No. 70, 2015
JUL & AUG
Hualien’s Magnificent Coast
RAIL, BUS & BIKE
Riding Guanshan’s Bike Path
Baseball Fever Indigenous Cuisine Taichung Farm Visit
Caves AND Monkeys at Shoushan
欧悦欧遊国際連鎖精品旅館集団は、台湾でも最大規模の高級ホテ ルチェーンで、観光局より三ツ星ホテルとして認定されています。 300坪のプレジデントのスイートからビジネスクラスの客室まで完備。 台湾に分布する17のホテルでは年中無休で、快適でゴージャスなお 部屋とお食事を提供しております。
Welcome to Taiwan! Dear Traveler, Welcome to high-summer Taiwan! If already here, you’ve no doubt already noticed one thing – it’s hot. If not yet here, here’s something you should know – it’s hot. In this Travel in Taiwan , the sampler adventures we lay out for your consideration are thus overwhelmingly to places of cooling breezes. Let’s start in Hawaii-like Hualien County, on the balmy east coast. Coastal Hualien, along with the coastal area of sister county Taitung on its south, is a place of “sun, surf, thriving tribal cultures, stupendous geological artwork,” and much else that will both totally relax and surely thrill you. In our main Feature article you’ll travel from the magnificent, soaring coastside Qingshui Cliff in the north to the mysterious Caves of the Eight Immortals (inside Taitung County) in the south. In our accompanying Stay/Eat/Buy article we suggest a number of breezy seaside B&Bs, restaurants, and cafés. Still in Hualien, in another section we spend time at the rustic, open-air Dageeli Tribe Restaurant, tucked up against the Qingshui Cliff, cooled by Pacific drafts, feasting on Trukutribe delicacies such as roast boar knuckles and bamboo-tube rice and admiring the beauty of Truku handicrafts and artworks – and enjoying the warm hospitality of owner Mother Guo. Further south, in Taitung’s farm-carpeted East Rift Valley area, we go for a jaunty ride on the Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path, Taiwan’s original biker-dedicated cycling route. Over on the island’s busier, more commercially developed west side, in the far south we take you hiking around scenic Shoushan, a mountain laced with eco-trails that serves as the “awesome backyard” of Kaohsiung City’s urban core. In central Taiwan we visit Tamarind Farm, an ecofriendly sanctuary of scenic views, animal encounters, fine food, and DIY fun, and we also give you a sneak preview of the National Palace Museum Southern Branch, a fabulous new facility set to open in December. Up in the far north, we take you to see “the beautiful side of Keelung,” a busy and broadshouldered narrow-harbor city that is at the same time home to a compelling collection of scenic attractions. And in a piece on baseball, we take you round the island while telling you the story of the revival of Taiwan’s no. 1 spectator sport. Enjoy the rolling out of the “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” – Taiwan style!
David W. J. Hsieh Director General Tourism Bureau, MOTC, R.O.C.
CONTENTS July ~ August 2015
Taiwan Slang Keelung
— Seaport City of Deep Character
PUBLISHER David W. J. Hsieh Editing Consultant
Producer Vision Creative Marketing & Media Co. Address Rm. 5, 10F, 2 Fuxing N. Rd., Taipei, 104 Taiwan
Where you can pick up a copy of Travel in Taiwan
Wayne Hsi-Lin Liu
TEL: 886-2-2711-5403 Fax: 886-2-2721-2790 E-MAIL: email@example.com General Manager Frank K. Yen Editor in Chief Johannes Twellmann English Editor Rick Charette DIRECTOR OF PLANNING & EDITING DEPT Joe Lee MANAGING EDITOR Jade Lin EDITORS Ming-Jing Yin, Chloe Chu, Nickey Liu CONTRIBUTORS Rick Charette, Joe Henley, Owain Mckimm, Richard Saunders, Nick Kembel PHOTOGRAPHERS Chen Cheng-kuo, Maggie Song, Twelli DESIGNERS Choc Hsu, Eve Chiang, Karen Pan ui-chun Tsai, Nai-jen Liu, Xiou Mieng Jiang Administrative Dept H
Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications CONTACT
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台 灣 觀 光 雙 月 刊 Travel in Taiwan The Official Bimonthly English Magazine of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Advertisement) July/August, 2015 Tourism Bureau, MOTC First published Jan./Feb., 2004 ISSN: 18177964 GPN: 2009305475 Price: NT$200 www.tit.com.tw/vision/index.htm Copyright @ 2015 Tourism Bureau. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form without written permission is prohibited.
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Paddy fields near Xinshe Village (photo by Chen Cheng-kuo)
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37 1 Publisher’s Note 4 Taiwan Tourism Events
6 News & Culture 54 Taiwan Slang
10 Coastal Hualien
32 Tamarind Farm
— An Eco-friendly Sanctuary in Taichung
37 The Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path — Taiwan’s Original Biker-Dedicated Cycling Route
— Taiwan’s “Secret” Backyard Garden
20 The Heart of Hualien — Places You’ll Stay, Foods You’ll Eat,
and Places You’ll Eat Them
24 Dageeli Tribe Restaurant
— A Woman’s Dream for a Truku Tribe Showcase Made True
30 The National Palace Museum Southern Branch
— A Gift to the World on the NPM’s 90th Anniversary
MY FAVORITE SPOTS
42 The Beautiful Side of Keelung
— There Is More to the City than Harbor Cranes and Containers
46 Back to Baseball
— Revival of Taiwan’s No. 1 Sport
50 Scenic Shoushan
— Kaohsiung City’s Awesome Backyard
TA I WA N TO U R I S M E V E N T S
Summer and Autumn Events Sun Moon Lake Sep. Swimming Carnival 日月潭萬人泳渡
Beautiful Sun Moon Lake is off-limits to swimmers throughout the year, save for the one day when the Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival takes place. First staged in 1983, the event now draws thousands of participants who come to swim the 3km between Zhaowu Pier on the northern side of the lake to Ita Thao village on the southeastern side. Every participant is required to swim with a flotation device, and there are many lifeguards posted on rafts along the route to ensure the swim is safe and relaxing. Note that the lake is also a great place for bicycling (the route around the lake is about 30km long, partly on dedicated bike paths). It is also possible to rent a kayak and camp on the lakeshore, with the kayak rental (available only during the summer) and the campsite both located on the southwestern shore of the lake.
Location: Zhaowu Pier → Ita Thao Pier; Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County ( 南投縣魚池鄉 , 日月潭朝霧碼頭 , 伊達邵碼頭 ) Website: pulifourswim.com
Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival
The Ghost Festival staged in the northern port town of Keelung goes back to the late 19 th century, when there where violent clashes between immigrant groups from Zhangzhou and Quanzhou in mainland China’s Fujian province. To prevent further fighting over business, land, customs, and beliefs, elders from both sides stepped in and agreed to settle arguments in a peaceful manner. This gave birth to the annual ghost festival celebrations, which take place during the 7th month of the lunar calendar (“Ghost Month”; Aug. 14 to Sep. 12 this year), a time when the spirits of the deceased are believed to come back to the world of the living. In order to “feed” and appease these spirits, people will prepare elaborate offerings. Among the highlights of the festival are a grand lantern procession and the release of spirit-guiding lanterns onto the sea, which take place on the 14 th day of the lunar month. st
Location: Laodagong Temple; 37, Ln. 76, Le 1 Rd., Anle Dist., Keelung City ( 老大公廟 , 基隆市安樂區樂一路 76 巷 37 號 ) Website: tour.klcg.gov.tw
Travel in Taiwan
Kinmen Mid-Autumn Sep. Mooncake Gambling Festival
The Mid-Autumn Festival (September 27 this year) is one of the most important annual festivals in Taiwan, a time when families come together to celebrate and make offerings to the gods. If you happen to be in Kinmen around the time of the festival, you’ll have the chance to witness (and perhaps take part in) traditional activities that are unique to these islands close to the mainland China coast. One of the most interesting festival traditions is gambling for mooncakes, an activity that goes back 300 years. It’s a simple game in which people throw dice into a large bowl and win mooncakes when certain number combinations are rolled. The local government organizes a big contest in which winners take home grand prizes – last year’s top prize was a small car.
Location: Kinmen County Chief General’s Office ( 金門縣總兵署 ), 53 Wujiang St., Beimen Borough, Jincheng Township, Kinmen County ( 金門縣金城鎮北門里浯江街五十三號 ) Website: tour.kinmen.gov.tw
AUGUST ~ OCTOBER
Until Taiwan Culinary Exhibition Oct. 臺灣美食展
If interested in the fine foods on offer on this island, the Taiwan Culinary Exhibition presents you with an excellent overview of the best dishes available. Under the theme “Taiwan's Fine Food Era,” this year’s exhibition is focused on the following topics: “Food Art,” “Food Utensils,” “Food Stuff,” “Food Journey,” and “Gifts.” There are many opportunities to taste fine food, including local and international cuisine prepared by master chefs, and you can learn a thing or two about cooking via master chef lectures and watching chefs compete against each other in cooking contests. Also being highlighted are indigenous foods, the cuisine of the Hakka people, classic Taiwanese snacks, railway lunch-box meals, local herbs, and spices from Guizhou in mainland China. Location: Area A & D, Hall 1, Taipei World Trade Center, Taipei City ( 台北市世貿一館 A D 區 ) Website: www.tcetva.tw
Sep. Yunlin International Puppets Arts Festival Oct. 雲林國際偶戲節
Yunlin, in southern Taiwan, is often overlooked by travelers, who generally traverse the county without stopping on their way between Taichung and Tainan/Kaohsiung. For those interested in traditional culture, however, spending a bit of time here can be rewarding, especially during the time of the annual puppet arts festival. The venue is the Yunlin Hand Puppet Museum in Huwei Township. The festival has a rich program, featuring exciting performances by puppet troupes from Taiwan and abroad as well as workshops where interested visitors can learn about the art of puppetry from master puppeteers. Location: Yunlin Hand Puppet Museum; 498, Sec. 1, Linsen Rd., Huwei Township, Yunlin County ( 雲林布袋戲館 , 雲林縣虎尾鎮林森路一段 498 號 ) Website: tour.yunlin.gov.tw
Sep. Sanyi International Woodcarving Art Festival Oct. 三義國際木雕藝術節 If you visit the town of Sanyi in Miaoli County, take a deep breath. Chances are that the fragrance of wood will fill your nostrils. Sanyi is Taiwan’s wood-sculpting capital, and you will see wood stored in many places along the road that runs through it, which is lined with a large number of shops selling wood sculptures. After browsing the shops, head to the fine Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum, dedicated to the art of wood sculpting. Each year the museum celebrates Sanyi’s main claim to fame by showcasing outstanding works as part of the woodcarving-art festival. Apart from the art exhibits, there will also be DIY art classes and woodsculpting demonstrations by master sculptors.
Location: Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum Square (88 Guangsheng Xincheng, Guangsheng Village, Sanyi Township, Miaoli County / 三義木雕博物館前廣場 , 苗栗縣三義鄉廣盛村廣聲新城 88 號 ) Website: miaolitravel.net
Sep. Love in Alishan – Wedding Under Sacred Trees Oct. 阿里山新印象－神木下婚禮山海戀
Each year, numerous couples in love choose the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area as the place to tie the knot. Alishan, with its refreshing forest, romantic sunrises, “sea of clouds,” picturesque alpine railway, and beautiful morning views, is indeed a place you’d want to choose for a special occasion. The wedding ceremony takes place under giant ancient trees, of which Alishan has many, the location symbolizing long-lasting love, fortune, and happiness. If not ready to take the plunge just yet, rest assured that Alishan is also a romantic place for travels with a special someone you might consider marrying in the future. The Alishan sunrise, invigorating forest air, and cherry blossoms in early spring may well give you that extra bit of inspiration to commit to the person you love. Location: Alishan National Forest Recreation Area; 17 Xianglin Village, Alishan Township, Chiayi County ( 阿里山國家森林遊樂區 , 嘉義縣 阿里山鄉香林村 17 號 ) Website: www.ali-nsa.net
Travel in Taiwan
W H AT ' S U P
NEWS & Events around Taiwan
Taiwan Complimentary Half-Day Tours for Transit Tourists Transit passengers who have 7 to 24 hours between connecting flights at Taiwan Taoyuan Int’l Airport now have the option to go on one of two free half-day tours to get a taste of Taiwan. The morning “Sanxia-Yingge Pottery & Ceramics Tour” takes you to the towns of Sanxia and Yingge, 20 minutes by bus southeast of the airport. Sanxia is best known for its well-preserved Old Street and Zushi Temple, which features outstanding temple art, while Yingge is Taiwan’s main center for pottery and ceramics. The afternoon “Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – Modern Taipei 101 Tour” takes you to two tourist favorites in Taiwan’s capital, where you will learn a bit of history and visit the city’s most modern district. To take part in one of the tours, simply go to the Tourist Service Center located in the Arrival Lobby of either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. More info at: eng.taiwan.net.tw/tour/index.htm
Google Street Shows Taiwan Tourist Spots
Northeast Coast Receives International Recognition Earlier this year, Taiwan’s northeast coast came to the attention of a large audience of global-tourism experts when the area made it to the top three in the Destination Award category of the annual Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, staged by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The northeast coast, administered by the Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area Administration, was chosen along with two other areas from among 158 entries from 57 countries. www.wttc.org/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards/winnersand-finalists-2015
If you “visit” Taiwan online via Google Maps and use the Street View function, you will soon realize that its coverage of the island is one of the densest in the world. And the “street views” go beyond just roads and streets, which is good news for travelers; Google has started to literally go “through” many locations popular with tourists that have no streets/ roads at all. A recent Google ranking of places in Taiwan most often visited by foreign online users via Google Street View had the following Top Ten: Jiufen Old Street, Taipei Railway Station (interior), Green Island, Lanyu (Orchid Island), CKS Memorial Hall (Taipei; grounds), E-Da Theme Park (Kaohsiung; grounds), Xinyi District (Taipei), Anping Old Street (Tainan), Yeliu Geopark (grounds), and Lugang Old Street.
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Direct Flights between Hong Kong and Penghu From June 15 through October 19 this year, there will be direct charter flights between Hong Kong and Penghu, allowing travelers from mainland China/Hong Kong to travel directly to the archipelago west of Taiwan proper. Flights operated by Hong Kong-based low-cost carrier HK Express will fly the HK-Penghu route each week on Mondays, with a flight time of about 1h 15min. Those travelers who don’t want to stay a whole week in Penghu can opt to fly to or from Penghu via another airport on mainland Taiwan.
