Travel in Taiwan (No.86 2018 03/04 )

Page 1

2018

MAR & APR

No.

86

TAIWAN’S OCEAN BAY TOURISM

OFFSHORE ISLANDS

RAIL TRAVEL

THE RUGGED COAST OF YILAN AND HUALIEN

ISLAND FEAST

SLOW FOOD IN HISTORICAL BUILDINGS

Android

iOS

ADVENTURE

HOT-AIR BALLOON FLYING IN TAITUNG

TOWN WANDERINGS

HISTORY AND HAKKA CULTURE IN SANYI


Relieve Your Stress Regain Your Peace of Mind!

Traveling and vacationing is all about feeling relaxed, and that’s exactly what you will experience at the swimming pool and the hotspring Spa of Yooushan Grand Hotel! Remove all tensions from your body and regain inner peace. At our revolving restaurant, open 16 hours each day, take in splendid views of Puli and its surrounding

verdant mountains, located at the geographical center of Taiwan. Get your energy back working out at our well-equipped gym. Take some time off, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life, away from your hectic fastpace daily life. Be surrounded by mountains and nature and let us help you to enjoy a stress-free and memorable time!

Yoou Shan Grand Hotel ( 友山尊爵酒店 ) Tel: (049) 298-1122 Fax: (049) 290-1122 Add: No. 131, Shuren Rd., Puli Township, Nantou County 545 (545 南投縣埔里鎮樹人路 131 號 ) Website: www.yooushan-hotel.com.tw


Welcome to

Taiwan! Dear Traveler, In each issue of Travel in Taiwan we unveil attractions and experiences all around our big main island and many offshore islands, but in this issue we’re racking up the kilometers in unusually high number, packing a startling range of things to see and do between the covers – traveling by road and rail, through the air, and over the sea. Our Feature is especially ambitious. In support of the global sustainable tourism-development campaign being led by the UN’s World Tourism Organization, Taiwan is in the midst of a multi-year, multifaceted program focused on distinctive tourism themes. Each of our large offshore islands has a personality so wholly unlike that of all the others that we characterize each as a “living theme park.” In “10 Islands” you’ll spend time visiting a select group being highlighted by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. Elsewhere, we hit the road targeting locations all around the “big island,” Taiwan proper – but on two wheels, not four. Our Must See & Do section takes you out on 10 recommended biking routes “perfect for exploring scenery and culture” in what are unique-personality areas in every way. Whether riding road or rail down Taiwan’s easy-going East Coast, constant scenic beauty is a guarantee. In Hidden Treasures we introduce the E-Wang Community, a heritage neighborhood in Yilan City. This community is home to many artists and artisans; residents have collectively rejuvenated their living space and made it a “green-living hub” tourist attraction, with creative public-art installations used to tell the rich local history. In Rail Travel the treasures of the East Coast’s most rugged section, between Su’ao and Xincheng towns, are presented in “Going Slow on the Wild Coast.” And in Adventure it’s up, up, and away in beautiful balloons in the deep southeast, Taitung County, where hot-air balloon rides are offered year-round, demand especially “hot” during the annual Taiwan International Balloon Festival. In other articles taking readers down along the island’s west side, our focus is on Miaoli County, high-hilled in its coastal half, high-mountained in its interior. Family Fun describes “glamping” overnight stays at the Shangrila Paradise theme park’s CMP Village, and our Town Wanderings day is spent in Sanyi Township, renowned for superb woodworking art and old-time Hakka culture. Here’s hoping one, some, or all of these adventure suggestions soon bring you first-hand travel joys.

Joe Y. Chou, Ph.D. Director General Tourism Bureau, MOTC, R.O.C.


CONTENTS March ~ April 2018

PUBLISHER Joe Y. Chou EDITING CONSULTANT

PRODUCER Vision Creative Marketing & Media Co. ADDRESS 1F, No. 5, Aly. 20, Ln. 265, Sec. 4, Xinyi Rd.,

WHERE YOU CAN PICK UP A COPY OF TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

Urna S. H. Chen

Taipei City 10681, Taiwan TEL: 886-2-2325-2323 Fax: 886-2-2701-5531 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 Krista Yang EDITORS Ming-Jing Yin, Jenny Chung, Nickey Liu CONTRIBUTORS Rick Charette, Nick Kembel, Steven Crook, Owain Mckimm, Dana Ter, Francesca Chang PHOTOGRAPHERS Chen Cheng-kuo, Maggie Song, Nick Chiu DESIGNERS Nick Chiu, Maggie Song, Carrie Chang, Erin Chen ADMINISTRATIVE DEPT Hui-chun Tsai, Nai-jen Liu, Xiou Mieng Jiang, Chen Wen-ling

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) March/April, 2018 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

Copyright @ 2018 Tourism Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written permission is prohibited.

MAGAZINE IS SOLD AT:

1. Wu-Nan Culture Plaza, No. 6, Zhongshan Rd., Central Dist., Taichung City 40043 886-4-2226-0330 http://www.wunanbooks.com.tw/ 2. National Bookstore, 1F., No. 209, Songjiang Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City 10485 886-2-2518-0207 http://www.govbooks.com.tw/ This magazine was printed with soy ink. Soy ink is said to be more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based ink and to make it easier to recycle paper.

Offices of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Frankfurt. Taiwan Representative Offices; Overseas Offices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs; Overseas Offices of the Central News Agency; onboard China Airlines, EVA Air, and other selected international airways; selected travel agencies in Asia, North America, and Europe; and other organizations.

12

Guishan Island (photo courtesy of Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area)

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

IN TAIWAN

ONLINE

Tourism Bureau Visitor Center; Tourism Bureau; Taiwan Visitors Association; foreign representative offices in Taiwan; Tourism Bureau service counters at Taiwan Taoyuan Int’l Airport and Kaohsiung Int’l Airport; major tourist hotels; Taipei World Trade Center; VIP lounges of international airlines; major tourist spots in Taipei; visitor centers of cities and counties around Taiwan; offices of national scenic area administrations; public libraries

Read the online version of Travel in Taiwan or download the app for iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android (smartphone/tablet) from http://tit. com.tw/appdownload.html. See more amazing images of Taiwan with our Travel in Taiwan app! Simply scan this QR code to reach the download page (iOS/Android).


12

FEATURE Ten Islands

– Taiwan’s Offshore Islands – “Living Theme Parks” Floating in the Sea

26

26

ADVENTURES Up, Up, and Away!

– Flying High at One of Taiwan’s Hottest Tourist Attractions

30

TOWN WANDERINGS History and Hakka Culture

– A Day in Mountainous Miaoli County’s Sanyi Township

1 4 6

Publisher's Note Taiwan Tourism Events Convenient Travel

34

8 News 10 Culture Scene 24 My Travel Log

MUST SEE & DO Bike Paths around Taiwan

– 10 Routes Perfect for Exploring Scenery and Culture

38

ISLAND FEAST

Slow Food in Homey Settings

– Experiencing Stylish Dining in Historical Buildings

42

FAMILY FUN Let’s Go Glamping!

– Visiting CMP Village at Shangrila Paradise Theme Park

46

HIDDEN TREASURES A Day in E-Wang Community

– Exploring an Yilan Green-Living Hub

50

34

RAIL TRAVEL

Going Slow on the Wild Coast

– A Train Journey from Su’ao in Yilan to Xincheng in Hualien

38


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

Springtime, Fun Time!

Taiwan Tourism Events Calendar

Events Before the Summer Starts in Earnest

website

03/30 ~ 04/29

Zhuzihu Calla Lily Festival 竹子湖海芋季

04/20 ~ 05/13

Baosheng Cultural Festival 保生文化祭

Each year flower lovers are drawn to the calla lily fields of Zhuzihu, a mountainbasin farm area within Yangmingshan National Park, which straddles Taipei and New Taipei cities. Originally a ricegrowing area, the land here, framed by the towering Datun and Qixing mountains on two sides, now features intensive cultivation of snow-white lilies, beloved by locals. Numerous pathways along the fields make access to the flowers convenient, and for a small fee you can pick the flowers you want to take home on your own. During the festival period, there is a host of cultural activities offered for the entertainment of the many visitors.

Location: Zhuzihu; No. 1-20, Zhuzihu Rd., Beitou Dist., Taipei City

If you are interested in local culture and religion, Dalongdong Bao’an Temple is one of the best places to visit in Taipei. An extensive restoration project earned the temple a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Preservation Award in 2003. This is a peaceful and quiet place of worship for most of the year, where you can examine fine examples of intricate temple art. However, around the birthday of its main deity, the Baosheng Emperor, also known as the God of Medicine, the focus shifts to raucous celebrative activities, including martial-arts performances, street parades, and – perhaps most exciting – ritual “fire walking” during which daring local lads run across a bed of burning coals. Location: Dalongdong Bao'an Temple; No. 61, Hami St., Datong Dist., Taipei City

( 竹子湖 ; 臺北市北投區竹子湖路 1 之 20 號 )

( 大龍峒保安宮 ; 臺北市大同區哈密街 61 號 )

Website: www.facebook.com/callalily.com.tw/

Website: www.baoan.org.tw/

03/18

New Taipei City Wan Jin Shi Marathon 新北市萬金石馬拉松

Apr. ~ May

The Hakka Tung Blossom Festival 客家桐花祭

In recent times, road running has become so p o p u l a r i n Ta i w a n t h a t virtually every weekend there is a marathon staged somewhere on this island. Among the best-known of these events, attracting thousands of athletes from around Taiwan and abroad, are the annual Taipei and Taroko marathons. The Wan Photo courtesy of Sports Office, New Taipei City Gov't Jin Shi Marathon stands out amongst all these races as the only one to have been awarded the IAAF Road Race Silver Label, satisfying a series of strict requirements, including the participation of a certain number of world-class athletes. The race takes place on a scenic stretch of the North Coast starting and ending close to Yehliu Geopark, one of Taiwan’s top tourist attractions.

In the past, the blooming of tung trees and related blossom-appreciation events were associated mainly with the hilly areas of northwestern Taiwan, a region with a high concentration of Hakka people. With tung-blossom gazing having become increasingly popular in recent years, however, other areas around Taiwan are now promoting related events as well. To find out where and when the trees are blooming, visit this festival’s excellent multilingual website (live updates on blooming status!). You’ll also find details on the best tung-tree forest trails to hike, local Hakka culture, quality restaurants, and attractive gift options.

Location: Wanli Dist., New Taipei City ( 新北市萬里區 )

Locations: Forest areas with tung trees around Taiwan

Website: www.wanjinshi-marathon.com.tw

Website: tung.hakka.gov.tw

4

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


M A R C H ~ M AY

04/26 ~ 06/28

Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival 澎湖海上花火節

Photo courtesy of Penghu National Scenic Area Administration

03/31 ~ 05/13

Yilan Green Expo 宜蘭綠色博覽會

Visiting Penghu in the early part of summer is a great idea. There are fewer tourists than during the peak season, the weather is not as hot as in July and August, and you have the beautiful fireworks shows of this festival to enjoy. The venue is the Guanyin Pavilion Recreation Area, located west of central Magong, Penghu’s only city. The festival has been a great success since its first edition in 2003, the mesmerizing fireworks complimented by the site’s colorful Xiying Rainbow Bridge and a rich cultural program staged on the plaza in front of the Guanyin Pavilion.

Last year, the Yilan Green Expo was staged for the first time in the Dongshan River Ecoark (a large riverside park) and the area around Dongshan Railway Station, leaving the place it had called home for 15 years, the smaller Wulaokeng Scenic Area. The expo focus is on “green life,” including environmental education and ecological preservation. While being highly informative, this is also a fun event to attend. You can walk past large art installations, take in colorful flower fields, go kayaking or hop on a boat for a trip along the Dongshan, and sign up for a variety of DIY-experience sessions, including the making of delicious local specialty dishes.

Location: Guanyin Pavilion Recreation Area; No. 7, Jieshou Rd., Magong City,

Location: Dongshan River Ecoark; No. 172, Sec. 2, Dongshan Rd., Dongshan

Penghu County ( 觀音亭休閒園區 ; 澎湖縣馬公市介壽路 7 號 ); other Penghu locations

Township, Yilan County ( 冬山河生態綠舟 ; 宜蘭縣冬山鄉冬山路二段 172 號 )

Website: http://www.facebook.com/phfireworks

Around Dongshan Railway Station; Dongshan Township, Yilan County ( 冬山火車站週邊 ; 宜蘭縣冬山鄉 ) Website: www.greenexpo.e-land.gov.tw

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |5


C O N V E N I E N T T R AV E L

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle website

Penghu by Bus Take the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle to Explore the Three Main Islands

1

2

1. Daguoye Columnar Basalt 2. Yuweng Lighthouse 3. Erkan Village on Yuweng Island

The islands of Penghu are a major tourist draw, especially during the warmer months of the year, their sandy beaches, watersports, quaint old fishing villages, interesting scenic sites, and overall relaxing island-vacation vibe attracting visitors from mainland Taiwan and abroad. Many tourists will opt for scooters – both gasoline-powered and electric versions can be rented right at the airport – to get around the main islands (Penghu, Baisha, and Xiyu) and smaller ones such as Wang’an and Qimei. Riding rented bicycles is a good option too, but prepare for shadeless roads and strong winds at times, which can quickly turn cycling trips into intensive workouts. For those who prefer the convenience of moving about by bus, there is the once-a-day (twice daily during weekends April~September) Magong Shuttle Bus North Ring Line of the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus service (en.taiwantrip.com.tw). The start and end point is the “bus station” (i.e., bus stop at Zhongzheng Primary School) in Magong, the only city in Penghu (city pop. around 60,000). From there the bus takes you around the small city’s center and to stops at Magong Harbor and Magong Airport (weekend bus does not serve airport) before heading north to Baisha Island, where you can have a look at the impressive Tongliang Great Banyan. You then cross the long and often windswept Penghu Cross-Sea Bridge to reach Xiyu Island, where a number of interesting scenic and historic places await, including the rocky coast at the island’s northern end (Whale Arch), the Daguoye

6

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

Columnar Basalt – the best-known scenic site in all of Penghu – the charming old settlement of Erkan, and the snow-white Yuwengdao Lighthouse at the southern end of Xiyu. The Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus service is not the only bus service on the main islands of Penghu. There are frequent public buses to most villages and major tourist spots. Info in English, however, can be hard to find. If you read Chinese, visit www.phpto.gov.tw to find information about all bus routes, as well as about ferry services between Penghu’s many islands. Stops on the Magong Shuttle Bus North Ring Route ( 媽宮 . 北環線 ) Stone Weir Square ( 石滬 Bus Station ( 公車總站 ) Ziyou Tower ( 自由塔 ) Magong 3rd Port 廣場 ) Yentai Hotel & Pescadores Resort ( 元 ( 第三漁港 ) Magong Airport ( 馬 公 機 場 ) 泰 / 百世多麗 ) Daguoye Tongliang Great Banyan ( 通 梁 古 榕 ) Yuwengdao Columnar Basalt ( 大菓葉玄武岩柱 ) Wai’an Fake Cannon Lighthouse ( 漁 翁 島 燈 塔 ) Erkan ( 餌 砲 ) => Xiyu West Fort ( 西 嶼 西 台 ) Xiaomen Geology Historical Village ( 二 崁 聚 落 ) Penghu Cross-Sea Gallery ( 小 門 地 質 公 園 ) Yentai Hotel & Pescadores Bridge ( 跨 海 大 橋 ) Magong 3rd Port ( 第 Resort ( 元 泰 / 百 世 多 麗 ) Ziyou Tower ( 自由塔 ) Stone 三漁港 [ 雅霖 ]) Bus Station ( 公車總站 ) Weir Square ( 石滬廣場 ) Fare: NT$350 / 1-day pass

Departures: The Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service on Penghu differs from shuttle services on mainland Taiwan in that longer stops are made at some of the tourist attractions, including the Tongliang Great Banyan (23-min. stop), Daguoye Columnar Basalt (18 min.), Yuwengdao Lighthouse (15 min.), Xiyu West Fort (17 min.), Erkan Historical Village (45 min.), Xiaomen Geology Gallery (50 min.), and Penghu Cross-Sea Bridge (21 min.), giving you time to get off the bus, look around and take photos, and then hop back on the same bus. There is one service daily throughout the year, leaving Magong Bus Station at 8:30am and one additional service on Saturdays and Sundays from April through September, leaving the bus station at 10am. The bus takes about six hours for the round trip.

3


Egg Yolk Cake

Zh

on

g3r

g 4 th

d

Rd .

Rd .

Rd .

路 正 中

Rd .

gz he ng

仁二

Re 三 路 n3r

d

Re 四 路 n4t h Rd

.

Rd .

d

Rd .

Ai 三 路 3 rd Rd .

g2n

t

on

on

g1s

Zh on

Zh

on

Zh

Zh

李鵠餅店 Lee Hu Cake Shop

st Rd .

Ai 1

Re n

2 nd

Rd .

廟口夜市 Miaokou Night Market

All cakes by Lee Hu contain meat products. They do not require refrigeration or freezing but should be consumed as quickly as possible.

