Photo/ Maggie Song

The Sun Moon Lake resort area has come a long, long way since the great 921 Earthquake of 1999 and the establishment of a national scenic area (www.sunmoonlake. as a focus for recovery and international-grade development. Your travel modes in your search for relaxation and adventure are now many – bus, boat, cable car, bike, foot, and of course private car and taxi if you so desire – and are best enjoyed in combination, ensuring maximum fun and allowing you to take full advantage of the wide range of facilities and attractions. By Rick Charette


What and Where Is Sun Moon Lake? In Taiwan’s central mountains, this is Taiwan’s largest f reshwater lake, located in a basin surrounded by peaks. Its beauty has given rise to such names as “Pearl in the Mountains,” “Honeymoon Lake,” and “Lovers’ Lake.” It has also been called the “Heart of Taiwan,” not for romantic reasons, but for its role as a ma jor hydropower generator. When the Japanese ruled Taiwan (1895-1945) they kick-started Taiwan’s modern industrial development by blocking the basin’s water exit with a dam and building a large power plant, raising the water level signif icantly, almost drowning today’s Lalu “Island,” the peak of what was then a sacred high hill around which the lake’s Thao indigenous people lived and on which were sacred burial sites. Today’s Ita Thao Village is where the people of the settlement ended up.

How to Do the Lake On my most recent trip I combined all modes of movement you see in this article’s title, and had my best Sun Moon Lake trip yet. I recommend visiting in spring and autumn, when local kids are in school and temperatures are more moderate; summer biking and hiking can be tough indeed on folks f rom cooler lands. I also recommend weekday visits, when the area is much, much quieter.

Bus Touring So let’s head out. I hopped off my Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus in f ront of the attractive Visitor Information Center in Shuishe V illage (see Getting T here section below). Shuishe, on the north side, is the largest lake settlement. Go into the center to get all the help you need, in English. The well-paved


Travel in Taiwan

Boardwalk near Chaowu Pier

two-lane road (about 33 km) circling the lake is regularly plied by around-the-lake tour buses which stop at/near most ma jor attractions, including the popular cable-car “ropeway” to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and to a number of hiking-route trailheads. The staff at the visitor center will give you all particulars. Get on a bus at the center, get off at any stop, stay however long you like, and hop on the next arriving bus. Service is 9 to 6; a one-day unlimited ticket is just NT$80; bicycles are allowed on board. Two stops this service is especially usef ul for accessing is Xuanzang Temple and Ci’en Pagoda, located on a hilly peninsula. The temple is at roadside, and you can reach the pagoda atop the peninsula via Qinglong Mountain Trail. At the 2.5 km trail’s bottom end, by the lake, is Xuanguang Temple, where there’s a tour-boat wharf. Xuanzang Temple – Built in Tang Dynasty style, featuring an unusually calm and pretty white exterior and attractive landscaped grounds, this temple enshrines a parietal-bone relic of Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang, of “Journey to the West” fame, along with a golden statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha. C i’en Pagoda – This soaring structure, completed in 1971, was built by Chiang Kai-shek – cut off f rom his China homeland – in memory of his mother. Sun Moon Lake was one of his favorite getaway spots; he had a villa on Hanbi Peninsula by Shuishe Village, originally built for Japanese off icials and royalty, where the giant The Wen Wan Resort now stands. Climb the pagoda for superb views, and bang the great drum at top for good luck.

Photos/ Maggie Song, Sunny Su

Enjoying a day out at Sun Moon Lake


Wenwu Temple “Wedding Photo Bridge”

Lake view from Sun Moon Lake Hotel

Bicycling to Puli Bicycles can be rented at a number of spots, including on the lake’s loop road in Shuishe and Ita Thao and across this road near Xiangshan Visitor Center. However, I suggest lakeside boardwalk biking, f ree of motor-vehicle traff ic. You can now do easygrade riding all the way (following the lake shore anti-clockwise) f rom Wenwu Temple Shuishe Visitor Center Chaowu Pier to near the peninsula on which Ci’en Pagoda stands, sometimes riding above the lake, Shuishe Village Sun Moon Lake Hotel Shuishe Pier Hanbi Peninsula passing the scenic new “Wedding Photo Meihe Garden The Lalu The Wen Bridge” and Xiangshan Visitor Center. Wan Resort

Wenwu Temple – This monumental temple, built in China’s Northern Dynasty style (386~581 AD), was severely damaged in the 921 Earthquake but, if anything, today surpasses its former glory. Its distinctive imperial-yellow glazed-tile roof ing draws the eye almost throughout all boat tours. Xiangshan V isitor Center – Visit this center, a dramatic work of architectural art, as early in your trip as possible to get the f ullest benef it f rom the great range of background information on the area. There are f irst-rate information displays, f ilms, and a new 3D f ilm, all with English subtitles. The scenery f rom the simple-yet-chic café, with outdoor seating, is wonderf ul.

to Puli

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Wenwu Temple

Sun Moon Lake

Lalu Island Wedding Photo Bridge

Xiangshan Visitor Center

Xuanguang Pier Xuanguang Temple

Sun Moon Lake Ropeway

Ita Thao Pier

Xuanzang Temple

The R ichforest Ita Thao Village

Ci’en Pagoda

to Ji ji


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Sun Moon Lake Cruise Yachts

Yacht Touring

Ci’en Pagoda

A yacht tour is a de rigeuer Sun Moon Lake experience. Boats launch f rom four points: Shuishe Pier, Ita Thao Pier, Xuanguang Pier, and Chaowu Pier (the last for group excursions). Ticket booths are right at the piers. A standard outing is a visit to Ita Thao if launching f rom Shuishe (and vice-versa), with a visit to Xuanguang Temple and a swing around Lalu Island. Passengers are entertained with broadcast info and stories, in Chinese. Service is 8:50 a.m. to 5 p.m.; bicycles can be brought on board. Shuishe Pier / Meihe Garden – The pier and ad jacent boardwalk are a popular night-time attraction, enhanced with pretty lighting and featuring regular dancing-fountain shows with music. Boardwalk shops offer alf resco seating. Above one end of the pier is Meihe Garden, a calm European-style landscaped oasis with dark-wood latticework and low stone walls. It too is lit up at night, adding to the waterf ront’s air of romance. Located at the foot of longoff-limits Hanbi Peninsula, this was once the site of a military-police outpost protecting Chiang Kai-shek’s villa.

Xuanguang Temple – This small temple enshrines a statue of Master Xuanzang. Almost as famous as the temple is the rustic “Grandma’s Tea Eggs” stand just off the pier, in place over 50 years, grandma still working. I, a stif led tea-egg af icionado with high cholesterol counts, cheat with a vengeance here each visit. The line-ups don’t lie.


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Tea Eggs

Photos/ Maggie Song

Ita T hao V illage – This is the main Thao-tribe settlement. Today it is bursting with tourist-oriented gif t outlets, eateries, and places to stay. Regular Thao-theme entertainment is offered into the evening at the attractive pier area, with its sparkling yacht-shaped visitor center.

At Xiangshan Visitor Center

Sun Moon Lake Ropeway

Cable-Car Soaring The immensely popular Sun Moon Lake Ropeway (, a short boardwalk stroll from Ita Thao Village (the surround-lake bus also stops nearby), provides a picturesque aerial ride between Sun Moon Lake and Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, going over two mountain passes. A combined cable-car and cultural-village ticket brings a signif icant discount. Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village ( – This large theme park is spread over a gently sloping mountain valley. The informative Aboriginal Villages section celebrates Taiwan’s indigenous peoples with scores of architectural replicas, song-and-dance shows, and demos of traditional cooking methods, weaving, pestle music, and more. There’s also a games/rides area and landscaped European Garden area.

Getting There, Getting Back – How I Did It If you just want to sit back and let somebody else do all the practical “do-ing” for you, it’s easy. Visit the Taiwan Tour Bus website ( for information on English-language Sun Moon Lake outings provided by local tour agencies. These start from central Taiwan locations; for

Taipei launches, check with the Taipei-based f irms listed on the website (Edison Tours, South East Travel Service, etc.). If you prefer self-travel and don’t have a vehicle, it’s also easy. On this trip I took a High Speed Rail train from Taipei to Taichung Station, went to the ground-level bus station, and caught a Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus ( to Sun Moon Lake. The ticket counter is right by the door, and the bus, destination marked in English on the front, stops right outside the door. If you encounter any language trouble, the information counter on the HSR level can help. The bus stops at the Visitor Information Center in Shuishe Village. On your return trip, hop on the bus at this same stop. ENGLISH & CHINESE

Ci'en Pagoda Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Grandma's Tea Eggs Hanbi Peninsula Ita Thao Village/Pier Lalu Island Meihe Garden Qinglong Mountain Trail Shuishe Village/Pier Wenwu Temple Xiangshan Visitor Center. Xuanguang Temple Xuanzang Temple

慈恩塔 九族文化村 阿婆茶葉蛋 涵碧半島 伊達邵村 / 碼頭 拉魯島 梅荷園 青龍山步道 水社村 / 碼頭 文武廟 向山遊客服務中心 玄光寺 玄奘寺


Sun Moon Lake Hotel


Emerald Waters Sun Moon Lake Hotels that Match the Area’s Beauty

T he Wen Wan Resor t


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T he Richforest

T he Richforest

Photos/ Maggie Song

Today, one of the first and strongest impressions you get of Sun Moon Lake as you emerge from the surrounding hills to find the lake laid out before you is of young, swanky hotels along the shore. This is a world away from the impressions I went away with after my first visit about 20 years back, when most “Stay” facilities seemed to be small, family-run operations, most dimly lit, a very few of which Michelin, on its most generous of days, might grant two stars. By Rick Charette



since visited the area somewhere around 15 times, and since the establishment of the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area 12 years ago each trip has brought more pleasant surprises in terms of accommodation options, and another obvious leap in collective quality. Here are a few recommendations, each experienced within the past few years.

Let’s go right to the top, to The Wen Wan Resort. This is one of the twin stars of the Hanbi Peninsula, just a few minutes on foot f rom Shuishe Village, along with the chic, low-lying woodtheme The Lalu resort. A popular boardwalk is at the peninsula’s base, The Lalu is just above, and towering above all else, behind, is The Wen Wan, an impossible-to-miss monolith with a giant sail-design structure attached to one side that makes it look like a tall ship plying the lake’s waters.

be your night’s lullaby. A second building (Lealea Garden Hotels Moon) has just been opened, a few steps away inland, featuring polished stone, ceramic work, and attractive indigenous-theme decorative f lourishes inside and out. (Prices start at N T$6,600.) What I like best about the Sun Moon Lake Hotel is its comparative isolation. It’s on the large inlet that def ines the backside of Hanbi Peninsula, and looks at “downtown” Shuishe Village f rom behind. The lake’s heav y tour-boat

The hotel has been created as a self-contained island of luxury, satisf ying all customers’ pleasure needs. Though A hot soak in the al f resco rooftop Hot Spring you’ll be taken anywhere Swimming Pool complex is beyond soothing T he Wen Wan Resor t in the area you like, f rom temple to trailhead, management reports that the great traff ic is unseen. Instead, small f ishing craf t and the lake’s ma jority of guests stay put, soaking up the resort’s many famed f loating raf t gardens are moored all about. There spoiling perks while soaking up the stunning lake views, the is direct access to the just-offshore boardwalk that runs beauty heightened by the hotel’s lof ty height. f rom Shuishe past the lake’s dam, and the hotel provides f ree bikes. Fun beer and BBQ parties are held in the shoreThough the building is very large, there’s but 92 side courtyard in summer, there’s a top-f light games arcade rooms, meaning a great deal of space is given over to other for kids and wannabe kids (air hockey!), and high up at the amenities. This is Sun Moon Lake’s only hot-spring resort, the hotel’s top is, no exaggeration, the most beautif ul meeting hotel pinpointing and tapping a source deep underground. A room I’ve ever been in, with f loor-to-ceiling windows on hot soak in the alf resco roof top Hot Spring Swimming Pool three sides that create a work of dramatically picturesque complex (with Taiwan’s f irst pool bar) is beyond soothing. landscape art. (Prices start at N T$7,000.) Rooms can be roughly divided as South Pacif ic and Japanese in theme; my favorite is the Junior Suite, heav y in light THE WEN WAN RESORT (日月行館國際觀光酒店 ) bamboo, the only rooms with windows on two sides, with a Add : 139 Zhongxing Rd., Shuishe Village, Yuchi Township, Nantou distinct cottage-like ambiance. (Prices start at N T$20,000.) County ( 南投縣魚池鄉水社村中興路 139 號 ) Tel : ( 049 ) 285 - 6677 Website : Across the lake on the south shore, on one side of Ita Thao Village, is The Richforest hotel. Right on the water, it THE RICHFOREST (儷山林哲園會館 ) Add : 31 Shuixiu St., Riyue (Ita Thao) Village, Yuchi Township, looks like a large timber-built ski lodge has been air-lif ted Nantou County ( 南投縣魚池鄉日月村水秀街 31 號 ) f rom the Rocky Mountains and plunked down here. That Tel : ( 049 ) 285 - 0000 Website : was in fact the original idea: the builders brought in all the timber f rom North America, along with a specialist 50-man SUN MOON LAKE HOTEL (日月潭大飯店 ) Add : 419 Zhongshan Rd., Shuishe Village, Yuchi Township, Nantou crew. I suggest a lakeside room on the main (lobby) level, County ( 南投縣魚池鄉水社村中山路 419 號 ) for you’ll be just above the water, you’ll feel the lapping is Tel : ( 49 ) 285 - 5533 Website : at your balcony’s lip, and the gentle, rhythmic sound will


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Unbeatable Meal Combos

Great Food The

iconic item sourced from the lake is the President’s f ish (topmouth culter), so-called because President Chiang Kai-shek had a taste for it; from the mountain it is mountain boar, a classic indigenous delicacy. These are highlight dishes on many local menus. Dining options come in all price ranges, and adding extra zest to your meals is the fact so many venues have clear, invigorating views of the lake.

