Travel in Taiwan (No.87 2018 05/06 )

Page 1





Historic Sites / Tourist Hotspots / Anping Canal Cruise









Welcome to

Taiwan! Dear Traveler, Welcome to Taiwan – Naruwan! “Naruwan” is a traditional indigenous greeting, from the Amis tribal language. In this issue we explore local indigenous culture with a visit to Pingtung County tribal villages. Other subjects covered include local farmto-table cuisine and the history of selected old-time communities … and with summer arriving and people in a sporting frame of mind, Taiwan’s surfing and marathon scenes. First up, of course – our Feature. Spend a few days in old Tainan City, dividing your time according to three tour themes: heritage sites, cultural-creative streets, and eco/water fun experiences. Taiwan’s original and longtime capital under the Chinese empire, Tainan is fondly referred to by locals as the island’s version of Japan’s classical Kyoto and Korea’s Kyongju. Our window into local indigenous culture is opened in the Family Fun section, looking upon captivating Pingtung County attractions at the edge of the central mountains, including Rukai and Paiwan villages, a popular indigenoustheme cultural park, and a dramatically situated chasm-spanning pedestrian suspension bridge. Our sporting forays unfold in Adventure and Must See & Do. In the first we’re off to the ruggedly picturesque Northeast Coast to tell you all about one of Taiwan’s hottest surfing beaches, and in the second it’s an “On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!” whirlwind intro of Taiwan’s marathon-racing scene, featuring an annual schedule that draws many foreign-national runners, pro and amateur, tourist visitor and expatriate. In Hidden Treasures and Town Wanderings you’re delivered deep into the histories of old-time communities. The former is a street roam through the Taipei neighborhood of Dadaocheng, founded in the mid-1800s, where fortunes were built on tea and trade. The latter transports you to the village of Fenglin in the East Coast’s Hualien County; Taiwan’s first recognized “Slow City,” this is a place for “strolling, biking, and sitting back.” Island Feast serves up an excursion into the “tastes of the earth” celebrated in Taipei’s growing world of farmto-table dining, where a coterie of pioneering eateries focused on healthful cuisine have long been espousing the concept. Over in Rail Travel , the focus is on greater Hsinchu, with train stops at numerous points from just north of Hsinchu City to just south. Quick local-area jaunts are presented, with each station as a base. It’s summertime, and the Taiwan living is easy. Enjoy! Joe Y. Chou, Ph.D. Director General Tourism Bureau, MOTC, R.O.C.

CONTENTS May ~ June 2018


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


Urna S. H. Chen

Taipei City 10681, Taiwan TEL: 886-2-2325-2323 Fax: 886-2-2701-5531 E-MAIL: 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 Nickey Liu, Jenny Chung CONTRIBUTORS Rick Charette, Joe Henley, Steven Crook, Han Cheung, 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



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: Website:

台 灣 觀 光 雙 月 刊 Travel in Taiwan The Official Bimonthly English Magazine of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Advertisement) May/June, 2018 Tourism Bureau, MOTC First published Jan./Feb., 2004 ISSN: 18177964 GPN: 2009305475 Price: NT$200 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.


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


Jingzaijiao Tilepaved Salt Fields (photo by Chen Cheng-kuo)

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.



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. See more amazing images of Taiwan with our Travel in Taiwan app! Simply scan this QR code to reach the download page (iOS/Android).


10 Time in Tainan – Three Theme Tours – Heritage Sites, Cultural-Creative Streets, Water/Eco Outings


– Marathon Races Around Taiwan


– Farm-to-Table Dining in Taipei



1 4 6

Run, Run, Run!

Tastes of the Earth

Publisher's Note Taiwan Tourism Events Convenient Travel

7 News 8 Culture Scene 24 My Travel Log


– Dadaocheng, a Fascinating Neighborhood of Many Identities



The Scent of Tea and Trade


Now Boarding at Wai’ao Beach

– First-Time Surfing Experience on the Northeast Coast



Let’s Take It Slow

– Strolling, Biking, and Sitting Back in Fenglin, Taiwan’s First “Slow City”



Indigenous Impressions

– Visiting Tribal Villages in Pingtung County



The Windy City by Slow Train

– Places of Interest Between “North Hsinchu” and “South Hsinchu”

36 50


Summer Has Arrived!

Taiwan Tourism Events Calendar

Events to Cool Down or Get Hot


04/21 ~ 07/15

Fulong Sand Sculpting Art Festival

Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival




It’s been 10 years since the Fulong Sand Sculpting Art Festival was first held on the fine-sand beach at Fulong on Taiwan’s Northeast Coast. The theme of this year’s edition is “Celebrating the 10 th Anniversary: A Castle of Golden Sands in Fulong.” Fulong Beach has highly cohesive white-quartz sand ideal for building sand castles, and each year professional and amateur sand sculptors from Taiwan and abroad are invited to create works of art, the intricate results invariably fascinating and the spectacle drawing thousands of visitors. Fulong, easily reached by train from central Taipei, has one of the best and most popular beaches in northern Taiwan.

The sand-sculpting festival is not the only major event that takes place on Fulong Beach e a c h s u m m e r. A f t e r t h e beautiful creations have been leveled to the ground at the end of the sand-art event, the stage is set for a much louder and equally well-attended happening, the Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival. If you love listening to indie music – paired with the sound of the ocean – and feeling soft sand between your toes, mark this festival on your calendar of music events to attend this year.

Location: Fulong Beach, Gongliao Dist., New Taipei City

Location: Fulong Beach, Gongliao Dist., New Taipei City

( 新北市貢寮區福隆海水浴場 ) Website: (Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area)


Spring Wave Music & Art Festival 春浪音樂節

( 新北市貢寮區福隆海水浴場 ) Website: (New Taipei City travel website)


Lugang Dragon Boat Festival 鹿港慶端陽系列活動

After being staged the last two years at Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park, this year the annual Spring Wave Music & Art Festival returns to Kenting National Park, in the far south of Taiwan. The line-up of performers includes some of the big n a m e s o f Ta i w a n ’s p o p and rock scenes, including M C H o t D o g , Va n N e s s Wu, Sandee Chan, Miss Ko, MJ116, Julia Wu, Auntie Roxy, and Leon Zheng. Kenting National Park is a wonderful natural playground featuring sandy beaches, stretches of upraised coral-rock coastline, tropical forest, and a busy touristoriented village (Kending) offering scores of shops, restaurants, and hotels.

This year the Dragon Boat Festival, one of three major traditional festivals celebrated in Taiwan, falls on June 18. Large dragon-boat race events are held around Ta i w a n o n t h i s d a y, including at Taipei’s Dajia Riverside Park and on Kaohsiung’s Love River and Yilan’s Dongshan River. The dragon-boat event at Lugang, a historic town in central Taiwan’s Changhua County, is especially popular. Races take place in the late afternoon and evening, with boats, bridges, and riverbanks colorfully illuminated by LED and neon lights, creating a festive atmosphere.

Location: Kenting National Park, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County

Locations: Lugang Township and Zhangbin area, Changhua County

( 屏東縣恆春鎮墾丁國家公園 ) Website:



( 彰化縣鹿港鎮鹿港鎮及彰濱地區 ) Website: (Changhua County Government)

M A Y - J U LY

07/07 ~ 08/19

Yilan International Children’s Folklore & Folkgame Festival 宜蘭國際童玩藝術節

Taiwan International Balloon Festival

06/30 ~ 08/06


Photo by Yu-Hong Lu

During the height of summer, this festival provides a wonderful entertainment venue for families with young kids. Not only can the little ones cool off in the spacious water-fun area, but there is also a wide range of cultural and educational activities on offer, allowing children to play and interact with other kids and learn about local and foreign cultures at the same time. There is also a rich program of stage performances by troupes from Taiwan and abroad, and a number of interesting exhibitions.

One of the many great things about the annual Taiwan International Balloon Festival is that it lasts over a month. This makes it easier for visitors to find time to go, and for the organizers to prepare for unfavorable weather. The long period also makes it possible to offer a large number of different balloons, so that repeat visitors are presented with different line-ups of balloons in all colors and shapes. If you want to take to the air, you can opt for a tethered flight (balloons ascending to a height of about 20 meters while remaining attached to the ground) or a free flight that takes you across the bucolic landscape of the East Rift Valley (flights last about 40 minutes).

Location: Dongshan River Waterpark, Wujie Township, Yilan County

Location: Luye Highland, Luye Township, Taitung County

( 宜蘭縣五結鄉冬山河親水公園 ) Website:

( 臺東縣鹿野鄉鹿野高台 ) Website:



Taiwan Tourist Shuttle website

The Hualien Route Exploring Attractions in Eastern Taiwan by Tourist Shuttle Bus

Hualien Sugar Factory

Liyu Lake

Lintian Mountain Forestry Center The Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus service (www. operates two routes in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan. The Taroko Gorge Route enables you to conveniently visit one of Taiwan’s most breathtaking scenic wonders, Taroko Gorge, by public transport. If you travel to Hualien by railway, you can board the shuttle bus at either Hualien or Xincheng Taroko railway station. Buses on the Hualien Route also leave from Hualien Railway Station, but instead of heading north, they take you south of the city to a number of intriguing places of interest in the northern part of the East Rift Valley. Following are short introductions of some of the attractions easily reached using this service. (For more info on the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area, visit Liyu Lake Liyu (Carp) Lake is the largest lake in Hualien County. It has a length of 1.6km and a width of 930 meters, and is surrounded by lush mountains. On arrival, first visit the lakeside visitor center for information about the area. Close to the center you can rent bicycles to go on a ride along the lakeshore; renting a kayak or swan boat and taking to the water is also a popular option. Shin Kong Chao Feng Ranch & Resort Hualien County is known for its many farms, a large number of which are operated as leisure farms. Shin Kong Chao Feng Ranch & Resort (



has a wide range of attractions including a zoo area, a dairy ranch, a sculpture garden, a themed village, an orchard, and a hot-spring resort. You can easily spend the whole day – or two (accommodation available) – at the farm. Fenglin Railway Station The shuttle bus makes a stop in Fenglin Township, a small settlement with an interesting history. The township was the first in Taiwan to be recognized as a “Slow City” by Cittaslow International. Find more about Fenglin in this issue’s Town Wanderings article on page 46. Hualien Sugar Factory If you want to learn about the history of sugar production in Hualien County, this sugar factory ( is the place to go. The complex is home to lovingly restored wooden buildings from the 1895-1945 Japanese colonial era (accommodation in tatami rooms available), informative exhibits about the factory’s history, a popular ice-cream shop, and much more. Among other stops worth getting off the shuttle bus for are Li Chuan Aquafarm (; Chinese), a recreational aquafarm focused on the breeding of clams, trout, eels, and other waterdwellers; Lintian Mountain Forestry Center, another interesting historic site, introducing you to the region’s logging history; and Danongdafu Forest Park, a vast, mostly flat, park area with

narrow roads excellent for bicycling. The park is the southernmost stop on the shuttle route; if you want to explore the East Rift Valley further to the south, take a train from Guangfu Railway Station (two bus stops north of the park). Hualien Route Hualien Railway Station (Visitor Center) ( 臺 鐵 花 蓮 Qingxiu Temple ( 慶 修 院 ) 站 [ 旅 遊 服 務 中 心 ]) Liyu Lake Visitor Center ( 鯉 魚 潭 潭 北 遊 客 中 South Liyu Lake Recreation Area ( 鯉魚潭潭 心) Li Chuan Aquafarm ( 立 川 漁 場 ) 南遊憩區 ) Shin Shoufeng Railway Station ( 臺 鐵 壽 豐 站 ) Kong Chao Feng Ranch & Resort ( 新光兆豐休閒農場 ) Fenglin Railway Station ( 臺鐵鳳林站 ) Lintian Mountain Forestry Center ( 林田山林業文化園區 ) Hualien Guangfu Railway Station ( 臺 鐵 光 復 站 ) Danongdafu Sugar Factory ( 花 蓮 觀 光 糖 廠 ) Forest Park ( 大農大富平地森林園區 ) Fare: The fare is calculated according to distance (NT$223 for the full Hualien Route, one way); you can pay by cash, EasyCard, or iPASS; tickets are sold on the bus.

Departures There are seven services a day on the Hualien Route; buses leave Hualien Railway Station at 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:30am, 12noon, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm.


NEWS & Events around Taiwan

Tainan Sightseeing Bus

Duty-Free Shopping in Penghu

Let’s go on a hop-on, hop-off ride on Tainan’s new double-decker sightseeing buses! Painted green, and adorned with images of cute cartoon characters and a number of the city’s well-known tourist sites and culinary attractions, the buses ply two different routes. Buses on the Western Line (12 outings a day) take tourists to such must-see sites as Fort Provintia, Tainan Confucius Temple, Anping District, and the Blueprint Culture & Creative Park (see Feature article on page 10), while buses on the Eastern Line (3 outings a day) take visitors to the eastern part of central Tainan, with stops at Tainan Confucius Temple and the T.S. Mall. The starting point for both services is Tainan Railway Station. Regular tickets are priced NT$300 (4-hour unlimited rides) and NT$500 (1-day pass). For more information, visit (only in Chinese at time of writing).

Ever Rich D.F.S. Corporation, a duty-free business that is 100% Taiwanese owned and operated, recently soft-opened its Discovery Hotel and Profond Pier 3 Duty Free Complex at Magong Harbor in Penghu, an archipelago located west of Taiwan proper. Apart from shops offering more than 100 domestic and international brands, with products including fashion items, perfumes and cosmetics, alcohol and tobacco, accessories and jewelry, the complex also has a wide range of leisure facilities. There is a skywalk, augmented-reality climbing, obstacle courses (Ninja Warrior, Fun Climbing), the in80 Deluxe Cinema, and a whiskey museum. The Discovery Hotel has 236 guestrooms and an all-day restaurant, as well as a range of facilities, including a sky basketball court, an outdoor terrace, a swimming pool, and a spa. For more information, visit (Chinese).

New Keelung Attractions

Guided Tours in SE Asian Languages

The port city of Keelung, east of Taipei, is often se e n as a somewhat damp blue-collar town – characterized by old buildings and a high chance of rain (more than 20 0 rainy days a year on average). R e c e n t l y, h o w e v e r, the city has been stepping up its efforts to Keelung Railway Station become a more modern and international city – its harbor has become an important port of call for cruise liners operating in East Asia. The recent completion of the new Keelung Railway Station and its Southern Station Square, on the harbor’s southwest corner, has been a major improvement. Another modern addition, on the east side of the harbor not far from the city’s famed Miaokou Night Market, is the recently opened E-SQUARE mall complex. The mall is home to numerous restaurants (including the Michelin-starred Putian) and shops (including a large NET store).

In recent years, the central government’s efforts in promoting Taiwan have been heavily focused on markets in Southeast Asia. As a result, visitor numbers from countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia have increased significantly. To better address the needs of visitors from Southeast Asia, the New Taipei City Government started a training program for tour guides in 2016, recruiting natives of Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia living in Taiwan. A total of 23 trainees have completed the program and are now available to guide tourists in their respective languages. At present two guided tours are offered, the Yehliu, Jinshan, Tamsui Tour along the North Coast and the Sanxia, Yingge Old Street Tour in the southern part of New Taipei City. For more information and to sign up, visit www. (Chinese/Vietnamese/Indonesian/Malaysian).



CULTURE Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings

Until 07/08

National Palace Museum TAIPEI CITY

Until 10/14

National Museum of Natural Science TAICHUNG CITY

The Phenomenon of Yixing Ware – Treasured Legacy and Beyond 紫砂風潮 – 傳世器及其他

Jul. 11.13.14

Taipei Arena TAIPEI CITY

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park TAIPEI CITY

Our Unexpected Arthropod Housemates

Taipei International Tattoo & Music Festival


台北國際紋身 藝術音樂祭



The city of Yixing in mainland China’s Jiangsu Province, about 200 kilometers west of central Shanghai, is famed for its teapots, produced since the Song Dynasty (960~ 1279) with red clay found around the city. Emperors were fond of these vessels, each one a work of art; Emperor Qianlong (1711~1799) declared in a poem that “Tea made with melted snow in an Yixing teapot is impeccable.” This exhibition presents fine examples of Yixing ware from the museum’s vast collection.

08/03 ~ 08/05

You’ll want to stay clear of this exhibition if you suffer from entomophobia (fear of insects), or if you think that cockroaches and other creepy-crawlies are gross and not worth a closer look. Considering, however, that these little icky creatures are almost indubitably your close neighbors, learning a thing or two about them might be a good idea. With handson activities, dramatic specimen displays, colorful videos, vivid illustrations, and even live insects to be seen, this exhibition is an amazing introduction to the wonderful world of arthropods.