蛋黃酥

“If you haven’t been to Lee Hu Cake Shop, you haven’t really been to Keelung” One of a kind in Taiwan Lee Hu Cake Shop has no branches ・就到李鵠!才到基隆・ 全台灣唯一 李鵠餅店 - 別無分店

Pineapple Cake

4 th R d.

傳承祖先手工製作

Xiao

Cakes Handmade the Traditional Way for over a Century 百年老店

Kee lung

李鵠餅店

Rail wa 隆 y Stati on 站

Lee Hu Cake Shop

鳳梨酥

全店食品皆為葷食,食品無需冷藏和冷凍,請盡早食用

Lee Hu Cake Shop has been in business in Keelung since almost the time Taiwan’s second biggest (commercial) harbor, Keelung Harbor, was opened. It used to be said “If you haven’t been to Lee Hu, you haven’t been to Keelung.” Lee Hu is a well-known, long-established brand and Keelung’s most famous cake shop. 位於台灣第二大 ( 商港 ) 城市「基隆」, 創業自清光緒八年(西元 1882 年),是 與基隆市開港至今幾乎同樣年歲的在地 餅舖,曾有過「沒到過李鵠就等於沒到 過基隆」的說法,是台灣人所熟知的百 年品牌,也是基隆最著名的傳統餅店。

Mung Bean Paste Cake 綠豆沙餅

Add:

No.90, Ren 3rd Rd., Ren’ai Dist., Keelung City (near Miakou Night Market) 基隆市仁愛區仁三路 90 號 ( 廟口夜市旁 )

Tel:

+886-2-2422-3007 / +886-2-2427-8007 / +886-2-2423-5007 +886-2-2425-3818 Fax:

Email: Open: AM9:00~PM9:30 a0952352339@gmail.com


NEWS

NEWS & Events around Taiwan

Taichung Military Kindred Village Heritage Museum When the armed forces of the Republic of China retreated to Taiwan at the close of the Chine se Civil War in 1949, provisional housing had to be constructed for hundreds of thousands of n ew a r r i va l s . M o r e t h a n 800 villages were created a r o u n d Ta i w a n – o f t e n hastily and poorly – many Photo courtesy of Taichung Military Kindred Village Heritage Museum of which would become the home of veterans and their families for decades. While hundreds of these military dependents’ villages have been demolished starting in the 1990s, a significant number have survived, with some receiving official heritage-site status. A number of the villages have been transformed into cultural spaces with shops, cafés, and artist studios. There are also museum complexes focused on these villages, including the recently opened Taichung Military Kindred Village Heritage Museum, established in a lovingly restored residence in Taichung’s Beitun District. This is the perfect place to get a feel for what living in a military dependents’ village was like – and still is for many – with a plethora of nostalgic daily-use items on display.

Baolai Flower and Hot Spring Park

Taichung Military Kindred Village Heritage Museum ( 台中眷村文物館 ) Add: No. 19, Tianxiang St., Beitun Dist., Taichung City ( 台中市北屯區天祥街 19 號 ) Hours: 10am ~ 5pm (closed on Monday) Tel: (04) 2233-9363 Web: www.facebook.com/gov.0422339363/

Ravaged by the devastating Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Liugui District, located in the rural northeastern part of Kaohsiung City, needed time to recover, but has again become a tourist magnet in recent years. Its main draws are splendid mountain scenery; the turbulent Laonong River, one of two Taiwan rivers suited for whitewater rafting (the other is the Xiuguluan in eastern Taiwan); plum blossoms in the spring; and hot-spring bathing. The village of Baolai, in the far north of the district, is the place to go if you are keen on enjoying the last. Apart from a number of fine hot-spring hotels, the village now also has a brand-new hot-spring park. The small park, located on the side of the hill to the east of the village and accessible via a steep metal-staircase and concrete path, features a long foot-bath pool, partly covered by a thatch-roof pavilion, and a large hand-bath basin, the latter perfect for an initial testing of the waters. Admission is NT$50. When visiting Baolai, also make sure to also hike up the Pulaixitou Tribe Historic Battle Trail, just to the south of the park. The scenery here is especially attractive during plum-blossom season at the start of the year.

Taipingshan Railway Revival

Tainan Canal Boat Trips

Yilan County’s Taipingshan, now site of a national forest recreation area, used to be an important logging location, explored and developed by the Japanese in the early 20th ce ntur y. Log s of cypre s s, beech, and hemlock – woods of great value – were brought down the mountain Photo courtesy of Sanxing Township Office to the settlement of Tuchang in the Lanyang River valley via a network of narrow-gauge railway lines and cableways. From there, transport was continued on the 36km-long Taipingshan Railway Line to Zhulin, in today’s Luodong Township. One of the 10 stations along the line was Tiansongpi. Built in 1921, the station fell into disrepair after operations ceased on the railway in 1979; in 2009 it returned to prominence, as a local tourist attraction, after its use as a set for the Taiwanese drama series Autumn’s Concerto. The station is now the cornerstone of a project partially reviving the Taipingshan line. A small train, modeled after the original trains, is now running on a 300m-long loop track around the station, to the delight of railway buffs and children. Plans are to rebuild an almost 4km-long section of the railway line connecting Tiansongpi and the old Jiuqionghu station location further to the west with completion slated for 2019.

The city of Tainan in southwestern Taiwan is known for its many heritage sites and rich food culture. The old capital of Taiwan can be easily explored on foot, rental bike (T-Bike; tbike.tainan.gov.tw ), or bus (Taiwan Tourist Shuttle 88 Anping Route; en.taiwantrip.com.tw). There is now an additional option: a Tainan Canal boat cruise. The canal is a waterway that surrounds about half of Anping District, west of the city center. Since last December daily tourist cruises have been available. One of the thrills of these outings is passing under the numerous low bridges (there are 12 bridges in total), which can be easily touched from the open craft. The cruise along the full course of the canal (10km), starting and ending at Anping Harbor’s Anyi Bridge Wharf, takes about 60 minutes and costs NT$500. Website: www.facebook.com/anping.yacht.tour (Chinese).

8

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


Hotel rêve Taichung is located in the center of Taichung City’s Daya District, close to Central Taiwan Science Park and Fengjia Commercial Area. The hotel has 125 guestrooms with an attractive interior design that combines fashion and cultural elements. Business and leisure travelers alike feel at home in the comfortable rooms affording splendid views of the city. The hotel stands out for its elegance and relaxing ambience. It has infused an old neighborhood with fresh new elements while at the same time keeping a subtle and simple style.

Add: No. 100, Sec. 1, Minsheng Rd., Daya Dist., Taichung City 428 (428 台中市大雅區民生路一段 100 號 )

Tel: +886-4-2568-0558 Fax: +886-4-2567-7134 Website: www.hotel-reve.com.tw


C U LT U R E S C E N E

CULTURE Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings

Until 04/01

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park

Color Gallery 色廊展 Website: www.songshanculturalpark.org

Selfie oppor tunities abound in this exhibition, which features 15 rooms in 15 colors, the colors representing different moods during different times of a typical working day. Pose in a yellow room with a breakfast table, get ready for the day in a pink dressing room, relax by a shallow bathing pool filled with blue balls, and dream of traveling in outer space surrounded by violet planets.

Until 08/26

National Museum of Taiwan History

The Changing Image of the Deity in Heaven and on Earth: Special Exhibition from the National Museum of Taiwan History's Collections 神界 ‧ 人間: 臺史博館藏神像特展

Until 06/03

Website: www.nmth.gov.tw

When touring temples in Taiwan, foreign visitors are often curious to know: “Why are there so many deities worshipped?” and “What are the origins of these folk religions?” This exhibition is an excellent opportunity to learn about the fascinating history and role of religion in Taiwan, and to find answers to questions about local folk beliefs.

National Taiwan Museum

Seed Art Museum 種子美術館 Website: www.ntm.gov.tw

Let’s see some seeds! This exhibition presents visitor s with interesting information about all sorts of seeds, explaining them in different creative ways. On display are images of tiny seeds extremely magnified to clearly show their amazing shapes and textures, with some rendered in 3D-printing form a few hundred times their original size and others used to create astonishing pieces of art.

10

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


C U LT U R E S C E N E

Until 07/29

03/23 ~ 03/25

Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum

National Theater (Experimental Theater)

As Palavras – Cie Claudio Bernardo: Giovanni’s Club 比利時文字舞團 : 喬望尼俱樂部

03/25

Heavenly Crafted from Hindustan A Special Exhibition of Exquisite South Asian Jades 來自天方的仙工—南亞美玉特展

Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir: Ilha Formosa

Website: tifa.npac-ntch.org/2018/en/ music/ilha-formosa/

台北愛樂室內合唱團 : “四季.台灣” 視覺合唱劇場

D i s c o v e r t h e b e a u t y o f Ta i w a n through the seasons by listening to choral music augmented with visual ef fe cts. The Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir has teamed up with internationally renowned composers from abroad to create music that por trays the rich and diverse elements that make Taiwan such a wonderful place.

While the National Palace Museum in Taipei focuses on the presentation of ancient Chinese imperial treasures, its southern branch in Chiayi often exhibits artworks from areas in Asia beyond China’s borders. This exhibition features splendid examples of jade works originating in South Asia’s Mughal Empire (1526~1857).

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

04/01

Pole dancing, wrestling, group dancing in bathrobes, playing soccer (naked), scenes of seduction… Enter Giovanni’s Club, a steamy world of m a l e f a n t a s i e s a n d m u s c u l a r bodie s – and ultimately of pains and weaknesses. Expect a riveting performance by the seven dancers of Belgium-based ensemble As Palavras.

National Concert Hall

Website: south.npm.gov.tw

Until 04/08

Website: tifa.npac-ntch.org/2018/en/ dance/giovannis-club/

National Concert Hall

04/13 ~ 04/15

National Theater

La Piccola Familia: Richard III

Einstein: Life in Four Dimensions

Senay – Ara Kimbo & Friends

愛因斯坦特展 –

詩乃伊 – 胡德夫與

皮寇拉家族劇團 : 理

天才相對論

部落朋友音樂會

查三世

Websites: www.cksmh.gov.tw

Website: tifa.npac-ntch.org

Website: tifa.npac-ntch.org/2018/en/theatre/richard-iii/

Arguably the most important scientist in human history, Albert Einstein (1879~1955) is best known for his theory of relativity and the mass-energy equivalence formula E=mc2. Displaying almost 100 of Einstein’s original manuscripts and items he used, and providing a variety of interactive experiences, this exhibition helps you gain a better understanding of the mastermind.

A ra Kimbo (born in 19 50) is one of the most accomplished indigenous artists in Taiwan. With a deep and rich voice, the humble, down-to-earth artist has been singing heart-warming stories of Taiwan throughout his career. For this concert, he has invited some of his “good friends from the tribes” to join him and senay (“sing aloud together” in the Paiwan language).

Richard III (1452~1485), ruler for just two years before being killed in battle, is one of the bestknown kings of England. His negative reputation as tyrant and murderer of his nephews was cemented by Shakespeare’s play, now realized in dazzling fashion by award-winning French play wright / director/actor Thomas Jolly and his troupe La Piccola Familia.

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |11


F E AT U R E

ISLANDS

Ten Islands Taiwan’s Offshore Islands – “Living Theme Parks” Floating in the Sea

Turtle Island, Yilan County

12

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


F E AT U R E ISLANDS

Text: Rick Charette Photos: Vision, Penghu National Scenic Area Administration, Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) proclaimed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In concert, Taiwan is implementing a 4-year program with special tourism themes for each year, with 2018 the Year of Ocean Bay Tourism. Ten offshore islands are being specially promoted as part of this big push, and before you hit their shores in person we offer you “sneak preview� visits in the pages to follow.


F E AT U R E

ISLANDS

Yuweng Island has some of Penghu's most impressive basalt-column formations

Daguoye Columnar Basalt


F E AT U R E ISLANDS

T

aiwan is blessed with a treasure fleet of adventure-perfect offshore islands. Its superb transportation network makes all easily accessible, each “little Taiwan” experience just a hop, skip, and jump away from the big island. Each is a world unto itself – even those within direct sight of another member of the flotilla. Each is a veritable “living theme park” floating in the sea, just-right designed for a single- or two-day visit before moving on to the next. Collectively, the fleet constitutes an island “family” that is much like big-house human families, with a startling range of contrasting individual personalities living under one big roof.

OFF TAIWAN’S WEST SHORES Penghu Islands (Penghu County)

Village in Penghu

What is commonly shortened to simply “Penghu” is a wide-flung archipelago of low-lying islands in the Taiwan Strait’s mid-section. This was a key regional crossroads in the days of sail, including for pirates. Locals describe Penghu as “pearls scattered on the turquoise sea.” This is a slow-moving realm of old villages, old temples, old lighthouses, and old fort ruins. Small farm plots are protected from the famed winter winds that blow down the strait by low coral walls. The three main islands (of which Yuweng is one), connected by bridges,

form the outer walls of a comparatively calm inland sea. Sail sports are popular on the water, scooter/bike touring on the land. The archipelago is rocky, with massive formations of exposed volcanic basalt columns prominent and seascapes dramatic. Boat tours to the outlying islands are popular, as are nighttime squid-fishing outings.

Yuweng Island (Xiyu) Geological marvels and deep cultural history

Jibei Island Jibei Sand Beach Penghu Great Bridge

Baisha Island

Whale Arch

Yuweng Island (Xiyu) Yuwengdao Lighthouse

Erkan Village Daguoye Xiyu Western Fort

Penghu County

Wang’an Island

Qimei Island Twin Hearts Stone Weir

Taiwan

This is the westernmost of the three main islands, and second-largest in the Penghu archipelago. In the 1500s the Portuguese dubbed the archipelago the Pescadores, or “Fishermen’s Isles”; Yuweng means “fisherman.” It’s also called Xiyu, or “West Island.” It is reached from its brethren islands via the celebrated 2,494m-long Penghu Great Bridge, perhaps Yuweng’s most prominent landmark. Underneath, the powerful sea current roars by at a speed of 3m per second. A highlight on this island for history buffs is tourism-oriented Erkan Village, a dense collection of heritage residences in the old southern Fujian style of mainland China. Living-museum examples of old-time rural life such as Qing-era scales and weights, oversized ceramic storage jars, and winnowing equipment abound. Other key Yuweng history sites are the forlorn ruins of the late Qing Dynastybuilt Xiyu Western Fort, erected to protect against pirates and invaders, and at the island’s south tip Yuwengdao Lighthouse, the first lighthouse built in the Taiwan area, way back in 1778. On the check-off list for geology enthusiasts are some of the main islands’ most impressive basalt-column formations – the Daguoye Columnar Basalt, Secret Three Stone Walls, and Chixi Rock Waterfall – located close together in Xiyu’s mid-section. The first faces the inland sea, with a sweeping view toward small Magong city far across the water (the islands’ largest settlement and main port of entry). The second is a triumvirate of column-walled dead-end canyons dug out of the island’s farmland-dotted plateau. The third stands before an abandoned coast-side fish farm teeming with sea cucumbers, eels, crabs, and other marine natives. Elsewhere, on a tiny fishing-village island just a few anchor-widths off Yuweng’s north end is Whale Arch, a sea-holed basalt-column promontory that resembles a prodigious sperm whale.

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |15


F E AT U R E

ISLANDS

Qimei Island

Penghu Great Bridge

A honeymoon island landscape

South of Penghu’s main islands, as with all the archipelago’s flat islands, touring Qimei is best done on a scooter. Hop aboard a rental right at the inter-island ferry pier (rental fee included in ferry-ticket price from Magong) and launch on the easy-grade, very quiet plateautop coastal road, on which meandering goats outnumber cars. Qimei’s iconic symbol is the Twin Hearts Stone Weir, made of stones laboriously stacked, which does its duty by leaving marine creatures stranded at low tide after innocently meandering in at high. The romance and scenic beauty of this place entice a steady tide of soon-tobe-newlyweds for wedding-photo shoots. Legend says that the Tomb of the Seven Beauties – “Qimei” means “Seven Beauties” – is built around a well down which intemerate Ming Dynasty damsels tossed themselves as ne’er-do-well wako pirates sailed in. Among the other locations to be checked off any “I did Qimei” list are Little Taiwan and Waiting for Husband Rock, coastal rock formations proved indubitably worthy of their monikers when viewed from the coastal-road observation decks, perched clifftop high above the crashing surf.

Jibei Island International water-recreation paradise

This getaway isle for fun and frolic, on golden sands and atop sparkling azure waters, is promoted as an “international water-recreation paradise.” Moored to the north of the main islands, this is a destination where those who can’t relax without boys’ toys can indulge themselves. Whatever tickles your “fun-need” bone is surely to be found on Jibei’s “I’ll try anything once” menu.

The resort at Jibei Sand Beach, a brobdingnagian tongue of fine coral/shell sand that spits out 1,500 meters into the sea and grows/ shrinks markedly with the tides, has windsurfing and snorkeling gear, jet-skis, and paddleboats for rent, under-the-sea sightseeing-boat and speedboat outings, and a waterworld of other activities ranging from parasailing to family-fun banana-boat rides. And oh yes! – pursue such old-time toy-devoid pursuits as sun-tanning and regular ole swimming as well. On two entirely different theme-fronts, Jibei is known as Penghu’s “home of stone weirs,” with over 80 stone weirs awaiting your treasurehunt discovery; Penghu is an important center for the protection of sea turtles, the sands of Jibei and other archipelago locations site of important nesting grounds. For more information visit the Penghu National Scenic Area website at www.penghu-nsa.gov.tw.