Let’s start with my best for breakfast. My choice: Kitchen 139 at the upscale The Wen Wan Resort ( Five-star kitchen talent plus the f ive-star bird’s-eye lake panorama makes an unbeatable combination. I recommend the set menu’s eggs Benedict and omelet options. My best for lunch: Yi Long Ge Wan, at No. 101 on Ita Thao Village’s busy tourist-shopping street, Yiyong Street. This is a native-run, open-faced restaurant of simple décor that offers hearty native-theme fare “with Taiwanese characteristics” at modest prices. Highlights are the boar (listed as “roast pork”), Reeve’s munt jac (“deer”), bamboo partridge (“fried wild chicken”), and lake f ishes and shrimp. My best for a mid-af ternoon snack: the two wooden canteen-style kiosks selling native fare in Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. Near the Tsou and Thao-tribe display area, each of fers shady, breezy, forest-edge picnic-


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The dining is fine at Sun Moon Lake, built on the freshest local ingredients just off the farm, just from the lake, and just down from the mountain. By Rick Charette table eating. Enjoy indigenous classics alf resco – grilled mountain boar, glutinous rice wood-f ired in bamboo tubes, roast taro-paste cakes, millet w ine, and more. My best for dinner: Sun Moon Lake Full House Resort, a restaurant/B&B run by an artist and her husband (www.; No. 8 Shuixiu St., Ita Thao Village). The log-theme chalet was built by the same folks who built the steps-away The Richforest hotel. This is the most happenin’ spot in sleepy night-time Ita Thao, the garden-dining area packed, lights strung from large trees, quirky decorations all about. Dishes are centered on seasonal Taiwan fruit. My favourite: shiitake mushroom with melon. My best for anytime sweet-tooth snacking: Dolce Luna, on the boardwalk at Shuishe Pier. The gelato here is f luff y and wonderf ully tasty; the owner apprenticed overseas with an Italian master. Many f lavors are deliciously Taiwan-centric – lychee, passionfruit, mango, Taiwan berry, yang le duo (a sweet yogurt drink)… even sesame. I promise you Yum!


President's fish Sun Moon Lake Full House Resort Thao tribe Tsou tribe yang le duo Yi Long Ge Wan Yiyong St.

總統魚 日月潭富豪群渡假民宿 邵族 鄒族 養樂多 伊龍閣灣 義勇街

Photos/ Maggie Song

Great Scener y &

Welcome to your home in Taipei

w w w. pa r k tai p ei . c o m

新光三越 新光三越

Only 3 minutes to MRT Wenhu Line’s Daan Station Only 10 minutes to Taipei Songshan Airport Park Taipei Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Taipei. eslite

A carefree place in the center of bustling Taipei After taking care of business, doing shopping and traveling around You’ll return to your new cozy and relaxing home Your home in Taipei, Park Taipei Hotel Welcomes You! Tel: (02) 5579-3888 Add: 317, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City (台北市復興南路一段317號) Website: How to get there: Take the MRT Wenhu Line to Daan Station. The hotel is just a few minutes by foot from the station. Please detach at the dotted line

Present this discount voucher at the front desk of the hotel. To use this discount voucher, please use the password “DAAN” when making a room reservation at Park Taipei Hotel by fax (+886-2-5579-3889), by phone (+886-2-5579-3888), by e-mail ( or on the hotel’s website (; key in the password under “Access code/IATA code”). Notes: 1. Please include the password “DAAN” when making a reservation and present this voucher at the front desk when checking in. 2. Vouchers are not valid during the time of trade fairs at the Taipei World Trade Center and on December 31st. 3. This voucher cannot be used when making room reservations for groups and cannot be combined with other special offers. 4. This voucher cannot be transferred to others or be exchanged for cash. Park Taipei Hotel reserves the right to make amendments to this discount offer. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Owl Workshop

T he Sun Moon Lake Character,

in Take-Home Form

Sun Moon Lake has become a tourist attraction of international repute and standard, and as you’d expect, outlets selling take-home gifts now always seem close at hand. Here, we concentrate on souvenir ideas that best capture the Sun Moon Lake character. By Rick Charette gif t-buying location with the greatest “f un” factor is the narrow shopping street, Yiyong St., in Ita Thao, the Thao indigenous village, right off the pier on the southeast shore of the lake. Gif t shops and eateries pack both sides. Owl Workshop, at No. 94, has acquired a Taiwanwide reputation for its clever owl-theme craf ts. The owl is sacred to the Thao, a herald of pregnancies and other good news. I especially like the carved owls wearing traditional Thao dress and carrying f irewood, hunting weapons, etc.

Friendl y owners stand in bright-color Thao dress at street-side giving out f ree samples of their millet wine The millet wine of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples is delicious and you can get what I consider Sun Moon Lake’s best from Ri Yue Cha Hang (Sun Moon Tea Shop), at No. 107. It’s made at a small licensed factory nearby, fronted by the quaint, rustic Millet Wine Museum (241 Zhongzheng Rd.). Another local spot selling millet wine I really enjoy is Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. The wine is made by the village itself, and sold at the indigenous-theme shops at the tribal-village entrance area by the upper cablecar station. There’s also quality-made indigenous clothing, headdresses, and other colorf ul items. Also bursting at the seams with indigenous-theme goods of all description is Modeng Yuanzhumin (Modern Aborigine),


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at 57 Yiyong St. As with all shops here, the f riendly owners are not shy about calling out to visitors, and stand in brightcolor Thao dress at streetside giving out f ree samples of their millet wine.


1895-1945 Japanese colonial rulers introduced Assam tea to the area. You can see the original, still operating, research station on the mountainside above Shuishe Village at the northwest corner of the lake. Sun Moon Lake Assam Black Tea is sold everywhere, but I bet you’ve never sampled tea in a shop in a temple overlooking a lake before, so head to the breezy teashop on giant Wenwu Temple’s second level. The most popular choice is the mild, fragrant Red Jade (TTES No. 18), an Assam variety Assam Black Tea grown only around Sun Moon Lake. As well, check out the pretty coaster sets here, featuring painted scenes of iconic area tableaux. ENGLISH & CHINESE

Modeng Yuanzhumin Owl Workshop Ri Yue Cha Hang Millet Wine Museum Zhongzheng Rd.

摩登原住民 貓頭鷹工廠 日月茶行 小米酒博物館 中正路

Photos/ Maggie Song


Thank you for the warm welcome! Your service is superb!

“Thank you for the warm welcome! Your service is superb!” This simple, heartfelt expression of thanks is much appreciated, and gives us great encouragement. This quote is from a Jan. 20 China Times article in which a husband and wife from Singapore described how much they enjoyed their stay with us. This story once again confirmed for us that our visitors notice and appreciate the sincerity of our friendly, enthusiastic, and attentive service. For us at Hotel B, the smile and notes of thanks or praise from guests is the fountainhead of our drive and commitment.

T e l :+886 2 27813121 Fax:+886 2 27718796

No.367 ,Sec 2,Bade Rd., Taipei City 105,Taiwan 105臺北市八德路二段367號

Civic Blvd. Sec. 3


c. 2 . se Rd De Ba

Dunhua N.Rd

Fuxing N.Rd

Zhongxiao E.Rd. Sec. 3

Changan E.Rd. Sec. 2

Taipei Arena

Dunhua S.Rd

長榮巴士站 Evergreen Airport

Fu Xing S.Rd

Seamlessly combining two very different styles in our rooms, “classical understated European elegance” and “black and white modern minimalist chic,” oases of tranquility, warmth, romance, and artistic aesthetics are created for your comfort, the busy, noisy city obliged to wait outside. Among our complete suite of services we offer you a fine Western restaurant, fitness center, business center, conference room, and laundry room. International travel is demanding, and these convenient and comfortable services make life easier for you. Hotel B is at your service, provides superlative value, and welcomes you to come give us a trial run.

Liaoning St.

The hotel is in a prime location, with convenient transportation options. Whether your desire is street rambling, shopping, exploring Taiwan’s famous foods, or anything else, everything is at hand, and the comprehensive transportation network makes all Taipei districts easily accessible. We’re between Taipei Metro’s Zhongxiao-Xinsheng and Nanjing E. Rd. stations, making for problem-free explorations of scenic sites throughout Taipei City and surrounding New Taipei City. There’s an international-airport bus stop right beside us, splendidly reducing the fatigue of long-distance travel, and you can also catch a bus for the famed Jiufen and Jinguashi mountain towns nearby, saving you both money and effort. Jiufen’s popular taro Nanjing E. Rd dumplings, and Jinguashi’s gold-panning experience, are just a short jaunt away. Stay MRT Station Nanjing E.Rd. Sec. 3 with Hotel B and we guarantee peace of mind, joyful fun and adventure, great eating, 遼寧夜市 Liaoning and unbeatable shopping are all part of the package. Night Market 臺北小巨蛋

微風廣場 Breeze Center Civic Blvd. Sec. 4

太平洋sogo(忠孝店) Zhongxiao E.Rd. Sec. 4 Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station

Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT Station


Living in Paradise

T he T hao Tribe of Sun Moon Lake

The Thao of the Sun Moon Lake area are Taiwan’s smallest indigenous tribe. Off icially recognized in 2001, the group today numbers over 600. Working hand in hand with the administration of the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area since the latter’s establishment, the tribe has enjoyed a cultural and economic renaissance over the last decade. By Rick Charette Traditional Beliefs


On your Sun Moon Lake trip you are sure to come across representations of a white deer. The Thao believe their original homeland was in the Alishan area, and that long ago a magical white deer enticed Thao hunters to this Shangri-la. The hunters went back to tell the tale, and the tribe moved en masse.

The traditional cycle of annual rituals is still followed by the tribe, securing the continued favor and blessings of ancestors. Key events include the Tilling Festival (February), Seedling Festival (March), Weeding Festival (May-June), Hunting Festival (July), and the all-important Harvest Festival (August). The last is the traditional start of the Thao New Year. During the celebrations the wonderf ul Thao pestle music is of ten heard; performed by groups, pestles are pounded against stone slabs Performing pestle music in intricate rhythm. Regular demonstrations are given at Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village not far f rom Sun Moon Lake.

The owl is another iconic image you w ill surely come across. A sighting means a pregnancy or other good news. Owls are not hunted; They know all the tracks and paths in the deep forest, and to harm one ensures you w ill get lost. (See our Buy article on page 20.) On a lake cruise, notice the trees on small Lalu Island when you circle it. These are maples, and they are sacred. Traditional belief is that with each new leaf a new child is born to the Thao. When shopping in lakeside Ita Thao Village, the main tribal settlement, keep your eye out for a squared woven basket hanging on shop walls. Ask if this is a “Kungma” basket. These are sacred as well. Ancestors’ clothing is placed within, indicating their spirits are also within. These are still worshipped in many homes, and are worshipped before ma jor tribal events.


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Tourists are invited to many festival-associated events, most centered around Ita Thao Village. For more information, contact the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration (www.sunmoonlake. ENGLISH & CHINESE

Alishan Kungma basket Lalu Island Thao Tribe

阿里山 公媽籃 拉魯島 邵族

Photos/ Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration

Lalu Island, sacred island of the Thao


Cengwen Reservoir

Scenic Lakes & Reser voirs

Like people everywhere else, the good people of Taiwan like to get away from the stress of urban living to frolic in and by placid freshwater spots. Beyond Sun Moon Lake, the main subject of our Feature section this issue, here are my five more tourist-friendly lake/reservoir destinations. By Rick Charette


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Photos/ Vision Int'l

Popular Destinations for Weekend Outings

SCENIC SPOTS Shimen Reservoir This reservoir, not far south of Taipei, is on the upper reaches of the Dahan River, the Tamsui River’s main source. It lies behind a tall dam – Shimen (“Stone Gate”) Dam – blocking the long, narrow gorge that opens onto the long, f lat valley that leads toward Taipei. The area is rugged and dramatically scenic; visitors come for long lake cruises, walks on winding trails to well-placed pavilions, bicycling (rentals available), and meals at waterside eateries featuring reservoir f ish in multiple ways. In spring, peach blossoms, cherry blossoms, and azaleas are in bloom, and in autumn maples planted to prevent erosion turn golden. Not far to the east of Taipei is Feicui (“Emerald”) Reservoir, the city’s main drinking-water source. Severe restrictions on development have made this a prime spot for peaceful walks and hikes.

Liyutan (Carp Lake) Just southwest of Hualien City, nestled in the eastern foothills of the central mountains, this is the region’s largest lake, about 104 hectares in area. There are pedalboat and bicycle rentals, openair eateries and cafés, a fourkilometer ring road for pleasant walking, well-marked trails shooting off into the nearby hills, and camping/picnic areas. Small motorboats can be rented (with driver) for cruises. The ring road, featuring easy grades, can be traversed in about an hour; f iref lies abound in late spring/early summer. Pineapple and other tropical-fruit plantations surround the lake, and resort hotels are now going up in the area. Paragliders use Mt. Liyu, just to the lake’s east, as their launch-pad (tandem-f lights with professional instructors available).

Wanda Reservoir is to the south in the same general region, near Wushe town and Provincial Highway No. 14. Set amidst tall peaks, dense forest lines the shores. The area is known for hiking, bird-watching, hot-springs and, at Aowanda Forest Recreation Area, colorful autumn maples.

Wushantou Reservoir In the western rural section of sprawling Tainan City, 30 waterways f low into Wushantou, which sprouts over 100 islands. The water f lowing from the 6,000-hectare reservoir forms a lovely high waterfall. The intricate indentations of the shoreline have given rise to another name, Coral Lake. Other lake-area attractions are peaceful Zhongzheng Park, atop a hill, temple facilities, a barbecue area, camping area, lakeside trail, water park, and small aviary/garden. Even larger Cengwen Reservoir, in the mountains not far to the east in Chiayi County, has camping areas, guest cottages, high observation platforms, outdoor-exercise facilities, an aviary, and a landscape-garden area.

Chengqing Lake The Kaohsiung area’s largest lake, this reservoir, measuring over 300 hectares, is one of south Taiwan’s most popular scenic areas. “Crystal Clear” Lake has picnicking, boating, and a shoreline pathway and forest trails that connect its scenic sights together. Locals consider a relaxing day exploring the pavilions, pagodas, and pedestrian bridges a day spent within a poem. The lake’s myriad compelling beauties have brought it the name “West Lake of Taiwan.” The lake’s aquarium was originally a massive underground bunker; its 200-meter-long tunnel brings you to eight exhibits, on whales, exotic sea life, coral, shellf ish, and more.

Deji Reservoir On the Dajia River in Taichung, up in the central mountains, framed in many spots by sheer walls, this body of held-back water is 14-km long and 592 hectares. Tourists are permitted 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its high, thin, hyperbola-shaped dam, Taiwan’s f irst arch dam, is a magnif icent sight, peaking at 290 meters. Scenic Provincial Highway No. 8 runs alongside the reservoir (at present, the reservoir is only accessible by this highway from the east, since the highway is closed off to the west). Premier nearby attractions are the Lishan area and its alpine fruit orchards, including those at Fushoushan Farm, Taiwan’s highest tourist tea farm, which has orchards, ecohikes, a museum, and other amenities.


Aowanda Forest Recreation Area Cengwen Reservoir Coral Lake Feicui Reservoir Dahan River Dajia River Deji Reservoir Fushoushan Farm Liyutan Mt. Liyu Shimen Dam Shimen Reservoir Wanda Reservoir West Lake of Taiwan Wushantou Reservoir Zhongzheng Park

奧萬大森林遊樂區 曾文水庫 珊瑚潭 翡翠水庫 大漢溪 大甲溪 德基水庫 福壽山農場 鯉魚潭 鯉魚山 石門水壩 石門水庫 萬大水庫 台灣西湖 烏山頭水庫 中正公園


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Discovering Taiwan’s Most Exciting Original Flavors Taiwan’s indigenous peoples were the first inhabitants of the main island and its offshore islands. Today there are 14 officially recognized tribes – Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Kavalan, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Saisiyat, Sakizaya, Sediq, Thao, Tsou, Truku, and Yami. Each has its own distinctive culture. To gain a better understanding, go to their settlements in the mountains and by the sea, visit local artists and craftsmen, sample authentic indigenous cuisine, and take advantage of opportunities to participate in indigenous festivals. In doing so, you can clearly see their passion for life and their reverence for elders and ancestors. Your experience will be different from any you’ve had before, and definitely wondrous.