Until 07/30

Taichung Cultural and Creative Industries Park TAICHUNG CITY

Celine Dion, Taipei Live 2018


If tattoo art has not yet become part of mainstream culture, the transfer from its sub-culture existence is certainly on the fast track. Visit www. and you’ll find a calendar filled with tattoo conventions, expos, and festivals all around the world. One of these events is this exciting festival in Taipei combining amazing works of inked skin with live music performances.

Until 06/17

National Museum of Taiwan History TAINAN CITY

New Space Discovered – Underwater Cultural Heritage AR+VR Exhibition

席琳狄翁 台北演唱會

Patrolling the Realms: The Wangye Belief in Taiwan and Southeast Asia 巡狩四方—

覓 境-水 下 文化 資 產 AR+VR 虛擬實境體驗展

臺灣及東南亞王爺 信仰特展



Canadian singer and world-acclaimed superstar Celine Dion does not need an introduction. Who hasn’t heard My Heart Will Go On , the main theme song of the 1997 Hollywood blockbuster Titanic ? In the second half of this year Dion will be touring Asia and Oceania, with three concerts in Taipei, during which she’ll surely bring tears to the eyes of her countless fans with such unforgettable hits as Because You Loved Me and The Power of Love .

If you don’t know the difference between AR and VR, you are certainly not alone. Keeping up with new technologies and their acronyms can be a challenge. This exhibition is a good opportunity to experience Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality up close, bringing you on a virtual underwater tour of a range of cultural-heritage sites, including sunken ships. During the AR experience you’ll have the chance to “join” diving archaeologists and take pictures with them.




If you are interested in Taiwan folk religion, this exhibition will further your knowledge on locally revered deities, in particular the Wangye (“royal lords”), which are worshipped around the island in daitianfu temples, the best known of which is Nankunshen Daitianfu in Tainan. The deities are popular in Taiwan for their believed powers to expel disease and evil.


05/25 ~ 06/03

National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall TAIPEI CITY

Until 2019 02/25

Chimei Museum TAINAN CITY

The Beauties of Simplicity – Henk Helmantel 凝視日常 – 荷蘭藝術家哈勒曼特


If you casually glance at a painting by D utch a r tist He nk He lmante l, you might take it for a work from the 17th century, when creating still lifes – paintings depicting ordinary objects such as glasses, vases, and vegetables, often placed on kitchen tables – came into vogue. Experts attest that the quality of Helmantel’s art can be compared to the Dutch master s of the 160 0s, but at the same time his work is said to be surprisingly modern as well.

Until 2019 01/06

Romeo & Juliette 羅密歐與茱麗葉 Website:

This French musical based on William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet , with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic, premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001. It has been performed around Europe and Asia, including in Taipei in 2016, with the performances here having been seen by a total of 25,000 musical lovers. To the delight of fans, Romeo will be played by French pop singer and heartthrob Damien Sargue, the first “Romeo” of the musical back in 2001.


Art-eology Zoo 有藝思動物園


Ma ny a r tists a re inspire d by the animal world, and oftentimes animals become the subjects of the artwork itself. In this exhibition, works from the museum’s collection and by invited artists featuring animals are on display. Juming Museum, located on the North Coast, is a great museum featuring the works of world-renowned artist Ju Ming, best known for his large-sized sculptures, many placed on display around the museum’s grounds.








Three Theme Tours – Heritage Sites, Cultural-Creative Streets, Water/Eco Outings Come spend a few days in this warm and sunny coastal city of deep-current heritage by heading out on three self-guided tours of distinctive theme and character: Explore its heritage sites, its bloom of cultural-creative zones where old-time shophouse streets have been rejuvenated, and its ever-growing corps of educational and entertaining water- and eco-fun attractions. Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo, Maggie Song

Mangrove lagoon at Vanaheim TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |11




he city of Tainan, in Taiwan’s southwest, is the birthplace of modern Taiwan history. The capital for most of the island’s days under imperial Chinese control, the local population looks upon Tainan as the Japanese do upon ancient Kyoto and the Koreans upon antique Kyongju. The classic Tainan tour, a celebration of the proud legacy embodied in its compelling heritage sites, has in recent years been made that much more rewarding with renovation and/or significant augmentation of sites for the pleasure of both residents and tourists. The city, various government authorities at the national level, and private citizens are also hard at work comprehensively enhancing local quality of life – and the tourist experience – in other fields. One key area in this quest is the cultural-creative realm; one after another old, narrow shophouse street and neighborhood enclave has been magically transformed into a cultural-creative space teeming with boutique stores, small art galleries, and eclectic restaurants, cafés, and teahouses, with the original architecture and community history respected and celebrated. On another front, more and more of the coastal area’s deep stock of saltwater-focused resources, from lagoons to mangrove swamps to canals leading to harbor and sea – long dedicated almost exclusively to marine-resource industries – are now being rededicated for tourist-drawing eco-learning activities.

Anping Old Street

Heritage Sites & Tourist Hotspots Taiwan’s modern history began in today’s Anping District. And it all began in Anping at the spot today called Anping Fort (No. 82, Guosheng Rd, Anping Dist.), site of the ruins of a grand citadel built by the Dutch. The stronghold, originally called Fort Zeelandia, was built at the north-end head of a great sometimes sandbar/sometimes silt island (at high tide) that jutted out from the mainland. Along with other offshore silt islands, it formed the sea-side wall of a large “Inner Sea.” The Dutch sought to rule Taiwan from 1624 to the time they were ousted by the celebrated Ming dynasty loyalist Koxinga in 1662. The Inner Sea eventually silted over, and the fort’s ruins are today stranded far from the coast. Much of our theme-tour time in the pages to come is spent where the Inner Sea once rippled, and in the solid land/open water transition area between Anping Fort’s position and today’s Taiwan Strait coastline. Tip: After viewing the historical information posted onsite, be sure to tackle the steep stairs in the maritimecustoms tower, built in the 1940s, delivering you to sweeping views in all directions, including the now faroff coast.

Anping Fort


Anping Tree House

Chou’s Shrimp Rolls

Right beside Anping Fort are a number of narrow eatery-stuffed streets collectively called Anping Old Street, where seafood is bien sûr the compelling draw. This was the site of the first Dutch settlement, and font of “Taiwan’s 1st Street” – the first-ever commercial street to form. There are many famed eateries here with long histories; shrimp rolls are an Anping Old Street compulsatory treat, Taiwan’s answer to Japan’s tempura, and Chou’s Shrimp Rolls (No. 125 Anping Street, Anping Dist.) is one of the best restaurants serving the delicacy. Just north of Anping Fort is a heritage-architecture tandem only opened to the public in recent years, the Old Tait & Company Merchant House (No. 108, Gubao St., Anping Dist.) and, directly behind, the Anping Tree House, both built by a British trading firm after the Second Opium War forced China to open ports to Western trade in 1858. The facilities were later abandoned when the Japanese targeted the lucrative opium and camphor trades during their colonial rule of Taiwan. Inside the breezy, graceful arcaded colonialstyle trading house are displays on the area’s imperial-era history. The treehouse, originally conjoined warehouses, has been completely overrun by massive banyan trees, creating a fairytale maze.

Old Tait & Company Merchant House

its south side is a giant 16m-high hilltop statue of Lin Mo-Niang located in the breezy Lin Mo-Niang Park. Lin was the young mortal maiden who became the immortal Mazu, Goddess of the Sea, protector of seafarers.

Tip: Look for the boldly painted full-size junk on display at the park’s west end, said to be a faithful replica of Koxinga’s war junk, and thus larger than a civilian-use version. The ancestors of most Taiwanese traversed the treacherous Taiwan Strait in junks in imperial times, most traveling with a Mazu icon for protection, Tainan the major port of entry. Numerous icons reside in now-hoary temples built in gratitude thereafter. Lin Mo-Niang Park

Tip: It’s almost impossible to capture the character of the tree house with still photos. Prepare for video shooting; the best 360-degree sweeps are taken from the openroof-level steel-girder catwalks. Just south of Anping Fort is the innermost section of Anping Harbor, awaiting tour-boat exploration in our third theme tour. Overlooking


A few blocks south of the park is the Eternal Golden Castle, actually a fort (No. 3, Guangzhou Rd., Anping Dist.), built by the Chinese in the 1870s as protection against grasping colonial powers. Designed by a Frenchman, massive bastions are found at the ends of the four high, thick walls, with a moat making enemy access even more difficult. On display inside are giant cannons and archeological digs.

Tip: The fort is closely surrounded by tall trees, and a rampart-top walk along the parapets provides soothing upclose, eye-level viewing of teeming treetop birdlife. You can also travel the moat on cutesy paddleboats.

Eternal Golden Castle Old Taiwan Magistrate Residence

Also recommended are two newer historic attractions not far outside Anping District. The Tainan Judicial Museum (No. 307, Sec. 1, Fuqian Rd., West Central Dist.;; Chinese) complex, inaugurated as the Taiwan District Court in 1914, is considered one of Taiwan’s three supreme Japanese-era works of architecture, the others Taipei’s Presidential Office Building and National Taiwan Museum. The Japanese used Taiwan as an experimental station, and as with other designs this is an eclectic mix of Western architectural traditions. A dome is its most striking feature, once paired with a tower that soars no more but which is still “on view” – in a room of whimsy with a large replica seen in a deep well that is in fact a reflection of the real thing hanging upside-down from the ceiling. The Old Taiwan Magistrate Residence (No. 1, Weimin Street, East Dist.;, built in 1900, was used as a residence by visiting Japanese royals, most notably the future Emperor Hirohito during his 1923 grand Taiwan inspection. Have your photo taken with him (a life-size cutout) in the history-display area.

Tainan Judicial Museum

Anping Tree House / Old Tait & Company Merchant House

Anping Fort

Chou’s Shrimp Rolls Tainan Judicial Museum




Lin Mo-Niang Park Old Taiwan Magistrate Residence

Eternal Golden Castle 17A

Yuguang Island



Blueprint Culture and Creative Park

Cultural-Creative Youth Culture on Old Streets Over the past decade or so, a number of historic streets and alleys in Tainan’s old neighborhoods long down on their luck have undergone a renaissance, the prime movers young entrepreneurs simultaneously following two dreams: to preserve a chosen bit of the architectural history of the city they love, and to express their cultural-creativity in self-financed business ventures that can provide them a living wage. These long-quiescent enclaves are now alive with artsystyle cafés, teahouses, eateries, boutiques, artist studios, and other interests. Blueprint Culture and Creative Park (opened in 2015) is a narrow-lane complex of renovated simple, cement-walled dormitories originally built by the Japanese to house judicialauthority employees; the aforementioned Tainan Judicial Museum is nearby. The dorm buildings are today home to an attractive cluster of artisanal outlets and creative eateries. The “blueprint” refers to a mesmerizing entrance-point 3D artwork that transforms a solid wall into a glowing architectural blueprint.

Blueprint Culture and Creative Park

Little Secret restaurant

Tip: The “hidden-away” Little Secret (No. 17, Ln. 689, Sec. 1, Ximen Rd., South Dist.; littlesecret17) restaurant is the go-to foodie haunt here. The emphasis is on bringing cultural-creative flourishes to familiar Taiwanese noodle classics, each dish celebrating a




Fox Café

Zhu Xin Ju restaurant

Duiyue Gate

regional icon ingredient such as premium Kinmen kaoliang (sorghum) liquor, Yunlin County sesame oil, Tainan milkfish, etc. Signature creations include the blanched beef soup with spinach noodles and black sesame-oil chicken.

Rainbow is Coming




Cloudy Mountain Tea Shop/Fox Café Duiyue Gate/Zhu Xin Ju Restaurant


Zhengxing Street The Place Taiwan 17A

Blueprint Cultural and Creative Park


Little Secret



At the western end of old, exceedingly narrow Xinyi Street, which stretches just a few hundred meters, is the small, imperial-style Duiyue Gate. Built in 1836 by China’s Qing imperial government, this is the only gate from the old walled city still in use today (note the white stone used for the base, Penghu stone originally used as ballast in ships sailing from the Penghu Islands). In recent years young entrepreneurs have been encamping in this still-bustling neighborhood, rich with traditional shophouse-style heritage residences and three venerable, well-maintained temples. Cloudy Mountain Tea Shop (No. 120, Xinyi St., West Central Dist.;, run by a Taipei refugee who fell in love with the Tainan character, is directly before a temple plaza and is a neighborhood “place for chatting.” Linger over premium teas and browse the for-sale teas and other small-batch organic produce sourced from around Taiwan, including delicious Chiayi County cane-sugar cubes. Next-door Fox Café (No. 118, Xinyi St., West Central Dist.; is a laid-back space of specialty imported coffees flush with the works of the artist-owner, English name “Fox” – a fellow, not a femme – and collectibles gathered during his globe-trotting. Zhu Xin Ju restaurant (No. 69, Xinyi St., West Central Dist.) is in a lovingly restored shophouse built in 1876. The culinary theme is


Ice cream shop on Zhengxing Street

Street musicians on Zhengxing Street

Rainbow Is Coming boutique

“Grandma’s flavors” – i.e., faithful preservation of old-time Tainanregion dishes, specifically those of the owner’s own grandma. Meals are served banquet-style (7 dishes, 1 soup); each patron pays NT$500, and the menu changes daily depending on what is best-inmarket. Regular table “bests” are the Tainan-style milkfish tripe and black-pig sausage.

Tip: The owner, a passionate hunter of Taiwan antique gems, invites diners to view his treasures in the restaurantrear former living quarters and old shophouse directly across the street, the latter set up like a vintage momand-pop sundry-goods store (which it once was), bursting with bygone-days movie posters, kids’ toys, soda-pop and alcohol bottles, brand signs – and a magnificent apothecary cabinet. Less than a decade ago Zhengxing Street was an old, tired family-shop backwater. The Rainbow Is Coming boutique (No. 100, Zhengxing St., West Central Dist.; then opened, and the owner injected new community spirit. Extant shops have undergone thorough makeovers, new outfits have opened, and Zhengxing is today among Tainan’s most popular shopping/eating streets.

Tip: Look for the scores of cartoon cat drawings outside shops, cat caricatures of the respective owners. The practice started as a celebration of the neighborhood’s cat population. Rainbow Is Coming’s bestsellers are its cattheme designs.

The Place Tainan This haute chic new boutique hotel, a member of the upmarket Hotel Royal Group, is situated at one end of a monstrous block-style retail/ entertainment/leisure complex, brand-name boutique-outlet mall in the middle, cinema complex at the other end. The contemporary-décor hotel has minimalist-theme guestrooms with strong black and white schemes that create a sense of purity of space. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, café, gym, gift shop, and mini art galleries. The chefs at the high-floor GanCui Restaurant, which looks out beyond the city's high-rises toward the south, present a fusion of ingredients, seasonings, and cooking techniques from the Tainan region and Italy; the East/West breakfast buffet is among the best this writer has enjoyed in Taiwan, notably the range and quality of the gourmet breads and imported cheeses and the first-rate salads. GanCui shares its generous space with the open-concept Bar 21, which offers patrons preeminent alcohol brands from around the globe and an inventive array of self-concocted cocktails. The first-floor gift shop, set up like a mood-lit art gallery, showcases the best and most representative of Taiwan's cultural-creative designer gift and souvenir items, and the area fronting elevators on each guestroom floor is a true mini gallery, created by local and international artists, each celebrating a distinctive element of Tainan life such as the city’s famed night markets and inventive street-food culture. (Room rates start at NT$8,000; breakfast included.) The Place Tainan ( 台南老爺 ) (06) 236-6168 No. 368, Sec. 1, Zhonghua E. Rd., East Dist., Tainan City ( 台南市東區中華東路一段 368 號 )




Enjoying the canal cruise

Passing a low bridge

Water Fun & Eco-Experiences In the section on Anping Fort earlier, Tainan’s now-disappeared Inner Sea was introduced. Today only vestiges of this large body of water remain, and the coastline is far off from where the silt islands that formed its outer wall once floated. This is now a low-lying region of dry land, fish, shrimp, and oyster farms, salt farms, lagoons, mangrove swamps, Tainan’s sole island, and old canals. In late 2017 Tainan launched Anping Canal sightseeing cruises. This waterway is Anping District’s old transport canal. Boats start from Anping Harbor close to Lin Mo-Niang Park, traverse the harbor, pass by the Eternal Golden Castle, cross Kunshen Lake (Tainan’s ship harbor), enter the canal’s south end, and finally exit the north end back at Anping Harbor. The tour length is 10km, time about one hour. A memorable thrill for partakers is the call to duck below the gunwales when passing under three low-slung older bridges. (There is no fixed timetable and you need to make reservations in advance at tel. 0903-232-168; website: yacht.tour.)

