Page 1

No. 77, 2016

SEP & OCT

Sunny Southern Taiwan

Dapeng Bay / Little Liuqiu

YILAN

Shangrila Leisure Farm Cycling along the Dongshan River

FINE FLAVORS

Android

iOS

Sweet-Treat Trends in Taipei

EASY HIKING

Mt. Hehuan Peaks

Glass Art DIY Experience New National Taichung Theater Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area


Welcome to Taiwan!

Dear Traveler, After a long, hot summer, autumn has at last come breezing in, taking the edge off the intense summer heat and ensuring even more comfort and pleasure for Taiwan visitors during their island meanderings. Here is a palette of local places and experiences for you to consider while here perfecting the “art of travel.” Showcased in our Feature section is the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area, located in the deep southwest just below Kaohsiung City. Consisting of southwest Taiwan’s largest lagoon and a large raised-coral island just offshore, reached by ferry, this is a place of “water everywhere.” Your range of recreational activities is very wide, leaping from the expected, such as eco-tours, kayaking, and waterside bicycling, to the highly unexpected, such as go-karting. And as always in our Feature , we present a range of options on where to stay, where/what to eat, and what representative gifts and souvenirs to buy. Another deep-south adventure option is found in our Tribal Experience article, in which we visit the Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area, a pleasant getaway in the mountains of Pingtung County at the edge of Dongyuan, a Paiwan Tribe settlement. We introduce you to eco-tours, song-anddance shows, a tribal-product market, and great food served during the annual Ginger Lily Festival, which is running to the end of September. In Rail/Bus/Bike we cycle in the slow-paced Dongshan area on the verdant Lanyang Plain in mountain-framed Yilan County, in the northeast of Taiwan. It’s then up into the hills of Yilan in Farm Fun , with a visit to Shangrila Leisure Farm, a place of lovely fruit orchards and striking mountain/plain/ocean views. A leap even higher into the mountains is taken in Easy Hiking , where we visit the soaring central mountains to conquer the peaks of Mt. Hehuan, Taiwan’s most accessible 3,000-meter heights, virtually right by a highway. Heading back down into indoor spaces, in a Special Report we tell you all about the new National Taichung Theater, a bold architectural statement intended to serve as central Taiwan’s international-class showcase stage for the stage arts. In Precious Gifts we join a DIY workshop in a Taipei glass-art studio and in Popular Flavors we tell you where you can pleasure your sweet tooth by exploring Taipei’s latest sweet treat trends. Welcome and enjoy your travels in Taiwan!

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


CONTENTS September ~ October 2016

10 PUBLISHER David W. J. Hsieh Editing Consultant 

Producer Vision Creative Marketing & Media Co. Address 7F-1, 1, Sec. 4, Nanjing E. Rd., Taipei City 10595, Taiwan

Where you can pick up a copy of Travel in Taiwan

Wayne Hsi-Lin Liu

TEL: 886-2-2715-1052 Fax: 886-2-2715-0924 E-MAIL: editor@v-media.com.tw General Manager Frank K. Yen Editor in Chief Johannes Twellmann English Editor Rick Charette DIRECTOR OF PLANNING & EDITING DEPT Joe Lee MANAGING EDITOR Jade Lin EDITORS Ming-Jing Yin, Chloe Chu, Nickey Liu CONTRIBUTORS Rick Charette, Owain Mckimm, Nick Kembel, Dana Ter, Grant Lovering PHOTOGRAPHERS Chen Cheng-kuo, Maggie Song DESIGNERS Andy Chang, Maggie Song, Carrie Chang, Erin Chen ui-chun Tsai, Nai-jen Liu, Xiou Mieng Jiang, Administrative Dept H Chen Wen-ling, Sandy Yeh

Abroad

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 City, 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) September/October, 2016 Tourism Bureau, MOTC First published Jan./Feb., 2004 ISSN: 18177964 GPN: 2009305475 Price: NT$200 www.tit.com.tw/vision/index.htm 中華郵政台北雜字第1286號執照登記為雜誌交寄

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Vase Rock on Little Liuqiu island (photo by Chen Cheng-kuo)

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In Taiwan

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24

56 1 Note 4 Taiwan Tourism Events

34 6 News & Culture 50 Talk in Taiwan

RAIL/BUS/BIKE

34 Plain Cycling Fun

– Biking in the Dongshan Area of Yilan County

FEATURE

10 Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area – Lagoon and Coral-Island Adventures ... Water, Water Everywhere!

20 Sleeping, Eating & Shopping Well – At Dapeng Bay and on Little Liuqiu

TRIBAL EXPERIENCE

24 Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area – Visiting an Indigenous Community in the Deep South of Taiwan

S

SPECIAL REPORT

28 The National Taichung Theater – Central Taiwan’s Growth Garden for World-Class Stage Arts

33 Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort – New Health Travel Options for Visitors to Taiwan

FARM FUN

40 Paradise in Yilan – The Shangrila Leisure Farm

POPULAR FLAVORS

46 Sweet-Treat Trends in Taipei – A Look at Desserts and Other Delectables

PRECIOUS GIFTS

52 Crystal Clear

– Making Delicate Glassware in Taipei

EASY HIKING

56 Hiking Hehuanshan

– The Most Accessible 3,000-Meter Peaks in Taiwan


TA I WA N TO U R I S M E V E N T S

Autumn Events 10/8 Yunlin International Puppets Arts Festival 10/13 雲林國際偶戲節

Yunlin County, in central Taiwan, is characterized by rural countryside (notably peanut fields) and rolling hills (coffee plantations), but it is also culturally rich. To highlight this cultural side, the Yunlin International Puppet Arts Festival was first staged in 1999, and has since become a highly anticipated annual event. Each year a number of puppet troupes from abroad are invited to perform at different venues around Huwei Township, introducing puppet-theater lovers to various forms of the art, including shadow puppets, glove puppets, and marionettes. There are also a large number of traditional Taiwanese puppet-theater performances. This is a fun event, especially for families with young children. Location: Yunlin Hand Puppet Museum; No. 498, Sec. 1, Linsen Rd.,Huwei Township, Yunlin County ( 雲林布袋戲館 – 雲林縣虎尾鎮林森路一段 498 號 ) Website: tour.yunlin.gov.tw

11/5

Taiwan Tourism Events Calendar website

Matsu Annual International Marathon 馬祖國際馬拉松

These days, it seems, every city and township in Taiwan stages an annual marathon run, and it is therefore no surprise that there is also such a road race in the Matsu Islands. Being staged for the second time this year, the Matsu Annual International Marathon takes place on the archipelago’s largest and most important island, Nan’gan. Since the island only covers an area of 10 km2 (about a fifth of Manhattan), the obvious question is: Where do the marathon runners run 40+ kilometers? The race starts at the main harbor, Fu’ao, and runners first follow the coast counter-clockwise, on the way passing many historic sites, old villages, and scenic spots, including Taiwan’s largest Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) statue, the Iron Fort, and Beihai Tunnel. After reaching Nan’gan Airport in the eastern part of the island, the runners turn and follow the same route back to Fu’ao Harbor. Nan’gan is a hilly island, meaning lot of ups and downs for the runners; it is, of course, also a great place to explore for visitors who don’t come for the running contest.

Location: Fu’ao Sports Ground, Nan’gan Island ( 南竿福澳田徑場 ) Website: www.facebook.com/matsumarathon (Chinese)

11/5

Taroko Gorge Marathon 太魯閣峽谷馬拉松活動

This has to be one of the most scenic marathon runs, not only in Taiwan, but around the world. The deep, narrow Taroko Gorge, carved into the towering mountains of eastern Taiwan by the Liwu River, is a true natural and scenic wonder. Runners who are not competing for the win or trying to set a new personal best are forgiven for stopping here and there during the run, taking in the scenery, and shooting memorable selfies at the most spectacular spots, of which there are many. During the event, the highway through the gorge is closed to traffic, so you don’t want to plan a visit for this day unless, of course, you want to cheer up the runners or are a runner yourself. This is a very popular event and the available slots are booked early, so if you want to participate sign up as soon as possible. Location: Taroko Gorge; No. 291, Fushi, Fushi Village, Xiulin Township, Hualien County ( 太魯閣峽谷 – 花蓮縣秀林鄉富世村富世 291 號 ) Website: www.hlaf.org.tw

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Travel in Taiwan


SEPTEMBER ~ NOVEMBER

10/2 Taiwan Cycling Festival 臺灣自行車節 11/13

Running through Taroko Gorge during the annual marathon is not the only time athletes ply this route. Each year, professional cyclists embark on a very challenging race that stretches from the Pacific shore at Hualien City to the highest highway point in Taiwan (Wuling, 3,275m above sea level), on the way riding through spectacular Taroko Gorge. This, the Taiwan KOM (King of the Mountain) Challenge, is part of the annual Taiwan Cycling Festival held each fall. Another major event of the festival is open to everyone who loves bike riding. This, the Sun Moon Lake Come! Bikeday, is a relaxed ride around scenic Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan, one of the island’s top tourist destinations. The route around the lake is about 30km long and, though hilly in stretches, can be completed by most experienced cyclists within two hours. Many entrants, however, will take much longer, slowing down to take in the many scenic views of the lake and its surrounding mountains. Location: Sun Moon Lake and other locations around Taiwan Website: theme.taiwanbike.tw/event/2016/en/index.html

9/30 Taichung Jazz Festival 臺中爵士音樂節 10/9

Autumn is jazz season in Taichung! The third-largest city in Taiwan is striving to become number one when it comes to culture, and the brand-new National Taichung Theater is just one outstanding example of the city’s commitment to fostering culture and the arts. Another example is the Taichung Jazz Festival. First staged in 2003, this annual event has grown steadily since its first edition, and now attracts up to one million music lovers to its many excellent jazz performances staged in venues around central Taichung. Each year, the organizers invite leading jazz artists from around the world. Among the biggest stars last year were Cadence, Teen Spirit, Uriel Herman, Charles Pasi 5et, Jazzation, and Terumasa Hino giving spirited performances in front of large crowds of excited music fans. Location: Calligraphy Greenway, Taichung City ( 臺中市草悟道 ) Website: www.facebook.com/taichungJAZZfestival

11/23 Taiwan Open of Surfing 臺灣國際衝浪公開賽暨東浪嘉年華 11/27

One of Taiwan’s increasingly popular tourist hotspots is the coast of Taitung County, in southeast Taiwan. The area is known for fine weather and high waves, attracting surfers from near and far. So good are the conditions for riding the waves that Taitung has been certified by the Asian Surfing Championship (ASC) as an international surfing competition venue. Now, each year the Taiwan Open of Surfing is staged at Jinzun Fishing Harbor in Donghe Township, with world-class pro surfers taking part. Many of those who have been around the world searching for the best swells, and come to Taiwan for the first time, are surprised how good a surf destination Taitung is, how well organized the event is, and how friendly and enthusiastic the locals are. Find out for yourself as spectator or participant in this year’s competition!

Location: Jinzun Fishery Port; Donghe Township, Taitung County ( 金樽漁港 – 臺東縣 東河鄉 ) Website: www.facebook.com/taiwanopenofsurfing

10/8 Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival 10/15 高雄左營萬年季 The Zuoying Wannian Folklore Festival is an exciting traditional event that takes place around Lotus Pond, a popular scenic spot in Kaohsiung. The festival lasts nine days; during the first eight a large lion effigy, the Great Wannian Fire Lion, tours temples and landmarks in the area around the pond, and on the last day is set ablaze on its banks, in a ritual believed to carry the wishes of the faithful up to heaven. Like many of Taiwan’s traditional temple festivals, other attractions include martial-arts performances, hefty amounts of firecrackers exploding, and large crowds gathering to watch the spectacles.

Location: Around Lotus Pond, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市左營區蓮池潭畔 )

Travel in Taiwan

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W H AT ' S U P

NEWS & Events around Taiwan

New Skywalk at Baguashan There are two major tourist attractions in central Taiwan’s Changhua County, just to the south of Taichung City. One is the old harbor town of Lugang, known for ancient temples, narrow lanes and alleys, historic buildings, and traditional-handicraft shops. The other is the Baguashan Scenic Area, part of the Trimountain National Scenic Area (www.trimt-nsa.gov.tw ). The center of attention at Baguashan is a 23-meter-tall Big Buddha, sitting on a 4-meter-tall lotus throne, overlooking Changhua City. To facilitate visits to the area around the monument, a new skywalk has been constructed over the last two years. With a length of just over one kilometer and a height between 1 and 16 meters, it allows visitors to walk among the sights of the area high up at treetop level.

Kaohsiung Light Rail Line

A modern light-rail system, also known as the Circular Line, is currently being constructed in the southern harbor city of Kaohsiung. While the full line is slated for completion in 2019, part of the system is already in operation. Eight stations are currently in service, C1 (Lizihnei) through C8 (Kaohsiung Exhibition Center). Among these, Station C3 (Cianjhen Star) connects to the KMRT’s Red Line, C5 (Dream Mall) gives easy access to one of the city’s most important shopping centers, and C8 is right at the doorstep of the modern Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, and close to the 85 Sky Tower and young Kaohsiung Main Public Library. Once the system is completed, it will circle central Kaohsiung and be connected to the two original metro lines at four stations, giving travelers and commuters more options to conveniently get around the city.

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Travel in Taiwan

Attracting More Tourists from ASEAN Nations

As part of efforts by the government to attract more visitors from Southeast Asia, visa restrictions have recently been eased for citizens of ASEAN nations. Citizens of Thailand and Brunei now enjoy visa-free access to Taiwan. Nationals from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Laos who have received visas to Australia, Canada, the Schengen area in Europe, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom, or the United States over the past 10 years will also be allowed to enter Taiwan visa-free after registering online. It is estimated that the easing of visa restrictions for these eight ASEAN countries will lead to an increase in Southeast Asian visitor arrivals for 2016 of at least 20 percent. Furthermore, visa regulations for high-end group tourists from Southeast Asian countries are being simplified. Members of tourist groups organized by designated travel agencies and of corporate incentive-travel groups from India and Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam, may now apply for an entry visa to Taiwan with no need for proof of occupation and supporting financial documents.


SEPTEMBER ~ NOVEMBER

EasyCard and iPass Use in Taipei and Kaohsiung Payment with stored-value electronic cards is so common in Taipei nowadays that people rarely buy single-journey tickets anymore, or pay bus fares with coins. If you have been to both of Taiwan’s biggest cities, you might have noticed that there are two different e-card systems in place, EasyCard in Taipei and iPass in Kaohsiung. Fortunately, each can now be used in the other city’s metro system without problems. The scope of use for both cards around Taiwan is likely to increase further in the future, allowing you to pay for a wide range of services, including rail travel, city, intercity, and Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus rides, ferry rides, public-bike rental, parking, and so on.

Old Tainan on Modern Buses

Romantic spot in guanziling "Love in Guanziling" installation

A recent trend among tourists in the city of Tainan, in southern Taiwan, has been the exploring of old neighborhoods. Many of these have been spruced up, and now feature restored old residences housing new businesses, often run by young and creative entrepreneurs. Among old roads and streets in Tainan that are particularly popular are Hai’an Road, Guohua Street, and Zhengxing Street. For visitors without their own means of transport, city bus route 77 (as well as the 77-1 Anping Holiday bus), served by modern electric buses, is one of the best choices to get around, since it not only passes through old neighborhoods but also by some of the city’s best-known historic sites, including Chikan Tower (Fort Provintia). Another bus route suitable for visitors to Tainan is route 88 (Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus), which connects Tainan Railway Station with the Anping Harbor Area, on the way passing many places of interest.

Guanziling, located in the foothills of Chiayi County in southern Taiwan, is a well-known hot-spring village. The spring waters here have a distinct gray color, and visitors enjoy covering themselves in the mineral-rich gray mud when taking a hot-spring bath. The mud is thought to have therapeutic effects. The village, sitting in a narrow valley, has a streamside boardwalk trail that passes old bathhouses and a place where you can see Guanziling’s original hot-water spring. Recently, a romantic spot has been added to the hot-spring resort’s attractions – an installation in Lingding Park consisting of a small white wall in the shape of a music book, with the score of a well-known Taiwanese love song about Guanziling painted on it. At night, a golden ring attached to the wall is illuminated in such a way that a heart-shaped shadow is cast, creating a romantic spot great for selfie shots by sweetheart couples.


C U LT U R E S C E N E

CULTURE Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings

Oct. ~ Dec.

