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Taroko Gorge

Hiking Trails and Indigenous Culture TOP TEN TOURIST TOWNS

Wood-Carving Town Sanyi

BACKPACK BUS TOURS Taitung’s Countryside

FOOD JOURNEY

Sweet Pineapples in Tainan Hualien Hunter School Surfing around Taiwan Climbing Mt. Dabajian Nankang 101


Welcome to Taiwan! Dear Traveler, Summer has arrived, the sun is hanging high in the sky, and Taiwan’s great outdoors is calling. Though you will almost surely make your way through this issue’s pages with a roof over your head, the adventures we are about to take you on will almost all be under the clear blue sky. In our Feature we’ll take you to explore the Taroko Gorge, a natural wonder that is truly wonder-f illed. Most visitors spend their time along the dramatically picturesque highway that snakes along near the bottom of the approximately 19km attraction, but we’ll be spending most of our time on the splendid network of trails that takes you into side gorges and up the main gorge’s walls. In accompanying articles we’ll also introduce f irst-rate places to stay – inside the gorge itself – and give you suggestions on souvenir purchases and where to eat. The gorge area is the traditional homeland of the Truku tribe, so these will have a strong indigenous focus. We head a little f urther south along the tranquil, pristine east coast in our Indigenous Villages f ile, visiting the Cidal Hunter School, based near the city of Hualien, which is run by members of the Atayal tribe. During a crash survival course you’ll even get to go on a nighttime forest tour. Then it’s further south still, and still on the east coast, for our regular Backpack Bus Trip. This time we use the convenient Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service to explore the small, laid-back coastal city of Taitung and the surrounding countryside, home to members of a number of Taiwan tribes. We head right into the water off the Taiwan coast in our Active Fun section, with our writer, an avid expatriate surfer, f illing you in on Taiwan’s best surf ing spots. Elsewhere, we let you know about the upcoming Salt and Sand Sculpture Arts Festival, held in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, conquer spectacular Mt. Dabajian on a three-day hike, visit the Miaoli town of Sanyi, Taiwan’s woodcarving capital, and go pineapple picking in the Tainan City rural district of Guanmiao. As we said, Taiwan’s outdoor attractions are calling, so it’s time now to head out that door – Travel in Taiwan in hand as your guide. Enjoy!

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


CONTENTS May ~ June 2013

12 44

,

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

Wayne Hsi-Lin Liu

TEL: 886-2-2711-5403 Fax: 886-2-2721-2790 E-MAIL: editor@v-media.com.tw 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, Gemma Cheng, Jayne Chang, Catherine Chang, Chloe Chu CONTRIBUTORS Rick Charette, Joe Henley, Owain Mckimm, Stuart Dawson, Rich Matheson, Danny Stracey PHOTOGRAPHERS Jen Guo-Chen, Sunny Su, Maggie Song, Ivy Chen ART DIRECTOR Sting Chen DESIGNERS Ivy Chen, Maggie Song, Eve Chang, Kirk Cheng ui-chun Tsai, Nai-jen Liu, Xiou Mieng Jiang Administrative Dept H

Publishing Organization

Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications CONTACT

International Division, Taiwan Tourism Bureau Add: 9F, 290 Zhongxiao E. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei, 10694, Taiwan Tel: 886-2-2717-3737   Fax: 886-2-2771-7036 E-mail: tbroc@tbroc.gov.tw Website: http://taiwan.net.tw

台 灣 觀 光 雙 月 刊 Travel in Taiwan The Official Bimonthly English Magazine of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Advertisement) May/June, 2013 Tourism Bureau, MOTC First published Jan./Feb., 2004 ISSN: 18177964 GPN: 2009305475 Price: NT$200 www.tit.com.tw/vision/index.htm Copyright @ 2013 Tourism Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written permission is prohibited.

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Hiking Zhuilu Old Trail at Taroko Gorge (photo by Jen Guo-chen)

In Taiwan

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FEATURE 12 Taroko Gorge

— Main Gorge Soaring – The Views of Eagles along Taroko Gorge’s Trails — Stay/Buy/Eat Taroko Gorge and Hualien City – Places to Stay Overnight, to Buy Souvenirs, and to Sample Local Cuisine

1 Publisher’s Note 4 Taiwan Tourism Events 8 News & Events around Taiwan 10 Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings

46

30 Fun with Chinese 44 Daily Life 54 Meeting Tourists

SPLENDID FESTIVALS 26

Getting to Know the Southwest Coast —The Salt and Sand Sculpture Arts Festival

50

TOP TEN TOURIST TOWNS 32

Town of Wood —Visiting Sanyi, the Center of Wood Sculpting in Taiwan

SPECIAL REPORT 36

NK 101 Tea @ Style —Ninety Minutes of Non-Stop Excitement and Fun

38

The Life of Pi —(Mostly) Made in Taiwan

FOOD JOURNEY 40

Good Luck Is Coming! —Pineapple Cultivation in Tainan

INDIGENOUS VILLAGES 46

40

Survival Crash Course — Getting Back to Basics at Cidal Hunter School

BACKPACK BUS TRIP 50

Pristine Pastures in the Valley —Taking the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle through Taitung’s Charming Countryside

ACTIVE FUN 56

Hanging Ten in Taiwan —The Best Spots for Surfing around the Island

HIKING 60

Mt. Dabajian —Hiking to One of the Most Remarkable of Taiwan’s High Mountains

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Travel in Taiwan


TAIWAN TOURISM EVENTS

This

issue of Travel in Taiwan was published on May 5th. On the lunar calendar used in Taiwan, this day is marked with the characters li xia (立夏), meaning “beginning of summer.” Visitors who come to Taiwan in summer will feel its full vibrancy.

Apr.

May

13

During the early summer months a spectacular fireworks show is staged on Taiwan’s outlying Penghu islands, filling the sky with explosions of color, and rare terns and other seabirds soar through the sky over the Matsu islands, just off the coast of mainland China. On Taiwan’s main island, colorful hot-air balloons float gracefully through the azure sky during the Taiwan Balloon Festival; the Yilan International Children's Folklore and Folkgame Festival offers water activities and shows for the whole family; the Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival showcases impressive examples of sand magically transformed into creative works of art; the Pingtung Bluefin Tuna Cultural Festival enables visitors to both enjoy tasty food as well as learn about Taiwan’s fish-auction culture; and the Dragon Boat Festival brings dragon-boat teams together from around Taiwan and abroad to battle for supremacy in an exciting spectacle.

19

2013 Dapeng Bay International Regatta (2013 大鵬灣國際風帆系列活動 ) Location: Sea  between Dapeng Bay and Little Liuqiu, Dapeng Bay Lagoon (大鵬灣及小琉球之間海域、大鵬灣潟湖水域), Pengwan Boulevard Seaside Park, Donggang Township, Pingtung County (屏東縣東港鎮 鵬灣大道濱灣公園) The Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area is a leisure and recreation destination focused on the enjoyment of natural water resources. A wide range of aquatic activities is centered on the largest lagoon along Taiwan’s southwest coast, which is also home to Taiwan’s most southerly mangroves. The international regatta was held here for the first time in 2011, attracting top sailing teams from Taiwan and around the world. This is Taiwan’s largest sailing event, and is a splendid showcase for the lovely Dapeng Bay Ocean-Crossing Bridge, Taiwan’s first bridge designed for the passing of sailboats, as well as for the beauty of the southwest coastline.

Apr.

May

Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival ( 澎湖海上花火節 ) Location: G uanyin Pavilion Recreation Area (觀音亭休閒園區), 7 Jieshou Rd., Magong City, Penghu County (澎湖縣馬公市介壽路7號) Website: tour.penghu.gov.tw The Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival is one of the big annual tourist draws in Penghu County, an attractive collection of tourist-friendly small islands in the Taiwan Strait. The festival is jam-packed with activities, and a variety of tour packages are offered that maximize visitors’ enjoyment of the alluring local natural landscape, culture, and delicious seafood delicacies – with the grand fireworks-fest as the itinerary’s magnum opus. The main fireworksrelease stage is by the artistic steel-arch Xiying Rainbow Bridge near the Guanyin Pavilion, and the reflections of bridge and fireworks on the open ocean water under the night sky creates the most romantic of canvases.

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Travel in Taiwan


MAY~JULY

May

4

June

30

2013 Fulong Sand Sculpture Art Festival (2013 福隆國際沙雕藝術季 ) Location: Fulong Beach, Gongliao District, New Taipei City (新北市貢寮區福隆海水浴場) Tel: (02) 2499-1115 Website: www.necoast-nsa.gov.tw There is a three-kilometer stretch of golden-sand beach between Yanliao and Fulong on the northeast coast. The superior quality of the sand, and the fact that it sticks together, makes it easy to sculpt when wet – leading to its naming as one of the best beaches for sand sculpting in Taiwan by the World Sand Sculpting Association. This popular festival has been held every year in early summer since 2008, attracting top sand artists from around the world.

June

Sep.

Taiwan Fun on the Tropic of Cancer ( 臺灣夏至 235) Locations: Various locations in central-south Taiwan Website: www.taiwan235n.tw For the first time this year, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau will stage the “Taiwan Fun on the Tropic of Cancer.” This festival is focused on the Tropic of Cancer, which runs through the central-south of the country, dividing it into subtropical and tropical zones. The line itself is being made a tourist attraction. It crosses, from East to West, through Hualien County, Chiayi County and City, Yunlin County, and Penghu County, the last a cluster of islands in the Taiwan Strait. Along the way it crosses rugged coast, flatlands, hills, high mountains, a rift valley, and small islands. The festival will showcase the special features and strengths of each locality along the tropic – the unique scenery, foods, handicrafts, products, and leisure/recreation activities – and a series of special “Taiwan summer” theme activities tied in with tourism products will be staged. Many of the local summer-time “Tropic of Cancer” specialty foods being showcased were chosen in an online public vote launched in late April; check out the results, as well as details on the various festival activities planned in the different regions, on the official website.

June

Sep.

Tern-Watching Tour, Matsu ( 生態賞鷗暨海上看馬祖 ) Location: Beigan Island and other Matsu areas (馬祖北竿等地) Tel: (0836) 25630 Website: www.matsu-nsa.gov.tw In 2000, eight Chinese crested terns, a species once thought extinct and now listed as critically endangered, were seen in Matsu, sending a wave of excitement through the ranks of birdwatchers. In the same year, the Matsu Islands Bird Sanctuary was established; seven species of bird that live there, including the Greater Crested Tern and Bridled Tern, are the main species protected. The June-to-August period is the best time to see these birds. Visitors can take a tern-watching boat cruise to get a close-up view of these beautiful and graceful creatures.

Travel in Taiwan

5


TAIWAN TOURISM EVENTS

June

Aug.

11

11

Taiwan Balloon Festival ( 台灣熱氣球嘉年華 ) Location: Luye Plateau, Taitung County (台東鹿野高台) Tel: (089) 357-131 Website: http://balloontaiwan.taitung.gov.tw This festival, one of Taiwan’s most colorful events, is held every year on the Luye Plateau in Taitung County. Weather permitting, exciting balloon flying shows are staged each day during the carnival in the early-morning hours and at dusk. Visitors can, via a hot-air balloon summer camp, hot-air balloon style displays, hot-air balloon taster flights (in a balloon fixed to the ground by rope), light-sculpture concerts, and other interesting activities, feel the thrill of hot-air ballooning and fully appreciate the beauty of eastern Taiwan.

June

8

16

Dragon Boat Festival ( 台灣端午節慶 ) Location: A round Taiwan Tel: (0800) 011-765 Website: http://timefortaiwan.tw/events Held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month every year, this is one of Taiwan’s most important festivals. On the weekends before and after the festival date, exciting dragonboat competitions are held across Taiwan, most notably in Taipei City, New Taipei City, Kaohsiung, and Tainan. A unique traditional ceremony can also be witnessed in the historic town of Lugang, and myriad folk-culture activities complement the dragon-boat competitions.

July

7

Aug.

15

Yilan International Children's Folklore and Folkgame Festival ( 宜蘭國際童玩節 ) Location: D  ongshan Water Park, Yilan County (宜蘭縣冬山河親水公園) Tel: (02) 2499-1115 Website: www.necoast-nsa.gov.tw Held every summer, this festival always attracts families and water-lovers in great number to Dongshan Water Park. The organizers creatively combine the various water-play facilities and music, and there are performances by numerous music and dance groups from around the world, as well as distinctive exhibitions. As the promoters say, it’s hard not to have fun during the Yilan International Children's Folklore and Folkgame Festival.

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Travel in Taiwan


Welcome to your home in Taipei

w w w . park t ai p e i . c o m

新光三越 新光三越

Only 1 minutes to MRT Wenhu Line’s Daan Station Only 6 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: www.parktaipei.com 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 (rsvn@parktaipei.com) or on the hotel’s website (www.parktaipei.com; 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.


WHAT'S UP

News & Events around Taiwan

Tourism

Foreign Visitors’ Favorite Taipei Attractions

Railways

“Catwalk” in Houtong Houtong is a small mining town in New Taipei City’s Ruifang District. The town, easily reached by local train (one stop after Ruifang on the eastern trunk line), is located in the scenic valley of the upper Keelung River. The main attractions are the Houtong Coal-Mine Ecological Park, featuring the remains of a coal-processing plant, and the “Cat Village,” a small part of town where about 80 cats can be seen roaming about. Many visitors get off at Houtong specifically for the cats. In response to the popularity of the town as a cat-lovers’ destination, the footbridge leading from the station’s exit across the tracks to the hillside cat village has recently been beautified and given a distinct “cat-look,” complete with ears at one end and a tail at the other. The bridge now even includes an elevated “catwalk,” allowing the cats to come down from the village and greet visitors who arrive by train.

Hotels

TaiSugar Hotel Opens in Taipei The Taiwan Sugar Corporation (“TaiSugar”), a state-run operation, recently opened a hotel on Taipei’s Zhonghua Rd., close to the popular Ximending entertainment district (MRT Ximen Station). The hotel has 68 rooms, and caters to business and leisure travelers alike. Room rates range from NT$2,700 to $4,000 a night. The corporation plans to further expand its leisure business operations by opening hotels in Taichung and southern Taiwan.

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Travel in Taiwan

In a recent survey conducted by the Taipei City Government, the city’s five most popular attractions among foreign visitors last year were “Night Markets,” “Taipei 101,” the “National Palace Museum,” “Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall,” and “Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.” The total number of foreign visitors in 2012 was a record-breaking 6.41 million, 28% more than the previous year. A closer look at the preferences of foreign visitors according to their place of origin revealed that visitors from mainland China and Japan were especially fond of the National Palace Museum and the CKS Shilin Residence, while visitors from Hong Kong and Macau best liked the Taipei Zoo, Miramar Entertainment Park, and Beitou hot-spring resort district. Visitors from Singapore and Malaysia showed special interest in the Wufenpu Garment Wholesale Area, and those from Europe and America named Taipei 101 and the Maokong tea-growing area most often as favorite destinations.

Tourism

Taipei Pass Issued by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Information and Tourism, the Taipei Pass is a city guidebook packed with coupons. The guidebook is available free of charge upon buying a Taipei Pass metro ticket (1-, 2-, 3-, or 5-day, at NT$180, $310, $440, and $700, respectively), which allows you to use the Taipei Metro system, public buses in Taipei City/New Taipei City, and local trains in the greater Taipei area, among other services. In addition to detailed information on dining and various attractions, the guidebook also offers opportunities to redeem 11 free gifts valued at over NT$1,000 each, and discounts at 80 stores with a combined value exceeding NT$46,000. Visit www.easycard.com .tw for more details on purchasing and using the Taipei Pass tickets.