Members of the Amis Tribe at Mafo Community in Hualien

Advertisement by Council of Indigenous People Executive yuan

Touring Indigenous Villages There are approximately 800 tribal units in Taiwan. Because each belongs to a different tribe, each has a unique character. In Taitung County for example is Luanshan, a Bunun tribe, where you’ll find Taiwan’s last magnificent virgin forest and its most distinctive forest heritage museum. In Yilan County you can visit Bulao, an Atayal tribe where you gain insight into the Atayal’s famed weaving and the local self-sufficient lifestyle. Ita Thao, on the shores of Sun Moon Lake in the central mountains, is the main settlement of the Thao, the indigenous tribe in Taiwan with the smallest population. These are just a few examples of the countless settlements of diverse character awaiting your arrival.

Authentic Original-Flavor Foods Visit an indigenous tribe and you’re sure to find yourself sampling authentic local delicacies. Worthy of special mention is Shanqing Recreational Farm, located in Jianshi Township of Hsinchu County. The farm serves traditional indigenous fare, featuring wild vegetables and mountain boar; the Earthenware Lily Spring Restaurant and Cifadahan Café in Hualien, where you can enjoy salt pork, pickled cabbage rolls, stone hotpot, and other Amis culinary treats; and for seafood the Donghe Tribe’s House in Taitung, where jellyfish and sea urchin are on the menu. No visit to an indigenous settlement would be complete without sampling the local culinary specialties.

Cultural and Creative Goods The people of Taiwan’s various indigenous groups are noted for being cheerful and open-minded, and for their high artistic talent. Du Chun-yu, a member of the Rukai tribe originally from Wutai Township of Pingtung County, excels at traditional indigenous embroidery. Her exquisite creations are rich in traditional totems and patterns. The Rukai and Paiwan inhabitants of Zhengxing Village in Taitung are pottery masters, and a village visit is much enhanced by the many works of public art on display. If you’d like to enjoy the harmonious indigenous singing, visit Tiehua Music Village beside the old railway station in Taitung City, where there is a fixed performance schedule. There is also a weekend bazaar here focused on indigenous arts and crafts. Danayigu, in the Alishan area, offers the unique cultural-arts performances and the leather apparel and accessories of the Tsou tribe.

Festival Celebrations The traditional celebrations of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples are rich in color and flavor. Each year from mid-July to mid-August the Amis, who are spread throughout the Taitung/Hualien region, stage their Harvest Festival, with settlements holding celebrations in succession. Tribal members give thanks to ancestral spirits for their blessing and protection, allowing them to live the past year free from want, and beseech their blessings once again for the year to come, deflecting ill fortune in favor of good. Other key festivals are the Ear Shooting Festival of the Bunun, who inhabit the south and east, the Flying Fish Festival of the Yami of Orchid Island (Lanyu), the Pas-taai or Sacrifice to the Short Spirits of the Saisiyat, who live in the northeast, and the Ancestral Spirit Ritual of the north area’s Atayal. All are well worth seeing, and the tribes welcome one and all who respect and wish to learn more about their traditions.


fo r e v o L our Firin g Y a mics r e C l a n Tra ditio

Handcra f ted ceramics remains a thriving industr y in Taiwan toda y, yet there are f ew places where the average per son can tr y his or her hand at creation. One o f the most popular spots is Shuili Snake Kiln in Nantou Count y, site o f the island’s oldest and most representative traditional wood- f ired kiln. By Rick Charette


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Photos/ Maggie Song, Sun Moon Lake Nat. Scenic Area

The S h u i li Sn a ke Ki l n


DIY area


big, rambling wooden complex at the center of Shuili Snake Kiln Ceramics Cultural Park lies almost hidden away in forest cover beside Provincial Highway No. 16, just south of the town of Shuili and just before its junction with Provincial Highway No. 21, which leads to nearby Sun Moon Lake.

T he k iln is built on a slop e

up to, and keep it at, the desired 1,100 degrees Celsius. The ash created within comes to rest on the ceramic pieces, creating the inimitable woodf ired look. When not in operation you can walk through it.

There is a fair bit of English signage in the museum area, but a tour brings a much more intimate and info-rich experience. For English Inside is the kiln itself, a museum area, a tours, park management suggests you contact multimedia exhibition room, a boutique, and a them two weeks in advance. Among the precious breezy open-front coffee shop. Intimate contact info nuggets given me during my most recent with ceramics-making comes in the pottery guided visit was that in the past local folk would demonstration area, where masters show off each come during kiln f irings and, when temperatures step of the craf t, the DIY pottery classrooms, and were right, dry their clothing on the outside and the Wish Pottery area, where you “write your bake sweet potatoes inside, and ladies would wish on the pottery and your dream will come walk through quickly with wet true.” heads to get a free perm, hair The 30-meter long brick kiln, curling instantly. During the DIY sessions, sitting on a slope to get the heat craf tsmen assist visitors in inside to move upward, looks Among the many unusual making their own simple ver y much like a fat snake and/or beautif ul works on housewares such as bowls display is a water cistern and mugs, then help to f ire that is not a water cistern. them. Those who cannot wait In WW II the Japanese in for pieces to dry (about 30 Taiwan realized they’d make minutes) can have them mailed great individualized air-raid to them, for a fee. Ingenious teap ot bunkers, buried to their lip, each customized for one man and provided The 30-meter long brick kiln, sitting on a a lid and a step inside for easy exit. They slope to get the heat inside to move upward – were ordered in the thousands. Another is an the f irewood is placed in the lower section – ingenious teapot invented for royalty in which looks very much like a fat snake. It is a priceless the access hole is at bottom, not top, preventing historical relic, and is only rarely f ired these easy poisoning. Figure out how it works before days, to keep it in condition. It takes 3~4 days your guide tells you! and an incredible amount of wood to bring it


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V isitors can watch a p ot ter y master at work in the k iln's work shop


Lin’s father inherited the business in 1983 and, seeing demand wane for the wares of traditional wood-f ired kilns, turned to tourism. The complex took a severe battering in the 1999 earthquake and the kiln itself was completely destroyed, but Hsiao-yin says this was a blessing in disguise, for in rebuilding it her father and another old-time hand were able to pass on precious knowledge to assistants that otherwise would likely have slipped away with their own eventual passing.


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ak e K iln us in g th e Sn Bu ild in g ho SHUILI SNAKE KILN CERAMICS CULTURAL PARK (水里蛇窯陶藝文化園區 )

Add: No. 21 , Ln. 512 , Sec. 1 , Shuixin Rd., Shuili Township, Nantou County ( 南投縣水里鄉水信路一段 512 巷 21 號 ) Tel: ( 049 ) 277 - 0967 Hours: Daily 8 a.m. ~ 5 : 30 p.m. Website: (Chinese; at time of writing under reconstruction) Fees: Single adult ticket NT$ 150 , preferential ticket NT$ 120 (NT$ 120 / 100 for groups; groups must be 30 and above); DIY ceramics making and painting NT$ 280 /person, mug painting NT$ 200 /person. HOW TO GET THERE:

Self-drive: National Freeway No. 1 → Changhua System Interchange → National Freeway No. 3 → Exit at Mingjian Interchange → Prov. Hwy No. 3 → Prov. Hwy No. 16 Public transport: Take a train to Shuili Railway Station → transfer to Fengrong Bus ( 豐榮客運 ) bound for Puli ( 埔里 ) or Shuanglong ( 雙龍 ) to Snake Kiln stop ( 蛇窯站 ).

Photos/ Maggie Song, Sun Moon Lake Nat. Scenic Area

Nantou County was once a ma jor ceramics-producing center, a source of products such as roof tiles, myriad household items, and large ceramic vessels for aging liquor. The local water was found to be pure, the local clay ideal, the area sparsely populated, the forest cover thick, and the wood needed inexpensive. In 1927, the founder of the Shuili Snake Kiln came up f rom the south af ter hearing of the prime conditions f rom a f riend; today the third generation is in charge and the fourth generation is deeply involved. If you take an English tour it almost surely to be led by the fourth generation’s Lin Hsiao-yin, who went away to school always intent on returning to support her ownerfather’s dream of making the site a prime tourist venue and preserving traditional skills.


The Jiji Branch Railway, popular with tourists, runs 29.7 km f rom the plains into the mountains along the Zhuoshui River, f rom the town of Ershui to the town of Checheng, near Sun Moon Lake. It was built by the Japanese colonial government in the 1920s to transport materials for the Sun Moon Lake dam construction, and soon opened for passenger traff ic. Today, colorf ul air-conditioned trains slide along past farms and through small towns and thick green forest. The single-track line is best known for its Green Tunnel between the towns of Ji ji and Longquan, a 4.5km stretch of leaf y canopy right beside Provincial Highway No. 16. The trees were planted during the colonial era. In the town of Jiji is the pretty Japanese-built Ji ji Railway Station, made of wood, which was rebuilt af ter being destroyed in the devastating 921 Earthquake of 1999. The adjoining museum has displays on the early development of the Ji ji Railway and on the earthquake. Be sure to check out the scale model of the area displayed in the complex. Bicycle-riding is also popular in the area; there are rental shops across from the station (motorized and tandem bikes available).

The town of Checheng is the rail line’s eastern terminus. The station, rebuilt with wood af ter the 921 Earthquake, has been called Taiwan’s most beautif ul. The huge old sawmill is now a museum with displays on virgin cypress-extraction days, and there’s an experience workshop where you can create chairs, pencil holders, etc., and a boutique winery that creates sweet plum wines. For more about tourist factories around Taiwan, visit /en/index.htm.

Jij i Br an ch Ra ilw ay

Ch ec he ng

St at io n


Checheng Ershui Green Tunnel Jiji Jiji Branch Railway Jiji Railway Station Lin Hsiao-yin Longquan Shuili

Ambassador Classic Pineapple Cake In Taiwanese the words for “pineapple” sound like the words for “prosperous future.” Pineapples are therefore often used as auspicious symbols. Resembling little gold bars, pineapple cakes make for a delicious gift with symbolic meaning to friends you want to wish well. The Ambassador Hotel Classic Pineapple Cakes, the finest quality, are made with soft & light outer shell and delicious sweet & sour pineapple paste as filling. By sharing these flavorful cakes with you, we hope to wish you and the people close to you good fortune and prosperous times ahead! NT$270 Pack of 6 NT$450 Pack of 10 NT$880 Pack of 20

車埕 二水 綠色隧道 集集 集集支線 集集車站 林曉吟 龍泉 水里

Ambassador Hotel Taipei Add:No. 63 Chungshan North Road, Section 2, Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C. TEL:+886 (2) 2551-1111 FAX:+886 (2) 2531-5215 Ambassador Hotel Hsinchu Add:No.188, Sec. 2, Zhonghua Rd., Hsinchu City, Taiwan R.O.C. TEL:+886 (3) 515-1111 FAX:+886 (3) 515-1112 Ambassador Hotel Kaohsiung Add:No.202, Mingsheng 2nd Road, Kaohsiung City,Taiwan R.O.C. TEL:+886 (7) 211-5211 FAX:+886 (7) 201-0348

Photos/ Maggie Song

Other Places of Interest in the Area


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Traversing the

Fault Line Cycling in the East Rift Valley


surprisingly, the area between the two mountain ranges in eastern Taiwan is popular among riders with less stamina, less free time, or less ambition. Moreover, some of the townships within the valley have constructed carfree paths of varying distances within their boundaries, along which are signs in Chinese and English introducing local sights, historical and agricultural features, and fauna and f lora that might be seen. These routes are extremely family-friendly, starting and ending at bike-hire-equipped railway stations, and are accessible to anyone with half a day to spare. Rif t valleys are created by tectonic plate action, in Taiwan’s case by the smaller Philippine Plate pushing into


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the massive Eurasian Plate. This not only created the central mountains, topped by Yushan (Jade Mountain), at 3,952 meters the island’s highest mountain, but also, through subsequent volcanic action, produced the coastal range as well as Green Island and Lanyu (Orchid Island) offshore. Pure waters descending f rom the mountains make this one of Taiwan’s premier rice-production areas, with rif t valley rice, usually marketed under township names such as “Chishang rice” and “Fuli rice,” commanding top prices abroad – particularly in Japan – and getting passengers to lean out of trains stopped at platforms to buy locally produced lunchboxes f rom vendors.


Situated between Taiwan’s central and coastal mountain ranges, the East Rift Valley’s gentle slopes and mellow climate offer round-Taiwan cyclists a day or two of paradise after the magnificent coastal cliffs north of Hualien and before the surf-and-turf pleasures of Kenting National Park. By Mark Caltonhill

Cycling around Dap o L ake in Chishang


The main area of the town of Chishang itself feels like a throwback to former times. With the wares of ironmongers, traditional hardware stores, “department stores” – which

today might be called large convenience stores – and vegetable sellers spilling out onto the streetside, it pays to take a wander. Bikes can be hired at numerous outlets near the railway station, at Dadi Hotel on the main highway – where organic lunchboxes and ice cream f lavored with local rice are available – and down at nearby Dapo Lake. Prices range upward f rom NT$100 for 3 hours (longer on weekdays), and double for tandems. Visitors should not expect anything too f lashy for this price, but nothing f lashy is needed for the bikeway’s slight gradients.


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Photo/Ivy Maggie Photo/ ChenSong

One good place to start your East Rif t Valley exploration is Chishang Township – and for those not in a rush to start cycling, even better than a platform-bought lunchbox is one f rom Wu Tau Chishang Rice Boxes which, ironically, may then be eaten inside a disused railway carriage now parked on the side of Provincial Highway No. 9. The restaurant also has a two-f loor display of old photographs and agricultural equipment.


Paddy f ields at Chishang

Depending on the season, farmers can be seen planting, separating, f ertilizing, and harvesting the biannual rice crops

From here, routes of different lengths head off southwestward into the paddy f ields. Again, depending on season, farmers can be seen planting, separating, fertilizing, and harvesting the biannual rice crops. Of particular interest are the aqueducts bringing stream water many kilometers from distant sources to the top f ields, from whence it trickles down f rom f ield to f ield till each paddy is thirst-quenched. Even the Chinese character for those aqueducts is nice: 圳, pronounced jun, is composed of earthen (土) embankments channeling river (川) water. This section of the route is titled the Aqueduct Bike Path. Having crossed Provincial Highway No. 9, cyclists pass a reconstructed water wheel that raises tubes f ull of water so that yet more f ields can be irrigated. Nearby is the Fish Ladder, at which there is introductory information on the various f ish species that travel upstream in the ad jacent river.