Until 12/4

National Taichung Theater

National Museum of Natural Science

Brain : The Biology of Mind

Opening Season

腦中乾坤

開幕季

Das Rheingold (Photo courtesy of Tato Baeza)

During the new National Taichung Theater’s opening season (9/30~12/31) more than 30 companies from 10 countries will perform opera, drama, dance, music, and other stage-art forms, guaranteeing that this ultra-modern and aesthetically appealing facility enters the ranks of world-class theater and opera houses in style. Among the performances you don’t want to miss is Richard Wagner’s music drama Das Rheingold , being put on by Spain’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia and the always astonishingly inventive troupe La Fura dels Baus, also of Spain. Another highlight of the opening season is La Mode , by Japanese director Tomoko Mukaiyama, a performance shedding light on the effect fashion has on individuals, and on society as a whole. It is a theatrical exploration of the fashion world through music, dance, and beautiful stage installations. Visit the NTT website at www.npac-ntt.org .

Until 11/6

National Palace Museum

Om-mani-padme-hum: Tibetan Buddhist Art in the National Palace Museum

The mysteries of our brain unveiled – at least a few of them. This exhibition, at Taichung’s superb National Museum of Natural Science, gives you unique insight into the human brain, quite literally, with the help of imaginative art, vivid brain-scan imaging, and dynamic interactive exhibits. Learn about the differences between the human brain and those of other living creatures, how human sense, feel, and think with the brain, and how people can change their brain through what they think and do. Apart from this special exhibition, the museum also has a wide range of eye-opening permanent exhibits. When visiting, be sure to check out the Gallery of Dinosaurs, containing more than 50 fossils and fossil replicas, the Chinese Science and Technology gallery, featuring a unique water-powered clock, and the Botanical Garden, showcasing the floral biodiversity of Taiwan. Visit the museum’s website at www.nmns.edu.tw .

10/1

National Concert Hall

Berlin Philharmonic String Quintet 柏林愛樂弦樂五重奏

唵嘛呢叭咪吽— 院藏藏傳佛教文物特展 Photo courtesy of National Palace Museum

This exhibition includes fine examples of the museum’s rich collection of rare Tibetan Buddhist artifacts, among them Buddhist texts, paintings, ritual objects, and gilt-bronze statues. The name of the exhibition refers to the six-syllable mantra Ommani-padme-hum, associated with Avalokite vara, the bodhisattva of compassion. It is Buddhism’s best-known and the most extensively used sacred utterance, and an important element of the religion. Visit the museum’s website at www.npm.gov.tw .

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Travel in Taiwan

Performing in Taiwan for the first time, the Berlin Philharmonic String Quintet, one of the many outstanding ensembles of the Berliner Philharmoniker, has a unique formation. The two violins, one viola, and one cello are not augmented by a second viola or cello, as is common, but by a double bass, meaning that all five string sections of the orchestra are represented. The quintet gave its first concert in 2007, and has since appeared throughout Europe and in Japan, to great acclaim. The program for their performance in Taipei includes works by Mozart, Dvorak, Weber, Respighi, Bassini, Tchaikovsky and, for a dash of Argentine tango, Piazzolla.


c u lture s c ene

9/9 ~

10/16

Various Venues in Taipei

Taipei Arts Festival 臺北藝術節

Until 11/13

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

The Silver Halide Era – Aura of Times Vintage Photography Prints by Taiwanese Photographers 1890 s ~~ 2015 銀鹽世代-尋找歲月靈光 臺灣攝影家原作展 1890s ∼ 2015

The month-long Taipei Arts Festival is a rich cultural event featuring vibrant stage performances by modern dance and theater troupes from Taiwan and abroad. Among the many outstanding shows this year is 2 Gether a coproduction by the Black Grace Dance Company, from New Zealand, and Taiwan’s Tjimur Dance Theatre. Dancing and acting together, the two troupes explore their common Austronesian roots in a colorful and visually stunning performance. The graceful, acrobatic moves of the UK’s Gandini Juggling will stun the audience, showing in unique ways how juggling can be incorporated in mesmerizing movements. For the full festival program, visit www.taipeifestival.org.tw .

Silver halide crystal is the primary element for light capture in film photography. This exhibition gives visitors a fascinating look at how photographers were able to capture images on film for the first time, and how this process has evolved over the last century-plus into today’s digital age, in which artists keep the art form alive and use it for creative expression. The exhibition is divided into two sections, “Documents” and “Vintage Prints.” The first features 61 exhibits, including rare and valuable original overprint glasses, tri-color carbon prints, and photo albums from 1890 to 1945. The second features 31 domestic photographers and 254 photographic works, including pictures of everyday life and memorial portraits shot by the amateur and professional pioneers of Taiwanese photography.


FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

The Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area Lagoon and Coral-Island Adventures ... Water, Water Everywhere! Text: Rick Charette

Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo

Vase Rock on Little Liuqiu island

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FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

This mainland/offshore island “water world” national scenic area, in Taiwan’s deep southwest, is built around a massive lagoon, Taiwan’s southernmost mangrove forest, a large upraised-coral island just a short ferry sprint across the sun-sparkled, brilliant-blue Taiwan Strait waters, and busy ports at the center of proud old fishing communities.

“By the sea, by the sea By the beautiful sea You and I, you and I Oh! How happy we’ll be”

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FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

W

Kayaking at Dapeng Bay

ater, saltwater, everywhere! You’re above it – high up on Taiwan’s only drawbridge, upraised-coral cliffs, boardwalk trails over mangrove swamps... You’re on it – windsurfing, kayaking, boat touring, zooming back and forth on ferries... You’re in it – on guided coastal eco-tours inspecting crabs, sea urchins, and other tidal-zone denizens, on guided coral-reef snorkeling outings… It’s in you – in the form of superb, inexpensive seafood delicacies at harborside-market eateries, harbor-town restaurants, souvenir retail outlets… Oh! And you’re by it – in ways unsurprising, such as long by-sea-and-lagoon jaunts to scenic spots on rented bicycles/ scooters, and ways that will much surprise you, notably happy mad-spell, speed-demon dashes at a lagoon-side go-kart track and ear-splitting viewing of race cars screaming by on an international-class course (which you can conquer yourself if you bring qualified wheels and enough moolah). The Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area (NSA) is a 30-minute drive south of Kaohsiung City’s center. This is a region of palm trees and intensely bright sunlight. The mainland Dapeng Bay lagoon area is, of course, quite flat. Counterintuitively, Little Liuqiu, an upraised-coral island in clear view from the lagoon area, is quite hilly. Taiwan’s central mountains are almost always in full, glorious backdrop view. A Travel in Taiwan research team recently spent three vividly sunny days in the NSA, on a sampler excursion for our readers.

Dapeng Bay

Dapeng Bay is southwest Taiwan’s largest lagoon, totaling 532 hectares, measuring 3,500m east/west and 1,800 north/south, and with an average depth of 2~6 meters. On its northeast side is The PenBay National Leisure Zone, where a wide range of both water- and land-based activities is on offer, from kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, pedal-boating, rowboating, and boat tours to bicycling, go-karting – and even watching Formula race cars (except F1) on an international-standard track. The Leisure Zone is on the site of a one-time Japanese military base. The huge white seaplane-shaped observation deck by lagoon-side is reference to the seaplane squadron that was based here. The base was bombed a number of times during WW II; but numerous facilities are still extant, among them large barracks, fortified air-traffic control towers and, most impressive, a beautifully restored arcaded, Baroque colonialstyle staff-office building now home to the Dapeng Bay Culture Museum (the ROC military moved in after the war), open by appointment for tour groups. During our stay we tried the karting, biking, kayaking, and windsurfing. All involve reasonable fees, and experienced instructors are on hand. By far the most adrenaline-pumping and heart-thumping was the karting, each paid 8-minute session a hellbent-for-glory thrillfest. While I feel I drove like the new 12

Travel in Taiwan

Windsurfing


FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Qifeng Wetlands

Dapeng Bay Culture Museum

Michael Schumacher, oddly, my traitorous Travel in Taiwan mates opine that I drove like a possessed madman. The bike-rental station is between the water-recreation site and Dapeng Bay Visitor Center. Your biking is not limited to the PenBay area. A 12km bikeway takes you right around the lagoon, passing through/by/over such attractions as the Qifeng Wetlands, Dapeng Bay Coastal Park, and Dapeng Bay Bridge. A ser ies of man-made mang rove wetlands sits off the lagoon’s south end, one the Qifeng Wetlands. Fish farms are central in local economic life, formerly resulting in heavy pollution and silting in the bay. Numerous deserted ponds have been converted into wetlands that purify water from working farms and wastewater from surrounding communities before it enters the bay. We parked our bikes and happily meandered the boardwalks and lookouts of the 6.5-hectare Qifeng Wetlands, the health of the constructed eco-system attested to by steady sightings of fiddler crabs and mudskippers, egrets and wagtails, skinks and lizards, and other pretty things. The visually mag netic Dapeng Bay Bridge leaps like a rainbow across the narrow mouth of Dapeng Bay. Resembling a sail, it is a single-column, cable-stayed bridge – and Taiwan’s sole drawbridge, accommodating large craft using the marina at Dapeng Bay Coastal Park, located south of the bridge, from where you can take lagoon boat tours to the iconic 7,150 sq.m. Oyster Shell Island, vestige of the oyster-farm industry that once thrived here (lagoon tours are offered from the PenBay area as well). Beside the bridge, on the sea side, is Qingzhou Seaside Recreation Area, a beach-fun zone with volleyball nets, sand dune gokart course, jet-skiing, a café, change facilities, and such. Travel in Taiwan

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FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Dapeng Bay Bridge

Cycling around the bay

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Go-karting in The PenBay National Leisure Zone

Dapeng Bay Coastal Park


FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Donggang, Donglong Temple, and the King Boat Ceremony Donggang, Donglong Temple, and the King Boat Ceremony Donggang, off the lagoon’s north end, was an important Qing Dynasty port, and today is best-known for two things: as Taiwan’s main center for highly-prized Blue�n tuna (along with mullet), and for the triennial Donggang King Boat Ceremony, staged by its religious heart, Donglong Temple, established in 1706. Climaxing this 8-day, 7-night sacri�cial celebration is the burning of a large replica junk, called the King Boat, loaded with sacri�cial offerings and ef�gies of the Plague Gods, important gods in south Taiwan and south coastal China. Traditionally, the boat took plague and disease to sea; today it is burned on land, devotees praying more generally for peace and good fortune.

Tourists at Houshi Fringing Reef on Little Liuqiu

Little Liuqiu

Given a stellar 2-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide: Taiwan travel guide, Little Liuqiu is 25 minutes by ferry from Donggang. Just 6.8 sq. km., with just 13,000 inhabitants, it’s made almost entirely of coral and is well known for its wondrous, imaginatively named coastal formations, such as Wild Boar Trench, Vase Rock, and Black Devil Cave. There are few 4-wheel vehicles on the roads, the thin earth over the upraised coral means few farms, and you’ll see no chimneyed factories. It feels empty in comparison with the Taiwan mainland. Your constant companions here will be the sounds of wind, wave, and birdsong. The island’s income has long been predominantly hauled in from the sea, with an ever-bigger catch today hauled in from tourists. As your ferry approaches Baisha, the main town, and enters Baisha Tourist Harbor, you’ll see a large and lovely arcaded Western colonial-style building high on the slope to its right – the Little Liuqiu Visitor Center. Buy tickets for the island’s boat and glass-bottom boat tour outings here, get practical help for snorkeling experiences, etc., and enjoy the sweeping vista from the wide outdoor scenic platform.

Ferry terminal at Baisha Tourist Harbor

The center is right beside the top tier of the grand, ornate Lingshan Temple, which rides up the cliffside here in three tiers. One of two key deities in this sumptuous yet dignified complex is Lady Linshui (“Lady by the Water’s Edge”), a goddess of fertility and protector of women and children. One of the resident Buddhist nuns explained to me that the goddess is important to islanders because “the men also worry so much about family when out on the sea.” You’ll get that satisfying “Lonely Planet Globe Trekker” feeling sitting atop the front staircase, 7-Eleven coffee in hand, watching the sunrise over Taiwan’s rugged central-mountain spine, Kaohsiung City and Donggang/Dapeng Bay in crystal-clear widescreen view, and fishing boats chugging back from a night’s work below. Vase Rock is right off the temple’s foot on the rocky coast. This huge chunk of exposed coral has a thin base and oversized head topped with stubborn weeds and thistles. It is the island’s most iconic coastal feature, and most photographed attraction. Many come here for the sunsets, the sun dropping down neatly between flowerpot and cliff. During daytime you’ll also see many tourist-

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FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

White Lighthouse

Sea snail seen in tidal zone

Liuqiu Eco-Tours Tidal-zone eco-tours, especially nighttime ones, have become a big thing with island visitors. Liuqiu’s visitor center will set you up with a quali�ed guide. Our night foray came as part of a homestay package (see Stay/ Eat/Buy article). Most popular is the Shanfu Ecological Corridor, but our guide had special entry to a privateaccess zone just north, meaning far fewer people. In two wonderful hours of up-close encounters we met a teeming world of crabs, sea urchins, sea hares, sea cucumbers, star fish, bioluminescent plankton… a busy, mysterious foreign universe of ethereal artistry. Sadly, no arriving green sea turtles, though it was nesting season.

Lookout spot near Black Devil Cave

Sunset at Vase Rock


FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Peculiar coral rock at Houshi Fringing Reef

Beauty Cave trail

Getting There & Getting Around To get to Dapeng Bay from Kaohsiung’s Zuoying High-Speed Rail station, take the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service’s Kenting Express Line bus (www.taiwantrip.com.tw ). The Dapeng Bay NSA website (www.dbnsa.gov.tw ) also has details on this, and on other transport services, including the Donggang-Liuqiu ferry service, plus info on NSA accommodations, food, guide bookings for groups, PenBay bicycle rentals, etc. Almost all Liuqiu visitors get around by rented scooter; there are numerous shops at Baisha’s harbor. For guidance on this and other options, contact Liuqiu’s visitor center (see NSA website).

snorkelers here; snorkeling has become a big draw in the past few years. Liuqiu’s waters offer 20 types of coral and 300 fish species. Af ter Vase Rock, the th ree most popular natural attractions are Beauty Cave, Wild Boar Trench, and Black Devil Cave, encountered in that order along the island’s west side, all beside its coastal ring highway. These are the island’s only three paid-entry tourist attractions; NT$120 gets you an all-inclusive ticket. Beaut y Cave is another forcef ul example of the sea’s power to erode limestone and coral. Inside/outside this seaside cave, you’re presented with an elaborate layout of side caves, grottoes, cliffs, and tidal platforms. No, no pigs at Wild Boar Trench. W h at i s he r e a r e n a r r ow, t w i st i ng passageways through massive upliftedcoral crags strangled by gravity-defying cliff-hugging old banyans, and the lush

jungle-like flora that thrives in Liuqiu’s harsh nutrient-starved conditions. There are many tales about the Black Devil Cave name. Most academically sound is that the Dutch, who controlled Taiwan 1624~1662, took revenge on the dark-skinned indigenous Sirayatribe inhabitants for killing the crews of two Dutch shipwrecks, exterminating many who were hiding in the cave, using burning oil. Today’s islanders, wary of angry spirits, still burn incense here. T he White Lighthouse, on the island’s south summit, was built during the Japanese colonial era in 1929. As well, visit the impressive nearby Century Old Banyan, taking the short path behind it to a majestic clifftop eagleview prospect. If here toward sunset, head to the close-at-hand ocean-clifftop Sunset Pavilion, where Liuqiu’s premier sundowns are to be seen.