Twin Hearts Stone Weir "Little Taiwan" on Qimei Island

Sand beach on Jibei Island

16

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


F E AT U R E ISLANDS

Qinbi Village on Beigan Island Wusha Beihai Tunnel

Matsu Islands (Lienchiang County) Lienchiang County Beigan Island Qinbi Village

Xiju Island Dapu Village

Dongju Island

Nangan Island

Kinmen County Greater Kinmen

Shanhou

Taichung City

The Matsu Islands, far to Taiwan proper’s northwest, are the Republic of China’s northernmost possessions. The mountainous mainland China coast – Fujian Province – is clearly visible from many Matsu locations, along with its busy coastal shipping traffic. The sparsely populated islands are (primarily) massive granite outcrops that rise abruptly from the sea. Flat land is precious, and the wildly indented coastlines, geologically twisted and tortured, are dominated by soaring cliffs. Good harbor inlets and bays are scant. The keynote Matsu Islands touring themes are the PRC/ROC cold-war military history and ubiquitous military fortifications (many now tourist sites); traditional East Fujian stone-residence and temple architecture, and cuisine, a world away from that found on mainland Taiwan; geological spectacle, most notably the dramatic seascapes; ferry-ride island-hopping; and teeming, swirling migratory-bird colonies.

Beigan Island

JIncheng

Lesser Kinmen

Old villages, quiet coast-hill trails, military history

Taiwan

Beigan and Nangan, a quick ferry ride from each other, are Matsu’s two largest islands. Beigan’s Qinbi, Matsu’s most popular old stone-

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |17


F E AT U R E

ISLANDS

house fishing village, resembles an old Mediterranean hill-clinging settlement. Residences are two-storied, the second floor providing sea views and breeze access. The bastion-like designs are not accidental – pirate attacks were long common. There are numerous coastal walking pathways on Beigan. Luoshan Nature Trail, blazed long ago by oyster gatherers and fishermen, begins on a small mountain behind Beigan’s tiny airport and ends far down – and out – on a narrow bare-rock promontory, ocean waves pounding its three faces. Along the way, visit the abandoned militaryfacility Stronghold No. 12 and brightly-lit War and Peace Memorial Park Exhibition Center (good English information), with displays on Matsu’s modern military history.

Juguang (Dongju Island) Where the hands of time barely move

The sparsely populated township of Juguang, south of Beigan/Nangan, consists of two major islands, Dongju (“East Ju”) and Xiju (“West Ju”). Most tourist draws are on the former. Tiny Dapu Village is another timeless Matsu stone-residence showcase. For a time completely abandoned, with Matsu National Scenic Area Administration support a renaissance is currently underway, with artist-in-residence, homestay, and other enterprises blooming. Dongquan Lighthouse, topping Dongju’s northeast-corner cape, is informally called the “Red-Hair Lighthouse.” The term “redhair” was a common regional term for Westerners in imperial days after the Dutch sailed in. The soaring tower, built in 1872, guided foreign vessels into the nearby China mainland’s Min River after Fuzhou city was opened to trade following the Second Opium War.

Dapu Village

18

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

Dongquan Lighthouse

Mazu temple

Fuzheng Village, significantly larger than Dapu, is another old fishing village now experiencing revivification, its scores of tierstacked houses, harbor-moored fishing craft, beached hulks, coldwar-era retired US-built tanks on display, flaming-orange-red temple (the red symbolizing flames, meaning “too late” for real fires), and backdrop Dongquan Lighthouse together constituting a photographer’s dream-come-true. Dongju is also a prime venue for viewing the “Blue Tear” phenomenon, seen throughout Matsu, a surreal spectacle CNN has called one of the world’s 15 great natural scenic wonders. Local coastline waters sometimes glow blue at night, stimulated algae glowing with an electric-blue fluorescence. For more information visit the Matsu National Scenic Area website at www.matsu-nsa.gov.tw.


F E AT U R E ISLANDS

Beishan Ancient Western-style House

Kinmen Islands (Kinmen County) This is a group of islands controlled by the Republic of China with its nearest point site of the Mashan Observation Station, just 1,800m from mainland China. The military has a strong presence here, but with cold-war tensions now eased, tourism today stands on the frontline in economic terms, concentrated on the two main islands, Greater Kinmen and Lesser Kinmen. The islands are mostly flat and scooter/bicycle-friendly, and the countryside is dotted with wellpreserved imperial-era clan villages featuring distinctive southern Fujian architecture.

Greater Kinmen and Lesser Kinmen

Shanhou Folk Culture Village

Imperial-era charms & cold war military history

On Greater Kinmen is the islands’ main town, Jincheng, over 700 years old. Flagstoned Mofan Street, lined with souvenir shops, was built in 1925 in the arcaded Southeast Asia style by merchants who returned from that region. The graceful Chinese palace-style Qing Dynasty Military Headquarters, erected in 1682, houses a museum on Kinmen’s history. Elsewhere on the island is the Zhaishan Tunnel, an engineering marvel hand-hewn from solid granite in the 1960s, open to the sea and designed to shelter 40 gunboats used to defend the island. Shanhou Folk Culture Village, a clan village built in the late Qing Dynasty using money amassed in Japan trading, is a living museum with clanfolk still resident. There are also more than 100 Western-style colonial mansions in Kinmen, most built in the late 1800s/early 1900s by merchants returning after striking it rich in Southeast Asia and Japan. The Beishan Ancient Western-style House stands out – today abandoned, it was ripped apart by bullets during a major (repulsed) Chinese Communist landing in 1949. Two rewarding modern-era military museums are the Guningtou Battle Museum and August 23 Artillery Battle Museum. Two key sights on Lesser Kinmen, also called Lieyu, are the Hujingtou War Museum and Siwei Tunnel, reflections of their Greater Kinmen brethren.

Wind lion statue

Shanhou residence

For more information, visit the Kinmen National Park website at www. kmnp.gov.tw. Tanks on Kinmen Island

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |19


F E AT U R E

ISLANDS

Made almost entirely of coral, Xiao Liuqiu has a whimsical theatrical-set population of imaginatively named rock formations

Vase Rock on Xiao Liuqiu

20

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


F E AT U R E ISLANDS

XIAO LIUQIU (PINGTUNG COUNTY) Xiao Liuqiu (Little Liuqiu) Coral-island emprise … water, water everywhere!

This island off Taiwan’s southwest coast just below Kaohsiung City, bobbing within easy sight of the mainland coast like some Brigadoon-like illusion liable to disappear upon one’s next blink, attracts both day-trippers and overnighters. Just 6.8 sq. km. in size, it’s made almost entirely of coral, and has a whimsical theatricalset population of imaginatively named rock formations visited on scooter or mini-bus excursions along its coast-side loop road that includes Wild Boar Trench, Vase Rock, Beauty Cave, and Black Devil Cave. One of the many stories of explanation for the Black Devil Cave name is that it was a major site of abomination in a Dutch East India Company attack against the dark-skinned local natives in the 1600s. The island’s other main enticements are guided boat and glass-bottom boat tours, guided snorkeling experiences, guided tidal-zone eco-tours (notably the nighttime outings), and superb inexpensive seafood fare.

Black Devil Cave trail

For more information, visit the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area website at www.dbnsa.gov.tw.

Taipei City

Taiwan

Yilan County

OFF TAIWAN’S EAST SHORES Green Island & Lanyu (Taitung County) Green Island

Taichung City

Guishan (Turtle) Island

Emerald gem floating out toward the rising sun

This volcanic island is, on a clear day, within easy view of upland points along the mainland Taitung County coast, seemingly floating in and out of view as your touring takes you on up and down mountain slopes. The island attracts visitors with its natural beauty. A friendly, easy-grade loop road follows the coastline of the island. You have a choice on arrival at the island’s point-ofentry settlement, Nanliao – ride the hop-on/hop-off tourist-bus service, or rent a scooter or bicycle. The bicycle excursion takes a half-day or more. The craggy coastline, since time immemorial subject of the Pacific Ocean’s sculpting talents, is a stellar geological exhibition of strange rock formations. Under the waters, the bright-colored reefs attract wave upon growing wave of snorkelers and divers. There are two good inland hiking trails, and caves near the coast awaiting exploration, notably Guanyin Cave, which has

Penghu

Xiao Liuqiu

Green Island

Kaohsiung City

Taitung County

Lanyu (Orchid Island)

Pingtung County

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |21


Green Island scenery

an underground waterway and a religious shrine dedicated to Guanyin, aka the Goddess of Mercy. The island’s claim to fame is the tourist-devoted facilities at the coast-side Zhaori Hot Spring (“hot spring of the rising sun”), one of the few saltwater hot springs in the world. Here, bathers are so close to the Pacific it feels as though ocean and pools merge. Sunrise worshippers are found sleepily, happily half-submerged here daily. Sounding an altogether different note is another prime attraction, a notorious long-closed complex for political prisoners dubbed “Oasis Village” by involuntary residents, today core of the Green Island Human Rights Culture Park. For more information, visit the East Coast National Scenic Area website at www.eastcoast-nsa.gov.tw.

Lanyu (Orchid Island) Remote, protected home of the Yami people

Zhaori Hot Spring Canoes of the Yami

Lanyu strikes first-timers as an isolated haven where time may not have stood still, exactly, but where Father Time certainly only occasionally shows up to nudge the clock hands forward. This strikingly scenic volcanic island, larger than Green Island to the north, lies far out of view off the Taiwan mainland. Like its northerly cousin, it is formed of magma that long ago erupted from the ocean floor. Its high-mountain interior is thickly clad with rainforest. This was long a remote bastion of safety unknown to the outside world, home of the Yami tribe – also called the Tao – members of the great Austronesian diaspora, who form the majority of the 4,000-plus population. Their traditional culture is more intact than the cultures of Taiwan’s other tribal peoples, the result of greater isolation and, overall, better protection by officials after the Japanese, followed by the Han Chinese, landed on the island’s shores. There’s limited bus service, so most visitors rent scooters or bicycles at the ferry pier on arrival. A coast-side ring road takes you to the island’s six villages, where you’ll come across old-style semi-subterranean stone-and-wood dwellings (protection from heat and typhoons), brightly painted and carved oceangoing canoes

Flying fish

22

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


F E AT U R E ISLANDS

Guishan Island Guishan Island

made with not a single nail that are decorated with powerful protective symbols (they’re sacred, so don’t touch!), and, on occasion, men dressed solely in traditional loincloths, for comfort and convenience, while fishing or at other tasks. Tourists also come for the snorkeling and diving, amongst the best in East Asia. The Pacific’s mighty Kuroshio Current also delivers the island’s culinary staple, the flying fish, which you’ll see drying on racks ubiquitous in all the villages; be sure to join one of the guided flying-fish boat-tour outings. For more information visit the Taitung Travel website at tour.taitung.gov.tw.

GUISHAN ISLAND (YILAN COUNTY) Guishan (Turtle) Island

of a giant sea turtle, is today uninhabited. Now an eco-preserve park, here you can visit the ruins of a century-old fishing village evacuated in 1977, inspect abandoned military facilities, and hike to the main summit for powerful sweeping looks in all directions. Access is via yacht tours from Wushi Fishing Harbor, during which you may spot dolphins and whales (there are also dedicated whale/dolphin outings with no island landing). For more information, visit the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area website at www.necoast-nsa.gov.tw.

Tramping about on an old volcano

Yilan County is roughly triangular in shape, with mountain massifs framing the Yilan Plain (also called the Lanyang Plain) on two sides and the Pacific pushing against the third. It is bucolic, relying heavily on farming, fishing, and tourism, and has few conurbations and little heavy industry. Guishan (Turtle) Island floats just off the county coast, in view from almost all unobstructed points across the plain. The small volcanic outcrop, which does indeed resemble the exposed upper half

English and Chinese Beigan Island 北竿島 Dongju Island 東莒島 Greater Kinmen 大金門 Green Island 綠島 Guishan Island 龜山島 Jibei Island 吉貝嶼 Juguang 莒光 Kinmen Islands 金門群島

Lanyu 蘭嶼 Lesser Kinmen 小金門 Lieyu 烈嶼 Matsu Islands 馬祖列島 Penghu Islands 澎湖群島 Qimei Island 七美嶼 Xiyu 西嶼 Yuweng Island 漁翁島

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |23


M Y T R AV E L LO G

So Much Suspense

Pedestrian Bridges in Mountainous Areas Text: Twelli Photos: Vision Dongpu Suspension Bridge

E

Zhuilu Suspension Bridge

to be crossed, said smile is made xploring Taiwan, this leafsignificantly wider. shaped island in East Asia that has been my stomping There must be thousands of them, ground for almost three decades, and while I have seen and crossed never seems to lose its allure. This my fair share, there are certainly country is often described as small many more out there waiting to – small but with a lot of things in be conquered, even higher, even store for visitors. On Wikipedia’s longer, even more precariously list of Countries and dependencies placed. Some of these bridges by area, Taiwan sits way down were constructed many decades in 134 th place, between such as ago, serving as important lifelines Switzerland (132) and Belgium for mountain villages, facilitating (137). While those two similarly important operations such as powersmall European countries, without line maintenance, helping hikers to doubt, have unique assets that draw get to the tops of mountains more tons of tourists (ranging from the conveniently, and – a more recent tiny Manneken Pis to the mighty purpose – attracting tourists in Matterhorn), they are no match for search of thrills and soaring scenery. Taiwan when it comes to diversity of terrain and climatic zones. There Some of the most memorable – and are few places in the world where Danayigu Suspension Bridge highly recommended – suspension subtropical beaches and alpine bridges among those checked off my mountain areas are in such close proximity that you can easily visit both on the same day – by way of seemingly endless “to-do” list of these engineering feats are Bitan example, it takes less than three hours to drive from coastal Hualien Suspension Bridge (an easy-access suspension bridge in Taipei), City to the Wuling Pass, just below the peak of Hehuanshan (Mt. Dongpu Suspension Bridge in Nantou County (sporting distinctive green-painted steel towers and an impressive arch), Shanchuan Glass Hehuan), 3,416 meters above sea level. Suspension Bridge in Pingtung County (Taiwan’s second-longest at While I enjoy time spent exploring historic sites and cultural 262m), Danayigu Suspension Bridge (in the beautiful southern part treasures, walking through modern cities, and searching for new of Alishan National Scenic Area), Zhuilu Suspension Bridge (giving places to satisfy culinary desires, what gets me far more excited is access to the Zhuilu Historic Trail in Taroko Gorge), the breathtaking setting off on yet another trip to the mountains, to forest recreation Sky Ladder in Nantou, and last but not least, Taiping Suspension areas, to indigenous villages. The island’s mountain scenery never Bridge in Chiayi County (opened last year, at 282m the longest fails to put a smile on my face, and if there are suspension bridges tourist suspension bridge in Taiwan).

24

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN



ADVENTURES

TAITUNG

Flying High at One of Taiwan’s Hottest Tourist Attractions The Taiwan International Balloon Festival has become one of Taiwan’s most popular annual festivals in recent years. The Travel Channel, a US-based cable channel, has described it as one of “12 Amazing Hot Air Balloon Festivals Around the World,” alongside such major international hot-air-balloon events as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and Saga International Balloon Fiesta. The Taiwan festival is staged each summer at Taitung County’s Luye Highland. Weather permitting, the hot-air balloons also fly throughout the rest of the year, as we found out on a recent trip to southeastern Taiwan.

Hot-air balloons taking off at the Luye Highland

26

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


ADVENTURES TAITUNG

Up, Up, Away!