34 34

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The highlight of your return to Chishang town is a visit to the Taitung Hakka Cultural Park. Flower-lovers can marvel at the extensive outdoor displays, while culture vultures can head inside for displays of traditional clothing, f urniture, home utensils, and farm tools and, if lucky, watch local Hakka learn the handicraf ts of their antecedents. The nearby rice-husking mill also has exhibitions relating to that industr y. Chishang rice lunch b ox

Traditional laundr y site

Taitung Hak k a Cultural Park Photos/ Ivy Chen, Sunny Su

Most cyclists travel clockwise around the 15-kilometer route, f irst heading down to the lake; Chishang literally means “above the lake.” Depending on the season, the waters are alive with lotus f lowers, butterf lies, or migratory birds, and those cyclists interested in differentiating the many species should allocate time to read the plethora of signboards.


Local farmer

Water wheel

Rural scene with water buf falo

Guanshan Bikeway

Guanshan Guanshan, the next township encountered going south The high point of the inland section is the Sun-andfollowing Provincial Highway No. 9, claims Taiwan’s “f irst Moon-Watching Belvedere, a wooden platform popular at dedicated township-level bikeway.” Somewhat shorter than the sunrise and, presumably, moonrise. one at Chishang, at around 12 kilometers, it too has a “paddy” part, on the east side, and there is an “upland” part on the Continuing southward from here requires a NT$50 ticket, west. In choosing your direction it is best to take into account which gives access to the township’s visitor center and park the time of day, since the upland part passes under many trees, further along the route. The most romantic items in the thus offering pleasant shade during park are the two-person paddle Guanshan Township claims Taiwan’s “ first the hottest hours. boats (NT$100/30 min.); but most interesting, especially perhaps for dedicated township-level bikeway” foreigners, could be the memorial to Bikes can be hired f rom Kwansan Shan Shui Jyu 52 people who died in the hills nearby. Following the armistice Hotel, to the lef t when leav ing the railway station, or at of 1945, an airplane lef t the Philippines carrying sick POWs numerous outlets between the main area of the town and who had survived capture and internment by the Japanese. the start of the bike-only path. Tragically, the plane encountered bad weather over Taiwan, and the 26 passengers and crew all perished. A group of locals – This bike path is notable for its landscaped sections, with the memorial is very specif ic about their indigenous, Japanese, corridors of tall trees, riverside views complete with mudand Han Chinese ethnicities – was organized to retrieve their seeking water buffalo, and raised embankments overlooking bodies, but they too were hit by typhoon weather, and 26 more hundreds of hectares of paddy. persons died. Visitors should look out for the 160 species of bird spotted in the township, of which 40 are protected – according to another signboard. Most glorious is the crested serpent eagle.

Snacks, maps and water are available f rom the visitor center by the end of the bike path, and a good meal is close at hand in the center of Guanshan town.


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THE BEST BIKE ROUTES Yuli Yuli, in southern Hualien County (north of Chishang and Guanshan), brings one face to face with the geological conditions that created this slice of paradise. Bikes can be rented from the Giant rental shop (on the lef t side when leaving the railway station), while the bike trail heads off in the opposite direction (right from the station). Most of the 9.5km route (19km return) is along a section of disused railway line that links to the now abandoned Antong and Dongli stations. The first of these has been converted into a bikerental outlet; the second remains deserted, as another station with the same name has been constructed on the new line. This old section of railway line repeatedly suffered damage as the Philippine Plate kept nudging its way into the Eurasian Plate, and closure for repairs was not uncommon. Eventually, three spans of the bridge carrying trains over

the Xiuguluan River had dropped so signif icantly that it was decided to let Nature have her way, and the new line was built on more stable ground. The bridge has been repaired suff iciently for cyclist use, and the fault line is clearly marked, with yet more informative signboards explaining the science of plate tectonics in general and its specif ic inf luence in creating the East Rif t Valley. Those without the time or energy to ride the whole 19km will be happy to know the bridge is located not far f rom the center of Yuli town. Yuli, Guanshan, Chishang, and the other townships in this area have strong traditional characteristics. Good places to imagine the Taiwan of times past, they have plenty of old-style hotels, mostly located near the railway stations, as well as more modern homestays. Restaurants are similarly unpretentious and wholesome. Many visitors board the trains heading back to Taipei with sacks of rif t valley rice under their arms.

Yuli, in southern Hualien Count y brings one face to face with the geological conditions that created this slice of paradise At the fault line of t wo tec tonic plates

Bikeway in Yuli Train running on the main eastern line

Antong Aqueduct Bike Path Chishang Dadi Hotel Dapo Lake Dongli East Rift Valley Fish Ladder

安通 環圳車道 池上 大地飯店 大坡池 東里 花東縱谷 魚梯

富里 Fuli 綠島 Green Island 關山 Guanshan 蘭嶼 Lanyu Sun-and-Moon-Watching Belvedere 縱觀日月亭 秀姑巒溪 Xiuguluan River 玉里 Yuli 玉山 Yushan



Add: 259, Zhongxiao Rd., Fuyuan Village, Chishang Township, Taitung County (台東縣池上鄉福原村忠孝路259號) Tel: (089) 862-326

Add: 1-6, Bo'ai Rd., Guanshan Township, Taitung County (台東縣關山鎮博愛路1-6號) Tel: (089) 814-787 Website:


Add: 1, Xinguang Rd., Xinxing Village, Chishang Township, Taitung County (台東縣池上鄉新興村新光路1號) Tel: (089) 865-038 Website:


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Photos/ Ivy Chen



Sensational Sand A rt Amazing Sculptures Grace Fulong Beach Once a Year


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Master sculptor Wang Song- guan at work


Creating sand sculptures has become serious business in recent years, with professional sculptors vying for crowns and prize money at sand sculpture festivals around the world. In May and June some of the best will put outstanding works of art on display at Fulong Beach on Taiwan’s northeast coast. By Kurt Weidner

Located in the far west of the Pacif ic, Taiwan is surrounded by sea, and the island’s wonderf ully varied coastline is one of the great scenic attractions awaiting visitors. Though large stretches are characterized by rocky outcrops and pebble beaches, there are also premier f inesand beaches attracting beach-goers in large number during the warmer months of the year. One of the most popular is Fulong, located close to the northeastern tip of the island and conveniently reached by train f rom Taipei (the fastest train takes a bit more than an hour). The town of Fulong is rather small, with its only claim to fame being its beach. Visitors come here to enjoy water sports, camping, bicycling, and two ma jor annual events – the Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival and the Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival.


One of the out standing sand sculptures created in 2011

sand-sculpture festival was f irst staged by the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration ( in 2008. Tens of thousands of visitors now come each year to marvel at the incredibly sophisticated works of art, made with nothing more than sand and water. All are welcome to sign up for the amateur contest, and have the chance to win prizes. Most visitors, however, are contented with viewing the sculptures created by professional artists f rom Taiwan and abroad. Last year, during the biggest edition of the festival to date, more than 350,000 visitors came to see a total of 61 beautif ul works.


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Photos/ Wang Song-guan, Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration Photo/ Maggie Song

sculpting has come a long way since the times when only children and playf ul dads, equipped with plastic shovels and buckets, built simple sand castles on the beach during summer vacations. Since the 1970s, when Gerry Kirk and Todd Vander Pluym started to approach this pastime in a more professional way, assembling teams in California to design intricate miniature reproductions of real castles, sand-sculpting competitions have become popular events around the world. Today, professional sand-sculpting teams enter international competitions organized by beach resorts located in all corners of the globe, f rom Canada to Florida and f rom Russia to Australia. There are even festivals, such as Sandsation in Germany’s capital, Berlin, that are staged far away f rom any sea or ocean.

FESTIVAL T he sand of Fulong is trans formed into amazing landscap es

Work ing on the base of a large sand sculpture

All sculptors star t at the top

Foreign par ticipant

artistically, but these artists are encouraged to incorporate an Standing in awe before some of the intricately carved overarching theme in their works, which this year is “dragon,” structures, many a visitor wonders what it takes to create these a reference to the Chinese zodiac animal of the current year. masterpieces. To f ind out, Travel in Taiwan recently met up with Visitors can look forward to marveling at ingenious renditions Taiwanese sculptor Wang Song-guan, who is the mastermind of this mystic creature carved from nothing but sand. The behind the event. A few weeks before the arrival of the type of dragon depicted doesn’t matter, according to Wang: “We international artists participating in the festival, he leads a might see long-shaped Chinese-style dragons or the winged team of workers to prepare the beach, with the most important versions familiar in the West. Any type of dragon is f ine.” task being the construction of large “sand pyramids” held in place with wooden planks. The sand is piled up in layers with the help the sculptures by Tens of thousands of visitors come of excavators, each layer compressed foreign participants each year to marvel at incredibl y with tamping rammers. “Basically, will feature dragons, the theme for the sophisticated works of art we do all the preparations,” explains works by the Taiwan team, consisting Wang. “The foreign artists just of professional artists, will be need to show up, and can start sculpting straight away.” The different. “This year, we want to incorporate ‘music’ in our circumference and the height of the sand piles can vary, based designs, which will present some new challenges,” says Wang, on the designs submitted by the sculptors in advance, but what who comes up with the design ideas for all sculptures realized all of them have in common is a pyramid shape. “Because of by the local team of sculptors. Leading this team, Wang plays the nature of sand, every sculptor has to start at the top and the role of coordinator and instructor, and he also does the work his way down to the bottom,” says Wang. “You have to f inal touches on each sculpture. Says Wang: “We want to give have a clear idea of how you want to go about realizing your local artists, who might be expert in other f ields of art but sculpture, because once you have f inished the upper parts and have no experience with sand-sculpting, the chance to work work further down, you can’t go back up and make changes on these sculptures, contributing by using their respective later on.” artistic talents.” One of the challenges of creating sculptures related to music will be the rendering of portraits of famous The festival organizers grant the professional sculptors from music stars. “The sculpting of well-known faces in sand is abroad – 30 sculptors from eight different countries have been a diff icult task, more diff icult than sculpting animals or invited this year – maximum freedom to express themselves cartoon characters,” he says.


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Photos/ Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration


FULONG Thinking about the f ragile nature of sand sculptures, you might wonder how those amazing works of art can withstand the forces of nature for any period of time. What if it rains heavily or – even worse – a ma jor typhoon hits the beach? “There is no need to worry,” Wang says assuringly, “for the sculptures are protected by an environment-f riendly sealer, consisting of water and glue, which is immediately applied once each part of a sculpture is f inished. The only real danger there, in fact, is the visitors. Sometimes there are a few naughty children among the large crowds who can’t resist the temptation to throw things at the sculptures. If that happens and the sealer is broken, the sand can start trickling out, which can seriously damage the work.” Af ter being created in April the masterpieces will be on display at Fulong Beach for two months, until the end of June. They might well continue to exist for many more weeks beyond this, standing against the forces of both nature and man, but in the end, in what may seem to their creators like an act of cruelty, they are taken down forcef ully by excavators to make room for the second of the year’s big annual events on this beach, the Ho-Hai-Yan rock fest in July. Summing up the sculpture festival, Wang says: “This is a great example of creating something meaningf ul out of virtually nothing. Starting with not much more than sand

and water, artists f rom Taiwan and abroad are brought together to engage in cultural exchange. Large numbers of people are attracted to the art, thus boosting local tourism, and the huge crowds coming to Fulong create numerous opportunities for local businesses. It’s amazing how the simple creation of sand sculptures has led to an event of this magnitude.”

“It’s amazing how the simple creation of sand sculptures has led to an event of this magnitude”

Esk imo car ving, 2011 ENGLISH & CHINESE

Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival Wang Song-guan

福隆國際沙彫藝術季 貢寮國際海洋音樂祭 王松冠

UPCOMING Festivals and Events from May to July MAR 7 ~ JUN 20

JUL 11 ~ 15

Location: Bao'an Temple (61, Hami St., Taipei City/ 臺北市哈密街 61 號 ) Tel: (02) 2595-1676 Website:

新北市貢寮國際海洋音樂祭 Location: Fulong Beach, Fulong Village, Gongliao Township, New Taipei City ( 新北市貢寮區福隆村福隆海水浴場 ) Tel: (02) 2499-1210 Website:

Baosheng Cultural Festival 大龍峒保生文化祭

MAR 31 ~ MAY 20

Yilan Green Expo 宜蘭縣綠博會 Location: Wulaokeng Scenic Area ( 武荖坑風景區 ); 75, Wulaokeng Rd., Su'ao Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣蘇澳鎮武荖坑路 75 號 ) Tel: (03) 987-2403 Website:

APR 16 ~ MAY 24

Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival

Until MAY 20

Hakka Tung Blossom Festival

客家桐花季 Location: Areas in western, central, and eastern Taiwan where tung trees bloom Tel: (02) 8789-4567 Website:

Until JUN 3

Taipei Traditional Arts Festival

Penghu Fireworks Festival 澎湖海上花火節

Location: Xiying Rainbow Bridge & Guanyin Pavilion, Makong City, Penghu County ( 澎湖縣馬公市觀音亭西瀛虹橋 ) Tel: (06) 927-4440 Website:

台北傳統藝術季 Location: Taipei Zhongshan Hall, Taipei International Convention Center, National Concert Hall ( 台北市中 山堂 , 台北國際會議中心 , 國家音樂廳 ) Tel: (02) 2383-2170 ext. 261 Website:

APR 14 ~ MAY 30

Until AUG 31

日月潭星光螢火季 Location: Sun Moon Lake, Nantou County ( 南投縣日月潭 ) Tel: (049) 234-1235 Website:

北海岸婚紗留倩影 Location: North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area ( 北海岸及觀音山國家風景區 ) Tel: (02) 8635-5100 ext.171 Website:

Sun Moon Lake Firefly Festival

North Coast Wedding Photography Contest

For more information on upcoming festivals and events, visit the website of the Tourism Bureau at and click on “Festivals” or call the 24-hour toll-free Travel Information Hotline at 0800-011765.