Anping Canal cruise

Yuguang Island, today Tainan’s sole offshore island, is a mere stone’s throw-plus from the Eternal Golden Castle. It is reached by a short bridge just south of the fortress; the canal-tour boats pass underneath. A raised boardwalk takes visitors through the island’s forest cover to a long, crescent-shaped outer beach, where people picnic, small sailboats ply the gentle waters, and fishermen move about tending their open-water oyster-farm plots. A short distance from the coast in Annan District, right above Anping District, is the striking Taijiang National Park Visitor Center. Taijiang National Park ( is a watery world of estuaries, sandbars, tidal flats, old irrigation canals and small-craft shipping channels, mangrove swamps, wetlands, and


Taijiang National Park Visitor Center

White egret at Vanaheim

Bamboo structure on Yuguang Island

aquaculture farms – much of these vestiges of the old Inner Sea. The white-walled buildings of the visitor complex, built on stilts above retired fish farms, resemble traditional fishermen dwellings and circle a faux “lagoon.”

Tip: At Sicao, not far from the visitor center, take guidedtour boat excursions, one through the narrow Mangrove Green Tunnel, a long-disused section of Taiwan’s first canal, built in the 1870s for transport of sugar and salt from local farms, and the Taijiang Boat Tour on larger mangrove forest/river channels. North of this is coastal Qigu District, home to the Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve, a key site in the ongoing international campaign to help the magnificent, critically endangered black-faced spoonbill, a waterbird that migrates between North Korea to Southeast Asia. North of the reserve is the sea-like Qigu Lagoon, festooned with a veritable Roman legion of aligned oyster racks.

Tip: The sunsets seen from the lagoon’s boardwalk-style Seaview Pavilion are perhaps the Tainan coast’s most suntillating. TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |19

Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields

North of Qigu is coastal Beimen District. Just south of the fishing village of Beimen are the Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields, Taiwan’s oldest salt fields, created in 1818. This site is a showcase example of how the bottom of evaporation ponds were paved with pottery shards, producing cleaner salt and making harvesting easier.

Tip: Demonstration workers show how everything is done, and you can also do you own DIY salt-cone piling, so wear proper shoes. Just north of Beimen village is the grandiose Nankunshen Daitian Temple complex, visible from far off across the flatlands. This is the largest of Taiwan’s many temples dedicated to what are called the “plague gods.” In imperial times effigies of these gods would be placed on junks at sickness-stricken places and sent off to sea; temples would often be built to appease them at places the boats drifted ashore. This spot, place name Nankunshen, is said to have been visited by such a craft in 1662.

Tip: Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed the use of “kunshen” twice to this point, in the just-mentioned temple name and Kunshen Lake earlier. “Kunshen” means “whale back;” Tainan’s once-many offshore silt islands were dubbed “whale backs,” referring to their shape. Yuguang Island is, in fact, also called Sankunshen/ “Third Kunshen,” and another name for the Eternal Golden Castle is Erkunshen Fortress / “Second Kunshen Fortress.” 20| TRAVEL IN TAIWAN

Vanaheim, a coast-side eco-theme resort, is not far north of the temple. You “camp” here – in simple, sturdy structures resembling yurts, big enough for two beds and a small toilet and shower. The accommodations sit on the edge of a large, busy mangrove forest; tectonic activity has caused some coastal land in this region to subside, and mangroves have been encouraged to once again take root where saltwater aqua farms long flourished. Included in a visitor’s stay package is a guided mangrove-channel boat tour and an eco-tour along a long forest-wending raised boardwalk and the beach/tidal flat between forest and Taiwan Strait.

Nankunshen Daitian Temple


Getting There & Around There is regular rail service to downtown Tainan Railway Station and highspeed rail service to HSR Tainan Station southeast of downtown (the two stations are connected by regular commuter-train service). The HSR station has car-rental service desks; reputable scooter-rental shops are found outside the downtown station. Another option is the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle hop-on, hopoff bus service, with a number of Tainan touring routes offered (www.taiwantrip. The city's new double-decker sightseeing buses travel around the old city core, and its T-Bike public bike-rental network also provides great value ( Tourist Information Beyond the Taiwan Tourism Bureau website (, these sites are also recommended: Southwest Coast National Scenic Area (, Taijiang National Park (, Tainan's Tourism Bureau (

Coastal forest at Vanaheim

Vanaheim Nankunshen Daitian Temple

Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields



English and Chinese Anping Fort 安平古堡 Anping Canal 安平運河 Anping District 安平區 Anping Old Street 安平老街 Anping Tree House 安平樹屋 Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve 黑面琵鷺保護區 Blueprint Culture and Creative Park 藍晒圖文創園區 Cho's Spring Rolls 周氏蝦捲 Cloudy Mountain Tea Shop 雲澗茶小賣所 Duiyue Gate 兌悅門 Erkunshen 二鯤鯓 Eternal Golden Castle 億載金城 Fox Café 狐狸小屋 Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields 井仔腳瓦盤鹽田

kunshen 鯤鯓 Kunshen Lake 鯤鯓湖 Lin Mo-Niang Park 林默娘公園 Little Secret 小覓秘麵食所 Nankunshen Daitian Temple 南鯤鯓代天府 Old Tait & Company Merchant House 德記洋行 Old Taiwan Magistrate Residence 台南知事官邸 Qigu Lagoon 七股潟湖 Rainbow Is Coming 彩虹來了 Tainan Judicial Museum 台南司法博物館 Xinyi Street 信義街 Yuguang Island 漁光島 Zhengxing Street 正興街 Zhu Xin Ju 筑馨居


Vanaheim 17


Qigu Lagoon

8 Black-faced Spoonbill Reserve 17B

Sicao Green Tunnel Taijiang National Park Visitor Center


Anping Canal 1


Yuguang Island

Vanaheim ( 愛莊園 ) (06) 786-5355 No. 73-11, Shuangchun, Shuangchun Borough, Beimen Dist. ( 北門區雙春里雙春 73-11 號 )


Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Taipei 101 Restaurant

( 頂鮮擔仔麵 台北 101 店 )

Enjoy 5-Star Traditional Taiwanese Dishes! A succulent fresh shrimp, accompanied by a multi-layer flavorful broth, special soystewed minced pork and pleasantly chewy oil noodles combine to make the aromatic and delicious tan-tsu-mien (“shoulder pole noodles).

Located on the 86th floor of Taipei 101, Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Taipei 101 Restaurant is the world’s highest Taiwanese-cuisine restaurant. Offering a premium dining environment characterized by luxurious and fashionable décor, an all-round bird’s eye view of Taipei, and superb Japanese and Europe culinary techniques, the restaurant provides a variety of authentic Taiwanese flavors. It has elevated Taiwanese cuisine to new heights and turned tan-tsu-mien, a dish that has pleased a legion of diners for 60 years, into a culinary wor k of art. Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien has a brand history of almost six decades. Beginning with fresh seafood cuisine with local character and authentic Taiwanese snacks, the business has always insisted on excellent service quality and the spirit of innovative cooking. Renowned Taiwanese French cuisine head chef Lin Pin-Chang was recruited as the brand’s chief culinary adviser; under his expert guidance, a delicate approach borrowed from Western cuisine has transformed traditional Taiwanese snacks of the common people into exquisite dishes; at the same time, selected best-quality seafood from across Taiwan and fresh fruit and vegetables have been used to create a new style of Taiwanese cuisine that has been taken out into the world as the brand has expanded overseas. Opened in 2011, Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Taipei 101 Restaurant is located on the 86th floor of Taipei’s iconic landmark Taipei 101 and is a masterpiece of a restaurant presented by the Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Group based on years of experience in the food service industry. With a luxurious, fashionable, comfortable, and natural design, the dining space has the ambience of an opulent palace; it offers unrivalled views of Taipei and has a grand style characterized by high-class and luxury.


About Tan-Tsu-Mien Tan-tsu-mien is a famous snack of Tainan that originated in the late Qing dynasty. Tan-tsu means “carry a shoulder pole” and mien means noodles. It is said that the inventor of tan-tsu mien was a fisherman who was often unable to go out to sea in typhoon season, so he carried his stall around on a shoulder pole selling small bowls of tasty soup noodles comprising of shrimp broth, minced garlic, soy-stewed minced pork, bean shoots, and oil noodles to eager customers. Today, tan-tsu mien is the best-known dish of Tainan, representing the cultural charm of traditional Taiwanese society; it is, though, no longer a dish of just the common people, and has even been served at state banquets, becoming renowned far and wide and elevated to the status of a “national treasure” delicious taste of Taiwan.

Molding an Exquisite Image for Taiwanese Food

Quite a few classic Taiwanese dishes can be enjoyed at Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Taipei 101 Restaurant, one of the most popular of course being the eponymous tan-tsu-mien. Head Chef Lin says that the made-to-order Taiwan tan-tsu-mien are made using specially chosen chewy noodles; the cooked noodles are placed in a bowl, tasty broth made by boiling shrimp shells is added, then delicious soystewed minced pork that has been made by boiling three cuts of pork; the minced pork is a perfect mix of fatty and lean meat, and has always been made using three cuts of pork since the first Tainan Tan-Tsu-Mien restaurant was opened on Huaxi Street 60 years ago. Tan-tsu-mien has a simple but rich flavor; a mouthful of the sweet and chewy freshly peeled white shrimp and the broth offers a delicious taste that is much-lauded and is the best way to begin enjoying the authentic flavor of this traditional Taiwanese dish. The inspiration for improving traditional shrimp rolls by developing Shrimp Rolls with Thin Crust Crab Pizza came from French pastry making techniques. Freshly peeled sea shrimp, water chestnut and other ingredients are wrapped in caul fat, then the rolls are deepfried at high and low temperature, leaving the outside crispy and no longer greasy. Very popular with female diners, Giant Grouper

Cooked with Sesame Oil features grouper from the pristine waters of Penghu, the meat of which is plump and firm and rich in collagen; it is accompanied by stir-fried young ginger and an aromatic sesame oil soup made from organic light black sesame oil from Xigang in Tainan, the dish warming the belly and providing a delicious taste. Creative Cooking that is a Treat for the Taste Buds

s well as an array of tasty traditional dishes, Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Taipei 101 Restaurant also offers quite a few creative dishes made using premium-quality seafood. The most popular cold starter, Fish Collagen with Salmon Roe, is collagen jelly, made by boiling grouper scales, that have had the fishy smell removed, for two days, served in a cocktail glass; the top is decorated with “green caviar” seaside grape, red salmon roe, and specially made white yoghurt sauce; the refreshing sweet taste is complemented by a slightly sour aftertaste, the distinctive taste of each of the ingredients shining through. Another dish, Steamed Giant Grouper with Truffle is made using high-grade grouper farmed using Taiwan’s advanced fish-farming techniques. High-temperature steaming gives the fish a fresh and sweet taste and preserves the nutritional value. The fish is decorated with fresh black truffle to add

to the aroma. The result is a mouthwatering fresh fish dish. Head Chef Lin also specially recommends Stir-Fried Beef with Formosa Vegetable and Fruit. This dish features chewy wagyu leg beef and seasonal fruit and vegetables from Taiwan that are stir-fried over high heat with a sauce made of tomatoes and other ingredients. The slightly sour taste is complemented by the smooth and tender texture of the beef and the fresh taste of the vegetable. Served in crispy deep-fried spring roll skin “bowls” ingeniously created by the chef, this dish is a highly nutritious and uniquely flavored culinary labor of love.

Ding Xian Tan-Tsu-Mien Taipei 101 Restaurant ( 頂鮮擔仔麵 台北 101 店 ) 86F, No. 7, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市信義區信義路五段七號 86 樓 ) (inside Taipei 101) (02) 8101-8686


Days in Temples The Mazu Pilgrimage – On the Road with My Taiwan Clanfolk Text: Rick Charette Photos: Vision


y home, for almost my entire adult life, has been this island on the western edge of the Pacific. One of my great fears in life is “routine,” and my Taiwan days have been blessed with constant travel, on writing-research and for-fun trips. A key blessing has been adoption by my “Taiwan clan,” my wife’s extended family, numbering hundreds in our tight-knit borough. This has brought full immersion in local religious practice, seeing and experiencing what few foreigners are privy to. Over the years my culture-theme articles have attracted visits by two European researchers, who stated they’d never enjoyed such intimacy with localtemple practices. My father-in-law built and runs our borough’s Mazu temple, and I’ve participated in what is called a “Mazu pilgrimage” many times. We head south about 350-strong each time, our 3-day trip destination Chaotian Temple in Yunlin County’s Beigang town. The southwest is mainland Taiwan’s original area of Han Chinese settlement, with the oldest temples. Our Mazu icon, as for those from many other temples, was consecrated at the Beigang shrine. After visiting an icon in a more powerful temple, a neighborhood’s icon returns with heightened communityprotection powers. On our slow palanquin procession up to the Chaotian Temple main portal, Chaotian’s Mazu viewing the approach, our Gaudi-colorful “Eight Generals” troupe clears evil from our icon’s path. As with those from other temples, our troupe is filled with youngsters



from troubled homes, giving them focus and spending money. The palanquin begins to shake wildly as temple entry nears. The bearers do not do this. No, it is our Mazu who is “excited” at the visit – our bearers steady the palanquin. Stepping safely through an endless stream of blasting firecrackers underfoot shows the goddess beholds them with favor. Our temple band is made up of my “uncles” – my father-in-law’s blood relatives and lifelong friends. Their reverential entertainment brings them blessings from the Beigang icon. The band practices weekly close to my house, and since I know the tunes so well, my Uncle A-Lam has on three occasions let me take the gong in Beigang – until my nerve fails as ever more worshippers stop to stare. If ever at Chaotian Temple, look for that fleeting moment of a fleeing white fellow. That, no doubt, will be this writer. English and Chinese Beigang 北港 Chaotian Temple 朝天宮 “Eight Generals” 八家將 Mazu 媽祖 Mazu pilgrimage 媽祖遶境

Welcome to your home in Taipei

w w w .parkt aipei .com

Park Taipei Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Taipei. The hotel is just in front of the Exit 6 of the MRT Daan Station and is only 6 minutes to Taipei Songshan Airport. A carefree place in the center of the bustling Taipei City, you can relax and indulge your senses in your room after returning from a busy and hectic business schedule or a long day of shopping. Park Taipei Hotel, Your Home in Taipei!

How to get there: Take the MRT Wenhu Line or Tamsui-Xinyi Line to Daan station. The hotel is just in front of Exit 6 of the Daan MRT train station.



Text: Vision


ave you ever heard of a historical character named Pheidippides? While most likely you have not, if you’ve ever run a full marathon you have something in common with this ancient Greek – that is, according to legend, tackling a longdistance run of exactly 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles). This, however, is also probably the only thing you’ll have in common with the man: in 490BC Pheidippides went on his run after having just fought in a major battle, he did not enjoy the luxury of running in cushioned sports shoes, and he died shortly after arrival in Athens and delivering the news of Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. The historical accuracy of the legend of Pheidippides’ run is the subject of debate. Nevertheless, it inspired the organizers of the first modern Olympic Games – held in Athens in 1896 – to include a longdistance running event of the same distance as that said to have been



traversed by the famed Greek messenger. The first Olympic marathon run was won by a Greek water carrier, who needed 2 hours, 58 minutes, and 50 seconds to cover the 42-plus kilometers. Fast forward from the late 19th to the early 21st century, and one finds that marathon running has changed significantly, save for the full-marathon distance, which remains the same. The fastest marathon runners (these days most likely from either Kenya or Ethiopia) are now vying to become the first to break the 2-hour barrier (the current world record is 2hrs, 2min., 57sec.). Thousands of marathon runs are held worldwide each year; more than 800 are taking place in the US and Canada in 2018 alone. In Taiwan, running long-distance road races has become a very popular activity in recent years as well. Listed on the race calendar published

Photos on this page by Penghu National Scenic Area Administration

Gaillardia Island Penghu Cross-sea Marathon 菊島 澎湖跨海馬拉松 on for 2018 are more than 80 full-marathon runs to be staged throughout Taiwan, joined by score upon score of half marathons, shorter fun runs, more challenging ultra marathons, off-road races, triathlons, relay runs, night runs, etc. While the majority of these events take place outside the hot summer months, it is safe to say that there is a long-distance road-running event somewhere in Taiwan on each weekend of the year. Following are some of the more popular marathon events in Taiwan.