Text: Francesca Chang Photos: Maggie Song, Taitung Dream Flight Academy

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |27


ADVENTURES

TAITUNG

Taitung Dream Flight Academy

Hot-air balloon baskets

Lift-off: The Beginnings of the Festival Taitung County is known for its picturesque mountains, dramatic coastline, lush greenery, clean air, and consistently pleasant weather conditions. One of its geological wonders is the East Rift Valley, which runs between the Central and Coastal mountain ranges from south of Hualien City to north of Taitung City. Until 2011, you could only witness the scenic beauty of Taitung County from above while high up upon one of the region’s flatlandsoverlooking mountains, sitting in an airplane, or perhaps while teamed with a paraglider guide and taking to the sky during the summer months. This has changed significantly since the determined Taitung County government launched the Taiwan International Balloon Festival (balloontaiwan.taitung.gov.tw) seven years ago. On July 2, 2011, 13 balloons from Thailand, New Zealand, Dubai, the U.S., Canada, India, and Switzerland embarked on their maiden voyage in Taitung, launching from the Luye Highland in Luye Township. The festival was an immediate success, the first edition attracting 350,000 visitors from Taiwan and around the world. Since then this international attraction has drawn more visitors each year, and has also become the world’s longest hot-air balloon event (lasting over a month). Fun for the Whole Family – In the Air and On the Ground The festival kicks off with a night-glow concert at Luye Highland during which stationary hot-air balloons are lit up and floated upward, illuminating the festival grounds to synchronized music. During the rest of the festival six more night-glow concerts take place, each at a different venue in Taitung County. The Luye Highland, with an average altitude of 350 meters, offers spectacular views of the East Rift Valley and the two mountain ranges framing it. The plateau grassland covers more than 66,000 square meters, making it an ideal launching pad for both hot-air balloons (in the morning and evening, when the wind is calm and temperatures are not too high) and paragliders (in the afternoon, when the wind picks up). The 2017 festival featured 30 balloons hailing from 11 different countries around Learning about hot-air balloons

the world. One of the most notable characteristics of this event is the creative designs and unique shapes of the balloons – last year, the opening ceremony featured a Darth Vader-shaped balloon from Belgium, a Yodashaped balloon from the U.K., a flying-pink-pig-shaped balloon and a parrot-shaped balloon from the U.S., and a seahorse-shaped balloon from Brazil, to mention just a few. During the festival, both kids and adults can partake in a number of activities. The most popular is going on a tethered balloon ride. For NT$500, you can enjoy a 5~7-minute “flight” with your balloon remaining tied to the ground. Untethered flights lasting about 30 minutes are also offered – but are significantly more expensive, costing NT$9,000. Tickets can be purchased onsite starting as early as 5am. In the morning, balloons take to the sky 5:30am–7:30am; in the evening, 5pm–7pm. Flying in a balloon is a unique experience for passengers and a tough task for the balloon crews. A well-trained team is required to simultaneously blow an open flame into the balloon’s central hole and handle ropes to keep the balloon in place once in the air. Other activities visitors can partake in include a paper-airplane competition for kids, dancing lessons with members of indigenous tribes from the Taitung area, and wedding photography for couples who want to take professional photos with hot-air balloons as props. The balloons provide a colorful and memorable backdrop for everyone. My Own Aerial Adventure As written in the opening, the summer festival is not the only time during which hot-air balloons fly over Luye. Private tethered flights and free flights are available to the general public at other times as well. I had the privilege of experiencing a longer flight one fine recent day. My balloon adventure started at 4am in the morning, when I received a call from one of the pilots at Sky Rainbow Airlines, a company that organizes balloon flights at Luye, confirming that weather conditions were prime for flying. I was staying at a B&B in central Luye Township, less than 10 minutes away, and by 4:30am a staff member had picked me up at my door and transported me to the highland. Flying in the East Rift Valley


Fun at the Dream Flight Academy

When I arrived at the launch pad, a team of four crew members was already hard at work setting up the balloon. Together with the pilot, it took more than 30 minutes for the team to inflate the balloon, using a burner and a fan to properly circulate the hot air. Once the basket was placed upright and the 7-floor-high balloon fully inflated, I carefully climbed over and into the basket, using two carved holes on one side of the basket that function as a ladder. The pilot began to pull the burner to release more hot air from the open flame, and before I knew it we were flying over the long and narrow East Rift Valley. The balloon broke through scattered clouds hovering over the valley, and I had a clear view of the mountain ranges on either side of me. I could also spot indigenous villages nestled on mountain slopes, vivid green-andyellow pineapple fields and banana groves, and even tea plantations. At about 500 meters above ground, I saw the city of Taitung to the south. As we traveled along at a calm pace of 15~20 kilometers per hour, I breathed in the fresh air and found myself wishing that I could stay floating through the skies like this forever. Sky Rainbow Airlines provides a video recording for all 30-minute flights, preserving a memory that I will cherish forever. We began our descent as a sleepy sun peeked over the mountains under a clear blue sky. After we hit the ground the landing crew, which had tracked us from the ground during the duration of the flight, welcomed us back with a celebratory bottle of champagne. True to this long-lived ballooning tradition, we raised a glass with a toast to the skilled pilots and the unforgettable experience. Training and Preparation for the 2018 Festival Hot-air balloon pilots licensed in Taiwan are held to the most stringent of international flying standards. To become a hot-air balloon pilot in Taiwan, one must first undergo training abroad to receive a license from either the U.S. or select European countries. Upon returning to Taiwan, another 35 hours of training is required before one can fly hot-air balloons on the island. The Taitung Dream Flight Academy was established in 2014 to Coastal mountains and the Pacific in full view

East Rift Valley scenery

provide such training. Currently a private organization, the academy hopes to become a formally certified school providing training and resources for Taiwanese hot-air balloon pilots in the future. There are now 10 local pilots in Taiwan who are in charge of administering private hot-air balloon rides at Luye, as well as rides at the international festival. The 2018 International Balloon Festival will take place from June 30 to August 6. In conjunction with the Taitung County Government, the pilots from Sky Rainbow Airlines start preparing for the festival as early as December the previous year, personally inviting hot-air balloon pilots from around the world and assisting with accommodations. A celebration of international collaboration and local culture, this year’s international balloon festival is sure to scale new heights for the beautiful land of Taiwan! Getting There Take a train to Luye Railway Station; shuttle buses are available at the station during the festival period; alternatively, take a taxi to the Luye Highland. Costs During the festival, 5~7-minute tethered hot-air balloon rides cost NT$500 per person. At other times of the year these rides are NT$1,000. Free (untethered) flights (during the festival and at other times) lasting about 30 minutes are priced NT$$9,000 (video footage and champagne toast at the end included). Entrance to the festival is free. Advance booking is required outside the festival period; groups of 20 or more are required for the tethered flights, just 2 or more for the free flights. English and Chinese East Rift Valley 花東縱谷 Luye Highland 鹿野高台 Taitung Dream Flight Academy 台東飛行夢工場 Taiwan International Balloon Festival 臺灣國際熱氣球嘉年華 Sky Rainbow Airlines ( 天際航空 ) (089) 552-233 No. 399, Sec. 3, Zhonghua Rd., Luye Township, Taitung County ( 台東縣鹿野鄉中華路三段 399 號 ) www.skyrainbow.com.tw

Night glow at Balloon Festival

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |29


TOWN WANDERINGS

SANYI

HISTORY AND HAKKA CULTURE A Day in Mountainous Miaoli County’s Sanyi Township Remains of Longteng Bridge

The town of Sanyi is one of Taiwan’s top tourist-town destinations. The township it centers is a place where heritage is celebrated, including old-time crafts and industries, Hakka culture, and railway-building pride. Text: Rick Charette

Photos: Vision

H

ere’s a test. Approach local people in Taiwan, say the word “Sanyi” to them and nothing more, and await their response. In their mind’s eye they’ll be immediately whisked like a flying immortal from the Chinese religious pantheon to a small Miaoli County high-hills town they know as the “Taiwan Kingdom of Woodcarving.” This is the economic and administrative hub of Sanyi Township. Other tourist icons they’ll invariably tell you about include the local Hakka culture (especially food) and mountain-line railway history, heritage sites, and ruins, which you’ll also be given a hearty tasting of in the words to follow.

30

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


SANYI’S “OLD STREETS” Throughout Taiwan, in recent times the main commercial streets in score upon score of old towns, villages, and city neighborhoods (many of these long-time stand-alone settlements) have been prettied up with such touristalluring accouterments as cobblestones or flagstones on streets, handsome vintage-style signage, and eye-drawing storefronts and interiors. Old Sanyi town doubles your Old Street delectation with two fine contributions. Better known with international tourists is Shuimei Old Street, at the southern end. The heady aromas of the woods being worked in this area – camphor, sandalwood, yew, and cypress – often permeate the air. This “old street” is in fact a section, about 1km, of Provincial Highway 13, which is also the town’s main thoroughfare. Be ready for determined browsing, for there are about 200 shops to tackle, selling most everything possibly desired, from artwork through furnishing

Tip: Most exotic and enticing to the foreign tourist eye is the exquisite artistry of the Chinese-theme religious statuary. Head home with a Laughing Buddha, God of Wealth, or God of War (who, by extension, embodies martial business-strategy acumen). Guangsheng Old Street is centered on Guangfu Road, a west turn off Highway 13 in Sanyi’s northern section. Guangfu is the pivot in what is a street/lane “old street” mini-web. Sanyi’s Guangsheng area was once a stand-alone village; growth along Highway 13 has created a single agglomeration. It still putters along, however, with a world-unto-itself personality. Tourists today come mainly for the bright, spirited mural-type painting art that festoons the neighborhood. Community signboard maps show where all public artwork can be found – these works celebrate Guangsheng, Sanyi Township, and Hakka life in general – as well as the scores of equally interesting old-time mom-and-pop shops and artist-operated teahouses and studios. The definitive artwork is a “3D” work of ingenuity filling the wide, tall painted staircase at the end of Guangsheng Road leading up to Jianzhong Elementary School, depicting such defining local icons as the railway-bridge ruins and tung blossoms explained below. Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum

Sanyi shops

SANYI WOOD SCULPTURE MUSEUM This modern-architecture museum (wood.mlc.gov.tw) is close to Shuimei Old Street. The history of woodcarving in Taiwan, and Sanyi specifically, is explained here, and many award-winning sculptures are on display, with an emphasis again on Taiwan and specifically Sanyi-area talent. The creations range from heritage works by definition traditional in design, notably religious-worship items, to head-shaking abstract flights of fancy. Live demonstrations and kids-oriented DIY sessions are generally given on weekends/holidays. An English audio guide and brochure are available, plus limited posted English. Hills around Sanyi Township not long past teemed with camphor trees, many several hundred years old. Extensive logging was conducted during the 1895-1945 Japanese colonial era, timber sent to Japan. Tea farms afterwards sprouted on the exposed land, and local Chinese took to using the dug-up camphor-tree trunks and roots as decorative ornaments, preferring those resembling humans, animals, and plants. A thriving commercial industry over time grew from these roots, locals systematically looking outward for more sophisticated skills. Today many artists have also moved in from outside.

Tip 1: Two excellent examples of natural “wood animals” are three almost-life-sized elephants that greet visitors outside the museum. Tip 2: The April Snow Trail, lined with tung trees and leading to tea plantations, begins right at the museum. Tung oil was once a key Miaoli industry, and tung blossoms are today closely associated with local Hakka culture. The trees bloom in late spring and the fallen blossoms create the impression of snow on the ground. Visit tung.hakka.gov.tw to for info about the annual Hakka Tung Blossom Festival.

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |31


TOWN WANDERINGS

SANYI

SHENGXING RAILWAY STATION This tourist attraction, and the two following, are in the area just east/ southeast of Sanyi town. Tiny Shengxing, a village hardly more than two-score buildings strong, is a big tourist draw. It sits in a narrow and shallow valley area through which once ran a busy mountain railway, built by the Japanese, used in the extraction of mountain-region resources. The railway remains; non-extant is the “busy.” Today it’s reserved for the very occasional tourism-oriented steam-engine train foray. The cottage-style Shengxing Railway Station is the hamlet’s prime attraction. It was built using pine in the early 20th century and was once, at an elevation of 402 meters, Taiwan’s highest main-line station. As interesting as the station is the village. Like Sanyi town, this is a Hakka settlement. The Hakka were long a persecuted Han Chinese minority, in mainland China and Taiwan, driven into the mountains and excelling at mountain farming and resource-extraction industries – and, by degree, in rugged railway work in modern times. Most of the old buildings along Shengxing’s narrow street have been prettied up and are now used as teahouses and eateries/shops offering Hakka food, snacks, and souvenirs.

Shengxing Railway Station

Tip: Shengxing’s oldest and perhaps its best Hakka restaurant is “Shengxing Hakka Inn,” just a minute by foot from the station. The founder started work on the railway in his teens; the “inn” building was originally a railway-oriented metalwork shop. Period photos and furniture much enrich the culinary experience.

REMAINS OF LONGTENG BRIDGE The winding road and close-in roadside hills here result in these soaring ruins seeming to burst forth into view from nothingness as you round the last corner. Like Shengxing’s railway station, Longteng Bridge was an early 20th-century Japanese architectural work built for service on the same line. It was destroyed in 1935 in a colossal earthquake, leaving today’s 60m red-brick viaduct remains. When standing at its base, this “scale” colossus evokes the ancient Roman ruins found in “impossible” places all through Europe. Some might say that this bridge’s destiny was set in stone in the face of a monster earthquake’s onslaughts knowing that a traditional type of mortar made with glutinous rice was used in its creation, and that concrete and reinforcing bars were not.

Tip: Take the stairs that give access to the top of the remains to find a section of the original track; take the stairs leading up to the nearby replacement section of the destroyed bridge to enjoy the best view over the river, valley, farms, and bridge ruins. ZHUO YE COTTAGE This place is defined as a minsu or homestay. Yet it is a true homestay in no way. It is more an ultra-compact Chinese imperial-era village that is faux, built as a modern-day movie set, with mise-en-scenes too perfect. Walk down a winding, sloping central lane to enter individual rooms from ground level or by stairway in two-story “houses” out of a rabbit-hutch world (fret not; rooms are spacious, with full modern facilities). And the “cottage” is much more – famously much more. There is an open-front indigo-dyeing studio with history/DIY-experience sessions offered. Before these days of synthetic dyes, hill indigo was an important regional commercial crop, with the Hakka front and center. Zhuo Ye also uses a range of other natural dyes, all made on-site. Other amenities of the Zhuo Ye “village” complex (all available to non-guests) include a vegetarian restaurant and tea/beverage/snack bar with outdoor seating overlooking a placid duck pond, and a retail outlet displaying its fashionable natural-dye clothing. For more information, visit www.joye.com.tw.

Tip: Explore the large gardens just upslope, where much of Zhuo Ye’s dye plants and food ingredients are grown, then continue up the quiet country road to high-hill tea farms (20mins). 32

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

Zhuo Ye Cottage


Tongluo Township

Taiwan Hakka Museum 13

1

Sanyi

Guangsheng Old Street

119

130 Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum

130

Shuimei Old Street

Sanyi Township

Zhuo Ye Cottage Shengxing

1

140

Taiwan Hakka Museum

Remains of Longteng Bridge

Photo courtesy of Taiwan Hakka Culture Development Center

TAIWAN HAKKA MUSEUM This museum, just north of Sanyi Township in Tongluo, is in a mammoth facility sitting atop a plateau above a valley through which Provincial Highway 13 and National Freeway 1 shoot. When first espied from the valley floor, you may think, as I did, that the striking futuristic complex resembles a giant spaceship from the Hollywood blockbuster Independence Day, landed and with occupants sizing up Miaoli. This sprawling, sun-drenched museum explores the historical impact of the Hakka in their place of origin, mainland China, and throughout Taiwan and Southeast Asia. A highlight is the wealth of interactive experiences for both youngsters and adults; there is also good posted English information. For more information, visit thcc.hakka.gov.tw.

Tip: The spacious, airy high-ceilinged café/restaurant inside the museum has good Hakka food and terrific views over the Miaoli countryside through its solid wall of floor-to-ceiling windows.

Getting There & Around Railway: There is regular local-train service to Sanyi Railway Station (www.railway.gov.tw). Sanyi town and its immediate environs are best navigated by motor-scooter; rentals are available right outside the railway station, located at the town’s northern end. Self-Drive: Sanyi town is right beside National Freeway No. 1, not far from Sanyi Interchange. Tour Bus: Check out the Taiwan Tour Bus service’s Sanyi Wood Sculpture & Da Jia Mazu One-day Tour (www.taiwantourbus.com.tw).

English and Chinese April Snow Trail 四月雪小徑 Guangfu Road 光復路 Guangsheng Old Street 廣盛老街 Jianzhong Elementary School 建中國小 Old Street 老街 Remains of Longteng Bridge 龍騰斷橋 Sanyi 三義 Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum 木雕博物館 Shengxing Hakka Inn 勝興客棧 Shengxing Railway Station 勝興車站 Taiwan Hakka Museum 臺灣客家文化館 "Taiwan Kingdom of Woodcarving" 台灣木雕王國 Tongluo 銅鑼 Zhuo Ye Cottage 卓也小屋

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |33


MUST SEE & DO

BICYCLING

Bike Paths around Taiwan 10 Routes Perfect for Exploring Scenery and Culture Text and Photos: Vision

B

icycling is VERY popular in Taiwan these days. This hasn't always been the case; there were times when the bicyclists you would see on roadways were most often elderly men on old, squeaky steeds. You still occasionally see such slow-moving road users, but it's more likely that you'll encounter younger riders on YouBike or CityBike public-rental cycles or modern racing machines, bikers on the latter often all geared up wearing tight shorts and shoes with clips.

Two main reasons for the local passion for cycling are the trend toward pursuit of a more healthy and active lifestyle and government efforts to make bicycling more convenient and safe, both in cities and the countryside, by building an extensive network of bike paths and lanes. While serious bikers will prefer longer routes along main roads – many going on 10-day round-the-island trips – casual bicyclists are more likely to prefer less-challenging outings, following dedicated easy-grade and motor-vehicle-free bike paths. The good news is that there are many such paths around the island. Following is a quick overview of 10 bike routes that allow you to explore city and countryside in a relaxed manner on two wheels.

1

Riverside Bike Paths, Taipei City Locations Bike paths can be found along the city's major waterways – the Tamsui, Keelung, Xindian, Jingmei, and Waishuang rivers. Getting There Take the Taipei Metro ( Taipei MRT ) to stations close to the rivers, including Songshan, Gongguan, Jingmei, Yuanshan, and Daqiaotou.