AUGUST ~ OCTOBER
A Cool Green Building Libraries are not often among the top sights tourists want to check out when visiting a foreign country, but the Taipei Public Library Beitou Branch deserves consideration. Recently listed as one of the “10 Coolest Examples of Green Buildings” on the website whenonearth.net , the library is a modern environmentally-friendly building with large windows that allow air circulation and photovoltaic cells on the roof that capture solar energy. The building, somewhat resembling a giant wooden ark, is located in Beitou Hot Spring Park, close to the MRT Xinbeitou Station and not far from a number of other tourist attractions, including the Beitou Hot Spring Museum, Thermal Valley, and Beitou Museum.
Taipei Grand Hotel Renovated One of the Taiwan capital’s iconic landmarks, the Taipei Grand Hotel is more than just a place to stay. The hotel is a tourist attraction, a historic site, and a beautiful example of traditional-style Chinese architecture. Earlier this year, the hotel completed an extensive renovation project, the biggest in its 63-year history; 473 of its 500 guestrooms were redecorated and equipped with modern amenities, while retaining the beauty and artistry the hotel is famous for. www.grand-hotel.org
Hotel Royal Group_print ADs_EN_2015Apr.pdf 1 2015/4/7 下午 5:15
Afternoon Discount at National Palace Museum Starting July 1, the National Palace Museum in Taipei will offer discounted admission for visitors entering the museum after 4:30pm. Tickets will be priced NT$150 (instead of the regular NT$250), regardless of type of ID. The trial period for this new measure is until the end of the year, and the museum hopes it will help to alleviate crowding problems during the early part of the day at this top must-see Taiwan attraction. www.npm.gov.tw
TA I WA N TO U R I S M E V E N T S
CULTURE Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Formosa in Formation: Selected Works from the Taipei Fine Arts Museum Collection
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
Dream Gold Fish Exhibition 夢幻金魚特展
臺灣製造 • 製造臺灣： 臺北市立美術館典藏展 This exhibition presents works created during the time of Japanese colonial rule (1895~1945). Among the artists featured are both Japanese and Taiwanese residents of Taiwan at the time, their work reflecting the changes that occurred in the island’s culture and art under Japanese rule and how artists responded to the rapidly changing world around them. More info at: www.tfam.museum.
National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
More than 1,000 live fish will be on display at this exhibition, sporting intriguingly colorful patterns and strangely shaped bodies. To make the exhibition even more interesting, the fish will swim in aquariums of different shapes and sizes, with special lighting effects and background music creating a special ambience. More info at: www.huashan1914.com.
National Museum of Taiwan History (Tainan)
Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period – World’s Big Adventure
Transformations in 1895 – 120 Years After the Japanese Conquest of Taiwan
「鉅變一八九五 • 臺灣乙未之役 120 週年」特展
The Cretaceous is a geologic period spanning from about 145 to 66 million years ago. Following the Jurassic, it was a time of relatively warm climate, during which dinosaurs continued to dominate on land. This exhibition introduces you to the dinosaurs of that time, including the Tyrannosaurus, as well as to many different creatures of the rainforest. More info at: www.cksmh.gov.tw.
It’s been 120 years since the Japanese became colonial rulers of Taiwan in the aftermath of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894~95). The transition from Chinese Qing to Japanese imperial rule meant a significant change in the life of the people of Taiwan. This exhibition sheds light on this crucial moment in Taiwan history, and shows how the people tried to resist the new rulers and how they adjusted to the new situation. More info at: www.nmth.gov.tw.
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cu lture sce n e
Ottorino Respighi: La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco
Ghost – The Musical 第六感生死戀
2015 兩 廳 院 歌 劇工作坊 ─ 雷史碧基 《睡美人》
La Bella Dormente Nel Bosco (Sleeping Beauty in the Woods) is the most successful opera work of Italian composer Ottorino Respighi (1879~1936). The opera was originally conceived for puppets and addressed a young audience; later it was adapted as a stage performance by children. The fairytale story involves a princess who falls into an everlasting sleep after a fairy puts a spell on her and she pricks her finger on a spindle. Three hundred years later, she is awakened by a prince who breaks the spell with his love. More info at: npac-ntch.org .
TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall
Imagine Dragons: Smoke – Mirrors Tour 謎幻樂團 2015 台北演唱會
The scene in which actors Demi Moore and the late Patrick Swayze sit at a pottery wheel in the fantasy movie Ghost is among the bestknown romantic moments of Hollywood film history. The 1990 film was a huge commercial and critical success. The musical of the same name, based on the film, premiered in 2011 in Manchester, England, and has since been staged around the world, including on New York’s Broadway and in various European and Asian countries.
In merely three years, the 4-piece indie band Imagine Dragons, from Las Vegas, has risen from virtually anonymity to being a multiple-awardwinning sensation. The MV of their Grammywinning single Radioactive has been watched over 340 million times on YouTube to date. The alt-rock band has been touring heavily of late, giving more than 130 concerts and taking part in 50 festivals around the globe. The Taipei concert will be part of their first tour in Asia. www.facebook.com/ livenationtw
Paddy fields near Xinshe Village
Travel in Taiwan
Taiwan’s “Secret” Backyard Garden
Sun, surf, thriving tribal cultures, stupendous geological artwork, and … well, read on. Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo
Travel in Taiwan
ualien County is a powerful place. Nature is master, man mere spectator, despite oft thinking otherwise. Though just a few score kilometers away from the west coast as the eagle flies, Taiwan’s Hawaii-like coastal Hualien “secret garden” could not be further away from its industrial side. Island Taiwan’s thick back of soaring mountains allows just two narrow, long strips of flat land to exist on the east coast, stretching from Hualien into Taitung County and being separated by the Coastal Mountain Range. One, the East Rift Valley, is carpeted with neat, bright-vegetation farms. The other, the exceedingly narrow sea strip, tirelessly serenaded by the pounding chant of Pacific breakers, is the subject of this article. We’re headed on a 3-day sampler trip for you from the north point where the central mountains literally plunge into the sea to the point where Hualien County meets Taitung County.
Day 1 North of Hualien City, iconic Taroko Gorge is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist attractions, and certainly the island’s most spectacular natural attraction. We did not travel to the gorge on this trip, but visit our website (tit.com.tw/appdownload. htm ) to read our numerous past articles on this magical place (my parents’ favorite; they’ve visited Taiwan three times). Not far behind in awe-inspiring allure, and an immediate neighbor in physical terms, is the magnificent coastal Qingshui Cliff. The Eurasian and Philippine Sea tectonic plates have long been locked in an almighty tussle for dominance, literally throwing up geologically still soaring Taiwan from the ocean bottom, and as part of this titanic wrestling match throwing up the mighty 1,000m-high Qingshui Cliff along a fault line that defines the east coast directly north of Taroko Gorge. Stretching over 20km, the stunningly picturesque coastal highway snakes along its base. On this trip we visited a number of the lookouts that tourism authorities have set up on old highway sections where tunnels have been punched through jutting cliff sections, as well as one of the long, wonderfully photogenic beaches. Qixingtan is a landscaped area immediately north of Hualien City. The name means “Seven Star Lake,” but this is in fact a lovely arcing bay of crystalline blue-green Pacific waters, invariably made even more photo-friendly by local fishermen busy on their craft close inshore. The bay’s north end is the north terminus of a breezy seaside bike path stretching 21km to Nanbin Park on Hualien City’s south side. There are bike-rental stations near the bay’s north and south ends. Among the many other facilities are the Stone Sculpture Park, Star Watching Plaza, Sunrise Building (Qixingtan’s sunrises are renowned), children’s playground, and seaside botanical garden. At bikewayside are signboards explaining the seaside ecology, many with English. Another key draw is the terrific camera-perfect view of distant Qingshui Cliff.
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Most of Qixingtan’s tourist-service enterprises are in tiny, compact Dahan Village, toward the bay’s south tip. These include a bike-rental outlet and places by the village’s bikewayboardwalk section where you can get ice cream, sit down to a coffee, and even have a light meal. Also in Dahan is the enjoyable Chihsing Tan Katsuo Museum (www.katsuo. com.tw ), housed in a distinctive low-roofed, wood-built fishprocessing factory built in 1984. “Katsuo” is the Japanese name for skipjack tuna, which is dried, fermented, smoked using the wood of the longan tree, and exported to Japan (sometimes bonito is used as a cheaper substitute). The fish is caught in quantity in Qixingtan’s shallow waters – the bay is like a giant fish farm – and the factory was retired in the early 2000s when the industry slowed. Displays I found particularly interesting included a model of the giant multi-section traps still used in the bay, video of the fishermen at work and marine life below, and diorama of the traditional smoking process. The displays have explanations in good English, and guided tours (in Chinese) are offered. There’s also a food court and retail shop with a wide range of fish products (dried-scallop sauce made with XO brandy – super-yummy). Travel Tip Though a “secret” garden, the theory of tourism relativity applies in Hualien (and Taitung). If you crave quiet, as I do, avoid the tour-bus flow by visiting the following spots mentioned in this article before 10am or after 3:30-4pm: Taroko Gorge (Swallows Grottos), Qingshui Cliff lookouts, Qixingtan, Shitiping, Tropic of Cancer marker, Baxian Caves.
5 1. Lookout at Qingshui Cliff 2. Sanzhan River 3. Biking at Qixingtan
4. Taroko Gorge 5. Pebble beach near Qingshui Cliff
4 Travel in Taiwan
Day 2 The first major tourist site you come to when traveling south out of Hualien City is Hualien Farglory Ocean Park (www. farglory-oceanpark.com.tw ; entry fee). This is the most popular attraction on the Hualien coast, if you discount Taroko Gorge for not being right “on” it. Multi-tiered, built on slopeland directly above the coastline, this place is a heck of a lot of fun, with rides galore and a fairytale castle, underwater world, marine-animal shows, and much else. Something important: Stated management policy is to use show animals saved from unpleasant prospects, not snatched from the wild. Another something important: You can’t do this place justice unless you give it at least half a day. Starchasers (as in “movie stars”) will be especially thrilled to learn about the existence of Niushan, where legendary director Martin Scorcese, Irish actor Liam Neeson, and
Travel in Taiwan
other big names recently did shooting for the movie Silence , scheduled for release in 2016. What you’ll find at the end of a steep, narrow, long-grass-brushed road that leads off the here inland-and-upland coastal highway is a long and dramatically fetching arc beach bracketed by mountains that drop into the sea. The only buildings here are right behind the isolated beach – those of the Niushan Huting, a combination restaurant/café/ bar/homestay/campground complex (www.rainbowiscoming. com/huting ; Chinese), owned by members of the Amis tribe, Taiwan’s largest, and beside these a couple of tourist-draw thatch-roof structures from the faux village built for Silence (the rest were being torn down the day we visited). “Niushan” means “cow mountain”; to find the side-road entrance, look for the highway-side “Niushan Huting” sign on a totem pole capped with a steer-head sculpture (26.6km mark).
Readers keen on surfing will be interested to know that, according to Matt of Hualien Outdoors, the east coastâ€™s best is found at the 3km-long, soft-sand Jiqi Beach, surrounded by mountains on three sides. This is also the first good swimming beach south of Hualien City. On the south end is a beach resort (entry fee) with water- and beach-fun equipment and bungalow/campground accommodation. The Baqi Lookout, off the highway on the north-side mountain, offers tremendous views north and south. 6
1. Hualien Ocean Park 2. Sunrise at Fengbin Township 3. Scenery south of Shitiping 4. Taking in the ocean views
5. Niushan Huting 6. Lookout near Fengbin 7. Remnants of film set at Niushan Huting
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Day 3 Continuing south along the coastal highway, our next major tourist-site stop was Yuedong, or Moon Cave (NT$100 entry fee). High up and far in from the coast, the large, approximately 130-meter-long two-chamber cave was formed long ago by sea erosion. The cave, filled with water, is connected to the sea via underground passage, and the water waxes and wanes with the moon, hence its name. Members of the Amis tribe, for whom the cave is sacred, take you on a 20-minute boat tour, providing commentary (Chinese) on the large bat colonies, impressive resident eels, stalactite formations, fish and bird’s-nest fossils, Amis mythology, and more. Shitiping. The name means “stone steps.” The dramatically terraced volcanic rock and raised-coral formations here form what looks like a staircase rising out to sea. The sea’s great erosive powers are in visually inspiring evidence here – all about are kettle holes and surging tide pools. The teeming marine life draws fishermen, shellfish collectors, and scuba divers. The distinctive ecology also features such oceanside-adapted plants as screw pine, cactus, and morning glory. There isn’t much shade, so bring water; there’s also ice cream, popsicles, and other cooling goodies available at the visitor center. 2
Readers keen on whitewater rafting will be happy to know about the organized adventures through the rugged and oft breathtakingly beautiful Xiuguluan River canyon, cut by the river right through the coastal mountains. You start on the East Rift Valley side at Ruisui town, and travel 21km (4hrs) over a Class III set of 23 rapids to just before the river’s mouth south of Shitiping. Even if you’ve no time for the water-fun, enjoy the scenery with a drive along the mountainside-hugging highway that connects coast and Ruisui. Everyone stops at the soaring, sundial-shaped highway-side Tropic of Cancer Marker to take a quick photo – and so did we. Stand spread-eagled before the obelisk and half of you is in the tropics, half in the subtropics. The tropic is the northern hemisphere’s furthest location from the equator where you can experience the sun directly overhead, with a shadowless noon; you no doubt already knew this, but here’s your spot to prove it for yourself.
Note: All places south of Hualien City mentioned here are within the East Coast National Scenic Area (www.eastcoast-nsa.gov.tw). 1. Tropic of Cancer Marker 2. Coast at Shitiping 3. Whitewater rafting on Xiuguluan River 4. Bat colony inside Yuedong (Moon Cave)
Getting There & Around Hualien City can be reached by train from points around Taiwan’s perimeter on the round-island railway loop. The fastest trains (Puyuma Express) from Taipei take a little less than 2.5 hours. On this trip we rented a mid-sized vehicle. There are a number of rental firms right across the street from the Hualien Railway Station. A mid-sized vehicle generally costs no more than NT$1,500 per day. If you don’t feel like doing your own driving, check out the Taiwan Tour Bus service (www.taiwantourbus.com.tw ), which offers guided tours to some of the places introduced in this article. Hiring a taxi driver for a day is also an option. If you have any questions regarding transportation, staff at the tourism information center right outside the station (on the right) might help.