Farms

Certified Ecological Farm in the Far South Ever Spring Eco-Farm, located near the town of Hengchun in Pingtung County, was recently honored with an excellence award by the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan, in the “First National Environmental Education Quality Awards.” The farm has also received an “Environment Education Facility” certificate, becoming the first farm in Pingtung to qualify for this official recognition. For more than 20 years the 48-hectare farm, Taiwan’s first “eco farm,” has been actively promoting ecoprotection and organic agriculture. For more about the farm, visit www.ecofarm.com.tw (Chinese).

Scenic Areas

New Boat Service on the Southwest Coast

Photo by Southwest Coast National Scenic Area

A new boat service was recently introduced in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, making exploration of the coastal area of southwestern Taiwan more convenient for visitors. The single boat currently in use, named “Yunjianan,” is 16.5 meters long and can carry up to 50 passengers. The boat leaves from the harbors of Dongshi and Budai in Chiayi County and takes visitors to the Haomeiliao Nature Reserve and Aogu Wetlands, among other natural and cultural attractions in the area. For more info about the scenic area and the boat service, visit www.swcoast-nsa.gov.tw.

Museums

Alishan Museum Reopened Located inside the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area, the Alishan Museum was established 24 years ago. Housed in a building constructed of cypress wood, the museum has been renovated and recently reopened. When visiting Alishan, this is a great place to learn more about the history and the natural environment of the area. For more info about Alishan, visit www.ali-nsa.net .

Photo by Chiayi Forest District Office

Travel in Taiwan

E-Magazine App Travel in Taiwan is also available as an e-magazine edition in the Apple Newsstand. iPad users can now enjoy more content, and a convenient interactive reading experience. The e-magazine contains more images than the print version, some of which can be shown in full-screen mode, and also has multimedia content such as audio and video clips. The user-friendly interface allows for convenient navigation through the magazine. Download the magazine free of cost from the app store and read it on you mobile device wherever you go!

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 v-media. com.tw/survey/travelintaiwan.html . 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.

Travel in Taiwan

9


CULTURE SCENE

Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings

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. March 23 ~ October 27 Douglas Lapraik & Co. Building

Tamsui Douglas Lapraik & Co. Exhibition 老洋行•新淡水-得忌利士洋行復舊特展 The port town of Tamsui, to the north of Taipei City, is a popular destination for day-trips from the big city, easily reached by taking the Taipei Metro. The town is a place of historic significance, with a large number of heritage sites, including Fort San Domingo, Mackay Hospital, and Fuyou Temple. With the opening of restored buildings originally used by the Douglas Shipping Co. in the late 19th century, the town now has a new attraction for history buffs. This exhibition provides detailed information about Tamsui’s history and the activities of foreign companies with bases at the port until they were driven out by the Japanese in the early 20th century.

March 29 ~ September 22 National Museum of Natural Science

From Dragon to Beast: Extinction and Radiation 從龍到獸-大滅絕與大演化特展 This exhibition presents 104 precious fossils from Gansu Province in China, displayed together with the museum's collection of more than 140 specimens. If you are interested in dinosaurs and ancient fossils, this is the place to be. The highlight of the exhibition is a giant 30-meter-long skeleton of a Daxiatitan dinosaur, the biggest complete dinosaur skeleton in Asia.

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Travel in Taiwan

April 1 ~ June 25 National Palace Museum

Joy to the People: Wang Zhenpeng's Painting of "Regatta on Dragon Lake" 萬民同樂—元王振鵬龍池競渡圖 The annual Duanwu Festival (Dragon Boat Festival), celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month (June 12 this year), is one of the most important festivals in Taiwan. The festival originated in ancient China, and is best known for the dragon-boat races that take place in numerous locations around Taiwan. A look back in history reveals that a similar dragon-boat regatta was a regular imperial activity during the Northern Song Period (960~1127), staged during the 3rd lunar month. This exhibition shows the handscroll painting Regatta on Dragon Lake by Wang Zhenpeng (f l. ca. 1280~1329), who lived during the Yuan Dynasty (1279~1368). While admiring the painting you can analyze the details of the exceptionally fine rendering and get an idea of the majestic sight of the dragon-boat regattas held long, long ago at the Northern Song capital.

June 7 ~ 9 National Theater

Ultima Vez: What the Body Does Not Remember 比利時終極現代舞團《身體不記得的》 What the Body Does Not Remember was the first production by Belgian choreographer, dancer, film director, and actor Wim Vandekeybus, staged back in 1987 after forming his company, Ultima Vez. It turned out to be a work that changed contemporary dance forever. Brimming with intensity, it deals with attraction and repulsion and features confrontation between the dancers, who go through phases of aggressiveness, fear, and a sense of danger. Twenty-five years after its debut the troupe, now with a new cast, is on a world tour presenting this remarkable modern-dance happening once again.


June 7 ~ 9 TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall

Glay Asia Tour: Justice and Guilty GLAY 亞洲巡迴台北演唱會 Glay has been one of Japan’s most successful pop rock bands over the last two decades. Formed back in 1988 on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, the band released its first single in 1994, and became one of the leading forces behind the J-Rock movement and one of the most famous bands in Japan and across Asia. Since its early days the group has produced a total of 11 albums and countless singles, most well received by fans and critics. After a full schedule of concerts in Japan earlier this year, Glay will now perform in Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, and finally Taipei.

May 24 ~ 26 National Theater (Experimental Theater)

Ju Percussion Group: Mulan 朱宗慶打擊樂團擊樂劇場—木蘭 In 2010, Ju Percussion Group, one of Taiwan’s best-known percussion troupes, teamed up with Guoguang Opera Company to tell the story of Hua Mulan, a legendary figure from ancient China who is said to have disguised herself and took the place of her aging father in the military, becoming a heroine on the battlefields. The production, a spectacular mix of tap dance, Beijing opera, and percussion music on a multi-level theater stage, was a great success when first staged three years ago, and this time around the upgraded production is expected to be an even more spectacular feast for eyes and ears.

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 www.csh.taipei.gov.tw 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 www.ticc.com.tw 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 www.cksmh.gov.tw Nearest MRT Station: CKS Memorial Hall

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 www.ntch.edu.tw 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 )

Tel: (02) 2361-0270 www.nmh.gov.tw Nearest MRT Station: CKS Memorial Hall

National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院)

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

Tel: (02) 2881-2021 www.npm.gov.tw 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 )

Until July 31 Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

The Standing Art: International Sculpture Exhibition 藝術之立:國際雕塑展 Located on a hill overlooking the wide Tamsui River at Guandu, Taipei National University of the Arts is not only a fine university for the study of arts but is also home to a modern art museum, the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, where regular art exhibitions featuring the creations of local and foreign talent are staged. The campus grounds have large grassy areas frequently used to display sculptures and other larger artworks. Until the end of July you can marvel at large sculptures by renowned artists such as Ju Ming and Hung Yi.

Tel: (02) 2382-2566 www.ntm.gov.tw Nearest MRT Station: NTU Hospital

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

Tel: (02) 2722-4302 www.novelhall.org.tw 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 www.yatsen.gov.tw/en 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 www.taipeiarena.com.tw Nearest MRT Station: Nanjing E. Rd.

Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館)

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

Tel: (02) 2595-7656 www.tfam.museum 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 www.mocataipei.org.tw Nearest MRT Station: Zhongshan

TWTC Nangang Exhibiton Hall (台北世貿中心南港展覽館)

Add: 1, Jingmao 2nd Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市經貿二路 1 號 )

Tel: (02) 2725-5200 Nearest MRT Station: Nangang Exhibition Hall

Douglas Lapraik & Co. Building (得忌利士洋行)

Add: 316 Zhongzheng Rd., Tamsui District, New Taipei City ( 新北市淡水區中正路 316 號 ) Tel: (02) 2629-9522 Website: www.tshs.ntpc.gov.tw Nearest MRT Station: Tamsui

Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts (關渡美術館)

Add: 1 Xueyuan Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City ( 台北市北投區學園路 1 號 ) Tel: (02) 2896-1000 Website: www.kdmofa.tnua.edu.tw Nearest MRT Station: Guandu

Taichung National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts(國立台灣美術館) Add: 2 Wuquan W. Rd., Sec. 1, Taichung City ( 台中市五權 西 路 一段 2 號 )

Tel: (04) 2372-3552 www.ntmofa.gov.tw

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 www.tmcc.gov.tw

Kaohsiung 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 www.kmfa.gov.tw 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 http://163.32.121.205/ Nearest KMRT Station: City Council

Travel in Taiwan

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FEATURE

Gorge Soaring

to Hehuanshan

Wenshan Hot Springs

Silks Place Taroko

Tianxiang

Baiyang Trail

Lushui-Heliu Trail Heliu Campground Cimu Bridge Zhuilu Old Trail

Swallows' Grottos

Tunnel of Nine Turns Buluowan Recreation Area

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Travel in Taiwan


TAROKO GORGE

Text: Rick Charette

Photos: Jen Guo-Chen

Taroko Gorge’s wonderful trails give you thrilling all-natural highs – up high on mountainsides and cliffsides, and with soaring spirits just as high.

ng da ka ail a Sh Tr

Eternal Spring Shrine Trail

Taroko National Park Headquarters and Visitor Center Taroko Arch Gate

Gorgeous scener y at Zhuilu Old Trail to Hualien/Yilan

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FEATURE

One of Asia’s and our world’s great natural wonders, Taroko Gorge is one of Taiwan’s top attractions

Massive marble b oulders along Shak adang River

One

trail, the Zhuilu (also spelled Jhuilu) Old Trail, brings you up so high on a sheer cliff face that you must almost look down at your feet to see the gorge-bottom highway. The narrow path between cliff-face and sky leaves you feeling as though you’re soaring like an eagle, peering down far, far below at colorful tour buses and motorcycles that appear far smaller than if you had Hot Wheels cars – just by chance – placed at your feet at the precipice edge. Of course, if not looking for thrills quite so high, the wide selection of Taroko Gorge trails lets you mix to precisely match your desired intensity level. Whichever you choose, thrilling scenery is guaranteed. In this article we take you out on some trail samplers, and introduce the Truku tribe (also called the Taroko), who

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Travel in Taiwan

Day 1

have long called the gorge home. Before hitting the trails, however, let's get a little background. On a fine recent day I headed down the east coast by train from Taipei, accompanied by two good friends. We rented a car right outside Hualien Railway Station, headed north immediately, and within four hours of leaving Taipei were at the Taroko National Park Visitor Center, just inside the park’s east gate, just off the coast.

Mother Nature, the Artist The center offers first-rate exhibit areas and video presentations (in English with a little advance notice). Here’s what

Shak adang Trail

we learned, with knowledge imparted to us on our two-day adventure by our guide, park ranger Lin Mao-yao, added to the mix. What stood out about Maoyao was his deep knowledge, and that after 20 years here his park still obviously fascinates him. The finger-of-God-type road called the Central Cross-Island Highway, etched through pass and along canyon and deep-valley edges, descends through the mighty Taroko Gorge, which abruptly “empties,” along with the Liwu River that has carved it, into the Pacific Ocean. The gorge is 19 kilometers long, with the opposing cliffsides, thick with marble, sometimes just a few dozen meters apart. One of Asia's and our world's great natural wonders, this is one of Taiwan’s top attractions.


TAROKO GORGE The gorge is the hollowed foundation, one might say, around which magnificent Taroko National Park has been constructed. Around the gorge, moving away from the sea, are mountains, then higher mountains, then higher ones still. Tallest is Mt. Nanhu, at 3,742 meters. This means many different eco-environments, from near-sea-level whitewater-river gorge to alpine. There is flora and fauna aplenty: 108 butterfly species, 144 bird (14 Taiwan-specific), 14 amphibian, 25 reptile, 34 mammal. In the quieter areas away from the main gorge-cuts, where fewer human soles tread, watch for Swinhoe’s pheasant, Formosan serow, Sambar deer, wild boar, Formosan macaque, and other treasures. The expansive park surpasses 92,000 hectares. Trail and alpine hiking – no surprise – are key attractions.

Taroko Gorge offers many photo ops

Bridge near Shak adang Trail

At Shakadang you can see some of the park’s most impressive stone folding, which in places looks like giant works of abstract art

Taroko began its emergence on the world stage four million years back, when the Eurasian and Philippine Sea tectonic plates started going at each other, a battle of titans still going on with vigor. Limestone built up layer by layer over many tens of millions of years in the shallow seas of earlier times has been pushed up, the intense heat generated by the plate-crushing melting and molding the limestone into marble. As what was below water continues to be tossed skyward – the turbulent yet patient Liwu River has etched a narrow path through weak spots while watching the cliffs either side soar past ever higher. With the river continually etching while Taiwan’s mountain monarchs continue to grow, the gorge deepens an estimated 5 mm per year.

Shakadang Trail Our first trail adventure was the easy-grade Shakadang Trail, which takes you along the lowest tributary of the Liwu River, the Shakadang River. The gorge that the Shakadang has cut is not so deep or narrow as Taroko Gorge, but is dramatic nonetheless, featuring some of the park’s most impressive stone folding, which in places looks like giant works of abstract art. The riverbed is strewn with massive boulders. The trail takes you to two now abandoned Truku settlements, called 5D Cabin and 3D Cabin, and by a dam and aqueduct built by the Japanese when they controlled Taiwan (1895-1945). At the 5D Cabin site, friendly members of the Truku tribe sell souvenirs at trailside stands. They use the old red-brick police station and two surviving small homes, on a clearing just above at eye level, for storage. Just under the lip you can clearly see the surge lines from the roaring waters racing along the gorge in past typhoons. The stands have native-theme souvenir items. Be sure to buy some of the fresh bananas, cultivated on small plots nearby, and the delicious figs, harvested from Ficus trees, this river’s dominant species. Macaques and colorful birds can oft be seen feeding on the fruit early and late in the day. The dam, and nearby aqueduct, are components of an impressive work of Japanese engineering. The dammed waters are piped right through the mountains to a still-operating Liwu River power plant you’ll see when entering the park.

Valley of Shak adang River

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FEATURE

Lushui-Heliu Trail In the afternoon we tackled the Lushui-Heliu Trail, steeper in sections than the Shakadang Trail but still an easy walk. Starting at the highway, the trail takes you up to about 100 meters above the Liwu River and then brings you back down to the highway. This trail is part of the Old Cross-Hehuan Mountain Road, constructed in 1914-1915 by the Japanese when they sent in military forces to establish control over tribal settlements from Wushe in the central mountains to the Taroko Gorge mouth. The western section has now disappeared, but Taroko Gorge sections survive. The two-meter-wide Lushui-Heliu Trail is maintained almost as it looked during the Japanese period. Highway seen from Lushui-Heliu Trail

Tunnel near Lushui

The section along cliff above the Liwu presents fine views of the river-terrace formations on which old Truku settlements were built. In the old days, before most were moved out by the Japanese, there were over 70 Truku communities in the Taroko area. Other trail highlights include a 1930s monument commemorating four locally stationed Japanese officers who fell off a mountain during the suppression of a major Wushe-area native uprising (their cliff-trail collapsed), old Japanesebuilt stone retaining walls, a Japanese-built tunnel (bring a flashlight), and the rare Taiwan-endemic Taroko oak, with the familiar acorns but with leaves decidedly “unoak-like.” There is an interesting geological exhibition hall beside the Lushui Service Station trailhead, and across the highway is another exhibition hall with photos, maps, and other information on the old mountain road and Lushui area.