English and Chinese Baisha Tourist Harbor 白沙觀光港 Black Devil Cave 烏鬼洞 Beauty Cave 美人洞 Century Old Banyan 百年老榕樹 Dapeng Bay 大鵬灣 Dapeng Bay Bridge 鵬灣跨海大橋 Dapeng Bay Coastal Park 大鵬灣濱灣公園 Dapeng Bay Culture Museum 大鵬灣文史館 Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area 大鵬灣國家風景區 Donggang 東港 Donggang King Boat Ceremony 東港迎王平安祭 Donglong Temple 東隆宮 Lingshan Temple 靈山寺 Little Liuqiu 小琉球 Little Liuqiu Visitor Center 小琉球遊客中心 Oyster Shell Island 蚵殼島 Qifeng Wetlands 崎峰濕地 Qingzhou Seaside Recreation Area 青洲濱海遊憩區 Shanfu Ecological Corridor 杉福生態廊道 Sunset Pavilion 落日亭 The PenBay National Leisure Zone 大鵬灣國際休閒特區 Vase Rock 花瓶岩 Wild Boar Trench 山豬溝 White Lighthouse 白燈塔

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FEATURE DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

The Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area 1

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2 Vase RocK 3 Baisha Tourist Harbor

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10 Donggang Dapeng Bay Visitor Center

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Qingzhou Coastal Recreation Area

11 The PenBay National Leisure Zone

Ba y 9 Qifeng Wetlands

Dapeng Bay Coastal Park

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STAY/EAT/BUY DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Sleeping Well, Eating Well, & Shopping Well At Dapeng Bay and on Little Liuqiu Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo

Dapeng Bay and Little Liuqiu offer good, slow livin’, and for the tourist the sleepin’, eatin’, and gift & souvenir buyin’ are swell as well.

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Breakfast at Orient Resort Penbay Travel in Taiwan


Guestroom at Hao Ho Homestay

Hao Ho Homestay

Guestroom at Orient Resort Penbay

STAY The palm-surrounded Orient Resort Penbay is a sparkling, breezy 4-star hotel with an unbeatable location – in the Dapeng Bay International Leisure Zone, very close to the lagoon. The three main hotel buildings are superbly renovated barracks built by the Japanese military in 1943, damaged in Allied air raids (see main Feature article). The original deep-hue wood framework and under-roofing has been left exposed in the high-ceiling restaurant building, the aromatic scent of cypress still wafting forth. The timber was hauled down from what is today’s high-mountain Alishan National Scenic Area along the impressive Japanese-built Alishan Forest Railway, today a tourist line. The restaurant is open for three meals daily (Western, Chinese, and Japanese selections), and for afternoon tea. The expansive, high-ceiling guestrooms are elegant, with subdued earth tones predominant. Among the hotel’s other facilities are bicycle rentals, a tour desk, and meeting rooms. (Rooms start at NT$8,000; breakfast included.)

The three-story Hao Ho Homestay is on a narrow, quiet street in Little Liuqiu’s Baisha town, a short distance from the ferry dock. The friendly owner-couple keep their breezy, bright-colored place spic-and-span. Rooms accommodate 2 to 12; all are large, with simple yet tasteful furnishings. Most have an appealing wood theme, and each is named after a fruit, with a matching pastel painting scheme. You can simply rent a room, with a free breakfast, or opt for one of two great-value packages, priced per person; the one we chose gave me my room and breakfast, Donggang-Liuqiu-Donggang ferry ticket, 24H scooter rental, a ticket to scenic attractions, a guided tidal-zone eco-tour, and a BBQ dinner. (Rooms start at NT$2,500.) Orient Resort Penbay ( 東方渡假酒店 ) Tel: (08) 833-8933 Add: No. 1, Sec. 2, Pengwan Blvd., Donggang Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣東港鎮鵬灣大道二段 1 號 ) Website: orient-resort.com

Hao Ho Homestay ( 好喝ㄟ特色民宿 ) Tel: (08) 861-4148 / 0988-290-629 Add: No. 176, Zhongshan Rd., Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣琉球鄉中山路 176 號 ) Website: www.haoho.tw (Chinese)

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STAY/EAT/BUY DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Clockwise from top left: Bluefin tuna sashimi and seafood selection at Jiazhen Seafood Restaurant; BBQ dinner at Gouden Leeuw restaurant; Sicilian-style noodles at Haian Café

EAT Tell any Taiwanese adult – just about every last one an enthusiastic foodie – you’ve visited the Donggang area and you will automatically be asked how you enjoyed the “Three Treasures of Donggang.” These culinary delicacies are bluefin tuna, sakura shrimp, and escolar roe. I specially recommend the upscale, elegantly appointed Jiazhen Seafood Restaurant in Donggang town, not far from the fishing/ferry harbor, on a section of Guangfu Road renowned as “Seafood Street,” lined with seafood restaurants. Jiazhen’s owner, who captained his own boat over 30 years and is known as Captain Toro (“toro” is the Japanese word for the prized tuna underbelly), prides himself on obtaining the best of the just-arrived fresh catch each day through lifelong friendships. Donggang bluefin tuna is most often served Japanese-style as sashimi or in sushi. Our wonderfully marbled sashimi, so dark it could be mistaken for beef, was as light as silk. The sakura shrimp is usually shallow-fried, seasoned, and served on a bed of fluffy white rice; here, however, it is served as part of a simple fried-rice dish that I found coaxes out extra flavor. The dark-brown escolar roe, which has an appealing aged-cheese texture, is served in the standard manner, cold and thinly sliced.

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The Xiao Liu Qiu Pirate King - Gouden Leeuw BBQ restaurant, on a clifftop on Little Liuqiu’s west side, is in the shape of a ship. When the Dutch controlled Taiwan they named the island Gouden Leeuw (“Golden Lion”) after a ship wrecked on its shores (all crew killed by the native inhabitants; see main article). You barbecue your food on grills placed on low tables on the lawn outside, while enjoying the far-off sea views and sound of crashing waves far below. Our meal, with everything from prawns to beef and pork kebabs to fresh mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, and dried tofu, was extremely filling, but the cost was only about NT$400 per person. Somehow, make sure tummy room remains available for the heaping shaved-ice desserts, especially the silky-smooth mango ice, a Taiwan-summer culinary icon. Beyond the BBQ feast, there are also many other selections, including pasta dishes, stews, sandwiches, waffles, etc. The cheery coast-side Haian Café, just off the north end of Dapeng Bay Bridge, offers a splendid panorama of lagoon, bridge, Little Liuqiu, and big ships anchored off Kaohsiung. Best of the Western/Chinese menu are the spaghetti set meals, notably the spaghetti with Sicilian-style beef meatballs, the curry rice au gratin, and the hotpot selections, each only NT$200~$250. Phoning ahead is strongly recommended, especially for the open-deck seating.


STAY/EAT/BUY DAPENG BAY/LITTLE LIUQIU

Clockwise from top left: Donggang Fishery Port Marine Product Direct Sale Center; cherry shrimp; Teacher Wang's handmade ma hua juan ; shuang gao run

BUY The big action at Donggang’s harbor happens before the sun rises, as the fishing boats arrive with fresh catch and the frenzied auctioning goes on. All are welcome, but if you can’t leave your pillow so early, load up on local specialties at the harborside Donggang Fishery Port Marine Product Direct Sale Center. I specially recommend the delicious sausages made with flying fish meat and roe, which you can take to the center’s simple (nonair-conditioned) restaurants to cook up for you, for a small fee (as they’ll do for all market purchases). This is also a good place to pick up another famed non-seafood Donggang specialty, handmade shuang gao run , literally “double cake,” each about the size of a chocolate bar. This sweet tastes like mochi, but is chewier; the traditional-flavor duo in this treat is Haian Café ( 海岸咖啡館 ) Tel: (08) 833-5592 Add: No. 45, Jialian Borough, Donggang Town, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣東港鎮嘉蓮里 45 號 ) Jiazhen Seafood Restaurant ( 佳珍海產餐廳 ) Tel: (08) 835-4898 Add: No. 47, Sec. 2, Guangfu Rd., Donggang Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣東港鎮光復路 2 段 47 號 ) Website: www.torocaptain.com

glutinous rice and brown cane sugar. Unbeatable! Various flavor friends are today added to keep up with fickle young-consumer palates, with taro, adzuki bean, and matcha the most popular. It is said that in the past, with most island men spending their days on the sea, Little Liuqiu wives would make ma hua juan (lit. “sesame flower twists”) as a worktime treat for them. These are lightly-sweetened fried dough twists with sesame seeds added. “Teacher Wang’s Handmade Ma Hua Juan” is by far the bestknown island brand, and a steady stream of visitors arrives on rented scooters at the small home-cum-factory in Baisha. I declare the original-flavor version as No. 1, brown cane sugar as No. 2, laver at 3, and plum at 4. Buy 4 packets, any flavor combo, for just NT$150.

“Teacher Wang’s Handmade Ma Hua Juan” ( 王老師手工麻花捲 ) Tel: (08) 861-2802 Add: No. 84, Sanmin Rd., Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣琉球鄉三民路 84 號 ) Xiao Liu Qiu Pirate King – Gouden Leeuw ( 小琉球 - 海盜王的金獅子號 ) Tel: (08) 861-3382 Add: No. 2, Duziping Rd., Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣琉球鄉肚仔坪路 2 號 )

English and Chinese Donggang Fishery Port Marine Product Direct Sale Center 東港漁港漁產品直銷中心 Guangfu Road 光復路 ma hua juan 麻花捲 “Three Treasures of Donggang” 東港三寶 “Seafood Street” 海產街 shuang gao run 雙糕潤

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TRIBAL EXPERIENCE P I N GT U N G

Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area Visiting an Indigenous Community in the Deep South of Taiwan Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo

Mudan Township in Pingtung County is like a “botanical garden,” a hiddenaway mountain gem bursting with color where nature is allowed to be herself by her Paiwan Tribe custodians.

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s we turned off Pingtung County’s east-west Provincial Highway 9 and headed south along the narrow and twisting, yet well-paved and -maintained County Highway 199, which meanders its way toward the very popular tropical Kenting National Park on Taiwan’s far-south tip, the impression quickly built that this was one of the prettier roads I’d been on in Taiwan. We were in the deep-south section of Taiwan’s long, thick central-mountain spine. There was thick foliage on both sides; trees leaned over the road as if in welcome, presenting the gift of dappled shade on this bright, hot day. There was a strong scent of blooming flowers and busy butterflies and birds flitted about. Ever so often we’d catch a glimpse of the Pacific to the east, far below and beyond. We had entered Biya’s world. Mudan Township is Paiwan Tribe country. Our destination was Dongyuan, one member of Taiwan’s southernmost cluster of indigenous settlements. It was early July, this was the first weekend of Dongyuan’s annual Ginger Lily Festival, and Biya (whose Chinese name is Sun Ming-heng) was to be our guide. Adding to the color of our approach on Highway 199 was a steady stream of huffing, puffing, bright-garbed cyclists headed uphill the other way. Biking has exploded in Taiwan, and the 199 is part of a popular round-island cycle route. Here, on the Hengchun Peninsula’s east side, the coastal highway is interrupted, so riders, literally and figuratively, face an uphill battle when heading north from Kenting National Park. 24

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TRIBAL EXPERIENCE P I N GT U N G

Biya, member of the Paiwan Tribe and guide at Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area

Biya, decked out in traditional warrior ceremonial garb, met us at the wood-theme entrance to the community’s pride and joy, the Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area (NT$100 entry fee). Before us was a lovely small lake, thick with lily pads and reeds along its sides, bursting with the year’s wild white ginger lily bloom. On the far side was a large grove of tall trees shading a park-like area busy with people. “Dongyuan is in a mountain depression,” Biya began his introduction. “It is oblong-shaped; the northeast end, where we are, is higher than the southwest end. Roughly speaking, the shape is like a tongue, and in fact when the Japanese controlled Taiwan (1895-1945) they simply named the place ‘mouth,’ which we pronounced ‘Jiaguji.’ Again, roughly speaking, our village runs along the middle of the tongue’s north side, along the main road. We use this lake and mahogany-grove area as the tourist entrance to the forest recreation area, which runs higher up along the edge of the tongue behind and down beyond the village. At the tongue’s bottom is a huge bog, the Dongyuan Wet Grassland, which is a protected area.” The community offers eco/culture tours to visitors (about 2 hours), which take in the lake-perimeter trail, forest grove, village spots, and bog. Biya first took us around the trail, which also goes through the grove, called the Aroma Forest. “The Dongyuan community is a sub-tribe of the Paiwan Tribe, Taiwan’s second-largest indigenous group. Today we number about 500. The Paiwan have long lived in the hills and mountains of the far south, away from the coasts, for safety. In the past, this depression was empty, and this lake area was marsh. The Japanese used the marsh and bog for military training for troops destined for similar conditions in Southeast Asia. After they showed this place to some tribe members, our community moved here from the upper Fangshan River (north of Highway 9), attracted to the pristine, abundant water resources. The marsh was dammed and used for fish farming, and the water used for rice-paddy irrigation. “The name ‘Dongyuan’ was chosen because we are east of Mudan, the largest area village, and in a headwater catchment depression; so ‘Dongyuan,’ meaning ‘eastern source or fountain. The lake is formally called Dongyuan Lake, but is also called Crying Lake. People believe some sad or mysterious Paiwan tale must be the source, but in fact the reason for the name is that the Chinese for “crying,” kuqi , sounds like the original name ‘Jiaguji.’ “The lake has now been allowed to return to its natural state, and we’ve introduced wild ginger lilies, not here before, for tourism purposes. They’ve long been important in Paiwan culture, used to strengthen stream and pond banks, in herbal medicines, and in our foods. In fact, during the Japanese era, the Mudan Travel in Taiwan

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Dongyuan Lake

Paiwan Tribe ritual Indigenous-music performance

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Having fun in the wet grassland

At Dongyuan Lake

Beverage stand Paiwan-style meal


TRIBAL EXPERIENCE P I N GT U N G

area was called Taiwan’s ‘botanical garden’ – wild peonies, wild ginger lilies, and other wildflowers grew in abundance, decorating the landscape.” Under normal circumstances our tour would have continued at this point through forest grove, village, and bog, but Biya said he had a surprise in store for us. The day’s first song-and-dance show was about to begin on the Aroma Forest’s timber-frame stage. The Paiwan, though best known for their arts-and-crafts talent – notably woodcarving and bead-work jewelry – also have a rich musical heritage. “Our traditional music is harmonic, sung in groups rather than solo,” Biya explained. “Songs usually tell a story, and are sung in unison, in two-part polyphony, which includes an upper melodic voice and drone (i.e., an ostinato). You also see this style in one of the special traditional instruments we play, the nose flute. With our double-cylinder nose flute, one (cylinder) has holes and the other does not; the second creates the drone/ ostinato sound that accompanies the music.” And then, to our surprise, he showed us just how, for it turned out Biya was a scheduled performer and his group was just taking the stage. After their performance he explained that, traditionally, young men would play nose-flute music when romancing young women. This was the first day of the annual Ginger Lily Festival, and Biya provided us with a bit more background. “The lily bloom is June~November, and we stage the festival early July through late September. Each day we have a rich full-day schedule of Paiwan-culture music and dance shows, our Aroma Forest market, traditional-style feasts, guided eco/culture tours, and many different DIY experiences. All of these are also available outside the festival, but on weekends only, and on a reduced level.”

the wild ginger-lily extract – which is drunk cold on its own or added to teas and other drinks – and the coffee made with village-grown Arabica beans, just a bit deeper and more bitter than standard Arabica-bean brews. The extract and beans are both packaged for take-home sale; packages of both have been greeting me in my kitchen each morning since my return home. Also stimulating pleasant memories is a range of ginger-lily products that graces my bathroom and my wife’s dressing room: ginger-lily perfume, presented in a scented wooden box, ginger-lily shampoo, body wash, and body lotion in both bottle and vial sets, and even antiaging/hot-spring soak masks. Best of the flavorful best of the wide-ranging native-theme repast (the set meals run from NT$150 to $350) was the classic stone-grilled roast boar, range chicken with basil, bamboo-tube rice, and jinafu , a delicious tamale-like treat made with ground millet, glutinous rice, minced pork, etc., wrapped in mildly bitter edible leaves. A Dongyuan twist on aiyu jelly, a popular Taiwan summertime cooling treat, is the wild ginger-rice jelly. For more information on Dongyuan events and to book a guided tour, call the Mudan Township Dongyuan Community Development Association (0905-232-199). The fee is NT$2,000 for groups of 20 or more; smaller groups/individuals are pooled, each person paying NT$100. There are also a number of other area tourist draws well worth your time, notably the Mudan Reservoir and Shimen Ancient Battlefield. For more information about Pingtung County, visit the “i Love Pingtung” website (i-pingtung.com ).