English and Chinese Baqi Lookout 芭崎瞭望台 Baxian Caves 八仙洞 Chihsing Tan Katsuo Museum 七星柴魚博物館 Dahan Village 大漢村 East Rift Valley 花東縱谷 Golden Grotto 黃金峽谷 Hualien Farglory Ocean Park 花蓮遠雄海洋公園 Jiqi Beach 磯崎海水浴場
Niushan 牛山 Niushan Huting 牛山呼庭 Qingshui Cliff 清水斷崖 Qixingtan 七星潭 Ruisui 瑞穗 Sanzhan River 三棧溪 Shitiping 石梯坪 Taroko Gorge 太魯閣峽谷 Tropic of Cancer Marker 北回歸線碑 Xiuguluan River 秀姑巒溪 Yuedong 月洞
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To Yilan Qingshui Cliff Taroko Gorge 8
Hualien Visitor Center Sanzhan River Farglory Hotel Hualien
Qingshui Cliff Hualien Farglory Ocean Park 11
Niushan Huting Baqi Lookout Jiqi Beach
River Tracing Interest in river tracing has taken flight in Taiwan in the past decade, and gorge-rich Hualien County is the center
of the action. Hualien Outdoors (www.hualienoutdoors.
org ) specializes in taking small groups of foreign nationals on English outings tailored to guestsâ€™ skills and desires. We met up with co-founder Matt Hopkins on the Sanzhan River, which snakes through the first gorge south of Taroko Gorge. A Canadian, he fell in love with Hualien on his first visit, and stayed put. The Sanzhan south branch is his default course for outings, but he also leads groups to spots throughout the region (including hiking, climbing, and surfing adventures). On a Sanzhan excursion you see rocks and formations of incredible color and pattern, pass a Kuomintang/American-constructed aqueduct created long ago to bring down irrigation/drinking water, pass into a narrow, steep-sided slot canyon after about 2.5 hours, and cool down at the scenic Golden Grotto waterhole.
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Hualien Niushan Huting
Taitung Bonus – Baxian Caves If you were intrigued by Moon Cave, you’ll be thrilled with the Baxian Caves or “Caves of the Eight Immortals,” a key Taiwan archeological site. The caves are about 8km
Tropic Of Cancer Marker
south of the Tropic of Cancer Marker in Taitung County. Carved out by wave action and now pushed high above sea level by tectonic activity, the numerous holes are linked by paths and stairs. Visit the small visitor center first for basic explanation in
English. Once home to some of Taiwan’s earliest settlers, today a number of caves serve as Buddhist/Daoist shrines.
TO TAITUNG CITY
DAY 1 Kaohsiung
DAY 2 DAY 3
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The Heart of Hualien Captured in the character of the places you’ll stay, the foods you’ll eat and the places you’ll eat them, and the gifts and souvenirs you’ll take home Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-Kuo
s you explore coastal Hualien, you’ll discover that the two most powerful themes in terms of “Hualien-best” stay/eat/buy selections showcase the local indigenous spirit and the purity of the landscape – green mountains, blue ocean, and narrow strip of fertile land between.
STAY When approaching the Go to Sea Café Homestay, wedged between the coastal highway (Route 11) and crashing sea in quiet, pristine, decidedly bucolic Fengbin Township, you will not see the minsu (meaning homestay/B&B) section of this place. What greets you on the highwaysidelevel of this two-story steel-girder-framed structure, which reaches out over the steep bluffs here, is a welcoming café with art gallery. The homestay rooms are on the lower level. Both levels have a wide deck on the sea side, perfect for contented wave and sunrise watching. Your night(s) will be wonderfully secluded, serenaded by the soothing steady pounding of the breakers
20m below. (Rooms start at NT$1,800; breakfast included.) Amidst the visual hubbub of fastgrowing coastal Dahan Village, Qixingtan’s main tourist-service area, the ownercouple of Qixingtan Star Sea B&B pour their hearts into making their minsu a little piece of the Greek Mediterranean, their narrow 3-story building painted brightwhite with ocean-color pastel and earthtone embellishments. Rooms on the second and third floors have small, comfy patios with umbrella tables; those on the third have ocean views. The Katsuo Museum and a Qixingtan bike-rental station are just short walks away. (Rooms start at NT$3,080; breakfast included.) If it’s 5-star comfort you crave, the one and only place you can sate this need in coastal Hualien is the Farglory Hotel Hualien. The striking 400-room complex, perched atop the north-end ridge of the Coastal Mountain Range, dominates rather than blends into the surrounding landscape. A self-contained resort, it has five luxurious restaurants and bars, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, fountains, sculptures, etc., etc. You get the picture. Hualien Farglory
Ocean Park is just a short drive down the road. (Rooms start at NT$8,800; breakfast included.) Go to Sea Café Homestay ( 來去海邊咖啡民宿 ) Add: 1-2 Yongfeng Rd., Fengbin Village, Fengbin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣豐濱鄉豐濱村永豐路 1-2 號 ); near the 48km marker on Prov. Hwy 11 Tel: (03) 879-1898 Website: www.goto-sea.com.tw/ (Chinese) Qixingtan Star Sea Bed & Breakfast ( 七星潭星海民宿 ) Add: 12, Lane 79, Qixing St., Dahan Village, Xincheng Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣新城鄉大漢村七星街 79 巷 12 號 ) Tel: 0932-307-912 Website: www.7starocean.com Hualien Farglory Ocean Park ( 花蓮遠雄悅來大飯店 ) Add: 18 Shanling, Yanliao Village, Shoufeng Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣壽豐鄉鹽寮村山嶺 18 號 ) Tel: (03) 812-3900 Website: www.farglory-hotel.com.tw
1/2. Go to Sea Café Homestay 3. Farglory Hotel Hualien 4. Qixingtan Star Sea & B&B
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Run by an Amis-tribe sisters-and-mom team, Sawalian is a lyrical little restaurant/ crafts gallery gem hidden down at the end of a long, sleepy lane off the coastal highway at the village of Gangkou south of Shitiping. The building is fronted by cheerful flowers and thick bushes, and you walk into the cozy dining area through creaky barn-style doors, sea breezes following. From inside, the view outside, framed by the extra-large windows, is of bright rice-paddy greens, then exposed-coral greys and breaker whites, then the blues of ocean and sky. I thought the best of our meal’s best (in order) to be the sugarcane shoots with red pepper, shallot, and cane juice, BBQ pork, yogurt with creamed pumpkin and grains, flying fish (just in season), and “bombshell” fish sashimi (a type of bonito). There’s no menu; the day’s market and the family gardens determine ingredients. Meals are NT$350 per person; DIY Amis-crafts sessions are
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also offered in the gallery (NT$300; book ahead). Two other popular – and appealingly eclectic – eat/drink spots perched right at oceanside are the Kavalan Cuisine Restaurant at Xinshe Village and Hailang (Sea Wave) Café, between Shitiping and Fengbin village. The restaurant, decorated with driftwood art and items from Taiwan farm life, has a fresh chalkboard menu written out daily. If you don’t order crab or lobster, the cost per person will be about NT$400. The pick of our meal was the beef stew, sea bream with tofu, and fried noodles with pork slices. As for the café, you’ll be hard-pressed to ever find one more rustic – nothing more than thatch-roof pavilions and outdoor furniture largely constructed of driftwood, your coffee served from an open-front hut. The signature beverages are the “mad dog coffee,” served with sweet/savory Amis
millet wine, and “yin/yang (two-color) sea,” an ice coffee “sea”-bottomed with milletwine fermentation dregs.
Sawalian ( 莎娃綠岸 ) Add: 2-1, Ward 4, Gangkou Village, Fengbin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣豐濱鄉港口村 4 鄰 2-1 號 ) Tel: (03) 842-1224, 0920-330-842 Website: www.makutaay.com/page4.php (Chinese)
Kavalan Cuisine Restaurant ( 噶瑪蘭風味餐廳 ) Add: 42 Xinshe Village, Fengbin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣豐濱鄉新社村 42 號 ) Tel: (03) 871-1339
Hailang Café ( 海浪 Café) Add: 73-1 Lide, Fengbin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣豐濱鄉立德 73-1 號 ); near the 58km marker on Prov. Hwy 11 Tel: 0912-935-208 Website: www.facebook.com/tapalik
Stand before artist Lily’s nondescript roadside shop in Fengbin village and you would never guess this is the workplace – Lily Studio – of one of Taiwan’s premier leather-work artists. But indeed it is. Her purses, bags, pouches, wallets, and other functional items feature wonderfully vibrant colors. The artist is a member of the Kavalan t r ibe (“Lily” mea ns “tiny” in Kavalan, a name bestowed by her grandmom on her birthday) and the highly stylized tradition-based art on her works is based on designs created by her “unbridled” budding-artist teenage son, whose graffiti art adorns the village – most commissioned, some of which in the past drew police interest. She offers DIY sessions: NT$150 for a keychain (1hr), NT$350 for a name-card pouch (2~3hrs); advance booking required. The Paterongan (Xinshe) Banana Fiber Workshop is beside the coastal
highway on a headland prettily carpeted with neat rice paddies – the aesthetics heightened by a row of wonderf ully photogenic “scarecrows with Chinese characteristics.” “Paterongan” is the name of the Kavalan community here; the Kavalan homeland is Yilan County, but many moved to Hualien/Taitung in the early 1800s to escape Chinese-settler pressure. The workshop is dedicated to the revival of a dying craft; in the past bananafiber weaving was used to make everything from mats on which to dry produce in farm fields to rain/sun-protection apparel “and even underwear.” An attractive range of for-sale items is on display, including carrying bags, sun hats, belts, and mobilephone pouches. DIY sessions are also offered (NT$200 per person; book ahead). Even if not overnighting there, drop in at Go to Sea Café Homestay (see Stay section above) for a relaxing seaside-
5 Paterongan (Xinshe) Banana Fiber Workshop ( 新社香蕉絲工坊 ) Add: 42, Ward 2, Xiaohu, Xinshe Village, Fengbin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣豐濱鄉新社村小湖 2 鄰 42); near the 43km marker on Prov. Hwy 11 Tel: (03) 871-1361 Website: pataronang.com (Chinese)
patio coffee and a lengthy browse of the exquisite for-sale jade works on display. Co-owner Wu Yi-sheng is among Taiwan’s foremost jade-art sculptors. His work is wide-ranging, with Buddhist and Chineseantiquity themes most prominent. The stone pieces he uses are works of art in themselves; all from Hualien, the range of colors and patterns is stunning. Right outside Hualien Railway Station are numerous mingchan , or “famous products” outlets, selling Hualien-area processed snacks. Specially recommended are delicious Amis mochi, a delicacy once prepared only for special ceremonies. Japanese mochi features glutinous rice, but the Amis tribe uses millet. Flavors range from sesame and green tea to strawberry and pineapple. The fluffy, chewy sweet potato cake is a bite-sized treat made by mashing steamed sweet potato, adding egg, and baking.
Lily Studio ( 百合工作室 ) Add: 15 Guangfeng Rd., Fengbin Village, Fengbin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣豐濱鄉豐濱村光豐路 15 號 ) Tel: (03) 879-1591
English and Chinese Amis mochi 阿美麻糬 "bombshell" fish 炸彈魚 Dahan 大漢 Fengbin 豐濱 Gangkou 港口 "mad dog coffee" 瘋狗咖啡 sweet potato cake 蕃薯餅 Wu Yi-sheng 吳義盛 Xinshe 新社 "yin/yang sea" 陰陽海
1/2. Sawalian restaurant 3/4. Hailang Café 5. Paterongan Banana Fiber Workshop 6. Lily Studio
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INDIGENOUS CUISINE H UA L I E N
Dageeli Tribe Restaurant A Woman’s Dream for a Truku Tribe Showcase Made True Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo
Good food tastes even better when you have high mountains as backdrop and rolling ocean as your foreground.
ou’ll find this restaurant right beside the East Coast highway that stretches from the town of Su’ao in the north to the city of Hualien in the south – the Suhua Highway (Prov. Hwy 9). The restaurant is to the west of the highway, hidden amongst trees on a gentle slope down a short lane. The south end of the magnificent Qingshui Cliff is not far north from the restaurant; the Liwu River and the also magnificent Taroko Gorge, carved by said river over misty eons, are just a kilometer or so south. The often not-so-pacific blue Pacific is just a few hundred meters east, beyond farm greenery. A large sign with the Chinese characters for “Dageeli” marks the entrance to the little lane that leads to the rambling woodand-thatch complex. Time spent here is time spent nourishing and replenishing mind and body – a breezy place in which a prominent construction material is driftwood that has been washed up by the Pacific or washed down the numerous area gorges by rivers that trickle along in the typhoon off-season and roar along during the high-season for tropical storms. The open-air dining area is rustic, with giant driftwood slabs used as tabletops and lesser slabs as bench-seat tops, said slabs resting on thick circular disks cut from tree trunks. Large woodsculpture works with indigenous themes adorn the perimeter. Even the blades of the large fans overhead (much appreciated on a summer’s day) are crafted from wood.
Mother Guo’s Story, and Her Dream Owner Peng Xiu-lan, a member of the Truku Tribe, grew up on this very spot. You’ll also see her two very friendly younger sisters busily at work around the restaurant. You can’t but help
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Restaurant owner Peng Xiu-lan
take an instant liking to “Mother Guo” (“Guo” is her co-owner husband’s family name), now 70 years young, whose gentle and peaceful softness seems to reach out and wrap you up in a soothing blanket of calm. As I chatted with her I became aware that I had a persistent smile, and eventually realized I was one moment interacting with her and the next with someone who could have been her twin sister, Sister Eileen Ward, perhaps my favorite teacher way back when and the person (allow me a little aside here) who introduced me to the beauty of Japanese haiku, which I still compose silently out of habit whenever I come across a scene or especial loveliness and/or meaning. Try it – I promise, as good as meditation, and more fulfilling. I’ve found over the years that Hualien provides a steady stream of haiku inspiration moments. Like many indigenous youth, Mother Guo moved and spent many years away from home, missing it terribly and, at last, returned. Seeing the area’s ever-growing tourist numbers, and realizing visitors were gaining only the shallowest exposure to and understanding of her mother culture, she decided to open a Truku-cuisine restaurant. “Dageeli” is the name of the local Truku-tribe sub-group, and their settlement. She started with just two tables, 15 years ago. After eight “desert years,” things finally began to pick up. Today she can seat well over a hundred, and offers an on-site art gallery featuring her husband’s work, a Truku-crafts workshop/sales outlet with bright, beautiful traditional Truku apparel and other items, and a café/teahouse (this last space is enclosed and air-conditioned; open weekends/ holidays). She also frequently schedules indigenous song-anddance performances for weekends and holidays.