Buluowan Recreation Area After our walk we headed to the Buluowan Recreation Area’s Leader Village Taroko, where we were staying the night (more in our accompanying Stay/Buy/Eat article). Manager Joseph Cheng showed us around and gave us detailed background on the Truku. Buluowan is the name of the original Truku settlement here, and most recreation-area staff are Truku (all save Cheng himself at Leader Village). The recreation area is on an upper and lower terrace about 160 meters above the Liwu. The Truku, distinct from but associated with Taiwan’s second-largest tribe, the Atayal, moved into the gorge from the Wushe area a few hundred years back, displacing the Amis, Taiwan’s largest tribe, who inhabit the eastern plains. Indigenous music p er formance It’s believed that strife within the Atayal orbit obliged them to move, and that “Truku” was the name of their original central-mountain settlement/area. They followed old hunting trails to the gorge. “Buluowan” is Truku for “echo.” Guess why. The cliff-surrounded recreation area offers trails, a sophisticated multimedia Truku/Atayal/Amis cultural intro, a circular theater where traditional dances are staged, a museum explicating traditional arts and crafts – with accompanying gift shop – and live arts/crafts demos. We attended the nightly Leader Village song-and-dance performance, which is open to all. Visitors are taught traditional Truku greetings, given a demonstration of the stylized shouting used to communicate between settlements, and entertained with performances featuring traditional Truku musical instruments and the songs and dances of the Truku and other Taiwan tribes. Kids being kids, the performers convinced Mr. Cheng to let them finish with a spirited break-dance routine and the rousing Korean rap monster-hit Gangnam Style.

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Travel in Taiwan


TAROKO GORGE

Hik ing the Lushui- Heliu Trail

Travel in Taiwan

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FEATURE

Day 2 Zhuilu Old Trail This was our two-day high point, in every sense. This is also part of the Old Cross-Hehuan Mountain Trail; you head high uphill from the Liwu, cross Zhuilu Cliff, rest, and come back the same way. The trail in fact continues from the rest stop, coming back down to the river further west/ inland, but this section is closed for the next while. You start by crossing a long suspension bridge over the Liwu at the east mouth of Swallows' Grottos, perhaps the gorge’s single most

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Travel in Taiwan

Look ing down into the gorge is not for those with a fear of heights

You’re about two-thirds of the way up, about 500 meters above the Liwu, and for about 600 meters the path is only about a meter wide popular tourist attraction (more later). Afterward there is a fair bit of steep climbing, mostly up steps, especially in the first 30 minutes. Along the way you pass by a cave used for ammo storage by the Japanese, the ruins of an old Japanese station that had a small police office, inn, and school, and another suspension bridge over a deep ravine. Your final rest stop before returning is a small, covered cliff-edge clearing where another Japanese police station once stood. I could not help but imagine how lonely, isolated, and dangerous these postings were.

The trail highlight, of course, is your traverse across the face of Zhuilu Cliff, a massive face of marble over 1,200 meters wide. You’re about two-thirds of the way up, about 500 meters above the Liwu, and for about 600 meters the path is only about a meter wide. Need I say your excitement level will be very high? If you’ve a desire to soar like an eagle, the Zhuilu Cliff is calling. I just hope that our photos somehow reflect the emotions I felt that day. (Note that a special mountain-access permit is needed for this trail. Details are available on the Taroko National Park website: www.taroko.gov.tw .)


On the way up to Zhuilu Clif f Suspension bridge leading to the trailhead of Zhuilu Old Trail

Getting There, Getting Around On this trip we took the train between Taipei and Hualien, to soak in the wonderful coast and valley scenery between Yilan County and Hualien City. The ride, one-way, is a bit more than two hours with the fastest trains. We then rented a car at one of the many car/motorcycle/scooter rental businesses right outside Hualien Railway Station. Those not interested in self-driving should check out the allin-one tour packages offered by Taiwan tour agencies (see the Tourism Bureau website at www.taiwan.net.tw). You should also check out the hop-on/hop-off Taroko Tourist Shuttle service (www.taiwantrip.com.tw ). Both the Tourism Bureau and Taroko National Park websites also offer a wealth of other practical and general information.

Small tunnel on Zhuilu Old Trail

Swallows’ Grot tos

Swallows' Grottos

Final Recommendations

We finished our trip by walking along magnificent Swallows' Grottos tunnel, its east end right beside the Zhuilu Old Trail trailhead, gawking up at opposing cliffs skyscraping so close and high above the pedestrian-only walkway that direct sunlight reaches the floor only around mid-day, and doesn’t stick around long. The countless cliff-face holes, large and small, were either carved by the Liwu long ago, the drill-stones, which burrowed into the stone, still inside many, or carved out from within – places where underground waters have found mid-air exits. There are indeed swallows here, zipping past while riding the gorge-swooping breezes.

In our two days we could tackle only a few of the trail adventures the park offers. Happily for me, though I have visited numerous times, the three trails introduced here were all new experiences. For your own adventures, I also specially recommend the Baiyang Trail, Wenshan Trail, and Eternal Spring Shrine Trail. English and Chinese Amis tribe 阿美族 Atayal tribe 泰雅族 Baiyang Trail 白楊步道 Buluowan Recreation Area 布洛灣遊憩區 Central Cross-Island Highway 中橫 Eternal Spring Shrine Trail 長春祠步道 Joseph Cheng 鄭明岡 Lin Mao-yao 林茂耀 Liwu River 立霧溪 Lushui-Heliu Trail 綠水合流步道 Lushui Service Station 綠水管理站

Mt. Nanhu 南湖大山 Old Cross-Hehuan Mountain Road 合歡越嶺古道 Shakadang Trail 砂卡噹步道 Swallows Grottos 燕子口 Taroko Gorge 太魯閣峽谷 Truku/Taroko tribe 太魯閣族 Wenshan Trail 文山步道 Wushe 霧社 Zhuilu Cliff 錐麓斷崖 Zhuilu Old Trail 錐麓古道

Travel in Taiwan

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FEATURE

Taroko Gorge and Hualien City Places to Stay Overnight, to Buy Souvenirs, and to Sample Local Cuisine Here are some suggestions on where to sleep, where and what to eat, and both where to buy souvenirs and what you might pick when visiting Hualien and Taroko Gorge. All were vetted during the recent outing you can read about in our main Feature article. Text: Rick Charette

Photos of Truku tribe members with facial tattoos

Stay

If 

you’re overnighting in the Taroko/Hualien area, I strongly recommend a night in the gorge. Surrounded by soaring rock walls, stars and clouds, and – often – big moon zipping by overhead, you feel the “real” world is far, far away – precisely why you’re here. The Leader Village Taroko, on a plateau in the Buluowan Recreation Area, features a large cluster of raised wooden cabins spread out in village style around a grassy square. The wellbuilt, well-maintained cabins have comfy covered porches, and the stylish suitestyle rooms have mattresses on raised platforms in Japanese style, plus wallmount TVs and small yet bright and welldesigned bathrooms with showers.

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Travel in Taiwan

Photos: Jen Guo-Chen

A short, appealing bamboo grove trail, graced by resident macaques, is just behind the wooden huts. The attractive wood-built reception building has bright restaurant and boutique areas (more on these later), and Truku indigenous songand-dance shows are staged nightly. All staff are Truku, and a number have starring roles in the shows. (Rooms start at NT$3,100.)

If 

in the mood to loll in the lap of luxury amidst Taroko’s rustic and pristine surroundings, stay at the large and decidedly upscale Silks Place Taroko in Tianxiang, where dark-stained wood is the dominant theme. It makes little sense here to list the hotel’s amenities; you want it, they have it. It sits right where two rivers meet to form the Liwu River, the riverbed strewn with massive boulders. Two stand-out highlights are the cultural performances by Truku-tribe members in the lovely inner courtyard and the nightly rooftop bonfires on the poolside deck, with drinks served while stars and moon perform their dances high above. (Rooms start at NT$8,000.) Note that there are few other places to stay in the gorge. There are a number of campgrounds, notably one at either end of the Lushui-Heliu Trail featured in our main article.

Buy

The most attractive souvenir items available in Taroko Gorge are created by Truku-tribe members. The most varied display is found at the Leader Village Taroko lobby boutique. The tribe is known for its weaving, and its dynamic traditional colors and patterns are incorporated into such modern offerings as handbags and floppy hats. There are also traditional-style items, notably headbands and vests that are uniquely styled. You’ll see these worn by performers at the village’s cultural performances. You’ll also see a series of strikingly designed leather items featuring tribal visuals that includes money pouches, wallets, pencil cases, and coasters. The Truku are also known for woodcarving (there are artworks all around the village grounds), and among the boutiquedisplayed works I found the running boar most compelling, capturing the spirit of the hunt. Indigenous-theme items are also available at Taroko National Park Visitor Center gift shop, and at tribe-run


FEATURE stands at the Shakadang Trail 5D Cabin site. At the visitor center, among the most striking items are Truku three-cornered fabric hats and, in a more modern vein, key chains, hair bands, hair clips, and other practical items beautified with Truku patterns. Among the nifty nonindigenous-theme merchandise available are rugged canvas headgear in the style worn by the park rangers, with colorful images of the park’s most iconic birds, and safety helmets like those worn by most visitors in the park’s tunnels, with “Taroko National Park” emblazoned on them. At the Shakadang Trail site, the most beautiful items are artwork-like stones, smoothed and highly polished.

In

Hualien City, well worth visiting is A Zhi Bao Shouchuang Guan (“A Zhi Bao Handicrafts”), where the best Taiwan-character craft products from around the country are showcased. Take home a traditional three-sided courtyard residence or a traditional-style stove – in miniature, featuring miniature brick. Take home fragrant, all-natural soaps hand-made with medicinal plants, including cypress, bitter tea, tangerine, and wild mugwort and sage. Take home cute wood Chinese-zodiac animals, parts connected by magnets; the most “Taiwanese” selection is a water buffalo with a shepherd boy riding atop. Its sister shop, A Zhi Bao Feng Chaguan (“A Zhi Bao ‘Crazy Fun’ Teahouse”), opened in February in a heritage building originally home to a customs house, the first two floors are primarily given over to Taiwan

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Travel in Taiwan

Indigenous handicraf ts

antiques and nostalgia items such as old Japanese-produced maps of Taiwan areas, old tin water canisters, antique irons, food-warmer baskets, small jewelry cabinets, and other gems.

Eat If looking for an enjoyable meal, I heartily recommend you head back to two of the spots you’ve already been shopping at. The Leader Village Taroko restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows that lets in all the visual drama of the Taroko cliffand-mountain canvas. The main cultural attraction is the indigenous dishes, especially the bamboo-tube rice, shredded boar skin with garlic, millet wine and, particularly delicious, grilled boar. The A Zhi Bao Crazy Fun Chaguan dining space is on the stylishly designed third floor, adorned with retro furniture and an open middle area looking down into the second floor. Outside, across the way is Hualien’s old railway station. The menu is built on regional specialties such as East Rift Valley tea, Hualien fishingboat sea catch, and Taiwan craft beer. The milk tea is delectably creamy.

Indigenous fare

INFO Leader Village Taroko (布洛灣山月村) Add: 231-1, Fushi Village, Xiulin Township, Hualien County (花蓮縣秀林鄉富世村231-1號) Tel: (03) 861-0111 Website: www.leaderhotel.com/blw/leadervillage Silks Place Taroko (太魯閣晶英酒店) Add: 18, Tianxiang Rd., Xiulin Township, Hualien County (花蓮縣秀林鄉天祥路18號) Tel: (03) 869-1155 Website: www.silksplace-taroko.com.tw A Zhi Bao Crazy Fun Teahouse (阿之寶瘋茶館) Add: 48, Zhongshan Rd., Hualien City (花蓮市中山路48號) Leader V illage Taroko Tel: (03) 831-5189 Website: www.a-zhi-bao.tw


Our mission is to do our best to meet the needs of our guests

With our unique and personalized services, Hotel B Taipei is eager to ensure that all our guests feel comfortable and warm.

As an example, a yoga instructor from Philippines was very pleased by the personalized services Hotel B has provided. Being a vegetarian, she wasn’t able to eat many types of food. After communicating and understanding the types of food the instructor preferred, we were able to provide her with breakfast made up of suitable and delicious cuisines of her preference that not only ensured the overall quality of her stay with us, but also ensure that she was satisfied and worry-free on daily basis. The positive feedback we have received from our guests informed us that they really appreciate the warmth, enthusiasm, and diligent service we provide. Hotel B enjoys a superior location in Taipei and has easy access to convenient transportation networks that’ll suit your need no matter whether you are in Taipei to shop, to eat, to sightsee, or to work. We are located between Taipei Metro’s Zhongxiao-Xinsheng Station and Nanjing East Road Station, making it very easy for our guests to explore throughout Taipei City and the surrounding New Taipei City. There is an international airport bus stop right beside the hotel for direct and easy transportation to and from the airport for our guests from abroad. Within the proximity of the hotel, there is also buses to the famed Jiufen and Jinguashi Mountain nearby, saving our guests both money and effort to visit Jinguashi’s gold mining experience and Jiufen’s tasty taro tapioca dessert. Stay with Hotel B and we guarantee you peace Nanjing E. Rd MRT Station of mind, joyful fun, convenient dining, and unbeatable shopping all within immediate reach.

Civic Blvd. Sec. 3

Zhongxiao E.Rd. Sec. 3 太平洋sogo(復興店)

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

Dunhua N.Rd

臺北小巨蛋 Taipei Arena

Dunhua S.Rd

長榮巴士站 Evergreen Airport Bus

Changan E.Rd. Sec. 2

c. 2 . se Rd De Ba Fu Xing S.Rd

Liaoning St.

The design of our rooms are composed of two contrasting styles: the elegant traditional Baroque and the chic modern minimalist. Within our complete suite of services we offer our guests delicious breakfast cuisine, fitness center, business center, conference room, and laundry facility. Hotel B Taipei sincerely invites you to come and enjoy our hospitality.

Fuxing N.Rd

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遼寧夜市 Liaoning Night Market

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E-mail:taipei.hotelb@gmail.com www.hotelb.com.tw

Zhongxiao Dunhua MRT Station


SPLENDID FESTIVALS

Installation ar t at Qigu Salt Mountains during last year ’s festival

Getting to Know the Southwest Coast

The Salt and Sand Sculpture Arts Festival

Text: Editorial Dept. Photos: Southwest Coast National Scenic Area

The

encouraged locals to cultivate salt pans flat southwest coast area on a massive scale. After its invasion of of Yunnan County, Chiayi China, local industrial-salt production County, and Tainan City, a region of rose to 400,000 tons a year to meet many lagoons and estuary wetlands, was demand. once home to a long stretch of salt fields. During the Ming and Qing dynasties the The focus of development has landscape became an almost unbroken evolved from meeting daily needs to one of saltwater marshes, salt pans, Text andmaterials Photos: Danny Stracey industrial to the tourism/ and the settlements of salt-industry andwith biotechnology. workers. worked its magic on in therecreation I know The of asunbeautiful island Pacificindustry covered Local production is now mechanized. thin layers of sea water brought into the towering verdant mountains. It enjoys warm weather for In recent years, edible salt has been shallow pans, leaving behind precious most of the year, is filled with spectacular scenery, is home introduced into a range of gourmet treats white crystal. During Taiwan’s period to friendly people, and gets good waves all year round. Is it and other local specialty products that of Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945), Hawaii? No! It’s Taiwan! have proven very popular, such as Qigu the Japanese government made Taiwan Salt Mountain salt popsicles, Taiwan the center of its salt production and

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Travel in Taiwan

Salt Museum salt coffee, colorful themed salt shakers, and lucky-bath salts. The salt mountain and museum are two of the key salt industry-related attractions in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, which stretches along the coast through sections of Tainan, Chiayi, and Yunlin. NBA star Jeremy Lin car ved in salt


TAINAN Qigu Salt Mountain and Taiwan Salt Museum are two of the key salt industry-related attractions in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Today’s Mashagou Coastal Recreation Area was well-known as a scenic destination even way back in the old days. This, along with the district’s Jiang jun Harbor and the sweeping expanse of old salt fields, creates a canvas of sweeping beauty. The recreation area is a popular destination to beat the summer heat, with swimming, jet-skiing, and banana boating on offer.