Date November 14 Location/Route Main islands of Penghu; Start of Full Marathon at Xitai Visitor Center on Xiyu Island, Finish at Guanyin Pavilion in Magong City; Start of Full Marathon at Xitai Visitor Center, Finish at Great Bridge on Baisha Island; Start and Finish of 5K Run at Xitai Visitor Center Races Fu ll M a r ath o n (42.19 5k m), H a l f M a r ath o n (21.0975km), 5K Run Website


The islands of the Penghu archipelago, located in the Taiwan Strait west of Taiwan proper, are known for strong winds and strong sunshine, conditions that long-distance road runners looking for a challenge will embrace. While running the Full Marathon you’ll pass a number of tourist attractions on the three main islands, which are close to each other and interconnected, including the almost 3kmlong sea-crossing Penghu Great Bridge linking Xiyu and Baisha islands.




Sun Moon Lake Marathon 日月潭馬拉松


In similar fashion to bicyclists who participate in the annual Sun Moon Lake Come! Bikeday event (, runners in this marathon tackle a round-the-lake route that takes them past many tourist attractions by this beautiful body of water in central Taiwan. While running you will have the lake in sight for long stretches, but your attention will most surely shift from the scenic surroundings to the pavement directly ahead once you hit the testing uphill and downhill sections featured in the later part of the race. Date Late October Location/Route Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan's Nantou County; Start/Finish at Xiangshan Visitor Center on the southwestern shore of the lake; the route for the Full Marathon and Ultra Half Marathon circles the lake clockwise, with runners of the Full Marathon making a detour south of the lake before returning and continuing on to the visitor center. Races Full Marathon (42.195km), Ultra Half Marathon (29km) Website

Kinmen Marathon 金門馬拉松


Great Kinmen is the largest of a group of islands and islets collectively called the Kinmen Islands, situated just off the coast of mainland China, that are part of the Republic of China. Among its numerous tourist draws are old villages, fine beaches, and historic sites where you can learn about the island’s turbulent history. The annual Kinmen Marathon takes runners through a number of villages characterized by well-preserved old buildings constructed in the traditional style of the southern Fujian region in mainland China. Silent spectators along the road are the numerous brown cows and Wind God statues found in many spots on the island.

Wan Jin Shi Marathon 萬金石馬拉松


Despite the staggering number of long-distance runs organized each year in Taiwan, to date only this marathon has been recognized as a Silver Label race by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), meeting strict requirements pertaining to professional organization and international participation. As such, the marathon has joined the ranks of elite road races around the world, and attracts a significant number of top marathon runners from abroad each year. Date March, 2019 Location/Route Wanli & Jinshan districts, New Taipei City; Start/ Finish at Green Bay (Feicuiwan); turning point of Full Marathon in Shimen District Races Full Marathon (42.195km), Challenge Run (14km), Fun Run (7km) Website

Photo by Chinese Taipei Road Running Association

Photo by New Taipei City Government


Photos by Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area Administration



Date January, 2019 Location/Route Greater Kinmen; Start/Finish at National Quemoy University; the route of the Full Marathon is a loop following main roads through all four townships on the island. Races Full Marathon (42.195km), Half Marathon (21km), Road Run (11.2km), Health and Leisure Run (5km) Website No official website; search for info at www.eventpal. (Chinese).


Taroko Gorge Marathon 太魯閣馬拉松


If the Wulai Gorge Marathon can be described as scenic, the Taroko Gorge Marathon deserves to be called “ultra-scenic.” This visually spectacular natural wonder is one of the top tourist attractions in Taiwan. Running through the gorge will certainly be an experience you will remember for a lifetime. Date November Location/Route Taroko Gorge, Hualien County; Start/Finish at Taroko National Park Headquarters; turning point of Full Marathon at village of Tianxiang Races Full Marathon (42.195km), Half Marathon (21.0975), Tiny Marathon (12km), Mini Marathon (5km) Website

Taipei Marathon Tianzhong Marathon 田中馬拉松



If running past rice paddies and flower fields is something you might find enticing on your next marathon run, consider Tianzhong, a rural township in central Taiwan’s Changhua County. The course includes a section along a scenic bike path piercing through lush forest in the southern reaches of the Baguashan Mountain Range. Date November Location/Route Tianzhong Township, Changhua County; Start/Finish at Tianzhong Township Office; turning point of Full Marathon in Ershui Township Races Full Marathon (42.2km), Half Marathon (21.38km), Health Run (10.1km) Website


The Taipei Marathon, held in December, is a key highlight on the schedule of many a local long-distance runner. Each year it attracts thousands of athletes (apply early if you want to participate; slots are limited and demand is high). The marathon is well organized, and the male/female winners of the Full Marathon are rewarded with handsome prizes (NT$800,000 for winning the race; NT$1,800,000 for winning and breaking the course record in the process). Date December Location/Route Taipei City; Start/Finish at Taipei City Hall; the route goes through districts in central Taipei, following major roads Races Full Marathon (42.195km), Half Marathon (21.0975km) Website

Photos by Chinese Taipei Road Running Association

Photos by LDC Hotels & Resorts

Photos by Tianzhong Township

Info and Contacts For a comprehensive list of marathons and other running events in Taiwan, visit the aforementioned website Click on the entries to open the official websites for the respective events. For the bigger events, there is usually an English version. On the English website you'll find details for seven marathons in Taiwan; you can register directly via the site once "tickets" become available. A Chinese-language website which allows you to register online for events is


Duxing Village Cultural Park

Duxing 10th Village is located in Magong City, Penghu County. Composed of buildings preserved from the Japanese colonial era, it is Taiwan’s earliest military dependents’ village. The village combines history, scenery, Japanesestyle architecture, and the culture of a military dependents’ village with distinctive local characteristics. The park has an area of around 2,000 square meters and includes popular attractions such as Pan An-bang Museum, Zhang Yu-sheng Museum, a visitor center, Pavilion of Penghu Low Carbon Island, Fermentation Square, and Jinguitou Fortress. To make more active use of Duxing 10th Village, based on old-time military dependents’ village culture, the Penghu County Government has established 22 Alleys, a cultural and creative enterprise, combining travel, art, and accommodation, and a number of cultural and creative stores inside the park. Events such as Grass Movie Theater, in which nostalgic films from the past are shown, and creative markets are periodically held, making it a popular place to visit.

Duxing Village Cultural Park – A cultural-creative military dependents’ village and birthplace of a famous singer

Photo by Jiang Meng-hua of 22 Alleys

Discover One of the World’ Most Beautiful Bays –

Explore the Penghu Archipelago The Penghu archipelago is blessed with an abundance of culture and world-class geological landscape, ecology, bays, and stone weir fish traps. It was chosen by Lonely Planet as one of “the world's best secret islands” and is regarded as a new Asian tourist destination. In 2012, Penghu became a member of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World (MBBW) organization and will host the 14th Annual Meeting of MBBW September 27 ~ October 2, 2018. The event will be accompanied by the Most Beautiful Bay Carnival which will feature a series of splendid activities. Everyone is welcome to visit Penghu and take part in these grand events. Jinguitou Forest Cultural Park

Situated not far from downtown Magong City, the smoke of battle that once shrouded Jinguitou Fortress has long since dissipated. Completed in 1887, it was equipped with a formidable set of Armstrong cannon, one with a 7-inch, one with a 10-inch, and one with a 12-inch caliber. Together with the Eastern Fortress and Western Fortress on Xiyu Island, it was the most powerful fortress defending Penghu, giving it special historic value. The distinctive domed roofs of the barracks are an architectural feature unique to Penghu fortresses. Today, the surrounding wall, the bunkers, the cannon foundations, and the arch at the entrance are well preserved. The wall was built by laying local basalt rocks and fixing them together with concrete. The park has a historic air and, in particular, has a gentle and pleasing charm in the fading light of day; it is a great place from where to watch the sunset.

Jinguitou Forest Cultural Park – Enter one of Penghu’s most powerful fortresses


Underwater Mail Box

Underwater Mail Box – Take a trip to the sea bed and mail letters telling of your happy time in Penghu

Photo by Wu Cheng-fu

The design of this piece of installation art under the waves at southern Penghu’s Suogang was inspired by sea bed coral reefs. The aim was to provide a habitat for fish and help restore the marine ecology and, by doing so, it can also provide a distinctive tourism feature that will show visitors from all over the world the beauty of Penghu and market the wonderful diving locations it offers. When we can cast aside the stress of city life and enjoy a leisurely time at one of the most beautiful bays in the world, we are like the brightly-colored tropical fish that unhurriedly feast their eyes on the gorgeous colors of the coral reefs. On arriving at the only underwater mail box in Taiwan, when you put letters inside they are not just a few words of greeting, you are sharing your feeling of happiness and harmony with your distant friends and family. This underwater mail box allows visitors to actually post mail; it also serves as a manmade reef that is helping restore the giant clam and the coral reef. The Underwater Mail Box offers visitors a chance to enjoy the beautiful undersea world in a fun way while also helping protect the marine environment!

Penghu offers a wide range of fun activities for visitors. In recent years, sports tourism, including marathon, triathlon, round-island cycling, water-sports, has become popular; leisure sea fishing (marine ranch, night squid fishing, patrolling the stone fish traps, rock fishing etc.) can also be enjoyed, and the fresh catch made into tasty dishes are a treat for food lovers; these activities are very popular with overseas visitors. Everyone is welcome to visit Penghu and enjoy all it has to offer on land, sea, and in the air, watch the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and walk under the starry night sky. Penghu is ready to warmly welcome the 14th Annual Meeting of MBBW! Penghu Tour Website:

Aimen Beach

Aimen Beach – Stroll along a winding golden-sand beach

Located in Aimen Village, Huxi Township, near Penghu Airport, Aimen Beach is made up of coral, shell fragments, and microorganisms. It has highly distinctive star-shaped sand grains. The beach is connected to Lintou and Jianshan beaches. Against a backdrop of azure sea and blue sky, the scene formed by the fine white sandy beaches is as beautiful as a golden ribbon. There is also a piece of installation art on the theme of “love” (love in Chinese sounds like the ai in Aimen), “Love Gate,” which has helped make Aimen Beach synonymous with the romance and beauty of Penghu. Also, after having fun under the sun on the beach, Lintou Park, offering the shade of trees, pavilions and benches, is a good place to shelter from the sun and take a rest.



Farmer's Table


THE EARTH Farm-to-Table Dining in Taipei Text: Dana Ter Photos: Maggie Song

The term “farm-to-table” has chic connotations these days; yet unbeknown to many, Taipei’s numerous healthful-cuisine-oriented restaurants began espousing this ethos long before it became a culinary catchphrase.




Baked baby corn with quinoa

Dining in a countryside setting


or a chef seeking to open a farm-to-table restaurant serving dishes made with fresh local produce, Taiwan is a dream come true: high mountains, clean waters, and fertile soil. Taipei’s close proximity to farmland and ports makes it easy to transport the freshest meat, vegetables, and seafood to the city. Today, trendy finedining restaurants in the city such as RAW ( and Tairroir ( are drawing international media attention, re-fashioning the farm-to-table label and giving Taiwanese cuisine the recognition it deserves. Though the farm-to-table ethos has been around for a while, eateries opened and operated by part-time farmers and “green warriors” have swooped right under the radar for most travelers. Two such establishments are Farmer’s Table and I Love You Food Market. Though lacking the sleek, minimalist interiors, artful presentation, and English menus commonly found at the city’s high-end eateries, they more than make up for these “deficiencies” in food that is incredibly flavorful and “home-made.” While meals are not as costly as those at fine-dining establishments, prices are steeper than at a mom-and-pop eatery – an entrée is typically NT$300 to NT$700. But with this comes assurance of high quality control in the kitchens. Moreover, these eateries, where communal tables are the norm, generally cater to families, in keeping with a mission to impart healthful eating to the little ones. The result is a jovial atmosphere akin to extended-family gatherings – in other words, a truly Taiwanese experience. FARMER’S TABLE Farmer’s Table is, incongruously, in the basement of an unassuming office building near Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in downtown Taipei. Wandering in, it feels like discovering Narnia to me and my

Farmer’s Table ( 農人餐桌親子餐廳 ) B1, No. 51, Sec. 2, Chongqing S. Rd., Taipei City ( 台北市重慶南路二段 51 號 B1) (02) 2322-3716

dinner companions. The whir scooters quickly fades as patrons are welcomed with thoughtfully arranged potted plants and dried flowers set against a white-brick and dark-wood interior. Pots, pans, and other cooking utensils hanging on the walls recreate the experience of visiting a friend in a countryside setting. A transparent glass ceiling allows sunlight to seep in and diners to peek out at a small street-level garden. While waiting for their food, children can don red-striped aprons and busy themselves flipping toy pancakes and whisking eggs.

“The idea of parent-child restaurants has existed in Taiwan for a long time,” says restaurant manager Peggy Chang, referring to establishments that specifically cater to families with children. She attributes this to Taiwan’s familial culture and the habit of eating out. “We have done something a little different,” she explains. “Usually, these types of places are over-the-top cute, but we wanted to introduce healthful eating to children in a setting that adults could enjoy as well.” Farmer’s Table is one of many restaurants owned by Yuen Foong Yu, a biotech-enterprise group that uses scientific knowledge to improve farming and encourage green living. A few years ago the group entered the F&B industry by selling organic ready-made meals with online delivery, following up with the launch of the organic-grocery chain Green & Safe ( ; Chinese). Farmer’s Table diners can shop for groceries at a Green & Safe outlet next door.

“There’s high quality control,” says Chang, gesturing to the large selection of fish brought in from the waters around Penghu, an island group in the Taiwan Strait. “It’s good to see that parents are willing to spend a bit more to ensure that their children are eating right.” TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |33



In fact, most of the produce displayed in the grocery store and utilized in the restaurant kitchen is transported straight from farms each morning. Chang frequently visits the countryside, meeting with farmers and fishermen on pig farms in Changhua County, on chicken farms in Yunlin County, and in fishing villages on the Northeast Coast and on the Penghu Islands. She especially enjoys visiting Fengyuan Farm in Nan’ao, a coastal township in southern Yilan County that is hugged by mountains.

“I feel invigorated and relaxed once I see the mountains,” she says. “It’s a feeling we hope to translate to patrons at the restaurant.” I sit down with my group of travel friends at a brightly lit table and pick up an illustrated menu. A family of five is depicted on the cover, including grandparents, parents, and a little boy, everyone with smiling, cherubic faces eating dinner together. Illustrations of happy farmers and animals by artist Chen Chu-li are displayed throughout the restaurant. The menu is seasonal. We order steamed eggs with sweet corn and baked baby corn with quinoa as starters (starters cost around NT$90). The steamed eggs have a silken texture and a mildly sweet taste. The baby corn reminds me of something home-cooked, though the quinoa adds a touch of sophistication. There is a surprising amount of crunch, making it exceedingly refreshing. Main courses cost NT$320 to NT$450. I immediately fall in love with the fried pork chops with garlic mushroom sauce. The meat is chewy and peppery, with tiny chopped-up pieces of garlic giving it much zest. The accompanying broccoli is beautifully grilled, not too charred, while the potato wedges are soft inside and crispy outside. We also split a beef burger. The patty is soft and melts in the mouth while the bun is pleasantly light. Who knew a burger could taste so healthful? Just as I finish my last potato wedge, a family occupies the table next to ours. As the grandfather talks to his grandson, I notice how they resemble the family on the menu. Chang catches me watching, and chuckles.

“This is exactly the type of crowd we attract,” she says.

I LOVE YOU FOOD MARKET / BUFFALO BOOKS Located on a quiet street opposite a small park near MRT Daan Station, the organic farm-to-table restaurant I Love You Food Market attracts a crowd similar to that found at Farmer’s Table. Children gather in the firstfloor bookstore to quietly read books while adults chat in the dining area, enjoying spare ribs and red wine. The restaurant is owned by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politician Luo Wen-jia who served as former President Chen Shui-bian’s assistant. Luo, who is from the rural area of Taoyuan City, has always been passionate about farming and literature. In 2012, after retiring from politics, he bought the extant Buffalo Books outlet and restocked it with books about topics that interested him, including agriculture, philosophy, and cross-strait relations. Since the purchase, Luo has held a farmer’s market outside the bookstore on weekends, selling organic vegetables cultivated on his Taoyuan farm. The market eventually became so popular that he decided to expand the bookstore by adding a restaurant.

“It’s hard to separate the bookstore and the restaurant,” head chef Su Yan-zhang explains. “It’s the same concept,” he says, referring to nourishment of both mind and body.