Dining at Dageeli Restaurant staff with indigenous attire
Painting and wooden sculptures by Mother Guo's husband
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INDIGENOUS CUISINE H UA L I E N
Opening a rice-filled bamboo tube
The Food Though her goal is to introduce her people’s culture, Mother Guo has a taste for tweaking tradition. “Available ingredients have always changed with the seasons and changing circumstances,” she says, “so necessity has always meant recipe changes for classic Truku foods. I make the changes simply to entertain the palate. But all my ingredients are ‘true’ Truku.” They’re sourced from local indigenous farmers, gardeners, and gatherers, “and especially from elders, to bring them some extra cash.” My list of best-liked dishes from our notably inexpensive banquet-style feast – just NT$300 per head – is long. The delectable roast boar knuckles, very meaty and tender, are soaked in a sauce made with Oolong tea oil and a mountain plant with leaves that taste like cinnamon. The pork sausage is made with zesty shan hujiao or “mountain pepper” (May Chang) sourced in local hills above 800m. The staff shows diners how to open their bambootube rice by bashing it over one of the strategically placed rocks in the dining area, which splits it wide open for scooping. Oolong tea is served in a large fresh papaya shell, the inner flesh adding light fruity sweetness; mountain-sourced ci cong (Alianthus prickly ash) leaves, which have a unique taste akin to lemon-with-black-pepper, are added. “We had no money when young,” Mother Guo says, “so our ‘pop drink’ treat was fresh mountain water with ci cong leaves.” Finally, and No. 1 to my mind, was a salad of fresh garden produce with one of the most dreamy and creamy dressings I’ve had in a long time, starring tart/sweet creamed roselle. As I sat pondering its perfection, I thought if she could mass-produce it the “Mother Guo” brand would conquer the world.
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The Friendly, Welcoming Ambience The Dageeli atmosphere is very relaxed, with Mother Guo and her sisters spending a good deal of time interacting with customers. The sister who served us – who modestly requested anonymity – sat down for quick chats repeatedly. If feeling relaxed, Taiwan native folk often reveal personal details through sly humor. I asked what she did before working at the restaurant. “A honey-tongued lad swept me away to Indonesia.” I asked what she did while there. “I was a door watcher.” My reply: “??????” Her reply: “He was a Casanova, and I spent my days guarding the door.” I asked why she was back in Taiwan. Her reply: “Us Taiwan girls lose another one to China!” He had thrown her over for a gold-digger from mainland China. Chuckling, she said she’d just recently returned because her sisters “needed a hug.” During our goodbyes, Mother Guo closed with this: “We make enough to get by, and that’s enough for me. I just want to keep busy, and for everyone to learn about my culture and be happy.” Humble words from a lady whose restaurant was invited to participate in the prestigious Taiwan Culinary Exhibition in 2009, and was an Aboriginal Ten Best Culinary Offerings winner in 2010. English and Chinese Aboriginal Ten Best Culinary Offerings 原住民嚴選十大獻禮 ci cong 刺蔥 Mother Guo 郭媽媽 Peng Xiu-lan 彭秀蘭
Qingshui Cliff 清水斷崖 shan hujiao 山胡椒 Suhua Highway 蘇花公路 Taiwan Culinary Exhibition 台灣美食展
Cinnamon pork knuckles
INDIGENOUS CUISINE H UA L I E N
Truku Tribe The Truku, distinct from, but associated with Taiwan’s secondlargest tribe, the Atayal, moved into the Taroko Gorge area from the Wushe region in today’s Nantou County a few hundred years back, displacing the Amis, Taiwan’s largest tribe, who inhabit the eastern plains of Hualien and Taitung counties. It’s believed that strife within the Atayal orbit engendered by population growth obliged them to move, and that “Truku” or “Taroko” was the name of their original central-mountain settlement/area. They followed old hunting trails to the gorge. Their traditional customs are similar to the Atayal – notably preference for mountainliving, skill at hunting and weaving, facial tattooing indicating social status, and limited cultivation – but the two tribes do not share a common language, and cannot communicate directly.
Stir-fried bird's-nest fern
Salt Indigenous foods are often quite salty, especially meats and grains. The daily routine in days of old required far more physical exertion than is needed by most people today, and salty foods helped replenish the body. Often available in only limited supply, whenever possible salt was added liberally to cooked foods. Today, of course, salt is an inexpensive commodity, but traditions persist. Health-conscious Dageeli reduces the amount of salt in its dishes, but if you have special concerns, just let them know when you place your order. I myself do – I have high blood pressure – but only found the salted boar slices, surprise, somewhat salty.
Serving up a delicious dish
Booking and Ordering It’s best to book ahead, by phone or online, because food is only bought for the day and in finite quantity. The restaurant generally serves groups banquet-style, but also welcomes couples and smaller groups. Let staff know how many people are in your party, what you want to pay, and any special requests. With NT$300 per person the default target, staff tells you the prices of different 芒果皇帝_E_1-2頁_201505.pdf 1 2015/4/7 下午 4:30 dishes available that day, and helps you arrange your meal. For groups, meaning 8-12 people, unless you specifically order out of the norm the price per table will be NT$3,000 to $4,000. Our group of 4 hit NT$1,200 exactly – we arrived hungry, two of the four (me one of the two) have hearty appetites, yet we were obliged to leave food on the table.
Dageeli Tribe Restaurant ( 達基力風味餐 ) Add: 96 Chongde Village, Xiulin Township, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣秀林鄉崇德村 96 號 ); at the 180.5km marker on Prov. Hwy 9 Tel: (03) 862-1033 Hours: Daily 11:30~17:00
The Original Taste of Yongkang Street Mango Ice Visit King Mango and enjoy the original taste of Yongkang Street mango ice all year round. Apart from mango ice, there are also 20 other fruit shaved ices and snow ices to choose from. The No. 1 ice, Original Fresh Mango Ice, and the No. 13 ice, Fresh Mango Snow Ice, both made with high-quality mango of Taiwan, are must-try treats. To reach King Mango, from Din Tai Fung or Exit 5 of MRT Dongmen Station, walk along Yongkang Street for one minute (around 50 meters).
MRT Dongmen Station
Sec. 2, Xinyi Rd.
Din Tai Fung KaoChi
Lane 2, Yongkang St.
HOURS 10:00-22:30 ADD
2-1, Lane 2, Yongkang St., Taipei City
( 台北市永康街 2 巷 2-1 號 )
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FROM OUTSIDE TAIWAN +886-2-3322-6009
W ULA I PA US E LA NDIS R ES ORT Wulai始s scenery is never the same as the appearance of the mountains, the wind, the rain, and the mist change every hour of every day, every day of the year. Wulai Pause Landis Resort is situated above Wulai Dam and offers uninterrupted views of the beautiful natural scenery of Wulai. It is an exquisite and elegant resort in the south of the Taipei living sphere. The style of Pause Landis Resort is characterized by minimalism, nature, and artistic concept. Free of excessively fancy decoration, the elegant Zen style spatial feel merges in the original natural scenery, displaying a reserved, simple artistic concept. The first impression the hotel gives visitors is that it looks like an exquisite handmade work of art. The wavelike wooden screens, the fine landscaping, the marble, and the wooden plan path will grab your attention and take your breath away. The hotel lobby, connected seamlessly to the mountain and water scenery outside, continues the minimalist Zen style. It features a Japanese-style heated floor, unadorned high pillars, and view of a towering cliff hewn by nature. Sitting on the surprisingly comfortable heated floor of the lobby actually makes waiting enjoyable.
A MODERN PARADISE FAR FRO M
All the carefully designed 35 guestrooms offer a whole-new vacation experience. The Themed
THE MADDING CROWD
Guest Room, Mountain View Room, Riverside Room, Cloud Suite, Spring Suite, and Pause Suite all have a personal hot-spring bath, allowing guests to enjoy a soak without a care in the world, relaxing totally. The suite area is decorated with classic French luxury goods while the doors are covered with hand-sewn saddle leather. As Pause Landis Resort adheres to the idea of "One night, two meals, high-class leisure enjoyment," a stay also includes fine breakfast and dinner so guests can also savor good food while they enjoy a hot-spring vacation. The hotel restaurant “Pu Shi Xuan” offers borderless creative cuisine of the kind that leads world food fashion at present. Combining Chinese, Western, and Japanese kaiseki-ryōri cuisine and free from area limitations, the skilled team of chefs led by Zhao Xiao-yi serve up delicious dishes that also feature local Wulai ingredients, the dishes changing with the season, always tasty. The dishes are perfectly complemented by elegant tableware. Amidst the restaurantʼs refined Chinese ambience, diners can enjoy fine food as well as a visual feast.
CERTIFICATIONS / AWARDS Certified by the Chinese Muslim Association as a Muslim Friendly Restaurant Awarded Golden Tripod Award in the Tourist Hotels category of the 2013 National Taiwanese Banquet Competition by the Tourism Bureau, ROC Received Certified Hot Spring certification from the Tourism Bureau, ROC
HOTEL INFO Pause Landis Resort (璞石麗緻溫泉會館) Add: 88, Sec. 5, Xinwu Rd., Zhongzhi Borough, Wulai District, New Taipei City, 23341 (23341新北市烏來區忠治里新烏路5段88號) Tel: (02) 2661-8000 Fax: (02) 2661-8080 Website: wulai.landishotelsresorts.com E-mail: email@example.com
HOW TO GET THERE Taipei Main Station → transfer to MRT Tamsui-Xindian Line (in the direction of Xindian) → MRT Xindian Station → transfer to Xindian Bus 849 (Taipei – Wulai Line) → get off at Yanti Bus Stop (堰堤站) and walk back for about 1 minute (bus ride takes about 30 minutes)
SPECIAL REPORT NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
The National Palace Museum Southern Branch A Gift to the World on the NPM’s 90th Anniversary If you’ve never been to Taipei’s National Palace Museum, you should have been. And if you have, you’ll know why there is such buzz around news of the opening of its branch in south Taiwan in November this year. Text: Rick Charette
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Photos: National Palace Museum, Maggie Song
he N PM Souther n Branch is located in Chiayi County, just 3km from Chiayi’s High Speed Rail station. The museum is set on 70 hectares of land and in addition to the museum building there are also a large scenic lake and Asianstyle gardens. The Chiayi government has called this “the most important cultural project in the histor y of Chiayi, playing an especially decisive role in the development of culture, tourism, and the economy in Chiayi City and surrounding areas.” The NPM, oft described as the world’s greatest repository of Chinese cultural treasures, is located in Taiwan’s far north, and the Southern Branch is being opened to enable residents of the south to share in its resources. Yet the expanded NPM will be much more than this. The director of the NPM, Feng Ming-Chu ( 馮明珠 ), describes it as a gift to all of Asia. The ancient Chinese culture has not developed in isolation. The Southern Branch is a showcase celebration of the almost ceaseless cross-pollination that has added to the luster of each civilization across Asia, with particular focus on the Chinese, Indian, and Persian, she explained further during a recent sit-down with Travel in Taiwan .
SPECIAL REPORT NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM
“The NPM is world-renowned for our unmatched collection of Chinese artifacts,” said Feng. “But within our collection are also many priceless treasures from distant regions and lands. Over the centuries, land and sea trade routes brought steady contact with Persia, India, and all the other lands and peoples of Asia, and an enriching exchange of artifacts. As well, remember that one of the foundations of Chinese culture, Buddhism, was a gift from India. And Taiwan’s unique history has resulted in a special relationship with Japan and its culture. “Today we have many people from many lands living within our borders,” she continued. “I point out the large and continually growing number of spouses of ROC nationals who hail from Southeast Asia, and the Southeast Asia guest workers who each come to live with us for years. We want to acknowledge the contribution of their mother cultures to our own, and to celebrate them. “The Southern Branch should be characterized as an 'Asian art and culture museum.' This is in clear evidence when you look at some of the major exhibitions that we will open with in November: The Beauty of Buddhist Asian Art in the NPM Collection ; Asian Textiles in the NPM Collection; South Asian Costumes in the NPM Collection ; The Art and Culture of Tea in Asia ; Islamic Jades in the NPM Collection; A Special Exhibition of Japanese Imari Porcelains ; and A Special Exhibition of Goryeo Celadons.”
“As it should be,” the director went on, “the museum facility itself is a work of art. The Taipei museum is in classical Chinesepalace style. The Southern Branch, though symbolizing ancient cultures, is sleek and ultra-modern. Three of the prominent civilizations of the immense Asian continent, the Chinese, Indian, and Persian, are reflected in the three main, integrated shapes of the museum complex. They form an allegory, in the stylized, streamlined shape of a dragon, elephant, and horse, respectively. This symbolizes their ongoing communication and interaction. “At the same time, the three smooth, wavy shapes capture the essence of Chinese calligraphy, cleverly expressing the three basic techniques: thick ink, half-dry strokes, and smearing.”
Foreign Visitors “We’ve prepared many services and special offers that will make a southern visit even more enticing for your readers,” Feng pointed out. “We’ll have a large guide and volunteer team providing service in English and many other languages. There will be special bus service from/to the local railway stations. We’ve designed a combined Taipei/Chiayi ticket-discount package that also brings you a High Speed Rail discount. And the Taiwan Tourism Bureau is working with travel agencies on multi-day tourbus outings to the Southern Branch, nearby Alishan, and other major attractions.”
For more information about the National Palace Museum, visit www.npm.gov.tw. For more information about the Southern Branch (in Chinese) visit theme.npm.gov.tw/sbranch.
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FARM FUN TAICHUNG
Tamarind Farm An Eco- Friendly Sanctuary in Taichung Located in the rural northeastern part of Taichung City, Tamarind Farm is perfect for a short escape from the big city, offering visitors scenic views, animal encounters, fine food, and DIY fun. Text: Joe Henley
Travel in Taiwan
Photos: Maggie Song
FARM FUN TAICHUNG
h e s t o r y b e h i n d t h e n a m e of Ta m a r i n d F a r m r e a d s l i k e something taken from the pages of an ancient parable. Years ago the Luo family, though blessed with three beautiful daughters, found itself without a son. According to Chinese tradition, they needed a son to carry on the family name. On a trip to the Philippines, Mr. Luo learned about the tamarind, a plant not native to Taiwan. He was intrigued that the Mandarin name for tamarind, luo wangzi , contains both his surname and the words wang and zi , the two combined meaning “to wish for a son.” He brought tamarind seeds back to Taiwan and, not long after, the Luos finally welcomed a healthy baby boy into the fold. The farm, once called Tree King, was renamed in honor of the family's newfound patronsaint plant. Today, many families who are, like the Luos once were, hoping for a male heir to
the family legacy bring their daughtersin-law to Tamarind Farm to touch the farm's lucky tamarind tree so that some of its magic might rub off. The farm is perched on a hillside overlooking the Dajia River and Shigang Dam in Shigang District, Taichung City. Beyond the ridge, on the opposite side of the river valley, is Miaoli County and the Da'an River. Sitting on four hectares of land, Tamarind Farm has two observation decks, one beside the farm's restaurant, the other slightly higher up the mountainside, from which visitors take in expansive views of the valley and the surrounding hills. This offers a chance to see what can be described as the “lifeblood” of the region – there are three power plants on the upper reaches of the Dajia River, which supply hydroelectricity to the entire Taichung area. The dammed river is also the source of water for 1.5 million of the region's people.