34

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

Length The full Taipei City riverside bike-path network surpasses 100 kilometers, and seamlessly connects with the ever-wider network of riverside routes in New Taipei City. Bicycle Rental There are many YouBike public-rental stations across Taipei City/New Taipei City, many close to riverside bike-path entry points (floodgates). Check the map at

taipei.youbike.com.tw or on the YouBike app. Taipei Riverside Bike Rental Centers are also found right by the bike paths, including at Dadaocheng Wharf and Gongguan. Wayside Attractions Riverside parks, waterbird areas, scenic bridges, and much more


MUST SEE & DO BICYCLING

2

Tamsui River Left Bank Bike Path, New Taipei City

3

Dahan River and Xindian River Bike Paths, New Taipei City

4

Old Caoling Circle Line Bikeway, Northeast Coast, New Taipei City

2

3

4

Location This bike path along the Tamsui's left bank starts at Zhongxing Bridge and takes you all the way up north to the settlement of Bali at the mouth of the river. Getting There From Taipei City, choose from several bridges to cross the Tamsui into New Taipei City (Sanchong District). On the bridges you'll find either ramps or staircases to get you down to the riverside bike path. Length About 20km Bicycle Rental Look for YouBike rental stations close to riverside access points (floodgates). Wayside Attractions Riverside parks, views of Taipei City across the river, Guandu Bridge, Bali Wharf, Waziwei Nature Conservation Area

Location These rivers are the two main tributaries of the Tamsui River, which starts at their confluence off the southwestern corner of Taipei City (Wanhua District). Getting There Following the Dahan southwest from the Dahanspanning bike/pedestrian-dedicated New Moon (Xinyue) Bridge in New Taipei City's Banqiao District, pedal as far as the towns of Yingge and Sanxia; following the Xindian south brings you to New Taipei City's Xindian District and the Bitan Scenic Area. Length Dahan River Left Bank (Xinbei Bridge – Taoyuan City Border) 24.7km; Xindian River Left Bank (Huajiang Bridge – Bitan) 15km Bicycle Rental Look for YouBike rental stations close to riverside access points (floodgates); riverside bike-rental centers can be found at Bitan and other locations. Wayside Attractions Riverside parks, New Moon Bridge, Rainbow Bridge over Xindian River, Bitan Scenic Area, Yingge Old Street, Sanxia Zushi Temple

Location Fulong village in New Taipei City; the bike route starts right at the railway station, moving in a generally southerly direction, proceeding parallel to the railway line, going through the old railway tunnel, then following the coast first north and then west all the way back to Fulong. Getting There Take an eastbound train from Taipei to Fulong. Length The loop route (Fulong Railway Station, Old Caoling Tunnel, Sandiao Cape, Fulong Visitor Center) is about 22km long. Bicycle Rental A number of private rental shops are just outside Fulong Railway Station, with individual bicycles, tandems, and e-motor bikes available. Wayside Attractions Old Caoling Tunnel, Lai Lai Marine Terrace, Sandiao Cape Lighthouse (side road uphill), Mao'ao Fishing Village, Fulong Beach

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |35


10

MUST SEE & DO

BICYCLING

Bike Paths around Taiwan 5

6

7

Location This bike path follows both banks of the Dongshan River in Yilan Count y's Dongshan Township, connecting Dongshan Railway Station with the National Center for Traditional Arts. Getting There Take a train to Dongshan Railway Station. Length The full loop, from the station to the center and back, combining the left and right bank paths, is about 21km long. Bicycle Rental Rentals can be found opposite Dongshan Railway Station and at Dongshan River Water Park. Wayside Attractions National Center for Traditional Arts (www.ncfta.gov. tw), Dongshan River Water Park, Dongshan River EcoArk

Location East/southeast of Chishang town in Taitung County, this route takes you around Dapo Pond and along narrow roads through photogenic rice paddies. Getting There Take a train to Chishang. Length About 20km (including Mr. Brown Avenue) Bicycle Rental There are rental shops east of the railway station and close to both ends of Mr. Brown Avenue. Wayside Attractions Dapo Pond, Mr. Brown Avenue

Location In Fengyuan and Houli districts of Taichung City in central Taiwan; the bikeway follows a former railway line. Getting There Take a train to Fengyuan, head to Fengyuan Bus Station, and take bus No. 90, 91, 206, 207, or 208 to Shigang Dam bus stop. Length About 12km one way Bicycle Rental There are rentals close to Shigang Dam bus stop. Wayside Attractions Old railway tunnel, old steel bridges, old railway station, Hakka museum, Shigang Dam

Chishang Dapo Pond and Blue Line Bike Path, Taitung County

36

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

5

Dongshan River Bike Path, Yilan County

7

Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way – Houfeng Bike Path, Taichung City

6


MUST SEE & DO BICYCLING

8

Sun Moon Lake Bike Route, Nantou County

Jiji Green Tunnel and Around-Town Bikeway, Nantou County

9 10

8

9

Location Jiji is located in central Taiwan's Nantou County, west of Sun Moon Lake; this bike route circles the small town and brings you to the Green Tunnel, a stretch of County Route 152 with a leafy canopy. Getting There Take a train (Jiji Branch Line) to Jiji Railway Station. Length The bike route around Jiji town plus the Jiji Green Tunnel is about 20km in total length. Bicycle Rental There are many rental outlets along Jiji's main road close to the railway station. Wayside Attractions Jiji Green Tunnel, Jiji Railway Station, Mingxin Academy, Jiji Military History Park

Location Sun Moon Lake is located close to the geographical center of Taiwan; the bike route circles the lake. Getting There Take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service Sun Moon Lake Route from central Taichung, or take the Jiji Branch Line to Checheng town and then transfer to a bus headed for Sun Moon Lake. Length The loop around the lake is about 30km long. Bicycle Rental There are rental shops close to Shuishe Wharf, near Xiangshan Visitor Center, and in Ita Thao Village. Wayside Attractions Wenwu Temple, Xuanguang Temple, Ita Thao Village, Xiangshan Visitor Center, and many other spots with splendid lake views

English and Chinese Chishang Dapo Pond and Blue Line Bike Path 池上大坡池暨藍線自行車道 Dahan River and Xindian River Bike Paths 大漢及新店溪自行車道 Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way – Houfeng Bike Path 東豐自行車綠廊-后豐鐵馬道 Dongshan River Bike Path 冬山河自行車道

Jiji Green Tunnel and Around-Town Bikeway 集集綠色隧道暨環鎮自行車道 Old Caoling Circle Line Bikeway, Northeast Coast 東北角舊草嶺環狀線自行車道 Dapeng Bay Bike Path 大鵬灣環灣自行車道 Riverside Bike Path 河濱自行車道 Sun Moon Lake Bike Path 日月潭自行車道 Tamsui River Left Bank Bike Path 淡水河左岸自行車道

Dapeng Bay Bike Path, Pingtung County 10 Location Dapeng Bay is located southeast of Kaohsiung in Pingtung County; the bike path circles the Dapeng Bay lagoon. Getting There Take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service Kenting Express Line from Kaohsiung (Zuoying Station) to Dapeng Bay Note: only four services a day to Dapeng Bay; please check the timetable. Length The loop around the lagoon is about 12km long. Bicycle Rental There is a bike-rental station at the entrance to The PenBay National Leisure Zone. Wayside Attractions Dapeng Bay Bridge, Qingzhou Coastal Recreation Area, The PenBay National Leisure Zone, Qifeng Wetlands

For more information about bicycling in Taiwan, including info on routes, the Taiwan Cycling Festival, and touring tips, visit taiwanbike.tw.

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |37


ISLAND FEAST

TAIPEI

Slow Food in Homey Settings

Greenhouse Space meal

Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Maggie Song

Experiencing Stylish Dining in Historical Buildings If you are looking to sit down to a slow meal in a restaurant with pleasant ambience in Taipei, there is an increasing number of places in its lanes and alleys that can satisfy not just your longing for a good-tasting meal, but also your desire to relax and cherish the experience.

I

n a big, heavily populated city like Taipei, eating out might sometimes feel a little bit stressful. At peak hours, it's not uncommon to be squeezed into seating at a table with other hungry diners or have a long queue outside watching and guilt-tripping you into wolfing down your evening meal, while the agony of choice – especially when confronted with an all-Chinese menu – can make the simple act of ordering a complex and sweatinducing affair. In addition, those looking for a restaurant with a tangible sense of place or local history may often be disappointed, as for the majority

38

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

of popular local eateries in Taiwan setting and décor is not a priority. Aesthetically speaking, many eateries renowned for their fantastic food are nevertheless strangely anonymous, making do with simple tables and stools, the only decoration perhaps being the images of local celebrity patrons on the walls. There is, however, a modern movement in Taiwanese restaurateurship to provide alternatives to this fast-paced style of eating by opening restaurants that emphasize slow food (cooked using fresh, seasonal Taiwanese ingredients), a homey atmosphere, and an appreciation of the setting itself.

Greenhouse Space

Travel in Taiwan recently visited one such venture – Greenhouse Space – in an alley off the northern section of Taipei’s Xinsheng North Road, nestled in a small open area between high-end apartment buildings. Constructed in 1949, the two-story building – clapboard with double-hung windows and a garden bordered with banyan trees, a rare sight in concrete-block-dominated Taipei – was once the residence of the chairman of the Central Bank of the Republic of China, but is now home to a restaurant serving traditional Taiwanese cuisine.


ISLAND FEAST TAIPEI

We enter the premises and are greeted by a minimalist interior with simple wooden tables and chairs, the only signs of extravagance being two small nooks – one upstairs, one down – with tastefully selected leather furniture. A temptation for many business owners who run a restaurant or café in a historical building is to deck it out with period memorabilia; not here, however. Here, the work of historical eye-candy has been left to exposed structural elements of the old house itself. Low-hanging wooden beams crisscross above us; sections of wall have been removed and covered with transparent material to show the inner workings; more unusual architectural features, such as an oculus window and the artisanal gratings, are subtly highlighted with small triangular plaques that give the keen observer extra tidbits of historical information. But the feature that most sets the house apart is its very own air-raid shelter, a relic of the 1950s that now doubles as the kitchen (generally, gas burners are not allowed in wooden houses of historical importance; because the shelter is made of concrete, the proprietor has been granted an exemption).

and, of course, gives diners the opportunity to be surprised and delighted with each new visit.

The setting, however, is not the only great thing about Greenhouse Space. The restaurant's minimalist decor is reflected in its minimalist menu. There are only two options – a set meal with meat and a vegetarian set, each priced at NT$380. What you get is entirely up to the chef, and depends on what ingredients are available on the day. Generally speaking, you'll get six or seven dishes (with the meat-based set, a mix of vegetable and meat offerings), a bowl of rice, and a soup. This allows the restaurant the flexibility to choose the freshest seasonal ingredients each day – which include yearround staples such as baby corn, pumpkin, radish, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage but also allows for season-specific wild-cards such as areca flowers in summer or sweetfish in fall –

Greenhouse Space ( 綠舍食光 ) No. 24, Lane 62, Sec. 3, Xinsheng N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市中山區新生北路三段 62 巷 24 號 ) (02) 2597-2885

“We wanted to make the restaurant feel like a second home,” says Angela Huang, the restaurant's director. “At home, you don't order from a menu. And the food your mother cooks is always fresh from the market and cooked with love.” Eager to sample the fare, I order the set with meat – which arrives presently on an elegant bamboo-wood tray. I start with the soup, boiled daikon in a pickled watermelon broth. According to Huang, during Taiwan's watermelon season smaller fruits are harvested early to make space for their other, larger siblings to grow. These early harvests are then shredded and preserved, and the result is now flavoring my soup. It's a captivating flavor, piquant and mildly pungent, and pairs surprisingly well with the earthiness of the daikon (which just happens to be a favorite

ingredient in my own Taiwanese mother-inlaw’s creations). Moving on to the meat dishes, there's succulent, crispy-skinned chicken glazed with chili sauce, along with several tender cuts of pork cheek, a common side dish in Taiwanese eateries. The seafood course is delicious softshell crab, accompanied by okra, broccoli, and perhaps most bizarrely, candied bitter melon – an experimental dish in which an attempt is made to offset the melon's bitterness with a crisp sweet crust (surprisingly palatable, considering that I count bitter melon as one of my culinary nemeses). I would be remiss to not mention the tableware, which is itself a testament to how much care Greenhouse Space puts into its finer details. Each plate is handmade in Yingge – Taiwan's pottery capital – and features a unique painted design – pomelos, pineapples, bamboo shoots, shrimp – which according to Huang is a throwback to early 20th-century Taiwan, when images of mouthwatering foods would be painted on plates and bowls in order to sate hunger (psychologically at least) in times of frugality. It's these small particulars, as well as the delicious food, that makes Greenhouse Space an intriguing place to eat indeed.

Crispy chicken and tender cuts of pork

Greenhouse Space

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |39


ISLAND FEAST

TAIPEI

Foodie ( 福邸 ) 1F, No. 4, Alley 2, Lane 359, Fujin St., Songshan Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市松山區富錦街 359 巷 2 弄 4 號 1樓 ) (02) 2765-4898

Fine dining at Foodie

40

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


ISLAND FEAST TAIPEI

Select dishes served at Foodie

Foodie

Continuing the theme of restaurants in historical buildings, we also visited Foodie, located in the high-end modern-bohemian bolthole that is Taipei's Minsheng Community. The restaurant is housed in a two-story former private home, façade done in red brick, which has been around since the 1950s and once belonged to a naval officer whose old initialed suitcases can still be seen dotted about the restaurant. The furnishings are eclectic, vintage, and verging on grand, with Persian rugs, Damask wallpaper, and stained-glass lamps decorating the private dining areas in each of the three ground-floor rooms. In fact, Foodie reminds me more of an upper-class drawing room than it does a restaurant, an impression cultivated by Ken Hsu, who co-owns the restaurant with the grandson of the aforementioned navy captain.

“Taiwanese dining tends to be fastpaced, a rushed affair,” says Hsu. “With Foodie, I wanted to create something more akin to a European dining experience, create a place where you can sit for as long as you want, enjoy the space, feel completely at home and at ease.” Such comforts, however, don't come cheap – the standard set menu costs NT$2,000 per person

and includes a starter, a soup, a fish course, a main, an après-main, and a dessert. Dining time is not limited, nor does the restaurant have any set opening hours – the key word here is, after all, flexibility. Parties of two or under needn't book ahead, but for larger groups, reservations are advised. In contrast to Greenhouse Space, where the focus is on making Taiwanese cuisine with fresh local ingredients, Foodie's culinary scope is somewhat wider.

“You could say that the food we cook here is Western-style,” Hsu says, “but with Taiwanese and Japanese influences.” The head chef, Adam Hsieh, who as well as having worked in several Western restaurants also ran a Taiwanese restaurant in Japan with his father for many years, is, according to Hsu, fond of incorporating local Taiwanese ingredients and typically Asian sauces and spices into otherwise Western dishes. Service is à la russe, and we start off with a seasonal avocado salad, sprinkled with blueberries, jujubes, pickled radish, sweet potato, and smoked salmon – the impressive range of flavors dancing over the smooth, creamy low-notes of the avocado.

Reminder: Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health. Don’t drink and drive

For our main we get a perfectly seared pork shoulder, laid on a bed of shredded swede and accompanied by classic Taiwanese vegetables – baby corn, plum radishes, pumpkin, broccoli, and water bamboo. Our après-main is a bolognaise risotto – the “rice” actually being chopped noodles made from durum wheat, and the meat sauce of beef and pork having a mysterious hint of Chinese medicinal herbs about it, all topped with a crisp wonton-wrapper halo – and for dessert, a phyllo pastry sandwich with a chocolate ganache filling, passionfruit pudding, and handmade cookies. The food is in every way quite excellent, beautifully cooked and lavishly presented.

“Every day is a surprise,” Hsieh says. “It's a challenge, to cook so spontaneously each day, but it's a good challenge. As a chef, it keeps me on my toes; this way, neither I nor our diners get tired of the food here.” English and Chinese Adam Hsieh 謝東甫 Angela Huang 黃鈺珊 Ken Hsu 徐有鍵 Minsheng Community 民生社區 Yingge 鶯歌

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |41


F A M I LY F U N

MIAOLI

Visiting CMP Village at Shangrila Paradise Theme Park

Text: Nick Kembel Photos: Maggie Song, Shangrila Paradise

One of Taiwan’s oldest amusement parks is reinventing itself as a culture and aesthetics playground. Intermingling art, nature, and a touch of Hakka culture, the park provides endless selfie ops and a big mixed bag of activities that appeal to kids and adults alike. Pop in for a leisurely daytime getaway, or register online for the full experience – themed 2-day “courses” with overnight stays in which you bed down in a luxury tent.