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one of those exotic dishes that makes foreign visitors ask three questions: “What is this?”, “How does it taste?”, and “Why on earth do people eat it?” Like stinky tof u and chicken feet, two other highlights of a culinary-adventure tour of Taiwan, a thousandyear egg is something you usually try only when being encouraged (or “pressured”) by well-meaning local friends. Here is a tip for anyone who wants to try this specialty: Don’t sniff at it before eating. The distinct odor of sulf ur and ammonia might well cause your brain to throw up insurmountable roadblocks…


Travel in Taiwan

Photo/ Maggie Song

This is the answer to the question on page 6. Did you guess right? Thousand-year eggs, also called century eggs or just pidan (皮 蛋) in Mandarin Chinese, are a common side dish in Taiwan restaurants, of ten eaten together with sof t tof u and soy sauce. This is







E 臺東縣 TAITUNG County


台東-在太平洋濱的美好地方,這裡的人們熱情、好客、友善,這裡是最熱愛運動的城市在台灣, 在陽光燦爛及清新的空氣下,您可以騎單車、慢跑、搭熱氣球、衝浪、泛舟同時享受浮潛及海釣 的樂趣。 當然,這裡的溫泉會提供給您,運動揮汗後的舒解身心…,一切的美好,盡在台東。 Taitung, a beautiful spot upon the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The residents here are passionate, hospitable, and friendly, a city that loves exercise more than any other in Taiwan.Under the radiant sun and through fresh air, biking, jogging, surfing, rafting, snorkeling, fishing and hot air ballooning are all activities you can enjoy. Naturally, the hot springs will provide a chance to relax and unwind after the exertions of exercise. All that is well can be found in Taitung.


元宵節炸寒單 離島飛魚祭 東河香丁節 布農射耳祭

Lantern Festival Bombing Lord Handan(with Firecrackers) Flying Fish Festival at Lanyu Bright Spring Valencia Oranges –Festival Events Ear-shooting Ceremony of Bunun Tribe


太麻里金針花季 臺東釋迦節 東海岸旗魚季 臺東國際衝浪大賽

Taimali Daily Season Tautybg-Custard Apple Festival East Coast Sailfish Season Taitung County International Surf Challenge

Rhythm in the


臺灣熱氣球嘉年華 關山鐵馬系列活動 池上竹筏季 東海岸音樂季 馬卡巴嗨文化觀光季 全縣聯合豐年祭 南島文化節 卑南溪泛舟

Taiwan Hot-air Balloon Festival Guanshan Mountain Bicycle Series Activities Chihshang Bamboo Raft Season East Coast Music Festival Makapahay Cultural Festival United County Harvest Festival Austronesian Cultural Festival Beinan River Rafting


卑南族大獵祭 縱谷油菜花季

Beinan Big Hunting Festival Rift Valley Rapeseed Flower Season


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On the Trail of the

att ract s hav e y et to e li rf e tt u b s n' T aiwa the onal att ention ti a rn te in f o atchthe k ind just as birdw t u B . y jo n e now lse island's bird s en nowhere e se s e ci e sp t ek ou rr iv e ers come to se usia st s who a th n e ly rf e tt u b able in the world , n see a remark ca r a e y f o e m raat the ri ght ti al 250k m mig u n n a e th : n o men en C rook natural pheno erf lie s. B y Stev tt u B w ro C le tion of Purp

Butterflying in Southern Taiwan


the untrained eye, Taiwan’s four Purple Crow species are hard to tell apart. Wingspans range f rom 60mm to 75mm. All four appear dark brown when stationary, but eyecatching patches of blue and purple become visible when they open their wings. Researchers and volunteers are working hard to better understand the lepidopteran treasures that f lutter in Taiwan's f ields and forests. Travel in Taiwan recently met up with some of these dedicated individuals for a whistle-stop tour of two Purple Crow hotspots – the township of Linnei in Yunlin County and Kaohsiung City's Maolin District.


Travel in Taiwan

By Owain Mckimm

Approaching Linnei by train, it's the hills inland f rom the railway line that grab your attention, and we soon learn that topography is one key reason why this little township is a bottleneck along the Purple Crow migration route. Prevailing winds and the availability of food also inf luence when and where the butterf lies move, but in recent years a stretch of National Freeway No. 3 in Linnei has become famous for the vast number of Purple Crow (sometimes 500 to 1,000 per minute) that f ly over it in early spring each year. In 2007 – in a move reported by the BBC, National Geographic Channel, and other global media – the authorities closed one lane of the f reeway and erected 4m-high fencing along one side in an effort to cut the number of butterf ly road casualties.

Photos/ Taiwan Purple Crow Butterfly Ecological , Preservation Association, Sunny Su

Purple Crow

BUTTERFLIES The f reeway is just one of several butterf ly-related attractions in Linnei. Our f irst stop was Yuxiangyuan, a small garden on the f latlands that is home to a tremendous variety of plants and trees. No pesticides are used here, so butterf lies – as well as other insects and amphibians – revel in the pristine environment. To guide tourists f rom one spot to another, purple butterf ly symbols have been placed on walls and fences. Following these, we passed Principal Zhang's House – a wellpreserved traditional countryside abode – and made our way to the Linbei Ecological Hall. The hall, a 70-year-old former tobacco-drying shed, houses a fascinating collection of antique f urniture and traditional farming implements. The f unction of some items is far f rom obvious. A thick section of bamboo with a strap attached, for example, served as a f lotation aid, used when people needed to cross the nearby Zhuoshui River. A spinning device for starting f ires is easily mistaken for a drill. The rice f ields and vegetable patches behind the hall attract butterf lies year-round, but an even better place to see these winged beauties is the Learn Garden, located along the same road as Yuxiangyuan, much closer to the freeway. The combination of colorful butterf lies, gorgeous f lowers and gnarled lengths of pear-tree wood gets photographers snapping away. Yuxiangyuan and the Learn Garden are lit between dusk and midnight, the battery-powered lights recharged during the day with solar photovoltaic cells. Both are excellent places for moth-spotting. According to a list published last year by the ROC Butterf ly Conservation Society, Taiwan has 418 butterf ly species, meaning they represent just 10% of the island’s lepidopteran species. Moths account for the other 90%, but they have yet to be researched in much depth.


stretch of freeway where you have the best chance of seeing large numbers of migrating Purple Crow is at Chukou in the north of the township. This is about 3km from the railway station, where the elevated freeway passes very close to Provincial Highway No. 3. Despite cool, dull weather in the days before our arrival, at the time of our visit dozens of the butterf lies could be seen heading northwest. Migrating butterf lies f ly through Linnei between February and early April. Throughout this period, volunteers positioned beside the f reeway count them as they f ly over. Another team, equipped with nets and felt-tip pens, catches and marks a selection so their route can be tracked and their behavior better understood. The measures being taken here to make their journey safer seem to be succeeding; we were told that the number of butterf lies this year, as of the date of our visit, had been very similar to previous years.

There’s much more to Linnei than butterf lies, of course. Papayas and strawberries grow in abundance. Huben Village is one of the best places in Taiwan to see the Fairy Pitta, a spectacular bird known to Chinese speakers as the ba-se-niao (“eight-color bird”). C o u n ti n

g b u t te r f li e s b y th e fr e e w a y

rke d Pur ple Cro ws are ma to tra ck the ir rou te

Edison Travel Service specializes in Taiwan tours and offers cheaper hotel room rates and car rental services with drivers . Edison welcomes contact with other travel services around the world.


Travel in Taiwan


Ma oli n Ub ake ho me sta y in


Crow Butterf lies migrate because they are sensitive to temperature. They spend the warmer months in Taiwan’s north, but stay in the south during wintertime. Around 30 locations in Kaohsiung City and Pingtung and Taitung counties have been identif ied as “Purple Crow Butterf ly valleys.” In these places, individual trees may host 1,000 or more butterf lies. When migrating, f reeways aren’t the only obstacles they have to contend with – some f ly f rom east to west, crossing the Central Mountain Range at Tataka, almost 2,500m above sea level. Most of these wintering spots are very hard to reach. In the mountainous Kaohsiung district of Maolin, however, tourists can step out of their cars and within minutes see clusters of Dwarf Crows (Euploea tulliolus koxinga). This subspecies accounts for almost three-quarters of Maolin’s Purple Crow population, which at times may total one million. Striped Blue Crows (Euploea mulciber barsine) and Doublebranded Black Crows (Euploea S ylvester swinhoei) make up the bulk of the rest, while fewer than 2% are Blue-banded King Crows (Euploea eunice hobsoni). Several other butterf ly types also put in an appearance.


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Up-to-date information about the butterf lies can be found on the Maolin National Scenic Area’s multilingual website ( The site also has details on cultural events in the area, such as the Tapakarhavae or “Black Rice” Festival held each November. Maolin Ecological Park, beside Maolin Village at the 2-km mark on County Road No. 132, is an excellent place to look for butterf lies, and it was here that we grasped a key point of the migration: For many of the purple crows, which live about 8 to 9 months, f lying north or south, is a one-way, once-in-a-lifetime trip. Their eggs hatch in the south or north and the caterpillars feed on leaves; when mature, this new generation mates and lays again f resh eggs. They then head north or south depending on the season, leaving the eggs behind to fend for themselves. Many of the Double-branded Black Crows, however, prefer to breed in Zhunan Township in Miaoli County. The large building near the park is the Fengshan District Farmers’ Association Activity Center. Even if you’re not interested in staying in one of its 44 rooms, do spend some time digesting the thorough bilingual exhibition in the lobby. The displays aren’t only about Maolin’s Purple Crows; there’s also lots of information about the world’s other ma jor butterf ly migration, the f light of the Monarch between the United States/Canada and Mexico. Before arriving in Maolin, serious butterf ly enthusiasts would do well to contact the Taiwan Purple Crow Butterf ly Ecological Preser vation Association (htt p://cc428 jane. The association’s Maolin off ice is below the main village, at an art workshop/homestay named af ter its founder, Ubake (tel: 07-680-1035).

Photos/ Taiwan Purple Crow Butterfly Ecological , Preservation Association, Sunny Su

Purple Crow Butterflies migrate because they are sensitive to temperature. They spend the warmer months in Taiwan’s north, but stay in the south during wintertime


Ecological tours for English-speakers can be organized through Deengorge Guest House (tel: 07-680-1539; 0989-579751), a superbly located homestay. The owners have been caref ully conserving the local environment for years. There’s no public transportation to Maolin. Da jin, 3km away on the lowlands, is linked by several buses per day with Pingtung City, f rom which there are buses and trains to every part of Taiwan. If you’re staying at Deengorge Guest House, you can ask to be picked up at Da jin. Even if your visit to Taiwan doesn’t coincide with the stay of the Purple Crow in Maolin, or its migration through Linnei, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy butterf lies. More than 160 species can be seen in

Yangmingshan National Park (, just north of Taipei City, between May and July. Fuyuan National Recreation Area, in Hualien County in Taiwan’s unspoiled east, offers excellent butterf lying f rom March till August.


Blue-banded King Crows Central Mountain Range Chukou Dajin Double-branded Black Crows Dwarf Crows Fairy Pitta ( " ba-se-niao " ) Fuyuan National Forest Recreation Area Huben Village Linnei Township Maolin District Maolin Ecological Park Principal Zhang's House Purple Crow Butterfly ROC Butterfly Conservation Society Rukai Tribe Striped Blue Crows Taiwan Purple Crow Butterfly Ecological Preservation Association Tapakarhavae ( " Black Rice " Festival) Tataka Yangmingshan National Park Yuxiangyuan Zhunan Township Zhuoshui River

圓翅紫斑蝶 中央山脈 觸口 大津 斯氏紫斑蝶 小紫斑蝶 八色鳥 富源國家森林遊樂區 湖本村 林內鄉 茂林區 茂林生態公園 張校長的家 紫斑蝶 中華蝴蝶保育學會 魯凱族 端紫斑蝶 台灣紫斑蝶生態保育協會 黑米祭 塔塔加 陽明山國家公園 御香園 竹南鎮 濁水溪

Photos/ Maggie Song

Much of the butterf ly-themed public art around Maolin was craf ted by Ubake himself. He and his wife sell a range of glass-bead and leather items, and for more than a decade they have been decorating a church in the village. Even though it’s unf inished, this house of worship is well worth seeing for Ubake’s metal-work, which combines Christian imagery, butterf ly shapes and Rukai-tribe motifs such as white lilies (worn by a woman, this f lower symbolizes purity; by a man, it represents hunting prowess.)


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Dreamlike and

Mesmerizing The Han Tang Yuefu Ensemble Combines Ancient Music and Opera movement is resolute, each step def ined and made with purpose. Yet despite this powerf ul sense of discipline, the dancers of the Han Tang Yuefu music and dance ensemble somehow remain delicate and ethereal. They move like animated puppets across the stage, brought to life by ancient nanguan music, f irst heard millennia ago in the courts of China’s early emperors. The ensemble’s latest production, T he King and Queen o f the Shang D ynast y, brings a 3,000-year-old story of love and war to modern audiences through a medium almost as old as the tale itself.

Founded in 1983, Han Tang Yuef u is unique in that it combines two separate forms of ancient Chinese performance art: nanguan or “southern pipe” music, and li yuan or “pear orchard” opera. During its near 30-year history, the ensemble has toured the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and China, has won numerous awards for


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its CD collections of nanguan music, has produced critically acclaimed performances such as T he Feast o f Han Xizai, T he Tale o f the Luo River Goddess, and Romance o f the Lychee Mirror, and has engaged in two distinguished co-productions with French companies La Péniche Opéra and Doulce Mémoire.


music is considered to be one of the most ancient Chinese musical-art forms. According to Han Tang Yuef u’s founder and artistic director Chen Mei-o, nanguan music originated in northern China at least as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) before moving southwards into Fu jian Province during the Jin Dynasty (265 – 420 AD) due to wars in the north. Primarily a f ixture of the royal court, the music survived in the south, patronized by the wealthy, and remained a mainstay of Chinese high society, eventually f inding its way to Taiwan with Fu jianese immigrants during the 17th century.

Photos/ Han Tang Yuefu, Sting Chen


By Owain Mckimm

HAN TANG YUEFU and wasn’t simply classical music, everyone could appreciate Li yuan opera had its roots planted a little later, during and enjoy it, meaning that it survived effectively among the the reign of Tang Dynasty emperor Xuanzong (685 – 762 AD), a common people,” Chen says. music lover and composer who tutored performers in his Pear Orchard academy. “Emperor Xuanzong decided to incorporate plot into the Tang Yuef u performances Han Tang Yuefu is unique in that traditional combination of poetry, song, combine classic nanguan it combines two separate forms of scores with dance movements taken f rom music, and dance. The music and dance ancient Chinese performance art: in his performances were not only the li yuan tradition. Song and poetry performed to accompany poetry and song, nanguan music and liyuan opera are also introduced. Chen explains that but rather to illustrate a story as well. the purpose in combining these elements It was f rom this point that traditional Chinese opera began is an attempt to ref lect pre-Tang performances. “No one is to develop,” says Chen. sure exactly what the court performances were like before the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD). But what has been recorded Though li yuan opera and nanguan music are related, consistently in the history books is that poetry, song, music, they were preserved through the ages by different people, and dance were performed together. For 3,000 years, f rom Chen explains. “Nanguan music was preserved mostly by the the Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties, right through to the gentry, while li yuan opera was preserved by the common Han and Tang, these elements were incorporated together classes.” During the decline of the Song Dynasty (960 – 1276 into performances at the imperial court.” Before the Tang, AD), performers of pear orchard opera began to establish however, singers would not dance, and dancers would not themselves outside of off icials’ homes as street performers. sing – a style very different f rom the Chinese opera usually The genre made its way south and, by the Yuan Dynasty (1271 seen today. “I wanted to return the poetry, song and dance – 1368 AD), had become completely integrated into the hearts to their original states, each as a separate element of and minds of the populace. “Because li yuan opera had a story performance, with nanguan music used as the base.”




joined the Han Tang Yuef u ensemble 15 years ago af ter a stint with the famous moderndance collective Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. Initially she found learning this new kind of dance extremely challenging. “It was completely different f rom the modern dance that I’d studied before, even more diff icult than ballet. The coordination involved in each movement is extremely precise, and each gesture must be exact and purposef ul.” Hsiao says the most challenging part of learning li yuan dance is learning to walk. The gait which dancers adopt on stage looks part military march, part marionette, and requires months of training to perfect. “People who have studied dance before of ten f ind their knowledge of modern dance obstructive. The muscles used, the way we coordinate movement, these are all different.” Even af ter 15 years with the company, Hsiao still regularly studies new techniques. For their most recent performance, Hsiao and the other troupe members studied martial arts at the Songshan Shaolin Temple in China, then came back to Taiwan to study crescent-moon blade combat and the Daoist martial art of baguazhang.