After arriving at the farm, don't be surprised if you are greeted by a gaggle of geese waddling down the winding driveway. These are just a few of the many rescued animals that have been brought to the farm, which serves as a sanctuary for injured and/or abandoned creatures. In addition to the geese, there is also Mimi, a Formosan rock macaque, who was found with an injured paw. The female monkey is no longer able to survive on her own in the wild, and the Luos acquired a special permit to take the protected primate in as a pet, ensuring that she is well cared for. Over the years, the far m has undergone many changes on its way to becoming an ecological sanctuary. In the Luo family for three generations, the farm once had an orange and tangerine plantation. However, previous generations of fa r me r s i n Ta iwa n we re la rgely unaware of the potentially harmful effects
1. Visitors are greeted by a gaggle of geese 2. View of Shigang Township from the farm 3. Holding a banana tree leaf
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FARM FUN TAICHUNG
From basil to bananas, avocados to lemons, and Brazilian grapes to chestnuts, the land supports a veritable cornucopia of naturally grown goodness of long-term exposure to pesticides and certain chemical fertilizers, and the family believes that the use of such chemicals contributed to the early deaths of an uncle and grandmother. The orange and tangerine trees were thus uprooted and removed, and the Luos decided to take a more ecology-friendly approach to farming for the sake of the land, their own health, and the environment at large. Then, in 1999, the farm was tragically destroyed in the 921 Earthquake, the second deadliest quake on record in Taiwan, and had to be rebuilt entirely from the shifted ground up. Nowa d ays , itâ€™s on ly a l l-n at u r a l fertilizers that are used for growing the wide variety of plants sprouting up out of the ground at Tamarind Farm. Much of the produce is put to good use in the farmâ€™s kitchen to prepare a number of the delectable dishes on offer at the large restaurant. Try the tamarind pork ribs, so succulent and juicy the meat practically falls right off the bone. Other specialties include steamed ginger duck, a dish which takes three days' worth of care and preparation to create. Add some squash
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with a cheese topping, fried rice with turmeric, some fried fiddlehead-fern greens, and a bowl of pork-rib soup with green papaya, and you've got yourself a feast for four or more, depending on how hungry you or your group is. If you would like to enjoy a meal at Tamarind Farm and are coming with a group of 10 or more people, you should call ahead to make a reservation. No reservation is required for individual travelers and smaller groups. A g uided tou r of the fa r m costs NT$3,000 for groups of up to 20 people (NT$1,600 if your group decides to dine at the farmâ€™s restaurant). There is also a DIY activity in which guests can make pendants from tamarind seeds and other art supplies, which costs NT$150 per person. For the same price, you can also pick your own fruit, filling a bag with all you can safely carry. There are special package tours available for groups over 20 persons: NT$550 for adults (NT$350 for kids below elementary school age) gets you a tour, a meal, a chance to feed and interact with some of the farm animals, and a choice of either making a pendant or picking some fruit to take home.
1. Tamarind pork ribs 2. Hanging ornaments made with seeds 3. Eating a fresh papaya 4. Explaining the farm's plants
Countryside Town Puzi River Basin in Chiayi County – 2-Day, 1-Night Farming and Fishing Village Experience Tours The town of Puzi, encircled by the Puzi River, is close to the National Palace Museum southern branch (scheduled to open at the end of 2015).It only takes about 15 minutes to drive from Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Chiayi Station.Puzi is the home of the traditional craft of embroidery with many historic buildings.It is also an important legume production center and famous for its healthy food.
Legume Feast The Puzi River basin is covered in fields as far as the eye can see. These fields bear different legume crops in different seasons, including red beans, mung beans, soybeans, black beans, corn, peanuts, and flax seeds. The area has a number of distinctive traditional snacks, restaurants and homestays that are themed with legumes.The well worth visiting include “Tai Guo Zi,” hidden away in Puzi Market, renowned for its “Qing Palace Cake,” “SPK Bakery,” known for its bread, and “8 Yaya Bakery” popular for its handmade biscuits. Hundred-year-old “Dong Hor Oil-making Factory” is famous for its legumes oil, and another notable business is “Gnomy's Diaries Theme Restaurant,” a country-style restaurant located on the riverbank.
Farming and Fishing Village Experience Visitors can spend the night in the Taiwan Tourism Bureau c e r t i f i e d “Chau-a-thau Artists’ Village” homestay, soaking up the charm of a traditional courtyard building and roasting the plump and juicy oysters that are a local specialty while listening to stories told by the owner. The next day, take a leisurely bicycle ride through the local countryside, pick your own ingredients and make traditional Taiwanese snacks. Then enjoy these snacks picnic-style in a field. You can also paddle a dragon boat on the Puzi River, the only place to experience this all year round in Taiwan, or take a trip to nearby Dongshi fishing village to catch fish and shrimp and spend part of the day as a fisherman.
A Little Trip Back in Time Walking on the old streets of central Puzi is like taking a trip back to the early 20th century, with baroque style buildings and early traditional Taiwanese crafts to be seen all around. Peitian Temple, in the middle of the city, is the local belief center. Every year in February and March, lanterns and flowers decorate the road in front of the temple when the famous Lantern and Flower Festival is held. Because of praying to Peitian Temple’s Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) for offspring is believed to have high efficiency, many people who want to have a baby, are attracted. Puzi was once an important embroidery center. Visitors can go to the Puzi Embroidery Cultural Hall to learn about this exquisitely beautiful traditional Taiwan craft. “Shen Fu Creative Embroidery” is a business that creatively merges modern elements into traditional embroidery works, making them into daily-use products suitable for all ages or lucky gifts that are must-buy souvenirs for visitors.
Website - www.puzih.cyhg.gov.tw/html/sec_13.html Facebook - www.facebook.com/hellopuzih Advertisement by the Chiayi County Government
FARM FUN TAICHUNG
As for the tour, the highlights are the many species of fruits and vegetables grown on the leveled ground some 400 meters above the valley f loor. From basil to bananas, avocados to lemons, and Brazilian grapes to chestnuts, the land supports a veritable cornucopia of naturally grown goodness. Plants used for landscaping, such as cherry trees, are also grown here, and available for purchase. On a walk among the rows of produce, the farmers teaching guests about the local ecology are knowledgeable about every square centimeter of the property, down to the specific hiding places of the area's local population of flying squirrels. Another feature of the farm is the 40-some species of butterf ly and moth that flutter about the grounds from April through December. They range greatly in size, with the smallest butterfly having a wingspan of just one centimeter, and the largest moth measuring an astonishing 26 centimeters from wingtip to wingtip. On walks around the farm, guides regale guests with interesting tidbits of related information, such as the fact that the silk made by one species of moth native to the 36
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farm is so strong that it could be used in the production of bulletproof vests. With nets in hand, the guides humanely capture the beautiful flying creatures, allowing guests to deftly handle them and observe them close up while the guides explain their various survival techniques. For example, the euploea, or common crow butterfly, is the possum of the butterfly world, playing dead when caught so as to discourage predators from feasting on a potentially spoiled meal. While in the Shigang area you can also check out the Shigang Dam and the adjacent 921 Earthquake memorial park. If you're interested in learning about the culture of the local Hakka people, there is also the Tuniu Hakka Cultural Hall (www.tuniuhakka.taichung.gov.tw ), a place of learning that showcases the traditional Hakka home of the Liu family, members of which still return to the home on certain holidays to worship their ancestors. Visit Shigang, and you may find yourself returning as well one day to satisfy a deepfelt desire to revisit the bucolic splendor of central Taiwan's idyllic hillside climes.
4 Getting there To get to Tamarind Farm from Taipei, catch a train from Taipei Main Station to Fengyuan, north of central Taichung. From there you can easily take a taxi to the farm, which takes about 20 minutes. It's also possible to ride a High Speed Rail train to Taichung Station (at Wuri), then transfer to a bus to Shigang, with the final leg a taxi ride to the farm. However, with fewer transfers between modes of transportation, taking the conventional train, resulting in a trip of just over two hours from Taipei to Tamarind, is probably the more expedient of the two options. Tamarind Farm ( 羅望子生態教育休閒農場 ) Add: 6-6, Gangxian Lane, Wanxian St., Shigang District, Taichung City ( 台中市石岡區萬仙街岡仙巷 6 之 6 號 ) Tel: (04) 2572-2855, 0910-495-155 Website: www.treed.com.tw English and Chinese Da'an River 大安溪 Dajia River 大甲溪 Fengyuan 豐原 Liu 劉 Luo 羅 luo wangzi 羅望子
Shigang Dam 石岡水壩 Shigang Township 石岡鄉 Tuniu Hakka Cultural Hall 土牛客家文化館 Wuri 烏日
1. Introcucing the farm's butterfly population 2. Makino bamboo shoot 3. Tuniu Hakka Cultural Hall 4. Small butterfly
The Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path
A significant milestone in the development of Taiwan’s cycling culture was the creation of the island’s first bicycle-only route, the Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path, in Taitung County in 1997. Guanshan is a rural township at the southern end of the East Rift Valley, an awe-inspiring 180-kilometer north-south valley with a
Taiwan’s Original Biker-Dedicated Cycling Route Text: Nick Kembel Photos: Maggie Song
tract of flat, fertile plain between the Central Mountain Range and the Coastal Mountain Range. Much of the valley floor is covered with rice paddies and fruit plantations, crisscrossed by a network of irrigation canals. The region around Guanshan is known as one of Taiwan’s breadbaskets, with waters so fresh and pure that locals claim the rice harvested there to be the most fragrant on the island. The Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path gives visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the best
Zongguan Sun Moon Pavilion
to Luye, Taitung
Yuan Chang Guanshan Lunchboxes
to Taitung City
rural scenery the area has to offer.
Guanshan Police Station
Old Railway Station Guanshan Old Railway Station
Giant Cycling Service Center to Chishang Hongshi River
Guanshan Canal and Aisle of Betel Nut Palms Guanshan Water Park
Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path
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Old Railway Station Guanshan has been the administrative center for the East Rift Valley since the Qing Dynasty, and one interesting relic here is the Guanshan Old Railway Station. After exiting the modern Guanshan Railway Station, you’ll find the old station to the right, 60 meters away. Built in 1919, the restored building combines elements of Japanese and Western architecture. The roof is curved, a design that was commonly used for public buildings in France in the 19 th century, while the windows feature characteristic Japanese wooden frames. Across the street and a little further down the road, you can also admire the well-preserved Old Station Master’s Dormitory, constructed in the same year. Cat lovers take note – the neighborhood also has a large number of feline residents, making for plenty of cute-photo ops. Today, the Old Railway Station houses a Giant Cycling Service Center, offering the highest-quality bikes for hire as well as showers, Internet access, book sharing, and bike repairs.
Guanshan Canal and Aisle of Betel Nut Palms Once you’ve rented a bike, pedal back past Guanshan Railway Station and continue until you hit Longsheng Road. Hang a left and you’ll soon pass several other bicycle-rental shops. After a few minutes, you’ll reach the starting point of the Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path, a 15.2-kilometer paved trail. Turn left at the signs to begin a counterclockwise circuit of Guanshan. A large metal statue of two bicycles indicates the official starting point. On the first section of the path, you’ll be riding between a number of guesthouses on your left and the picturesque Guanshan Canal on your right. Here you are likely to spot domesticated water buffalo grazing on the shallow canal’s banks and plodding through the trickling water while cattle egrets scurry behind them. Soon you’ll reach the Aisle of Betel Nut Palms, a length of trail on which the cyclist is flanked on both sides by lanky areca palm trees. Visible at the top are clusters of betel nuts; the betel nut is a small fruit that is chewed across Taiwan for its mildly stimulating effect.
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Zongguan Sun Moon Pavilion Further along, the trail veers left and follows the Hongshi River, ascending gradually towards the base of the Central Mountain Range. Don’t be surprised to find yourself parking every few minutes and abandoning your bike to prance along rice paddies or take in the bucolic scenery from the comfort of one of the many paddy-perimeter stone ledges. The trail eventually meets and runs parallel to another irrigation canal along the mountain base, at which point you’ve gained sufficient altitude to enjoy sweeping views over Guanshan Township. The highest section is denoted by the Zongguan Sun Moon Pavilion, which provides an ideal vantage point for appreciating the full panorama. Beyond the pavilion, the trail meanders through woods for some time. Next, signs warn you to use brakes along a kilometer-long downhill stretch – but who can resist? The downhill run is exhilarating. Do be aware, however, that just as your speed is building up you’ll pass signs for a strawberry farm that serves shaved-ice desserts on a patio overlooking a strawberry field, which may entice you to make a sudden stop.
Guanshan Water Park After you've picked the insects out of your teeth following your downhill coast, your path will merge with a road, and after a bit you will come upon the Guanshan Water Park. Once a riverside dumping ground, this 32-hectare plot of land has been converted into a water-theme park. Here kids (and sweaty cyclists) can frolic in all manner of water fountains, ride swan-shaped paddleboats around an artificial lake, enjoy an eco-tour around the birdwatching center, or simply pedal around the pleasant grounds. The park is a stone’s throw from the starting point of the bicycle loop, bringing you full circle.
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Yuan Chang Guanshan Lunchboxes Hungry after your ride? One of the best places in the area to fill up on delicious, no-frills grub is the Yuan Chang Guanshan Lunchbox shop 50 meters in front of Guanshan Railway Station on the left. Much like the compact meals sold around the railway stations in Fulong in New Taipei City and Fenqihu in Chiayi County, Guanshan’s boxed lunches are known island-wide. But what makes the Guanshan version unique? At first glance, nothing. All come with fried veggies, a soy-braised egg, and your choice of fish or meat atop a bed of rice. The claim to fame for the Guanshan lunchbox is the rice itself. Harvested locally, the rice served here is thought by many to be the tastiest you’ll find in Taiwan.
Bike Rental The most convenient place to rent a bicycle is the Giant Cycling Service Center inside the Guanshan Old Railway Station. Bicycles cost NT$150 per day on weekdays and NT$300 on weekends/holidays. Bikes with advanced functions are also available. For cheaper bike rentals, or for motorized bikes that can seat an entire family, there are loads of shops on Longsheng Road, which you’ll pass on the way to the start of the Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path. Giant Cycling Service Center: Guanshan Branch Add: 6 Bo'ai Street, Guanshan Township, Taitung County ( 台東縣關山鎮博愛街 6 號 ) Tel: (089) 814-391 Hours: Weekdays 9am to 6pm, weekends/holidays 8am to 6pm, closed on Thursdays Guanshan Police Station Add: 27 Zhongzheng Rd., Guanshan Township, Taitung County ( 台東縣關山鎮中正路 27 號 ) Tel: (089) 811-011
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Guanshan Police Station After lunch, pop into the Guanshan Police Station (open Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 12pm and 3 to 4pm, closed on national holidays and election days). Where else will you get a chance to sit down to a cup of coffee and informal chat with a group of small-town Taiwanese cops? According to one sign, if you get 30 friends to like their Facebook page, they’ll even prepare you a complimentary “Police Chief Coffee.” What’s more, you can put your feet up with nothing but a well-manicured garden and lotus pond between you and the local penitentiary. In the garden you’ll also find the free Police Historical Museum, which houses artifacts such as police badges, rifles, uniforms, and even motorcycles from days gone by.