The

Salt and Sand Arts Festival fuses the attractions of the above-described creative products, saltindustry culture, and the joys of the sandy beach. There will be displays of ingenious works of art sculpted from the local salt and sand, sightseeing tours highlighting the best that the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area has to offer,

musical performances, bike and ATV rentals, and much else. The largest work last year, entitled Tainan Legend , was 15 meters wide and seven tall. This is the second year that the festival is being staged, branding May and June as the area’s arts season. It will run from May 12 through June 30, with the official opening staged on Sunday, May 5 at 10am at the Qigu Salt Mountain, which is the main venue for the various salt-sculpture activities, with the Taiwan Salt Museum and Taiwan Salt LOHAS Village serving as secondary sites. For more information about the area visit the website of the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area at www.swcoastnsa.gov.tw.

Sand sculptures

English and Chinese Jiang jun Harbor 將軍海港 Mashagou Coastal Recreation Area 馬沙溝濱海遊憩區 Qigu Salt Mountain 七股鹽山 Tainan Legend 台南傳奇 Taiwan Salt LOHAS Village 台灣鹽樂活村 Taiwan Salt Museum 台灣鹽博物館


FUN WITH CHINESE

tian

yu

li

tian

nan

lei

Illustration: Eve Chang

"Man in the Fields during Rain" When

Westerners start learning Chinese characters, things at first seem overwhelming, and nothing seems to make sense. It’s all so different from the familiar alphabet. Those who don’t give up after facing this initial, seemingly insurmountable “great wall of Chinese characters” realize that in fact things do make sense (at least here and there), and that once you become familiar with the most common elements that make up the various characters, memorizing them isn’t nearly so difficult as initially feared.

Favorite characters with beginners are those that are written with just a few strokes and somewhat resemble the objects they represent. Take 田 (tian ), for example, which shows a paddy field intersected by footpaths. After you have learned that it means “field,” you will remember it easily. The right-side stroke in 力 (li ) looks like a f lexed arm, and fittingly means “strength.” After having learned these types of easy-to-recognize and easy-to-remember characters, you will naturally find it less difficult to learn characters formed by two or more put together. Combine 田 and 力 and you get 男 (nan ), which means “man” (strength in the field = a man). Makes perfect sense, right? Another example is 雨 (yu ), which means “rain” (see the falling raindrops?). Put this character on top of 田 and you get 雷 (lei), meaning “thunder” rather than “rain in the field.” Time to head home, man in the field…

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TOP TEN TOURIST TOWNS

Town OF W Hak k a Tung Blossom Festival decoration

Remains of Longteng Bridge

At Shengxing Station

Wooden owls Sculpture at Sanyi museum

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At Shengxing Station


SANYI

WOOD

Visiting Sanyi, the Center of Wood Sculpting in Taiwan

Known as Taiwan’s “Kingdom of Woodcarving,” Sanyi has an international reputation as one of Asia’s most important woodcarving towns, and wood sculptors from all over the island come here to display and sell their masterpieces in Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Ivy Chen the town’s estimated 300 woodcarving shops.

Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum Wood sculptor Kang Jin-xing

Sculpting a Buddha statue

Wooden duck

Hak k a -st yle noodles

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TOP TEN TOURIST TOWNS

The

main street, Shuimei Old Street, is the first stop for anyone visiting Sanyi in search of a graven image or two. A mere kilometer in length, the street, a stretch of Provincial Highway No. 13, boasts a large number of shops selling woodcarvings in every shape, size, and theme imaginable, though some themes are clearly more dominant. Religious statues are particularly popular. Laughing Buddhas and statues of the God of Wealth are the staples of the trade, as just about every new business in Taiwan will buy one, hoping to inspire divine assistance in weathering the fickle waters of commerce. Another favorite is the red-faced, bushy-bearded general-god Guan Gong, whose effigies range from minutely detailed, table-top-friendly figurines to huge, near-life-size statues intended for display in temples or the houses of the truly pious.

Duck Treasure Box Art Center The facility in which this excellent art center is housed was once home to a traditional woodcarving company producing folk art and religious sculptures. However, in the 1970s, the firm received a large order for wooden duck decoys from the US, and making wooden ducks soon became the company’s specialty – at one point it produced up to 12,000 wooden ducks per week. After duck decoys went out of fashion, the company transformed itself into an art center. Here you can see some of the company’s vibrant wooden ducks, and even participate in some DIY wooden-duck painting. The center has English-speaking guides, and there are plans to establish a carving workshop later this year.

DIY session

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The shops, however, also offer beautifully intricate tableaus of flowers, insects, and birds, quaint animal totems, and rustic pastoral scenes, along with modern abstract creations. Religious statues may be their bread and butter, but Sanyi's sculptors are artists, and follow where their artistic spirits lead. Many are artists of considerable talent, enjoying great fame.

The damp weather of Sanyi allows the fragrant scent of wood shavings, of camphor, sandalwood, yew, and cypress, to permeate the air When we arrive in Sanyi on a wet morning in March, the town is living up to its other nickname, “Foggy Town.” Sanyi is essentially a long, narrow strip of urban development in a long, narrow valley that runs between two mountain ranges. Winds blowing through the valley hit Mt. Huoyan in the southwest, rise, cool, and create a damp fog. Walking along Shuimei Street, however, we soon realize that this would-be undesirable weather allows the fragrant scent of wood shavings, of camphor, sandalwood, yew, and cypress, to permeate the air and linger as it would in a forest after a midafternoon shower.

To

learn about the history of woodcarving in Sanyi and see some award-winning examples of wood sculpture, we head to the Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum. While many of the information boards have no English, there is an English audio guide available. The museum's director, Cai Jin-wang, who acts as our guide, tells us that the hills around Sanyi were once covered in

thousand-year-old camphor trees. During the Japanese occupation era (1895~1945), the Japanese cut down many of these trees and exported the lumber to Japan. “During that time, the Japanese decided to replace the camphor trees they'd cut down with tea gardens. When setting up these gardens, the trunks and roots of the felled camphor trees were dug out of the ground,” says Cai. The roots, which had been gnawed by insects and weathered by the elements, “had the appearance of animals, plants, and people.” After being sanded and polished, these roots were used as decorative ornaments by the residents of Sanyi, and over time the industry became more sophisticated, with locals studying wood craftsmanship in order to produce more sophisticated decorations to be sold locally and in Japan. Cai then takes us to see the museum's collection of eagle and tiger sculptures. They are great, animated creations, with life-like ferocity and movement. “After World War II, Sanyi was often visited by American soldiers stationed in central Taiwan, and they would buy woodcarvings as souvenirs to take home,” he says. “Some of the soldiers had keen eyes for business, and they ordered eagle statues in large numbers to sell back home in the US. At the same time, Japan's economy slowly began to recover after the war, and some Japanese revisited Sanyi, ordering large numbers of tiger statues.” These developments ushered in Sanyi's boom period, and the industry grew ever more sophisticated, even pioneering the use of machines to carve the basic shapes before the sculptors finished them by hand. The rest of the museum is dedicated to more modern creations, especially the winners and runners-up in the annual Sanyi International Woodcarving Art Festival (staged in September). Some of the pieces on display show exquisite skill and inspiration. As in Shuimei Street's stores, they range from the pastoral to the bizarrely abstract.


SANYI

If

you visit Sanyi in spring, the April Snow Trail next to the museum is a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll before lunch. The trail, which leads to the tea plantations on nearby Mt. Ciji, is lined with tung trees, whose white blossoms cover the path in April and early May, and give the trail its rather poetic name. If you wish to stay close to town, however, just down the hill from the museum is Shendiao Village, an artist's village occupied by local and international sculptors-in-residence. Most of these sculptors have their workshops on the ground floor, and a stroll around the village is likely to give you a view of the more avant-garde side of Sanyi's woodcarving scene, as opposed to Shuimei Street's more commercial offerings. After you've exhausted yourself surveying Sanyi's raison d'être, you may want to take a ride out of town to enjoy the countryside and see some of the area's other sights. About a ten-minute motorscooter ride from Sanyi Railway Station is the old Shengxing Railway Station. At one point the highest railway station on Taiwan's west coast rail line, at 402.32 meters above sea level, the station's main draw is that it is made entirely of pine wood, with not a single scrap of concrete or iron, not even a single nail, used in the structure. Or at least that may have been true in the past; the station now has a corrugated iron roof, and a concrete wall braces the structure's western side – an unfortunate practicality necessitated by the odd earthquake. Nonetheless it's an attractive building, built in 1906, with some interesting features for those with an eye for fengshui. The columns supporting the roof are carved to resemble Taoist trigrams, while the eaves have a distinctive saw-tooth overhang – all done with the aim of repulsing evil spirits.

Another

ten-minute ride, along a winding road lined with strawberry fields and the occasional courtyard

house, and you arrive at the Remains of Longteng Bridge. Also completed in 1906, this attractive 200-footlong, red-brick viaduct spanning the Yuteng River was destroyed in 1935 by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake, and further battered by the infamous 921 Earthquake of 1999. That the bridge was unable to stand up to the earthquakes' assaults may come as less of a surprise when you learn that sticky rice was used as mortar and no concrete or reinforcing bars were used in the construction. The concrete and steel Yuteng Bridge nearby, which was built to replace the ruined Longteng Bridge, is by no means as beautiful, but is, at least, still standing. The local area is also home to an interesting legend. When the first settlers arrived they believed that an evil carp spirit from nearby Carp Lake was cursing their settlement. The villagers planted yuteng , a poisonous vine, in the area and renamed the mountain to the east Mt. Guandao (Guan's Sword), after the general-god Guan Gong's Green Dragon Crescent Blade. The idea was that the “blade” would “cut” the vine, releasing the poison and killing the carp spirit. This initiative was purportedly successful; however, seeing as the epicenter of the 1935 earthquake which destroyed Longteng Bridge was by Mt. Guandao, the evil carp spirit may not be as dead as one would like.

INFO Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum (三義木雕博物館) Add: 88, Guansheng Xincheng, Guangsheng Village, Sanyi Township, Miaoli County (苗栗縣三義鄉廣盛村廣聲新城88號) Tel: (037) 876-009 Website: wood.mlc.gov.tw Duck Treasure Box Art Center (三義丫箱寶) Add: 176, Chonghe Road, Sanyi Township, Miaoli County (苗栗縣三義鄉重河路176號) Tel: (037) 872-076 Website: www.dp-duckdiy.com.tw (Chinese only) Getting There and Around By Train: From Taipei, take a train to Zhunan and change there to a local train heading towards Douliu, Kaohsiung, Changhua, or Chiayi. Trains are regular, and the journey shouldn’t take more than two hours. Sanyi itself is best navigated by motorscooter or taxi. The scooter rental shop opposite the train station will rent to foreigners with an international driving license. If you want to take it slower, you can also rent a bicycle. English and Chinese April Snow Trail 四月雪小徑 Cai Jin-wang 蔡錦旺 Carp Lake 鯉魚潭 Kang Jin-xing 康進興 Remains of Longteng Bridge 龍騰斷橋 Mt. Ciji 慈濟山 Mt. Guandao 關刀山 Mt. Huoyan 火炎山 Sanyi 三義 Shendiao Village 神彫村 Shengxing Railway Station 勝興車站 Shuimei Old Street 水美老街 Yuteng Bridge 魚藤橋

An Encounter with a Wood Sculptor While in Sanyi we are lucky enough to be invited to watch one of the town's master sculptors at work. Kang Jin-xing, 63, began his career as a sculptor at the age of just 13. Apprenticed to a master, Kang began by studying basic skills like sanding and fixing imperfections on his master’s statues. At 14 he began studying carving, and how to use the many different blades and tools used in the craft. He describes carving as a form of instinct – being able to judge the exact pressure, position, and direction of the blade – and one that takes years of practice to acquire. Kang is currently working on a medium-sized Laughing Buddha statue for a client. Gouging out the Buddha’s fingers with a V-shaped chisel, his movements are quick and exact, slowly revealing the image that up until then existed only in his mind, like a fog gradually dissipating. Wood sculptor K ang Jin-xing

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SPECIAL REPORT

Par t of the show takes place in the center of the auditorium

Ninety Minutes of Non-Stop Excitement and Fun Text: Kurt Weidner

Photos: NK 101, Twelli

After a day of sightseeing in and around Taipei, you might think that it’s still too early to go back to the hotel. Where to go? A night market? A teahouse? A theater or cinema? How about a venue that presents you with some elements of all of these places? Let’s go to NK 101, for NK 101 Tea @ Style! Indigenous dance

NK

is short for Nankang, a still oft-encountered spelling for eastern Taipei’s Nangang District, where it is located. On a recent Wednesday evening I went to give it a try. NK101 is about 15 minutes by foot from MRT Kunyang Station. The walk gave me time to imagine what I was about to see. I had read online that it was a show with temple-fair performances, night-market fun, and aboriginal song and dance. So I was expecting a somewhat tame show

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aimed at giving tourists a superficial idea of what Taiwanese culture is like. I was wrong. Entering the spacious hall, I was directed to a seat at a table just off the center. All tables seat four, and all visitors are treated to a pot of hot tea and preserved plums, a nice touch, adding to the special intimacy of the NK101 experience. Looking at the huge red stage curtain, I thought that I was about to

see the action from quite some distance. Wrong I was, again. The hall soon filled up with people. Tourists from mainland China, young travelers from Japan, some Westerners as well. Everyone was in a light mood, and some even started to play cards, while chatting and sampling the Taiwanese tea. Then the lights went out and the show, entitled Formosa Fantasy: The Amazing Night of Taiwan , began.


ENTERTAINMENT

Part One

To my surprise, the action began not on stage, but right beside me in the middle of the auditorium, which has a cross-shaped empty area in the middle. A fiercelooking performer launched into a ritual-style dance. In one hand he held dozens of burning joss sticks, filling the hall with smoke. Vino Han, the show’s programming director, later explained to me the concept of his production: “We want to create an atmosphere close to what people experience when visiting a real temple. Having performers dancing in the center of the hall allows all spectators to have a close look at the performance, regardless of where they sit.” Sitting right beside the central corridor, I was in fact so close to the action that I could feel the breeze created by the fast-moving dancer whenever he passed. Soon more dancers appeared, all dressed in spectacular costumes and with painted faces, representing the Eight Generals that traditionally walk at the front of temple-fair processions, their task to rid a town or city district of evil inf luences. The dancing was breathtaking, with stunning acrobatic moves, and even included some street dance-style moves on the ground. These dancers then moved onto the stage and others, suspended from wires, started to f ly about through the air. The 90-minute show is divided into four segments. After this first spectacular part, highlighting traditional templefair performances, a clown came on stage and pumped up the spectators even more by asking everyone to make noise, following his lead. “Interacting with and involving the crowd is an important part of the show,” said Vino Han.

Part Two

On stage came a bunch of performers in colorful attire, setting up what looked like a typical Taiwanese night-market scene. “We

Part Four

want to give the audience an idea of typical daily life in Taiwan, and night markets are an important part of the Taiwan experience,” explained Han. This lighthearted segment of the show was all about fun and joy. A none-too-serious martial-arts demonstration, a glassball act, percussion music performed on a night-market stand, and very eyecatching female dancers dressed as “betel-nut beauties” (the young ladies you see selling betel nut at stands along country roads around Taiwan) made the spectators laugh.

Time seemed to be flying by. The final part of the show started, again right in the middle of the hall. A girl and a boy, both members of one of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes, started a breathtaking acrobatic act, each grasping two long pieces of silk cloth suspended from the high ceiling. Then a large number of dancers appeared on stage, dancing together to the cadence of indigenous tunes. The dancers eventually came down amongst the spectators, and asked a number to join them.