I Love You Food Market



Inside the establishment, crates of onions, broccoli, tomatoes, and various herbs and roots transported from farms around Taiwan are displayed prominently for sale next to bookshelves that contain illustrated children’s novels and textbooks about politics and philosphy. The dining space is separated into two areas – a spacious area at the back of the bookstore and a cozy second-floor space furnished with colorful plush sofas and


Dining with books

I Love You Food Market meal

cheerful paintings. Wide windows present an unfettered view of the neighboring park and people walking their dogs.

“Luo is a romantic guy,” Su jokes. “That’s why he named the restaurant ‘Wo ai ni’ (I love you). He thinks ‘I love you’ is not expressed enough by people these days.” The characters xue tian (lit. “learning fields”) follow wo ai ni in the full Chinese name of the bookstore/market/restaurant. This is a reference to Chinese imperial-era academies funded through land grants. Luo wants to give back to the community, and hosts regular book readings, English and music lessons, and other events for children. Head chef Su, who trained in Paris, has been with Luo since the inception of the business and has seen the bookstore and restaurant grow into a thriving neighborhood hub. “There’s been a global shift away from mass production and big-chain restaurants towards enterprises that are small-scale artisanal and community-focused,” Su says. “We’re glad to be a part of the latter.” Dishes start arriving in succession: a basket of bistro-style French fries cooked with duck-fat cooking oil, a bowl of colorful seasonal grilled vegetables, and a gigantic glistening fried squid soaked in lemon sauce topped with shallots and coriander (entrées range from NT$300-NT$900).

Su explains that the supersized portions and simple presentation replicate the experience of dining at home. “At home, people pass around big bowls of food and just dig in,” he says. “It’s loud, it’s messy, it’s wonderful.”

I Love You Food Market ( 我愛你學田市集 ) No. 2, Ln. 222, Rui’an St., Taipei City ( 台北市大安區瑞安街 222 巷 2 號 ) (02) 2707-7003

I tuck into the grilled vegetables, a crunchy and refreshing assortment of sweet potato, water bamboo, loofah, pumpkin, carrot, and other Taiwan-sourced goodies cooked in white truffle oil and topped with coriander. The taste of the vegetables is “earthy” – pleasing, as if just plucked from the ground. The nuttiness in the white truffle oil is strongly discernable, and adds nuance to the flavor. The fries, which are light, crisp, and covered in garlic and parsley, are the perfect complement to the vegetables. My favorite dish is the squid, which is nicely charred and chewy, the lemon sauce adding a buttery smoothness. After mopping up every remnant of the delectable lemon sauce and finishing my meal, I randomly pick a Chinese-language book from one of the bookshelves. It turns out to be about Taiwan’s future. A former politician running a bookstore-turned-restaurant. A biotech company selling organic foods. While such pairings might seem puzzling, they nevertheless make for interesting – and the most palatable – dining experiences championing the notion of farm to table.

English and Chinese Buffalo Books 水牛文化事業 Chen Chu-li 陳姝里 Fengyuan Farm 豐園農場 Luo Wen-jia 羅文嘉 Nan’ao 南澳

Peggy Chang 張珮綺 Penghu Islands 澎湖群島 Su Yan-zhang 蘇彥彰 Yuen Foong Yu 永豐餘


The Scent of

Tea and Trade Dadaocheng, a Fascinating Neighborhood of Many Identities Text: Han Cheung Photos: Maggie Song, Nick Chiu

Wandering through the streets and alleys of the old Dadaocheng area in Taipei City, you will be presented with a rich mix of East and West, history and the future, tradition and modernity. At its heart is narrow Dihua Street, lined with beautifully restored shophouses occupied by long-established businesses and recently opened cultural-creative enterprises.

Dihua Street


ASW Tea House


aipei City’s Dihua Street is the kind of place where it seems perfectly reasonable to come across an Englishstyle teahouse that serves Taiwanese tea in a 100-year-old building that once housed Taiwan’s first Western-style drugstore, named A.S. Watson and Co. With traditional shops selling dried goods and herbal medicines existing alongside chic cafés and mini art galleries i n wel l-pre se r ve d or re con st r uct e d southern Fujian, Baroque revival, and early Modernist buildings, the atmospheric street’s many identities provide for a whole day of exploration (and shopping). Don’t underestimate it for being only about 800 meters long – the buildings are narrow yet deep, often with a courtyard toward their middle that divides them into two sections. All About Tea Start the day with breakfast at ASW Tea House, which preserves the original drugstore’s initials in its name. Back in 1917 Taiwan was ruled by the Japanese, who often utilized Baroque revival and other Western architectural elements in the design of buildings – reflected in this building’s Modernist gray exterior and wood-frame windows. It’s not completely foreign in look, however – Asian-style decorations also adorn the façade. Dihua Street rose to prominence in the latter part of the 19 th century as a major commercial throughway in the bustling Dadaocheng river-port community, where one of the major industries was tea exporting. Many businessmen made their fortunes here, including Lee Chun-chi, who opened the A.S. Watson & Co. drugstore as a franchise of the Hong Kongbased parent company.

Sin Hong Choon tea museum ASW Tea House 2F, No. 34, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區迪化街一段 34 號 2 樓 ) (02) 2555-9913

There was once a sizable Western population in Dadaocheng – historical sources show that there were five British trading firms here by 1872. The menu at ASW Tea House reflects this heritage with classic Western culinary items like scones, madeleines, and pate de fruit – but don’t expect to be washing these down with Earl Grey. Except for the Ceylon BOP, which is a mixture of Sri Lankan and Taiwanese leaf, every option on the menu is locally grown. And so are most of the ingredients used in the food – including the dried pineapple in the scones, the fruit juice in the pate de fruit, the black sesame in the madeleines. A couple of sandwich selections feature ingredients sourced directly from Dihua Street businesses, such as an apple, cheese, and olive oil creation featuring mullet roe from Li Ly Sun, a long-established seafood and driedgoods store just down the street.

“Our ‘skin’ is Western, but our ‘bones’ are Taiwanese,” says teahouse coowner Su Yi-han. “Our concept is aligned with the historical influences of this building and this area. This was a place where the East and the West combined.” Even though Dadaocheng’s glory days were very much rooted in tea, says Su, the culture of

Sin Hong Choon ( 新芳春行 ) No. 309, Minsheng W. Rd., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區民生西路 309 號 ) 0923-613-316

sitting down and enjoying a cup of tea has been lost to coffee, especially among young people.

“Taiwanese loose-leaf tea can be steeped many times, it has a sweet aftertaste, and it is not bitter or astringent. But we packaged local teas in the manner of an English teahouse as a way to reach out to the younger crowd,” Su says. To learn more about Dadaocheng’s tea trade, walk from the teahouse to the Sin Hong Choon tea museum on Minsheng West Road, which is in a building that once housed the area’s largest tea-processing workshop. Built in 1934, the building features a mix of Taiwanese and Western design elements, with terrazzo stairs and red-brick walls highlighting a quaint interior that was featured in the 2016 Taiwanese TV period drama series La Grande Chaumière Violette, which told the story of the son of a wealthy tea merchant. The original owners, the Wang family, moved to Taiwan from mainland China in the 1910s. The building was their base for the export of tea to Southeast Asia. The museum provides a fascinating look into the tea trade of that time, and visitors get to see old teaprocessing machines as well as the family’s living quarters.





A Design & Life Project A Design & Life Project No. 279, Nanjing W. Rd., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區南京西路 279 號 ) (02) 2555-9908 (Chinese)

Many Faces of Nostalgia Those who like vintage American and industrial-style design items (think cast-iron door handles, old-fashioned keys, gold-leaf lettering) can visit A Design & Life Project, located on Nanjing West Road, which is stocked to the brim with all sorts of knickknacks. Note that not all of the items are in fact antiques – many of the old-looking products on display are new redesigns created by the store. This concept, in a way, fits in with the new Dadaocheng ethos of putting modern businesses in old buildings. The for tunes of Dihua Street and Dadaocheng as a whole started fading in the 1970s when Taipei’s commercial center shifted eastward. A government plan developed in the late 1970s to widen Dihua Street was shelved, in the face of heritage-preservation protests, in 1988. However, the establishment of the Taipei Lunar New Year Festival’s traditional New Year goods market in 1996 drew public attention back to the street, a heritage/renovation plan for Dadaocheng was finalized in 1998, and soon cultural-creative entrepreneurs were reinventing the old buildings, using the unique structures in interesting ways. Ama Museum



Earthing Way ( 地衣荒物 ) No. 34, Minle St., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區民樂街 34 號 ) (02) 2550-2270 (Chinese)

For another dose of local-flavor nostalgia, mosey on to Earthing Way, which features “aramono” from local craftsmen. Aramono is a Japanese term that refers to simple, austere tools and utensils most often made from natural materials, such as bamboo baskets, wooden spoons, and ceramic bowls. Although museum207 is housed in a relatively new structure built in 1962, at the corner of Dihua Street and a charming lane, it still carries a vintage air with its faux-brick and sombre-red-wood facade. The exhibits inside are focused on Taiwanese traditions such as on the art of terrazzo flooring in the past, and the current show on the complex art of Taiwanese gift-giving, with items from mirrors with auspicious messages to lucky red envelopes on display. Perhaps the most enjoyable space at this facility, however, is the roof, from where you can take in a stunning panorama of the neighborhood and beyond. To this point we have celebrated Taipei’s glory days in Dihua Street and Dadaocheng. However, the darker moments of local history should not be forgotten. Run by the Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation, the Ama Museum was opened in December 2016 to tell the story of the estimated 2,000 Taiwanese “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II. Though the foundation has

museum207 ( 迪化 207 博物館 ) No. 207, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist. Taipei City ( 台北市大同區迪化街一段 207 號 ) (02) 2557-3680 Ama Museum ( 阿嬤家 ) No. 256, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區迪化街一段 256 號 ) (02) 2553-7133 (Chinese)

worked closely with survivors since the early 1990s, it has only been able to track down 59. In the front area is a café where support and training for survivors of domestic violence is provided. The exhibit area begins with a corridor that leads to the back section of the building, where among other things the visitor encounters the smiling faces of comfort women participating in different activities in their old age.

“Everyone hears about comfort women, and immediately thinks about war and sexual violence; but that was just a limited period in these women’s lives,” says exhibition and education manager Cheng Ching-chin. “They also faced a lifetime of discrimination once they returned home. We want to show the resilience of these elderly women as survivors, and show the sides to them that people wouldn’t usually see.” While the museum does not shy away from the horror of what happened during wartime, and the ongoing battle seeking official admission of wrongdoing by the Japanese, its mission is symbolized in a long and winding handrail seen at all times when visiting the exhibition. Says Cheng: “We want everyone to be able to support the women – walk with them while learning about their lives.”


The rice selection has been expanded to 10 Taiwanese grains, including red sticky rice and black rice sourced directly from an indigenous village as well as the popular Taiken No. 9 Premium. Since people don’t cook in quantity so much these days, the rice is sold in small packets to preserve freshness. The other food items are all local and/or eco-friendly, or produced using unique methods. There’s curry sauce made with ingredients sourced from Hualien County, chili oil from a 70-year-old shop, and dried mushrooms grown using zero-waste methods. And, of course, there

an W. R


Yehjinfa Rice Mill Ama Museum

Liangzhou St.


Yanping N. Rd.

“Just like freshly ground coffee, freshly milled rice is the most fragrant,” says owner Soren Yeh.

Earthing Way

Yeh tries to source most of the ingredients directly from the surrounding region as well. With hearty items like squid and sea snail garlic soup, and steamed chicken-and-pork meatball with mackerel fillet, a URS329 visit is a great way to conclude a fruitful day of exploration. This is just the tip of the iceberg as to what Dihua Street and Dadaocheng have to offer – we haven’t even mentioned Dihua Street’s famous Xiahai City God Temple (tpecitygod. org; Chinese), built in the 1850s, where locals and tourists alike visit to pray for luck in love, or the newly opened Taiwan Cooking 101 School (; Chinese). With new businesses constantly opening up in this area, Dihua Street is definitely a place that deserves multiple visits, if you have the time.



Dihua St.

Rice is also the main character at URS329, located toward the north end of Dihua Street. This restaurant serves a selection of culturally representative dishes that complement rice, and mills its grains inhouse with a miniature machine.


Huanhe N. Rd.

“Rice is still the protagonist here,” says marketing and communication associate Candice Chang. “But since people’s shopping habits have changed, we have also added foodstuffs and other items that make people think of eating rice.”

are bowls, dishes, steamers, and other kitchen items that revolve around rice.

Xiaohai City God Temple

Sec. 2, Chongqing N. Rd.

Rice Is the Main Act While many original shop owners have moved on, Yehjinfa Rice Mill is still owned by the Yeh family, though at one point they stopped doing business for many years. In 2016 the business was reopened as a boutique rice/grocery/ daily-use item shop with an interior featuring minimalistic, free-standing wooden trusses and with wooden boxes used as display shelves. The sleek and non-intrusive design is completely detached from the main structure, which for the most part remains as it was back in the day.

Sin Hong Choon Minsheng W. Rd.

ASW Tea House Nanjing W. Rd.

A Design & Life Project Chang'an W. Rd.

Beimen Taiwan

English and Chinese Candice Chang 張寧恬 Cheng Ching-chin 鄭靚勤 Dadaocheng 大稻埕 Dihua Street 迪化街 La Grande Chaumière Violette 紫色大稻埕 Lee Chun-chi 李俊啟 Li Ly Sun 李日勝 Soren Yeh 葉守倫 Su Yi-han 蘇伊涵 Taiken No. 9 Premium 台梗九號 Taipei Women's Rescue Foundation 婦女救援基金會 Taiwan Cooking 101 School 台灣料理研習所 Xiahai City God Temple 霞海城隍廟 Yehjinfa Rice Mill ( 米日一里葉晋發本厝 ) No. 296, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區迪化街一段 296 號 ) (02) 2550-5567 URS329 ( 稻舍 URS329) No. 329, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City ( 台北市大同區迪化街一段 329 號 ) (02) 2550-6607 (Chinese)

Yehjinfa Rice Mill




w o N

A R O D ING B at Wai’ao Beach



Surfing on the Northeast Coast

First-Time Surfing Experience on the Northeast Coast Text: Joe Henley Photos: Maggie Song

Taiwan as a surfing destination used to be a well-kept secret, known only to intrepid explorers of waves worldwide. This has changed significantly in recent years, however, and surfing beaches around the island have become hotspots attracting surfers from near and far. Among the hottest is at Wai’ao in Yilan County, a conveniently reached spot that is ideal for novice surfers.


hen travelers think of surfing in East Asia it is the wave-riding hotspot of Bali, where everyone from beginner to surfing professional can enjoy the famed breaks at beaches like Kuta, Dreamland, and Medewi, that most likely comes to mind. While Taiwan does not have the sheer number of surf spots nor the imposing waves of that Southeast Asian haven, the breaks this island does possess, especially those along its eastern shores all the way down to the far south, are slowly making a name for themselves among surfers around the world.




Surfing in Taiwan One popular location is Donghe Township in Taitung County. This laidback southeastern locale has excellent waves along its breaks. The waves at Jinzun Fishing Harbor – a 20-minute drive north of the tourist-popular village of Dulan – are said to be the best in the area. Jinzun is venue for the annual Taiwan Open of Surfing (, and the World Longboard Championship was staged there in 2017 as well, both events attracting top surfers from Taiwan and abroad. Jinzun will again be venue for the championship in 2018. Close to the island’s southern tip, on the east side of Hengchun Peninsula, surfers in the know head for Jialeshui. There is a small collection of surf shops and accommodations in the village of Gangkou (also called Chashan), not far from the surf beach. Not known for being the most picturesque, the beach is a welcome out-of-the-way-spot for those who want to enjoy the sun and the waves free of the hustle and crowds encountered at more popular spots further south in Kenting National Park, which takes up a good portion of the peninsula. While Jinzun and Jialeshui are great options for surfers who want to test the Taiwan waters, they are not the easiest to get to if your base is Taipei. Jialeshui, for example, is in one of the most remote areas along the coastline of mainland Taiwan, and getting there without your own means of transport can be a hassle. Luckily, there are many surfing spots that can be reached from the capital far more easily, the most popular of which is Wai'ao Beach, located just to the north of Wushi Harbor in Toucheng Township on the Northeast Coast. It’s a 1-hour drive from Taipei (via National Freeway 5) or a 2-hour train ride on a Local Train (the only train type that stops at Wai’ao Railway Station). The Northeast Coast is known for its varied coastal landscapes. If you are not in a hurry to get to the beach, instead of taking the freeway, the drive along coastal Provincial Highway 2 from the harbor city of Keelung is highly recommended. You take in a breathtaking array of dramatic cliff faces and high-mountain slopes carpeted with tall silvergrass. There are beaches too, most notably Fulong Beach, a fine-golden-sand section of coast that each summer is venue for the Fulong Sand Sculpting Art Festival and the Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival. If you take the train from Taipei to Wai’ao you won’t be able to see the cliff faces, but you’ll get close to the coast at Fulong (from the station, it’s a short walk to the beach), and after passing through a long tunnel you’ll have the ocean in full view almost all the way until you reach Wai’ao.