Tianhou Temple Add: 1, Ln. 2, Zhonghua Rd., Guanshan Township, Taitung County ( 台東縣關山鎮中華路 2 巷 1 號 )
English and Chinese Aisle of Betel Nut Palms 檳榔小徑 Central Mountain Range 中央山脈 Coastal Mountain Range 海岸山脈 East Rift Valley 花東縱谷 Fenqihu 奮起湖 Fulong 福隆 Giant Cycling Service Center 捷安特關山站 Guanshan 關山 Guanshan Canal 關山大圳 Guanshan Old Railway Station 關山舊火車站 Guanshan Police Station 關山分局
Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path 關山環鎮自行車道 Guanshan Water Park 關山親水公園 Hongshi River 紅石溪 Longsheng Road 隆盛路 Old Station Master’s Dormitory 關山舊站長宿舍 Police Historical Museum 警察史蹟文物館 Tianhou Temple 天后宮 Yuan Chang Guanshan Lunchboxes 源昌飯店關山便當 Zongguan Sun Moon Pavilion 縱關日月亭
Tianhou Temple Don’t leave town without paying a visit to Tianhou Temple, the most important house of worship for Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, in the East Rift Valley. Constructed to enshrine a Mazu statue brought by a worshipper from Taichung in 1895, the current layout dates to 1930 and features a large terrace with a stage for performances along with an elegant banyan tree. You can marvel at the peaks of the Central Mountain Range that form a backdrop. Inside the temple, hundreds of red lanterns create a glowing ceiling over the worship area.
Getting There & Getting Around Guanshan is on the main Hualien to Taitung railway line. Trains from Taipei take 3.5 to 5 hours. The Guanshan Police Station and Tianhou Temple are a short walk from the railway station, while all other attractions mentioned are best accessed by bicycle. The Guanshan Town Circle Bicycle Path can be completed in 1 hour, though most people take 2 to 3 hours with stops.
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MY FAVORITE SPOTS KEELUNG
Keelung, 40 minutes by commuter train northeast of Taipei City, is a blue-collar harbor town visually characterized by ships, container trucks, narrow streets, and old houses. The city is predominantly industrial, but does indeed have a compelling collection of scenic attractions as well. Travel in Taiwan recently paid Keelung a visit, going to locations that artist Wang Chieh, who lives in the city, has beautifully depicted in his paintings and written about in one of his books. Text: Owain Mckimm
Photos: Maggie Song
Paintings: Wang Chieh
Wang Chieh is a Keelung-based artist best known for his landscape paintings using watercolors and ink. He studied painting in Spain for many years, attaining his Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona. After returning to Taiwan in 2003 he began painting his hometown of Keelung, capturing the city’s character and beauty in bright, vibrant watercolors, several of which are showcased in his book “A Painter’s Guide to Keelung .” Other publications include “Paintings of My Time in Spain ” and “Art Lessons on the Road .” Since his return he has also traveled the country documenting and painting the island’s places and people, and writing up his travels in a number of newspaper and magazine columns.
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MY FAVORITE SPOTS KEELUNG
The sun is blazing as we arrive at a trail in eastern Keelung that will take us down a hill into Wangyou Valley – a rare sight in what is known as Taiwan’s rainy city. Slowly we descend the steps. Coastal plants cover the edges of the trail, their leaves thick and waxy to retain moisture in the salty sea air. Purple-headed thistles spring up among other wildflowers. White trumpet-nosed blooms cling to the steep cliffs. Bulbuls, white-eyes, babblers, and thrushes duck and weave among the dense thickets. Serpent eagles and goshawks soar above a coast that has been ravaged year after year, century after century by typhoons, monsoon rains, and crashing waves. Peppered, too, amongst the hills are remnants of Keelung’s military past: pillbox guard posts and fortified lookouts peep from the undergrowth, fighting a losing battle against Mother Nature. After climbing to the top of one of the area’s several peaks, we see the small fishing harbor of Badouzi on the left beyond, while ahead of us stretches the wide expanse of the East China Sea.
“When I was young,” Wang recalls in one of his books, “I brought a friend here who had just had his heart broken. Under a warm sun and with a cool breeze blowing, we lay down, watching the goshawks circling above the bay and birds shuttling back and forth through the long grass. In that moment, everything seemed buoyant. My heartbroken friend slept, his cares forgotten.” It should come as no surprise to anyone visiting this place that the characters used for the “wangyou ” ( 望 幽 ) in the valley’s name form a homophone for another Chinese term that means “forget your worries” ( 忘憂 ).
To the northwest of Wangyou Valley lies Heping Island. In 1626, the Spanish arrived on this island, declared it Spanish territory, and built a fortification – Fort San Salvador – on the southwestern side. The fort and any traces of the Spanish on Heping Island have, unfortunately, been largely lost to history, but a small snapshot of the island’s colonial years can be seen in the geo park on its northern side. Much like at nearby Yeliu (with its famous Queen’s Head Rock), the main attractions in the park are the divertingly shaped sandstone rocks along the sea’s edge. Follow the path around the park and you’ll come across the Cave of Foreign Words, a 20-meter-long natural tunnel that pierces a small headland near the eastern edge of the park. Inside the cave there is, purportedly, some 17th-century graffiti left by the Dutch, who took over Fort San Salvador in the 1640s. One of Wang’s paintings of the island – an imitation of a 17th-century map engraving – is a tribute to the island’s now largely lost colonial history, though Wang admits that its details rely as much on his imagination as they do on hard archaeological evidence.
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MY FAVORITE SPOTS KEELUNG
One of several old fortifications perched upon the hilltops around Keelung, Baimiweng commands a spectacular view of both the harbor and the sea. The small, winding lane that leads to the fort is a bit difficult to find, even for Keelungers, says Wang, who, with a painter’s romantic eye, goes on to compare the challenging ascent up the narrow, twisting road to the journey up to the citadel of Évora Monte in Portugal. Reaching the fortifications, you’re confronted with a spectacular vista and four large semi-circular gun emplacements, each of which was capable in its time of hosting a 5.65-meter-long cannon able to fire a steel shell 8.8 kilometers at enemy battleships. Though the current fortifications date back only to the early 1900s, Wang writes that fortifications have been built on this location since the 17th-century colonial conflicts between the Spanish and the Dutch, a fact attested by the fort’s alternate name, Holland Castle. “From here the night view of the harbor is breathtaking,” Wang writes, “and on the other side, far out to sea, you can see freighters slowly entering the harbor, while further away still you can see the sun setting.”
It would be almost sacrilegious of us to visit a harbor town like Keelung and not visit a seafood restaurant. One of Wang’s recommendations is the Three Sisters Eatery on Xiao 4th Road. “This eatery is a Keelung institution – if you haven’t eaten here, then you haven’t been to Keelung,” he writes. To describe the place as nondescript would be a severe understatement – the eatery’s name isn’t even on display. Inside, however, the place bustles with the clinking of beer glasses, the chatter of locals, and the scoffing down of good nosh.
Travel in Taiwan
“The first time I came here to eat, I commented to my friend how similar to a Spanish bar it was,” writes Wang. “Of course, I wasn’t speaking in terms of the décor, but the atmosphere, the food, the noise, the large local crowd, the price – all these reminded me of Spain.” We order a few dishes, including jellied fish skin, crispy fried oysters, and squid in five-flavor sauce. For a seafood-sceptic like myself this is all looking to be a bit much, but the food proves to be fresh, the flavors light, the textures firm, crisp, and chewy.
“It’s difficult to imagine that Keelung was once a bay of mud flats and sand, with just a few scattered aboriginal settlements,” Wang writes. And nowhere is this truer than when you’re standing in the city’s center. As a busy, working container port, central Keelung is a churning organism of cranes and freight containers, trundling cargo ships and busy-bee tugboats. The narrow streets and alleys that creep out from the narrow central harbor can become, especially on weekends, breathtakingly crowded – a situation abetted by the fact that the nearby Miaokou Night Market is one of the most famous in Taiwan. The turbulence of the port and its environs is perhaps only equaled by the turbulent history of the harbor itself. The bay, situated in a position of prime strategic importance (for both trade and military purposes), was for centuries fought over by the Chinese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Japanese, and even the French. Foreign powers and natives alike were both thwarted, writes Wang, by the tropical diseases that bred in the area’s then miasmal conditions – an atmosphere that is perhaps echoed in the heavy smell of diesel oil that accompanies any large congregation of ships. Nonetheless, there is a serenity to be found here. Head to the decking at the south side of the harbor, where hundreds of wind socks, painted and modelled to resemble multicolored tropical fish, line the waterfront, and sit there watching the ocean-going cargo ships enter the harbor. As they gently drift and turn in to dock, silent and steady, you may get a sense that this place, so often P31阿里山賓館_E_1-3_201505-06.pdf 2015/5/8 上午10:21 ravaged by armed1 conflict over the course of its history, has finally found peace.
Alishan House has the best location of any hotel in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, offering uninterrupted views of the best scenery Alishan has to offer, including the sea of clouds, the sunset glow, and sacred trees. The hotel itself is a mix of old and new structures. The main building (Historical House) has an old-time atmosphere and used to be the guesthouse where past ROC presidents stayed. There is also the new building (Modern House), completed in December 2012 after nine years of construction and costing NT$1.3 billion, which has modern design and novel facilities. Alishan House is definitely the best accommodation choice in the Alishan area.
Getting There and Around To get to Keelung, take a train or intercity bus from Taipei. Both trains and buses are frequent, and the journey takes 40-50 minutes. To get to Baimiweng Fort, take the No. 301 bus from Keelung City Bus Station (near the train station) to Taibai Villa, then head up Lane 37 of Guanghua Road. Baimiweng is at the top. To get to the Heping Island geo park, take the no. 101 bus to Hepingdao Park. To get to Wangyou Valley, take the 103 to the National Museum of Marine Science and Technology stop. Or take a train from Taipei to Ruifang, switch to the Shen’ao Line, and take the train to the National Museum of Marine and Science Technology (NMMST) Station. A free shuttle bus travels frequently, on both weekdays and weekends, from both the museum entrance and the train station to Wangyou Valley. The Three Sisters Eatery is located at 7 Xiao 4 th Road, a short walk from Keelung Railway Station. English and Chinese “A Painter’s Guide to Keelung” 畫家帶路 ˙基隆小旅行 “Art Lessons on the Road” 旅途上的畫畫課 Badouzi 八斗子 Baimiweng Fort 白米甕砲台 Cave of Foreign Words 蕃字洞 Guanghua Road 光華路 Heping Island 和平島 Hepingdao Park 和平島公園 Holland Castle 荷蘭城 Keelung 基隆 Keelung Harbor 基隆港 Miaokou Night Market 廟口夜市
National Museum of Marine Science and Technology 國立海洋科技博物館 “Paintings of My Time in Spain” 手繪西班牙時光 Queen’s Head Rock 女王頭 Ruifang 瑞芳 Shen’ao Line 深澳線 Taibai Villa 太白莊 Three Sisters Eatery 三姐妹餐廳 Wang Chieh 王傑 Wangyou Valley 望幽谷 Xiao 4 th Road 孝四路 Yeliu 野柳
Staying at Alishan House allows guests to conveniently experience the five wonders Alishan is well-known for: sunrise, sea of clouds, sunset glow, forest, and mountain railway! You can also enjoy the natural forest air and appreciate clouds and mist and the lush green mountains at an elevation of more than 2,000 meters. A stay at Alishan House is like enjoying a natural spa, and is a great way of leaving behind the hustle and bustle of the city and charging one’s batteries in the embrace of nature.
16 Xianglin Village, Alishan Township, Chiayi County +886-5-267-9816 www.alishanhouse.com.tw
POPULAR PASTIMES BASEBALL
After going through a few periods of trouble, professional baseball in Taiwan is on an upswing these days. Not only are attendance numbers on the rise, the quality of entertainment provided during the games, on and off the field, also seems better than ever, giving sports fans plenty of reasons to go the ballpark and enjoy the games.
he entire crowd is hopping up and down, bellowing as if possessed and beating their thundersticks together in frantic applause. Fireworks burst above our heads. The thunderous pounding of a drum signals a successful play by the home team or a mistake by the visiting team. Cheerleaders punctuate the frenzy with synchronized para para-style dance routines. An aviator glasses-sporting, megaphone-wielding hype-man struts around on a stage above one of the dugouts like a strange hybrid of Mick Jagger and Maverick from Top Gun. A giant blue monkey frolics among the fans in the grandstand. And, apparently, there's a baseball game going on as well.
Text: Owain Mckimm
Such is the experience of going to a baseball game in Taiwan – sensory overload. Indeed, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this frenzy was for a championship game or a season opener – but no. The hullabaloo, which could put one of Taiwan’s famously raucous temple fairs to shame, is all for a run-of-themill mid-season match on a drizzly Thursday evening in April. And this despite the fact that in Taiwan, baseball exists on a relatively small scale. There is one professional baseball league, with just four teams (compared to Japan’s 12 and the US Major League Baseball’s 30). It is a sport that, over the two-and-ahalf decades since the formation of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), has seen its popularity rise and fall
Photos: Maggie Song
l l l l a a b b e e s s a a B B o o t t BBaacckk tt r r o o p p S S 1 1 o.. o N N s s ’ ’ n n a a w aiiw a T T f f o o l l a a v viiv Reev R
Travel in Taiwan
POPULAR PASTIMES BASEBALL
dramatically in the wake of several unpleasant scandals and the resultant team and player bannings. Happily, the sport is now on something of a high; but at its lowest point, around the turn of the millennium, attendance had slumped to just 301,671 a year – a mere 1,600 people per game – and though the figures did slowly recover, until just recently numbers languished at around half of what they had been during the glory years of baseball before the first big scandal hit the sport in 1997. The year that can be seen as the rebirth of Taiwanese baseball is 2013. That year saw the highest attendance in local baseball since 1995, with 1,459,072 fans attending games (an average of 6,079 per game), and a giant 150% leap over the previous year. A number of factors contributed to this major bump in the sport’s popularity – first, the Chinese Taipei (read: Taiwan) national team advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic for the first time in its history – prompting about a third of the country to tune in to watch a live game (a figure which broke TV viewing records). This, coupled with the same-year EDA Rhinos’ signing of Manny Ramirez, a former US Major League Baseball (MLB) star and a favorite of fans the world over, gave Taiwanese baseball the proverbial shot in the arm it needed.