42

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


F A M I LY F U N MIAOLI

Rope-fun area

Playground with colorful sculptures

Body-warming drink

As part of its blueprint for the crafting of a new identity for the park, the foundation launched the CMP Village program at the beginning of 2017. The aim of this three-year experimental project is to integrate local culture, daily-life experiences, and tourism, bringing people together for a shared outdoors experience while showcasing the beauty of the park’s environment. Some of the original theme-park facilities remain intact, and a representative selection of the best-loved old rides is fired up on request. Visitors nowadays, however, primarily come for the cultural programs and glamping experience (see below). A Day Trip to Shangrila Paradise Most visitors arrive by car or by taking a taxi (about 10 minutes) from the THSR (Taiwan High Speed Rail) Miaoli Station. Just to the southwest of the station you will pass a large tulou (roundhouse), a traditional type of architecture that is a defining cultural icon of the Hakka people, a Han Chinese ethnic minority. Hakka make up two-thirds of the population in Miaoli County, and Shangrila Paradise is a great place to get a taste of their culture.

T

Bamboo dome and glamping area

o many Taiwanese adults, Shangrila Paradise is a familiar name. Opened in 1990, it was catapulted to fame when episodes of the popular Taiwan game show Bai Zhan Bai Sheng (“A Hundred Battles, A Hundred Victories”) were recorded here. Besides the rides, the park’s main draw was a sizable European garden with meticulously manicured shrubs, appealing to Taiwanese visitors at a time when Western recreational culture was still considered a novelty. Visitor numbers later plummeted, however, as newly opened amusement parks started to compete for crowds. In 2012 the CMP Group, a Taiwanbased iron-casting giant, purchased Shangrila as part of its foray into the leisure and hospitality sectors. Since then, the CMP Pujen Foundation for Arts and Culture has transformed the site into a multifunctional, everchanging arts, education, and entertainment facility.

Day trippers are advised to come on Saturday or Sunday (or holidays), when more facilities are open to the general public; on weekdays many are reserved for school groups. You enter the park grounds via a covered arcade filled with souvenir and snack shops and decorated with Hakka flower motifs. The official entry fee is NT$500 for adults and NT$280 for kids; but there are frequent promotions, and prices can be cut by up to almost half. From the end of the arcade, a trail leads downhill to a vast circular field, once home to the theme park’s European gardens. The only remnant of its horticultural-landscaping past is a lone marble goddess on the far side. Today she looks out over a terraced vegetable garden – park planners have consulted photos from pre-amusement-park days and are actively returning the area to its earlier look. The centerpiece of the park today is an enormous bamboo-woven dome with walkway tunnels snaking out from it; one is partially built around trees, and the other leads to a tentacled sitting platform. Internationally acclaimed Taiwanese artist Wang Wen-chih spent two months with a team of 20 workers creating the dome, which is titled Qing Tian Mu, translating roughly as “cover (through which you can) love the sky.” If you have visited the Taipei Fine Arts Museum recently you will have noticed a similar structure by Wang, Sanctuary, in front of the main entrance there. The one at CMP Village is larger, features four skyobservation holes rather than a single oculus, and pays homage to CMP’s flagship product with a mosaic of hexagonal iron tiles at the center.

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |43


F A M I LY F U N

MIAOLI

Besides being an aesthetic marvel, especially when lit up at night, the dome serves as a welcome room for overnighters and a place to relax and gaze at the stars. Around the dome, there is ample space for picnics, strolling, and letting the kids run free. At a kiosk you can buy locally made products such as coffee, fresh almond milk tea, organic dried roselle, Hakka-style tea leaves aged inside dried oranges, and products made of woven rush, the material used to make tatami mats. A wooded trail leads to the venerable amusement park area. The halfdozen remaining rides, including bumper boats, a rollercoaster, and a spinning cylinder, look like they are on the brink of historical-relic status, but are still up and running for adventurous types – and, rest assured, perfectly safe. According to the foundation, the rides remain as a tribute to the park’s past and for the nostalgia they evoke in older visitors. Children also enjoy the nearby rope-fun area, itself a piece of art – the nets are entirely knitted by hand – spaceship-like water towers, and dinosaur-themed playground. At the playground is a café where drip coffee, among other refreshments, is served. If it’s cutesy selfies you seek, panda statues, a large bespectacled gourd, and numerous other artworks are interspersed throughout the park. Flower lovers rejoice – cherry blossoms, tung blossoms, and azaleas, to name but a few, can be enjoyed here seasonally, and in June visitors can walk through a tunnel of gourds. One path terminates at a small museum focused on Hakka culture, housed in a traditional sanheyuan , or threesided courtyard residence. On exhibit at the museum are vintage ricehusking equipment, clothing, storage pots, a water wheel, and more. Glamping at CMP Village “Glamorous camping” is catching on in Taiwan, and if you haven’t tried it yet, this would be a fine place to start. Spending the night allows you to stick around for the advertised fantastic sunsets over a mountainous backdrop, observe the artworks and natural surroundings taking on new life at night, partake in activities not available to daytime visitors, and retire in style under the stars. Guests register for overnight-stay “courses” online. The themed programs are usually hinged on a Friday or Saturday night stay, with the occasional midweek/holiday option, and prices range from NT$3,800 to $5,800 per adult (NT$2,800-$3,500 per child). Options include Hakka blue-dye experiences, pottery making, tree climbing, and rush weaving. One popular course, named “Shan Na Village,” is focused on exploration of the park itself; shan na , Hakka for “mountainside,” has been adopted for the park-cum-village nickname. Guest speakers are brought in to showcase crafts, foods, and other products from all over Miaoli. During this writer’s visit, a bar owner from the Hakka village of Nanzhuang introduced herb-infused alcoholic drinks, and I sampled a body-warming mulled red wine made with white cardamom, clove, cinnamon, apple, and citrus fruit. A typical-course schedule involves the following: guests arrive midafternoon, savor a welcome snack, enjoy a few hours of hosted theme activity, then are free to explore the grounds. After sunset they enjoy dinner and a campfire under the stars. Dishes change with the seasons, but the focus is on local and simple fare. After dinner, guests are given flashlights and led along a spooky path which emerges onto a carnivalesque scene of the merry-go-round and other rides lit up in the night. The next morning, things are finished up with another round of hosted theme activity. 44

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

The tents alone are reason enough to spend the night here. Arranged in a half-circle around the bamboo dome, each of the 15 yurt-like canvas structures accommodates up to four people, and comes with airconditioning in summer and heating in winter. A huge bed fit for a Persian prince takes up nearly half the interior, with enough cushions provided to stage a pillow fight of epic proportions. The carpeted floor and minitent within the tent provide plenty of space for children to frolic. Hanging strings of lights are the finishing touch, and it is said that the sound of rain splattering above at night is the perfect soundtrack for an unparalleled night of sleep. Guests are no less impressed with the restroom/shower facility. Chen Jian-zhi, a young professor of architecture at the National University of Tainan, cleverly remodeled a beverage bar into a toilet and shower facility that is a work of art, which he whimsically titled “Soaking in the Forest.” The sinks, faucets, and mirrors in the makeup rooms are made with industrial and recycled materials from the old amusement grounds, and while freshening up you’ll look out into a swath of green foliage. Neat rows of bins made of cloth are provided to store belongings outside of private, open-air showers. Showing droll humor, the women’s and men’s sides are marked with a large nut and bolt on the curtain doors; you don’t have to let your imagination stray too far to figure out which represents the male or female. Follow participants’ village experiences by keeping up with the 1001 Nights Stories initiative, in which one picture story detailing a special activity, challenge overcome, meaningful story, etc., is posted daily on the CMP Village website. There were 361 stories out of 1001 posted at the time of this writing.

Inside the bamboo dome Shangrila Paradise ( 香格里拉樂園 ) No. 15-3, Rugushan, Neighborhood 1, Fenghu Village, Zaoqiao Township, Miaoli County ( 苗栗縣造橋鄉豐湖村 1 鄰乳姑山 15 之 3 號 ) (037) 561-369; (037) 561-561 www.shangrila.com.tw; cmpvillage.tw (both websites in Chinese) English and Chinese 1001 Nights Project 1001 夜的故事 Bai Zhan Bai Sheng 百戰百勝 Chen Jian-zhi 陳建智 CMP Village 勤美學 Nanzhuang 南庄 Qing Tian Mu 情天幕

sanheyuan 三合院 Shan Na Village 山那村 "Soaking in the Forest" 森林浴所 tulou 土樓 Wang Wen-chih 王文志 Zaoqiao Township 造橋鄉


“ALLUR Chain Boutique Motel” is Taiwan's largest chain of boutique hotels. It is listed by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau as a three-star hotel operation (the highest ranking) and has become a leader among boutique hotels in Taiwan. All 12 branches of the chain in Taiwan provide accommodation with luxury, comfort, health, and privacy, including 900sqm President suites and business-level suites.

宜蘭 Yilan

中壢 Zhongli 新莊 Xinzhuang

彰化 Changhua 新竹 Hsinchu

台中 Taichung

竹山 Zhushan

高雄 Kaohsiung 嘉義 Chiayi

台東 Taitung

屏東 Pingtung

花蓮 Hualien

AOHUNO\H 9K :LJ

/HUaOVUN :[

>HUUPHU )\PSKPUN Chengdu Rd.,

Add: 2F, 7, Lane 50, Xining S. Rd., Taipei City 台北市西寧南路 50 巷 7號 2 樓 TEL: (02) 23118822 Web: www.moderntoilet.com.tw

?PTLU :[H[PVU ,_P[

Operating Hours: MON-THU 11:30-22:00 (Last Call at 21:00) FRI: 11:30-22:30 (Last Call at 21:30) SAT: 11:00-22:30 (Last Call at 21:30) SUN: 11:00-22:00 (Last Call at 21:00)


HIDDEN TREASURES

YILAN

A Day in

E-WANG

COMMUNITY Exploring an Yilan Green-Living Hub Text: Dana Ter Photos: Nick Chiu

Yang Shi-fang Memorial Park Bixia Temple

T

here’s something about exploring an old town or neighborhood that never loses its appeal. For me, the experience is like walking through the pages illustrated with farms, cobblestone streets, and little brick houses in one of the bedtime books I read as a child. Taiwan has no shortage of charming old towns and neighborhoods in larger urban areas to explore. Though tourists flock to the many officially designated “Old Streets,” or “laojie” as they are affectionately called – the main commercial streets in old areas – there are other options as well that are less crowded and touristy and offer more immersive local-culture experiences. One such place is E-Wang Community in Yilan City. A 50-minute bus ride brings me, along with two friends, from Taipei City Hall Bus Station to Yilan City’s bus transfer station, which is close to Yilan Railway Station. From there the community is a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute taxi ride. Despite its proximity to the city center, E-Wang has a rustic, almost rural, atmosphere. Ferns grow between the cracks along stone pathways, vines creep up to the second floor of buildings, and backyard vegetable patches brim with herbs and spices.

46

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


HIDDEN TREASURES YILAN

E-Wang Community is a lush hideaway in Yilan City brimming with history that is told through eye-catching public-art installations.

Yilan Brick Kiln Museum

Like the histories of many local places, this one begins by a river. The Yilan River was a key transportation artery in the late Qing and early Japanese eras, and consistent with the background of Yilan as a regional hub, E-Wang is home to numerous artists and artisans, including woodcutters, seamstresses, and tile painters. In an earlier time, such craftspeople built and decorated the colorful temples of the community that remain standing today.

Nearby is Bixia Temple, which Yang Shi-fang helped construct in 1897. A colorful and compact single-story structure, it is dedicated to the deified Song dynasty general Yue Fei. Yang hoped that the temple would motivate citizens to resist Taiwan’s Japanese colonial rulers, who had taken control in 1895, and although resistance ultimately proved unsuccessful the temple is a distinctive reminder of Taiwan’s turbulent past.

Our taxi drops us off in front of a shop where two men are carving wood coffins. This trade survives, for now, amid Yilan County’s aging population. Opposite the coffin shop is our first destination, Yang Shi-fang Memorial Park, named after a Qing dynasty writer (1826-1903) who wrote about life in Yilan and in E-Wang specifically. We peruse tiedye works in the park’s center, where art exhibits are rotated every other month, and wander the well-manicured gardens as we wait for the arrival of E-Wang Community Borough Chief, Lin Ming-xin, who will show us around the community.

“One good thing that the Japanese did was that they tidied up the place,” Lin jokes. “For a while it was clean, then it got messy again.” Lin makes his appearance, dressed down in jeans and a white t-shirt though it is a chilly day. He explains how a few decades ago E-Wang had become one of the most rundown areas in Yilan. By the late 1990s, it was common for residents to throw trash on the streets and dump household garbage around the town’s 200-year-old well. He became borough chief in 2003, and began the slow process of TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |47


HIDDEN TREASURES

YILAN

Jinhai Boardwalk

restoring E-Wang’s beautiful past. He taught residents the importance of civic consciousness, green living, and public art.

“It was truly a grassroots effort,” Lin tells us. “We had a number of meetings and came up with a plan to revitalize this place that we all call ‘home.’” In one of the neighborhood meetings, an elderly resident suggested that Lin contact artist and former resident Chen Shih-chiang, an expert on outdoor installation art, for suggestions on public-art displays. Lin shows us the result: engravings on old barrier walls lining Guangda Lane. He explains that the walls were preserved because of the odd circular shape that they form around the community, which he says makes E-Wang one of the most circular-shaped communities in Taiwan. The artwork, which depicts E-Wang’s history from its founding to the present day, was a joint effort between Chen and the community’s residents.

Shefu Public Welfare Building

“We initially thought it would be a fun way to get locals involved and to share the history of our community with visitors,” Lin recalls. “We were surprised to find out that there were so many talented artists among the residents!” Humorous portrayals on one wall catch my attention. The art was done by Li Jun-jin, a tombstone engraver by profession. Lee put his carving skills to use on each tile, depicting vendors selling local delicacies such as fried squid and “cat-ear-shaped” dumplings, as well as characters performing Yilan Brick Kiln Museum

Taiwan

Hu

Br

Rd

ge

Jinhai Boardwalk Shefu Public Welfare Building

Guangda Lane

Bixia St

.

Pan Residence

Yang Shi-fang Memorial Park

Bixia Temple

Chengh

uang St

48

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

As we walk further down Guangda Lane, we come across a red-brick wall engraved by five local artists showing a life-sized image of people collecting water from the community’s well. Lin explains that before the days of indoor plumbing, residents would not only go to the well to collect water, but also to gather and chat. Locating the actual well involves navigating narrow alleys passing vegetable plots and rows of flower pots with sprouting chili, aloe plants, and mother-in-law’s tongue. Ferns surround the small brick-wall well, which residents have recently started to use again. Next to it is the Pan Residence, an old single-story house converted for use in an initiative to promote green living through eco-friendly farming methods. As we chat, an elderly resident cycles by and nods “hello” to Lin. Before he leaves us to tend to “village matters,” Lin shows us one more wall.

id

.

Local children made these,” he says, pointing to a wall with ceramic sculptures of village folk singing and dancing affixed to it. “It’s my wish to pass down these trades to the next generation. I hope that the next generation will continue to find creative, artistic ways to record our history.”

shan

he

3, Z hon g

ng

d.

eR

h an

Sec.

Qi

.

Rd

h

an

Hu

. eN

trades such as lacquerware making and woodcarving. Lin tells us that the wall displays “stone carvings of a hundred professions,” and that most remain actively practiced in E-Wang today, passed down from elders to the next generation.

E-Wang Community Yilan (TRA)

After a quick meal of noodles at a mom-and-pop eatery, and waiting out passing clouds that bring along a torrential downpour, my friends and I continue exploring E-Wang – but now with a post-rain lighter, luxurious green reflecting off the fields of rice. Our next stop is the Shefu Public Welfare Building. This six-story part-cement, part-brick building didn’t always look presentable. A century


HIDDEN TREASURES YILAN

Stone Carvings of a Hundred Professions

ago, the area was used as a place to slaughter pigs. There are no remnants of this today, just ample skywalks and open windows allowing breezes to enter. We are visiting on a quiet day, but are told that activities such as folk dance and taichi classes are often organized for E-Wang’s elderly residents. We take an elevator to the rooftop and enter a lush, expansive garden overlooking the Yilan River and Qinghe Bridge, which crosses it. The rain has caused some mist to accumulate in the mountains across the river to the west. We also spot our next destination, Yilan Riverside Park. Completed in 2003, the park is an inviting stretch of greenery in which a 15km bike route running along the riverbank has its beginning. We’re more interested in the swings underneath a river-crossing bridge, though. Swinging back and forth with the mist-covered mountains as backdrop, I feel like I’m in one of my childhood storybooks again. Our next mission – crossing Jinhai Boardwalk – is a little more daunting. Although it’s called a “boardwalk,” this is a pedestrian path constructed a few feet below the road level of Qinghe Bridge, so pedestrians can enjoy the scenery while crossing the river without having to worry about oncoming traffic. A catch, however, is that the pedestrian path features liberal use of grilles, so when looking down you can see the gushing river, and the walkway rocks slightly whenever a car above drives by above. Despite my nervousness, we made it “safely” to the other side.