After this our walking tour continued, Biya leading us through the village to the Dongyuan Wet Grassland. Our barefoot exploration was a great lark. Beyond the enlightening ecobackground provided, it was a gas romping around the squishy, spongy peat-bog surface – my first-ever such experience – almost as excitedly tickled as the kids from other groups all around. “In the old days this was a mysterious, frightening no-go place,” Biya informed us, “because back then healers would ritually drive the evil spirits that made villagers sick into the ‘inescapable’ bog. Today some elders remain wary, but the wet grassland is now an irresistible tourist draw, and we even stage bouncing song-and-dance performances here. It remains sacred, however, and access is allowed only with Paiwan escort.” We finished our Dongyuan visit with a tour of the Aroma Forest’s wood-theme retail and food-and-beverage stands, then sat down to a hearty indigenous-theme meal in the covered picnic-table eating area, which gives you an unobstructed view of the stage performances going on. Naturally, unique local products are emphasized. At the beverage stand, which we made our way to a number of times on this blazing-hot day, especially enjoyable was the lemon juice made with cane sugar and ginger-lily flavoring,

English and Chinese

aiyu 愛玉 Aroma Forest 桃花心木森林 Biya 比亞 Crying Lake 哭泣湖 Dongyuan Forest Recreation Area 東源森林遊樂區 Dongyuan Lake 東源湖 Dongyuan Wet Grassland 東源水上草原 Fangshan River 枋山溪

Ginger Lily Festival 野薑花季 Hengchun Peninsula 恆春半島 jinafu 吉拿富 Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園 Mudan Reservoir 牡丹水庫 Mudan Township 牡丹鄉 Mudan Township Dongyuan Com munity Development Association 牡丹鄉東源社區發展協會 Paiwan Tribe 排灣族 Sun Ming-heng 孫銘恆

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SPECIAL REPORT

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TAICHUNG

The

National Taichung Theater Magnificent Work of Architecture – Central Taiwan’s Growth Garden for World-Class Stage Arts

Exterior of the theater

Who Is Victoria Wang? Wang is one of the leading lights in Taiwan theater management and production. A m o ng t he m o st glit ter ing ac c o mp lish ments in her highly accomplished multidecade career have been stints as the executive director for the Taipei Arts Festival, Taipei Children’s Arts Festival, and Taipei Fringe Festival. She was also a key planner and organizer for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition, a mega-event that attracted millions and featured over 7,000 artistic and cultural performances.

Text: Rick Charette Photos: Maggie Song , Chio-Tian Folk Drums & Arts Troupe

A great wave of excitement has been surging through the Taiwan community of arts lovers, for this month the curtains are at last officially going up at the marvelous National Taichung Theater (NTT).

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he grand complex is a bold architectural statement, an architect’s dream that visually dominates its surrounding environment while at the same time seeking to seamlessly blend with it. The NTT’s designated societal role is no less grand – to serve as central Taiwan’s international-class showcase stage for the stage arts, its first national-level performing arts center, acting as incubator elevating locally-grown Taiwan talent to world-class caliber while at the same time encouraging a new lifestyle with the stage arts front and center for residents both throughout the region and throughout all Taiwan. NTT Artistic & Executive Director Victoria Wang recently took a break from her busy pre-opening preparations to sit down with Travel in Taiwan .

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Photo courtesy of Chio-Tian Folk Drums & Arts Troupe


Small stream flowing into lobby area

SPECIAL REPORT

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TAICHUNG

The NTT Mission “We are a theater for arts and for a new lifestyle.” “We want to be a catalyst for an endless f low of creativity, and be a welcoming e ve r yd ay p r e s e n c e i n t h e l ive s of central Taiwan’s people generation after generation, making the stage arts a normal, routine part of their lives, creating a new lifestyle. We’ll be a space for stories and imagination, capturing the dreams of the city, wowing our audiences. We want it to be second-nature for central Taiwan’s people to proudly say ‘If I’m not at NTT, I’m on my way.’ Our quest is to create a theater destination beloved by locals, intoxicating them with an addictive, irresistible combination of arts, music, coffee relaxation, first-rate design, and elevating exhibits.” Playhouse

Curved internal walls

Grand Theater

The Architecture “Our complex can be seen as being alive – a living, breathing organism.” The main structure challenges traditional theater design, and redefines the role of public space. Most theaters separate interior and acoustic design from the main architectural design, but renowned architect Toyo Ito perceived the complex as a living organism, alive with free-flowing thought and artistic spirit, and all elements are seamlessly intertwined. “As said, we want to make ourselves a seamless ‘nat u ral element’ in the everyday cultural lifestyle. Architecturally, we thus also want to be a seamless ‘natural element’ in the local landscape, eliminating any sense of ‘outside/insidethe-NTT’ separation. Toyo Ito has liberally used glass in our façade, so the publicpark greenway before us streams right inside. The same stone tiling is used in our outdoor plaza and lobby, with no visual separation, a small stream f lows right into (using visual trickery) and through the lobby area, and our internal walls are curved in tube-like fashion for a naturallit cave-like effect, enhancing the seamless out side/i nside nat u ral- env i ron ment continuum. This subconsciously invites people to stream right in, uninhibited by any ‘high arts’ aura. We’re a natural, intrinsic part of the community landscape.”

Functionally, the curved internal walls act both as sound insulators and as acoustic reflectors. Symbolically, they evoke the streaming of the flow of creative ideas, and the pathways within a living organism.

The Venues “We’ve brought in the creme de la creme from around the world to ensure the best experiences for our artists and audience.” T h e N T T h a s m u l t i p l e s p a c e s fo r performances, including three first-class professional theaters, a multifunctional corner salon, and a triumvirate of outdoor spaces specially designed to host liveart and other cultural events – the Plaza, Outdoor Theater, and rooftop Sky Garden.

The NTT Opening Season “We are already a key national institution; with our trial-period and soft-opening shows staged to date we’ve found our audience has come from all over Taiwan – and that they’ve traveled to Taichung specifically for the NTT experience.” Even the most succinct presentation of the NTT Opening Season reveals the breadth of the enterprise’s artistic vision. Running to the end of December, the season’s 60-performance program features more than 30 companies from 10 countries, encompassing Wester n and Chinese opera, drama, dance, and music, including numerous international co-productions. Among the highlights for overseas visitors seeking to explore the Taiwan artistic universe: Theater Under the Moon , a new staging of Taiwanese folk and traditional music, and Chio-Tian Classics Revisited , celebrating one of the quintessential forms of Taiwanese folk-art performance culture, drumming. For more information, visit the official NTT website at www.npac-ntt.org .

English and Chinese National Taichung Theater 臺中國家歌劇院 Victoria Wang 王文儀

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Let Local Guides Take You on a Satisfying Food Tour of Kaohsiung!

Fwu-Keh-Lai South-North Restaurant

W

hat is the meaning of travel? Leaving behind the comfort zone of normal life, every step is a new and surprising experience. As a traveler exploring another city, do you remember your trip through your taste buds, making the food that is exclusive to each city part of your memories? Besides its harbor city charm, Kaohsiung offers visitors an unmissible and unique cuisine. In recent years, a group of local restaurateurs has been insisting on using locally-produced ingredients in their dishes, making good use of seasonal fruit and vegetables and promoting the concept of green food. The head chefs are all highly skilled and their cooking is environmentally friendly, but the dishes are still very delicious. Who are they? Follow four locals to learn about the stories of these green restaurants and unearth the secrets behind their tasty dishes. Ren Tian Mei Nung Hakka Restaurant


A by D VAgriculture E R T I S E Bureau, MENT Adver torial Kaohsiung City Government

Ren Tian Mei Nung Hakka Restaurant A salesman in Kaohsiung for 20 years, A-Li always longed for the taste of his home, Meinung. After he left his hometown and began working, he wasn’t able to go back often to enjoy the Hakka food cooked by his mother. One day, A-li visited Ren Tian Mei Nung Hakka Restaurant with his colleagues and the authentic Hakka flavors, just like made by his mother, made him so excited he almost jumped on the table. He discovered that the restaurant’s head chef, Qiu Yu-han, is the first Hakka Cordon Bleu head chef. He uses Kaohsiung Mei Nung No. 147 rice in Wooden Bucket Sweet Potato Rice and Hakka Pork Floss Fried Rice, the fragrance of the fine local rice adding the taste of home to the dishes. Although Chef Qiu’s dishes retain the “oily, salty, aromatic” characteristics of traditional Hakka food, he has toned them down to match the trend for healthy eating. Borrowing from French cuisine’s techniques and culture, simple local ingredients are used to create exquisite new Hakka cuisine, inheriting the beloved flavors of previous generations but blending in new methods to create dishes that taste just great.

Gold Medal SugarCane-Flavored Pork Knuckle

Two Types of Hakka-style Meat

Yoshi Rou Sushi

Fish Liver and Onions with 3-Cup Vinegar Dressing

Yoshi Rou Sushi Japanese cuisine is refreshing and burden-free, stressing the freshness and original f lavor of ingredients. It is the favorite food of university student Qiqi who regularly visits Yoshi Rou Sushi with her friends. She has sat at the food bar many times and chatted with the head chef. She found that the “Yoshi” part of the restaurant name was inspired by Head Chef Hu Cai-bin’s father who attached great importance to the value of benevolence and righteousness. Chef Hu, who studied cooking in Kurishiki, Okayama Prefecture in Japan, has worked in restaurants in Kaohsiung for many years, making good use of the skills he acquired, and uses locally-sourced ingredients in his dishes. He once ate roast zucchini in Japan that were amazingly sweet. After returning to Kaohsiung, he found out that Qiaotou in Kaohsiung has a farmer who grows excellent zucchini. Chef Hu’s Roast Zucchini is cooked to exploit the natural healthy sweetness of the zucchini; it is almost like eating a dessert. For the house special Flamed Salmon Belly Sushi the chef uses onions from Linyuan and the fatty part of the belly of fresh salmon, the dish allowing him not only to make a name for himself, but also to help local farmers. Yoshi Rou Sushi is the Kaohsiung Japanese restaurant most highly recommended by Qiqi.


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Chief Vegetarian Restaurant

Taro and Pumpkin Casserole

Chief Vegetarian Restaurant

Crab Roe Steamed Dumplings

Chief Vegetarian Restaurant As a nurse, Sister Ying pays special attention to eating a healthy diet and, when dining out, she always chooses a restaurant with a good reputation. Chief Vegetarian Restaurant is on the list of restaurants she favors because the founder, Ms Du Yi-ting, emphasizes a multi-vegetable experience, presenting diners with dishes that are healthy, natural, and tasty. Using cook ing tech niques f rom around the world, she has created several thousand distinctive dishes. It’s hard to resist ordering every dish when you open the menu. The restaurant uses various kinds of local agricultural produce as ingredients, such as in Crab Roe Steamed Dumplings, which has mashed steamed carrot in place of crab paste and has a filling made up of different kinds of vegetables, having the sweetness of cabbage when eaten; and, distinctivelys h a p e d Bok C hoy Cr e s c e nt Mo on Dumplings made using bok choy and firm tofu as the filling, the dumplings both nutritious and healthy. Chief Vegetarian Restaurant shows that natural and healthy food can also be very tasty and that local fruit and vegetables are, of course, the best. Sister Ying guarantees the restaurant is a place where diners can eat without worry.

Fwu-Keh-Lai South-North Restaurant Professional swimming coach Uncle Chuan exercises regularly and he is also a lover of good food. He has dined at FuwKeh-Lai since he was a young man. The restaurant has seen him grow and he has seen it change over the years. Fwu-Keh-Lai South-North Restaurant has been open for 30 years and attracts gourmands from all over. It serves house special Sichuanese and “home cooking” dishes as well as Jiangzhe dishes and Shanghaiese snacks. Restaurant owner Huang Fu-shou began in the business as an apprentice and made his name in the bando (traditional street-side banquets) market in the Kaohsiung area. In his spare time, he studies the art of carving and uses it to great effect in his dishes, making them into eye-catching works of art. Having strong affection for the local area, Huang uses local produce such as the crispy white water snowflake of Meinung matched with the sweetness and fragrance of mikiko, in Mikiko with Fried White Water Snowflake, a simple, but memorably tasty, combination. Another dish of note is the restaurant’s old-time flavor Taro and Pumpkin Casserole, the thick broth with soft pumpkin unforgettable; this is also a favorite dish of Uncle Chuan and one he recommends wholeheartedly.

Ren Tian Mei Nung Hakka Restaurant ( 人田美濃客家菜 ) Add: No. 7, Meishu 2nd Rd., Gushan District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鼓山區美術東二路 7 號 ) Tel: (07) 552-8848

Yoshi Rou Sushi ( 義郎創作壽司 ) Add: No. 59, Meishu 2nd Rd., Gushan District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鼓山區美術東二路 59 號 ) Tel: 07-553-6149 Chief Vegetarian Restaurant ( 慈香庭蔬食餐廳 ) Add: No. 613, Jiuru 1st Rd., Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市三民區九如一路 613 號 ) Tel: (07) 392-9607 / (07) 396-4778

Fwu-Keh-Lai South-North Restaurant ( 南北樓中餐廳 ) Add: No. 18, Linsen 3rd Rd., Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市前鎮區林森三路 18 號 ) Tel: (07) 336-6089


SPECIAL REPORT

S

HEALTH TRAVEL

Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort Text: Vision

Photos: Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort

I

n recent years, combining a sightseeing or business visit to Taiwan with enjoyment of the first-rate wellness services on the island has become increasingly popular. The Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort service is a joint enterprise created by Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital and Hotel Royal Beitou. It is a three-in-one health travel option that includes “hot spring hotel, health management, and cosmetic medicine.” The clinic and resort facilities are in the Hotel Royal Beitou, located near MRT Xinbeitou Station in Taipei’s Beitou District, an area known for its many hot-spring hotels. Wood and stone are the main materials used in the interior design, accompanied by brightly colored decorations, in a display of Beitou’s natural and cultural charms. Pure Cuisine restaurant on the first floor provides meals at reasonable prices, and has a health kitchen jointly created by Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital and Hotel Royal Beitou, serving creative European-style dishes that are both healthful and tasty. Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital has facilities on floors 2~5, including a Medical Imaging Center, Women’s Health Center, Community Cancer Special Area, Cosmetic Medicine Center, Endoscopy Center, and Health Management and Promotion Center. Floors 6~12 house the guestrooms of the Hotel

New Health Travel Options for Visitors to Taiwan Royal Beitou, along with its SPA, fitness room, and gym. Every room has hot-spring facilities, so that guests can fully relax mind and body after enjoying the premium health-management services. The Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort offers two health-holiday travel packages. Guests can choose to visit Beitou’s historic sites and museums, enjoy healthful and tasty European-style cuisine, receive integrated health or cosmetic medicine counseling and treatment, and experience yoga and hot-spring bathing. Englishand Japanese-speaking medical personnel are available to serve guests, providing, for example, translation services to ensure that overseas visitors enjoy a world-class heath-travel experience. A course of treatment or full trip package can be booked through the official website of the Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort at www.tpehealth.com ; you can also call (02) 2896-0188, for service provided by a dedicated staff member.

Taipei Wellness Clinic and Resort ( 臺北國際醫旅 ) Add: No. 2, Zhonghe St., Beitou District, Taipei City ( 臺北市北投區中和街 2 號 ) Tel: (02) 2896-0188 Website: www.tpehealth.com

Travel in Taiwan

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RAIL/BUS/BIKE YILAN

Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Maggie Song

Yilan County National Center for Traditional Arts

Luodong Railway Station

Pacific

Dongshan River Water Park

Ocean Bikeway

Dongshan River EcoArk Dongshan Railway Station Tree Nest Café

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Travel in Taiwan

Railway


RAIL/BUS/BIKE YILAN

Google map with info Clockwise from left: Dongshan River Water Park; street parade and replica old street at National Center for Traditional Arts

Yilan, while perhaps known more for its hot springs, vibrant night markets and festivals, and indigenous culture than for its bike routes, is nonetheless a county that's almost as perfect for cycling as one could ask for.