Chen is demanding in regard to how dedicated her dancers must be to be able to succeed at the unique Han Tang Yuef u style. “My dancers must not only be versed in li yuan dance, they also have to immerse themselves in nanguan music and its history. Otherwise they won’t be able to dance effectively. Our dancing is heavily formalized and is completely dependent on the rhythms of nanguan music. Without this music the dancers look robotic, like string puppets. However, once the music begins to play the dancers come alive, and their spirit begins to show.”


a special showing of T he King and Queen o f the Shang D ynast y, one really gets to see what Chen is talking about. In the story, centered on King Wu Ding and his warrior priestess wife Fu Hao, Wu Ding begins a torturous campaign against the Chu Kingdom. His then heavily pregnant wife, hearing ominous news of her husband’s impending defeat, sets


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off with her own military forces to rescue him. Though she successf ully wins her husband a crucial victory, the stress caused kills both her and her unborn child. Three years ago, while doing research on the Anyang area of Henan Province, China, where Fu Hao’s grave was discovered miraculously untouched by grave-robbers in 1976, Chen Mei-o was inspired to turn this story of love, sacrif ice and bravery into a nanguan performance. As the dancers move, their gestures punctuate the resolution of each musical phrase. Nanguan music features constant repetition, with only subtle differences occurring throughout the score. It becomes hypnotic, rendering the slow, gracef ul movements dreamlike and mesmerizing. Chen has also inf used the performance with extracts f rom the Chinese Book o f Songs, saying that some of these ancient four-character poems not only suit the cadences of certain nanguan scores but also ref lect the passionate romance between the two main characters. The poems are sung as well as chanted throughout sections of the performance, and lend a bittersweet and at times unsettling element to the mellif luous dancing. “Many people think that the integration of nanguan music and li yuan dance is a newly created art form,” says Chen. “Nanguan music isn’t usually performed this way, and neither is li yuan opera. Returning to the pre-Tang style of making singers and dancers independent of each other gives people a feeling of f reshness, of innovation and originality, when in fact it’s a very ancient style.” The troupe will take their newest production to Bei jing in May, but will return to Taiwan in October, when the members will perform at the National Palace Museum, which is preparing a special exhibition of never-seen-before Shang Dynasty artifacts to coincide with the performance.


Add: 28 , Alley 60 , Lane 16 , Danjin Rd., Tamsui District, New Taipei City ( 新北市淡水區淡金路 16 巷 60 弄 28 號 ) Tel: ( 02 ) 8626 - 1813 , 8626 - 1823 Website: ENGLISH & CHINESE

baguazhang Book of Songs Fu Hao Chen Mei-o Hsiao Ho-wen King Wu Ding liyuan opera nanguan music Romance of the Lychee Mirror Songshan Shaolin Temple The Feast of Han Xizai The King and Queen of the Shang Dynasty The Tale of the Luo River Goddess

八卦掌 詩經 婦好 陳美娥 蕭賀文 王武丁 梨園戲 南管音樂 荔鏡奇緣 嵩山少林寺 韓熙載夜宴圖 殷商王.后 洛神賦

Photos/ Han Tang Yuefu, Sting Chen

Hsiao Ho-wen, who plays King Wu Ding in the lead role in the troupe’s most recent production, says, “Our dance movements are all taken f rom traditional li yuan opera but are adapted to accompany our brand of nanguan music. Whereas li yuan dance forms a part of an opera where the tempo is fairly lively and quick, once adapted to nanguan the entire structure of the dance has to be opened up due to the rhythms of nanguan music, which are much slower.” Hsiao explains that the measured pace of the dances necessitates adding a lot more detail to the performance, as audiences have much more time to appreciate the subtlety and signif icance of the movements.

BEAUTY Get Your Hair Washed in Style: Ansleep Starting off as a hair-salon operation in Japan, Ansleep has been providing firstrate service in Taiwan since 1997. The salon is a bit off the beaten path, but still reachable without too much difficulty; just take the MRT Luzhou Line to Zhongshan Elementary School Station and walk for 5 minutes. Opening the large wooden door reveals a modern-looking salon room to the right, and the space on the left looks like it was taken straight out of a medieval castle. Gothic décor, organ music, and an old black-and-white movie shown on the stone wall greet guests as they step into the salon and are guided to a small alcove. In this area, filled with soft upholstered furniture, the various services that are provided are explained. The options range from the most expensive (up to NT$15,000), which are special designs like dreads, braids, and perms, to the more inexpensive (ranging from NT$300 to NT1,000), like a basic cut, shampooing, or styling. The most modern cutting and styling techniques out of Japan are used – by owner Mitsunori Saeki himself if you are lucky enough to catch him there.

Finding Beaut y in Taiwa n You Become Pr ettier Going to a beauty salon in Taiwan is an incredibly comfortable and relaxing experience. Even the most basic service – a hair wash – involves a shoulder and head massage that eases away the frustrations of daily life and leaves you feeling beautiful and relaxed. B y Amanda Hsiao

The shampooing done, it was off to a comfortable recliner for the rinse, where a blanket and pillow are provided just in case the massage proves relaxing enough to tempt sleep. Hair conditioned and scalp tingling, I was in seventh heaven as my stylist led me back to my station. The manager then explained to me that at Ansleep customers are encouraged to try different styles. Reflecting the shop’s own character, with its one-of-a-kind décor, the management wants people to leave feeling special and beautiful. Trusting in my stylist’s advice for a fresh new statement, I decided to plunge right in. The end result was a playful hairstyle that put a spring in my step for the rest of the day! Note: Apart f rom Ansleep, many hair salons in Taipei of fer hair wash services, including traditional hair salons and modern chain operations such as Showlin and Mentor.

Ans leep 城街13巷16-3號1) chen g St., Taipei City (台北市雙 Add: 1F, 16-3, Lane 13, Shu ang 10am ~ 8pm Sun. to . Mon rs: Hou . d) recommende Tel: (02) 2592-5567 (reservation Website: ww slee Men torh air (曼都髮型設計) ei City 4, Xin yi Rd., Xin yi Dist., Taip Add: Mai n Stor e/ No.56, Sec. (總店/台北市信義路四段56號) : ww w.mentor-ha Tel: (02) 2707-104 0. Website Showli n Sa lon (小林髮廊) Rd., Xin yi Dist., Taipei Ln. 216, Sec. 4, Zhongx iao E. Add: Mai n Stor e /2F., No.36-1, 6巷36-1號 2樓) City (總店/台北市忠孝東路四段21 w.showl ww : site Web . 8 Tel: (02) 2752 -686


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Photos/ Maggie Song

Be a u t y S a l ons t h a t Hel p

After deciding to give the shampooing a try, I was led to one of the stations, which sported a beautiful chandelier overhead. A quick hair diagnosis is conducted first, to determine if specific products can be recommended for hair in need of some extra tender loving care. Then came my favorite part – the massage. Enjoying the soothing music, the low lighting, and the massage of shoulders and scalp, I began to understand the logic behind the name “Ansleep.” Even the shampooing is relaxing, with fragrant French and U.S. products used.


Get Your Fingernails Colorful and Shiny: Kari Share Nails No beauty makeover would be complete without beautiful nails. And perhaps Taipei’s best place to have your nails done is in the swank Xinyi District, only a short distance from the famous Taipei 101 skyscraper. After getting off at MRT Taipei City Hall Station, also on the Bannan Line, it’s a short walk or bus ride. Located in the same building as the VieShow Cinemas complex, Kari Share is a small, unassuming shop that has just the right products to make your nails look great and to make that great look last.

primer and the top and base coats, are from a U.S. company, Orly. The polish lasts up to two months without chipping. Even better, the shop has a nail dryer, produced by the same company, that dries nails within 30 seconds, providing relief for anyone who’s afraid of smudging an expensive manicure within minutes of leaving the shop. After a quick final drying of each hand’s nails, I was ready to head out and have fun with my beautifully styled nails. Note: Apart f rom Kare Share Nails, there are many other small nail care outlets in Taipei's Xinyi District and in the commercial area close to the intersection of Zhongxiao E. and Fuxing roads, including Nails Unique and Nail Atelier Siona.

Reservations are highly recommended, as your manicurist will take time to discuss and make preparations for the look that you desire, and the number of customers that can be taken is thus limited. Basic services start around NT$1,000 and, of course, the more complicated the look the higher the price. However, customers are also welcome to pop in for a free counseling session and see what options are available. Inside the small, clean shop there is an area for those who only want manicures, and one with comf y chairs to relax in if you are looking for a pedicure. From the three options for a manicure – nail care, a traditional manicure including nail polish, and acrylics – I opted for the traditional manicure. My manicurist had 16 years of experience, starting in the nail industry when it first became fashionable in Taiwan to have nails done professionally. I left myself in her capable hands, open to whatever style she felt would look best on me. While she worked on cleaning, filing, and shaping my nails, she informed me that the secret to Kari Share’s success in Taiwan is in the special products they use. The nail polishes, as well as the


Travel in Taiwan

Ka ri Sh are Na ils (凱 瑞莎兒) Ad d: 1F, 20, Song sho u Rd., Ta ipe i Cit y(臺 北市松壽路20號1樓) Te l: (02) 8780-7053 (re ser vat ion recom me nd ed) We bsi te: ww w.k ari sha Na ils Un iq ue Ad d:Taipei Ha nk yu Bra nch/ 3F., No.8, Sec . 5, Zhon gx iao E. Rd Ta ipe i Cit y(台北阪急店 ., Xi ny i Di st., /台北市信義區忠孝東 路五段8號3F) Te l: (02)2722- 0634 Na il At elier Sio na (希 恩娜藝術美甲工坊) Ad d: 5F.-1, No.319, Sec . 4, Zhon gx iao E. Rd ., Da’an Di st., Ta ipe (台北市大安區忠孝東 i Cit y 路四段319號5F之1) Te l: (02)8772-9832. We bsi te: ww w.n ail -at

BEAUTY Get Ready for Tonight’s Party: Merry Spa Hair and Beauty The next salon I visited, a few days later, has been beautif ying customers for 32 years. Originally started to assist brides in getting ready for their big day (sometimes handling 200 brides in one day!), the operation has expanded into a salon and spa, offering services in hair care, massage, and a very special service that I got to try, the Party Style Package. Merry Spa Hair and Beauty, part of the Merry Group, is conveniently located just a two-minute walk from MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua Station on the Bannan Line. Af ter a quick elevator ride to the third f loor you enter a spacious room with wood f looring and large windows, creating an inviting atmosphere that makes you stop and take a breath. If you plan to go to a formal party or spend the night clubbing in Taipei, the perfect option offered here is the Party Style Package. The only thing you need to bring are the clothes you plan to wear in the evening; the rest is handled by the very capable staff.

Af ter

Before Af ter presenting my party-wear, I was sent off to get my hair washed, which, of course, involved a soothing massage. Once my hair was washed and my makeup removed, the real work began. While my hair was set in curlers, a very talented makeup artist went about picking the cosmetics that would complement my outf it. I was concerned she wouldn’t f ind the right foundation, as I am very fair and have always had trouble f inding the best match for my skin tone. But I needn’t have worried – in no time she had mixed up the perfect color to match my skin, brought out the blue in my eyes with stunning eye-shadow, and helped to turn my look f rom everyday to très chic!

Photos/ Ivy Chen

The f inal touch was my hair. Af ter about twenty minutes the curlers came out and my hairdresser went to work, bringing out glamour I didn’t know I had. I had put myself in her capable hands, open to whatever style moved her, and was very impressed with the results. I had walked into Merry Spa unsure about what to expect, but 髮塑館 ) walked out with conf idence, looking Beau t y (喜悅活 Spa H ai r an d y r er Ta ipei Ci ty M d., R E. ready for a night out on the town! 4, Zhon gx ia o Note: Apart f rom Merr y S pa Hair and Beaut y, there are also a number o f beaut y st yling services in the Ximending district.

c. A dd: 3F, 177, Se 四段177號3樓) 路 東 孝 忠 市 (台北 7 70 6pm Te l: (02) 2771-8 , Su n. 10am ~ t. 10am ~ 8pm Sa ~ . on Hou rs: M .tw mer r ys Websi te: w w w.