Heading to Wai'ao Beach



The beach at Wai’ao is quite different from the one at Fulong; it has dark, almost black, sand, and the waves are much more suitable for surfing. In recent years it has become a popular spot for surfers for a number of reasons. For starters, the water area close to the harbor is “surfers only.” Though people are free to play in the fine sand and lounge under a sun umbrella, anyone going into the water had better have a board under their arm. Swimming is prohibited here, to keep the rolling surf open for wave riders and avoid board/swimmer collisions. It is permitted north of the surfing area, however. Another reason why surfers, both locals and foreigners, are drawn to Wai'ao is the welcoming and friendly atmosphere of the place. Though it can get crowded, especially during summer weekends and holidays, Wai'ao – and surf spots in general around Taiwan, save the “secret” spots you won't hear about – lack the “locals only” mentality that is prevalent in so many other surfing locales in Southeast Asia. So long as you behave respectfully while on the water, don't drop in on anyone's line, and don't cut the queue, there will be no hassle from the local surfers who come to the beach daily to catch their waves.

First-Time Surfing Not long ago, my own first-time surfing experience was launched at Surffella, a combination surf shop, surf school, and board-rental facility located on the narrow side road fronting Wai'ao Beach, which is lined with a cluster of surf shops and small eateries. It was an unseasonably warm day in early February, temperatures in the mid-twenties Celsius. I was introduced to my coach, 18-year-old Kevin Han, a mature and well-spoken local pro surfer and the son of Surffella's owner, who set up the shop back in 2007. I was given a wetsuit and a long beginner's board (which is easier to balance on), and we headed down to the beach, dark clouds rolling in over the coastal mountains. A few meters from where the waves rolled onto the sand, my lesson began. Kevin imparted to me some of the wisdom he's accrued over his seven years of surfing waves up and down Taiwan's east coast and abroad in Bali. We began with the basics: an intro to the various parts of the board, from the nose to the tail, to the fins, and to the leash. Then we moved on to how to paddle out with your body centered on the board, toes flush with the tail, doing a dry run on the sand.

Dry run on the beach


Surffella ( 蕃薯衝浪俱樂部 ) No. 92-9, Gangkou Rd., Toucheng Township, Yilan County ( 宜蘭縣頭城鎮港口路 92-9 號 ) 0955-311-719 (Chinese)

Enjoying those few seconds upright

After this, while still on land I was shown the proper way to push myself up into a standing position with board pointed toward the beach, knees bent to create a low center of gravity and arms up over my head to avoid that “rolling down the windows” motion that almost always precedes a wipeout. This was practiced a few times, going through the motions from paddling to catching a wave to standing up, correction provided by Kevin at every step when needed. Thereupon, satisfied with my progress, my teacher motioned toward the sea and the gentle waves rolling in within an area demarcated by buoy lines (the beginners' area), away from the higher waves to our right reserved for more experienced surfers. As we waded slowly in, the water felt cool at first, but soon the chilly sensation turned into one of comfort and calm. We went out to a spot where the water reached our waistlines, then pointed the board back toward the shore. Kevin stood before me, looking seaward, watching the waves. Then he gave me the sign. “Paddle, paddle, paddle,” he instructed. I applied his teachings, getting in a few strokes before he called out, “OK, stand up!” I stood, but too high, legs straight rather than bent, and fell ingloriously into the water with a large splash and an unquiet yelp. After I resurfaced Kevin pointed out my mistakes, and on my second run I was able to stand, catch, and ride a wave for a few seconds, ending in the shallows just before the beach. My runs thereafter were a mix of euphoric successes and dismal failures, but as the end of our two-hour lesson neared I was already able to stand and ride the waves consistently – owing more to Kevin's skill as an instructor than to any inborn talent I might possess. Every time I was able to get up on the board and enjoy those few seconds upright, riding a wave, it was pure bliss – a feeling of tranquility normally associated with the endorphin rush at the end of a long run or a particularly intense workout. Perhaps this was the surfer's high I had often read about, but never experienced. Until now. After our lesson, Kevin and I sat down for a chat at one of the picnic tables set up outside Surffella. Dogs belonging to owners and staff from

the various shops lazed in the sunshine, traffic both vehicular and human sparse on this early weekday afternoon. “Wai'ao is perfect for novice surfers, due to a number of factors,” said Kevin, explaining that “It's much safer for beginners, because it's a sand beach,” alluding to the inherent dangers of getting injured on an outcropping of rock or reef. “At Kending, for example, there are reefs, and the water is much deeper – you can't reach the bottom. “The crowds at Wai'ao are smaller during the winter,” he continued, “with only the more serious surfers coming out during the cooler months for the tall waves driven by distant monsoon winds.” Things start to pick up around Wai'ao in March or April. When the weather gets warmer, the waves are among the most consistent around Taiwan, now blown by the strong breezes of the typhoon season. Kevin admits that during the winter Taitung County is the place to be, save for the fact that the waters there are significantly deeper and a degree more dangerous. It is also generally far less crowded there, no matter the time of year. “During the busy season, we might rent out a hundred boards a day,” he says of the rush Wai'ao can experience, “so it can get crowded in the water; but the weekdays aren't as bad.”

Practicalities A two-hour Surffella lesson costs NT$1,500, the fee for a full-day board rental included. If you just want to rent the board, it's NT$500 for the day, from sunrise to sunset. If traveling by public transport, Surffella offers free pickup from either Wai'ao Railway Station or the bus stop at nearby Wushi Harbor, as long as you rent at least two boards or book at least one surf lesson. Call at least a day in advance to make a booking. Although there is no English version of Surffella's website, the coaches are able to provide instructions in English. English and Chinese Chashan 茶山 Donghe Township 東河鄉 Dulan 都蘭 Fulong 福隆 Gangkou 港口 Jialeshui 佳樂水

Jinzun Fishing Harbor 金樽漁港 Kenting National Park 墾丁國家公園 Toucheng Township 頭城鎮 Wai'ao Beach 外澳沙灘 Wushi Harbor 烏石港


PIER3 & DISCOVERY HOTEL Stunning new landmarks, perfect places to start a rewarding tour of Penghu! Two new tourism landmarks of Penghu, Pier3 & Discovery Hotel, just soft opened in February 2018. Located just 15 minutes by car from Magong Airport, they offer easy access to Penghu Ocean Geological Center, Aimen Beach, and other natural attractions. Combining a shopping mall packed with a wide variety of products and a beautifully-designed hotel, Pier3 & Discovery Hotel are the perfect places to begin a splendid tour of Penghu!

Pier3 – One-stop eating, drinking, entertainment, and shopping Penghu’s largest shopping mall, Pier3 is located next to South Sea Visitor Center, opposite Magong No. 3 Fishing Harbor and offers expansive views of the harbor. As well as imported fine goods, perfume, cosmetics, drugs and makeup products, and leisure clothing brands, in cooperation with local businesses, commemorative gifts with local character are also sold, such as peanut cookies in local mascot Cactus Baby packaging. Pier3 also has the popular telephone box KTV and Taiwan’s largest indoor physical-challenge space Go Star Challenge where an aerial walkway, the only AR rock climbing facility in Taiwan, which was exclusively introduced from Europe, American Ninja Train, and fun climbing extreme sport attractions can be enjoyed; the different entertainment needs of visitors to Penghu are met here. The mall also houses an in89 Digital Cinemax which is equipped with FERCO seats, the UK’s leading cinema seat

brand. It also has the first BoomBoom children’s theater in Taiwan, where children can drive a mini sports car to the theater and can roll around on artificial turf while watching a film. In89 Digital Cinemax also has special seats for lovers, beanbags, and other seat options so that viewers can watch a film in the relaxed position of their choice. On the second floor of the mall, Whiskey 101 is the first largescale whiskey experience hall in Taiwan, displaying various major whiskey brands from Taiwan and overseas. Here, visitors can learn all about the whiskey production process and appreciate its unique charm without having to go all the way to Scotland. Distilling equipment shipped from Scotland is one display, bourbon barrel, sherry barrel, and peat whiskey flavors can be smelled, and various rare whiskeys can be seen. In addition, in cooperation with Taiwan’s Kavalan Whiskey, various free-entry events are periodically held.


Discovery Hotel – Faithfully reproducing the local charm of Penghu The 236-guestroom Discovery Hotel is a design hotel that features local elements such as Penghu’s unique ecology and geological landscape and merges in local cultural characteristics including fish, sailing boats, waves, and firewheels. The name Discovery Hotel conveys the idea that guests will be able to explore the beauty of Penghu and appreciate its island and ocean charm. The materials used in the building of the hotel are environmentally friendly and cleaning products that have relatively low impact on the environment are used throughout, showing the importance attached to sustainable tourism. Room types include family and villa rooms; from the rooms that face the harbor you can enjoy a beautiful sea view, the rooms that face Guanyin Temple have an unrivaled view of the fireworks show when the Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival is held. The Full Day Restaurant on the second floor is also characterful, the decoration based on the commonly seen local plant White Popinac, and even the seats have a dock pattern. Local produce, with the excellent local seafood center stage, is served up Chaozhou and Cantonese style.

The hotel and shopping center also take care of a surrounding green space of roughly 9,000 square meters. This multi-use leisure and entertainment space is open to visitors and is also the venue for various outdoor events such as Grass Music Festival and Star Movie Theater.

Profond Pier3 Duty Free Complex ( 澎坊 3 號港購物廣場 ) Add: No. 158, Tonghe Rd., Magong City, Penghu County ( 澎湖縣馬公市同和路 158 號 ) Tel: (06) 923-5888 Website: Discovery Hotel ( 澎澄飯店 ) Add: No. 168, Tonghe Rd., Magong City, Penghu County ( 澎湖縣馬公市同和路 168 號 ) Tel: (06) 923-5678 Website:



LET’S TAKE IT SLOW Strolling, Biking, and Sitting Back in Fenglin, Taiwan’s First “Slow City” Text: Francesca Chang Photos: Maggie Song

If you are curious about the meaning of terms like “slow living,” “slow food,” and “slow cities,” consider heading to a place in Taiwan where the pace of life is the opposite of fast, the township of Fenglin in Hualien County.





englin, literally “Phoenix Forest,” is a township in eastern Taiwan’s Hualien County. The area, according to legend called “maliwu” by the people of the region’s indigenous Amis tribe, got its current Chinese name from arriving settlers in the mid-1800s, who discovered mulan magnolia trees in the thick forest that covered the terrain at the time. The flowers of this tree resemble a Chinese phoenix spreading its wings.

Today a quaint rural township with a rich history, Fenglin was the first place in Taiwan to be recognized as a “Slow City” by Cittaslow International (, an Italy-based association that promotes a slow-paced lifestyle and provides incentives encouraging food production with natural, eco-friendly techniques. The focus is on

environmental conservation, sustainable development, and improvement of living environments. In order to obtain the status of a “Slow City,” a municipality must agree to follow the guidelines of the “Slow Food” movement and strive to protect and preserve the local environment and culture. On a short stroll down one of the main roads in central Fenglin, it is easy to see why the small township – with a population of less than 11,000 – would turn naturally to promotion of a slow lifestyle. It has fresh air, friendly people, a pristine environment, and excellent locally produced foods. On a recent trip to eastern Taiwan, I had the chance to venture into this relaxed rural area, meeting locals, learning about the township’s history and culture, and eating its “slow food.”

Bicycling in Fenglin




Hakka Cultural Museum

Tobacco-drying shed Hakka Cultural Museum ( 客家文物館 ) No. 124, Guanghua Rd., Fenglin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣鳳林鎮光華路 124 號 ) (03) 876-2771

HAKKA ORIGINS After arriving at Fenglin Railway Station, I first headed to the Hakka Cultural Museum. The Hakka people are a subgroup of the Han Chinese, with origins traced back to northern China. During the Chinese imperial era, due to social unrest, upheavals, and invasions, the Hakka were forced on southward migrations several times, with many eventually settling in the southeastern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian. In the late Ming and early Qing dynasties significant numbers from this region made the journey across the Taiwan Strait to settle in Taiwan. Today, the Hakka are the second-largest ethnic group in Taiwan, mainly distributed in the Taoyuan/Hsinchu/Miaoli region in northwestern Taiwan, the Liudui area in the southwestern Kaohsiung/Pingtung region, and the East Rift Valley, including Fenglin, in eastern Taiwan. Fenglin is in fact the oldest Hakka area of settlement in Hualien; 60% of the township’s residents are Hakka, comprising the largest concentration of this ethic group in eastern Taiwan. I was greeted by the museum’s sole tour guide, a local retired school principal, a Hakka who traces his ancestry back to Guangdong. A 75-year-old man who doesn’t look a day over 50, he attributes his good health to the clean air, healthy lifestyle, and slow pace of living in Fenglin. After welcoming me, he gave me a detailed history lesson and tour of the museum. In 1910, during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, the Japanese government began offering monetary incentives to Hakka people living in the northwest, encouraging them to settle on uncultivated land in today’s Hualien County. This led to many Hakka from today’s Hsinchu and Miaoli counties making their way, on foot, to the open lands in the east, spending up to half a month migrating to their new home turf. In 1917, the Japanese government discovered that tobacco could be cultivated in Hualien soil, giving a boost to the development of Fenglin and neighboring districts. The new settlements that had been established before this were slowly becoming prosperous, attracting even more Hakka migrants from other parts of the island, who arrived with the hope of producing tobacco and selling it at good profit to the government. In today’s Fenglin one can still see old tobacco-drying sheds, Japanese-style houses, an old police building, and an old school – all remains from the colonial era. 48


LOCAL ART After thanking my generous museum guide for a highly educational tour, I walked next door to a fabric-dyeing shop named Feng Colorful. The shop is run by a team of women who use natural ingredients and traditional methods to dye fabric and create clothing, purses, stuffed animals, and various knick-knacks. These creations are recognized as local products by the Cittaslow organization. A “work for fun” attitude is promoted at the enterprise, and workshops where you can learn fabric dyeing are held for locals and tourists alike. Walking into the shop, I was greeted by colorful silk scarves and purses hanging from the ceiling. The women were tending to their respective sewing projects, and I was introduced to Wendy, an Englishspeaking woman from Hong Kong who had left that bustling metropolis to live in the “slow city” of Fenglin with her husband and in-laws. She guided me through the process of dyeing a handkerchief, teaching me about the local ingredients employed in making the dye we were using (onion skins, herbs, and tree leaves) and instructing me on how to tie the cloth with rubber bands, strings, and chopsticks to create my desired design pattern. After I had properly tied my handkerchief I was brought outside, where the shop’s “Ah-ma” (granny) assisted me with the dyeing process, dunking the cloth repeatedly in the hot, colored liquid. Since the dyeing takes up to half an hour, after a spell she recommended that I take a break and have lunch while she finished up for me.

Feng Colorful

Fabric dyeing Feng Colorful ( 花手巾植物染工坊 ) No. 164, Zhonghua Rd., Fenglin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣鳳林鎮中華路 164 號 ) (03) 876-0905

ngz he

Fragrant Grass and the Old Tree Rd.


Tobacco-drying shed

Xiny i

Fen glin

ng R d.