National Center for Traditional Arts

On a recent trip with friends, before picking up our bikes we make a stop at the National Center for Traditional Arts, which is, as its name suggests, a collection of all things traditional and artistic. The center boasts several large and well-curated exhibition halls, relocated historical buildings, outdoor and indoor theaters (where live performances are staged), and even a life-sized replica old street. During our late-June visit, there are two special exhibitions on show: one on koji and cut-and-paste pottery (two thriving folk industries most notably responsible for the colorful figurines that decorate Taiwan's many ornate temples), and another on artworks inspired by the vast canons of Taiwanese puppet theater, traditional opera, and Chinese classical literature. Both exhibitions have information boards with excellent English, run until mid-September, and are well worth making the journey for. After spending some time in the exhibition halls, we decide to take a stroll down the center's old street. Taiwan is famous for its many historic, arcaded old streets (for example, those in the old settlements of Sanxia, Daxi, and Xiluo, to name but a few). Depending on when the structures were built, the architecture

of these streets can be anything from Qing-dynasty Minnan (south Fujian, from mainland China’s Fujian Province) to early-20th-century baroque revival to art deco to post-colonial modernism. To see the whole spectrum you'd have to, of course, visit a number of these streets; here at the center, however, you get them all in one. The old street has been constructed using 13 different architectural styles, creating a splendid visual mish-mash of red-brick arcades, roughcast columns, mosaicked cornices, and elaborate high-relief façades. Twice daily, a 40-minute show is performed on the old street – a boisterous play involving the Monkey King, Sun Wu Kong (from the Chinese epic The Journey to the West ), gatecrashing the birthday party of the underwater dragon king. There's raucous singing, bright costumes, and a lot of dancing and stagefighting, making it a worthwhile visual spectacle even if you don't understand the dialogue. At the far end of the old street is a wharf, from which we take a boat a little ways down the placid Dongshan River to Dongshan River Water Park, where we pick up our bikes for the rest of the journey.

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RAIL/BUS/BIKE YILAN

Dongshan River Water Park

The boat trip from the National Center for Traditional Arts to Dongshan River Water Park costs NT$75. We disembark at the wharf in the center of the park. The northwesterly end of the park is thick with trees, providing welcome shade and pleasant strolling, while the southeasterly side has a large water-recreation area. Though at first glance the park resembles many other riverside green spaces, take a closer look and you'll find that it is full of intriguing symbolism. The crescent-shaped wading area, which is dotted with white stones, is designed to resemble a traditional duck pen (the stones are ducks), a commonly seen element in a traditional Yilan household. Five cone-shaped rocks that hem in the wading area – and which resemble, perhaps, the backs of turtles? – call to mind, and point directly towards, Turtle Island, which on clear days is visible from the second-floor viewing area of the site’s large red-roofed boat shed. Approach the riverside here, however, and a dragon theme becomes apparent. The bridge crossing the channel that links the river to the wharf resembles a dragon's belly; the winding yellow-fringed platforms on the riverbank resemble a yellow water dragon, while on the opposite bank you'll find a winding blue dragon. These two dragons are said to protect the river, though they also have their own individual symbolism: the yellow dragon, the head of which faces the mountains, symbolizes the countryfolk who stay in Yilan to work; the blue dragon, which looks towards the sea, symbolizes the locals who have gone to seek their fortune abroad. We rent our bikes in a shop near the park's southwestern entrance. Bike-rental service is also available in the park itself – on the riverbank next to the carpark.

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Travel in Taiwan

Dongshan Railway Station

After a 4-kilometer ride southwest, we arrive at Dongshan Railway Station – where a section of elevated railway is encircled with enormous steel loops. We're now hungry, and in need of a break. There are plenty of options around the station for a simple snack, light lunch, or even a full meal. If you feel particularly hot, a visit to Little Kite Snowflake Ice is a must. The shop serves delicious plates of shaved ice piled high, and in flavors ranging from fruity classics (passionfruit, strawberry, and lemon) to more acquired tastes like taro and Japanese green tea. We try the lemon and Yakult shaved ice – a strange flavor combination for some (Yakult is a popular flavor in Taiwan, where the drink is more of a childhood treat than the digestive aid it seems to be in the West), which despite its strangeness is wonderfully refreshing. For something a tad more sumptuous, you might try Eternal Spring Beef Noodles, a restaurant serving delicious bowls of beef noodle soup – a Taiwanese classic – with both spicy and regular broths, and, best of all, great succulent melt-in-your-mouth chunks of beef. Or, if in the mood for a convenient handheld snack, you must try one of the local scallion pancakes. Yilan, as it happens, is renowned for its scallions (or spring onions, if you prefer), which are grown in the township of Sanxing. At the Golden Pearl Scallion Pancake stand you can get one of these thick, crispy onion pancakes for a mere NT$35. A thick, puffy pancake is fried on a griddle until crisp and chewy, covered in a shower of spring onion and a fried egg, and finally folded over to create a mouthwateringly greasy sandwich.


Clockwise from top left: Dongshan Railway Station; Dongshan River EcoArk; outdoor classroom at Dongshan Railway Station; Dongshan River EcoArk; enjoying the natural environment at Dongshan River EcoArk; railway bridge; bicycling in the water park

Dongshan River EcoArk

Follow the elevated railway northwest, and before long you'll cross a stream and entry into the Dongshan River EcoArk. Centered on an area of converging waterways, this park is the culmination of a 20-year-long project to preserve and promote the area's natural ecosystem. Skirt around the outside of the park and you have a good chance to find paddy fields heavy and drooping with rice grains, while in the park itself you'll find meadows and forested trails, terraced fields, and wetlands thick with the splash and calls of wildlife. Throughout the year, white egrets, moorhens, and black drongos make their home here; in summer, yellow-crowned cattle egrets stalk the wetlands, while rhinoceros beetles swarm on the trees; during late autumn, orangebreasted redstarts twitter in the bare branches; winter brings majestic grey herons and flocks of thrushes over the meadows; and with spring, along with the fresh new foliage come barn swallows, zipping beneath the eaves of the park's exhibition buildings. You can explore the park's innards by walking along one of the many winding nature trails. Or, to get a fuller impression of the area while simultaneously putting your feet up, cross the old railway bridge to the park's northern sector and you'll be able to take a guided river tour, which follows the waterways that weave through and around the park's forested north side.

Tree Nest Café

The day is winding down as we follow the Dongshan River further southwest, and it's almost time to head back and return our bikes. Before we do, however, a relaxing half-hour sipping some iced coffee seems like just the thing to give us some pep for the return journey. A little way down from the Eco-Ark along the eastern bank of the Dongshan River, we come across the Tree Nest Café, sheltering in the shade of a decades-old banyan tree. Opened last year by former teacher Qiu Shu-zhen and her husband, Chen Wen-jie, a former interior designer, the café provides a welcome and picturesque respite for anyone cycling along the river. The café has snacks and drinks, but it's best known locally for its somewhat experimental pizzas, which boldly attempt to “Taiwaneseify” the classic Italian dish. The adventurous among you might try the pumpkin, walnut, and sesame rice dumpling pizza – which, though it sounds a little avant-garde – to say the least – is actually a surprisingly complementary fusion of flavors. Qiu's special three-bean coffee blend, cold dripped for several hours and served with Baileys Irish Cream liqueur in place of milk, paired with a selection of homemade cakes, pastries, and tarts make for a splendid late-afternoon “tea break,” too.

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RAIL/BUS/BIKE YILAN

English and Chinese Tree Nest Café

Chen Wen-jie 陳文杰 Daxi 大溪 Dongshan 冬山 Dongshan Railway Station 冬山火車站 Dongshan River EcoArk 冬山河生態綠舟 Dongshan River Water Park 冬山河親水公園 Lanyang Plain 蘭陽平原 Lanyang River 蘭陽溪 Qiu Shu-zhen 邱淑貞 Sanxia 三峽 Sanxing 三星 Turtle Island 龜山島 Xiluo 西螺

Little Kite Snowflake Ice ( 小風箏雪花冰 ) Add: No. 17, Zhonghua Rd., Dongshan Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣冬山鄉中華路 17 號 ) Tel: (03) 959-0875 Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30am-9:30pm, weekends 10am-10pm

Little Kite Snowflake Ice

Tree Nest Café

Eternal Spring Beef Noodles ( 春不老牛肉麵 ) Add: 2F, No. 186, Dongshan Rd., Dongshan Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣冬山鄉冬山路 186 號 2 樓 ) Tel: (03) 959-0599 Hours: Daily 11am-2 pm, 5pm-8 pm (closed Mon)

Golden Pearl Scallion Pancake ( 金珠蔥油餅 ) Location: At intersection of Sec. 1, Dongshan Rd. and Chengxing Rd., opposite the 7-Eleven Tel: 0926-825-349 Hours: Mon-Fri 1:30pm-6:30pm, weekends 10:30am-6:30pm

Eternal Spring Beef Noodles

Tree Nest Café ( 樹樔 Café) Add: No. 36, Lane 176, Bajia Rd., Dongshan Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣冬山鄉八甲路 176 巷 36 號 ) Hours: Mon-Fri 11am- 7 pm, weekends 11am-9pm Tel: (03) 959-5813

National Center for Traditional Arts ( 國立傳統藝術中心 ) Add: No. 201, Sec. 2, Wubin Rd., Jixin Village, Wujie Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣五結鄉季新村五濱路二段 201 號 ) Tel: (03) 950-7711 Website: www.ncfta.gov.tw Hours: Daily 9am-6pm Entrance Fee: NT$150

Bike Rental: Getting There and Around Trains to Luodong Railway Station leave Taipei regularly (and take between 1 and 2 hours). From the station, take a taxi or a Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus (en.taiwantrip.com.tw ; Dongshan River Route; 25 min.) to the National Center for Traditional Arts. Bikes can be rented at Dongshan River Water Park (a short boat ride from the center).

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Travel in Taiwan

Qin Qin Bike Rental ( 親親自行車出租 ) Add: No. 19, Sec. 2, Qinhe Road, Wujie Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣五結鄉親河路二段 19 號 ) Tel: (03) 950-8239 Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7 pm, weekends 6am-7pm Prices: Standard bike NT$100, full day; electric bike NT$300, full day; tandems and 4-person quadricycles are also available. To rent a bike you need to leave a form of ID as a deposit.


MRT Minquan W. Rd. Station

MRT Zhongshan Elementary School Station

Minquan W. Rd.

TaipeiEYE

Jinxi St.

Jinzhou St.

Xinsheng N. Rd. Sec. 2

Linsen N. Rd.

Zhongshan N. Rd. Sec. 2

Chengde Rd. Sec. 2

g W. Rd. Minshen

MinQuan E. Rd. Sec. 1

Minsheng E. Rd. MRT Sec. 1 Shuanglian Station

Let’s experience some exciting traditional Taiwan stage performances! TaipeiEYE stages shows for tourists visiting Taiwan, including folk music, aboriginal dance and music, Peking opera improved by new scenes of dances and martial arts, and much more. English subtitles are provided so that foreign visitors can easily follow the action. The performances at TaipeiEYE are a must-see for anyone interested in the amazing performing arts of Taiwan.

Getting there: Take the MRT to Zhongshan Elementary School Station, then follow Minquan

Performances: Mon., Wed., Fri., & Sat. at 20:00

E. Rd. to Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd. (5-min. walk).

Tel: +886-2-2568-2677

Or take the MRT to Minquan W. Rd. Station,

E-Mail: taieye@taipeieye.com

then follow Minquan E. Rd. to Sec. 2, Zhongshan

Add: Cement Hall at Taiwan Cement Building, 113, Sec. 2,

N. Rd. (8 -min. walk). Or take the MRT to

Zhongshan N. Rd., Taipei City(Jinzhou St. entrance)

Shuanglian Station, then follow Minsheng E. Rd.

www.taipeieye.com

to Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd. (8-min. walk)

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FARM FUN YILAN

The Shangrila Leisure Farm

in

Yilan Text: Owain Mckimm

Photos: Maggie Song

Sitting in the verdant hills of southern Yilan County overlooking the expansive Lanyang Plain, Shangrila Leisure Farm is a great getaway, offering you pristine nature, refreshing fruit orchards, and enchanting views you can enjoy right from your comfy guestroom.

Having fun at Shangrila Leisure Farm

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Travel in Taiwan


FARM FUN YILAN

From top: Outlook tower; butterfly; cicada; learning about the farm’s flora and fauna on a guided tour

T

here are a large number of leisure farms in Taiwan (202 to be precise), and Yilan County in the northeast has the highest density, cramming 29 into an area of around 300 square kilometers. With numbers, of course, comes variety – there are leisure farms that emphasize the farm-life element, some as kitschy petting zoos, others as real working farms with a strong focus on ecological education; others are more about the leisure – relaxing in nature, strolling among orchards, appreciating grand mountaintop vistas. The Shangrila Leisure Farm, a 17-hectare tourist operation high up on Mt. Dayuan, falls firmly into the latter category. There are no bleating lambs or squelching wellington boots here, only mountainside fruit groves, observation towers on rocky outcrops, chirruping insects, fluttering butterflies, eagles circling above. If you're looking for an activity-filled day with hands-on animal feeding, or a day transplanting rice seedlings, or a go on a tractor, it might not be up your alley; but if you want somewhere to recharge your batteries, to retreat for a while from the world, the Shangrila Leisure Farm is just the place. The orchard farm was completed in 1988 and was, at the time, the first of its kind in Taiwan. The owner, Zhang Qing-lai, is a local boy, born in nearby Dajin Village into a farming family. As a young man, Zhang would see tourists from the city arriving in his village, practically begging to be allowed to pick fruit from the local orchards. The farmers, however, were reticent to let them do so, as they feared the city slickers would damage their crops. Zhang also noticed that many of the better-off tourists were civil servants, and he made it his dream to become one himself. After many years of study, he did finally pass the civil service exam – no mean feat in Taiwan – but after only seven days on the job he began to feel claustrophobic in his government-issued office, and longed to go back to the farming lifestyle of his youth. Though called a fool by his friends and relatives, Zhang recalled the city folk who had come to the countryside wanting to pick fruit, and the idea for the Shangrila Leisure Farm was born. On a recent tour of the farm’s orchards, our guide for the day, Lin Ya-wen, showed us the many types of trees and plants that populate the farm and its environs. The Shangrila Leisure Farm, Lin said, is one of the few places where people can see the rare Formosan michelia. Because of its sturdy wood, the tree was once widely used for house-building and furniture; now however, it's a protected species, and the Shangrila farm has worked together with the Taiwan Forestry Bureau to plant and protect 70,000 of these silverbarked trees, which, because of their slow growth rate, still appear to be barely more than saplings despite being planted decades ago. In addition to the michelia, Lin points out Brazilian grapetrees, bald pines, Formosan ash swarming with rhinoceros beetles (which like to suck the sap) and cicadas, fragrant camphors, and even a miracle fruit tree (the berries of which, if you eat them, confuse your taste buds into perceiving sour flavors as sweet). Travel in Taiwan

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FARM FUN YILAN

The main attractions, though, are the fruit trees – guavas, dragonfruits, sweet oranges, wax apples, kumquats, starfruit, pomelos, mulberries. The fruits, when in season, are free for anyone to pick, and if you eat them inside the orchard, you can pick as much as you like free of charge. If you want to take some fruit home, however, you will have to pay for what you take away by weight. At the far end of the orchard area is a viewing platform with a hanging drum, resembling the type of drum you see at many of Taiwan's temples (which, if you so wish, you can beat to your heart's content – though do be aware that the sound can be heard right across the mountain). The views from here of the Lanyang Plain and the surrounding peaks are just sublime. Guided nature tours are available, cost NT$2,000 per group (regardless of number of participants; booking three days in advance required), and last about an hour – it's recommended that you let the staff know ahead of time if you'd like a tour. But you are by no means obliged to take a tour to enter the orchards; guests staying at the farm overnight can enter any time for free, while casual visitors must pay an entrance fee of NT$250. If you have kids with you, or you yourself have itchy creative fingers, there are several DIY options too – whistle, rattle, toy, and lantern making, as well as T-shirt and spinning-top painting. Ask the staff at the DIY hut opposite the main entrance for details. Hungry after a day's rambling, we took dinner at the farm's restaurant. There's a regular menu, offering a selection of four main courses with a salad, appetizer, rice, dessert, drink, and fruit for NT$350 – but if you notify the restaurant in advance (5 days is recommended), you can opt for the special seven-course seasonal set menu (priced at NT$660/person). We were served bitter melon glazed in honey, a fresh shrimp salad, monkey's head mushroom soup (not what you might think – the monkey's head is simply a variety of mushroom with a distinctly meaty texture), barbecued pork, deep-fried pumpkin balls, seafood meatballs, and an elaborate fruit bowl. The restaurant is also halal-certified, to accommodate Muslim guests, though halal sets must, too, be booked in advance. For those wishing to contrast their relaxing day with a more pulsating evening, the farm's staff host a series of folk entertainments every night at 8 pm. On the Costa del Sol, you might get a cabaret act or a bawdy comedian; in Taiwan, you get Techno Prince Nezha! This needs some explaining: Techno Prince Nezha is a large, bobble-headed Daoist deity, commonly seen dancing to techno music at temple fairs and processions. It's a uniquely Taiwanese phenomenon that combines Taiwanese folk dancing with fast-paced electro-pop. The craze apparently began when some of the young people charged with dressing up as deities during these temple events began combining their religious piety with their love of clubbing. Only, as I said, in Taiwan. After the Techno Prince has taken his final bow, the staff led us in making tangyuan , chewy balls rolled from a dough of glutinous-rice flour, which are typically served during the Lantern Festival (the traditional end to the Chinese New Year period). They can be sweet or savory (depending on the filling) and, because of their round shape, symbolize family unity and togetherness. Next up, while the tangyuan were cooking, was the spinningtop competition. Wooden spinning tops remain a popular retro toy in Taiwan, with experts able to perform some amazing tricks and 42