At the Tai-Yi Plantlet nurser y in Puli


Travel in Taiwan

Photo/ Bobby Wu



Feasting on


Sampling Innovative Floral Delicacies

Eating f lowers is nothing special…if you are a cow. If you are a human diner, however, it might sound like a rather unusual concept, and you’ll probably raise the question “Is this edible?” when f inding f lowers on your plate. If you need proof that f lowers can play a more important role in cuisine than just being the garnish, a visit to a f lower-cuisine restaurant in central Taiwan’s Puli Township is highly recommended. By Owain Mckimm

Photos/ Maggie Song, Sunny Su


are sold for aesthetic purposes rather than culinary ones. out before us is a ten-course meal. The place to go for a true taste of what f lower cuisine can There’s f ish, shrimp, pork ribs, soup, offer, though, is the Tai-Yi Red Maple Resort, which boasts and plenty of delicious-looking vegetables, all draped with over 13 hectares of gardens, parks, pavilions, and luxury f lowers to give the dishes a garnish of springtime color, a accommodations, and its grandiose South Garden Banquet dash of seasonal f lare – except the f lowers, in this case, Hall. Able to seat up to a thousand people, the restaurant are not simply decorations. They are, very much so, a part offers seasonal menus that take f ull advantage of Puli’s wide of the meal. Puli, in Nantou County, may be famous for its range of local-farm natural ingredients. The summer menu handmade paper and its high-quality Shaohsing wine, not to is focused on f ruits, with passion f ruit, tomato, grape, and mention its passion f ruit, sugarcane, mushrooms, honey, black exotic melon pear contributing heavily to the many courses, tea, and rice vinegar, but it can be said that none of these while the autumn menu features benef its quite as much f rom the area’s lemongrass, lavender, mint, and exceptionally mineral-rich water as “Even if the thought of quaffing other aromatic herbs as its primary its f lowers – quite a few species of vinegar makes you pull a funny face, ingredients. Puli’s f lowers play a which are edible. this drink combines the kick of a supporting role in these menus, but mild vinegar with the fresh scent of it’s during spring that the local Puli takes pride of place as the osmanthus” blossoms take center stage at the slap-bang geographical center of the restaurant. island. It sits in a star-shaped f lat basin f ramed by mountains, the highest of which reaches nearly 2,000 meters. Entering the Puli basin feels like entering an ecological compound, quiet and temperate, with a host of culinary surprises. Because of its location and terrain, Puli’s average yearly temperature is a pleasant 20 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is moderate, and the area’s water is of such high quality that it gets bottled and sold as mineral water. Dragon wing b egonia The typhoons that occasionally ravage the island’s crops between April and October are seldom a problem for Puli, its protective parapet of high mountains keeping the harsher winds at bay. As such, it is the ideal place for farmers to grow their crops, and is sometimes locally called the “LOHAS Basin” in recognition of its topographical good fortune. The term is also a reference to its four exemplary “Ws,” its famously attractive Water, Weather, Wine, and Women! Flowers f rom Puli are exported all over Asia, and while f lower cuisine is popular locally, most of these f lowers

Edible rose


Travel in Taiwan

FOOD JOURNEY “This kind of osmanthus f lowers once every three months,” says Zhan. “Before it’s been ref ined the f lavor is quite astringent and bitter, but af ter it’s been washed and treated it can be made into vinegar, or dried and made into tea. It can even be used as a natural shampoo.” One of the menu’s highlights is the steamed St. Peter’s f ish (tilapia) in f lower sauce. The sauce is made with rose, begonia, red curry, and cream, and is spicy, with a complex dynamic occurring between the gentle sweetness of the rose and the sharp pinch of the begonia. Begonia also adorn many of the other dishes, but in this restaurant it f unctions as the star of a side salad, appearing in complete form rather than as decoration. “This larger type of begonia is called the dragon wing begonia,” Zhan explains. “We use this kind in our dishes because it’s bigger and more attractive than other varieties.” The nearby TaiYi Plantlet nursery cultivates a smaller variety of this f lower called the wax begonia, though this variety is considered too small to give customers. “We cultivate our dragon wing begonias on the mountains in Qing jing, rather than down here in Puli,” says Zhan. “The dragon wing prefers temperatures between 15 and 28 degrees, and so the mountainous environment is more suitable for cultivating it during the summer.” During winter, however, the dragon wing begonias are brought down f rom the mountains and transferred to the Flower vinegar, salad with sweet osmanthus dressing, and p ork chop with rose and dragon wing b egonia resort. The begonias decorating the plates are a bright scarlet, with two rounded petals covering a yellow center like a gold coin hidden in a red lady’s f irst thing we try in the ten-course set menu purse. Popping one in your mouth and crunching the petals (available for lunch and dinner) is a glass of is like biting into a very sour sweet. It’s diff icult to stop f lower vinegar made with sweet osmanthus. Served in a grabbing them off the plate. “The red variety has a very high wine glass, it isn’t unlike a glass of mild, though sour, white vitamin C content,” Zhan says. “The white and pink varieties wine. A hint of the blossom permeates each sip, and it is a don’t have as much vitamin C, and this actually causes a marvelous palate cleanser. Even if the thought of quaff ing noticeable difference in their f lavors.” vinegar makes you pull a f unny face, this drink combines


Zhan Yong-ji, who works as a tour guide at the resort, explains that the f lowers used in the restaurant are mostly grown on site in the resort’s Ecological Leisure Farm. The Tai-Yi company has a total of seven plant nurseries (including the resort’s leisure farm) for growing and cultivating vegetables, herbs, f lowers, and f ruits for sale in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and China. The biggest of these nurseries, a 20-hectare plantation nearby, grows over a thousand different kinds of plant.


Travel in Taiwan

“Popping one in your mouth and crunching the petals is like biting into a very sour sweet. It’s difficult to stop grabbing them off the plate” Another of the menu’s distinctive dishes is the roselle with bamboo shoots. Not much to look at, the glossy tanpink roselles (a member of the hibiscus family) are easily mistaken for rashers of bacon. But, f ried with asparagus and bamboo shoots, they are sweet, juicy, and a textural miracle. If meat were a f lower, it would be a roselle.

Photos/ Maggie Song

the kick of a mild vinegar with the fresh scent of osmanthus, and is uniquely ref reshing.


Rose -f lavored candy

Feasting on f lowers


in the resort’s garden, Zhan shows us another popular edible plant, Indian cress, known in Chinese as the dry golden lotus. This bright orange f lower with large circular leaves is not on the spring set menu, but makes an appearance on the summer menu. In fact, it is not the f lower that’s used, but the leaves. “In summer the f lavor of the leaves becomes much stronger,” Zhan explains. “We take a Taiwanese thousand-year egg, cut it in half, place it on one of these large leaves, and eat them together.” He breaks off a leaf for us to taste. It has a strong f lavor of mustard and already packs a punch despite not quite being in season. According to Zhan, it can also be ground into a paste and used as a kind of wasabi. Our f ull set of ten lunchtime dishes costs a mere NT$480, and is more than enough for two people. Booking in advance is required. For those who just want to visit the resort, however, without eating in the restaurant or staying in one of the resort’s luxury cabins, suites, bungalows, or lodges, site entry is just NT$150 for adults.

For those wanting a purely liquid lunch with a f loral theme, the Puli Distillery produces award-winning rose liqueurs, as well as rose vinegar, jam, and tea. Not to be conf used with the Puli Wine Factory, which produces the area’s famous Shaohsing wine, the distillery was opened in 2000 by the local farmers’ association to promote the produce of local f lower farmers. The distillery itself has a large rose plantation onsite, and holds DIY sessions showing how to make aromatic rose jam for groups of 20 or more. The liqueurs, which come in two strengths, 7% and 16%, are made by f irst fermenting sugarcane and then distilling the alcohol into liquor. Rose petals are then soaked in the liquor for 6 months to inf use f lavor. The liqueurs are good – deserving, even, of the description “ambrosial.” With Puli’s reputation for good food, good wine, and good weather, is it any wonder that everything keeps coming up roses?


Add: 176, Sec. 1, Zhongshan Rd., Puli Township, Nantou County (南投縣埔里鎮中山路一段176號) Tel: (049) 299-7848; restaurant reservations (049) 299-6467 Website: TAI-YI PLANTLET (台一種苗 )

Add: 58, Fuxing Rd., Fuxing Borough, Puli Township, Nantou County (南投縣埔里鎮福興里福興路58號) Tel: (049) 293-1360 PULI DISTILLERY ( 埔里鎮 農會農村休閒酒莊 )

Add: 22-3, Liyu Rd., Wugong Borough, Puli Township, Nantou County (南投縣埔里鎮蜈蚣里鯉魚路22-3號) Tel: (049) 242-3828 Website: ENGLISH & CHINESE

dragon wing begonia dry golden lotus Indian cress Kuo-Kuang Bus Co. LOHAS Basin Nantou Bus Co.

飛龍海棠花 旱金蓮 金蓮花 國光客運 樂活盆地 南投客運

Liqueur made with rose p etals

埔里 Puli 清境 Qingjing 洛神花 roselle South Garden Banquet Hall 南芳花園宴會廳 桂花 sweet osmanthus 詹永吉 Zhan Yong-ji


From Taipei West Bus Station, take a Kuo-Kuang Bus Co. bus directly to Puli. Buses leave at frequent intervals between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. The journey takes approximately 4 hours. From either Taichung Railway Station or HSR Taichung Station, take a Nantou Bus Co. bus to Puli. Buses leave at frequent intervals, and the journey takes about 1 hour. For guests staying at the Tai-Yi Red Maple Resort, a free shuttle-bus service is available daily from Puli Bus Station at 9 : 15 a.m., 11 : 15 a.m., and 2 : 15 p.m. If you drive yourself, take National Freeway No. 1 to the Changhua System Interchange, change onto National Freeway No. 3 , continue to the Zhongheng System Interchange, change onto National Freeway No. 6 and drive to the very end of the highway. Then follow Provincial Highway No. 14 into Puli. Getting around Puli is best done by renting your own transportation, or taking a taxi.


Travel in Taiwan


Hotels of Taiwan



Taipei 台 北


Taipei 台 北

isitors to Taiwan have a wide range of choice when it comes to accommodation. From five-star luxur y

hotels that meet the highest international standards, to affordable business hotels, to hot-spring and beach resort hotels, to privately-run homestays located in the countr yside there is a place to stay that satisfies ever y traveler’s needs. What all hotels of Taiwan – small and big, expensive and affordable – have in common is that ser ve and hospitality are always of the highest standards.

No. of Rooms: 226 Room Rates:

Superior Single Room Executive Deluxe Room Superior Twin Room Family Triple Room Deluxe Triple Room Family Quad Room Deluxe Family Room Deluxe Suite Cosmos Suite

No. of Rooms: 88 Room Rates: NT$ 4,000 NT$ 4,500 NT$ 4,500 NT$ 4,800 NT$ 5,000 NT$ 5,500 NT$ 6,000 NT$ 7,600 NT$ 10,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: Chinese, Japanese, English, Cantonese

The room rates in the following list have been checked for each hotel, but are subject to change without notice. Room rates at the hotels apply.

RestauRaNts: Cantonese Dimsum,

Shanghai Cuisine, Buffet Breakfast, Lily Café, Ditrevi Ice Cream Shop, La Fusion Bakery

sPecial featuRes: Conference Room, Banquet Hall, Gift Shop, Barber Shop, Flower Shop, Parking Space, Laundry

Standard Double Room NT$ 6,000 Deluxe Double Room NT$ 6,500~6,700 Superior Twin Room NT$ 6,500~6,700 Deluxe Triple Room NT$ 7,500 Deluxe Family Room NT$ 8,000 Business Suite NT$ 9,000~9,200 Premier Twin Suite NT$ 15,000 ( Prices above including 15% Service Charge )

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

English, Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese

RestauRaNts: Chinese and Western buffet breakfast, Café One

sPecial featuRes: Welcome fruit basket,

newspaper, gym, free parking, free self-help laundry, business center, free cable and wireless Internet access, free pick-up service within city limits

43, Chunghsiao (Zhongxiao) W. Rd., Sec. 1, Taipei City, 100 (MRT Taipei Main Station, Exit 3) 100台北市忠孝西路一段4 3號 (台北捷運總 站3號出口)


Taipei 台北


No. of Rooms: 220

No. of Rooms: 60

Room Rates: Deluxe / Single / Twin & Double NT$ 7,800~8,500 Suite NT$ 9,500~20,000

Room Rates:

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: Chinese, English, Japanese RestauRaNts: La Fontaine (Western), Chiou Hwa (Chinese) sPecial featuRes: Coffee Shop, Fitness Center, Business Center, laundry service, meeting and banquet facilities, non-smoking floor, parking lot, airport transfer service

369 Lin-sen (Linsen) N. Rd., Taipei City, 104 104台北市林森北路3 69號

1, Alley 34, Lane 123, Sec. 6, Minquan E. Rd., Taipei City


No. of Rooms: 288 Room Rates:

(All rates are exclusive of 5% VAT and 10% service charge)

Superior Room Premier Room Deluxe Room Club Deluxe Room Suite Imperial Suite

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

Deluxe Room Grand Deluxe Room Premier Room Premier 9 Éclat Suite


12,000 12,500 13,000 15,000 35,000

English, Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese,

RestauRaNts:Éclat Lounge, George Bar sPecial featuRes: Member of Small Luxury

Taipei 台 北



8,000 8,500 9,000 10,000 13,000 ~16,000 28,000

English, Japanese, Chinese

RestauRaNts:Cantonese, Steakhouse, Bar , 3


T (T Cube)Bar & Restaurant, T (T Square ) 1

Toyko In Dining Bar, T (One )Thai Bistro, 24-

Hotels of the World; strategically located in the most fashionable and prestigious district of Taipei; offers guests great convenience for business and entertainment; Wi-Fi connectivity and in-room business facilities; variety of meeting rooms providing the ideal venue for professional meetings, corporate functions, and social gatherings.

sPecial featuRes: Banquet and Convention Facilities ,Business Center ,Fitness Center, Club Floors, MRT Transfer Service ,Parking Lot

370, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 106

600 Lin Shen North Rd., Taipei City,104

Hour Room Service

台北市民權東路六段123巷3 4 弄1號

Tel: 02.2791.5678 Fa x: 02.2796.2311 E-mail:


No. of Rooms: 203 Room Rates: Deluxe Room Business Room Executive Deluxe Room Boss Suite Premier Suite

Taipei 台 北

NT$ 8,000 NT$ 9,000 NT$ 10,000 NT$ 15,000 NT$ 20,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese RestauRaNts: Rain Forest Café, Garden Terrace, Lounge 81 sPecial featuRes:Business center, Pyramid Club - luxury executive floor, multifunctional room, Internet service, 32-inch LCD TV, garden terrace, bar, fitness club, outdoor pool, sauna, spa, aromatherapy, car park

83 Civic Boulevard, Sec. 3, Taipei City, 104 104台北市市民大道三段8 3號

106 台北市敦化南路一段370號

104台北市林森北路 600號

Fax: 02.2581.5811, 2568-2924

Tel: 02.2784.8888 Fax: 02.2784.7888 Res. Hotline: 02.2784.8118

Tel: 02.2596.5111 Fax: 02.2592.7506 E-mail:

Tel: 02.8772.8800 Fax: 02.8772.1010 E-mail:

Tel: 02.2581.8111


Taipei 台 北

Tel: 02.2361.7856 Fa x: 02.2311.8921 Reser vation Hotline: 02.2311.8901 Reser vation Fa x: 02.2311.8902 E-mail:

Travel in Taiwan



Taipei 台北


No. of Rooms: 95 rooms, 28 offices, 4 meeting rooms Room Rates: Superior Room NT$ 5,000+10% Deluxe Room NT$ 5,600+10% Boutique Room NT$ 6,000+10% Business Room NT$ 6,600+10% Junior Room NT$ 7,800+10% Family Room NT$ 8,800+10% Executive Room NT$ 8,800+10% Pacific Room NT$ 9,800+10% Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: Chinese, English, Japanese RestauRaNt: Ju-Yi Restaurant sPecial featuRes: Free wireless access, Hi-speed ADSL broadband Internet, VIP lounge, Business Center, safety deposit box, private conference rooms, private office rental service, secretarial service, gym, parking lots, launderette, airport pick-up and limousine service


Taipei 台 北


Taipei 台 北


No. of Rooms: 738 Room Rates: Deluxe Room NT$ 7,700

No. of Rooms: 268 Room Rates: Single NT$ Twin NT$ Suite NT$


Premier Room Junior Suite Deluxe Suite Executive Suite

6,000~ 8,800 6,800~ 9,600 8,000~ 36,800

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:


8,200 9,200 11,500 17,500


English, Japanese, Chinese

Deluxe Room Premier Room Deluxe Suite Executive Suite


9,000 9,500 15,000 21,000

English, Japanese, Chinese

sPecial featuRes: 738 large-size guest

sPecial featuRes: Close to Taipei 101 commercial area; 1 minute on foot to MRT Daan Station; free coffee and handmade cookies in lobby; free wireless Internet access; gym; sauna; business center; valet parking; complimentary Chinese/Western buffet breakfast; welcome fruit basket and mineral water.

rooms with high ceilings, incl. 42 suites. Grand lobby entrance with magnificent atrium. Outdoor swimming pool heated during winter. Fully equipped gym, fitness center, sauna, and aerobics room. Fully equipped business center. Hi-speed broadband Internet access. Safety deposit box. Express laundry service. Limousine service, airport pick-up. State-ofthe-art audiovisual equipment.