Things then got a little testy. Two groups of night-market vendors started a heated argument. The spirit soon lightened, however, when a funny contest commenced in which the rival groups tried to one-up each other by jumping through increasingly smaller metal rings. This part of the show climaxed with a hot dance by the betelnut beauty performers, who first danced on stage and then came down to move among the spectators. One “lucky” guy was asked to sit on a chair in the center, with the hot dancers moving around him. The girls then took him by the hand and ran to the stage, where the dance continued, the dancers, now with f lashlights in hand, moving to a rhythmic techno beat. The crowd cheered loudly when the “victim” finally shook off his inhibitions and started to dance as energetically as the girls around him.

Everyone had a blast, and there was hardly a moment during the show where the spectators had time to tend to their tea and dried plums. Vino Han and his crew have produced a remarkably professional show that gives visitors a unique take on Taiwan culture. His aim is to show the youthfulness and energy of Taiwan, its rich traditional culture, and the creativeness of his young performers. The best thing about the show was that it just flew by, without a single dull moment, and that there was a great deal of pleasant interaction by the audience. Judging from the faces of the people leaving the hall, everyone had a great evening.

Part Three

Then came Jacko, straight down from heaven. No, not the real Michael Jackson – an impersonator. Lowered from ceiling to stage, he began to dance just like Michael. He was soon joined by other dancers, the lights went out, and a spectacle started the likes of which I had never seen before. With the help of LED lights attached to the clothes of the performers, all kinds of splendid visual effects were achieved. I have found this light and dance show truly unforgettable.

“Michael Jack son” descends from heaven

NK 101 Tea @ Style (南港101文創會館) Add: 72, Chongyang Rd., Nangang District, Taipei City (台北市南港區重陽路72號) Tel: (02) 2788-7070 Website: www.nk101.com Admission: NT$2,000 Times: Mon. ~ Tues. 19:30 ~ 22:00 Getting There: Take the MRT Bannan Line to Kunyang Station. From there, take bus B22 (Blue 22) or 817 to the China Television bus stop. Alternatively, walk east from the station along Sec. 6, Zhongxiao E. Rd., turn left onto Xiangyang Rd., and then right onto Chongyang Rd. NK101 is behind the China Television building.

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SPECIAL REPORT

The

Life of Pi received four Oscars at the most recent Academy Awards, for best director, cinematography, original score, and visual effects. The film’s director, Ang Lee, is one of Taiwan’s most celebrated citizens, a winner of Oscar acclaim on multiple occasions who today enjoys Hollywood cachet powerful enough that he can freely choose which of his dreams he wishes to bring to cinematic life.

(Mostly) Made in Taiwan Text: Rick Charette Photos: Deltamac Taiwan, Vision Int'l

If you have not seen Taiwan director Ang Lee’s most recent Oscar-winning work of cinematic art, you must. If you have not ever seen the beautiful Pacific island of Taiwan, once you’ve watched The Life of Pi, you will have. 38

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This time he chose The Life of , and though now resides in the TextPi and Photos: Dannyhe Stracey United States he chose his native Taiwan to do much of the filming. In his Oscar acceptance speech he stated that he could not possibly have made the film anywhere other than his homeland – “without the help of Taiwan.” The reasons are many, most notably the locations that perfectly

matched this fantastical story, the special film-industry facilities that enabled the making of a film that breaks new ground in special-effects reality and artistic beauty, and last but not least, the special character of the Taiwan people, both professionals and public, who went above and beyond what a director might find anywhere else in helping make his vision reality.

Formosan black b ear


FILM

As Ang Lee has said, this film was in the truest sense a communal effort by the people of Taiwan

lifeboat. These sequences – most notably the powerful storms and the freighter’s sinking – were filmed in the central city of Taichung at decommissioned Shuinan Airport. This is the site of a wavegenerating pool that will be opened to the public as part of a film studio down the road. The pool, equipped with pneumatic wave generators sourced from the USA, is the world’s largest, 75 meters long, 30 wide, and three deep. It is able to create thousands of different wave effects, including waves 12 meters high, using pressure precision-controlled with 12 floodgates. The Taichung city government plans to open a movie park here by 2015, which will feature sound stages, backlots, and an editing complex.

is never mentioned during the movie, but you see it and are “in” it for much of the time. The long opening sequence lovingly details the “Indian” zoo the main character, Pi, grows up in. This is the Taipei Zoo, one of Asia’s largest. Among the many animal stars you’ll see the rare, endemic Formosan black bear rearing up – look for the bright-white “V” across its chest and shoulders – and white-spotted Formosan sika deer hurtling left to right across the screen. The movie is heavily animalcentric, and most of the non-computergenerated stars are from the Taipei Zoo, enticed by food into the desired positions when their bit parts were filmed. The zoo has posted signage for visitors to show where various shots were filmed. Pi spends much of his time out on the ocean, first on a freighter and then on a

When

you finish watching the film, as you watch the credits roll by you’ll see that a great many of the individuals named are from Taiwan, their names transliterated. There are also numerous Taiwan film-industry companies and government organizations named. As Ang Lee has said, this film was in the truest sense a communal effort by the people of Taiwan.

Scene from The Life of Pi

Taiwan

Pi finally drifts ashore on a beautiful deserted white-sand beach in tropical Mexico. You can visit the bay – in Kenting National Park. Baishawan/White Sand Bay, 500 meters long, is on the park’s west side. Framed by coral reef, the sand is made of fine shell fragments. The tranquil bay, comparatively secluded, offers fine swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, and there are water-activity gear-rental outlets nearby. It was declared “Best Kept Secret” in Beach Tomato.com’s 2011 Travel Awards, the editors proclaiming that “this oriental sandy treasure has been kept hushed behind monumental evergreens…. This is a tropical beach paradise...”

Tropical forest at Kenting National Park

Before his rescue, Pi comes across a magical floating island of banyan trees, their exposed roots everywhere. The incredible environment was not computergenerated; it actually exists, though not on a small floating island. The scenes were filmed on Taiwan’s pristine southeast coast, in Pingtung County, in the White Banyan Park. Managed by the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI), the park is currently off-limits to tourists, because the white banyan tree is susceptible to airborne brown root rot, which may be inadvertently introduced should a constant stream of visitors be allowed. Note that there is a collection of the trees nearby at the Hengchun Tropical Botanical Garden in Kenting National Park, on Taiwan’s southern tip. The trees are over a century old; the garden was originally opened in 1906 as a research station by the Japanese, who ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945.

And you won’t be surprised to read that a good number from among the crew of 160 from 24 other countries that Ang brought decided to extend their Taiwan stays after wrapping up filming here, after getting a taste of life in the Kenting National Park area. Baishawan/ White Sand Bay

English and Chinese Baishawan 白砂灣 Hengchun Tropical Botanical Garden 恆春熱帶植物園 Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園 Shuinan Airport 水湳機場 Taipei Zoo 臺北市動物園 White Banyan Park白榕園

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in an

FOOD JOURNEY

Ta n Pin ni eap ple Cultivatio

Text and Photos: Rich Matheson

Milk, Sakyamuni, Apple, Golden, Perfume, Sugarcane, Red‌. Who knew there were so many varieties of pineapple? This writer certainly didn’t. As we wind our way along a sun-drenched, bamboo-lined country road in Guanmiao District, southern Taiwan, we are given a crash course in pineapples by a veteran pineapple farmer.

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Pineapple farmer Lin Qiu-mao


PINEAPPLES

The

pineapple, so named because of its likeness to a pine cone, originated in tropical America. It is technically not a single fruit, but a sorosis – the combination of up to two hundred f leshy f lowers. Many different kinds of pineapple are grown in Taiwan, but only 15 or so are common. Farmer Lin Qiu-mao currently grows about ten different varieties but, ref lecting Taiwan’s pineapple consumption preferences, 80% of his current crop is pineapple type #17. The first pineapples in Taiwan were a variety called kai ying , and in the 1960s and 1970s many varieties were bred on the island. Conveniently numbered, starting with 1, 2, and 3 (kai ying denominations), the most popular pineapples are tainong 4, 6, 11, 13, 16, 17, and 18. The peak pineapple season is March to July, but different varieties have different seasons. Pineapples thrive in Guanmiao because of the tropical monsoon climate and sulfur-rich water and soil, and are famous island-wide.

Guanmiao,

a district in the rural south of Tainan City characterized by bamboo-forested foothills, was once inhabited by the indigenous Siraya tribe. The town was named after the 300-year-old Shanxi Temple’s principal deity, Guangong, reflecting the temple’s importance. The name translates literally as “Guangong temple.” In the 1960s,

80% of Taiwan’s rattan furniture was manufactured here, but as the rattan industry declined, so did Guanmiao’s economy. Agriculture soon overtook manufacturing in economic importance. Nowadays, the area is known for its handmade, sun-dried Guanmiao noodles, bamboo shoots and, the focus of our journey, pineapples. At Farmer Lin’s wholesale warehouse, a truckload of perfectly stacked #17 pineapples is being unloaded and separated into several categories. Ripe pineapples go straight to the market, while the rest are sorted according to size, weight, and quality, a process that, after a lifetime of experience, seems effortless for the 47-year-old farmer. An astute businessman, Mr. Lin has expanded and refined his father’s company, even through poor economic years. The pineapple market is one of the more stable for agricultural crops in Taiwan, and pineapple #17 is a particularly good investment, with 6070% maturing successfully. Managing his crops, with pineapple plots all over the Guanmiao area, is not an easy task, and managing his time is paramount. Ten years ago he harvested too late in the season and lost fruit valued at over NT$800,000 to flooding, an avoidable mistake – and one Mr. Lin is not likely to make again. To hedge his bets and keep on top of the market, he plants new varieties

every year, and currently grows about ten different types.

For

lunch, we visit Longquan Yan Restaurant, where Chef Zhong Yu-yi has prepared a veritable pineapple feast for us. He presents five delectable pineapple dishes: pineapple shrimp balls; a pineapple wood-ear (edible fungus) dish with traditionally prepared cabbage (once a countryside staple because it would keep for long periods without refrigeration); pineapple fried rice; bitter gourd free-range chicken and pineapple soup; and a freshly sliced pineapple. When he opened his restaurant in Guanmiao after apprenticing in Yunlin County and Taipei, he says it was natural that he decided to use local pineapples in his dishes. All dishes are prepared with pineapple #17, because of its natural sweetness, except for the chicken soup, for which pineapple #3’s tanginess is preferred. For dessert we decide to try some pineapple pastry. Mr. Dai Chuan-yuan, proprietor of Doling Fonso, has agreed to show us his award-winning pineapplecake operation. Of Taiwan’s many pineapple products, the pineapple cake, a delicious pastry with a pineapplepaste filling, is the most popular. For a business that conducts the majority of its sales online, it is not surprising that the design of the company’s retail facility is sleek and modern. Taiwanese deitythemed packages line the shop walls.

Interesting Pineapple Facts: .In Taiwan, the pineapple is an auspicious symbol often seen in temples and businesses. In the Taiwanese language, “pineapple” (ông-lâi) sounds similar to “Good luck is coming. .Making “pineapple” cakes with a filling of winter melon instead of pineapple is cheaper, and many consumers can’t tell the difference. Pineapple cakes made with winter melon are much lighter, or yellower, in color, whereas those made with pineapple are browner. .There are many ways of telling if a pineapple is ripe – smelling, tapping, pulling leaves from the top – but farmer Lin says that, "In Taiwan, choose the best pineapples by color, depending on the temperature. If the temperature is below 32 degrees Celsius, go for a pineapple that is yellow. If above 32 degrees, greener is OK; a yellow pineapple will be over-ripe." .Some pineapples, like Red Pineapples, are specially hybridized for decorative aesthetics. .P ineapple leaves are spiny and very sharp. In fact, in the past pineapple plants were sometimes grown around settlements as deterrents against intruders. .Pineapple is a common ingredient in stinky tofu. .On a hot day, mix pineapple, rum, coconut cream, and ice to make a refreshing Piña Colada!

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FOOD JOURNEY Pineapple fields in Tainan

Local f armer

Slicing the fruit

Chef Zhong Yu-yi

Pineapple cake

A ssor ted pineapple dishes

Mr. Dai attributes his success to a life-long love for pineapple cakes, and his use of only the finest ingredients. Describing the time-consuming, laborintensive process of making the filling, he says he uses pineapple #3 for the pleasingly complex sweet and sour taste that is appreciated by his customers. The fruit is simmered over low heat with malt syrup for 4~5 hours, with constant stirring, leaving the golden essence of the pineapple. The cakes’ distinctive rich texture is created by using high-quality New Zealand and Japanese ingredients, and Mr. Dai stresses they don’t add any water

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to the mixture. Organic roses, sunflower seeds, and walnuts give his cakes a unique and nutritious taste.

Energized

by our delicious lunch, we head to another pineapple farm. Following a working holiday in Australia, 27-year-old organic farmer Yang Yu-fan decided to work his grandfather’s farm in Guanmiao, combining his love of nature and freedom. Certainly not a typical farmer (he sleeps late and doesn’t work every day), he is stirring things up in this traditional farming community with his Internet-savvy marketing campaign. Not

content to complacently accept advice from established organic farmers, Yang is experimenting with enzymes for organic liquid fertilizers, and emphasizes the sourcing of local products in his production process to decrease his farm’s carbon footprint. For the final portion of our day, farmer Lin takes us into the pineapple fields and gives us a synopsis of pineapple cultivation in Taiwan. He’s the perfect guide, smart and generous with his knowledge. His great-great grandfather was a farmer, and after a lifetime of pineapples he still finds it interesting. A consummate man of the land, he can


PINEAPPLES smell a ripe pineapple growing in his field and can determine a soil’s iron content from the roadside. He glances at a pineapple field from the truck window, notes the reddish leaves, and judges the pH value to be about 6. “Not so good for pineapples,” he explains. Of his pineapples, he speaks like a doting father speaking of his children: “I don’t have a favorite; each type of pineapple has its own unique qualities and challenges.” Pineapples can be grown by planting a crown cut off the top of a pineapple or a side shoot (sucker) pulled from the stem of an old plant. Fields are planted after autumn, when there is less rain; depending on the type of pineapple, the fruit will be ready to harvest in about one-anda-half years. Pineapples need to be covered with special paper bags or plate-shaped pieces of plastic that fit over the crown, appropriately called "pineapple hats," 50 days prior to harvesting.

Farmer

Lin prefers a clay soil, in which pineapples grow slower but sweeter. He knows what each type of pineapple needs in every climate, and has learned to control soil quality through judicious use of fertilizer and field management. He also relies heavily on the lunar calendar, citing it as more precise and useful for farmers.

INFO Longquan Yan Restaurant (龍泉岩土雞) Add: 55, Zhongzheng Rd., Guanmiao District, Tainan City (台南市關廟區中正路55號) Tel: (06) 595-2315 Doling Fonso (獨領鳳燒) Add: 149, Minsheng St., Guanmiao District, Tainan City (台南市關廟區民生街149號) Tel: (06) 595-3386 Website: www.dolingfonso.tw English and Chinese Dai Chuan-yuan 戴川源 Guanmiao 關廟 Guanmiao noodles 關廟麵 kai ying 開英

Lin Qiu-mao 林秋茂 Shanxi Temple 山西宮 Siraya tribe 西拉雅族 Yang Yu-fan 楊宇帆 Zhong Yu-yi 鐘裕益

After the initial harvest, pineapple plants continue producing fruit, which will be ripe 5-7 months later. However, they are rarely harvested commercially beyond the second batch. Farmer Lin doesn’t harvest the second batch, because the fruit grows higher up on the old stalk, the stalk will fall over if supports are not constructed, less fruit is produced and, most importantly, the fruit produced is of inferior quality. In many cultures, the pineapple symbolizes hospitality and abundance. This is also clearly so in Guanmiao. At 7pm, after a 4am wake-up and a full day of farming and showing us around his fields, the boundlessly energetic farmer Lin is simmering a pot of pineapple tea over a coal fire. It will prove to be a delicious quintessentially Taiwanese concoction.