Travel in Taiwan

View over the Lanyang Plain

Taking in the scenery

Main building at the farm


FARM FUN YILAN

From top: Fine tea is served at the farm; shrimp salad; guestroom with amazing view; launching a sky-lantern

stunts. We, however, are very much amateurs, and could barely get the things to spin at all (though we were rather good at getting our tops to skid uncontrollably across the floor). Lastly, after guzzling down our tangyuan , we lit sky-lanterns and watched entranced as the small paper-made hot-air balloons float away into a dark and starry sky. If you still have some energy left, and the conditions are agreeable, the farm's staff will take you on a firefly hunt. There are over 30 species of firefly in Taiwan, though only two of these species can be seen regularly in the area surrounding the farm – the tiny Pyrocoelia analis in spring and early summer, and the larger Pyrocoelia praetexta Olivier later in the year. Following the guides to the fireflies' favorite spots, you'll see the luminous little insects dancing in shifting, flickering neon clouds, a sight made all the more special by the fact that in this, their post-larval state, their lives only last a little over a week. Finally ready to turn in, we headed back to the resort's main accommodation complex, the Song Luo Resort. Completed in 2014, the hotel is a red-roofed, wood-columned set of buildings somewhat reminiscent of Swiss chalets. There are 75 guestrooms altogether, with another 20 under renovation, which will be ready next year. We stayed in one of the Cirrus Deluxe rooms, NT$7,000 a night, with two large double beds (suitable for 2 or 4 guests), though there are smaller and cheaper rooms available –the cheapest being the Delicate Double room at NT$4,500 per night. Though undoubtedly pricy, the rooms are very tastefully designed – clean white walls contrasting nicely with pillars and beams of fragrant red cedar. Each room, too, has a large single-pane window, providing an unrestricted view of the valley and plain below. And, as a final elegant touch, in front of the window is a raised dais with a table and cushions, where you can sit cross-legged, enjoying some tea as the lights on the dark plain below start slowly to glimmer and glow. Chinese and English

Shangrila Leisure Farm

Dajin Village 大進村 Formosan michelia 烏心石 Lanyang Plain 蘭陽平原 Lin Ya-wen 林雅雯 Luodong 羅東 Mt. Dayuan 大元山 Song Luo Resort 松羅館 tangyuan 湯圓 Techno Prince Nezha 電音三太子 Zhang Qing-lai 張清來

( 香格里拉休閒農場 ) Add: No. 168, Meishan Rd., Dajin Village, Dongshan Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣冬山鄉大進村梅山路 168 號 ) Tel: (03) 951-1456 Website: www.shangrilas.com.tw

Getting There The farm provides a shuttle-bus ser vice to and from Luodong Railway Station. Buses leave for the farm from Luodong twice a day, at 10:20am and 2:20pm, and from the farm for the station at 9:50am and 13:40pm. The fare is NT$100 per person (one way), and seats must be booked 3 days in advance. Travel in Taiwan

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Minxiong in Chiayi County Home of Fruit and a Great Place to Have Fun

Minxiong Kumquat Factory/ Kumquat Cake

Star Farm x Star Coffee

In Search for the Sour-Sweet Taste of Happiness on the Red Land The old name of the Pingpu indigenous tribe for what is today’s Minxiong Township in Chiayi County was “Damao.” Minxiong is in the center of Chiayi County, in the middle of the Jianan Plain, and has an elevation of only 25 meters, with simple, flat terrain. Apart from where the land rises and falls in some hilly areas, it is mainly typical plain land. Located on the Tropic of Cancer, the area has both sub-tropical and tropical climate, making it suitable for growing various kinds of fruit. It is most famous for producing pineapples. The red soil is slightly acidic and the pineapples that are grown here are delicate, sweet, and juicy and have excellent taste and texture, which is why Minxiong is known as “the home of pineapples.” The Three Treasures of Minxiong – Haunted House, Fresh Fruit, and Pineapple Cake Minxiong’s haunted house is known across Taiwan. Anytime, “haunted house” is mentioned, the one in Minxiong is first on the list of places put forward to test people’s courage. Due to the waves of visitors that have been attracted in recent years, a coffee shop, the Ghost Café, has opened up next to the

Ghost Café

Gigishop/Yogurt

Pineapple Hill/Pineapple Cake

haunted house. Two notable things about the coffee shop are the strange atmosphere inside and the fact that local fresh fruit is used in the dishes it serves. The advantages of Minxiong’s climate and soil make it a place where various fruits with economic value are grown. Apart from its renowned pineapples, it also produces excellent cherry tomatoes, muskmelons, and pomegranates. Minxiong is top for pineapple output and quality in Taiwan. As more and more tourists visit the township, a variety of products have been developed; one of them, pineapple cake, has become a must-buy gift for visitors to the area.

Star Farm & Star Coffee


Advertorial by Chiayi County

Let’s Be Moved by the Good Tastes of Minxiong The founder of Minxiong Kumquat Factory, a place where sincerity can be found amidst the ordinary, is dedicated to promoting the local kumquat brand and introducing the various good things about the fruit. The small golden fruit is highly nutritious. The different products made by processing kumquat present its different flavors, such as sweet kumquat cake which is a great nutritional supplement for women in the period after they give birth. In earlier times, Taiwanese pineapples were too sour and most were processed. The Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute set about developing a variety that could be eaten fresh and Minxiong was chosen as the test area. In cooperation with Star Farm, the variety of pineapple now with the highest market share, Golden Diamond Pineapple, was developed. The family behind Star Farm opened Star Coffee in 2015. The dishes served feature pineapple and the café continues to promote the farm’s principle of eco-friendly farming and living. To promot e the fruit of Minxion Township g, Minxion office, toge g ther with lo fruit farms, cal leisure periodically holds DIY using loca activities l agricultu ral produc ts to introd the produc uce e of Minxi ong Towns students fr hip to om other areas. The also show activities students ho w pineappl grown, pick es are ed and pr ocessed.

The story of the encounter between Gigi Shop and Songjie Pineapple and the founding of Gigi Shop has its origin with the love of a mother for her children, and the desire to give her children the best of everything. This led her to develop the healthful Gigi yoghurt. The farmer who grows Songjie pineapples is actually Gigi’s husband; he focuses the same care he shows for his children on growing pineapples. With the farmer insisting on natural farming methods, it takes a full two years for the sweet and fragrant pineapples to grow. The pineapples are processed and made into pineapple jam that is eaten together with the handmade yoghurt, a healthful, worry-free, and tasty combination. The pineapple master of Pineapple Hill grows pineapples that have won the Shennong Award, the highest agricultural award in Taiwan. Plump, fragrant pineapples of the best varieties are used to make pineapple cake. Insisting on the best quality pineapple cakes, each pineapple is only used to make four small pineapple cakes. Every mouthful presents an unforgettable local taste. Better Farming originated from Minxiong, the home of pineapples. The first two characters in the Chinese name come from the Taiwan meaning “to work and rest,” reflecting the basis of rural life: Get up to work in the fields at sun up, rest when the sun goes down, farm the local land, and Taiwan will be a better place. The aim of Better Farming is to extend pineapples from food culture to the realm of life aesthetics, including food, washing, fabric, useful objects, and education. Merging agriculture and aesthetics, fun and practical daily use items have been developed, adding depth and aesthetic width to Taiwanese pineapple culture. Café de Fish is a distinctive coffee shop in Minxiong. Originally, a property with a fish pond, a second generation family member returned home and creatively turned the fish pond area into a fishthemed café, offering people a highly distinctive coffee-drinking experience. Anyone who likes to drink coffee and also view fish should not miss a visit to Café de Fish when in the Minxiong area. Minxiong Kumquat Factory ( 民雄金桔觀光工廠 ) Add: No. 38, Neighborhood 7, Chencuo Liao, Sanxing Village, Minxiong Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣民雄鄉三興村陳厝寮 7 鄰 38 號 ) Tel: (05) 272-0351, DIY courses available; advance booking required Ghost Café ( 鬼屋咖啡 ) Add: No. 12, Yiqiao, Xingzhong Village, Minxiong Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣民雄鄉興中村義橋 12 號 ) Tel: (05) 220-8508

Minxiong Kumquat Factory

Better Farming ( 作息尚好 ) Ordering Hotline: 0963-665-633

Pineapple Hill ( 旺萊山 ) Add: No. 1-3, Chencuo Liao, Sanxing Village, Minxiong Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣民雄鄉三興村陳厝寮 1-3 號 ) Tel: (05) 272-0696 Star Farm & Star Coffee ( 星農場 X 星咖啡 ) Add: No. 40, Sanxing Village, Minxiong Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣民雄鄉三興村 40 號 ) Gigi Shop ( 琪琪健康鋪 ) Add: No. 27, Sanxing Village, Minxiong Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣民雄鄉三興村 27 號 ) Tel: (05) 272-1122

Café de Fish ( 魚罐頭咖啡館 ) Add: Chiayi Township Road 78, Minxiong Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣民雄鄉嘉 78 鄉道 ) Tel: (05) 206-2775 Facebook Fanpage ( 民雄 x 果然遊趣 ) : www.facebook.com/minsyongjam Guided by Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs

Gigishop/Songjie Pineapple

Tsoh-Sit Siong Ho/Natural Handmade House-Cleaning Detergent

Resident, Travel, and Fruit Product Industries of Minxiong Township, Chiayi County – “Jiang, Jiang, Jiang” Brand Promotion and Development Plan


POPULAR FLAVORS

a e r t T T t r e en e w

ds

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SWEET TREATS

in Taipei A Look at Desserts and Other Delectables Text: Nick Kembel

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Travel in Taiwan

Photos: Maggie Song

Living Green


POPULAR FLAVORS SWEET TREATS

Living Green

How do you like your desserts – with just a hint of sugar, or very sweet? The Taiwanese tend to prefer the former, while Westerners usually favor the latter. In this article we introduce some of the latest dessert trends in Taiwan’s capital by visiting confectioners and patisseries that are not only perfecting but also reinventing traditional Taiwanese desserts, with results that may appeal to Asian and Western palates alike. These treats feature traditional local ingredients that embody Taiwan’s culinary landscape, adapted for a generation of sweet-treat lovers seeking to uncover newfangled taste experiences.

I

n my country, Canada, typical desserts are dense, creamy, buttery, often chocolaty, and most importantly, extremely sweet. Traditional Taiwanese desserts often strike me as being too healthy and not sweet enough to qualify as desserts, with ingredients that most Westerners would not regard as belonging to the category, such as beans, tofu, sesame seeds, sweet potato, and taro. There is also a textural preference in Taiwan for all things chewy-squishy, or “QQ.” One exception to this low-sweetness standard seems to be shaved ice, a refreshing confection with ice doused in such goodies as brown-sugar syrup. Traditional shaved-ice shops dish up icy mounds of goodness with your choice of chewy accompaniments, but nowadays, fruit concoctions with sweetened condensed milk have also become enormously popular, with Taiwan-grown mango being the go-to choice in summer. When it comes to cakes and pastries, the ones you can see displayed in café and bakery windows in ritzy shopping districts tend to be showy, with great effort expended on making them look as beautiful and photogenic as possible. But if you are used to Western-style cakes with sugary icing and moist, creamy fillings, you may be surprised when you bite into a Taiwanese cake and find layers of such tasties as adzuki-bean paste and mochi. Whatever your preference, there’s no denying that most Taiwa nese desser t s a re healt h ier t ha n t hei r Wester n counterparts, and with less sugar, you can actually better savor the natural flavors of the ingredients. Many Taiwanese desserts

have really grown on me, and I find that the longer I live here, the more I am losing my sweet tooth. If you are like me and your dessert taste buds lie somewhere between East and West, I would strongly recommend a visit to Living Green. With its signature fruit tarts and sundaes, this café, located in Da’an District not far from MRT Daan Station, has managed to create a line of desserts that appeals to both the local demand for an aesthetically impressive confection and a Westerner’s desire for something rich, creamy, and sweet. Designer Sebastian Wu and Stanley Chen, the chef at Living Green, had always dreamed of opening their own café. After they gutted a street-level apartment, Wu redesigned the space with an eye to creating a unique mix of old-style Western and Taiwanese cultural elements. Antique tables and decorations imported from Europe give it an old-time feel which Wu asserts “brings out deep, warm memories from the heart,” while ferns protruding from the walls and an open-air garden at the back create an outdoorsy environment. For a sentimental touch, the space features antique suitcases that the grandfather of the two brothers used to transport his only possessions when he fled from mainland China to Taiwan in the late 1940s at the end of the Chinese Civil War. “We were born near Sun Moon Lake, and in this space we try to incorporate the greenery of central Taiwan in an urban space that is both comfortable and eco-friendly.” Wu explains. The café’s menu showcases local, healthful Taiwanese ingredients, mostly sourced from the Sun Moon Lake region, Travel in Taiwan

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POPULAR FLAVORS SWEET TREATS

Bling cake by Bling House

some even coming from the farms of relatives. “We wanted to incorporate the flavors that we have been familiar with since we were kids, and to provide a space where people can make a connection between plants and the healthful nature of food. These are the flavors of Taiwan.” Personally, I’ve tried countless Taiwanese fruit-topped cakes that I can only describe as disappointing, but the fruit tarts at Living Green are anything but. Only seasonal fruits are used; so no matter what you order, it will be at its freshest. If you visit in spring-summer, you can expect honeydew, peach, mango, grape, and lychee, while in fall and winter you can look forward to blueberry, pomelo, grapefruit, and strawberry. I first sampled the mango tart, which comes with a buttery base, mango-flavored whipped cream, blueberries around the rim, and fresh mango chunks topped with lime zest. You simply can’t go wrong with mango. The lychee tart, which features a pyramid of whole lychees garnished with dried rose flakes atop a thick, crumbly base, offers a perfect balance between the dryness of the crust and the lychee juiciness in every bite. My personal favorite was the grape tart, which has a cheesecake-like interior and is drizzled in mouthwatering Sun Moon Lake honey. The tarts are visually graceful, and so simple in their composition that the main purpose of all the other ingredients seems to be to bring out or accentuate the deliciousness of the fruits themselves. They are texturally balanced, and sweet without being excessively so. You’ll want to take pictures, but your mouth will not be left out of the fun. An equal amount of effort is put into the sundaes; the mango ice cream used in the one I ordered was to die for. When the café first opened, the team catered mainly to women, who they thought would be most interested in their aesthetically 48

Travel in Taiwan

graceful desserts. However, they soon noticed that their patron base was primarily made up of elderly people, families, and students from the many nearby schools. Customers enjoyed the green atmosphere, but also the fact that, besides swooning over a fancy dessert, they could also sip quality Taiwanese teas and dine on simple, street vendor-style meals. The menu features Sun Moon Lake’s famed Red Jade black tea, as well as handmade, sun-dried flour noodles from the Douliu area in Yunlin County that are colored with natural dyes made of beetroot and Chinese mesona (normally used to make a popular treat called “grass jelly”). The noodles that I tried were seasoned with cumin and fried in sesame oil. Other desserts worth mentioning are the black tea tiramisu with local Peacock cookies, a brand that Taiwanese fondly recall from their childhood, a ganache tart that includes layers of chocolate, caramel, and salted duck-egg yolk, indigenous-tribe millet wine shaved ice, dragon fruit smoothies, and Oriental Beauty tea ice cream. The menu itself is a masterpiece of design, with sections describing the origin of the ingredients used, including the various spices and herbs, and the eco-friendly practices used in producing them. If you want to try something more traditional Bling House in Xinyi District is a good option. This café does interesting spins on classic liang gao , or cold cakes made of tapioca (NT$60). While traditional liang gao are usually sold by street vendors and consist of little cubes or nuggets covered in powdered sugar, the squareshaped ones created here are translucent, so you can actually make out the layer of ingredients in the middle. The flavors here are mild and pleasant, with a lovely contrast between the light, gelatinous rice cake and dense interior. Popular fillings include adzuki bean, mung bean, lotus bean, and taro, but my personal


POPULAR FLAVORS SWEET TREATS

favorite was the brown sugar-flavored version with a sweet potato filling. Alternatively, you can go for the xiao liang , which are plain glutinous-rice cubes doused in yogurt, brown-sugar syrup, or chocolate syrup and topped with peanut or sesame powder (NT$65).