Tel: 02.2719.7199 Fa x: 02.2545.9288 E-mail:


4,200 4,600 5,000 6,600

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

English, Japanese, Chinese

RestauRaNts: Golden Ear Restaurant

(Western semi buffet); Golden Pot (Chinese Cuisine)

Taipei 台 北


No. of Rooms: 241 Room Rates: NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

Superior Room Premier Room Deluxe Triple Room Deluxe Room Junior Suite Garden Suite

NT$ 8,000 NT$ 9,000 NT$ 9,500 NT$ 10,000 NT$ 12,000 NT$ 20,000

(All rates are subject to 10% service charge)

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

Japanese, English, Chinese

sPecial featuRes: Business Center,

RestauRaNts: La Fusion Restaurant,

meeting rooms, airport transfer service, parking lot, laundry service, free Internet access, LCD TV, DVD player, personal safety box, mini bar, private bathroom with separate shower & bath tub, hair dryer

sPecial featuRes:

186 Songjiang Rd., Taipei City,104 104台北市松江路18 6號 Exit 1 of MRT Xingtian Temple Station on the Luzhou Line.

5,600 6,200 6,600 7,000 7,400 8,400 20,000

Canton Palace


Single Room Deluxe Single Room Deluxe Twin Room Suite Room


RestauRaNts: Le Parc Café, Magnolia Court,

Tel: 02.2772.2121 Fax: 02.2721.0302 E-mail:

Room Rates:

Superior Room Executive Room Deluxe Room Junior Suite Fullerton Room VIP Suite Presidential Suite

Two minutes walk from MRT ZhongXiao Dunhua Station. Business Center, Fitness Center, Conference Room, Banquet Room for 500 people, Free Parking for Room Guests, Free Broadband Internet Access in Guestrooms, In-Room Safe, Express/Dry Cleaning Service, Fine East and West Art Collections on Display

Tel: 02.8780.8000 Fax: 02.8780.5000 E-mail:

No. of Rooms: 160

Room Rates:

sPecial featuRes:

Chinese, Japanese, English

172 ZhongXiao East Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City, 106

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 100

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

1 10 74 台 北 市 信 義 區 光 復 南 路 4 9 5 號 1 1樓

慶 泰大 飯 店

Taipei 台 北

台北馥敦- 復南館

RestauRaNts: French All Day Dining (French), Chao Ping Ji (Cantonese & Dim-Sum), Sumie Nouvelle Japonaise Cuisine (Japanese), Pozzo Bakery, Zorro Bar

11F (Lobby) No. 495, Guangfu S. Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei City 11074



La Fusion Bakery, Hanazono Japanese Restaurant, La Fusion Bar, La Fusion Deli Garden SPA, Sky Garden, Fitness Center, Business Center, Conference & Dining Facilities; (Rooms Facilities) 32” LCD TV/Pay Broadband Internet Access/Multi Channel Satellite TV with Domestic and Foreign Programming/En-suite Shower and Bath/ TOTO Washlet

1, Zhonghua Rd. Sec. 2, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City 10065

100 Dun Hua North Road, Taipei Taiwan R.O.C.


Taipei 台北

No. of Rooms: 487 (Suites: 57) Room Rates: Single/DBL NT$ 5,700 – 11,000 Suite NT$15,000 – 28,000 Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, French, Spanish, and Japanese

(above rates not including 10% service charge; for discount offers, please call hotel or visit our website)

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

41, Sec. 2, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City 106 (near junction with Xinyi Rd.) 1 0 6 台 北 市 復 興 南 路 2 段 4 1 號( 信 義 路 口 )

Tel: 02.2703.1234 Fax: 02.2705.6161 E-mail:


Taipei 台 北


No. of Rooms: 538 Room Rates:

Superior Room Deluxe Room Junior Suite Corner Suite Residence Elite Suite


12,000 13,000 20,500 30,500 17,000 24,500

RestauRaNts: Western, Cantonese, Northern China Style Dumplings, tea house, coffee shop

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

sPecial featuRes: Grand Ballroom, conference rooms for 399 people, 10 breakout rooms, business center, fitness center, sauna, Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, billiards

Szechuan & Cantonese Cuisine, Japanese Cuisine, Steak House & Teppanyaki, Lounge Bar, Buffet, Café

1 Chung shan N. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City, 10461 R.O.C

English, Japanese, Chinese


sPecial featuRes: Executive business center, fitness center, sauna, rooftop swimming pool, SPA, ballroom and convention facilities, parking, laundry service, 24-hour room service, wireless Internet, airport transportation service

41 Chung Shan (Zhongshan) N. Rd., Sec. 2, Taipei City, 104

Tel: 02.2541.5511 Fax: 02.2531.3831 Reservation Hotline: 02.2541.6888 E-mail:

10 0 6 5台北市中正 區中 華路二 段 1號

10 4 61台北市中山北 路 四段1號

Tel: 886.2.2314.6611 Fa x: 886.2.2314.5511 E-mail:

Tel: 886.2.2886.8888 Fax: 886.2.2885.2885

Tel: 02.2523.8000 Fax: 02.2523.2828



Travel in Taiwan


Taipei 台 北


Sun Moon Lake 日 月 潭

No. of Rooms: 286 Room Rates:

No. of Rooms: 211 Room Rates:

Superior Room Deluxe Room Family Twin Room Executive Superior Room Executive Deluxe Room Junior Suite Executive Suite La Rose Suite Charles V Suite

Mountain View King Room NT$ 13,000~14,000 Mountain View Two Queen Room NT$ 13,000~14,000 Zen Mountain View Room NT$ 13,000~14,000 Lake View King Room NT$ 15,000~16,000 Lake View Two Queen Room NT$ 15,000~16,000 Washiki Lake View Room NT$ 15,000~16,000 Governor Lake View Suite NT$ 20,000~21,000 Royal Lake View Suite NT$ 25,000 Summit Lake View Suite NT$ 120,000 Penthouse Suite NT$ 150,000 (All rates are subject to 10% service charge)

NT$ 11,000 NT$ 12,500 NT$ 14,500 NT$ 15,000 NT$ 16,500 NT$ 18,000 NT$ 21,000 NT$ 100,000 NT$ 150,000

(All rates are subject to 10% service charge)

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English,Chinese, Japanese RestauRaNts: La Rotisserie, Le Palais, Le Thé, Le Bar sPecial featuRes:Gym, business center, ballroom and function rooms, VIP salon, wireless internet, gift shop, room service, E-butler service, airport transportation service, located in an area of the city with heritage sites and tourist attractions.

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: Chinese, English, Japanese RestauRaNt:Chinese food, buffet, teppanyaki, afternoon tea, lobby lounge, rooftop restaurant

sPecial featuRes:Banquet and conference facil-

ity, VIP lounge, boutique, wireless internet, e-butler, laundry service, room service, parking, SPA, hotspring, play ground, swimming pool, gym, HSR transportation service, out circular concourse, trail hiking, etc.

No.23, Zhongzheng Rd., Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County 55546

10 3 51台北市承德 路 一段 三號

5 5 5 4 6 南 投 縣 魚 池 鄉日月潭中正 路2 3 號

Tel: 02.2181.9999 Fax: 02.2181.9988

Tel: 049.285.6788 Fax: 049.285.6600


Chiayi 嘉 義





Kaohsiung 高雄

Standard Single Room Standard Double Room Standard Triple Room Standard Family Room Standard Suite Executive Single Room Deluxe Single Room Deluxe Double Room Deluxe Family Room Deluxe Suite Chateau de Chine Suite

English, Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese

sPecial featuRes:

RestauRaNts: Western buffet-style, Chinese sPecial featuRes:

Multi-functional meeting room, banquet hall, business center, wedding planning center, gym, free use of wired/wireless Internet, silent refrigerator, electronic safe, personal bathrobe/slippers, free cable TV, free use of laundry room, all-new TV-sets

Multifunctional banquet and meeting facilities, business center, male and female saunas, rental facilities for cars and bicycles, lounge bar, children’s games room, fitness center, chess room, outdoor swimming pool, green eco-pond, free transport to railway station and airport.

43 Daren Rd., Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City

No.2, Yongxing Rd., Hualien City, Hualien County 97060

Dim Sum, Lounge Bar

8 03高雄市鹽埕區大仁路4 3號

Tel: 07.521.7388 Fax: 07.521.7068



No. of Rooms: 153 Room Rates:

(Prices above not including 10% Service Charge)

2,640 3,080 3,080 4,400

( Prices above including 10% Service Charge )

RestauRaNts: Chinese, Café, Courtyard

sPecial featuRes:Business center, nonsmoking floors, wireless Internet access, 32” LCD TVs, newspaper, free parking, tourist map, currency exchange


362 Jiuru (Chiu Ju) 2nd Rd., Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, 80745 (Faces the exit of rear railway station) 8 0 74 5 高 雄 市 三 民 區 九 如 二 路 3 6 2 號 Tel: 07.311.9906 Fax: 07.311.9591 E-mail:

16 Sianglin Village, Alishan Township, Chiayi County, 605 605嘉義縣阿里山鄉香林村16號 ALISHAN Tel: 05.267.9811 Fax: 05.267.9596 TAIPEI Tel: 02.2563.5259 Fax: 02.2536.5563


Travel in Taiwan

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: RestauRaNts:Taiwanese/Hakka cuisine, brunch, Western cuisine

food, delicious buffet, cold dishes, fruit, and salad bar

Broadband Internet access in guestrooms, business center, Souvenir Shop, Gazebo, 1950’s dance hall, foot massage

NT$ 3,800 NT$ 4,600 NT$ 6,800 NT$ 6,800 NT$ 12,000

Chinese, English, Japanese

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

sPecial featuRes:

Superior Room Classic Room Deluxe Room Theme Room Azure Suite


Tel: 03.823.5388 Fax: 03.822.1185


Hualien 花 蓮

No. of Rooms: 79

Chinese, English, Japanese

RestauRaNts:Chinese and Western style

Chinese, English, Japanese

Hualien 花 蓮

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

GeNeRal maNaGeR: Mr. Jen-Shing Chen

(All rates are subject to 10% service charge)

RestauRaNts: Japanese, Chinese, Cantonese

Room Rates:


NT$ 4,800 NT$ 5,800 NT$ 6,000 NT$ 6,800 NT$ 7,600 NT$ 7,600 NT$ 7,000 NT$ 8,600 NT$ 10,800 NT$ 20,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

No. of Rooms: 150 Business Single Room Deluxe Single Room Business Twin Room Family Twin Room

Superior Single Room Superior Twin (1 double bed) Superior Twin (2 single beds) Superior Triple Superior Family (2 double beds) Superior Family (4 single beds) Chateau Deluxe Twin Chateau Deluxe Family Chateau Deluxe Suite Chateau Executive Suite

English, Chinese, Japanese

Room Rates: NT$ 10,000 NT$ 12,000 NT$ 16,000 NT$ 16,000 NT$ 26,000 NT$ 26,000 NT$ 300,000

Hualien 花 蓮

No. of Rooms: 211 Room Rates: NT$ 6,000 NT$ 6,700 NT$ 7,500 NT$ 8,000 NT$ 9,000 NT$ 8,000 NT$ 7,000 NT$ 7,200 NT$ 9,000 NT$ 14,000 NT$ 50,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

No. of Rooms: 146 Scenery Suite Room/Twin Room Fragrant Suite Room/Deluxe Room Superior Suite VIP Suite Executive Suite Handicapped Suite(Free Space Room) President Suite

Kaohsiung 高 雄

No. of Rooms: 152 Room Rates:

No.3, Sec. 1, Chengde Rd., Taipei City 10351


sPecial featuRes:Guestrooms with floor-

to-ceiling windows, views of Pacific Ocean or Central Mountain Range, multifunctional public space, Azure Club, gym, pet hotel, KTV, board game and computer game room, located in Hualien City center, close to snack food and shopping streets

Room Rates: Standard Room Superior Twin Superior Triple Superior Double Twin Superior Suite Classic Suite

NT$ 4,000 NT$ 4,200 NT$ 4,800 NT$ 5,600 NT$ 6,000 NT$ 10,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: Chinese, English, Japanese

RestauRaNts:Chinese, Western, and International cuisine, afternoon tea sPecial featuRes:1/2F public area with unlimited Internet access, broadband Internet access in guestrooms, notebooks available at meeting room, free self-help coffee and tea, free parking, central location (5-min. walk to railway station), pick-up service, projector and screen available at conference room, newspapers and magazines, LCD screen TV-sets

590 Zhongzheng Rd., Hualien City, 970 970 花蓮市中正路590號 Tel: 03.833.6686 Fax: 03.3.832.3569

139 Guolian 5th Rd., Hualien City, 970 970 花蓮市國聯五路139號 Tel: 03.835.9966 Fax: 03.835.9977 Reservation: 03.833.6066 E-mail:

Time to Shop Shoppers love Taiwan. From the designer boutiques of Dunhua to the gadget stores of Computer Lane, the island’s full of great places to indulge your passion. And thanks to our proud tradition of craftsmanship you can also stock up on happy memories of your trip.

Paper lanterns painted by hand. Beautiful woodcarvings. Stunning glass art. There’s even a weekend jade market filled with ornate trinkets made from the mythical green stone. Or visit the charming Maokong Tea Gardens and give friends a taste of Taiwan’s magic.



200 NTD


Yacht marina at Sun Moon; Lake


Chaowu Pier


Bikeway following the banks of Sun Moon Lake

Crossing the “Wedding Photo” Bridge


Xiangshan Visitor Center


Sun Moon Lake Ropeway


Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Formosan Aboriginal Culture VillageVillage



Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Travel in Taiwan (No.51, 2012 5/6)  
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