DAILY LIFE

Taiwan’s City Parks Buzz with Activity in the Morning Hours Photos: Maggie Song

There

is no lack of early risers in Taiwan. Just go to a city park at six in the morning and you will see many of them moving about, jogging, dancing, practicing martial arts, you name it. Tai Chi and yoga devotees are known for showing up especially early, every single day of the year, no matter how hot, cold, or wet it might be (unless there is a major typhoon). This is because it is believed that the qi energy practitioners of these ancient arts cultivate during their routines is strongest at this time. A popular venue for these early-morning exercises is Qingnian (Youth) Park in Taipei’s Wanhua District. This expansive green space has been a part of the local community’s life for many decades, and is home to a large number of big-shouldered old trees that provide welcome shade on hot summer days. The large open areas are ideal for throwing a ball or Frisbee around, or playing with your dog. Among the park’s many facilities are two baseball parks, an open-air swimming pool, a driving range, basketball and tennis courts, and tracks for joggers. People entertain themselves and others singing karaoke under the trees, and there is also a small stage where retired Chinese-opera actors sometimes practice.

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INDIGENOUS VILLAGES

Taiwan

is home to 14 officially recognized indigenous tribes, each with its own unique traditions, beliefs, and customs, six of which have members that call Hualien home. With a quarter of the county's population claiming indigenous heritage, this is perhaps the best place in Taiwan to experience the traditional ways of life of the country’s first peoples. The people who run Cidal Hunter School, the husband and wife team of Valah and Banai, belong to the Amis tribe, which has long inhabited the valley between the Central Mountain Range and the Coastal Mountain Range, called the East Rift Valley, and the strip of land along the east coast.

Getting Back to Basics at

Cidal Hunter School Text: Joe Henley

Photos: Maggie Song

It's easy to visit Taiwan and get caught up in the sights and sounds of major cities such as Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. There are night markets to explore, museums full of history to soak up, and nightlife to sample. But to ignore the rich indigenous culture that exists (predominantly) outside the cities is to miss out on a large part of Taiwan's story. One of the best ways to experience the many facets of island’s indigenous traditions is to head up into the mountains of Hualien County with Cidal Hunter School, a group working to reconnect people from all walks of life with the land that sustains us. 46

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It was Banai who had the idea to start up a school that would keep the old ways of her people alive, and teach people to appreciate nature. Like many young people growing up in small towns and villages, she left for the bright lights of the city (in her case Taipei, when she was 18), and remained there for many years, earning a living doing office work she found repetitive and unrewarding. After a time, something began calling her back to her home, Shuilian Village. She would recall how, when she was a child, she could feel the emotions of nearby Beautiful Lady Mountain, her village’s traditional hunting ground. But after so long living away from the mountain, she found she could no longer commune with Mother Nature, and wanted to get that part of herself back – to reclaim her heritage and help others discover the ability within themselves to speak to the earth. Cidal Hunter School was born.


HUALIEN

Valah

and Banai picked me up at Hualien Railway Station, after a two-hour journey by train from Taipei round the northern end of the island and down the eastern coastline, and we immediately set off for Shuilian Village. After a quick stop at Cidal's simple lodge off the main highway, we made the short drive to a beach that was once the key point of entry to Shuilian, before modern roads were built to connect it with other points. It was at this beach that the local Amis would watch ships or dugout canoes approach, friend and enemy alike, and see flying fish take to the air above the waves each spring.

Crab Trap Small crabs living in the sand are lured into a mesh trap with squid as bait

First, Valah and his team of guides instructed me in the intricacies of Amis net fishing in a tidal lagoon to the rear of the beach. It was then that I learned that two of my other guides were members of the indigenous blues band the Betel Nuts Brothers, who were once nominated for a Golden Melody Award, the Asian equivalent of a Grammy. One showed me how to properly coil the net over my shoulder to avoid twisting it up, so that it would effortlessly unfurl over the water and drop to the bottom in a perfect circle to trap any fish below the surface. He made it look easy, a lifetime of experience guiding his motions, as he took mere seconds to prepare the net and toss it out over the water, an exercise he said he repeated over a hundred times in a typical day's fishing. After a lunch of ali voong voong (rice tamales), it was time to head up into the hills for a crash course in survival skills. Hiking along a mountain path towards the humble bamboo structure that would serve as our sleeping quarters, Valah stopped frequently to impart nuggets of the wisdom that his people have compiled from centuries of living off the land. I was shown how rope could be made from vines, and how large leaves could be transformed into water scoops or vessels for freshly killed meat. Nearly every plant we passed could be put to use as food, hunting tool, or provider of shelter. Food Simple yet delicious leafwrapped rice tamales are taken along by the Amis on hunting expeditions

Fishing At Cidal Hunter School you learn how the Amis go about fishing on Hualien's shores

Nature The Amis can tell you a lot about the abundant plant life found in the woods and how you can make good use of it

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INDIGENOUS VILLAGES Armed with just a large hunting knife sheathed in a traditional wooden casing, the Amis men, it seemed, could survive for a lifetime in the wilderness. I was shown how to build a snare trap for the bamboo partridge we could hear calling out from somewhere amidst the thick vegetation, using nothing more than thinly cut pieces of bamboo and rope made from sliced strips of bark rolled together along one’s thigh until taut and strong. One of the Betel Nuts Brothers then emerged from the forest with a squirrel and a rat hanging limp from his hand. These were to be cooked up for the night's meal – but to cook, we would need fire. Valah cut a dry, round section of hollow bamboo in half, and shaved tiny slivers off one of the halves for kindling. Then, after cutting a small hole in the other half, he placed the kindling above the hole, in the cradle of the half cylinder. He proceeded to rub the round side vigorously against the edges of the other half, and soon the kindling began to smolder. Valah placed the smoking bamboo slivers into his hand, transferred them to a bag fashioned from a large leaf, and swung the leaf in a circular motion. The kindling ignited, and soon we had our fire. It had taken just a few minutes to create our means of boiling water, cooking, and keeping the bugs and snakes away.

As

Fire The Amis hunters show you how to make a fire without matches or lighter

Armed with just a large hunting knife sheathed in a traditional wooden casing, the Amis men, it seemed, could survive for a lifetime in the wilderness

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darkness fell after dinner, my guides decided to take me on a nighttime river trace on Beautiful Lady Mountain. With headlamps secured, we drove to the trailhead, stopping to perform a traditional ceremony announcing our presence to the spirit of the mountain and asking that it safeguard us, and spitting rice wine into the air as an offering. We followed the path of a small stream up the side of the mountain, climbing over rocks, clasping onto trees and vines to pull our way up. Amis men, Valah boasted, could run an 11-second one-hundred-meter dash across a rocky creek expanse when chasing down a wild boar. My guides kept their lamps trained on the trees, looking for the telltale glint of eyes staring back at them. A few flying squirrels looked down from the branches, and could count themselves lucky that the skilled hunters beside me had left their slingshots at home this night. Reaching the top of the mountain, Valah and his men prepared another fire and cooked up a potent soup with a flavor reminiscent of ginger, made from roots, bark, and various other ingredients scavenged from the mountainside. Then, on our way back down, we passed by a small herd of water buffalo, which quickly retreated into the brush as we drew near.


HUALIEN Back at our camp, long after midnight, I was exhausted yet elated by my survival experience. The Betel Nuts Brothers produced an acoustic guitar to play a few songs, and one by one we all fell asleep. My experience had been the beginner's course, one of many offered by Cidal, all the way up to expertsurvivalist level. One day on the mountain, living the Amis way, may not make you an expert in living off the land. You won't be trapping animals, building shelters, or starting fires by yourself after just 24 hours in the forest. But just as Banai intended, it will engender deep admiration for those who are able to survive out there, and do so with respect for nature and reverence for the ways of the distant past. INFO Cidal Hunter School (吉籟獵人學校) Add: 106, Sec. 2, Zhonghua Rd., Ji'an Township, Hualien County (花蓮縣吉安鄉中華路二段106號) Tel: (03) 851-3990 Website: www.cidal.com.tw English and Chinese Beautiful Lady Mountain 美人山 Shuilian Village 水璉部落


BACKPACK BUS TRIP

e n i t s i Pr Pastures e h t in valley Taking the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle through Taitung’s Charming Countryside Text: Joe Henley Photos: Maggie Song

The southeastern portion of Taiwan has some of the most beautiful scenery the country has to offer, with plenty of sun, bucolic mountain splendor, and thriving indigenous culture. A great option for discovering the area is taking the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle’s East Rift Valley Line.

Valley Line Main Bus Station

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Visitor Center

Taitung Hotel for Teachers and Public Workers

Chuanguang Gengsheng

Siwei Chuanguang

Beinan Entrance

Taitung Railway Station

Beinan Cultural Park


TAITUNG

Armed

with a day pack and a ticket for the city of Taitung, I took the train from Taipei down along the eastern coast. The trip to Taitung, which takes 4 hours and 40 minutes with the fastest train, is amazing in itself, with the line south of Hualien running through the long East Rift Valley between the Central Mountain Range and Coastal Mountain Range, passing small towns and towering peaks on both sides. Taitung Railway Station is the sixth stop on the East Rift Valley Line. The tourist shuttle-bus run starts at the visitor center in downtown Taitung and ends in Luye Township. From the railway station I walked to nearby Beinan Cultural Park (one stop from the station, if you take the tourist shuttle bus), to learn about the history and culture of the people who lived in the area in prehistoric times. I first stopped to have a look at a dig site where a portion of an ancient village, dating back about 3,500 years, has been unearthed, getting a glimpse

into the everyday lives and beliefs of the prehistoric people. I learned that all houses in the village, and even their unique slate coffins, faced Mt. Dulan to the north of Taitung City, a sacred site revered as a holy provider. For more comprehensive information on the prehistoric Beinan culture, visit the associated exhibition hall, which is not far away. Visitors can view ancient weaving instruments and stone tools, along with pottery and examples of Beinan architecture. There are also explanations of rites of passage, such as the teeth-extraction ceremony performed on both young men and women to prove, through tolerance of extreme pain, that they had indeed come of age. Most of the signage around the museum is in Mandarin only, but English audio tours are available. Stop One: Visit the Beinan Cultural Park and the exhibtion hall to learn about Taiwan's prehistoric Beinan culture. At the dig site a portion of an ancient village, dating back about 3,500 years, has been unearthed

At the herbal-products gift shop of Yuan Sen Applied Botanical Garden you'll find tea, snacks, beauty products, and medicine

Leaving

Beinan Cultural Park, my next stop was the Yuan Sen Applied Botanical Garden (three stops from the park), a mountainside area where tourists can learn all about the approximately 1,000 herbs that grow in Taitung and all around Taiwan. Over 300 are cultivated at the garden, and tour guides are available to show visitors around (English-speaking guides are available). To avoid information overload, you might want to keep things simple, as I did, and focus on the most important herbs used in Chinese medicine. These include heartleaf, the Chinese name of which translates as “fishy-smell herb.� That should give you a pretty clear indication of the odor of the plant.

Stop Two: Taste a meal made with herbs at Yuan Sen Applied Botanical Garden

Nanwang Village

Mingfeng

Yuan Sen Applied Botanical Garden

The botanical garden also has a large herbal-products gift shop where you can browse through items such as tea, snacks, beauty products, and over-the-counter medicines. A short walk away from the centrally located shop is a huge herbalhotpot restaurant, with many local greens served fresh daily. All the food available in the restaurant has been produced organically, so it's a great place to enjoy a healthy midday meal in the midst of your trip around the Taitung area.

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BACKPACK BUS TRIP

The curious calves caressed my outstretched hand with their rough tongues, their large eyes irresistibly adorable

Next up was Chulu Ranch, the next stop on the tourist shuttle-bus line. The expansive 72-hectare ranch overlooks the botanical garden and the Pacific Ocean, in the distance to the east. The ranch is an active dairy farm, with around 200 head of Holstein cattle, along with horses, goats, ducks, turkeys, and assorted other farm animals. That might seem like a lot of ground to cover, but just recently the ranch rolled out a speedy and highly entertaining way to get around – Segway! A patient staff member showed me how to drive the two-wheeled, eco-friendly transportation tool which, much to my surprise, was quite easy to maneuver.

Stop Three: Get your hands licked by young and curious calves at Chulu Ranch

I drove past the grazing grounds and over to the milking pens. Once there, I was introduced to a few of the ranch's newest inhabitants, some calves born just a few months before, including a rare set of twins. The curious calves caressed my outstretched hand with their rough tongues, their large eyes irresistibly adorable. Here you can see how raw milk is processed, with the opportunity to tour the working factory if you arrive in the morning, and you should also take the time to sample a few of Chulu Ranch's home-produced milk products. You can't go wrong with a tall, cool glass of fresh milk, along with some milk pudding or milk crackers. After seeing where my favorite breakfast cereal accompaniment comes from, I ramped up my Segway to its top cruising speed of 20 kilometers per hour on an open straightaway and was able to catch the shuttle bus to my final destination, the historic village of Longtian.

Sample the farm's range of dairy products and go for a ride on a Segway

Chulu Ranch

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Siwei

Travel in Taiwan

Luminous Hot Spring Resort & Spa

Kunci Temple

Luye Railway Station

Yongchang Village

Yong'an Community

Luye Visitor Center

Luye Gaotai


TAITUNG

Getting

off the shuttle at the Kunci Temple bus stop, I quickly found A-Do's Bicycle Rental Store and Guided Tours. A young guide named Xiao-Min, a proud member of the Bunun Tribe and at times a touring performer in an indigenous song-and-dance troupe, was ready to show me around. We hopped on a pair of rental bikes, the best way to take a relaxing, slow tour of the area, and pedaled off down the road. During Taiwan’s period of Japanese colonial rule (1895~1945), which ended with the close of WW II, Japanese immigrants settled in Longtian and there are still a few preserved historical buildings from that era, including an elementary school that dates back nearly a century. We passed by pineapple and Buddha-head fruit (custard apple) farms, along with a landing area for hang gliders sailing down from the Luye Gaotai (Luye Plateau), that look down over the village. A favorite spot for most tourists is the Longtian Green Tunnel, a road where trees on either side curve up and over the pavement, providing a natural overhang that stretches over a kilometer in length. Motor vehicles are so few and far between that it's actually possible to lay down on the road, look up at the green foliage above, and enjoy a few peaceful and uninterrupted moments of solitude. My visit to Longtian literally ended with a bang, as my last stop was a small gunpowder factory. The owner put a few rocks of the explosive substance inside a bamboo tube and instructed me to hold a flaming torch near a small circular opening at the bottom, explaining that this is how local farmers scare pesky, crop-eating animals away. A sonic boom reverberated throughout the valley, drawing a hearty chuckle from XiaoMin as I jumped back, startled and amused at the same time. With my heart still racing, I jumped on my bike and headed off to get the bus back to Taitung Railway Station, a thoroughly enjoyable day in the city of Taitung and surrounding Taitung County complete.

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Website: www.taiwantrip.com.tw Yuan Sen Applied Botanical Garden (台東原生應用植物園) Add: 8, Shiyanchang, Mingfeng Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County (台東縣卑南鄉明峰村試驗場8號) Tel: 0800-385-858 Website: yuan-sen.com.tw Ticket for adults are NT$250. There is also the option of purchasing entry along with a meal in the restaurant (NT$618 for adults), and discounts for children and groups are available. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Chulu Ranch (初鹿牧場) Add: 1, Muchang, Lin 28, Mingfeng Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County (台東縣卑南鄉明峰村28鄰牧場1號) Tel: 0800-571-002 Website: www.chuluranch.com Ticket for adults are NT$100. A-Do's Bicycle Rental Store and Guided Tours (阿度的店) Add: 232, Guangrong Rd., Longtian Village, Luye Township, Taitung County (台東縣鹿野鄉龍田村光榮路232號) Tel: (089) 550-706 Website: www.facebook.com/AdoBike

English and Chinese Beinan Cultural Park 卑南文化公園 Bunun Tribe 布農族 East Rift Valley 花東縱谷 Longtian 龍田 Longtian Green Tunnel 龍田綠色隧道

Luye Gaotai 鹿野高台 Luye Township 鹿野鄉 Luye Visitor Center 鹿野遊客中心 Mt. Dulan 都蘭山

Bamboo tubes filled with explosives are used by local farmers to scare crop-eating animals away

Stop Four: Go for a bicycle ride on tree-shaded country roads at Luye

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MEETING TOURISTS

Photos: Eve Chang

At the National Palace Museum in Taipei, often listed as one of the world’s greatest museums, Travel in Taiwan asked foreign tourists about their Taiwan travel experience.