Mango Smoothie by Living Green

For a unique and visually stunning take on traditional shaved ice, head to BinGirl on the fourth f loor of the ATT4FUN building in Xinyi District. The café itself looks something like a fancy, oversized birdcage; you might momentarily think you are sitting in Cinderella’s chariot. The stars of the show here are the vibrantly colored, elaborately decorated ice blocks (NT$380), each side 10 inches across. They come in seasonal flavors including mango, lychee, raspberry, and dragon fruit, along with your choice of ice cream. Each block is surrounded by a sea of agar-jelly blobs and topped with an animal-shaped cookie. And as if that weren’t enough, each cube’s interior is filled with a secret flavor of ice cream. BinGirl also does a puffed pancake in Japanese style that is found nowhere else in Taiwan (NT$340), made and served in a special skillet. Caramel apple is the most popular flavor. And if you just want a regular old flat pancake, why not make it a pearl milk tea one (NT$280)? BinGirl ( 冰果甜心 ) Add: 4F, No. 12, Songshou Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei City ( 台北市信義區松壽路 12 號 4 樓 ) Tel: (02) 7737-8788 Website: bingirl.weebly.com (Chinese) Bling House ( 涼食帖 ) Add: No. 7, Sec. 2, Anhe Rd., Da'an District, Taipei City ( 台北市大安區安和路二段 7 號 ) Tel: (02) 2703-8200 Website: www.blinghouse.com.tw (Chinese) Living Green ( 貳房苑 ) Add: No. 14, Lane 23, Rui’an St., Da’an District, Taipei City ( 台北市大安區瑞安街 23 巷 14 號 ) Tel: (02) 2755-3039 Website: www.2twgreenlife.com (Chinese)

BinGirl

English and Chinese Da’an District 大安區 Douliu 斗六 “grass jelly” 仙草凍 liang gao 涼糕 Peacock cookies 孔雀香酥脆 Red Jade black tea 紅玉紅茶 Sebastian Wu 吳恩均 Stanley Chen 陳和瑋 Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 xiao liang 小涼

Puffed pancake by BinGirl

Travel in Taiwan

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Talk in Taiwan

Hotels Hostels Homestays 旅館

T

raveling far away from home in most cases means staying in some sort of hotel, hostel, or guesthouse. In Taiwan there are many accommodation options you can choose from. If room rates don’t matter, and what you are looking for is the best service and quality, a room in a 5-star hotel ( 五星級飯 店 ; wuxingji fandian) will most likely be your optimal choice. Smaller in size, yet often equally high-standard in terms of room quality and service, is the boutique hotel ( 精品飯店 ; jingpin fandian). Less fancy, but offering all the things a tourist usually needs, is the tourist hotel ( 觀光飯店 ; guanguang fandian). Backpackers often prefer youth hostels ( 青年旅舍 ; qingnian lushe), though perhaps the best combination of high comfort and affordability is provided by the many B&Bs, called “homestays” ( 民宿 ; minsu) in Taiwan. Making room reservations ( 訂房 ; dingfang) is most often required, whichever type of accommodation you choose. As options, you usually have single rooms ( 單人房 ; danrenfang), double rooms ( 雙人房 ; shuangrenfang), triple rooms ( 三人 房 ; sanrenfang), quad rooms ( 四人房 ; sirenfang), suites ( 套 房 ; taofang), and dormitories ( 宿舍 ; sushe). One room type you rarely get in the West is Japanese-style ( 和式 ; heshi), meaning that mattresses or futons are placed on the floor (sometimes laid out with tatami mats, as in Japan). Here are some other useful words and phrases related to staying in local accommodation

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Travel in Taiwan

Text: Vision Illustration: Andy Chang

Breakfast included ( 包含早餐 ; baohan zaocan) Railway station/airport pick-up/drop-off ( 車站 / 機場接送 ; chezhan/jichang jiesong) Check-in ( 入住 ; ruzhu) Check-out ( 退房 ; tuifang) Free Internet access ( 免費上網 ; mianfei shangwang) Hot-spring bathing ( 溫泉泡湯 ; wenquan paotang) Tourist map ( 觀光地圖 ; guanguang ditu) If you opt to stay in a homestay ( 民宿 ; minsu), you will be spoilt for choice, since there are several thousand now in operation, ranging from the luxurious to the very basic. Make sure that your guesthouse meets approved standards by searching on the website of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (taiwanstay.net.tw). All homestays vetted by the Bureau have an official plate (with serial number) mounted in a conspicuous location on the premises, featuring this visual image : Hotels listed on the website are also rated with stars, with 5 stars being the top rating, making it easier for travelers to determine the quality of those hotels. Among the listed homestays are several hundred that have been specially selected by the Bureau as “Taiwan Hosts” ( 好客民宿 ; haoke minsu), for being especially warm, friendly, clean, sanitary, and safe. These homestays will have the following logo:


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PRECIOUS GIFTS GLASS ART

Crystal Clear

Glass-blowing experience at Kun's Crystal

T Text: Dana Ter

Photos: Maggie Song

In the past its uses were primarily industrial, but glass-making in Taiwan has grown to be recognized for its aesthetic value, with some glass-art studios in Taipei offering DIY workshops where you can have a fun time creating your own art pieces.

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hough the history of glass art in China dates back more than two millennia, in Taiwan it spans only a few decades – and it’s just of late that the craft has garnered significant interest. Glass production was introduced to the island during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945), and was concentrated primarily in the northwest city of Hsinchu. Initial production was limited to industrial uses, but by the 1960s more decorative items were being made. Hsinchu has slowly and steadily gained a reputation as the center of glass art in Taiwan, and the Glass Museum of Hsinchu City showcases the history of glass art on the island while also presenting a stunning display of new works made with modern techniques. Today, residents and travelers in the Taipei region need not trek down to Hsinchu, for numerous glass-art studios in the capital offer DIY workshops and decorative glassware items that can be purchased as precious gifts to take home. The range of options is abundant, from classic Chinese-theme wares to cups sculpted to look like adorable barn animals. The proliferation of these studios attests to the evolution of glass-making primarily for practical uses to an art form with works created for aesthetic value.


PRECIOUS GIFTS GLASS ART

Making Delicate Glassware in Taipei

Glass-art master Lynn Lin at work

Kun’s Crystal A crowd gathers up close to the floor-to-ceiling glass window, arms outstretched and gripping smartphones to document the spectacle unfolding by the kiln. Lynn Lin is heating a small piece of molten glass, affixed to the tip of a long, metal blowpipe, in a 1,000°C fire, gloveless. The bulb-like shape is bright red as it emerges. Swiftly, skillfully, she twirls the blowpipe around like a baton, a process which cools the glass back down to a less-intense hue. Kun’s Crystal is not what one would imagine a glass-art studio to be. Located in the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store, a shopping mall in Taipei’s Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, the studio offers shoppers a chance to witness glass art being made in an environment that is a far cry from the sweltering conditions of a factory. Lin’s glassware and works made by other glass artists are sold in the mall. Drinking glasses and cute cups made to resemble bears, pigs, and dogs range from NT$800 to NT$1,300. More elaborate glass art ranges from NT$1,300 to NT$12,000. The pieces include both traditional (Buddhas and cabbage, for example) and sleek, minimalistic designs. Lin also teaches glass-blowing classes at

the studio, which are priced at NT$1,000 to NT$1,800 per session, depending on the type of glassware the customer wishes to make. Founded in 1997 by Chen Kun-liang and his sister, Kun’s Crystal was moved from its original location in Yingge, an area in New Taipei City known for its pottery, to the Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store when the mall was opened in August 2013. I meet with Chen’s sister, Chen Pei-ling, who tells me more about the family-run business. Her brother had worked in a couple of factories in Taiwan, but found the experience tedious and uninspiring. Each employee simply performed one task, without being able to see the final product. “It was just a production line,” she says. Before launching Kun’s Crystal, the siblings researched the tools and machinery needed to set up a glass-art studio. Since they weren’t able to source many of the tools they needed, Chen Kunliang carved his own, using sakura wood. Chen Pei-ling picks up one of the shaping tools for me to touch. It’s smooth, and a little charred, like a work of art itself. Travel in Taiwan

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PRECIOUS GIFTS GLASS ART

Tittot A whiskey glass taking shape

Liuli Gongfang

to attend a high school for the arts. But art programs at universities in Taiwan were not well established in the late ’90s, so Lin moved to Tokyo to attend university. It was there that she took her first glass-art class. After crafting her first piece of glassware, Lin decided that “In a typical glass-art factory, it’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s a team sport,” this was what she wanted to do with her life. “I was drawn to Lin tells me. It’s pretty much the same here within the shopping the difficulty and skill it takes to make a piece of glass art,” mall, minus the sweat. Another glass artist is assisting Lin. Their she says. “Because it’s not so easy to perfect, it compels you to go out of your way to learn more, and hone your actions sync as Lin rotates a blow tube with glass affixed while the other artist holds the shaper to the glass, Everything skill.” sculpting the inside to make it more cylindrical. here is Lin mentions that being a full-time glass artist in When it’s my turn to try some DIY, I don an apron, detachable sleeve on my right arm, glove on my left hand. handmade, Taiwan was unheard of until just a few years ago. The left hand is used to grip the blow pipe whenever even the tools Parents would simply discourage their children from studying it, and art schools would push students to the glass is being heated. I try to remember the steps – heating, cooling, blowing, shaping, trimming – which are repeated become product designers instead. The rationale was that it was numerous times before the end product can be seen. Sometimes your difficult to earn a living from making glassware, while you needed to invest lots of money in machinery and tools. actions must be swift, other times slow and careful. But this is changing. People are starting to recognize the value The initial shock of standing near the kiln (it’s hot!) quickly disappears when I pick up a shaper and get to see and feel the of glass art. Lin’s latest collection, “Frozen,” shows how glass shape of the glass forming, the end result resembling a slightly can be both practical and aesthetic. Her bowls and vases have a delicate, icy quality, appearing opaque and transparent at the same lopsided, cracked whiskey glass. Seeing the look of elation on my face, Lin says it’s the satisfaction time. “I wish to shatter the mentality that glass-making is solely that comes from creating something with your own hands. It’s not for practical purposes,” she states. “With handmade items, in the same as using a machine. The Taipei native discovered her interest in art from drawing particular, you can feel all the different textures and contours – and calligraphy classes she took in elementary school. She went on and the passion that was put into making it.” To Lin, everything that takes place in the studio is, in fact, a work of art. Or a “performance,” as she describes it. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows that shoppers peer through create a sense of theater, separating artist from spectator as though the former is on a stage.

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PRECIOUS GIFTS GLASS ART

Working at the kiln

Liuli Gongfang

Liuli Gongfang Liuli Gongfang (www.liuli.com.tw) was founded in 1987 in the picturesque port of Tamsui by Taiwanese actress Loretta Yang and film director Chang Yi. Their aim was to revive interest in traditional Chinese glass art, which dates back over 2,000 years. The word liuli was chosen over boli , the more commonly used term for “glass,” because it sounded more refined while conjuring up images of a rich history and culture. Most decorative items sold incorporate traditional Chinese motifs such as elaborate sculptures of Buddhas and dragons (it was Buddha sculptures that the duo specialized in initially), but there are also smaller, daintier items such as colorful glass hairpins and flowers. It’s the translucent glassware, however, that is haunting in its simplicity. Glass-art workshops are held at Liuli Gongfang’s numerous galleries across Taipei, and the business now has branches around Taiwan and even abroad, including New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Tittot Established in 1994 by Heinrich Wang, the name of this enterprise (www.tittot.com ) is derived from the Chinese characters ti ( 剔 ) and tou ( 透 ), which are used to describe the lucid quality of glass. Like Yang and Chang of Liuli Gongfang, the former actor/director wished to introduce the people of Taiwan to the beauty of traditional Chinese glass art. The range of products sold at Tittot’s multiple Taipei branches is extensive,

Tittot

from glass sculptures of traditional Chinese instruments to delicate tea sets and vases – all boasting vibrant, luminescent colors. Tittot has branches in Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Kun’s Crystal ( 坤水晶 ) Add: 2F, No. 88, Yanchang Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei City ( 台北市信義區菸廠路 88 號 2 樓 ) Tel: (02) 6636-5888 ext. 1643 Website: www.kun.com.tw Tittot ( 琉園 ) Add: 1F, No. 94, Sec. 2, Ren’ai Rd., Zhongzheng District, Taipei City ( 台北市中正區仁愛路二段 94 號 1 樓 ) Tel: (02) 2396-5231 Website: www.tittot.com English and Chinese Beitou District 北投區 boli 玻璃 Chang Yi 張翼 Chen Kun-liang 陳坤良 Chen Pei-ling 陳佩玲 Eslite Spectrum Songyan Store 誠品生活松菸店 Glass Museum of Hsinchu City 新竹市立玻璃工藝博物館

Liuli Gongfang ( 琉璃工房 ) Add: 1F, No. 346, Dunhua South. Rd., Da’an District, Taipei City ( 台北市大安區敦化南路一段 346 號 1 樓 ) Tel: (02) 2701-3165 Website: www.liuli.com.tw Heinrich Wang 王俠軍 liuli 琉璃 Liuli Gongfang 琉璃工房 Loretta Yang 楊惠姍 Lynn Lin 林靖蓉 Songshan Cult. & Creative Park 松山文創園區 Tamsui 淡水 Tittot 琉園 Yingge 鶯歌

Travel in Taiwan

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EASY HIKING MT. HEHUAN

Text: Grant Lovering

Taking in the scenery at Wuling Pass

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Travel in Taiwan

Photos: Vision

The high mountains of Taiwan are among the top scenic highlights of the island. Most of the highest mountains are out of reach for most tourists, but a cluster of 3,000-meter peaks are virtually right beside the highway that spans the central mountains, and hence invitingly accessible.


EASY HIKING MT. HEHUAN

T

aiwan’s engineering feats never cease to amaze – whether it’s the Taipei 101 tower (currently the 5th-tallest building in the world), the Xueshan (Mt. Snow) Tunnel connecting Taipei to Yilan County (one of the longest road tunnels in the world), or the high-quality network of paved roads crisscrossing the mountains that cover two-thirds of this ruggedly beautiful island.