Pan Residence

Stepping inside one of the small, dome-shaped kilns, the smell of clay and earth is overpowering, yet at the same time a reminder of how important it is to preserve history – through the preservation of sites, artwork, and even smells. With nightfall approaching and the clouds moving down closer to the pastures around us, it is easy to imagine what this community must have been like 200 years ago. Birds chirping, farmers gathering vegetables from their plots to bring home for dinner, children fetching water from the well. In other words, a storybook ending. English and Chinese Bixia Temple 碧霞宮 "cat-ear-shaped" dumplings 貓耳朵餃子 Chen Shih-chiang 陳世強 E-Wang Community 鄂王社區 Jinhai Boardwalk 津梅棧道 Guangda Lane 光大巷 Li Jun-jin 李圳金 Lin Ming-xin 林銘信 Old Streets 老街 Pan Residence 潘宅聚落

Qinghe Bridge 慶和橋 Shefu Public Welfare Building 社福大樓 "stone carvings of a hundred professions" 石雕百工圖 Yang Shi-fang Memorial Park 楊士芳紀念林園 Yilan Brick Kiln Museum 宜蘭磚窯博物館 Yilan Riverside Park 宜蘭河濱公園 Yilan River 宜蘭河

Yilan Riverside Park

After cutting through rice fields and banana-tree orchards for about ten minutes, we arrive at our final destination, the Yilan Brick Kiln Museum. After the discovery of high-quality clay in Yilan in the 1830s, rows of individual kilns were built here to make bricks. In the 1980s, when brick-making operations were moved to nearby modern factories, plans were drawn up to demolish the kilns and construct residential buildings. Area residents protested, and the kilns were converted into a museum instead.

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |49


R A I L T R AV E L

YILAN / HUALIEN

Dong'ao Bay

GOING SLOW

on the Wild Coast

Text: Steven Crook

Photos: Vision

A Train Journey from Su’ao in Yilan to Xincheng in Hualien Getting tickets for the fast Puyuma and Taroko express trains, which shuttle from Taipei down the east coast of Taiwan, can be a challenge. If you are not in a hurry, consider using the slower local-train service. This also gives you the chance to stop at smaller stations on the way between the cities of Yilan and Hualien, and explore a bit of the fascinating coastal areas near them.

50

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


R A I L T R AV E L YILAN / HUALIEN

Su'ao Stn. Su'aoxin Stn.

Yongle Stn.

Dong'ao Stn.

T

aipei and Taroko Gorge are among Taiwan’s primary tourism nodes. Between the two, Yilan County has a cluster of secondary nodes, such as the National Center for Traditional Arts, Luodong Night Market, and Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area. But what about the coastal areas between the port town of Su’ao in Yilan County and the small town of Xincheng in Hualien County, the location of the railway station nearest Taroko Gorge? This mountainous and thinly populated region has just a single through road, the Suhua Highway, which is very scenic but also prone to landslide blockages (new inland sections are now being built as part of the Suhua Highway Improvement Project). There are no regular bus services like the ones that make so many other parts of Taiwan easily accessible, and taking the train is the preferred option for most travelers in a hurry, the trip from Yilan Railway Station to Hualien Railway Station taking just 59 minutes with a Puyuma or Taroko express. These sleek trains are a boon for those who work or study in Taipei but have family in the east coast region, and for tourists headed from northern Taiwan to Hualien and Taitung counties. On and around weekends and national holidays, however, securing tickets can be very difficult (online ticket reservation as early as two weeks before the date of one’s trip is often required). Fortunately, every day 13 local trains connect Yilan and Hualien cities, and for tourists these have a number of advantages. Because seat reservations are not possible, you can roll up at a station shortly before departure and get your ticket from a vending machine (or pay with a storedvalue card such as the EasyCard). Tickets are about 35% cheaper than those for express trains, Yilan to Hualien costs a mere NT$143 one way. There’s a chance you may have to stand for part of your journey on busy days, but local trains aren’t too slow – the fastest taking 1 hour and 40 minutes from Yilan to Hualien – and they stop at all stations along the route. If you love slow train rides and are willing to do a bit of walking, following is an outline of a rail (and bus) trip taking you from Su’ao to Xincheng. Su ’ao xin

2 2E

Qixingling Trail

Su’ao Harbor

Su’aoCold Suao Cold Spring Park

Su’ao

Do ng ’ao

臺灣鐵

路局

Su’ao Township Doufu Cape

9 Nanfang’ao Nantian Temple

區 間

站 蘇 澳 至 站 東 澳 票價

Neipi Beach

Taiwan

Su'ao Cold Spring Park

Nanfang'ao

Su’ao and Nanfang’ao Though not a large town, Su’ao has one of Taiwan’s major cargo-handling harbors. Su’ao Railway Station is one stop from Su’aoxin Railway Station, the latter on the main Yilan-Hualien trunk line, the former on a short branch that terminates harborside. It is served by around 20 local trains per day coming from the north (Taipei/Yilan). If you take a local train headed to Hualien or if you approach Su’ao from the south you need to transfer at Su’aoxin Railway Station. Su’ao Railway Station is perfectly located if you want to visit Su’ao Cold Spring Park (closed for renovations at time of writing; due to reopen in April 2018) and the steep Qixingling Trail, which starts right beside the park and takes you to vantage points with excellent views of town and harbor. But if, like me, your key desire is to get right down to the waterside and fishing boats, take bus No. 121 (board at Su’ao Railway Station) to Nanfang’ao, a fishing-harbor area just south of the Su’ao port area. Travel time is just 10 minutes. Get off at Jin’an Temple, drop by the templeside visitor center for English-language maps and leaflets, then cross the street to the first of Nanfang’ao’s three small side-by-side fishing harbors. From the moment of your first look you’ll be taking photos. The density of moored fishing vessels is impressive, and you’re sure to see boats being repaired and repainted. Expect to spend an hour and a half in the harbor area, exploring the fish market, visiting the main local center of worship, Nantian Temple, and perhaps getting lunch at one of the many seafood eateries. Then head to Neipi Beach, immediately south of the third and innermost harbor. Like many beaches on the east coast, conditions here do not permit swimming. Do stroll to the headland at the beach’s northeast end; there you’ll see chains fixed to the steep rock face. These aren’t for climbing enthusiasts, but for daring anglers who use the chains to reach prime fishing spots – treasured locations which are occupied come cold rain or harsh sunshine. Connected to the headland beyond its northern side is Doufu Cape, where the rocky outcrops are said to resemble chunks of tofu. The headland and cape form a natural protective barrier for the fishing harbors. From the cape’s north side, a road bridge crosses back to the mainland on

21 元 效

當日有

現發售

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |51


R A I L T R AV E L

YILAN / HUALIEN

Heping Stn.

Hanben Stn. 路局

Wuta Stn.

區 間 東 澳站 至

南 澳站 5 元 票價 1 日有效

現發售當

臺灣鐵路局

區 間 南 澳站

Nan'ao Stn.

新 城站 票價 64 元 現發售當日有 效

Su’ao

Dongyue Cold Spring Park Snake Mountain

臺灣鐵

路局

區 9 間

南 澳站 至

Dong’ao

新 城站 票價 6 4 元 現發售當 日有效

Taiwan

Nan ’ao

Dong’ao Bay

9 Fenniaolin Fishing Harbor

the first harbor’s north side. The high bridge, perfectly safe for pedestrians and popular with photographers, is an excellent vantage point for sweeping views north and south. To the north you’ll see cargo and naval vessels; on the south fishing boats come and go, passing under the bridge as they make their way to and from the sea on the bridge’s north. After crossing the bridge, turn left and you’ll immediately be back at the bus stop you got off at earlier. Take bus No. 121 back to Su’ao Railway Station, take a northbound local train to the next station, Su’aoxin, and transfer to a Hualien-bound train. Dong’ao The train ride from Su’aoxin to the next stop of interest, Dong’ao, takes just 12 minutes. This village, like several other settlements in this part of Taiwan, is inhabited mainly by members of the indigenous Atayal tribe. Walking at a good clip will get you from Dong’ao Railway Station to the scenic pebble beach at Dong’ao Bay in about 15 minutes. Most visitors are happy to sit and take in the bay view there, but those with time and energy may like to walk on to tiny Fenniaolin Fishing Harbor and back for additional scenic inspiration. It’s 3.2km from the station to the harbor, on the bay’s south side. Two other Dong’ao attractions, Snake Mountain and Dongyue Cold

Spring Park, are found north of the railway station. The short hike up Snake Mountain delivers you to an eagle-eye’s view of the railroad and a new elevated stretch of highway (part of the aforementioned Suhua Highway Improvement Project). To find the trailhead, turn left after exiting the railway station and walk north along Dongyue Road, which runs in front of the station. After walking about 100m you’ll come to a wooden stairway on the left, with a large inscribed boulder beside its mouth. Take the stairs to first reach a concrete track, then a gravel path. After 10 minutes you’ll see a Chinese sign with indigenous motifs pointing to the right. You’ll soon come to an observation deck, which is a fine spot for a picnic and for watching trains passing by on the railroad below. To get to Dongyue Cold Spring Park, return to Dongyue Road, turn left, and continue north along it. Then turn left again at Lane 73, Dongyue Road, which heads out of the village into the countryside. In about 10 minutes you’ll cross the Dong’ao River and spot the park on the left. At the time of writing the facility was officially closed, yet nothing and no one stops you from going in and enjoying the water, so long as you don’t mind sharing it with tadpoles. Their presence is proof that, even without maintenance, the pools stay clean. Nan’ao From Dong’ao, the train takes just seven minutes to reach the next village, Nan’ao. This settlement is slightly larger than Dong’ao, and the seaside here is a bit further from the railway station. If you have enough energy, consider walking to small Chaoyang Fishing Harbor and hiking up and along Chaoyang National Trail, a 2.2km-long hiking path that takes you from sea level to an altitude of 182m. Along the trail you get superb views of the coast, but you’ll need the better part of three hours to get there from the station, complete the trail, and walk back. As in Dong’ao, a lack of taxis and rental bikes limits your options for getting around Nan’ao. Whether you head for the trail or just the fishing harbor, pause for a minute at the Luo Da-chun Road-Opening Monument. Located next to ornate Zhen’an Temple on the road from central Nan’ao to the fishing Nan’ao Ecocenter Xincheng Taroko

Nan’ao

Taiwan

9 Zhen’an Temple Luo Da-chun RoadOpening Monument

Dong ’ao

臺灣鐵

Chaoyang National Trail Chaoyang Fishing Harbor

Chaoyang Fishing Harbor

52

TRAVEL IN TAIWAN


R A I L T R AV E L YILAN / HUALIEN

Heren Stn. Xincheng Taroko

Chongde Stn.

Tip for History Buffs: Taiwan was a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945, and Nan’ao was the scene of an event later adapted for the Japanese World War II propaganda movie Sayon’s Bell (1943). It tells the story of an indigenous girl from these parts who drowned while carrying her departing Japanese teacher's luggage across a stream. A modern recreation of the bell now stands in Sayon Memorial Park, about 250m east of tiny Wuta Railway Station, one stop south of Nan’ao. Xincheng Most of the tourists who get off the train at Xincheng Taroko Station are bound for spectacular Taroko Gorge in Taroko National Park (www. taroko.gov.tw), and because of its proximity to the gorge the town – unlike Dong’ao and Nan’ao – has a good number of accommodation options. Xincheng Catholic Church

Xin Tarocheng ko

Nan ’ao

If you plan to head up to the gorge from Xincheng, Xincheng consider getting a one-day Catholic Church pass for the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service’s Taroko Route (en.taiwantrip.com. 9 tw). And before moving on to Hualien City, make a point of spending some Taiwan time at Xincheng Catholic Church, where the church interior and boat-shaped, ivy-covered chapel building are alluring. More surprising are the torii gate and other features that make the site’s original function quite obvious: During the Japanese colonial period, this was a Shinto shrine. Following Japan’s defeat in 1945 and the departure of Taiwan’s Japanese population, parts of the shrine complex were dismantled and the site was purchased by the Catholic Church. No attempt has been made to erase the past. This is a beguiling place that encapsulates not just certain aspects of Taiwan’s history, but also the acceptance of different faiths in this religiously diverse country. Hu alie n

harbor, at the edge of the village just before you hit open countryside, it is a man-sized stone tablet, protected by a simple shelter, which commemorates the efforts of Han Chinese pioneers who tried to cut the first proper path between Su’ao and the Hualien region more than 140 years ago. Luo Dachun, the Qing Dynasty official in charge of the project, also supervised the construction of blockhouses along the route. If you are interested in ecology, head to the Forestry Bureau’s Nan’ao Ecocenter, a 10-minute walk northwest of the railway station. The center’s Forestry Exhibition Hall has worthwhile bilingual displays, but you’ll likely spend most of your time in the adjacent arboretum, viewing the fascinating range of trees and plants.

English and Chinese Atayal tribe 泰雅族 Chaoyang National Trail 朝陽國家步道 Dong'ao 東澳 Dong'ao Bay 東澳灣 Dongyue Cold Spring Park 東岳湧泉公園 Doufu Cape 豆腐岬 Fenniaolin Fishing Harbor 粉鳥林漁港 Jin'an Temple 進安宮 Luo Da-chun Road-Opening Monument 羅大春開路紀念碑 Nan'ao 南澳

Nan'ao Ecocenter 南澳生態教育館 Nanfang'ao 南方澳 Nantian Temple 南天宮 Neipi Beach 埤海灘 Qixingling Trail 七星嶺步道 Snake Mountain 蛇山 Su'ao 蘇澳 Su'ao Cold Spring Park 蘇澳冷泉 Suhua Highway Improvement Project 蘇花公路改善計畫 Xincheng Catholic Church 新城天主教堂 Zhen'an Temple 震安宮

Xincheng Taroko Railway Station


Hotels of Taiwan North Taoyuan City

Taipei City

Keelung City

Visitors to Taiwan have a wide range of choice when it comes to

New Taipei City

Hsinchu City Hsinchu County

accommodation. From five-star luxury hotels that meet the highest international standards, to affordable business hotels, to hot-spring

Yilan County

Miaoli County

and beach resort hotels, to privately-run homestays located in the countryside there is a place to stay that satisfies every traveler’s needs.

Taichung City

What all hotels of Taiwan — small and big, expensive and affordable —

Central Changhua County

Nantou County

Yunlin County

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

Hualien County

each hotel, but are subject to change without notice. Room rates at the

Chiayi City Chiayi County

hotels apply. Northern Taiwan

Tainan City Kaohsiung City

Taitung County

Central Taiwan

ASIA PACIFIC HOTEL BEITOU

East

53 HOTEL

CAESAR PARK TAIPEI

FLEUR DE CHINE

TAIPEI GAL A HOTEL Pintung County

South Taiwan

GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI

TAYIH L ANDIS TAINAN HOTEL

THE GRAND HOTEL

GRAND HI-L AI HOTEL

GRAND VICTORIA HOTEL

South

East Taiwan

MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI

THE WESTIN YILAN RESORT

HOTEL SENSE

FORMOSAN NARUWAN HOTEL RESORT TAITUNG

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

ASIA PACIFIC HOTEL BEITOU

CAESAR PARK TAIPEI

北投亞太飯店

台北凱撒大飯店

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 140 Room Rates:

Superior Room Superior Japanese Style Room Deluxe Room Deluxe Japanese Style Room Deluxe Family Room AP Suite AP Family Suite

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 478 Room Rates: NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

12,900 13,900 15,900 16,900 22,900 23,900 28,900

(All rates are subject to 10% service charge)

Superior Room Deluxe Room Superior Double Double Metro Room Metropolis Room Station Suite

慶泰大飯店

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 160 NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

8,500 9,500 11,000 13,000 14,000 18,000

(All rates are subject to 10% service charge.)

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese

English, Japanese, Chinese

RestauRaNts: Green Restaurant

2F Checkers, 3F Dynasty Restaurant

sPecial featuRes: 1F Lohas Area (AR/VR Zone/ DIY Room) / Public Hot Spring / Swimming Pool / Pool Lounge 2F JING Spa / Parking Area 6F Ballroom GF Lobby / Green Restaurant / Phoenix Banquet Hall / Hot Spring Room

TAIPEI GALA HOTEL

RestauRaNts:

sPecial featuRes:

e-Lounge, Banquet, Meeting Room, GYM, SPA, Roof Garden, Free Wi-Fi,Room Service, Laundry, Luggage Storage, Valet parking service

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

GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI 華 泰 王子大 飯 店

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 220 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

Room Rates: Single / Deluxe / Executive NT$ Suit NT$

6,000- 8,500 9,500-20,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese RestauRaNts: L’IDIOT RESTAURANT & BAKERY (Western), CHIOU HWA RESTAURANT (Chinese) sPecial featuRes: Coffee Shop, Fitness Center, Business Center, Meeting and Banquet Facilities,Laundry Service, Non-smoking Floor, Parking Lot, Airport Transfer Service

No. 186, Songjiang Rd., Taipei City 台 北 市 松 江 路 186 號

No. 31, Youya Rd., Beitou District, Taipei City 台北市北 投區幽 雅 路31號 Tel: +886-2-2898-3088 Fax: +886-2-2898-6622 E-Mail: service@apresort.com.tw

No. 38, Sec. 1, Zhongxiao W. Rd., Taipei City 台 北 市 忠 孝 西 路 一 段 38號 Tel: +886 -2-2311-5151 Fax: +886 -2-2331-9944 E-mail: info_tpe@caesarpark.com

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

Tel: +886-2-2541-5511 Fax: +886-2-2531-3831 Reservation Hotline: +886-2-2541-6888 E-mail: galahtl@ms18.hinet.net

No. 369, Lin-sen (Linsen) N. Rd., Taipei City 台北市林森北路3 6 9 號 Tel: +886-2-2581-8111 Fax: +886-2-2581-5811

www.apresort.com.tw

taipei.caesarpark.com.tw

www.galahotel.com.tw

www.gloriahotel.com

54

Travel in Taiwan


THE GRAND HOTEL 圓山大飯店

GRAND VICTORIA HOTEL Taipei 台 北

維多麗亞酒店

Taipei 台 北

MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI

HOTEL SENSE

美麗信花園酒店

伸適商旅

No. of Rooms: 500 (Suites: 57)

No. of Rooms: 96

No. of Rooms: 203

Room Rates: Single/DBL Suite

Room Rates: Deluxe Room Premier Room Executive Room Victoria Suite

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

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

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

10,000+15.5% 12,000+15.5% 15,000+15.5% 20,000+15.5%

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese RestauRaNts: N°168 Prime Steakhouse, la FESTA (Italian cuisine), Xi Garden (Chinese cuisine) sPecial featuRes: Three minutes walk from MRT Jiannan Road Station, Conference room. Free high speed broadband and WI-FI internet service. Outdoor swimming pool, Business center. Gym. Parking lot, Room furnishings: SONY Bravia LED television. Office desk with Armchair designed by Philippe Starck. Electronic bidet toilet by Villeroy & Boch. Artemide Melampo Night Lamp. BOSE Bluetooth and wireless speakers.