Travel in Taiwan: Could you please tell us about your Taiwan trip? Simon: This is our first time in Taiwan. We are on a 4-day/3-night trip and are staying in the Taipei area. Travel in Taiwan: How are you traveling? Simon: We travel on our own. We don’t like tour groups. Our hotel is in the Ximending area close to MRT Ximen Station.

Mark and Jono from Australia

Mark and Jono from Australia

Travel in Taiwan: Which places are on your itinerary? Simon: We just visited the National Palace Museum, and are now heading to Tamsui on the north coast to catch the sunset over the Tamsui River. Tomorrow we are going to Jiufen on the northeast coast, and will probably spend most of the day there. Before we go back home we need to buy souvenirs for the family, maybe pineapple cakes and the starch balls you drink with bubble tea. We love bubble tea! Travel in Taiwan: What have you liked best about Taiwan so far? Simon: The weather. Much better than in Korea at this time of the year. Korea is very cold. And we like the people. They are so kind.

Travel in Taiwan: Could you please tell us about your Taiwan trip? Mark: We are spending two weeks in Taiwan. We have already been to Tainan and Sun Moon Lake, and now we’re staying a few days in Taipei. Travel in Taiwan: Anything extra-special you’ve done so far? Jono: We went to the Pingxi Lantern Festival yesterday, lots of people there. We sent our own lantern into the sky, with our wishes. We’ve just visited the National Palace Museum – a great museum. We also love trying the local snack foods, and the beefnoodle soup we had was great. Travel in Taiwan: What are you planning to do next?

Simon from ea Seoul, Kor

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Mark: We’re going to see Taipei 101, do some shopping, and visit the hot-springs resort area in Beitou.

Thank you very much. Enjoy your time in Taiwan!


Advertisement by Yunlin County Government

The Home of Sugar Cane Warm and Welcoming The Best Place to Get a Taste of How Taiwanese Country Villages Used to Be An Old-fashioned Village in Great Times – The Smallest but Most Distinctive Township in Yunlin Country. Baozhong Township was originally called Pu Jiang Lun Zhuang. In the Qing Dynasty the local people gave assistance to government forces in suppressing bandits and the name Baozhong was given by the Qianlong Emperor in recognition of their deed. The Japanese built Longyan Refinery here during the Japanese Colonial Period and many relics of the factory remain today. After the Nationalist Government retreated from mainland China to Taiwan, in 1950 a man named Deng Shu was stationed at the sugar refinery and rented a house in Baozhong. His daughter, Deng Li-jun (Teresa Teng), who was to become a famous singer named by Time magazine as one of the greatest seven female singers in the world and was called “Asia’s diva” in Japan, was born in a courtyard house in Tianyang Village, Baozhong Township. Baozhong is not just the hometown of Teresa Teng. It is also where the Flower Drum Formation originated and is one of the places consisting of the route of the only still operating miniature sugar cane railway in Taiwan. It also has the Ma Ming Shan Zhen-an Temple, the ancestral temple of the plague gods, which has more than 2,000 affiliated temples and over one million believers in Taiwan. Around the time of the yearly Dragon Boat Festival the Flower Drum Cultural Festival is held, while on the day of the Lantern Festival an event is staged in which 10,000 people eat steamed rice in the fields and a plague god procession is held. Festivals always bring inactive Baozhong to life.

Sugar Cane Fills the Air in Baozhong with Sweet Smell of Sugar – Enjoy Memorable Sugar Cane Dishes! Being the smallest township in Yunlin County, Baozhong today remains old and simple and retains the appearance of a Taiwanese village in times gone by. Visitors can go to the Teresa Teng Memorial Park in memory of the star and soak up the old-time atmosphere of a traditional Taiwanese village in her time. Visit Youcai Community in Bihua Village to taste delicious sugar cane dishes, and then go to Huagu Village at Xincuzai to take part in a Flower Drum performance.Or go to Ma Ming Shan Zhen-an Temple to pray to the plague gods for protection, head to Wunian Qiansui Park to admire the beauty of Taiwan’s religions, and then search for surprise on the village’s old streets. You can also take away brown sugar candy hand-made by local women as well as a host of happy memories. Visit the home of sugar cane to experience the most authentic traditional culture in Taiwan!

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ACTIVE FUN

The Best Spots for Surfing around the Island

Text: Danny Stracey Photos: Yu Chen-Fu

I know of a beautiful island in the Pacific covered with towering verdant mountains. It enjoys warm weather for most of the year, is filled with spectacular scenery, is home to friendly people, and gets good waves all year round. Is it Hawaii? No! It’s Taiwan!

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SURFING

Taiwan is an inspiring place for anyone who possesses a love of nature and the ocean

On

traveling surfers’ itineraries Taiwan is a relatively new spot, but the surfing community is gradually taking notice of this wonderful place. Indeed, the beauty of Taiwan’s coastal regions, coupled with the consistent waves, is one of the reasons that Taiwan is such an inspiring place for anyone who possesses a love of nature and the ocean. The Tropic of Cancer runs across the lower-middle section of Taiwan, and serves as a rough indicator line for two climate zones. There is a tropical monsoon climate in the lower half, and a subtropical one in the upper. Basically, this means that you’ll be surfing in boardshorts for most of the year if you’re used to cool climes! I even have a friend who proudly refuses to ever go surfing in a wetsuit in Taiwan. In the seven years he has been here, he’s managed to keep this record intact. Admittedly, he is a bit of a fair-weather surfer. Taiwan’s waters generally stay relatively warm, so even on the coldest winter days you’re unlikely to need any wetsuit thicker than a 2/3mm spring suit. How’s that for an “endless summer?” Taiwan’s surf potential is great. The east coast receives swell throughout the year, broken up into two distinct seasons. There’s the winter season from October through March, when storms off the coast of Japan send swells to Taiwan, and there’s the summer season, when intense low-pressure systems build around the Philippines, sending swells rolling north to the east coast. Therefore, hardly a day goes by when you can’t find someone riding the waves in Neptune’s local playground. Although surfing in Taiwan has emerged as a popular pastime only in the last decade or so, there is a vibrant surf community, and it is one that is ready to welcome you and share the bounty that this island has to offer. Following is a breakdown of the most popular places to surf.

The

north and northeast coastal areas have some beautiful beaches that are perfect for surfing. On the north coast, traveling east from Tamsui, one of the first beaches you will come to is Baishawan, an exquisite stretch of fine white sand on a picturesque bay surrounded by rolling hills. Baishawan is a great location for beginners, because the gently shoaling shore reduces the intensity of the waves. There are a number of surf shops and cafés off the eastern end of the beach, and the people there will be happy to rent you a board. Most shops have surf instructors who will explain the basics to those just starting to learn. These outlets also offer coffee and refreshments, giving you energy pre- or post-surf. The beach can get crowded midsummer, but that just adds to the fun of life on the beach. Baishawan can be accessed by taking a bus headed for Jinshan or Keelung from the stop next to MRT Tamsui Station. The next stop on our Taiwan “surfari” is Jinshan, also on the north coast. The golden-sand beach here is on a long, sweeping bend of a bay backed by the majestic mountains of Yangmingshan National Park. Surf shops line the road behind the beach, but most do their business on the beach itself. There you will find a number of surf stalls offering a variety of boards for rent. The waves at Jinshan vary greatly with the tides and the size of the swells. On a big swell, the wave breaks just outside of the small harbor’s breakwater and, if you’re lucky, it will peel all the way into the bay. During the summer months you can usually find a small wave breaking inside the bay, about 20 meters from the shore. Jinshan also has a small selection of cafés, which offer grand views from their terrace balconies. There are regular buses from Tamsui and Keelung, as well as from Taipei via Yangmingshan.

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ACTIVE FUN

Taitung County is home to a myriad of terrific waves along its wild and stunning coastline

For

anyone living or staying in Taipei, Fulong Beach on the northeast coast is perhaps the easiest surf spot to access. It’s only a short train ride through Taipei’s suburbs, then exurbs, then lush valleys and coast. The journey from Taipei Railway Station to Fulong takes only a bit more than an hour, but this beachside town seems light years away from the hustle and bustle of Taiwan’s capital. After arriving at the small Fulong station, just head straight down to the beach. Once there, look south and you’ll see the stunning Dongxing Temple, which radiates like a beacon over the bay. At the steps leading up to the car park, you will usually see a whole stack of boards. Just ask one of the friendly local surfers hanging out there about board rental, and they will set you on your way. Chances are high that it will be a guy named Dollar who also runs a nice guesthouse next to the train station. Not only is he a great surfer, but he’s also happy to chat and share his love of the ocean with you. Fulong is an underrated spot for surf ing. There’s a surfable wave most days of the year, and the rightbreaking wave in front of the river

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mouth here offers f un, peeling waves. One place that you have to go when you’ve f inished surf ing is The Fu Bar. It’s run by two friendly and f un South African expatriates, who serve up some of the most delicious barbecue treats you can f ind in Taiwan. Fulong also has some lovely sunsets, so don’t leave too early! The black volcanic sand beach at Wushi Harbor, further down along the northeast coast, is one of the most popular surf spots for beachgoers living in north Taiwan. Backed by a roofless canopy of green mountains, it’s a beautiful place to be when you’re waiting between sets in the warm, azure ocean. Wushi Harbor has a bustling surf and beach scene during the summer months, when it seems that just about everyone in Taipei decamps to be beside the sea. You’ll find a whole street of surf shops and surf inns selling all the latest boards, boardshorts, bikinis, and beach towels. The beach is quite long, so if you require a little less bustle you can head back a bit north, away from the harbor area, to the more tranquil setting of Wai’ao. The beach is open to a wide swell window, so it has waves pretty much year-round.

You can access it by taking a train to Toucheng and then taking a short taxi ride to the beach. Wushi Harbor is a splendid location to view the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean. If you want to do this, book a room at one of the numerous guesthouses found along the length of the beach.

Taitung

County, in southeastern Taiwan, is a magical place. You can feel it in the air, see it in the magnificent mountains, and taste it in the roaring brine of the ocean. It’s home to a myriad of terrific waves along its wild and stunning coastline. There are a number of surf guesthouses around Donghe, the center for Taitung surfing, and the pick of the bunch is the friendly, funky, charming Low Pressure Surf Hostel. Run by Jun and Ibu, this is a place where any surfer could happily spend the rest of his/her days. Unlike the coastal regions of the north, Taitung does not really cater to the beginner surfer, as most of the spots are not easy to access and the waves are pretty challenging. However, if you know what you’re doing, and you’re happy to explore, you’ll find surfing treasures all along the coast here.


SURFING INFO The Fu Bar (福吧) Add: 17-2, Dongxing St., Gongliao District, New Taipei City (新北市貢寮區東興街17號之2) Tel: (02) 2499-1380 Website: www.thefubartw.com

We end our surf trip around Taiwan at the island’s southernmost point. Kenting National Park is home to some of this land’s most beautiful beaches, so naturally there are a number of stunning surf spots. The town of Kending has –the distinctive vibe of a tourist surf town, and its main street (a section of Provincial Highway No. 26) is packed with surf shops. To the west of the town is Nanwan, which has a nice whitesand beach that gets pretty busy on weekends. If you follow Highway 26 east from Kending and then turn north, you’ll soon come to Jialeshui, a more rustic option. Its sandy, pebble-dashed beach receives some great waves, and the water turns a brilliant shade of turquoise on the frequent sunny days of the tropical south.

Taiwan’s

surf spots do not suffer from the overdevelopment that casts a shadow over some of the surf regions elsewhere around the world. As a resident surfer in Taiwan, I hope this situation doesn’t change. There are waves for everyone on this paradise isle, so if you come to enjoy them please remember to smile, share, and salute the bounty that falls at your twinkling wet toes as you hang ten. Shaka!

Low Pressure Surf Hostel (熱帶低氣壓民宿) Add: 99, Nan Donghe., Donghe Township, Taitung County (台東縣東河鄉南東河99號) Tel: (089) 896-738 Website: www.easttaiwan-surf.com English and Chinese Baishawan 白沙灣 Donghe 東河 Dongxing Temple 東興寺 Fulong Beach 福隆海水浴場 Jialeshui 佳樂水 Jinshan 金山 Keelung 基隆 Kending 墾丁 Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園 Nanwan 南灣 Tamsui 淡水 Wai'ao 外澳 Wushi Harbor 烏石港 Yangmingshan National Park 陽明山國家公園


HIKING

Hiking to One of the Most Remarkable of Taiwan's High Mountains

Mt. Dabajian (3,492 m) is one of Taiwan’s most distinctive peaks. It is a huge barrel-shaped rock that protrudes from a ridgeline, and provides great 3-day hikes. Text & Photos: Stuart Dawson

Guanwu

Forestry Road Madara Creek Camping Ground Madara Creek

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Travel in Taiwan

Mt. Yize (3,297m)

Villa 99 Mt. Dabajian (2,700m) (3,492m) Mt. Jiali (3,112m) Mt. Xiaobajian (3,418m)

At the base of barrelshaped Mt. Dabajian


MT. DABAJIAN

We found ourselves at the base of the mountain, and close up it was even more impressive than it had been from a distance

In

the past this mountain, located in the easternmost corner of Miaoli County, was much more accessible. In fact, it was so accessible that it could easily be done in a weekend from Taipei. However, the old forestry road that leads out from the village of Guanwu was deemed unsafe for vehicles a number of years ago, and now hikers must first trek the 19km of this abandoned road just to reach the trailhead proper. Whilst many see this as a great hindrance, I personally think it’s a blessing. The number of people climbing the mountain has been dramatically reduced, and the forestry road makes for a very pleasant beginning to the adventure. On my most recent Mt. Dabajian excursion, I set off early in the morning on a summer day as part of a team of four. We made good progress on the road. There are a couple of waterfalls along the way, and plenty of flora and bird species to identify. We arrived at the Madara Creek Camping Ground near the trailhead in time for lunch. Just as we were about to set off for Villa 99 (2,700m) camp the heavens Black Forest opened, as so often happens on summer afternoons in Taiwan. Rather than trudge through it, we hid under the balcony of an old administrative building, and after a couple of hours of waiting we headed out, arriving at Villa 99 bone dry.

Villa 99 is an impressively large complex. At one time it accommodated up to 400 hikers a night, but numbers are now limited to a little over 100, which means there’s plenty of space for everyone. We were lucky enough to be given one of the small, stand-alone round huts, perfect for a group of four.

Thinking

about the rain we had encountered, we decided to hit the trail again early the next day so as to avoid any afternoon thunderstorms. It can be surprising just how cold it gets in the high mountains in Taiwan during the summer. When we left Taipei on Day One it had been a scorching 37°C, but when we woke up at 4am on Day Two our hut was down to a chilly 5°C. We quickly got dressed and began the steep walk up to a spot known as Gaodi (“high ground”). Most hikers head to this spot to catch the sun rising behind Mt. Dabajian, but we were too slow and missed the moment. The views were nevertheless spectacular, and in the clear morning air we could even see as far as Yangmingshan, on Taipei’s north. We then followed a ridgeline, passing in and out of beautiful pine forest. After a couple of hours we found ourselves at the base of the mountain, and close

Hiking Mt. Dabajian You need a mountain permit to hike Mt. Dabajian , which you can apply for through the Shei-Pa National Park administration (www.spnp.gov.tw). Be sure to do this well in advance, as competition for spaces can be strong on weekends. For more about hiking in Taiwan, visit hikingtaiwan.wordpress.com.