Feng Colorful

GOOD FOOD So I took a break. I walked to a place two blocks away, Fragrant Grass and the Old Tree, an old tobacco-drying-shed complex transformed into a restaurant and B&B (homestay). The name of the business is in part derived from a hundred-year-old tree on the grounds. Farmland plots are in view across the street – in adherence with Slow Food guidelines, natural farming techniques are promoted in Fenglin, and local food producers supported. Fenglin farmers have been encouraged by local non-farming families to grow rice and other items without the use of chemicals, and to not use GMOs. Th e consumers then buy the produce, such as peanuts, soybeans, and peeled chili peppers, directly from the farmers, providing them with a stable income. At the Fragrant Grass and the Old Tree restaurant, locally sourced ingredients are the focus and authentic and delicious Hakka cuisine is served, including braised pork hock, fresh ferns – grown directly on mountaintops not far away – and hot soup with pork, bamboo shoots, and seaweed, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. The staff at the restaurant was very warm and friendly, and it almost felt as if I was part of their family. GETTING AROUND After my stomach (and soul) was fed, I decided to explore more of Fenglin – the local way. The local residents make an active effort to reduce carbon emissions. Instead of driving cars, most ride bicycles or walk to get to their desired destinations. I walked back to Feng Colorful, rented one of their bikes (NT$100), and started off on a short bike ride, taking my time and stopping to enjoy the surrounding environment.’ I rode past the beautiful greenery and roadside fields pervasive in this slow township, passing local farms, the remains of tobacco-drying sheds, and the old police station building. It felt as if I had entered a different world, with a stillness and tranquility rarely found in modern cities. Back at Feng Colorful, I returned the bicycle and picked up my DIY handkerchief. As I was leaving, I smiled upon spotting a group of seniors contentedly playing mahjong in the park next door, beneath an awning adorned with long, thick tree leaves. On the walk back to the railway station I stopped at a well-known stinky tofu stand for a snack of smelly beancurd cooked with garlic chives and accompanied by pungent kimchi. I ended my time in Fenglin with a “sweet goodbye,” stopping for dessert at Ming Xin Ice and Fruit Shop, where for 50 years the owners have been serving “three-bean ice,” a yummy shaved-ice dessert with peanut, adzuki bean, runner bean, and condensed milk. I also tried the frothy lemon juice, made fresh to order. It was a treat to catch the shop owners making tangyuan (glutinous-rice balls) from scratch in the back of their shop. Just a hop, skip, and jump away was Fenglin Railway Station, from whence I started my journey back to the city of Taipei, refreshed, centered, and with a new appreciation for a simple way of living that preserves the environment and nourishes the soul.

Ming Xin Ice and Fruit Shop




e Rd .


g Rd .

Hakka Cultural Museum

Hakka cuisine shaved-ice dessert

Fragrant Grass and the Old Tree ( 芳草古樹民宿 ) No. 71, Zhonghe Rd., Fenglin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣鳳林鎮中和路 71 號 ) (03) 876-0437 (Chinese) Ming Xin Ice and Fruit Shop ( 明新冰菓店 ) No. 26, Xinsheng St., Fenglin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣鳳林鎮新生街 26 號 ) (03) 876-4168

Getting There & Around By train: From Taipei, there are five Puyuma Express trains a day that stop at Fenglin (2 hrs 40 min.; NT$514 one way). Alternatively, take a slower train to Hualien City and there transfer to a train bound for Taitung City. By bus: From Hualien Railway Station, take a bus on the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle network’s ( Hualien Route (see Convenient Travel on page 6). English and Chinese Amis tribe 阿美族 East Rift Valley 花東縱谷 Fenglin 鳳林 Liudui 六堆 tangyuan 湯圓




Indigenous Impressions Text: Francesca Chang Photos: Maggie Song

Visiting Tribal Villages in Pingtung County One of the best locations to not just learn about, but also to experience, the cultures of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples up close is the Sandimen/Beiye area in northern Pingtung County. Visit a large-scale family-friendly cultural park dedicated to indigenous cultures, walk across a scenic suspension bridge, and get to know the warm and friendly local residents.




Traditional-life displays

Indigenous artwork

Northern Pingtung County On the western edge of the southern reaches of the Central Mountain Range, in northern Pingtung County, is a pair of indigenous villages located very close to each other. Beiye and Sandimen are a 30-minute drive or bus ride from central Pingtung City. Lush forested mountains serve as the backyard for the residents – mostly members of the Rukai and Paiwan tribes – while colorful fields and orchards line the area’s roads. Located in Majia Township’s Beiye, just across the Ailiao River from Sandimen, is a cultural park well worth an entire day spent learning about and being immersed in the rich history and cultures of Taiwan’s first peoples. Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park One of the world’s largest outdoor parks focused on indigenous cultures, the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park has outdoor activities, exhibition halls, and live performances suitable for all ages. On special occasions, after entering the park visitors are greeted with the firing of 16 bamboo “cannons,” representing Taiwan’s 16 officially recognized indigenous tribes. Families and large groups can book an Englishlanguage tour on which they will be guided through the five sections of the spacious, scenic park. Start with the Indigenous Cultural Museum, close to the main entrance, to learn about the origins and migration patterns of the various tribes, view examples of their art and artifacts, and explore the differences in their social hierarchies. Next, experience the Atayal-tribe practice of facial tattooing (temporary tattoos, of course), try on the hip bells of the Saisiyat, listen to the xylophone music of the Kavalan, play on a Puyuma swing, and create the perfect photo opportunities wearing the vibrant costumes of different tribes. All these activities are educational and present much fun for children. Cultural stage performance


or about 6,000 years, many different indigenous peoples have lived on this island. For most of this time they have lived on their own. In modern times, however, starting in the 1600s, colonial rulers and immigrants arrived on the island’s shores, and today Taiwan’s majority population is ethnic Chinese. Although accounting for less than 2% of Taiwan’s current population, the colorful cultures, histories, and traditions of the various indigenous tribes live on and thrive, with strong preservation efforts being made and an open invitation extended to tourists from around the world. Following, I explore some of these initiatives undertaken in indigenous villages located in southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County.

After this, hop on the free shuttle to explore all the park sections and enjoy the marvelous mountain views. Wonder at the different traditional styles of architecture found in the various tribal areas – the slate houses of the Paiwan and Rukai tribes, for instance, which are designed to keep the interior cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Stop by the food stalls to try indigenous delicacies, including wild boar, mountaingrown vegetables, and millet wine. Most importantly, be sure to schedule your visit around the park’s two daily (except Mondays) cultural stage performances, held at 10:30am and 2:30pm. Among the performances presented at the park’s Naluwan Performing Theater are traditional dances of the 16 tribes and live percussion and vocal musical performances. This show is highly interactive, and both children and adults are invited on stage to join the performers and learn indigenous dances. TRAVEL IN TAIWAN |51



Luluwan Restaurant

Leaf-wrapped millet

Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park ( 台灣原住民族文化園區 ) No. 104, Fengjing, Beiye Village, Majia Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣瑪家鄉北葉村風景 104 號 ) (08) 799-1219 Tickets: NT$150 (full price) Luluwan Restaurant ( 魯魯灣 ) No. 13, Ln. 17, Gucha Bo'an St., Haocha Village, Wutai Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣霧台鄉好茶村古茶柏安街 17 巷 13 號 ) 0972-060-887

Shanchuan Glass Suspension Bridge

Shanchuan Glass Suspension Bridge (Glass Bead Bridge) Either before or after your visit to the indigenous-culture park, be sure to jaunt across the close-by Shanchuan Glass Suspension Bridge, stretched out high above the Ailiao River. This bridge, 45m in height, is the longest suspension bridge in Taiwan, measuring 262m. It was built after another suspension bridge that connected Majia and Sandimen townships was destroyed during the devastating Typhoon Morakot in 2009. The new structure is adorned with painted glass beads, each individually decorated by members of the local indigenous tribes with diverse colors and designs, each possessing a different symbolic meaning. A Local Village Experience: Rinari For an intimate and up-close experience with some of the tribal natives of Pingtung, be sure to visit the village of Rinari, located just to the south of Beiye. In the wake of Typhoon Morakot, members of the Paiwan and Rukai tribes were relocated from smaller unsafe and/or partially destroyed villages to this newly built community, with financing provided by the central government and humanitarian organizations. A testament to the resiliency and ability of local tribal peoples in adapting to new environments, the younger generation has led the way in developing the village into a well-organized and eco-friendly tourist attraction. Rinari residents are known as folks who “play barefoot,” and visitors are asked to take off their shoes when entering any of the stone-courtyard households. You most likely will be invited to join in a welcoming ritual of prayer and dance, and especially young members of families will be enjoying the handicraft DIY classes, such as beading, under the guidance of tribal matriarchs. Visitors can take a stroll through the neighborhood to view the architecture and stonework along with the etchings, paintings, and drawings on the locals’ homes, depicting the stories, customs, and histories of their clans. Dine Like the Locals: Luluwan Restaurant For a taste of high-quality authentic indigenous fare, dine at Luluwan Restaurant in Rinari. The restaurant is a sophisticated affair, with white sheets adorned with tribal patterns hanging from the ceiling, wooden carvings and totem poles reserved for tribal royalty at the front entrance, and painted murals paying homage to gods and ancestors. With “the mountains as their refrigerator,” the chefs at the restaurant serve an 11-course meal without a menu. Mountain vegetables, leaf-wrapped millet, pork, fish, and yummy desserts are all beautifully prepared, creating a gastronomical experience that surely would please even the gods. Qingye Village There is an indigenous saying that goes, “Art is life, and life is art.” The village of Qingye, about 20km north of Beiye/Sandimen in Sandimen




House at Rinari

Township, is known as the “Rukai Art Village.” Home to a Rukai clan known as the Talamakau, the clan’s history, legends, and social hierarchy are recorded on the village’s walls. Legend has it that the Talamakau established Qingye when a beloved princess fell in love with a snake. As such, a larger-than-life snake sculpture greets tourists upon entering the village. Colorful paintings and stone designs line the walls of many homes. Most notable is a butterfly wall, for which a female artist designed a colorful butterfly, outlined with river stones. In Talamakau culture, the butterfly represents a woman’s craftsmanship. Be sure to participate in the DIY craft classes, led by a female descendant of the legendary princess, a fun experience for the whole family. Walk through the narrow village streets – the exterior walls of many homes will give you clues about the people living there. A house belonging to a hunting family, for example, is decorated with images of hunted deer, descendants of royalty have their own faces outlined, and the village’s law-enforcement officials have their own symbolic images to convey their authority. QR codes on the walls make this visit an interactive one for tourists, who can learn more about the meanings behind each work of art with the touch of a phone (information in Chinese only). A special treat is listening to the song of the local children’s choir, which has been invited to perform in Italy and Canada in the past. English and Chinese Ailiao River 隘寮溪 Atayal 泰雅 Beiye 北葉 Kavalan 噶瑪蘭 Majia 瑪家 Paiwan 排灣

Puyuma 卑南 Rinari 禮納里 Qingye 青葉 Rukai 魯凱 Saisiyat 賽夏 Sandimen 山地門 Wutai 霧台

DIY class at Qingye Village

Qin gye Ai




Pingtung City





Shanchuan Glass Suspension Bridge

187 Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park

Rinari Luluwan Restaurant


Getting There Self-drive: Take National Freeway 3 to Changzhi Interchange, then follow Prov. Hwy 24 to Sandimen and Beiye. To get to Qingye from Sandimen, take County Road 185 north and then Township Road 2-1. Public Transport: Take a train to Pingtung Railway Station and transfer to a Taiwan Tourist Shuttle service ( bus following the Northern Pingtung Shuttle Bus route, last stop at the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park. It is five minutes on foot from the park to the suspension bridge, and about 20 minutes to Rinari. To get to Qingye, take a taxi from Beiye or Sandimen. For more information about the area, visit the Maolin National Scenic Area website at



Qiding Railway Station

Places of Interest Between “North Hsinchu” and “South Hsinchu” Located on Taiwan’s northwest coast, Hsinchu is known as Taiwan’s “Windy City” thanks to its salient coastal position and prevalent winds sweeping along the Taiwan Strait. If you want to do more than a whirlwind tour of the city and its surrounding area, take a slow local commuter train and get off at stations from Zhubei, on the city’s north, down to Zhunan, on its south. Text: Steven Crook


reater Hsinchu is one of Taiwan’s most prosperous regions, thanks in large part to the Hsinchu Science Park (HSP; originally called the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park). Created in 1980, in its first decades the park played a key role in the island's emergence as a hub for high-tech innovation and manufacturing. The HSP attracts business visitors from all over the world. International tourists, however, tend to bypass Hsinchu City in favor of bigger cities or quaint places in the region like Beipu (a township in Hsinchu County), Daxi (a district of Taoyuan City), and Sanxia (a district of New Taipei City), all three of which are less than an hour by car from central Hsinchu. Those smaller destinations are much loved because they offer glimpses of the Taiwan of 54


Photos: Vision

yore. Far fewer people are aware that there are a number of places inside and right outside the city where a considerable amount of greater Hsinchu’s heritage has been preserved as well. What’s more, because the main north-south railway runs right through the city, a day-trip using commuter trains is easy to organize. Taiwan’s conventional rail network is run by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA). The Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) system is managed by a separate entity, the THSR Corp. The TRA deserves to be commended for its efforts to make the regular-rail network thoroughly user-friendly, even for those who don’t speak or read Chinese. Tourists wanting to take short journeys on TRA trains can buy tickets from vending machines that have bilingual

instructions. They can find timetables and other useful information at Between Zhubei (the name means “Hsinchu north,” but it's actually a city in its own right, located in Hsinchu County) and Zhunan (“Hsinchu south;” a township in Miaoli County) there are seven TRA stations. Two of them – Hsinchu and Zhunan – are well-served by express trains, including several each day that sprint from Taipei to Hsinchu in less than an hour and 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can get to the Hsinchu area by bullet train, which is what I did on a recent exploratory foray, and not merely because the THSR offers shorter journey times than the TRA service. THSR Hsinchu Station is in Zhubei, and a 20-minute walk from one of the spots I planned to visit.




區 間

站 竹 北 至

Zhubei Stn.

North Hsinchu Stn.

Zhubei The population of Zhubei has doubled since 2001, and now exceeds 180,000. Farmland has been transformed into suburbs, and old buildings have been torn down to make way for high-rises. Fortunately, the authorities have acted to preserve some of the past before it has all disappeared. The New Tile House Hakka Cultural District is neither new, nor a single house, but rather a cluster of single-story buildings made of bricks (some fired, some mud) and tiles. Not much happens here on weekdays, but visit on a weekend and you might see cultural groups presenting music or dance performances. The café and souvenir shops don’t get going until midday, but there’s nothing to stop you from wandering around at any time of day taking pictures. And you surely will, because the whole place is very photogenic. At the back of the site there’s a ruin from which you can learn a bit about how ordinary homes were constructed a century or more ago. Rounded river stones and adobe were key Ta oy ua n Baozhong Temple


Zhu bei


Zhubei City 1

New Tile House Hakka Cultural District Qianjia


Hsinchu County Hsinchu Liujia

New Tile House Hakka Cultural District ( 新瓦屋客家文化保存區 ) No. 123, Sec. 1, Wenxing Rd., Zhubei City, Hsinchu County ( 新竹縣竹北市文興路一段 123 號 ) Baozhong Temple ( 褒忠亭 ) No. 360, Sec. 3, Yimin Rd., Xialiao Borough, Xinpu Township, Hsinchu County ( 新竹縣新埔鎮下寮里義民路 3 段 360 號 )

New Tile House Hakka Cultural District

materials. Those who could afford tiles used them to keep rain from dissolving their walls. Rather than walk back to THSR Hsinchu Station and catch the No. 5 minibus (which runs every half hour) to my second destination, I flagged down a taxi and in no time at all was standing right outside a place of worship 4.5km away in Xinpu Township. The ride costs NT$200. Officially titled Baozhong Temple, but usually referred to as the Yimin Temple, it honors both popular gods (represented by carved tablets rather than the doll-like effigies you’ll see in most Taiwanese temples) and yimin. The latter, the spirits of Hakka volunteers who died defending their communities during major Taiwan rebellions in imperial times, are regarded as protective deities able to protect believers from various misfortunes. The Yimin Festival is celebrated over several days each summer in villages, towns, and cities throughout the region. In the end, I spent far more time in the sprawling hillside garden behind the shrine than under its roof. Do explore thoroughly: Among the flowerbeds are statues, artfully arranged rocks, and – at the time of my visit – cherry trees in full bloom. I timed my departure to match that of one of the nine No. 5621 buses each day that connect Xinpu with downtown Hsinchu. The bus took about 20 minutes to get to Zhubei Railway Station, and another 20-odd minutes to the center of Hsinchu. (One-way fare from Xinpu is NT$25 to Zhubei, NT$45 to central Hsinchu.) I knew from multiple previous visits that there’s a lot to see and do in Hsinchu proper, but I stepped into the TRA station without a moment’s delay. I knew a commuter train was about to

Hsinchu Stn.

head off south; this commuter-train service has stops at two places which intrigued me. Qiding I stepped off the train at Qiding Station in Miaoli County’s Zhunan Township. There's no staff at this station, nor vending machines from which you can buy tickets – merely EasyCard readers. If you're not carrying an EasyCard, you should be; these widely-used stored-value cards make the use of Taiwan public transportation even more convenient. If you don’t have one, and board a train without a ticket, wait for the ticket inspector to come along, tell him/her your destination, and you’ll receive a ticket on the spot. However you pay, station-hopping like this is very affordable. Central Hsinchu to Qiding cost me NT$21; the journey time was 14 minutes. Zhubei to Zhunan is NT$36 one way and takes around 30 minutes. Each day around 35 commuter trains link the two places, stopping at every station in between. At Qiding, I made a beeline for the Landscape Platform, a short walk to the northeast of the station, bilingual signs pointing me in the right direction. It takes just a few minutes to get to the platform. Gazing out over the Taiwan Strait, as the wind turbines that dot this stretch of coast slowly rotated and the occasional express train rumbled past, was a soothing experience. n ha gs n a Xi 61 Zimu Tunnel


Zhunan Township Qid ing

29 元 效 當日有

Hsi nch u

票價 限發售

Zh un an

站 崎 頂

Landscape Platform





Xiangshan Stn. 臺灣鐵


Sanxingqiao Stn.