As well, one should not underestimate the significance of the fact that the World Baseball Classic game that drew so much national attention was played against Taiwan's longtime baseball rival, Japan – a serendipitous pairing that almost certainly conjured up waves of nostalgia for the glory days of Taiwanese Little League baseball. For as it happens, from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s Taiwan’s 9- to 12-year-olds were dominant on the international level – a phenomenon that started, once again, with a game against Japan. In 1968, a Little League team made up of Taiwanese indigenous students from a small elementary school in the village of Hongye, Taitung County, took on an all-star team from the Land of the Rising Sun … and won! This victor y over Taiwan’s for mer colonial overlord convinced Taiwan’s Chinese Baseball Association to begin dispatching teams to take part in the annual Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. And, over the next decade-plus, teams from Taiwan trounced the competition, winning 10 Little League World Series titles between 1969 and 1981. As of today, Taiwan still has more Little League World Series titles (a total of 17) than any other country since the tournament’s inception.
Travel in Taiwan
POPULAR PASTIMES BASEBALL
The Lamigirls, cheerleaders of the Lamigo Monkeys
In 1989, inspired perhaps by the international success of Taiwan’s Little League and adult amateur teams, a group of Taiwanese companies established a professional league – the CPBL. The four current teams in the league are the Lamigo Monkeys, whose home ground is the International Baseball Stadium in Taoyuan; the Chinatrust Brothers, who play out of Taichung's Intercontinental Baseball Stadium; the EDA Rhinos, based at the Chengching Lake Baseball Field in Kaohsiung; and the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions, who call Tainan's Municipal Baseball Stadium home. Games are also frequently held in smaller stadiums around the country, such as Tianmu District in Taipei, Chiayi City, and Douliu City in Yunlin County. The baseball season runs from March to October, and is split into two halves. A total of 240 games are played per season, with each team playing 120 (60 in each half-season). This equates to about 5 games per week. The winners of each halfseason advance to the post-season Taiwan Series playoffs in October, where they play a best-of-seven series to determine the overall winner. The winner of the Taiwan Series then goes on to represent Taiwan in the Asia Series, going up against teams
Travel in Taiwan
Lamigo Monkeys mascot
from Japan, South Korea, Australia, mainland China and, more recently, Europe. Due to the frequency and broad geographical distribution of league games, going to see one live is actually rather simple. Weekday games obviously draw a smaller crowd, but this of course makes getting your hands on a ticket all the easier, and the fans’ enthusiasm certainly does not diminish with fewer numbers. If you’re based in northern Taiwan, the team you support by default is the Lamigo Monkeys. So, on the aforementioned drizzly Thursday evening, Travel in Taiwan headed to Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium to see the Monkeys face off against Kaohsiung’s EDA Rhinos. We arrived a little early to explore the stadium, where we found plenty of snack vendors selling a mix of Western and Taiwanese foods. You’ll of course find the baseball staples you’re most familiar with, hot dogs and beer. But you can also indulge in such treats as stinky tofu, fried noodles, and Japanese-style boxed lunches if the mood strikes you.
POPULAR PASTIMES BASEBALL
As you might expect, there’s a lot of home-team merchandise on offer too, like caps and jerseys, but one thing you definitely want to pick up is a pair of thundersticks for NT$100. These hollow plastic batons are wielded by just about every fan in the stadium, and are used to create a cacophonous chorus of banging in support of your team. And though the game itself is undoubtedly exciting, a big part of the experience of attending a baseball match in Taiwan is the cheer squad – for the Lamigo Monkeys, this is the Lamigirls. These energetic young ladies, along with the hype men, do a sterling job of continually keeping the crowd pumped up and ready to cheer. There is a personal chant for each player, every possible outcome has a ditty, every foul ball, home run, or hit has its own anthem. For someone relatively new to the game, it's very difficult to know quite where to look, as the cabaret performance going on in the grandstands constantly vies for your attention, and more often than not steals it, over the comparatively pedestrian activity of bat and ball happening below. After the third inning, the Lamigirls take a break, and are replaced by the Lamigo Kids – a junior cheer-leading team whose currency is their “aww”-inspiring cuteness. At the end of the sixth inning the Lamigirls are back, this time sporting graceful Tang Dynasty robes instead of their erstwhile crop tops and miniskirts. At the end of the game we leave not quite understanding what we have seen, with eyes exhausted from darting about and throats and limbs aching from the infectious and unrelenting revelry. For those thinking of attending a game in Taoyuan, the best seats in the house are in the infield lower-deck areas C, D, and E. This is where all the fans congregate, and you get a good view of both the Lamigirls and the game. Prices at the Taoyuan stadium range from NT$200 for a pre-booked seat in the outfield bleachers to NT$500 for a seat in the “hot” areas of the lower deck on a weekend. Tickets are a little cheaper during the week, and a little cheaper still if you pre-book.
Getting There To get to the Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium, take a Taiwan High Speed Rail train to Taoyuan Station. A taxi from the station to the stadium costs NT$150. The closest train station to Taroko Sports is Zhongli Station (part of the regular railway service network). A taxi from there to the sports center costs around NT$140. A ride from Taroko Sports to Taoyuan Stadium costs around NT$250. Buying Tickets The easiest way to buy tickets is from one of Taiwan’s many convenience stores. Lamigo Monkeys tickets can be bought from the FamiPort machines in FamilyMart. Tickets for all other teams can be bought on ibon machines in 7-Eleven. Instructions on how to buy the tickets can be found at www. cpbl.com.tw/ticket.aspx . A full match schedule can be found at www.cpbl.com.tw/schedule.aspx . You can also buy tickets at the stadium. English and Chinese Chinese Professional Baseball League 中華職業棒球大聯盟 Chinatrust Brothers 中信兄弟 EDA Rhinos 義大犀牛 Lamigo Monkeys 那米哥桃猿 Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions 統一 7-ELEVEN 獅 Taoyuan International Baseball Stadium ( 桃園國際棒球場 ) Add: 1, Sec. 1, Linghang N. Rd., Zhongli District, Taoyuan City ( 桃園市中壢區領航北路一段 1 號 ) Website: www.lamigo-monkeys.com.tw Tel: (03) 425-0927 Taroko Sports ( 大魯閣 ) Add: 561 Huanzhong E. Rd., Zhongli District, Taoyuan City ( 桃園市中壢區環中東路 561 號 ) Tel: (03) 461-0015 Taroko Sports has branches all over Taiwan. You can find the addresses on www.trk.com.tw /location.
Gearing Up at Taroko Sports
To get into the right mindset for an evening of baseball, we visited the batting cages at the Taroko Sports center in Taoyuan’s Zhongli District. The facility has 15 cages, with balls fired at speeds ranging from 80 to 140 kph. We also tried a round of pitching practice – an experience which really makes you appreciate how hard it is to throw a ball in a straight line at any sort of speed. In addition to baseball, the center also has basketball, darts, pool, and bowling facilities. For NT$400 you get 13 tokens – one of which will get you 30 balls in a batting cage.
Travel in Taiwan
EASY HIKING KAOHSIUNG
Scenic Shoushan Kaohsiung Cityâ€™s Awesome Backyard
Text: Richard Saunders Photos: Shoushan National Nature Park, Kaohsiung City Government, Richard Saunders, Vision
Trail through Shoushan's lush forest Travel in Taiwan
EASY HIKING KAOHSIUNG
Unlike Taipei in the north, a big city surrounded by lush mountains, only one mountain of significance is to be found on a map of the urban core of Kaohsiung City in the south. This mountain, however, provides residents and visitors alike with a wonderful escape from the city’s busy streets, allowing them to follow hiking trails through a green environment of interesting flora and fauna (monkeys!), and a unique landscape with peculiar rock formations and caves.
houshan (Mt. Longevity), one of the few limestone landscapes in Taiwan, is a perfect example of the tectonic forces that have shaped Taiwan. The ridge, six kilometers long and about two wide, is formed from ancient coral reefs that, over millennia, have been uplifted above the surface of the sea. The exposed rock has since been cracked by earthquakes and dissolved by rain to form a weird (and for Taiwan almost unique) landscape of gorges, narrow clefts, jagged coral formations, and caves (unfortunately not open to the public) containing some of the finest stalactite formations in Taiwan. Shoushan isn’t the only area of exposed limestone in Taiwan (Kenting National Forest Recreation Area and Little Liuqiu island are also fine examples), but it’s the largest and most impressive. Established in October 2009, Shoushan National Nature Park (snnp.cpami.gov. tw) is the first such park to be established in Taiwan. It is divided into five distinct areas, the main one being Shoushan, all on the western side of the city of Kaohsiung. Beyond the protected for mations of Shoushan itself, three of the other areas encompass hills made of uplifted coral: Banpingshan, Guishan, and Qihoushan (on Qijin Island). Shou sh a n is of cou r se t he m a i n attraction. The long, wooded ridge is a conspicuous feature that can be seen from many parts of the city. The three main trailheads, however, all tucked away on the eastern (inland) side of the ridge, are slightly tricky to find since they’re not especially well signposted. The easiest to locate is at the southern end of the ridge, near the Shoushan Zoo (zoo.kcg.gov.tw ), while the other two are both at about the
north/south mid-point of the eastern side, near Qianguang Temple and Longquan Temple, respectively. English-language maps and signs are generously scattered along the trails, so getting around is very straightforward. The English-language maps depict several color-coded routes around the mountain, linking some of the more interesting sights and landmarks. These make a good basic plan for exploring the mountain, although unfortunately the paths themselves aren’t correspondingly color-coded, so visitors have to rely on the signposts at junctions. A lt hou g h t he z o o t r a i l he a d h a s the most convenient public transport connections, the best place to start your climb is probably from the middle of the main trailheads just spoken of, which starts by a car park beside Qianguang Temple, where the ridge is at its most rugged and impressive. The trail leaves the car park on a raised wooden walkway, climbing quite steeply past a huge old banyan tree, but after a spell turns into a wide, dusty
track winding more gently up the wooded hillside. About 20 minutes after your start you will pass the Four Banyans viewpoint, from whence it’s about another half hour to the more impressive Rocky Banyan, a huge old tree impressively clinging to the side of a sheer rocky crag, and often occupied by the mountain’s resident Formosan macaques. The Rocky Banyan is a pretty central landmark, and most of the more interesting caves, gorges, and other formations are within easy walking distance of it. To complete a fine, fairly easy, and very scenic loop, follow the path (color-coded brown on the maps) down the steps to the foot of the little cliff to which the Rocky Banyan clings. From here it’s just a few minutes to the Lotus Cave, a dark opening at the foot of a small sinkhole beside the path. From here a path strikes out into the accessible part of the mountain’s northern side (most of the northern part of Shoushan is a military zone, so don’t go beyond any warning signs), to the Monkey View Pavilion (another especially good place to see monkeys) and the Monkey Rock (a
Travel in Taiwan
EASY HIKING KAOHSIUNG
fine cliff), and on to Thailand Valley (turn right off the paved path at the wooden Chinese-language sign), which has perhaps the most impressive formations on the entire mountain. From here the browncoded path descends back to the Longquan Temple trailhead. Back at the Rocky Banyan, another scenic loop takes you along a trail that heads southwest to a flat terrace called the Longevity Rest Area, from where you can reach a network of trails on the southwestern half of the mountain. By far the most interesting section in this part of Shoushan is behind the pretty picnic area at the Silent Valley Pavilion. Here a network of dirt trails (mostly not signposted, and rougher than the more popular paths further north) climbs towards the highest point of the Shoushan ridge (349 meters), and passes some of the most interesting clefts and gullies, such as the Tiger Cave (a cleft in a nearly sheer cliff face, scaled with the aid of a long fixed rope), Monkey Cave (a maze-like network of narrow clefts
and gullies in the coral), and Mountain Pig Cave (a small sinkhole). Scarcely less conspicuous than the bizarre coral landscapes of Shoushan is its colony of Formosan macaques, the only species of monkey native to Taiwan. These wonderful creatures are common in the wooded hills of southern Taiwan, and can also be spotted in many parts of the north, such as on Yangmingshan on Taipei’s north, but Shoushan is one of the best places on the island to see them, as up-close-and-personal encounters with these critters (which remain wild, but have no fear of humans) are a guaranteed part of any hike here. Shoushan’s monkeys are generally docile enough, but be sure to hide any food (or anything that looks like food) while walking along the paths. If you want to eat, the safest place to take food out is at popular rest stops like the Rocky Banyan or one of the pavilions near Monkey Rock, where there’s safety in (human) numbers! Try to leave time for exploration of some of Shoushan National Nature Park’s other districts as well. Banpingshan, to
Scarcely less conspicuous than the bizarre coral landscapes of Shoushan is its colony of Formosan macaques, the only species of monkey native to Taiwan
Travel in Taiwan
the north of Shoushan, is a distinct ridge about 2 kilometers long near HSR (High Speed Rail) Zuoying Station. The main trail on the ridge climbs up from the south to the viewing platform on the 233-meterhigh summit. Nearby Guishan is an even smaller chunk of coral, rearing above the southern shore of Kaohsiung’s most popular tourist attraction, Lotus Pond. Despite its tiny size, Guishan is a surprisingly scenic spot and well worth a look while checking off the pond’s exuberant Spring and Autumn Pavilions and Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. The rugged little eminence is dotted with atmospheric, long-abandoned army bunkers and fortifications that are rapidly being reclaimed by the aged banyans and other trees that clothe the steep slopes. At the northern foot of the hill is a surviving stretch of the wall that once protected the old city of Zuoying, pierced by the fine North Gate, one of the three gates to the old city that still survive. The old East Gate and another, longer stretch of the old city wall lie a bit further south, bordering Chengfeng Road, while the South Gate now stands isolated in the center of a large traffic circle at the southern end of Chengfeng Road. There are also two prehistoric sites in this district.