View from Mt. Shimen trail

The task of road building in the mountains is made especially difficult by terrain that’s susceptible to landslides, caused by frequent heavy rains and occasional earthquakes. Against all the odds, however, local ingenuity has made exploring much of Taiwan’s natural beauty from the comfort of your tour bus, car, or scooter possible. At the pinnacle of this network of asphalt-concrete trails through the rugged mountains is Highway 14A, which runs between the indigenous village of Wushe in the west and Dayuling in the east, where the highway connects with Highway 8, also known as the Central Cross-Island Highway. Highway 14A is part of what is called the New Central CrossIsland Highway. What makes it special is the fact that it reaches a height of 3,275m, at Wuling Pass, higher than any other major road on the island. On a clear day the views at Wuling are jaw-dropping, and you will see a number of mountain peaks close to the highway. These are the peaks of Mt. Hehuan (Hehuanshan), thanks to the highway, the most accessible above-3,000-meter mountain in Taiwan. The peaks of the Mt. Hehuan area are among Taiwan’s “Top 100 Mountains,” a list of mountain peaks over 3,000 meters selected by expert local hikers due to their uniqueness, beauty, and prominence. Only a handful of people have climbed all 100; you can launch yourself on the route to joining them by bagging these five most accessible peaks. The easiest is Mt. Shimen (3,237m). The trail leading to this peak from the highway is only 750m long one-way, with little elevation gain. Don’t be surprised to see women in high heels walking next to you. If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge, try Mt. Hehuan East Peak (3,421m), the trailhead of which is right next to roadside Hehuan Cottage. There is approximately 300m of elevation gain in the 1km hike, so it can feel steep in parts, but the two-hour round trip gives you more of a sense of accomplishment than Mt. Shimen. Still not challenging enough? How about four more kilometers of walking (round trip), and 200 more meters of elevation gain, for a Mt. Hehuan Main Peak (3,417m) conquest? Then, if you still have any energy left, you might want to try Mt. Hehuan North Peak (3,422). Be prepared for 475m of elevation gain over about 2.5km, and expect to walk about four hours (round trip). If you’re an experienced hiker looking to walk even further, pitch a tent near the summit of the North Peak and head for Mt. Hehuan West Peak (3,145m) the next morning. This is actually the lowest of the five peaks, but it’s about 4.5km from the North Peak, and the trail has lots of ups and downs. This is a spectacular hike on a clear day, as you’re often on a

Early morning at Mt. Hehuan

ridge line and have panoramic views much of the way. Expect to take about eight hours for the round trip. Congratulations! Once you have bagged all five peaks, you’ve completed 5% of Taiwan’s Top 100 Mountains – and you might well be hooked, as many have been before you, looking to conquer many more. There is no lack of other pristine peaks awaiting you in Taiwan’s mountain ranges. On clear days, from Mt. Hehuan you can spot quite a few of the other peaks that local hikers like to tackle. Look southwest and you’ll see the Qilai Ridge, an especially popular, though specially challenging, hiking playground with several 3,000-meter peaks. Two other must-do mountains for avid hikers in Taiwan are the island’s two highest, Mt. Jade (Yushan; 3,952m), Travel in Taiwan

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EASY HIKING MT. HEHUAN

to Lishan

NANTOU COUNTY

Taiwan

8

8

MT. HEHUAN NORTH PEAK

to Taroko

Dayuling

MT. HEHUAN WEST PEAK 14 A

MT. HEHUAN

Kenanguan MT. HEHUAN MAIN PEAK WULING

Qingjing Farm

and Mt. Snow (Xueshan; 3,886m), both popular and comparatively easy to scale for those with high-mountain experience.

Other Places of Interest

There are a few spots well worth checking out on your way up to or down from the Mt. Hehuan area, among the most interesting of which is Wushe Village. Japan ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, and had no qualms about entering indigenous lands to exploit the natural resources, mostly trees for timber. Many of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples didn’t take too kindly to this trespassing and fought back; the last of these uprisings was the Wushe Incident in 1930. Up until that point the resident members of the Seediq Tkdaya tribe had been peacefully living alongside the Japanese for years in what was thought to be a model village. There had always been tension, however, and after feeling slighted during his son’s wedding, chief Mona Rudao led local warriors in a surprise attack on Japanese attending a Wushe sports meet. To learn the rest of the story in a much more riveting format, before visiting Wushe a viewing of the film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale , the highest-budget film in Taiwan history, is highly recommended. While in town, be sure to check out the Mona Rudao Memorial Park, which has a statue of Mona, and the Nantou County Museum of Natural History, which has a permanent exhibition on Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. The star attraction on the way up to Mt. Hehuan, however, is Qingjing Farm. At 1,750m above sea level, temperatures here remain mild year-round, the perfect climate for growing a variety of fruits that includes plums, pears, kiwis, and peaches. There are sheep grazing on the green grasslands, and sheep shearers from New Zealand give demonstrations of their craft. In the farm’s Small Swiss Garden you can stroll alongside colorful flowers and a miniature windmill, all while enjoying the view of distant mountains. The Qingjing Farm area is also the perfect spot to get warmed up for your hike. There are trails ranging from 500m to 2,300m in leng th, along which you take in such sights as maple and cryptomeria trees, terraced tea fields, and grazing cows and sheep. If you stay in a hostel or homestay at Qingjing, note that sunrise bus trips are offered. You will be picked up an hour or so before the sunrise and brought to Wuling Pass or further on to a place named Kenanguan, from where you can enjoy magnificent and memorable daybreaks. 58

Travel in Taiwan

to Qingjing/Wushe

MT. SHIMEN Pine Snow Lodge

QILAI RIDGE

MT. HEHUAN EAST PEAK

Unique Nature While hiking to the peaks of Mt. Hehuan, you will certainly take in many remarkable views, but also keep an eye on the unique alpine flora and fauna. Trees are only to be found in areas protected from the strong winds found at this altitude; among the types that dot the mountainsides are Taiwan fir and a species of juniper. There is also a variety of flowers to be found in the area, mostly between June and September. These include the azalea, different species of rhododendron, and that of the crinkle-leaf creeper. Birdwatchers should keep their eyes peeled for the Taiwan rosefinch, alpine accentor, and spotted nutcracker. English and Chinese Dayuling 大禹嶺 Fengyuan 豐原 Hehuan Cottage 合歡山莊 Kenanguan 克難關 Lishan 梨山 Mona Rudao Memorial Park 莫那魯道紀念公園 Mt. Hehuan 合歡山 Mt. Jade 玉山 Mt. Shimen 石門山

Mt. Snow 雪山 Nantou County Museum of Natural History 仁愛高農自然史教館 Pine Snow Lodge 松雪樓 Qingjing Farm 清境農場 Small Swiss Garden 小瑞士花園 Wuling 武嶺 Wushe 霧社 Xueshan Tunnel 雪山隧道

Getting There The peaks of Mt. Hehuan are easily accessible from the cross-island highway, but unfortunately there is almost no public transport available. Bus No. 6506 (Fengyuan-Lishan route), operated by Fengyuan Bus, plies the highway across Wuling Pass once a day, leaving the Fengyuan Railway Station in Fengyuan (northeast of central Taichung) at 9:10am and the stop before Lishan Guest House in the mountain town of Lishan at 8am. Other options are driving yourself and hiring a driver. Expect heavy traffic on weekends, and be especially careful if visiting in the winter; whenever there is a snowfall, many Taiwanese will be driving up from the city for their first encounter with the magical stuff. Accommodation The Qingjing Farm area is the preferred choice to stay for many tourists heading to the Mt. Hehuan area. The best of the limited accommodation options in the immediate area surrounding Mt. Hehuan is the simple yet comfortable Pine Snow Lodge (Songxue Lou). Popular with hikers, the lodge, with just 36 rooms, is usually fully booked well in advance, so make reservations early. Note that the lodge restaurant is a good spot for simple, hearty meals. Points for Attention In order to stay comfortable and safe in this high-mountain area, don’t forget to pack warm clothes and rain gear. Like many places in Taiwan, clouds tend to appear in the afternoon, and can often bring rain with them. Be sure to get an early start to enjoy the best views. Bring sunscreen and apply liberally; you’re getting more UV exposure up here than in the lowlands. Altitude sickness can affect the fittest among us; if you start to feel light-headed or nauseous, descend the mountain immediately.


ALL UR CHAIN BOUTIQUE MOTEL

Hotels of Taiwan North Taoyuan City

Taipei City

Keelung City

New Taipei City

Hsinchu City Hsinchu County

Yilan County

Miaoli County

Taichung City

Central Changhua County

Nantou County

Yunlin County

Hualien County

Chiayi City Chiayi County

Tainan City Kaohsiung City

Taitung County

East

Pintung County

South

歐遊國際連鎖精品旅館

Visitors to Taiwan have a wide range of choice when it comes to accommodation. From five-star luxury hotels that meet the highest international standards, to affordable business hotels, to hotspring and beach resort hotels, to privatelyrun 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. Chain Hotel ALL UR CHAIN BOUTIQUE MOTEL Northern Taiwan GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI MIRAMAR HOTEL HISNCHU

No. of Rooms: 20~98 Room Rates: Superior Titanium Flagship VIP Presidential

Suite Suite Suite Suite Suite

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

3,500 - 4,300 3,800 - 4,500 5,000 - 6,000 6,000 - 7,200 8,800-12,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Chinese RestauRaNts: Breakfast Buffet sPecial featuRes: Parking lot, free internet access, private bathroom with separate shower & bath tub, pool, massage chair

HOTEL SENSE TAIPEI GAL A HOTEL THE GRAND HOTEL SAN WANT RESIDENCES TAIPEI Central Taiwan 53 HOTEL

Yilan County, Hualien County, Taitung County, Xinzhuang (New Taipei City), Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, Taichung City, Changhua City, Nantou County, Chiayi City, Kaohsiung City, PingtungCounty Tel: 886.5.551.5555 Fax: 886.5.551.7755

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

www.allurmotel.com

GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI

SAN WANT RESIDENCES TAIPEI

MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI

MIRAMAR HOTEL HSINCHU

華 泰 王子大 飯 店

台北神旺商務酒店

美麗信花園酒店

新竹美麗信酒店

Taipei 台 北

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 220

No. of Rooms: 81

No. of Rooms: 203

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

Room Rates: Studio Room Single/ Twin NT$ 8,000 / 9,000 Park View Room Single/ Twin NT$ 8,800 / 9,800 Studio Suite Single/ Twin NT$ 12,600 / 13,600 Park View Suite Double NT$ 20,000 / 21,000 Penthouse Double NT$ 50,000

Room Rates: Deluxe Room Business Room Executive Deluxe Room Boss Suite Premier Suite

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: Chinese, English, Japanese RestauRaNts: L’IDIOT RESTAURANT & BAKERY (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

Desk Personnel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese restaurants: Dining Lounge (Buffet Breakfast, Free Beverage and Light Snack for Room Guests) sPecial Features: A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Showcase of contemporary Taiwanese art collections, Personal secretarial assistance, Fitness center, Free wireless internet, Free rental of cell phone, Complimentary shoeshine service, 37” LCD TV, Pants presser& Suit rack, Multi-Functional Printer, Sunken Bathtub

Taipei 台 北

Hsinchu 新 竹

No. of Rooms: 141 NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

8,000 10,000 11,000 17,000 21,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, and Chinese RestauRaNts: Rain Forest, Garden Terrace, Lounge 81, Tic-Tac-Toe Café sPecial featuRes: Business Center, Multifunctional Room, Fitness Club, Outdoor Pool, Sauna, Spa, Aromatherapy, Car Park

Room Rates: CORNER 8 COMFY ZONE D ROOM QUEENS KINGS STUDIO M

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

6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 12,000 20,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, and Chinese RestauRaNts: The Zone Bar & Restaurant sPecial featuRes: Gym, Sky Lounge, Sky Garden

369, Lin-sen (Linsen) N. Rd., Taipei City, 104 104 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 369 號 Tel: 02.2581.8111 Fax: 02.2581.5811, 2568.2924

128 Nanjing East Rd., Sec. 1, Taipei City, 104 104台北市南京東路一段128號 Tel: 02.2511.5185 Fax: 02.2511.1585 E-mail: reservation@swresidences.com

83 Civic Boulevard, Sec. 3, Taipei City, 104 10 4台北市市民大道三段8 3號 Tel: 02.8772.8800 Fax: 02.8772.1010 E-mail: info@miramargarden.com.tw

111, Sec. 2, Gongdao 5th Rd., East Dist., Hsinchu City 300, Taiwan 3 0 0 新 竹 市 公 道 五 路二 段111號 Tel: 03.623.1188 Fax: 03.623.1199 E-mail: info@miramar-hsinchu.com

www.gloriahotel.com

www.swresidences.com

www.miramargarden.com.tw

www.miramar-hsinchu.com

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HOTEL SENSE 伸適商旅

Taipei 台 北

TAIPEI GALA HOTEL 慶泰大飯店

THE GRAND HOTEL 圓山大飯店

Taipei 台 北

53 HOTEL 寶島53行館

No. of Rooms: 79

No. of Rooms: 160

No. of Rooms: 500 (Suites: 57)

No. of Rooms: 70

Room Rates: Superior Room Business Room Deluxe Room Executive Deluxe Room Executive Suite Sense Suite

Room Rates: Single Room Deluxe Single Room Deluxe Twin Room Suite Room

Room Rates: Single/DBL Suite

Room Rates: Standard Room Superior Room Deluxe Room Family Room Deluxe Family Room

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

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: 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.

477 , Linsen N. Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City 104 104 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 477 號

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

6,400 7,000 7,800 12,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese RestauRaNts: Golden Ear Restaurant (Western semi buffet); Golden Pot (Chinese Cuisine) sPecial featuRes: Business Center, 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

NT$ 8,200-13,000 NT$ 18,000-30,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, French, Spanish, and Japanese RestauRaNts: Western, Cantonese, Northern China Style Dumplings, tea house, coffee shop, steak house 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,104 104 台 北 市 松 江 路 186 號

Taichung 台 中

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

4,000 4,500 5,000 5,500 6,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese sPecial featuRes: Our guests enjoy easy access to all attractions lively Taichung City has to offer. From the hotel it’s a two-minute walk to Taichung Railway Station and a three-minute walk to the bus station, from where guests can easily reach popular tourist sites, such as Qingjing Farm, Xitou Forest Recreation Area, and Sun Moon Lake. 53 Hotel offers a wide range of services, including laundry/dry cleaning, a business center, a gym, and free wireless Internet access. 27, Zhongshan Rd., Central District, Taichung City, 40042

Tel: 02.7743.1000 Fax: 02.7743.1100 E-mail: info@hotelsense.com.tw

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

1 Chung Shan N. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City, 10461 10461 台 北 市 中 山 北 路 四 段 1 號 Tel: 886.2.2886.8888 Fax: 886.2.2885.2885

40042 台 中 市 中 區 中 山 路 27 號 (距離火車站 2 分鐘) Tel: 04.2220.6699 Fax: 04.2220.5899 E-mail: service@53hotel.com.tw

www.hotelsense.com.tw

www.galahotel.com.tw

www.grand-hotel.org

www.53hotel.com.tw

3 minutes by foot from Exit 2 of MRT Zhongshan Elementary School Station

Exit 1 of MRT Xingtian Temple Station on the Luzhou Line.

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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Taipei 台 北

Travel in Taiwan

( two minutes from railway station)


HOT SPRING · VACATION · BANQUET · CONFERENCE

The hotel building has a simple Japanese style and the exquisite and fashionable rooms have wooden floors and large baths. Skilled chefs use fresh local produce to create delicate and healthful dishes with a unique taste, such as a hot-spring fruit & flower meal and fresh-seafood dishes. The hotel has a Japanese-style outdoor spa covering an area of around 1,250 square meters, with various kinds of massage pools, an activity pool for children, a health pool, a hot-spring fish pond, a children’s play pool with slide, a hot room, and separate hotspring bath rooms for male and female guests. There is also a large banquet hall and meeting room, a KTV, a gym, a reading area, an outdoor cinema, and a DIY activity area, offering guests various ways to relax and stay healthy.

Muslim Friendly Tourism MFT-011

GUAN XIANG CENTURY RESORT HOTEL(JIAOXI) Tel: +886-3-9875599 Fax: +886-3-9875800 Web: http://www.hotspring-hotel.com.tw Add: No.6,Lane 66,Ren-ai Rd.,Jiaoxi Township,Yilan County,Taiwan ( 宜蘭縣礁溪鄉仁愛路 66 巷 6 號 ) Email: service@hotspring-hotel.com.tw


VIEW BEITOU FROM THE SIDE OF BEITOU CREEK Imposing Atami Hotel Taipei Onsen stands tall on Guangming Road at the side of Beitou Creek, the gushing water of which has flowed unceasingly since time immemorial. Amidst unchanging scenery, the Atami Hotel Taipei has faithfully served its guests for over 40 years. Open the window of your room and hear the sound of the flowing water while breathing in the sulfur-scented air, creating a memorable Beitou moment you will remember fondly.

GUESTROOMS AND HOT-SPRING WATER COMPOSE A SWEET SONG Enter the Atami Hotel Taipei and you will be greeted by a grand spacious lobby, the opulence reflecting our guest-first approach. The sunlight shining into the guestrooms tells of the attentive care we extend to each and every guest. In the hot-spring bathhouse, built using natural construction methods, where the sulfur scented air has been unchanged since ancient times, you can wash away the noise and hassle of the city, recharge your tired spirit, the guestrooms and the hot-spring water composing the uniquely and moving song of the Atami Hotel Taipei.

Tel: +886-2-2891-5161 Fax: +886-2-2891-6741 Email: info@atamihotel.com.tw Add: No. 258, Guangming Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City (台北市北投區光明路258號) Website: www.atamihotel.com.tw 台北市旅館014-1號

ISSN:18177964

GPN:2009305475

200 NTD

Travel in Taiwan (No.77 2016 9/10 )  
Travel in Taiwan (No.77 2016 9/10 )  
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