區 間 崎 頂站 至

香 山站 5 元 票價 1 日有效 限發售當


區 間 香 山站 至

新 竹站 票價 15 元 限發售當日有 效

Xiangshan Tianhou Temple

San xing qiao

Xiangshan Wetland


Xiangshan The next station south of Qiding is Zhunan Railway Station. South of the station the railway splits into the Mountain Line (which runs through central Taichung) and the Coastal 56



Qidin g

Zimu Tunnel

Do take the steps down from the platform to Zimu Tunnel. When this railway line was double-tracked in the early 1970s, it was moved slightly closer to the sea because the tunnels (there are actually two) were too narrow. Exemplars of the solid infrastructure built during the 1895-1945 Japanese colonial period, they're now preserved as part of a walkway/ bike trail. The first tunnel is 67m long, the second nearly double that. No flashlights are needed; there's enough natural light for you to see where you're walking. Just before you enter the second tunnel, look closely at the arched brickwork. During the closing months of World War II, American warplanes strafed the railway at least once, and bullet holes can still be seen. Just beyond the second tunnel, at a shiny new temple devoted to the local Earth God, I turned around and started walking back. I adore timeworn architecture, and wanted to explore the cluster of traditional single-story courtyard houses that lie just inland of the Landscape Platform. Some of the abodes look as though they’ve been unoccupied for many years. The dilapidation is mesmerizing. The compound with the address plaques Beihu 23 and 24 has both inner and outer courtyards, and is particularly alluring.


Xian gsh an

Roman Catholic Church

Line (which accesses some engaging little towns) close to the coast. But rather than proceed into Zhunan – and its numerous eateries – I backtracked to Xiangshan, the stop north of Qiding. The lovingly maintained station building in Xiangshan is an attraction in its own right (sleepy Xiangshan is today a district within Hsinchu City). Dating from 1928, it’s the only remaining Japanese-era railway stop in Taiwan that was built using cypress from the Alishan area in the central mountains. Pausing in the atmospheric little waiting room, I imagined ladies in kimonos boarding trains, and schoolage children thrilled to see steam locomotives. Xiangshan has a couple of other notable sights. To find them, turn right as you leave the station and walk north along the main road (Zhonghua Road) for about 150m. It’s impossible not to notice the imposing Roman Catholic Church on the other side. Cross here Xiangshan Tianhou Temple

and follow the lane that begins on the church’s right side (Ln. 648, Sec. 5, Zhonghua Road), first passing the church and then Chaoshan Elementary School. Within 500m, you’ll be at the back of Xiangshan Tianhou Temple. The current building dates from the 1920s, but there’s been a shrine on this site since sometime in the late 17th century, when Han Chinese from Fujian (the mainland China province closest to Taiwan) began to settle on the coast here. Like the majority of Taiwan’s folk shrines, this temple houses effigies of several deities, but the principal object of veneration is Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. It’s a typical community temple, and interesting for that reason. I was the only tourist, but not everyone I saw enter was there to burn incense and pray. For older locals, this is obviously a place to drop in, maybe run into someone they know, and sit down for a chat. Looking across the temple’s forecourt toward the strait, I spotted a bigger and much more modern structure. Chaoshan Bridge allows pedestrians and cyclists to get across the West Coast Expressway (Provincial Highway 61) and access Xiangshan Wetland. Even though the tide was high, and most of the wetland was under water, climbing to the highest part of the bridge was well worth it for the view up and down the coast. Hsinchu Riding back into central Hsinchu, I resolved to go to places I’d never before visited. I quickly identified a few: a heritage building, a museum, a restaurant, and a temple. I first headed north of Hsinchu Railway Station, passing Yingxi Gate, a well-known city landmark, to have a look at the Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall. Unlike similar official buildings in Tainan and Taichung, this continues to play a key role in local government, and is where the city’s mayor has his office. Then I dashed to the Hsinchu City Fire Museum, close to the prefectural hall. The museum, inside a functioning fire station, contains bilingual displays that cover both the history of the local firefighting service and

Li Bing-hui

Foot Massage Health Center

Many locals, travelers, and business people come to this well-known health center Foot massage (40 min.) + essential oil foot spa (10 min.) = 50 min.

Price NT$500 Whole-body massage (60 min.) or foot massage (60 min.) (choose one of two) + essential oil foot spa (10 min.) = 70 min.

Special Price NT$799 Whole-body massage (60 min.) + foot massage (30 min.) + essential oil foot spa (10 min.) = 100 min.

Special Price NT$1,200 10% discount for services costing more than NT$1,000 (at Ximen and Guanqian branches), except for special prices 20% discount for services costing more than NT$1,000 (at Jilin and Jilin II branches), except for special prices Guanqian Branch

Add: 12, Sec. 1, Hankou St., Taipei City (͔̻ͥျʥൽɿ‫ޘ‬12༚) Reservation Hotline: (02) 2370-2323 (24h)


(Stay at Sun Moon Lake)


! (Stay at QingJing)


(Yilan, Hualien, Taitung) (Taiwan Railway Train Ride) ұчϬ‫!܆‬ઔ‫ܫ‬ȃᗂ‫ڐ‬ᚳනН੠ )!‫᠋ܢ‬ȃࠅ፷ȃҭ‫* ތ‬ )!‫ף‬ሂᣉᠠႮᢜᢚ *


(All hotels are 5-star hotels) Учұ‫!܆‬ҭᣉᖖਫѐЀН੠ ) ԑ຀У࣐ૺ੠ᔡ *

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.

Jilin Branch

Jilin Branch II

Minsheng E. Rd.


台北市松江路 號 )

'D\ &HQWUDO 6RXWKHUQ 7DLZDQ 7RXU (Sun Moon Lake, Kaohsiung, Kenting) ұчϬ‫!܆‬ҭᣉКࡑൊᣍԍ ) џѡጔȃ୼༯ȃᐩϚ *

Minquan E. Rd.

Jilin Rd.

Hanzhong St.

Ximen Branch

Kaifeng St.

(Tainan, Kaohsiung, Kenting) (Taiwan High-Speed Rail – Bullet Train Ride) Ϭчϟ‫!܆‬ҭࡑ Ȇ ୼༯ Ȇ ᐩϚಎ࢘Н੠ ) ‫ף‬ҭᣉ୼ᠠᢜᢚ *



Chengdu Rd.




Ximen Station, Exit 1




Huaining St.


NET Guanqian Rd.


Hankou St.

Zhonghua Rd.

Guanqian Branch

Taiwan-style body meridian massage helps to stimulate blood circulation and metabolism and to strengthen the immune system. It also helps to relieve fatigue and pain.

Xining S. Rd.

The most popular services of the health center are foot massage and whole-body massage.

Jilin Branch

Ximen Branch Add: 196, Jilin Rd., Taipei City Add: 156, Hanzhong St., Taipei City (͔̻ͥχ‫ع‬ཕ196༚) (͔̻ͥျˁൽ156༚) Reservation Hotline: (02) 2521-0060 (24h) (Exit 1 of MRT Ximen Station) Jilin Branch II Reservation Hotline: (02) 2389-0828 (24h) Add: 155, Jilin Rd., Taipei City (͔̻ͥχ‫ع‬ཕ155༚) Reservation Hotline: (02) 2521-1677 (24h) MRT

NT$ 14,000

NT$ 15,500

NT$ 16,900



Qiding Stn. Zhunan Stn.

Hsinchu City Fire Museum

Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall Shi Family Fish Balls

how best to survive a conflagration. Outside there’s a well from which the firefighters of yesteryear collected water before setting off for neighborhoods that lacked fire hydrants.



Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall Hsinchu City Fire Museum


Dongmen St.

d. aR nd a N

Yingxi Gate

ei ub Zh

hu inc Hs

117 o qia ing nx a S d. aR Xid

I arrived at Zhulian Temple, a 10-minute walk from the restaurant, as the sun was going down, a good time as many faithful visit on their way home after work. This hall of worship is at the Buddhist end of the theological spectrum, but you’ll also see traditional folk practices. One is the casting of pairs of crescent-shaped wood

. Rd ng he gz on Zh

Next was the restaurant. Shi Family Fish Balls, located southwest of Hsinchu Railway Station, has been praised by hundreds of netizens. It's an old-school eatery: There’s no English sign or menu, and not one dollar has been wasted on fancying up the décor. Most customers, I noticed, had ordered fishball soup (NT$40 per bowl), so I did the same. Two bites were enough to know why this eatery has been thriving since 1944. The balls are a good bit larger than is typical, and offer a captivating range of textures, among them the “Q”-ness (chewiness) loved by Taiwanese gourmands and the crunch of fresh scallions.

blocks known to Taiwanese-speakers as poe. These blocks are used to seek answers from the gods. I’ve never cast poe, but I know for sure what question I would have posed on this day: “How soon until I’m back in Hsinchu?”

a nd Na

. Rd

English and Chinese Baozhong Temple 褒忠亭 Beipu 北埔 Beihu 北戶 Daxi 大溪 Hsinchu Science Park 新竹科學工業園區 Landscape Platform 觀景台 New Tile House Hakka Cultural District 新瓦屋客家文化保存區 Qiding 崎頂 Sanxia 三峽 Xiangshan 香山 Xiangshan Tianhou Temple 香山天后宮 Xiangshan Wetland 香山濕地 Xinpu 新埔 Yimin Temple 義民廟 Yingxi Gate 迎曦門 Zhonghua Road 中華路 Zhubei 竹北 Zhunan 竹南 Zimu Tunnel 子母隧道 Old Hsinchu Prefectural Hall ( 新竹州廳 ) No. 120, Zhongzheng Rd., Hsinchu City ( 新竹市中正路 120 號 ) Hsinchu City Fire Museum ( 消防博物館 ) No. 4, Zhongshan Road, Hsinchu City ( 新竹市中山路 4 號 ) (03) 522-2050 Shi Family Fish Balls ( 石家魚丸 ) No. 27, Xingxue St., Hsinchu City ( 新竹市興學街 27 號 ) (Chinese)

Zhulian Temple

Shi Family Fish Balls


Zhulian Temple ( 竹蓮寺 ) No. 100, Zhulian St., Hsinchu City ( 新竹市竹蓮街 100 號 )

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





FLEUR DE CHINE Eastern Taiwan


Pintung County





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


Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 478 Room Rates: Superior Room Deluxe Room Superior Double Double Metro Room Metropolis Room Station Suite


倆 人 旅 店(立德北投溫泉飯店) Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 19 Room Rates: 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: English, Japanese, Chinese


2F Checkers, 3F Dynasty Restaurant

Happiness Room Love Suite Double Room Tender Suite Double Room F orever Suite Double Room Only Suite Double Room


Taipei 台 北

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

7,600 8,600 9,000 10,000 12,400

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

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Chinese


Match (Hot pot)

Special Features:

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


Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 220 NT$ 6,400 NT$ 7,000 NT$ 7,800 NT$ 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$ 6,000- 8,500 Suit NT$ 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

Special Features:

Garden, Steam Room, Hot-water Pools, Hot Spring, Restaurant, Free Parking, Pick-up Service, Room Service, Air Conditioning, free Wi-Fi, refrigerator in room

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

No. 11, Youya Rd., Taipei City 台 北 市 幽 雅 路11號 Tel: +886 -2-2897-3611 Fax: +886 -2-2894-5977 E-mail:

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:

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

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

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

Travel in Taiwan |59


Taipei 台 北








Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 500 (Suites: 57)

No. of Rooms: 103

No. of Rooms: 203

Room Rates: Single/DBL Suite

Room Rates: Standard Room Superior Double Room Superior Twin Room Deluxe Family Room K 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$ 5,800 NT$ 6,100 NT$ 6,300 NT$ 7,600 NT$ 10,000

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 143 Room Rates: NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

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

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, and Mandarin

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Chinese Special Features: Business Center, Breakfast Hall, 24H Free Supply of Coffee, Free WI-FI, Self-help Laundry, NESPRESSO Coffee Machine

Restaurants: Rain Forest Buffet Restaurant, Tic-Tac-Toe Bakery, Light Café, JIU BAR Special Features: Business Center, Pyramid Club, Sauna, Fitness Club, Outdoor Swimming Pool, Multifunction Room, Car Park

No. 61-1, Songjiang Rd., Taipei City (Exit M4, MRT Songjian Nanjing Station; 5 min. by foot)

台北 市 松 江 路 6 1-1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


Taipei 台 北


Tel: +886-2-2516-9999, 0800-020-222 Fax: +886-2-2516-8799 Email:

53 HOTEL 寶島53行館

No. of Rooms: 79

No. of Rooms: 70

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

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

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

Taichung 台 中


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

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Chinese

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Chinese

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

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. 477 , Linsen N. Rd., Taipei City 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 477 號 3 minutes by foot from Exit 2 of MRT Zhongshan Elementary School Station

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

Tel: +886-2-7743-1000 Fax: +886-2-7743-1100 E-mail:

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:


Travel in Taiwan

Taipei 台 北

Standard Room Superior Room Deluxe Room Deluxe Triple Room 101 View Room Executive Room Executive 101 View Room Park Suite


14,000 16,000 18,000 20,000 22,000 26,000 28,000 56,000

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Chinese


Food Symphony (Full Buffet)

Special Features: MRT Daan Station is right in front of the hotel entrance, 5 Mins to Songshan Airport by MRT,Separate Bathroom and Toilet, TOTO washlets, Denmark Damixa Merkur Bathroom Hardware, DVD player, Japanese Satellite Broadcast, Safety Deposit Box, Fitness Center, Business Center, High-speed Broadband Internet Access (computers available), Free High-speed WiFi Throughout Hotel, Conference Room, Balcony (smoking allowed)

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:

317, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City 台 北 市 復 興 南 路 1 段 317 號 Tel: 886.2.5579.3888 Fax: 886.2.5579.3889


Nantou 南 投

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

Desk Personnel Speak: English, Japanese, Chinese Restaurants:

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

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

THE WESTIN YILAN RESORT 宜 蘭力麗 威 斯 汀度假 酒店

Yilan 宜 蘭

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

NT$ 16,000 NT$ 17,000 NT$ 20,000 NT$ 22,000 NT$ 22,000 NT$ 25,000 NT$ 28,000 NT$ 35,000 NT$ 45,000 NT$ 55,000 NT$ 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 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

Recruitment of International Students for Spring 2019 & Fall 2019

More than 300 partner institutions around the world Sca

Come and study with us!

1 1

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings (2017-2018) st

International Students among in 1 Taiwanese universities Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings (2018) st

the International Outlook in 1 category among Taiwanese universities World University Comparisons in Sport Sciences, Physical Education and Kinesiology Top 4 in Teaching Capacity (2015)

QS APPLE 2015 Silver of Creative Awards for Best International Website


Term Dates and Application Information


Application Deadline

Announcement of Admission Results

Term Begins


Fall Term

March 15

Mid May



Spring Term

October 31

Mid December



• If different, please follow the dates published in the Admission Prospectus. • Online application only. Application materials should be uploaded to the system. For details, please refer to NTNU Admission Prospectus for International Students at: (*Online application site).

Popular Departments/Institutes for International Students The world-renowned Mandarin Training Center

1. Graduate Institute of Translation and Interpretation 2. Department of Chinese as a Second Language 3. Department of English (TESOL)

English-taught Programs

NT NU 國立臺 灣師 範 大 學

Applications to Degree Programs Office of International Affairs 886-2-7734-1272 886-2-2362-5621

NTNU offers a variety of English-taught courses for international students to meet graduation requirements. From program list, please refer to our Admission Prospectus for International Student



4 GPN:2009305475

200 NTD

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.