Other Places of Interest South of Shoushan is the British Consulate at Takao. Located on a hill overlooking the city, this is a great place to learn about local history and enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the grand views of Kaohsiung Harbor. Not far from the consulate, to the northwest, is Xizi Bay, a popular location to view sunsets. Heading east from the consulate, following the roads that take you around Gushan Fishing Por t, you’ll reach Gushan Ferr y Pier, from where you can take a ferr y to Qijin Island. The long and narrow island serves as a natural protective barrier for Kaohsiung Harbor and has a number of tourist attractions, including the Kaohsiung Lighthouse, seafood restaurants, and a long sandy beach that is another good location to view the setting sun. Getting to Shoushan For the Quanguang Temple trailhead, take bus 73 or 218 and get of f at Gushan Se nior High School. Take the road beside the school towards the wooded ridge, then turn right at the end. The trailhead is to the right of the large temple at this location. For the Longquan Temple trailhead, take bus 3 8 or 219, get of f at Longquan Temple stop, then walk five minutes along Lane 51 to the temple. Buses to the city zoo all pass the southern trailhead. 1. One of Shoushan's many Formosan macaques 2. Mysterious forest 3. Kaohsiung Harbor 4. Pedicab ride on Qijin Island 5. Sunset at Xizi Bay
English and Chinese Banpingshan 半屏山 British Consulate at Takao 打狗英國領事館 Chengfeng Road 城峰路 Dragon and Tiger Pagodas 龍虎塔 Four Banyans 四棵榕 Guishan 龜山 Gushan Ferry Pier 鼓山渡輪站 Gushan Fishing Port 鼓山漁港 Gushan Senior High School 鼓山高中 Kaohsiung Harbor 高雄港 Kaohsiung Lighthouse 高雄燈塔 Kenting National Forest Recreation Area 墾丁國家森林遊樂區 Little Liuqiu 小琉球 Longevity Rest Area 長壽園 Longquan Temple 龍泉寺 Lotus Cave 蓮花洞 Lotus Pond 蓮池潭 Monkey Cave 猴洞 Monkey Rock 猴岩 Monkey View Pavilion 觀猴亭 Mountain Pig Cave 山豬洞 North Gate 北門 Qihoushan 旗後山 Qijin Island 旗津島 Qianguang Temple 千光宮 Rocky Banyan 盤榕 Shoushan 壽山 Shoushan Zoo 壽山動物園 Silent Valley Pavilion 靜谷亭 Spring and Autumn Pavilions 春秋閣 Thailand Valley 泰國谷 Tiger Cave 虎洞 Xizi Bay 西子灣 Yangmingshan 陽明山 Zuoying 左營
Travel in Taiwan
Illustration: Choc Hsu
When Something’s So Unbearably Bright You Need Sunglasses – or a Guide Dog ave you ever listened to someone bragging about his or her love life, or about his or her perfect partner? Unbearable at times, you no doubt agree. Taiwan’s online communities have given birth to a popular term for this kind of bombast: shan guang dan ( 閃光彈 ). Literally meaning “flash bomb,” it is the general term for a flashbang or stun grenade. Why “flash bomb”? Being exposed to unbearable bragging can in fact be like being exposed to a very bright light. It might even be “dangerous.” Young people in Taiwan sometimes refer to someone else’s boyfriend or girlfriend as shan guang ( 閃光 ; “a flash”), and couples in love are often not aware of how others feel when they talk about their love or show too much affection in front of others. This behavior is known online as fang shan ( 放閃 ; “flashing”). So when Taiwanese netizens hear or read about someone expounding on his or her love life or about his or her perfect relationship, they might reply with a “shan guang dan ” to remind the bragger to tune it down a bit or to warn others to be careful and not to expose themselves to too much of this unbearable talk. Someone might even suggest “get your sunglasses!” ( 墨 鏡 ; mojing ) or, in severe cases, “get Quill!” ( 可魯 ; kelu). Quill is the cute seeing-eye dog in the 2004 Japanese movie Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog . Why a guide dog? Well, if exposed to too much fang shan, you might well be left shan xia ( 閃瞎 ; “blinded by flashing”). So be careful what you’re watching and listening to out there!
Travel in Taiwan
OHYA‧ALL YOUR CHAIN BOUTIQUE MOTEL
Hotels of Taiwan
歐 悅。歐 遊 國 際 連 鎖 精 品 旅 館
Visitors to Taiwan have a wide range of choice when it comes to accommodation. From five-star luxury hotels that meet the highest international standards, to affordable business hotels, to hot-spring and beach resort hotels, to privately-run homestays located in the countryside there is a place to stay that satisfies every traveler’s needs. What all hotels of Taiwan — small and big, expensive and affordable — have in common is that serve and hospitality are always of the highest standards. The room rates in the following list have been checked for each hotel, but are subject to change without notice. Room rates at the hotels apply.
＊Hotel list in alphabetical order from Northern to Southern Taiwan.
MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI 美麗信花園酒店
NO. OF ROOMS: 203 ROOM RATES: Deluxe Room Business Room Executive Deluxe Room Boss Suite Premier Suite
Taipei 台 北
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
8,000 10,000 11,000 17,000 21,000
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Japanese, and Chinese RESTAURANTS: Rain Forest, Garden Terrace, Lounge 81, Tic-Tac-Toe Café SPECIAL FEATURES: Business Center, Multifunctional Room, Fitness Club, Outdoor Pool, Sauna, Spa, Aromatherapy, Car Park
HOTEL ÉCLAT 怡亨酒店
NO. OF ROOMS: 20~98
NO. OF ROOMS: 60
ROOM RATES: Superior Titanium Flagship VIP Presidential
ROOM RATES: Suite Suite Suite Suite Suite
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
3,500 - 4,300 3,800 - 4,500 5,000 - 6,000 6,000 - 7,200 8,800-12,000
Deluxe Room Grand Deluxe Room Premier Room Premier 9 Éclat Suite
Taipei 台 北
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
12,000 12,500 13,000 15,000 35,000
(All rates are exclusive of 5% VAT and 10% service charge)
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Chinese RESTAURANTS: Breakfast Buffet SPECIAL FEATURES: Parking lot, free internet access, private bathroom with separate shower & bath tub, pool, massage chair
Hotels of the World; strategically located in the most fashionable and prestigious district of Taipei; offers guests great convenience for business and entertainment; Wi-Fi connectivity and in-room business facilities; variety of meeting rooms providing the ideal venue for professional meetings, corporate functions, and social gatherings.
English, Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese, Cantonese
RESTAURANTS: Éclat Lounge, George Bar SPECIAL FEATURES: Member of Small Luxury
Yilan County, Hualien County, Taitung County, Linkou (New Taipei City), Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, Taichung City, Changhua City, Nantou County, Yunlin County, Chiayi City, Tainan City, Kaohsiung City, PingtungCounty Tel: 886.5.551.5555 Fax: 886.5.551.7755
370, Sec. 1, Dunhua S. Rd., Da-an District, Taipei City 106 106 台 北 市 敦 化 南 路 一 段 370 號 Tel: 02.2784.8888 Fax: 02.2784.7888 Res. Hotline: 02.2784.8118
NO. OF ROOMS: 141 ROOM RATES: CORNER 8 COMFY ZONE D ROOM QUEENS KINGS STUDIO M
Hsinchu 新 竹
PARK TAIPEI HOTEL 台北美侖大飯店
6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 12,000 20,000
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Japanese, and Chinese RESTAURANTS: The Zone Bar & Restaurant SPECIAL FEATURES: Gym, Sky Lounge, Sky Garden
Standard Room Superior Room Deluxe Queen Room Deluxe Room Deluxe Triple Room 101 View Room Balcony Room Executive Room Executive 101 View Room Park Suite
Taipei 台 北
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
ROOM RATES: Deluxe / Single / Twin & Double NT$ 7,800-8,500 Suite NT$ 9,500-20,000 DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: Chinese, English, Japanese RESTAURANTS: L’IDIOT RESTAURANT & BAKERY (Western), Chiou Hwa (Chinese) SPECIAL FEATURES: Coffee Shop, Fitness Center, Business Center, laundry service, meeting and banquet facilities, non-smoking floor, parking lot, airport transfer service
369, Lin-sen (Linsen) N. Rd., Taipei City, 104 104 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 369 號
Tel: 02.2581.8111 Fax: 02.2581.5811, 2568-2924
NO. OF ROOMS: 143 ROOM RATES: NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
Taipei 台 北
華 泰 王子大 飯 店
NO. OF ROOMS: 220
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK:
MIRAMAR HOTEL HSINCHU
GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI
14,000 16,000 17,000 18,000 20,000 22,000 23,000 26,000 28,000 56,000
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Japanese, Chinese
Food Symphony (Full Buffet)
SPECIAL FEATURES: Separate bathroom and toilet, TOTO washlets, Denmark Damixa Merkur bathroom hardware, DVD player, Japanese satellite broadcast, safety deposit box, gym with massage chairs, VIP lounge, high-speed broadband Internet access (computers available), free high-speed WiFi throughout hotel, conference room, balcony (smoking allowed)
83 Civic Boulevard, Sec. 3, Taipei City, 104
111, Sec. 2, Gongdao 5th Rd., East Dist., Hsinchu City 300, Taiwan
10 4台北市市民大道三段8 3號
3 0 0 新 竹 市 公 道 五 路二 段111號
Tel: 02.8772.8800 Fax: 02.8772.1010 E-mail: email@example.com
Tel: 03.623.1188 Fax: 03.623.1199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 886.2.5579.3888 Fax: 886.2.5579.3889
317, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City 10665 10665 台 北 市 復 興 南 路 一 段 317 號
HOTEL SENSE 伸適商旅
Taipei 台 北
NO. OF ROOMS: 79 ROOM RATES: Superior Room Business Room Deluxe Room Executive Deluxe Room Executive Suite Sense Suite
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
7,500 8,500 9,500 9,000 10,000 15,000
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Japanese, Chinese
SPECIAL FEATURES: Business center, fitness center, meeting rooms, Club House with luxury furniture and advanced media facilities for private meetings and gatherings, wood-floored open-air Sky Garden, parking tower, close to the MRT system near Zhongshan Elemen tary school MRT station and key commercial and entertainment districts.
477 , Linsen N. Rd., Zhongshan District, Taipei City 104 104 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 477 號 3 minutes by foot from Exit 2 of MRT Zhongshan Elementary School Station Tel: 02.7743.1000 Fax: 02.7743.1100 E-mail: email@example.com
Travel in Taiwan
TAIPEI GALA HOTEL 慶泰大飯店
Taipei 台 北
NO. OF ROOMS: 160 ROOM RATES:
Single Room Deluxe Single Room Deluxe Twin Room Suite Room
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
6,200 6,800 7,600 11,000
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
THE GRAND HOTEL 圓山大飯店
NO. OF ROOMS: 500 (Suites: 57) ROOM RATES: Single/DBL NT$ 8,200-13,000 Suite NT$ 18,000-30,000 DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, French, Spanish, and Japanese RESTAURANTS: Western, Cantonese, Northern China Style Dumplings, tea house, coffee shop SPECIAL FEATURES: Grand Ballroom, conference rooms for 399 people, 10 breakout rooms, business center, fitness center, sauna, Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis courts, billiards
186 Songjiang Rd., Taipei City,104 104 台 北 市 松 江 路 186 號 Exit 1 of MRT Xingtian Temple Station on the Luzhou Line.
Tel: 02.2541.5511 Fax: 02.2531.3831 Reservation Hotline: 02.2541.6888 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Edison Travel Service specializes in Taiwan tours and offers cheaper hotel room rates and car rental services with drivers . Edison welcomes contact with other travel services around the world.
Travel in Taiwan
Taipei 台 北
1 Chung Shan N. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei City, 10461 R.O.C 10461 台 北 市 中 山 北 路 四 段 1 號
TAIPEI WESTGATE HOTEL
Taipei 台 北
NO. OF ROOMS: 121 ROOM RATES: Cozy Deluxe Premier Premier City View Dual Queen Premier Dual Queen Executive Suite Grand Suite
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
7,200 7,800 8,500 8,800 10,800 11,800 12,800 12,800
DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Chinese, Japanese RESTAURANTS: Unwind Bar & Restaurant SPECIAL FEATURES: Located in the heart of the energetic Ximending; 1 minute on foot to MRT Ximen Station; free wireless Internet access; fitness center; business center; meeting room; laundry; express laundry service; complimentary Chinese/ Western buffet breakfast; safety deposit box; limousine service; airport pick-up. 150, Sec. 1, Zhonghua Rd., Wanhua Dist., Taipei City, 108
(MRT Ximen Station, Exit 6) 108 台 北 市 中 華 路 一 段 150 號
Tel: 886.2.2886.8888 Fax: 886.2.2885.2885
Tel: 02.2331.3161 Fax: 02.2388.6216 Reservation Hotline: 02.2388.1889
NO. OF ROOMS: 70 ROOM RATES: Standard Room Superior Room Deluxe Room Family Room Deluxe Family Room DESK PERSONNEL SPEAK: English, Japanese, Chinese
Taichung 台 中
NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$
4,000 4,500 5,000 5,500 6,000
SPECIAL FEATURES: Our guests enjoy easy access to all attractions lively Taichung City has to offer. From the hotel it’s a two-minute walk to Taichung Railway Station and a three-minute walk to the bus station, from where guests can easily reach popular tourist sites, such as Qingjing Farm, Xitou Forest Recreation Area, and Sun Moon Lake. 53 Hotel offers a wide range of services, including laundry/dry cleaning, a business center, a gym, and free wireless Internet access. 27, Zhongshan Rd., Central District, Taichung City, 40042 ( two minutes from railway station) 40042 台 中 市 中 區 中 山 路 27 號 (距離火車站兩分鐘) Tel: 04.2220.6699 Fax: 04.2220.5899 E-mail: email@example.com
Work or Rel a x Th e Choice is Yo u r s in an E v er green Hotel
Dream about any of the features youâ€™ll find in a world-class hotel and you might be dreaming about one of the hotels of Evergreen International Hotels. All our hotels provide a modern, comfortable, clean, entertaining, and secure environment so that business travelers and vacationers can relax, dream, and enjoy the finest of services. For over 20 years, Evergreen International Hotels has offered a home away from home for its distinguished guests with great locations and comprehensive business and recreational facilities. An extensive hotel chain, Evergreen International Hotels has branches in cities in Taiwan and abroad, including Keelung, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Yilan, Taoyuan, Paris, Penang, Bangkok, and Shanghai. The Evergreen Laurel Hotel (Taichung) was designed to meet both your business and leisure needs and also offers choices of restaurants and bars for your dining pleasures.
Situated in downtown Keelung, the Evergreen Laurel Hotel (Keelung) is known for its charming harbor views. It's an ideal venue for business, workshops, seminars or just a weekend away from it all. Each room of the Evergreen Laurel Hotel (Taipei) is quiet, with ambient noise kept below 40 dB. Guests can therefore enjoy the luxury of supreme relaxation and maximum efficiency. Situated in the eastern district of Tainan, the modern Evergreen Plaza Hotel (Tainan) combines elegant and heartfelt service quality with top-rated and comfortable facilities to entertain its guests. The five-star Evergreen Resort Hotel (Jiaosi) features 231 European and Asian style hot-spring suites and 20 hot-spring houses. Guests are welcome to use the nano-milk bath, ganbanyoku (stone bath), a large outdoor hot-spring swimming pool, and a rooftop hot-spring spa pool.
For more information, please call Global Reservation at +886-2-2504-8800 or visit our website at www.evergreen-hotels.com