On top of Mt. Xiaobajian

up it was even more impressive than it had been from a distance. Hikers are no longer permitted to make the dangerous climb up to the summit, but you can skirt around the peak under its great cliffs and continue on to nearby Mt. Xiaobajian (3,418 m). The xiao means “small,” and so it can be thought of as being Mt. Dabajian’s little brother (da means “big”). It’s a tough scramble to the little brother’s top, and a good head for heights is needed. The trail ends on the peak at an abrupt 800m drop. We spent a bit of time taking photos and soaking in the views, then started the long trek back to Villa 99, on the way back bagging two other area peaks, Mt. Yize (3,297m) and Mt. Jiali (3,112m) – and doing so quickly, for the weather was closing in, with the prospect of another thunderstorm. These two peaks are not far from the main trail. We then made a dash for the safety of the villa, making it just before the rain began. Day Three involved nothing more than an easy hike back out along the forestry road. Arriving back at Guanwu, we were struck by how distant and small the mountain now looked, and it was hard to believe we had been standing below it just the day before.

English and Chinese Gaodi 高地 Guanwu 觀霧 Madara Creek Camping Ground 馬達拉溪營地 Mt. Dabajian 大霸尖山 Mt. Jiali 加利山 Mt. Xiaobajian 小霸尖山 Mt. Yize 伊澤山 Shei-Pa National Park 雪霸國家公園 Villa 99 九九山莊

Travel in Taiwan

61


COSMOS HOTEL TAIPEI

Hotels of Taiwan

台北天成大飯店

Taipei 台 北

Visitors to Taiwan have a wide range of choice when it comes to accommodation. From fivestar luxury 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 countryside there is a place to stay that satisfies every traveler’s needs. What all hotels of Taiwan — small and big, expensive and affordable — have in common is that serve and hospitality are always of the highest standards. 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.

No. of Rooms: 226 Room Rates:

Superior Single Room E xecutive Deluxe Room Superior Twin Room Family Triple Room Deluxe Triple Room Family Quad Room Deluxe Family Room Deluxe Suite Cosmos Suite

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 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 43, Chunghsiao (Zhongxiao) W. Rd., Sec. 1, Taipei City, 100 (MRT Taipei Main Station, Exit M3) 100台北市忠孝西路一段4 3號 (捷運台北車站M3號出口)

Tel: 02.2361.7856 Fa x: 02.2311.8921 Reser vation Hotline: 02.2311.8901 Reser vation Fa x: 02.2311.8902 E-mail: cosmos@cosmos-hotel.com.tw

*Hotel list in alphabetical order from Northern to Southern Taiwan.

www.cosmos-hotel.com.tw

GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI

HOTEL ÉCLAT

華 泰 王子大 飯 店

怡亨酒店

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

62

Deluxe Room Grand Deluxe Room Premier Room Premier 9 Éclat Suite

Taipei 台 北

HOTEL SENSE 伸適商旅

No. of Rooms: 79 Room Rates:

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

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

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

Desk Personnel Speak:

English, Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese,

Restaurants: Éclat Lounge, George Bar Special Features: Member of Small Luxury 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.

Taipei 台 北

Superior Room NT$ Business Room NT$ Deluxe Room NT$ Executive Deluxe Room NT$ Executive Suite NT$ Sense Suite NT$ D esk Personnel Speak:

7,500 8,500 9,500 9,000 10,000 15,000

English, Japanese, Chinese

Special Features: Business center, fitness center, meeting rooms, Club House with luxury furniture and advanced media facilities for private meetings and gatherings, wood-floored openair Sky Garden, parking tower, close to the MRT system near Zhongshan Elemen tary school MRT station and key commercial and entertainment districts.

MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI

Taipei 台 北

美麗信花園酒店

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

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

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

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

477 , Linsen N. Rd., Zhongshan District, 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

Tel: 02.2581.8111 Fax: 02.2581.5811, 2568-2924

Tel: 02.2784.8888 Fax: 02.2784.7888 Res. Hotline: 02.2784.8118

10 6台10 4台北市中山區林 森 北 路 47 7號

Tel: 02.7743.1000 Fax: 02.7743.1100 E-mail: reservation@sanwant.com

Tel: 02.8772.8800 Fax: 02.8772.1010 E-mail: info@miramargarden.com.tw

www.gloriahotel.com

www.eclathotels.com

www.hotelsense.com.t

www.miramargarden.com.tw

Travel in Taiwan


TAIPEI FULLERTON – FU-XING SOUTH

TAIPEI GALA HOTEL

台北馥敦- 復南館

慶泰大飯店

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 100

No. of Rooms: 160

Room Rates:

Room Rates:

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

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

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

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

Desk Personnel Speak:

Taipei 台 北

Single Room NT$ 5,800 Deluxe Single Room NT$ 6,200 Deluxe Twin Room NT$ 6,800 Suite Room NT$ 9,800

Desk Personnel Speak:

English, Japanese, Chinese

Restaurants: Golden Ear Restaurant

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

Special Features: Business Center,

English, Japanese, Chinese

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.

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

THE GRAND HOTEL 圓山大飯店

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 Restaurants: Western, Cantonese, Northern China Style Dumplings, tea house, coffee shop Special Features: Grand Ballroom, conference rooms for 399 people, 10 breakout rooms, business center, fitness center, sauna, Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, billiards

186 Songjiang Rd., Taipei City,104 41, Sec. 2, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City 106 (near junction with Xinyi Rd.)

PARK TAIPEI HOTEL

Taipei 台 北

台北美侖大飯店

No. of Rooms: 143 Room Rates: Park

Superior Room Deluxe Room Deluxe Triple Balcony Room 101 View Room Park Room 101 View Room Park Suite

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

D esk Personnel Speak:

8,000 9,000 9,900 10,000 10,000 11,000 12,000 28,800

English, Japanese, Chinese

Restaurants: Special Features: Separate bathroom

and toilet, TOTO washlets, Denmark Damixa Merkur bathroom hardware, Japanese satellite broadcast, safety deposit box, DVD player, gym with massage chairs, VIP lounge, broadband Internet access (computers available), conference room, balcony (smoking allowed)

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

104台北市松江路18 6號 Exit 1 of MRT Xingtian Temple Station on the Luzhou Line.

Tel: 02.2541.5511 Fax: 02.2531.3831 Reservation Hotline: 02.2541.6888 E-mail: galahtl@ms18.hinet.net

10 4 61台北市中山北 路 四段1號

317, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City 10665

Tel: 02.2703.1234 Fax: 02.2705.6161 E-mail: service2@taipeifullerton.com.tw

Tel: 886.2.2886.8888 Fax: 886.2.2885.2885

Tel: 886.2.5579.3888 Fax: 886.8.5579.3889

www.taipeifullerton.com.tw

www.galahotel.com.tw

www.grand-hotel.org

1 0 6 台 北 市 復 興 南 路 2 段 4 1 號( 信 義 路 口 )

REGENT TAIPEI

Taipei 台 北

台北晶華酒店

No. of Rooms: 538 Room Rates:

Taipei 台 北

Superior Room Deluxe Room Junior Suite Corner Suite Residence Elite Suite

Desk Personnel Speak:

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

English, Japanese, Chinese

Restaurants:

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

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

TAIPEI WESTGATE HOTEL

TAICHUNG HARBOR HOTEL

台北神旺大飯店

永安棧

台中港酒店

Taipei 台 北

Single NT$ 6,000~ 8,800 Twin NT$ 6,800~ 9,600 Suite NT$ 8,000~ 36,800 D esk Personnel Speak:

English, Japanese, Chinese

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

Special Features: 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

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 121 Room Rates: Cozy NT$ 7,200 Deluxe NT$ 7,800 Premier NT$ 8,500 Premier City View NT$ 8,800 Dual Queen NT$ 10,800 Premier Dual Queen NT$ 11,800 Executive Suite NT$ 12,800 Grand Suite NT$ 12,800 Desk Personnel Speak: English, Chinese, Japanese Restaurants: Unwind Bar & Restaurant Special Features: Located in the heart of the energetic Ximending; 1 minute on foot to MRT Ximen Station; free wireless Internet access; fitness center; business center; laundry; meeting room; complimentary Chinese/ Western buffet breakfast; safety deposit box; express laundry service; limousine service; airport pick-up. No.150, Sec. 1, Zhonghua Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City, 108

No.3, Ln.39, Sec.2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Taipei City, 104 104台北市中山北路二段39巷3號

www.parktaipei.com

SAN WANT HOTEL TAIPEI

No. of Rooms: 81 Room Rates: NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

106 6 5台北市復興南路 一段317號

Taichung 台 中

No. of Rooms: 200 Room Rates: Superior Single Deluxe Single Family Twin Corner Semi-Suite Harbor Suite Executive Suite Presidential Suite

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

5,600 6,200 7,600 8,800 10,800 12,800 38,000

D esk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Chinese

Restaurants: Gladden Restaurant, Fukuminato Japanese Restaurant, Pier 88 Lounge Bar Special Features: SEA SPA, Fortune Boutique Shop, Gym, Conference Room Taichung Harbor Hotel will make you feel at home with its newest and complete facilities and a tranquil environment.

(MRT Ximen Station, Exit 6) 172 ZhongXiao East Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City, 106

108台北市中華路一段150號

106台北市忠孝東路四段172號

Tel: 02.2331.3161 Fax: 02.2388.6216 Reservation Hotline: 02.2388.1889

388, Sec. 2, Dazhi Rd.,Wuqi District, Taichung City 435

www.westgatehotel.com.tw

www.tchhotel.com

Tel: 02.2523.8000 Fax: 02.2523.2828

Tel: 02.2772.2121 Fax: 02.2721.0302 E-mail: reservation@sanwant.com

www.regenttaipei.com

www.sanwant.com

4 35台中市梧棲區大智路二段38 8號

Tel: 04.2656.8888 Fax: 04.2656.8899

Travel in Taiwan

63


ALISHAN HOUSE 阿里山賓館

Chiayi 嘉 義

No. of Rooms: 139

翰品酒店高雄

NT$ 6,600 NT$ 10,000 NT$ 12,000 NT$ 16,000 NT$ 16,000 NT$ 26,000 NT$ 26,000 NT$ 300,000

(Prices above not including 10% Service Charge)

General Manager: Mr. Jen-Shing Chen Desk Personnel Speak:

Chinese, English, Japanese

Restaurants: Chinese, Café, Courtyard Special Features:

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

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

E-mail: service@alishanhouse.com.tw

www.alishanhouse.com.tw

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

Travel in Taiwan

KING’S TOWN HOTEL 京城大飯店

Kaohsiung 高雄

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

6,000 6,700 7,500 8,000 9,000 8,000 7,000 7,200 9,000 14,000 50,000

English, Chinese, Japanese

Restaurants: Japanese, Chinese, Cantonese Dim Sum, Lounge Bar

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 43 Daren Rd., Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City 8 03高雄市鹽埕區大仁路4 3號

Tel: 07.521.7388 Fax: 07.521.7068

kaohsiung.chateaudechine.com

Room Rates:

Business Single Room NT$ Deluxe Single Room NT$ Business Twin Room NT$ Family Twin Room NT$

H RESORT HARBOR HOTEL TAICHUNG 台 H會 中館 港酒店

Taichung Pingtung 台 屏東 中

No. of Rooms: 126 Room Rates: Royal Suite NT$ 48,800

No. of Rooms: 150

Desk Personnel Speak:

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.

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Kaohsiung 高 雄

No. of Rooms: 152 Room Rates:

Room Rates: Scenery Suite Room/Twin Room Double Suite Fragrant Suite Room/Quad Room Superior Suite VIP Suite Executive Suite Handicapped Suite(Free Space Room) President Suite

CHATEAU DE CHINE HOTEL KAOHSIUNG

3,300 3,960 3,960 5,500

( Prices above including 10% Service Charge )

Desk Personnel Speak: Chinese, English, Japanese

Restaurants:Chinese and Western style food, delicious buffet, cold dishes, fruit, and salad bar Special Features:Business center, non-

smoking 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: ksthotel@ms33.hinet.net

www.kingstown-hotel.com.tw

Family Deluxe Suite NT$ Family Suite NT$ Deluxe Double Double NT$ Honey Moon Room NT$ Deluxe Twin NT$ Deluxe Single NT$ Standard Twin NT$

24,800 18,800 15,800 11,800 10,800 9,800 9,800

※Changes of room rates will not be specially announced

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese

Restaurants:Original Café, Ocean Teppanyaki, H Restaurant, U.F.O Lounge Special Features:Infinity pool, KTV, boutique, local produce center, conference room, banquet hall, High-Speed Rail shuttle service, broadband Internet, online room reservation, wedding garden, guestroom mini bar, guestrooms with ocean view NO.60, Jhukeng Ln., Shihzih Township, Pingtung County 94352, Taiwan(R.O.C.) (Pingtung County Farmers’ Educational and Recreational Activity Center)

94352屏東縣獅子鄉竹坑村竹坑巷60號 (屏東縣農民教育休閒活動中心)

Tel: 08.877.1888 Fax: 08.877.1919 E-mail: pa@h-resort.com

www.h-resort.com


Welcome to Taiwan! Dear Traveler, Summer has arrived, the sun is hanging high in the sky, and Taiwan’s great outdoors is calling. Though you will almost surely make your way through this issue’s pages with a roof over your head, the adventures we are about to take you on will almost all be under the clear blue sky. In our Feature we’ll take you to explore the Taroko Gorge, a natural wonder that is truly wonder-f illed. Most visitors spend their time along the dramatically picturesque highway that snakes along near the bottom of the approximately 19km attraction, but we’ll be spending most of our time on the splendid network of trails that takes you into side gorges and up the main gorge’s walls. In accompanying articles we’ll also introduce f irst-rate places to stay – inside the gorge itself – and give you suggestions on souvenir purchases and where to eat. The gorge area is the traditional homeland of the Truku tribe, so these will have a strong indigenous focus. We head a little f urther south along the tranquil, pristine east coast in our Indigenous Villages f ile, visiting the Cidal Hunter School, based near the city of Hualien, which is run by members of the Atayal tribe. During a crash survival course you’ll even get to go on a nighttime forest tour. Then it’s further south still, and still on the east coast, for our regular Backpack Bus Trip. This time we use the convenient Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service to explore the small, laid-back coastal city of Taitung and the surrounding countryside, home to members of a number of Taiwan tribes. We head right into the water off the Taiwan coast in our Active Fun section, with our writer, an avid expatriate surfer, f illing you in on Taiwan’s best surf ing spots. Elsewhere, we let you know about the upcoming Salt and Sand Sculpture Arts Festival, held in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area, conquer spectacular Mt. Dabajian on a three-day hike, visit the Miaoli town of Sanyi, Taiwan’s woodcarving capital, and go pineapple picking in the Tainan City rural district of Guanmiao. As we said, Taiwan’s outdoor attractions are calling, so it’s time now to head out that door – Travel in Taiwan in hand as your guide. Enjoy!

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


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Enjoying the scenery of Shakadang River


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At Lushui-Heliu Trail


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Taroko Gorge has a rich ecological environment


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Suspension bridge leading to the trailhead of Zhuilu Old Trail

Remains from the time of the Japanese occupation at Zhuilu Old Trail


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The highway through Taroko Gorge seen from Zhuilu Old Trail


Swallows’ Grottos


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Booday


Travel in Taiwan (No.57, 2013 5/6)