Taipei 台 北

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 79 NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

9,000 11,000 13,000 17,000 21,000

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

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

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, and Chinese

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese

RestauRaNts: Rain Forest Buffet Restaurant, Tic-Tac-Toe Bakery, Light Café, JIU BAR

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.

sPecial featuRes: Business Center, Pyramid Club, Sauna, Fitness Club, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Multifunction Room, Car Park

No. 477 , Linsen N. Rd., Taipei City 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 477 號

No. 1, Chung Shan N. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City 台北市中山北 路4 段1號 Tel: +886-2-2886-8888 Fax: +886-2-2885-2885

No. 168, Jingye 4th Rd., Taipei City 台北 市 敬 業 四 路1 6 8 號 Tel: +886-2-8502-0000 Fax: +886-2-8502-0005 E-mail: res@grandvictoria.com.tw

No. 83, Civic Boulevard, Sec. 3, Taipei City 台北市市民大道3段83號 Tel: +886-2-8772-8800 Fax: +886-2-8772-1010 E-mail: info@miramargarden.com.tw

Tel: +886-2-7743-1000 Fax: +886-2-7743-1100 E-mail: info@hotelsense.com.tw

www.grand-hotel.org

www.grandvictoria.com.tw

www.miramargarden.com.tw

www.hotelsense.com.tw

THE GREAT ROOTS FORESTRY SPA RESORT

大 板 根 森 林 溫 泉 酒 店 New Taipei 新 北

No. of Rooms: 200 aDD: No. 80, Chajiao Borough, Sanxia Dist., New Taipei City ( 新 北 市 三 峽 區 插 角 里 8 0 號 ) tel: 886-2-2674-9228 www.dabangan.com.tw

COURTYARD TAIPEI 台北六福萬怡酒店

No. of Rooms: 465 aDD: No. 359, Sec. 7, Zhongxiao E. Rd., Taipei City (台 北 市 忠 孝 東 路 7 段 3 5 9 號 ) tel: 886-2-2171-6565 www.courtyardtaipei.com.tw

PACIFIC BUSINESS HOTEL

REGENT TAIPEI

太平洋商旅

台北晶華酒店

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 106 aDD: 11F, No. 495, Guangfu S. Rd., Taipei City ( 台 北 市 光 復 南 路 4 9 5 號 11樓 )

tel: 886-2-8780-8000 www.businesscenter.com.tw

Taipei 台 北

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 538 aDD: No. 3, Ln. 39, Sec. 2 Zhongshan N. Rd., Taipei City ( 台 北 市 中 山 北 路 2 段 3 9 巷 3 號 ) tel: 886-2-2523-8000 www.regenthotels.com/tw/regent-taipei

FULLON TAMSUI FISHERMEN’s WHARF

福 容 大 飯 店 淡 水 漁 人 碼 頭 Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 198 aDD: No. 83, Guanhai Rd., Tamsui Dist., New Taipei City (新 北 市 淡 水 區 觀 海 路 8 3 號 ) tel: 886-2-2628-7777 www.fullon-hotels.com.tw/fw/

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

FUSHIN HOTEL TAIPEI 台北富信大 飯 店

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 214 aDD: No. 128, Sec., 1, Datong Rd., Xizhi Dist.,New Taipei City ( 新 北 市 汐 止 區 大 同 路 1 段 1 2 8 號 ) tel: 886-2-2641-6333 www.fushin-hotel.com.tw

THE TANGO HOTEL - TAIPEI XINYI

WESTGATE HOTEL TAIPEI

天 閣 酒 店-台北信義

永安棧

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 105 aDD: No. 297, Sec. 5, ZhongXiao E. Rd., Taipei City (台 北 市 忠 孝 東 路 五 段 2 9 7 號 ) tel: 886-2-2528-8000 xy.tango-hotels.com

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 121 aDD: No. 150, Sec. 1, Zhonghua Rd., Taipei City (台 北 市 中 華 路 1 段 150號 ) tel: 886-2-2331-3161 www.westgatehotel.com.tw Travel in Taiwan |55


53 HOTEL 寶島53行館

Taichung 台 中

No. of Rooms: 70 Room Rates: Standard Room Superior Room Deluxe Room Family Room Deluxe Family Room

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

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

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. No. 27, Zhongshan Rd., Central District, Taichung City ( two minutes from railway station)

台 中 市 中 區 中 山 路 27 號 (距離火車站 2 分鐘) Tel: +886-4-2220-6699 Fax: +886-4-2220-5899 E-mail: service@53hotel.com.tw

www.53hotel.com.tw

FLEUR DE CHINE

Nantou 南 投

雲品溫泉酒店

No. of Rooms: 211 Room Rates: Classic/Premier King Mountain View NT$ 16,500/ 18,000 Classic/Premier Family Mountain View NT$ 16,500/ 18,000 Classic/Premier Japanese Style Mountain View NT$ 17,000/ 18,500 Classic/Premier King Lake View NT$ 19,000/ 21,000 Classic/Premier Family Lake View NT$ 19,000/ 21,000 Classic/Premier Japanese Style Lake View NT$ 19,500/ 21,500 Premier Suite Lake View NT$ 75,000 Presidential Suite NT$ 150,000

56

Travel in Taiwan

台中林酒店

No. of Rooms: 309 aDD: No. 99, Chaofu Rd., Xitun Dist., Taichung City (台中市西屯區朝富路99號) tel: 886-4-2255-5555 www.thelin.com.tw

TAICHUNG HARBOR HOTEL

THE LALU HOTEL

台中港酒店

日月潭涵碧樓酒店

Taichung 台 中

Taichung 台 中

Nantou 南 投

sPecial featuRes:

Banquet Hall, Recreation Center, Children’s Play Ground, Houdepeaking Service, Concierge, Hot Spring, Qi Shiseido Salon and Spa

No. 23, Zhongzheng Rd., Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County 南 投 縣 魚 池 鄉 日 月 潭 中 正 路 23 號 Tel: +886-49-285-6788 Fax: +886-49-285-6600

www.fleurdechinehotel.com

漢來大飯店

www.tayihlandis.com.tw

No. of Rooms: 166 aDD: No. 52, Zhongming Rd., West Dist., Taichung City (台 中 市 西 區 忠 明 路 5 2 號 ) tel: 886-4-2317-5000 www.52hotel.com.tw

THE LIN HOTEL TAICHUNG

Lobby Lounge, Eau Cloud (Dim Sum), Crimson Buffet, Jade Luminos (Chinese Restaurant), Rainbow Cloud Teppanyaki, Sky Lounge

GRAND HI-LAI HOTEL

No. 660, Sec. 1, Shi-Men Rd., Tainan 台 南 市中西 區 西 門 路1段 6 6 0 號 Tel: +886-6-213-5555 Fax: +886-6-213-5599

Taichung 台 中

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

台南大億麗緻酒店

No. of Rooms: 315 Room Rates: Superior Single NT$ 8,200+10% Superior Double/Twin NT$ 9,500+10% Urban Room NT$ 11,000+10% Deluxe Double NT$ 12,000+10% Junior Suite NT$ 14,000+10% Double- Double NT$ 14,000+10% Business Suite NT$ 20,000+10% Deluxe Suite NT$ 28,000+10% Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese RestauRaNt: Lips Lounge Bar, La Moda Café, Chinese Restaurant, New Asia Tappanyaki, Takegawa Japanese, Market Place Buffet, Restaurant are required. Open daily. sPecial featuRes: Separate bathroom and toilet, safety deposit box, lounge 2020, high speed internet access, conference room, and the fitness center included gym, indoor swimming pool, sauna, kids club and steam rooms are open exclusively for the hotel guests.

昭盛52行館

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese RestauRaNts:

TAYIH LANDIS HOTEL TAINAN

Tainan 台 南

52 HOTEL

Kaohsiung 高 雄

No. of Rooms: 436 Room Rates: Superior Room Family Room Executive Room Deluxe Suites Hi-Lai Suite

NT$ 8,800-9,500 NT$ 10,000-12,000 NT$ 11,000-13,000 NT$ 20,000-120,000 NT$ 200,000

No. of Rooms: 200 aDD: No. 388, Sec.2, Dazhi Rd., Wuqi Dist., Taichung City (台中市梧棲區大智路2段388號) tel: 886-4-2656-8888 www.tchhotel.com

No. of Rooms: 96 aDD: No.142, Zhongxing Rd., Yuchi Township, Nantou County (南投縣魚池鄉水社村中興路142號) tel: 886-49-285-5311 www.thelalu.com.tw

JANFUSUN PRINCE HOTEL

JIANSHANPI JIANGNAN RESORT

劍 湖 山 王子大 飯 店

台糖尖山埤江南渡假村

Yunlin 雲 林

No. of Rooms: 286 aDD: No. 67-8, Dahukou, Gukeng Township, Yunlin County (雲 林 縣 古 坑 鄉 永 光 村 大 湖 口 6 7 - 8 號 ) tel: 886-5-582-9900 www.jph.com.tw

Tainan 台 南

No. of Rooms: 102 aDD: No. 60, Xushan Rd., Liuying Dist., Tainan City ( 台南市柳營區旭山里60號 ) tel: 886-2-5579-3888 www.chiensan.com.tw

HOYA RESORT HOTEL KAOHSIUNG

KENTING CHATEAU BEACH RESORT

高雄富野渡假酒店

墾丁夏都沙灘 酒店

Kaohsiung 高 雄

Pintung 屏 東

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

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese RestauRaNts: Lobby Lounge, Deli& Bakery, Taiwanese Restaurant, Cantonese Jade Restaurant, Japanese Restaurant Ben Kei, Lobster Bar, Shanghai Dumpling, Pool Side Café, Harbour Restaurant, Seafood Hotpot Restaurant, Celebrity Cuisine, Steak House, Teppanyaki Restaurant sPecial featuRes: Professional Conference Center, Business Center, International Ballroom, Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Squash Court, Spa Center, Aerobic Studio, First-aid Room, Car Park No. 266, Cheng-kung 1st Rd., Kaohsiung City 高雄市前金區成功一路266號 Tel: +886-7-216-1766 Fax: +886-7-216-1966 Email: rsv@grand-hilai.com.tw

www.grand-hilai.com.tw

No. of Rooms: 206 aDD: No. 99 Ruitian St., Qianzhen Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高 雄 市 前 鎮 區 瑞 田 街 9 9 號 ) tel: 886-7-821-5299 kaohsiung.hoyaresort.com.tw

No. of Rooms: 295 aDD: No. 451 Kenting Rd., Hengchun Town, Pingtung County ( 屏 東 縣 恆 春 鎮 墾丁 路 4 51 號 ) tel: 886-8-886-2345 www.ktchateau.com.tw


THE WESTIN YILAN RESORT

FORMOSAN NARUWAN HOTEL & RESORT TAITUNG

宜 蘭力麗 威 斯 汀度假 酒店

娜路彎大酒店

No. of Rooms: 91 Room Rates: Deluxe Room Premium Room Deluxe Suite Premium Suite Honeymoon Suite Deluxe Garden Suite Premium Garden Suite Ambassador Suite One-Bedroom Villa Two-Bedroom Villa Presidential Villa

Yilan 宜 蘭

Taitung 台 東

No. of Rooms: 278 NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

16,000 17,000 20,000 22,000 22,000 25,000 28,000 35,000 45,000 55,000 88,000

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese RestauRaNt: Seasonal Tastes, Mai-Japanese Restaurant, Café Lounge sPecial featuRes: 24 Hour Fitness Studio, Business Center, Sauna, Open-Air Hot Spring, SPA, Parking, Laundry Service, 24 Hour Room Service, Wireless Internet, Transportation Service, Outdoor Swimming Pool

Room Rates: Deluxe Single/Twin Room Superior Double Twin Room Superior Family Room Deluxe Starlight Single Room Deluxe Family Room Superior Group Room Deluxe Starlight Suite Executive Suite Naruwan Suite Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Japanese, Chinese

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

8,200 9,600 11,000 11,000 12,000 14,800 15,000 18,000 45,000

GUAN XIANG CENTURY RESORT HOTEL

RSL COLD and HOT SPRINGS RESORT SUAO

冠翔世紀溫 泉會 館

宜蘭蘇澳瓏山林飯店

Yilan 宜 蘭

No. of Rooms: 80 aDD: No. 6, Ln. 66, Ren’ai Rd., Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County (宜 蘭 縣 礁 溪 鄉 仁 愛 路 6 6 巷 6 號 ) tel: 886-3-987-5599 www.hotspring-hotel.com.tw

No. of Rooms: 153 aDD: No. 301, Jhongyuan Rd., Su-ao Township, Yilan City ( 宜 蘭 縣 蘇 澳 鎮 中 原 路 3 0 1 號 ) tel: 886-3-996-6666 www.rslhotel.com

HUALIEN FARGLORY HOTEL

SHINY OCEAN HOTEL

花蓮遠雄悅來大飯店

星空海藍大飯店

Hualien 花 蓮

Yilan 宜 蘭

Hualien 花 蓮

RestauRaNts: Four Season Restaurant-Breakfast Buffet, Lobby Café-Lunch, Afternoon and Dinner Buffet, Jade Garden-Chinese Cuisine, Na Café, Texas Bar sPecial featuRes: Ballroom and Convention Facilities, Wireless Internet, Indoor Parking, Laundry Service, Train Station /Airport Transportation Service, Car/Scooter/Bicycle Rental Service, Tourist Information Center No. 66 , Lien Hang Rord , Taitung County 台東市連航路66號 Tel: +886-89-239-666 Fax: +886-89-239-777 Email: service@naruwan-hotel.com.tw

No. 268, Yongtong Rd., Yuanshan Township, Yilan County 宜蘭縣員山鄉永同路3段268號 Tel: +886-3-923-2111 Fax: +886-3-923-2113

www.westin-yilan.com

www.naruwan-hotel.com.tw

NT$1,300 NT$1,500

No. of Rooms: 381 aDD: No. 18, Shanling , Yanliau Vil., Shoufeng Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣壽豐鄉鹽寮村山嶺18號) tel: 886-38-123-900 www.farglory-hotel.com.tw

NT$1,500

3-Day Southern Taiwan Tour

NT$1,500

(Tainan, Kaohsiung, Kenting) (Taiwan High-Speed Rail – Bullet Train Ride) 三天二夜 台南 ‧ 高雄 ‧ 墾丁深度之旅 ( 含台灣高鐵體驗 )

NT$4,200 NT$1,200

NT$1,500

NT$1,300

NT$14,500

台北市松江路 190 號 4F

4-Day Central & Southern Taiwan Tour

NT$1,500

NT$1,300

No. of Rooms: 85 aDD: No. 267, Chongqing Rd., Hualien City, Hualien County (花 蓮 縣 花 蓮 市 重 慶 路 2 6 7 號 ) tel: 886-38-325-788 shinyoceanhotel.com

(Stay at Sun Moon Lake)

(Stay at QingJing)

(Sun Moon Lake, Kaohsiung, Kenting) 四天三夜 台灣中南部觀光 ( 日月潭、高雄、墾丁 )

4-Day Eastern Taiwan Tour NT$6,600

NT$6,900

(Yilan, Hualien, Taitung) (Taiwan Railway Train Ride) 四天三夜 海岸、縱谷豐富之旅 ( 宜蘭、花蓮、台東 ) ( 含臺灣鐵路體驗 )

5-Day Round Taiwan Island Excursion NT$12,500

(All hotels are 5-star hotels) 五天四夜 台灣環島巴士之旅 ( 全程五星級旅館 )

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.

NT$ 14,000

NT$ 15,500

NT$ 16,900


ISSN:18177964

GPN:2009305475

200 NTD

Consumer Protection Hotline: