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No. 71, 2015

SEP & OCT

Penghu

Summer Fun on the islands

TAITUNG

HIKING

Breathtaking Scenery near Jiufen

Culture and CoastLINE in Southeast Taiwan

TAICHUNG

the Dongfeng and Houfeng Bikeways


Welcome to your home in Taipei

ww w.par ktai p e i .c om

Park Taipei Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Taipei. The hotel is just in front of the Exit 6 of the MRT Daan Station and is only 6 minutes to Taipei Songshan Airport. A carefree place in the center of the bustling Taipei  City, you can relax and indulge your senses in your room after returning from a busy and hectic business schedule or a long day of shopping.   Park Taipei Hotel, Your Home in Taipei! Tel: (02) 5579-3888 Add: 317, Sec. 1, Fuxing S. Rd., Taipei City (台北市復興南路一段317號) Website: www.parktaipei.com How to get there: Take the MRT Wenhu Line or Xinyi  Line to Daan station. The hotel is just in front of Exit 6 of the Daan MRT train station.


Welcome to Taiwan! Dear Traveler, As it should be when the summer heat is receding and the place to be is outside under the soothing sunlight and breezy moonlight, we keep you outside much of the time in this issue of Travel in Taiwan . Our Feature section introduces the tourist-friendly Penghu archipelago, bobbing placidly in the Taiwan Strait, which pretty much every international tour-guide publisher, including Michelin, National Geographic, and Insight Guides, enthusiastically advises visiting. This is a place of, condensing Michelin’s words, “rare natural beauty, dramatic seascapes, sandy beaches, gentle grass covered hills, sea birds, nesting sea turtles, abandoned forts, atmospheric temples, and traditional villages.” As always, in our Feature -accompanying Stay/Eat/Buy article we give you our recommendations on great places to rest your head at night, what you should eat and where to eat it, and your best-buy gift/souvenir choices. In our Rail/Bus/Bike section we ride Taichung’s popular Dongfeng and Houfeng bikeways, which offer cyclists the chance to experience rural Taichung and Hakka culture firsthand while pedaling along decommissioned railway lines. In My Favorite Spots , Indigenous Cuisine , and Farm Fun we jump the soaring central mountains over to Hawaii-like Taitung County on the east coast. You’ll be introduced to places to go in and around Taitung City – a superb base for explorations of the East Rift Valley and the coast – to a first-rate indigenous restaurant in the hills overlooking the city from afar, and to the Bunun Leisure Farm, where the operators seek to revitalize the region’s Bunun tribe by establishing self-sufficiency through agricultural/industrial development and the rekindling of Bunun self-confidence and artistic traditions. In Popular Pastimes we showcase Taiwan as “An Island of Festivals,” introducing its most exciting music celebrations. Though not yet matching Europe’s open-air music-fest culture or the 24H all-genre live-performance culture of the world’s greatest music cities, Taiwan as a stage has enjoyed a booming surge of music fests in recent years. In Easy Hiking our theme is “pointy peaks with fantastic views.” We give you hiking options around the small mountain town of Jiufen, one of northeast Taiwan’s iconic tourist draws, which primarily attracts travelers intent on experiencing its heritage-laden narrow alleys, snack foods, and handicrafts. Enjoy our beloved homeland, which we invite you to come explore, again and again.

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


CONTENTS September ~ October 2015

22

Taiwan Slang Keelung

— Seaport City of Deep Character

10 PUBLISHER David W. J. Hsieh Editing Consultant 

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

Where you can pick up a copy of Travel in Taiwan

Wayne Hsi-Lin Liu

TEL: 886-2-2715-1052 Fax: 886-2-2715-0924 E-MAIL: editor@v-media.com.tw General Manager Frank K. Yen Editor in Chief Johannes Twellmann English Editor Rick Charette DIRECTOR OF PLANNING & EDITING DEPT Joe Lee MANAGING EDITOR Jade Lin EDITORS Ming-Jing Yin, Chloe Chu, Nickey Liu CONTRIBUTORS Rick Charette, Steven Crook, Nick Kembel, Joe Henley, Owain Mckimm, Richard Saunders PHOTOGRAPHERS Chen Cheng-kuo, Maggie Song DESIGNERS Choc Hsu, Eve Chiang, Karen Pan ui-chun Tsai, Nai-jen Liu, Xiou Mieng Jiang Administrative Dept H

Abroad

Publishing Organization

Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications CONTACT

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

台 灣 觀 光 雙 月 刊 Travel in Taiwan The Official Bimonthly English Magazine of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Advertisement) September/October, 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.

MAGAZINE IS SOLD AT:

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

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

At Erkan Village in Penghu (photo by Chen Cheng-kuo)

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

In Taiwan

ONLINE

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

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


30 51 1 Publisher’s Note 4 Taiwan Tourism Events

48

WHERE TO GO TONIGHT

6 News & Culture 35 Taiwan Slang

40 Romantic Evenings in Kaohsiung

— Suggestions for Dining and Rendevouz-ing Close to the Love River

FEATURE

MY FAVORITE SPOTS

10 Land Ho! Penghu – Beckoning You

42 A Bit of Hawaii in the West Pacific

— Small-Island Idyll – The Lowdown on What to See and What to Do

— Places to Go in and around Taitung City

22 Savoring the Penghu Islands — Where to Rest Your Head, What You Must Eat, and Your Best

Gift & Souvenir Buys

FARM FUN

26 The Bunun Leisure Farm

S

SPECIAL REPORT

46 Airport Escape

— A Quick Free Tour of Sanxia and Yingge

— A Vision of Cultural Renewal and Sustainability Made a Reality

RAIL/BUS/BIKE

30 Railways to Bikeways

— Exploring the Dongfeng and Houfeng Bikeways in Taichung

INDIGENOUS CUISINE

36 Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant

— Indigenous Fine Dining in the Hills of Taitung

POPULAR PASTIMES

48 An Island of Festivals

— Exciting Music Events around Taiwan

EASY HIKING

51 Pointy Peaks with Fantastic Views — Hiking Options around Jiufen and Jinguashi


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

Autumn and Winter Events Oct. Jan. 2016

Taiwan Hot Spring & Fine-Cuisine Carnival 臺灣溫泉美食嘉年華

During the Taiwan winter, there are only rare occasions when you will actually feel cold. But it can indeed get chilly quite often, and those are the times when taking a hot-spring bath is especially pleasant. There are a total of 17 hot-spring resort areas around Taiwan, with hot-spring establishments ranging from simple free-to-use public outdoor pools to grand upscale hot-spring hotels. During the annual Taiwan Hot Spring & Fine-Cuisine Carnival, hot-spring soakers enjoy a wide range of special dining and accommodation offers presented by restaurants and hotels listed on the event’s website. Location: Hot-spring areas around Taiwan Website: taiwanhotspring.net

10/30 Taiwan Cycling Festival 11/22 臺灣自行車節

The popularity of bicycling continues to grow in Taiwan, and city and county governments are hard at work accommodating the ever-expanding needs and desires of bikers by building dedicated bikeways and other facilities around the island. Staged each year, the Taiwan Cycling Festival gives bike riders a chance to come together and take part in numerous cycling events. One of these, which draws hundreds of cyclists each time, is the Sun Moon Lake Come! Bikeday, during which participants ride along the lakeshore, many completing the 30km round-lake loop, renowned as one of Taiwan’s most scenic routes. Two other exciting events are the Taiwan KOM Challenge, during which professional riders race from the coast to the high mountains, and Formosa 900, an around-the-island tour made by different teams in nine days. Location: Qixingtan, Hualien County ( 花蓮縣七星潭 ); Taipei City ( 台北市 ), Shimen District, New Taipei City ( 新北市石門區 ); Wufeng District, Taichung City ( 台 中市霧峰區 ); Yuchi Township, Nantou County ( 南投縣魚池鄉 ); Fanlu Township, Chiayi County ( 嘉義縣番路鄉 ); Maolin District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市茂林區 ); Donggang Township, Pingtung County ( 屏東縣東港鎮 ); Chenggong Township, Taitung County ( 臺東縣成功鎮 ) Website: theme.taiwanbike.tw/event/2015/en/index.html

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Travel in Taiwan

Oct. Mar. 2016

Taiwan Maolin Purple Butterfly Valley Biennial Butterfly Beauty Festival 台灣茂林紫蝶幽谷雙年賞蝶季

Travel in Taiwan visited the Maolin National Scenic Area at the start of this year, and we were indeed impressed by the thousands of butterflies we saw congregating in the woods close to the village of Maolin, one of the best locations to view the different types of crow butterflies that stay in the area during the winter. Apart from butterfly watching, the national scenic area is also a place of spectacular mountain views, and visitors will as well come in close contact with the indigenous people living in this mountainous part of Kaohsiung.

Location: Maolin District, Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市茂林區 ) Website: www.maolin-nsa.gov.tw


o c to b er ~ d e c em b er

Taroko Gorge 11/7 Marathon 太魯閣峽谷馬拉松

11/26 Taiwan Open of Surfing 11/29 臺灣國際衝浪公開賽

Running a full marathon is a big physical challenge for most road runners, and many will focus solely on their bodies and the road ahead on the long route to the finish line. Those running the Taroko Gorge Marathon, however, might consider pacing themselves and looking up and around a bit, since this run takes you straight through one of the world’s most magnificent natural landscapes. This is definitely one of the more memorable runs you will ever do, and since the marathon is extremely popular you had best register as early as possible to ensure yourself one of the coveted slots.

Taiwan as a great surfing destination is a well-kept secret no longer; too many top-flight pro surfers who have enjoyed a taste of the mighty waves off the east coast have made sure of that in recent years. After being certified as an international surfing-competition site by the Asian Surfing Championships association, Taitung County’s Pacific coastline is sure to be attracting even more surfers from abroad, especially during the annual Taiwan Open of Surfing held at Jinzun Beach, about 50km north of Taitung City.

Location: Taroko Gorge; 291 Fushi, Fushi Village, Xiulin Township, Hualien County ( 太魯閣峽谷 花蓮縣秀林鄉富世村富世 291 號 ) Tel: (03) 856-0952 Web: www.2015taroko.hl.gov.tw

Location: Jinzun Fishing Port, Donghe Township, Taitung County ( 金樽漁港台東縣東河鄉 ) Tel: (089) 324-902 Web: www.taiwanopenofsurfing.com

Art Taipei 10/30 (Taipei International 11/2 Contemporary Art Fair)

Dec. 2015

Chiayi City International Band Festival 嘉義市國際管樂節

臺北國際藝術博覽會 While this fair was conceived as a sales platform for international galleries – mostly from East Asia – where they could present their latest in contemporary art, it has also become a popular draw with members of the general public, who do not plan to buy anything but come simply to enjoy the art as they would on a visit to an art museum. And there is certainly a lot to see. A total of 145 galleries from 15 countries will be exhibiting modern artworks from all genres, from avant-garde installation works to abstract paintings.

Location: Hall 1, Taipei World Trade Center; 5, Sec. 5, Xinyi Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei City ( 台北世貿一館 台北市信義區信義路五段五號 ) Tel: (02) 2585-0382 Website: art-taipei.com

Bands galore will again soon be marching through the streets of Chiayi, a city in southern Taiwan. Each year bands from abroad are invited to participate, to give the festival some international flair amidst the predominant local-school bands. Apart from the annual street parade, there will also be a wide range of music-stage performances at venues around the city.

Location: Various Chiayi City venues, including Performing Arts Hall Chiayi City, at 275 Zhongxiao Rd., East District, Chiayi City ( 嘉義市政府文化局音樂 廳 嘉義市忠孝路 275 號 ); Cultural Park ( 文化公園 ); Zhongzheng Park ( 中正公園 ); and Cultural Affairs Bureau Square ( 文化局廣場 ). Website: www.chiayi.gov.tw

Travel in Taiwan

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W H AT ' S U P

NEWS & Events around Taiwan

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Golden Fulong Route The Golden Fulong Route is one of the most scenic and popular routes of the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle network (www.taiwantrip.com.tw ). It connects Ruifang Railway Station on the main Taipei-Yilan railway line with the old mining towns of Jiufen and Jinguashi and, further on along the northeast coast, scenic Bitou Cape, Longdong Bay, and Fulong Beach. Earlier this year, two attractive stops were added to the route to allow tourists to conveniently visit Jinguashi’s Golden Waterfall and the strange rock formations at Nanya on the coast. To make the Golden Fulong Route even more attractive, the operator offers a number of one-day-pass travel packages that include such bonuses as Jiufen snack vouchers, train tickets, and tickets to other attractions in the area, such as museums and parks. For more info, visit www.gold-fulong.com.tw.

New Tainan-Osaka Services in October

China Airlines has announced that it will offer two round-trip flights each week between Osaka in central Japan and Tainan in southern Taiwan starting this October. The new services are expected to boost business opportunities for the tourism industry in southern Taiwan. The carrier’s current weekly schedule includes 21 round-trip flights between Taipei and Osaka and 12 between Kaohsiung and Osaka. More info about the airline’s services at: www.china-airlines.com.tw.

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Travel in Taiwan

New Nantou Skybridge In recent years, “skybridges” or “skywalks” have been built in numerous scenic areas around Taiwan. The latest of these constructions, allowing tourists to take in breathtaking mountain views, is the Longfeng Waterfall Skywalk in Zhongliao Township, Nantou County. Somewhat resembling the Grand Canyon Skywalk – but on a much smaller scale – this construction in central Taiwan has a 30-meter-long U-shaped transparent bottom, stretching out above a narrow 50-meter-deep valley down which the waters of tiny Longfeng Waterfall cascade. Getting there by public transport requires taking Changhua Bus Co. bus No. 6920 from Nantou City to Neicheng Village, and from there a shuttle bus to the entrance of the skywalk park. More info at longfong.joliu.gov.tw (Chinese).


septem b er ~ O C T O B E R

Kaohsiung’s Moon World, Now in Color Tianliao Moon World, located in the northern part of Kaohsiung City, is a place of barren landscape with strangely-shaped dusty-gray hills. While during the day the hill color gives the landscape a somewhat dreary look, come in the evening and you’ll be presented with a completely different visual feast. During the “Magical Moon World” event, lasting until November 28, the moon-like terrain is illuminated in colorful lights, creating a truly magical ambience. Another focal point of the event is a giant theme-lantern statue in the shape of a warrior and a wolf. Special activities with a monster and ghost theme are taking place on full-moon days, including a monster parade for which everyone is encouraged to dress up Halloween-style (Aug. 29), a cosplay competition (Sept. 26), and a rock concert (Nov. 28). More information about the event at: www.moon-world.com.tw (Chinese).

EVA Air Has World’s Cleanest Aircraft Cabins

Which Destination Has the World's Best Food?

“And the 2015 award for the world's Best Aircraft Cabin Cleanliness goes to... EVA Air!” The Taiwan-based airline has been very successful in providing ultra-clean cabins for its passengers during the last year, a huge factor in guaranteeing a pleasant flight experience. Interestingly, the top ten airlines in this award category at the 2015 World Airline Awards were all from Asia. EVA Air also finished 9 th in the most important category, “Top Ten Airlines of 2015.” More information about the awards at www.worldairlineawards.com.

In a recent poll on the CNN website edition.cnn.com , Taiwan was voted the world’s top destination for good food. In CNN’s words, “The culinary philosophy in Taiwan is simple. Eat often and eat well. Small eats – but lots of them – are the big thing here.” There is certainly no shortage of food selections on this island, from simple night-market snack foods to sophisticated 5-star hotel-restaurant banquets.

Hotel Royal Group_print ADs_EN_2015Apr.pdf 1 2015/4/7 下午 5:15


C U LT U R E S C E N E

CULTURE Concerts, Exhibitions, and Happenings

6/30 2/21 2016

National Museum of Taiwan History

RENOVATION AND REFORM: TAIWANESE

SOCIETY IN THE 19TH CENTURY 舊邦維新:19 世紀 臺灣社會特展

This special exhibition introduces you to the Taiwan of the 19th century, a time when the island was ruled by the Qing Dynasty court and the people faced radical changes brought on by the rapid modernization/ industrialization of the West. Through historical images and documents, the exhibition also reveals how groups of people with different ethnic backgrounds and different economic interests, including indigenous tribes, immigrants from mainland China, and adventurers, traders, and missionaries from the West, interacted, sometimes violently, to secure their interests on the island. More information at www.nmth.gov.tw.

7/18 1/10 2016

National Palace Museum

THE PRINTMAKER’S INGENUITY AND CRAFT: MING AND

9/5 10/24

Taipei Cinema Park

2015 XI-MEN BACK STREET FESTIVAL – HISTORIC MOVIE POSTER AND FILM EXHIBITION 2015 西門町後街文化祭─ 懷舊電影海報展及影展 Ximending is a popular youth-fashion and entertainment district in one of the older parts of Taipei. Since the 1950s the area has attracted moviegoers with its cluster of movie theaters, most of which are located on Wuchang Street. As part of the annual Xi-Men Back Street Festival, this retrospective exhibition will have a display on many of the large (hand-painted) posters used during the period to advertise the flicks being shown in the theaters, and will also feature screenings of a number of vintage movies that were once Ximending blockbusters. More information at www.cinemapark.org.tw.

11/6 &

11/8

National Theater

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY OPERA: EUGENE ONEGIN 2015 柴可夫斯基《尤金 • 奧涅金》

QING WOODCUT PRINTS IN THE NATIONAL PALACE MUSEUM

匠心筆蘊─ 院藏明清版畫特展

This exhibition explains how woodcut printmaking and book printing developed hand in hand during the late Ming (1368~1644) and early Qing (1644~1912) dynasties in China. With the advances in woodblock printing, book illustrations gradually obtained artistic qualities on top of their practical function of augmenting textual interpretation. On display in this exhibition are rare and antiquarian books from the Ming and Qing periods showcasing prints and illustrations. More information at www.npm.gov.tw .

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Travel in Taiwan

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s (1840~1893) lyric opera Eugene Onegin tells the story of a man who lives to regret his rejection of a young woman's love, and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend. The libretto very closely follows certain passages in Alexander Pushkin's (1799~1837) novel of the same name, retaining much of his poetry. More information at npac-ntch. org/english .


c u lture s c ene

10/16 10/25

Cloud Gate Theater

TROY, TROY… TAIWAN 2015 史詩環境劇場 《祭特洛伊》

Inspired by the Iliad , Homer’s classic epic poem about the Trojan War, this play combines Greek mythology with traditional Taiwanese opera to create a colorful and stirring spectacle. More information at www.goldenbough.com.tw/troy2015.

11/25

National Concert Hall

LAURENT KORCIA 2015 VIOLIN RECITAL

Until

11/1

Yingge Ceramics Museum

NATURAMICA 陶最自然

勞倫 . 柯夏 小提琴獨奏會

French musician Laurent Korcia (born in 1964) is one of the leading violinists of his generation, and one of the rare contemporary violinists to include solo violin recitals in his concert repertoire. For this recital he will be accompanied by well-known local pianist Eric Chen, performing Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1 as well as Maurice Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano . More information at npacntch.org.

This exhibition at the modern-architecture Yingge Ceramics Museum explores the relationship between nature and ceramics. There are 128 pieces on display, all of which were fired naturally using wood, smoke, salt, bones, etc., the creators placing emphasis on natural processes and protecting the environment. The display halls have different themes: a Suzhou Garden, a Hokkaido Flower Field, a Japanese-style garden. More information at www. ceramics.ntpc.gov.tw.


FEATURE PENGHU

Land Ho! Penghu -

Beckoning You

Small-Island Idyll – The Lowdown on What to See and What to Do Text: Rick Charette

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Travel in Taiwan

Photos: Chen Cheng-kuo


FEATURE PENGHU

In-the-know foreign travelers love this still-little-known, off-the-beaten-track Taiwan travel destination.

Aimen Beach

Travel in Taiwan

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FEATURE PENGHU

T

he Penghu Islands – an archipelago of very small islands f loating in the middle of the Taiwan Strait between mainland Taiwan and mainland China. Virtually all international travel-guide publishers are enthusiastic boosters, including the Michelin Green Guide Taiwan , which bestows a coveted two-star rating:

“… a place of rare natural beauty, with dramatic seascapes, sandy beaches and gentle grass covered hills … famous for its sea birds, nesting sea turtles and other wildlife … It is historic as well, (with) abandoned forts, atmospheric temples, and traditional villages ….” Though Han Chinese did not come in any real number to the island of Taiwan until the 1600s, their first efforts to settle and tame the Penghu Islands came about 600 years earlier. The Portuguese christened them the Pescadores (Fishermen’s Isles) in the 1500s. The Dutch set up colonial camp in 1622-1624, seeking to control East Asia trade through the strait, before being encouraged by a miffed, armada-backed Chinese imperial court to decamp to Taiwan. The French invited themselves in during the 1884-1885 Sino-French War, seeing Penghu as an “unsinkable battleship.” The Japanese ruled Taiwan and the archipelago 1895-1945. And after 1945 the Republic of China government fortified the islands, in case Mao Zedong and friends invited themselves in. Evidence of all this awaits your discovery on your Penghu adventure – while you also savor the sun, sand, surf, seascapes, sea creatures, and seafood. 1

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Day 1

First on the adventure agenda during a recent 3-day sampler trip taken on your behalf by a crack Travel in Taiwan team was a boat tour in the waters off small Magong City (pop. about 60,000). These craft launch from the South Sea Visitor Center, from which ferries to what are called the South Sea islands below the three main islands of Penghu, Baisha, and Xiyu (which are connected by bridges) also launch. The tour boats cruise the two large, interconnected bays directly south of Magong. Ours was “glass-bottomed” – outfitted with below-deck viewing windows. At the tour’s half-way point the pilot slows to a crawl to ensure clear bay-bottom gazing – we enjoyed closeup inspections of coral for mations, small squid, a school of I-don’t-knowwhat-the-heck-they-were, and other marine treasures. T h e r e i s r u n n i n g c o m m e nt a r y throughout (live, in Chinese), giving you background on things seen both above and below the surface: the marine life,

local fishing industry, and Magong and Penghu in general, notably the manmade structures such as the distinctive harborside architecture left behind by the Japanese. Another excursion highlight was a stop at a large floating “restaurant” for an all-we-could-eat, grill-your-own oyster feast (price included in ticket; inexpensive sausages, drinks, other items also available). Also on the platform are pens filled with members of the marineanimal groups swimming and crawling freely directly beneath, some very large specimens indeed. After about 3 hours on the water and our return to the South Sea Visitor Center, we hopped on our two-wheeled gaspropelled steeds and zoomed over to nearby downtown Magong, spending the rest of our afternoon on a perambulating heritage walking tour through the city’s 1. Great Stone Lion on Qimei Island 2. Fishing experience for kids 3. Starting a boat trip at Magong Harbor 4. Grilling oysters 5. At Magong Cultural Center

Travel in Taiwan

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FEATURE PENGHU

oldest section. Give yourself a leisurely 4 hours, leaving you time for plenty of stop-and-start sampling of the great range of traditional foods and snack treats on offer. The story of Magong begins at the grand old Tianhou Temple, Taiwan’s oldest temple dedicated to the goddess Maz u, patron saint and protector of seafa re r s. Nea rby on n a r row, picturesque Zhongyang Street is the Four-Eyed Well. The street, Magong’s original commercial artery, lined with sellers of specialty handicrafts and food products, has been tastefully restored to its former glory. The large well has been supplying local residents for 400-plus years; the four narrow openings were long ago introduced to prevent curious children from falling in and to maintain order in drawing the much-in-demand cool liquid. Straddling a narrow road by the nearby waterside is the Shuncheng Gate, with a section of the old city wall

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Travel in Taiwan

beyond, wonder-inspiring remnants from the last defensive walled-city fortifications to be built by China. The Magong Cultural Center is an intriguingly eclectic, photogenic place that I was utterly riveted by. This is the site of Taiwan’s oldest military-housing community, with numerous residences dating back to the Japanese period. Abandoned in recent times, many living quarters have been renovated, and the homes of the two most famous residents, pop singers that grew up here, are now dedicated boutique museums. The culinary diversity of Taiwan’s m ilit a r y de pe nde nt s’ v illages is renowned, with residents, hailing from all around China, introducing Taiwan ingredients as well as well as other regional-cuisine elements to their own. Get a taste of this here in a special area of replica military housing, opened about two years ago, filled with tiny regionrepresentative eateries (see our Stay/Eat/ Buy article).


4

Day 2 We woke up bright and early this day to catch an early-morning ferry to Qimei, the southernmost South Sea island. Hopping on scooters right at the pier (rental included in ferry-ticket price), we headed out on the very quiet coastal road. Qimei’s iconic symbol is the Twin Hearts Stone Weir, made of stones piled laboriously, which fills at high tide and leaves fish stranded at low. The Tomb of the Seven Beauties – “Qimei” means “Seven Beauties” – is built around a well down which seven chaste Ming Dynasty maidens are said to have thrown themselves on the approach of Japanese pirates. Among the other must-visit Qimei attractions we checked off our to-do list were the picturesque Little Taiwan and Waiting for Husband Rock, two coastal rock formations viewed from above.

1. Traditional houses on Zhongyang Street 2. Magong's Tianhou Temple 3. At Magong Cultural Center

4. Twin Hearts Stone Weir on Qimei Island 5. "Little Taiwan" rock formation

Rather than traveling straight back to Magong, we stopped off at Wang’an for a few hours’ exploration of this island. The highlights of our meander along the sleepy round-island coastal road? Tiantai Hill and the village of Zhongshe. Your walk up Tiantai Hill, the island’s highest point, leads to wonderful panoramic views over Wa ng’a n a nd it s nu merous nea rby islands. Wonderful Zhongshe is an old nar row-lane f ishing village, almost all homes stone/coral-built. Be sure to stop in for the homemade ice-cream at the shop – shade is at a premium in the village – under the huge Penghurenowned “Wang’an Township Tree,” an Indian almond tree planted by the shop owner’s mother in 1928.

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FEATURE PENGHU

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Squid-Fishing Excursions On our second night we enjoyed one of the most popular Penghu Islands tourist experiences, a nighttime squid-fishing outing, again launching from before the South Sea Visitor Center at Magong Port, again plying the same bay waters as on our first-day tour. The Penghu-area waters teem with catch, with squid and cuttlefish amongst the most highly prized. Deciding on a likely lucky spot, our captain cut engines, intensely bright squid lights were switched on to lure our prey toward the surface, each passenger grabbed a rod, crew members demonstrated the castand-jerk fishing technique used, and off we were trying our luck. My result? No luck. But I had tons of fun. On each trip, before heading back in (total time out: about 2 hours) everyone feasts under the stars on a huge crew-cooked pot of Penghu vermicelli, a local specialty, with fresh-caught squid and other goodies, zested up if desired with delicious, fiery hot-chili fish sauce, another specialty.

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FEATURE PENGHU

Day 3 Penghu is home to many long, fine-sand beaches. Four of the most popular are on the island of Penghu’s south side – Lintou, Aimen, Shanshui, and Shili. On the morn of this day we visited each in turn. I especially like Lintou and Shanshui. Lintou and Aimen are connected by a long beachedge boardwalk; behind Lintou Beach is Lintou Park, a shady, aesthetically laidout tree park in which you can sit yourself down to alfresco coffee at a bright and breezy café. At Shanshui’s entrance is a bustling cluster of beach-bum-style eateries and cafés, and backing its west side is an attractive protected lagoon area traversed in part by a long boardwalk. This leads to a high promontory that drops into the surf at the beach’s west end. Topped with a large lookout, formerly part of an off-limits military zone, the promontory is dotted with abandoned camouf laged bunkers, pillboxes, and other facilities, one outfitted with heritage photos and information

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boards (Chinese) on this spot’s military and ecological past. Near Shili, pretty much at Penghu’s southwest tip, is the compelling, still-beingdeveloped Qingwan Cactus Park. There are two foci. Cacti, yes – the archipelago’s dry, flattish, windswept environment is perfect for cactus growth. And military history – the park site is a former Japanese military base rich in ruins, notably hidden big-gun emplacements, bunker barracks, and command posts. We f inished our trip with a foray to Xiyu, traversing the long, slim island’s entire length. Being a history buff, the highlight for me was Erkan Village, a dense collection of heritage houses in the old Minnan (southern) style of mainland China’s Fujian Province. Today the village is quite tourist-oriented and you’ll find such examples of old-time rural living as Qingera scales and weights, oversized ceramic

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1. Waiting for Husband Rock 2. View from Tiantai Hill

3. Qingwan Cactus Park 4. Aimen Beach

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FEATURE PENGHU

storage jars, and winnowing equipment. Other key Xiyu sites visited this day were the Whale Cave, not a cave at all but a seaholed rock promontory that resembles a giant sperm whale, the extensive ruins of the late Qing Dynasty-built Xiyu Western Fort, erected to protect against pirates and invaders, and Yuwengdao Lighthouse, at Xiyu’s south end, the first lighthouse built in the Taiwan area, in 1778. And with that, our Penghu adventure was over. Sun setting, we headed out on a breezy one-hour drive back to Magong Airport and our night-time f light back to Taipei, t i red , somewhat t a n ned , somewheres burned, and content. Rick Charette's (rick.charette@url.com.tw) extensive writings on Taiwan and other destinations have been carried by Michelin, National Geographic, Insight Guides, and other publishers. 1. Erkan Village 2. Aimen Beach 3. Shanshui Beach 4. Erkan Village 5. Whale Cave

Getting There & Around There are regular flights and ferry runs between Penghu and Taiwan proper, regular ferry services between Penghu’s islands, and car/scooter rental facilities at various locations. Your best source for details on these subjects and other matters, such as boat tours, accommodation, and dining/snacking, is the Penghu National Scenic Area website (www.penghu-nsa.gov. tw ) and, secondarily, the Penghu County Government website (www.penghu.gov.tw ). Tickets for Magong boat tours and for other South Sea ferry destinations can be purchased at operator counters in the South Sea Visitor Center. Your hotel/B&B will also help with reservations/purchases. If you need English assistance, use the Taiwan Tourism Bureau’s visitor centers at Magong Airport or its Penghu National Scenic Area headquarters, on the road between the airport and downtown Magong.

Scooter Heaven For your Penghu Islands rambles, the way to go on your land jaunts is by scooter. The cost is generally just NT$350-$400 per day. There are many rental facilities, especially outside major transport facilities. Save for downtown Magong City, the roads are almost empty, and major roads wide. Locals may well tell you it’s best to rent a car, because the general flatness and minimal tree cover can mean strong sun and gusty conditions, but take proper precautions and you’ll be fine. I, a pasty white-skinned fellow, spent not a moment not covered in sunblock, and came home (mostly) nicely tanned. Note that the eco-conscious county government is now getting operators to systematically introduce e-scooters.

English and Chinese Aimen Beach 隘門沙灘 Baisha 白沙 Erkan Village 二崁聚落 Four-Eyed Well 四眼井 Little Taiwan 小臺灣 Lintou Beach 林投沙灘 Lintou Park 林投公園 Magong City 馬公市 Magong Cultural Center 媽宮文化城 Penghu 澎湖 Qimei 七美 Qingwan Cactus Park 青灣仙人掌公園 Shanshui Beach 山水沙灘 Shili Beach 蒔裡沙灘 Shuncheng Gate 順承門

South Sea Visitor Center 南海遊客中心 Tianhou Temple 天后宮 Tiantai Hill 天台山 Tomb of the Seven Beauties 七美人塚 Twin Hearts Stone Weir 雙心石滬 Waiting for Husband Rock 望夫石 Wang’an 望安 “Wang’an Township Tree” 望安鄉樹 Whale Cave 鯨魚洞 Xiyu 西嶼 Xiyu Western Fort 西嶼西台古堡 Yuwengdao Lighthouse 漁翁島燈塔 Zhongshe 中社 Zhongyang Street 中央街

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FEATURE PENGHU

Day 1 & day 3

penghu islands

Magong

Land Ho! Penghu -

Qingwan Cactus Park Shili Beach

Beckoning You

Magong Cultural Center

Taipei

Yilan Taichung Penghu

Kaohsiung

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Hualien

Twin Hearts Stone Weir


FEATURE PENGHU

Day 3

Whale Cave

XIYU Erkan Village

Yuwengdao Lighthouse

PENGHU MAIN ISLAND Magong Airport Penghu NSA Visitor Center

Xiyu Western Fort

Lintou Park Aimen Beach

Day 2 WANG'AN

Shanshui Beach

Tiantai Hill Zhongshe Village

DAY 1 DAY 2

Harbor

DAY 3

QIMEI Aimen Beach

Twin Hearts Stone Weir Little Taiwan Tomb of the Seven Beauties Waiting for Husband Rock

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STAY/EAT/BUY PENGHU

Savoring the Penghu Islands Our Ideas on Where to Rest Your Head, What You Must Eat and Where You Should Eat It, and Your Best-Buy Gift & Souvenir Choices Text: Rick Charette Photos: Chen Cheng-Kuo

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STAY/EAT/BUY PENGHU

Where Shall I Stay? If put to a vote, my choice for the nicest homestay/B&B in Taiwan would almost surely be Migrator Intertidal Homestay. Located by the shore on the inland sea, with a splendid view of Magong City far across the bay, from a distance it looks like a bright sailboat making its way across the waters, large white mainsail billowing. The owner has paid meticulous attention to every detail in making her dream place reality, large and small.

Perhaps most indicative is how she spent years looking for the perfect plot of land, visiting places all around the main islands, in all seasons, at all times of the day and night. The result for you is a peaceful hideaway almost totally isolated – there’s a small dock area for oyster fishermen nearby, their oyster-bed frames clearly in view far “out to sea” – with full views of both sunrises and sunsets yet no sunlight spilling directly into rooms, shallow-

water swimming from your own sandy beach, and f ull protection f rom the northern winds in winter. (Rooms start at NT$3,800; breakfast included.) Migrator Intertidal is at the top of the Peng hu B&B/ homest ay qualit y/ price range. In the mid-range, consider Yurong B&B. On Magong City’s south side overlooking a large bay (no direct access), it’s in a community where the plots on which many homes sit are in

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1. Migrator Intertidal Homestay 2/3. Yurong B&B 4/5. Migrator Intertidal Homestay

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fact small farm plots. Roosters announce the mornings, before the sun shows up. The B&B’s rooms are large, sparkling clean, and simply appointed. There is a large guest-only TV room, and barbecue fa ci l it ie s out sid e. ( Ro om s st a r t at NT$2,500; breakfast included.)

Note: Most Penghu homestays/B&Bs will arrange scooter rentals for you, and many on the main islands will pick you up at the airport or Taiwan-Penghu ferry dock. Migrator Intertidal Homestay ( 候鳥潮間帶民宿 ) Add: 34-3, Chengqian Village, Baisha Township, Penghu County ( 澎湖縣白沙鄉城前村 34-3 號 ) Tel: (06) 993-2511 Website: www.migrator.com.tw Yurong B&B ( 語榕花園民宿 ) Add: 21-3, Qianliao Borough, Magong City, Penghu County ( 澎湖縣馬公市前寮里 21-3 號 ) Tel: (06) 921-9845 Website: www.yurong.com.tw

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What’s Best to Eat, and Where’s It Found? A key Penghu-experience rite of passage is cooling down with a serving of the famed local “cactus ice” – and, I dare say, doing so on several occasions at several different locations. The islands are home to six types of cactus, the one supplying an edible fruit introduced by the Dutch around 1645 when they controlled the island of Taiwan. The fruit has a nice sour/lightly sweet balance. A standard bowl starts with a heaping bed of shaved ice; a scoop of cactus ice cream is added atop, then surrounded by cactus-fruit slices smothered in cactus-flavored syrup also flavored with cane sugar. You’ll find many shaved-ice stands along Magong City’s Zhongzheng Road, always busy with tourists. However, on my three Penghu visits to date the most flavorful cactus ice I’ve come across is sold at the portable stand at the base of the ramp leading to Shanshui Beach (see main Feature article). Overall, the best shaved-ice eatery is Magong’s Yuguan Fresh Herbal Jelly – your proof being the inevitable crowd milling about before it. The star attraction is “Emerald Herbal Jelly Ice,” a heaping work of colorful art featuring all

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sorts of toppings, including herbal jelly, red beans, and condensed milk, and even sweetened corn and soft Penghu vermicelli. It’s delicious – and a meal in itself. The cactus ice is also very good. On this trip, online tourist polling led us to the cubbyhole “Old-Time Tianjin Xiaolongbao” eatery in Juguang New Village (see our main Feature article), where the experience fully backed up the enthusiastic recommendations. I had never tried – or even heard of – Tianjin cuisine before, and this foodie went away a very happy (middle-aged) lad. The owner grew up in China’s Jiangsu Province, and learned her cooking at the hand of her Tianjinraised mother. The main signature offering is minced goat-meat steamed dumplings. You’ll see herds of goats around the islands. This is an extremely savory dish, just short of gamey. The “secret” ingredient is cumin. Two other especially tasty menu selections were the hot and sour soup and the corn juice – yes, corn juice. The soup was fiery hot, with more black pepper than standard and tiny chunks of chili pepper

Steamed dumplings & corn juice

lurking like landmines. This made the cold juice even more welcome. You wouldn’t think corn would make a good cold-drink ingredient, but it decidedly does – blended to almost smoothie consistency, and lightly sweetened. Another spot tried because of strong online support was “Rixiang Fine Food Shop.” The restaurant’s décor is plain – it’s the distinctive homemade dishes that get everyone excited. The house specialty is a unique, entertaining creation called “Exploding Volcano.” “What!?” you’re saying. First off, it’s most yummy. Cactus-


STAY/EAT/BUY PENGHU

flavored rice is heaped into volcano shape, and said volcano’s mouth is filled with egg yolk. As you start mixing yolk into rice the volcano “explodes.” The results are deliciously creamy. Other notable dishes here are the cactus-flavored Penghu vermicelli and the seaweed & lizardfish-balls soup. (The “lizardfish” name comes from the slender shape; fish and reptile are not related.) "Exploding volcano"

"Emerald Herbal Jelly Ice"

Old-Time Tianjin Xialongbao ( 回味天津小籠包 ) Add: 43, Juguang New Village, Magong City ( 澎湖縣馬公市莒光新村 43 號 ) Tel: 0919-872-143 Yuguan Fresh Herbal Jelly ( 玉冠嫩仙草 ) Add: 32 Minfu Rd., Magong City ( 澎湖縣馬公市民福路 32 號 ) Tel: (06) 926-0356 Rixiang Fine Food Shop ( 日香美食坊 ) Add: 115 Sanduo Rd., Magong City ( 澎湖縣馬公市三多路 115 號 ) Tel: (06) 926-1698

Hot and sour soup

What Are My MustBuy Local Gifts/ Souvenirs? By far the most popular Penghu gift/ souvenir buys are its iconic processed, packaged local-specialty snack treats. The no. 1 purchase is brown-sugar cakes, closely followed by salty biscuits, wintermelon cakes, and peanut brittle – softer and not as sweet as the Western variety (there’s also a delicious modern version made with cream). The brown-sugar cakes, made with muscovado sugar (a type of minimally processed cane sugar), were introduced to Penghu by Japanese immigrants from Okinawa about a century ago. Locals first used them in ancestor worship, Taiwan mainlanders gradually became aware of them, and interest grew, local bakeries upping production to sate the demand. You’ll find many mingchan or “famous products” shops along downtown Magong’s Sanmin and Zhongzheng roads, both very popular with tourists. Chuen Ren Foods on Sanmin has a reputation as being the best maker of brown-sugar cakes.

English and Chinese brown-sugar cakes 黑糖糕 cactus ice 仙人掌冰 “Emerald Herbal Jelly Ice” 翡翠嫩仙草刨冰 “Exploding Volcano” 火山爆發

Chuen Ren Foods ( 春仁黑糖糕本舖 ) Add: 31 Sanmin Rd., Magong City, Penghu County ( 澎湖縣馬公市三民路 31 號 ) Tel: (06) 927-5406

Cactus ice

mingchan 名產 salty biscuits 鹹餅 winter-melon cakes 冬瓜糕

1. Migrator Intertidal Homestay 2. Brown-sugar cake,

winter-melon cakes

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FARM FUN TAITUNG

The Bunun Leisure Farm A Vision of Cultural Renewal and Sustainability Made a Reality

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The Bunun Leisure Farm, operated by the Bunun Cultural and Educational Foundation, has been striving to revitalize the culture of the Bunun tribe by establishing selfsufficiency through agricultural and industrial development, as well as rekindling artistic traditions and boosting the self-confidence of the Bunun people. A visit to the Bunun Leisure Farm not only provides a relaxing getaway, but also gives outsiders a chance to observe and participate first-hand in the revival of Bunun culture. Text: Nick Kembel

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Photos: Maggie Song

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fter getting picked up from the railway station in the little town of Luye, not far from the Luye Plateau, site of the popular annual Taiwan International Balloon Festival (balloontaiwan.taitung.gov.tw ), my traveling companions and I arrive at the farm after dark and retire directly to our rooms. Dispersed throughout the 20-hectare eco-park, the guesthouse facilities, sitting amidst tranquil, natural surroundings, are free of any touristy vibe. Before being coaxed to sleep by the reverberating symphonies of insect noises outside, I peruse the in-room literature to learn something of the farm’s history. In 1984, a Bunun pastor (most Bunun have converted to Christianity in modern times) named Bai Guang-sheng returned to his hometown, Taoyuan Village in Yanping, a comparatively remote township in Taitung County located at the base of the Central Mountain Range. Taoyuan is

the largest of five Bunun villages in the area. One of the others, Hongye, acquired island fame when in 1968 its Little League team defeated a powerful regional all-star team from Japan 7-0. Bai quickly came to realize the extent of the problems faced by his community, from alcoholism and unemployment to lack of self-confidence and cultural pride. The Bunun were once the fiercest and most nomadic of Taiwan’s tribes. However, they have been forcibly relocated twice in their history, most recently as part of the Aborigine’s Collective Movement Policy in the Japanese era (1895-1945), and when forced to move to their present Yanping location from their homeland of Laipunuk, 1,500-2,000 meters above sea level in the central mountains, they lost not only their traditional hunting grounds but also a way of life. Though nearly a century had gone by, Bai saw they were still struggling to adapt.


FARM FUN TAITUNG

2 1. Relaxing at Bunun Leisure Farm 2. Indigenous art on the farm

Seeking to reverse the Bunun people’s ill fate, Bai saw education as key. He set up a church, invited university students to come teach the tribe’s young, and offered camps during which traditional skills were imparted to the community’s youth. A Bunun choir was created, traveling around the island to raise funds for building. In 1995, Bai launched the Bunun Cultural and Educational Foundation. With funds provided by various sponsors and a successful fundraising campaign, the foundation set up facilities on land donated by Bai’s father in an uncultivated valley on the banks of the Luming River north of Taoyuan Village, taking on the ambitious task of converting it into productive farmland and a self-sustaining, incomegenerating leisure park for tourists. The project has been enor mously successful. The leisure farm currently employs over 90 full-time and 40 part-time staff, 70% of which come from Taoyuan

Village. Their educational programs have bred over 100 university graduates. The farm is 100% indigenous-run, and a portion of the profits are allocated to support over 200 elderly and handicapped individuals, along with victims of domestic violence. Demand for the farm’s produce and other manufactured products often exceed their production abilities; as of last year, all of their crops are certified organic.

3. Agricultural researcher Kao Chien-ming

the Bunun, but from various other tribes as well. After breakfast, we sip coffee on a patio that provides a commanding view of the entire valley. We spot plum and olive trees, cherry blossoms, a swimming pool fed by natural-spring water, rows of birdhouses and, on the valley wall opposite, an immense forest of bamboo. 3

After a night of deep, sound sleep, the next m o r n i n g I s t e p out from my cabin to find myself in the middle of a scenic and artistic wonderla nd. Placed throughout the grounds are woodcarvings and statues not just from Travel in Taiwan

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FARM FUN TAITUNG

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Our guide, Chen Shu-zhen, greets us warmly, and begins pointing out some of the farm’s other important features. Below the bamboo forest stands a charcoal factory, in which the Bunun use bamboo instead of wood to produce tubes of charcoal, a product with multiple uses. One interesting byproduct of the carbonation process is a totally natural, charcoal-scented mosquito spray. In a neighboring edifice, soaps and essential oils from camphor, cypress, and citronella are produced. Next we visit a weaving workshop, where locals are fast at work operating a number of traditional looms, including the Bunun, Amis (Taiwan’s largest tribal group), and Southeast Asian varieties. Traditional Bunun weaving used sturdy ramie fiber and was largely patternless. In recent times, a Bunun woman named Kaviaz came up with a new style that has come to be the signature pattern of the Bunun. Inspired by the snake (a sacred symbol), the pattern consists of yellow, green, and red interlocking diamond motifs on a black background. After the weaving workshop, we visit a bakery, and then stop to chat with a group of Bunun elders peeling cornhusks. Chen explai ns t hat, “ T he fa r m ha s brought pride to our community. Some of our youth go off to cities, but many of them succumb to feelings of isolation. The farm gives them a reason to come

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back. Nowadays, many of them return after they graduate from school to share their knowledge with the community.” Chen next leads us through fields of pumpkin, cabbage, onion, red quinoa, and corn, among other crops. She plucks a few cucumbers from a patch and thrusts it into our hands, urging us to taste them. As we munch away, we meet Kao Chien-ming, an agricultural researcher from Kaohsiung who is working with the tribe to improve their organic farming methods. He embarks on an impassioned tirade against modern farming practices. “All the food kids are eating these days is loaded with hormones. It’s affecting their growth. Modern farming is driven by greed. Everybody wants bigger veggies and faster. That cucumber you just ate, that’s what a cucumber should taste like. It isn’t big and perfectly shaped, but at least it tastes like a cucumber.” I ask Kao if it’s harder to grow organic. “You just need to plant a different species in each row instead of a whole field of one thing. The pests don’t like this for some reason. Besides that, it’s just a matter of caring for your plants. Pesticides are horrible for the earth. If we keep Mother Nature healthy, then we will be healthy.” Absorbed by his insights, we lose track of time, and suddenly realize we are late for a song and dance performance. Luckily, we arrive just in time to observe the

pasibutbut , the eight-part harmonic singing technique unique to the Bunun. Eight men stand in a spiral with their arms interlocked behind one another’s backs, and the vocal harmonies come in one at a time. The singing is solemn yet dignified. Following the performance, with a touch of humor the MC makes an appeal for patronage in the adjacent souvenir shop, reminding visitors of the farm’s commitment to organic sustainability: “We are mountain people. We suck at math and chemistry. So why would we use chemicals?” The shop features all the products mentioned above, as well as more exotic items such as olive juice and wine, plum vinegar, and millet wine. In the Tribe Restaurant, guests can sit down to a set meal (NT$300) of fried taro balls, sweet potato, veggies, barbecued pork, salted chicken, millet wine, and rice steamed in a giant leaf from the yuetao , a shrub that is a kind of flowering ginger. The leaf imparts a fragrant, floral flavor to the rice. All of the farm’s agricultural products are available for on-site purchase or delivery, and a number of ready-made dishes can also be ordered for takeaway. The Bunun Leisure Farm is not another theme park cashing in on indigenous culture, like you may encounter elsewhere. A great deal of positive work is being


FARM FUN TAITUNG

done here, preserving the Bunun culture for future generations, farming the land responsibly, and restoring indigenous pride. You can play a part in this story – your every dollar counts!

Practicalities Entry to the farm is NT$150 per person, NT$100 of which can be used towards products or activities, which include archery, DIY soap-making, leather crafts, weaving, and singing classes. Dance performances are staged daily at 10:30am and 2pm. If you want to spend the night, doubles go for NT$2,400 (Sun-Fri) or NT$3,000 (Sat). It’s best to make a reservation if you’d like a tour, and free pickup can also be arranged from Luye Railway Station. Arriving on your own, watch for the turnoff at kilometer 344 on Provincial Highway 9.

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Bunun Leisure Farm ( 布農部落休閒農場 ) Add: 191 Shengping Rd., Ward 11, Taoyuan Village, Yanping Township, Taitung County ( 台東縣延平鄉桃源村 11 鄰昇平路 191 號 ) Tel: (089) 561-211 Website: www.bunun.org.tw (Chinese) English and Chinese Bai Guang-sheng 白光勝 Chen Shu-zhen 陳淑貞 Bunun 布農 Bunun Cultural and Educational Foundation 財團法人布農文教基金會 Central Mountain Range 中央山脈

Hongye 紅葉 Kao Chien-ming 高健明 Luming River 鹿鳴溪 Luye 鹿野 Luye Plateau 鹿野高台 Taoyuan Village 桃源村 Yanping Township 延平鄉

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1. Weaving workshop 5. Tasting fresh cucumber 2. Fresh corn 6. Bunun weaving 3. Tribe Restaurant dishes 7. Juices produced on farm 4. Song and dance performance

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Railways to Bikeways Exploring the Dongfeng and Houfeng Bikeways in Taichung

When it comes to cycling, Taichung may not yet be at the top of many tourists’ itineraries. But the city that gave birth to Giant, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, is considered a key cycling hub by locals. The Dongfeng and Houfeng bikeways offer cyclists the chance to experience rural Taichung and Hakka culture firsthand while pedaling along decommissioned railway lines. Text: Nick Kembel Photos: Maggie Song

HOUFENG BIKEWAY Houli Horse Farm

Dongshi Hakka Culture Park

No. 9 Tunnel Shigang Dam Railway Valley Winery

SHIGANG Station

Lover’s Bridge

DONGFENG BIKEWAY

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Meizi Station

Puzikou Station

to fengyuan

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Dajia river

Tuniu Hakka Cultural Museum


Steel bridge on Houfeng Bikeway

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n Christmas Day, 2010, Taichung City was upgraded to the status of special municipality and merged with Taichung County. This arrangement produced a mega-city encompassing everything from coastal fishing ports and Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) pilgrimage sites to isolated indigenous villages and Taiwan’s second-tallest peak, Snow Mountain. For Taichung, the administrative restructuring has brought a wide range of economic and administrative advantages. One unexpected benefit for travelers is that, for the time being, the Taichung City government is offering free short-distance bus rides for passengers using an EasyCard (www.easycard.com.tw ), a contactless smartcard now widely used on the island. This includes the bus ride to the destinations described below. One of the effects of Taichung’s amalgamation has been an integration of transportation systems, including hiking trails and bikeways that cross district borders. The Dongfeng and Houfeng Biking on Houfeng Bikeway bikeways collectively span four districts in northern Taichung. Their creation in fact predates merger discussions, but they serve and sweet-treat stalls lining the route. The cyclist can hardly travel 100 meters without being tempted by a pizzeria, gelateria, shavednevertheless as ideal examples of local inter-district cooperation. ice stall, or café. The trail was officially opened in 2000 as the “Dongfeng Green The Dongfeng Bikeway, just under 13 kilometers long, follows what was once the Dongshi branch line of the western railway Corridor.” The local government planted trees and other vegetation; trunk line through an area inhabited primarily by Hakka people. the trees now form a canopy over much of the path, providing The Dongshi branch line, on which operations began in 1958, shade, and serve as a platform for cicadas, their shrill drone regaling connected Fengyuan, the former capital city of Taichung County, cyclists in a continuous soundtrack. The path was lit up along its with Dongshi Township in the foothills of the Central Mountain full length in 2003, making it the first nighttime-use bikeway in Range, via a third township, Shigang. Besides being the primary Taiwan, and in 2005 the adjoining 4.5-kilometer Houfeng Bikeway means of transportation for locals, the railway was used to deliver was opened, following another decommissioned railway line agricultural products and logs from the mountains. When the connecting Fengyuan with the Houli area to the north. Dongshi branch line was decommissioned in 1991, the county government decided to convert it into a bicycle path – the first of Since entire sections of the Houfeng Bikeway close at 7pm, make sure to do Houfeng first if you are cycling in the afternoon. The its kind in Taiwan. Over the years, great efforts have been made to improve scenery along the first few kilometers of the Houfeng Bikeway is amenities along the path, and the condition of the path itself. uninspiring (moving away from its Dongfeng Bikeway connection There are distance markers every 500 meters, the entire path is point), but various leisure activities are on offer, including bubble paved with smooth asphalt, and there are dozens of food, drink, soccer, fishing, go-karts, and paintball. Next you’ll come upon the

Inside No. 9 Tunnel

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Entrance at Houli Horse Farm


RAIL/BUS/BIKE TAICHUNG

Railway Valley Winery (www.midtaiwan.com.tw ), where you can sample plum and honey wines while resting in an imitation train car in a lovely garden. Just after the winery, you’ll cross a 380-meter steel railway bridge converted for bicycle use, offering stunning views of the Dajia River valley. The bridge leads to the highlight of the Houfeng Bikeway, the 1,273-meter No. 9 Tunnel. What would have once been a thunderous but largely unnoticed 30-second experience for passengers aboard a speeding train is now slowed down and appreciated in relative silence. The air is noticeably drier and cooler inside the tunnel, providing a refreshing respite for bikers, especially during the summer months. As you pass through the tunnel, be sure to take note of the cascades of minerals that have formed where water has seeped through the tunnel walls over the decades. After reaching the end of the tunnel, continue on through a lovely stretch that brings you to the Houli Horse Farm, where you can feed or ride steeds from around the world.

No. 9 Tunnel

From here, backtrack to access the Dongfeng Bikeway, which, like the Houfeng Bikeway, is mostly flat with only slight increases in gradient, and as such is an easy ride for cyclists of all abilities. The Dongfeng Bikeway takes you past several restored railway stations of the old Dongshi branch line, the first of which is Puzikou. The next site of interest is the enormous Shigang Dam, which sits directly over a fault line and was heavily damaged in the devastating 921 Earthquake of 1999. Cross the dam to visit a small memorial park and a damaged section of the dam left in situ as a vivid reminder of the disaster (the section is now bypassed by an embankment cofferdam). More earthquake relics can be found at the next restored station, Shigang, including a section of twisted railway tracks. Just after the tracks, you can veer into Shigang Village to admire a wonderfully preserved Japanese-era rice-husking barn. Next up along the trail is Lover’s Bridge – don’t confuse it with the colorful metallic structure adorned with cupids and Adam and Eve scenes that you

Old railway car beside Dongfeng Bikeway

Steel bridge on Houfeng Bikeway

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RAIL/BUS/BIKE TAICHUNG

Steel bridge on Dongfeng Bikeway

921 Earthquake memorial park

need to ride across to get there. While there may be more than a few structures christened “Lover’s Bridge” in Taiwan, the claim for this one is that it is the longest made of wood. Watch out for the turnoff at the 6.8km point, onto a small road on the left that leads to a mango tree that is at least 300 years old, quite impressive considering that the normal lifespan of a mango tree is a few decades. Next comes Meizi (Plum) Railway Station where you can make a right turn and follow Meizi Lane to visit the Tuniu Hakka Cultural Museum, a magnificent reconstruction of a traditional Hakka home, and still a place of worship for the descendants of its original inhabitants. Back on the bikeway you will then cross another bridge with a commanding view, you will enter the loveliest section of the trail, riding first under a lush canopy of trees and then through farms with guava and pear orchards, Getting There and Around

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Travel in Taiwan

Don’t come to Dongfeng and Houfeng looking for an isolated cycling experience. Incredibly popular with locals, but yet to really catch on with foreign tourists, the paths grant the opportunity to mingle with Taiwanese as they enjoy leisurely pursuits, soak up some Hakka culture, get a taste of rural life in Taichung, and pedal along two of Taiwan’s intriguing historical railway arteries. The Hakka Traditional Sindingban Festival in Dongshi

Fengyuan is two hours south of Taipei on the TRA Western Line. Disembarking from the station, turn left and cross the street for the Fengyuan Bus Station, from where you can catch bus no. 90, 91, 206, 207, or 208 to Shigang Dam bus stop. The bus is free if you swipe your EasyCard. A taxi will cost NT$350. Alighting from the bus, you will see a bike-rental shop where you can rent bikes from Merida, a reputable Taiwanese brand. Prices start at NT$150 for the day, but we recommend the NT$250 ones. Maps and free water bottles are provided. Cross the highway and follow the sign for Shigang Dam, which is at about kilometer 4 on the Dongfeng Bikeway. Turn left and cycle about 10 minutes to get to the start of both the Dongfeng and Houfeng bikeways.

English and Chinese Dajia River 大甲溪 Dongfeng Green Corridor 東豐綠色走廊 Dongfeng Bikeway 東豐鐵馬道 Dongshi 東勢 Dongshi Railway Station 東勢車站 Dongshi Hakka Culture Park 東勢客家文化園區

the latter of which Dongshi District is famous for. Thanks to a grafting technique developed by a Dongshi local, the pears here have a delicate floral taste and soft, juicy flesh. The Dongshi Hakka Culture Park (www.dons-hakka.com ) demarcates the end of the Dongfeng Bikeway. The former Dongshi Railway Station has been rebuilt in the style of a traditional Hakka courtyard home. The facility houses Hakka cultural exhibits and clothing displays, and musical performances are staged.

The Sindingban (Xindingban) or “New Man Rice Cake” Festival (www.sindingban.com.tw ) is hosted by the Dongshi Hakka Culture Park. Dating back hundreds of years, the annual event centers on the making and offering of turtle-shaped, bright-pink glutinous-rice cakes called xindingban to the gods in the hope of procuring male offspring. By tradition, the family who makes the largest xindingban receives a cash prize from a public fund, so people tend to go overboard, making wildly oversized cakes, and tourists are encouraged to join in the fun. The event also includes firecrackers, divination contests, and Hakka cultural performances. It takes place around the time of the Lantern Festival, usually in February.

Fengyuan 豐原 Houfeng Bikeway 后豐鐵馬道 Houli 后里 Houli Horse Farm 后里馬場 Lover’s Bridge 情人橋 Meizi Railway Station 梅子車站 No. 9 Tunnel 九號隧道

Puzikou 朴子口 Railway Valley Winery 鐵道之鄉酒莊 Shigang 石岡 Shigang Dam 石岡壩 Sindingban Festival 新丁粄節 Snow Mountain 雪山 Tuniu Hakka Cultural Museum 土牛客家文化館


TAIWAN SLANG

From All Those Cute-Selfie Takers Illustration: Choc Hsu

T

aking selfies has become a bit of a modern social obsession, thanks to photo-taking smartphones (and phone-stick sidekicks) and social media. Though a worldwide phenomenon, this self-indulgent activity seems to be especially widespread in East Asia. When hearing about taking selfies in Chinese, you might come across a popular term you won’t (yet) find in a dictionary: jiu mi ( 啾咪 ). Jiu mi describes the cute poses young girls strike when taking pictures of themselves, often including pouting and holding a hand close to the face with index and middle fingers spread apart. This type of pose is also depicted in online conversations using the following combination of symbols: (^. < ). See the squinting eye on the left, the small round mouth, and the scissor-like fingers? Jiu literally means “the chirps of birds/insects,” and mi “to mew”; together, the imagery is of a person chirping/mewing with joy. There are different (and doubtful) origin stories for the term jiu mi . One is said to go back to the Tang Dynasty, and tells of a nobleman who invited girls aboard his pleasure boat for a lake cruise. When the girls realized that the man’s intentions were not as noble as they had originally believed, they screamed for help (jiu ming ; 救命 ; lit. “save (our) lives”) to people on shore. Too far away to hear them clearly, the onlookers thought that the girls were just excited, striking cute poses and shouting jiu mi to express their joy. There is, of course, no evidence to back up this tale (or the others), which may well merely be the fantasy of a 13-year-old web user. However, there is a case to be made that jiu mi and jiu ming are in fact related. Many people feel that selfietaking has gotten way out of hand, and that jiu ming (help!) is the reaction of many a bystander upon seeing a girl or young woman taking yet another close-up of herself, completely disregarding everything else going on (in the real world) around her, exasperated at the prevalence of such puerile narcissism.

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INDIGENOUS CUISINE TA I T U N G

Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant Indigenous Fine Dining in the Hills of Taitung Text: Steven Crook

Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant in the evening

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Photos: Rich Matheson


INDIGENOUS CUISINE TA I T U N G

Live music entertainment

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he emblem of the Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant is a snail, and for those reading the Chinese-character menu from left to right, which Taiwanese don’t always do, the very first item listed is Basil-Flavored Snails (NT$250 per portion). But edible gastropods aren’t the main reason why a cartoon snail represents this establishment. Visitors who speak the language variously known as Minnanhua , Taiwanese, or Hokkien will quickly guess why the owner opted for a cute snail motif. The founder’s surname is Luo Lei (full name Mr. Luo Lei Pei-hua), and in Minnanhua snails are known as luolei . He has taken his childhood nickname and turned it into a brand. Two-syllable surnames are rare in Taiwan, and Mr. Luo Lei owes his to his mixed parentage. Luo was the surname of his mother, a member of the Puyuma tribe. Lei was the family name of his father, who migrated to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland after World War II. Mr. Luo Lei grew up amongst the Puyuma people, married a Puyuma lady, and considers himself Puyuma – hence his decision to put his mother’s surname first. As well, all of his employees are Puyuma. From the restaurant, which is a large, open-sided structure made of wood and bamboo located in a foothill village, you can see all the way to downtown area of coastal Taitung City, 11km away. There’s an hour of live music – typically a female vocalist accompanied by an acoustic guitarist – every weekday evening starting at 7pm. On weekends, local schoolchildren perform indigenous dances. Huge photographs – some historical, some recent – of native people decorate the walls, and there are a handful of unpainted woodcarvings. The decor is understated and tasteful, which is as it should be. As far as most customers are concerned, of course, what comes out of the kitchen is much more important than the interior, the performances, or the view. Whereas the hearty fare on offer at most Taiwan indigenous restaurants can be relied upon at least to satisfy gourmands, the

Restaurant owner Luo Lei Pei-hua

cuisine here is a notch higher. Some standout dishes surely qualify as gourmet – and that’s a word this writer doesn’t bandy about. More than 60 dishes are listed on the menu, and Mr. Luo Lei’s wife, acting as our host, starts by recommending the snails. They’re available year-round, she explains, but become scarcer when the weather is hotter. At least four dishes on the menu are distinctively Puyuma, she informs us. One is Meat-Filled Wild Bitter Gourd (NT$350), the foraged gourds being far smaller than farmed variants. Another is Teng Xin Pig’s Foot Soup (NT$400 to NT$500 per portion; also available with chicken instead of pork). It’s cooked using a wild vegetable foraged by indigenous people in several places in east Taiwan, and Mrs. Luo Lei says she warns anyone thinking of trying this dish that it’s exceptionally bitter. If you’ve enjoyed indigenous cuisine in other parts of Taiwan, you may be surprised that Xiang Luo Lei’s cooks make little use of aromatic litsea, one of the ingredients which helps differentiate indigenous cuisine from mainstream Taiwan cooking. Also known as mountain pepper or magao – the Mandarin term is derived from maqaw , the Atayal tribe’s word for it – aromatic litsea simply isn’t as common in the wilds of Taitung as it is elsewhere in Taiwan, Mr. Luo Lei explains. The restaurant serves one indigenous favorite that is well-known as a specialty often seen in the hot-spring town of Wulai, south of Taipei City. Bamboo Tube Seasoned Rice (NT$50) is exactly what the name suggests. For diners who find plain white rice uninspiring, it makes an interesting change. Like Bamboo Tube Seasoned Rice, no tribe can claim a monopoly over what the Puyuma call A-Bai (NT$50). Made from fermented millet and pork, this delicacy is somewhat similar to sushi in terms of appearance and consistency. Because portions come wrapped in banana leaves, and can be consumed in a few bites, these tamale-like snacks also resemble flattened zongzi , the sticky-rice pyramids Taiwanese feast on around the time of the Dragon Boat Festival (June 20 this year). Being lighter and less

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INDIGENOUS CUISINE TA I T U N G

Basil-Flavored Salted Barbecued Fish

greasy, they won’t leave you feeling filled up before you get to work on other dishes. Mr. Luo Lei explains that, traditionally, food wasn’t wrapped in leaves for the sake of presentation. Nor was it done to save money, or for environmental reasons. He remembers a time when refrigerators weren’t common in remote villages like his. When families had more meat than could be eaten that day – after a successful hunt, say – they’d wrap the excess in large leaves and bury the parcels, placing a stone slab on top so the cache wouldn’t be disturbed by animals. “Three Cup” dishes are a mainstay of greater China’s cuisines, the flavor and name coming from the roughly equal amounts of soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil in which meat is simmered until most of the liquid has evaporated. In addition to conventional Three-Cup Chicken (NT$280), Xiang Luo Lei offers ThreeCup Rice-Field Frog (NT$300), Three-Cup Bamboo Partridge (NT$250), Three-Cup Soft-Shelled Turtle (NT$450), and a few other variations on the theme.

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Bird’s Nest Fern

Indigenous cuisine has a reputation for being meat-heavy, perhaps because stone-slab barbecues can be seen in so many buluo (“tribal communities” in Mandarin). That said, however, vegetarians will leave Xiang Luo Lei full and happy. Even hard-core carnivores should seize the opportunity to try certain vegetables which may not be available in their home countries. Bird’s Nest Fern (NT$200) is one. Fiddlehead Fern Salad (NT$150) features another. Despite its name, White Water Snowflake (NT$180) is a scrumptious green with stems the length and thickness of spaghetti strands. As habits go, chewing betel nut is almost as bad as smoking, but there’s nothing unhealthy about consuming fibrous, crunchy Betel-Nut Flowers (NT$200). When the food arrives on your table, you’ll probably want to tuck right in. Do, however, take a few moments to appreciate the effort that goes into presentation, as in this respect Xiang Luo Lei is some way ahead of many comparable establishments. To accompany the Basil-Flavored Salted Barbecued Fish (NT$350), slices of cucumber are arranged in the shape of a four-leafed clover. The Stone-Roasted Pork (NT$250) comes neatly sliced


Local boy practicing archery near the restaurant

and arrayed on a bed of raw onion. The pork is tastiest when dipped first in garlic vinegar, then sprinkled with ground pepper. Xiang Luo Lei’s menu is in Chinese only, but with the aid of this article you should be able to order an enjoyable and memorable meal. Here’s another suggestion: In Taiwan, no one minds if you peer at what they’re eating, ask what it is, and then point to it to indicate you’d like a serving of the same. Because the menu was designed with extended families and largish parties in mind, bring friends along so you can try more dishes. Don’t worry there won’t be enough space – the restaurant can accommodate close to 200 people. Liquid options at Xiang Luo Lei include Taiwan Beer, Heineken, and local red wines and liquors, plus the usual juices and teas.

Getting There Getting to Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant requires a car (taxi) or motorcycle, but navigation is straightforward. From downtown Taitung City, head away from the ocean on Zhongxing Road. Stay on that thoroughfare as it becomes Provincial Highway 9, then be on the lookout for a turnoff on the right just past Fengtian Elementary School (you veer off to the right, rather than making a Road, into Lijia Village. The restaurant is just full turn). Follow this road, Lijia 8師大國語中心英文招生_E_1-3W_2014_12.pdf 1 2015/5/7 下午5:14 beyond the village, on the left. There’s no English sign, so look for the snail emblem. Parking is readily available nearby.

Painting on restaurant wall

Dishes A-Bai 阿拜 Bamboo Tube Seasoned Rice 竹筒飯 Basil-Flavored Salted Barbecued Fish 塔香烤鹽魚 Basil-Flavored Snails 塔香螺肉 Betel-Nut Flowers 檳榔花 Bird’s Nest Fern 山蘇 Fiddlehead Fern Salad 過貓沙拉 Meat-Filled Wild Bitter Gourd 野苦瓜鑲肉 Stone-Roasted Pork 石板烤肉

English and Chinese buluo 部落 Fengtian Elementary School 豐田國小 Minnanhua 閩南話 Lijia Road 利嘉路 Lijia Village 利嘉村 Luo Lei Pei-hua 羅雷陪華

Teng Xin Pig’s Foot Soup 藤心豬腳湯 Three-Cup Bamboo Partridge 三杯竹雞 Three-Cup Chicken 三杯雞 Three-Cup Rice-Field Frog 三杯田蛙 Three-Cup Soft-Shelled Turtle 三杯甲魚 White Water Snowflake 水蓮菜

luolei 蝸牛 magao 馬告 Puyuma tribe 卑南族 Wulai 烏來 Zhongxing Road 中興路 zongzi 粽子

Xiang Luo Lei Restaurant ( 響羅雷美食坊餐廳 ) Add: 19-1, Lane 689, Lijia Road, Lijia Village, Beinan Township, Taitung County ( 台東縣卑南鄉利嘉村利嘉路 689 巷 19 號之 1) Tel: (089) 385-366

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WHERE TO GO TONIGHT K AO H S I U N G

Romantic Evenings in Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung

Suggestions for Dining and Rendevouz-ing Close to the Love River

Nat. Sun Yat-sen University

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Visitors to the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung immediately feel its passion, vigor, and warmth. On a warm midsummer night, visit the districts of Yancheng and Gushan, home to the city’s beloved Love River, and follow the river to experience bustling Shinkuchan Commercial District and taste the traditional snacks so dear to everyday folk. Or take a trip to Pier-2 Art Center to experience local culture as well as enjoy some international fare. Along the seashore, Xizi Bay’s night scenes will give you a memorably romantic impression of the city, and dispel the fatigue of a busy day.

Restaurants 1 San Antonio ( 安多尼歐水岸歐式美食藝術 ) This European-style restaurant on the banks of the Love River has a décor that is reserved yet refined. The head chef uses skill and ingenuity to transform ingredients sourced from around the world into creative French-style dishes as delicate as works of art. The quiet restaurant has an elegant atmosphere that is at the same time comfortable and relaxing, making it the perfect venue for a date or get-together with friends. Add: 7-1 Hexi Rd., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鹽埕區河西路 7-1 號 ) Tel: (07) 533-5330 Hours: Lunch 11:45~14:30, dinner 17:45~22:00

2 ARTCO-C6 ( 典藏駁二餐廳 )

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Sizihwan

Simple Eateries 1

Gang Yuan Beef Noodles ( 港園牛肉麵 )

This eatery serves up beef noodles that locals just love. Broth made with a special recipe, big pieces of beef, and pleasantly chewy noodles are the secrets behind their continued popularity over six decades. If you are near the Love River – “When in Rome ....” – be sure to try the dry beef noodles and clear-broth beef noodles, both favorites with local gourmands. Add: 55 Dacheng St., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鹽埕區大成街 55 號 ) Tel: (07) 561-3842 Hours: 10:30~20:00

2 Kaohsiung Grandma’s Ice ( 高雄婆婆冰 )

This restaurant is in building C6 in the Dayi Warehouse cluster of the Pier-2 Art Center. The high roof, wide space, and original feel of the former warehouse have been retained, while the retro design and artworks on display make the restaurant a new model for renovated warehouses with an art focus. The skillfully prepared Italian cuisine served up is sure to satisfy. The restaurant is particularly suited to people who love both art and food.

The best thing to do on a hot summer night in Kaohsiung is have a bowl of shaved ice to cool down. Grandma’s Ice has been in business for more than 80 years. Here, customers can enjoy mixedfruit, mango, strawberry, and many other treats made with local produce. Digging into the fresh, sweet fruit and cold ice instantly makes the vexing heat disappear.

Add: 2 Dayi St., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鹽埕區大義街 2 號 C6-11 Warehouse) Tel: (07) 521-1936 Hours: 11:30~22:00

Add: 135 Qixian 3rd Rd., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鹽埕區七賢三路 135 號 ) Tel: (07) 561-6567 Hours: 09:00 ~ 24:00

Travel in Taiwan

The British Consulate at Takow

GushanFishing Harbor

Text & Photos: Vision

Romantic Evening Spots 1 Banana Pier & Fisherman's Wharf ( 香蕉碼頭 & 漁人碼頭 ) The Banana Pier warehouse, originally called the Banana Shed, has stood beside Kaohsiung Harbor for almost half a century. Here, visitors can feel the changes that the city has undergone over the years, and taste a variety of delicious snacks. Located next to Banana Pier, Fisherman's Wharf is the biggest pier in Kaohsiung. At night, enjoy a cold beer here and admire the special lighting effects and harbor night views. Add: 23 Penglai Rd., Gushan Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鼓山區蓬萊路 23 號 )

2 Xizi Bay ( 西子灣 ) Xizi Bay is a place renowned for beautiful sunsets and natural reefs. Just 20 minutes by car from the city center, this pleasingly scenic spot sits on the sea and is backed by mountains. The sunsets are among the “eight famous sights” of Kaohsiung – as the sun descends, couples gather to enjoy the sundown glow, which paints a scene of great poetic beauty. Add: Lianhai Rd., Gushan Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鼓山區蓮海路 )


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Central Park

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A rival to Osaka’s Shinsaibashi shopping district, Shinkuchan Commercial District offers the latest fashions, leisure fun, and good food all in one, attracting many young travelers. Here, you can not only buy the hottest clothing brands and the newest and most stylish in other products, products, but also take in a movie and enjoy tasty food treats.

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2 Pier-2 Art Center ( 駁二藝術特區 ) The Pier-2 Art Center is centered on a cluster of warehouses that in the past was, and today once again is, indispensable to the people of Kaohsiung. The warehouses, originally used to store such produce as fish powder and sugar, are now hubs of design and culturalcreative energy that nourish the soul of freethinkers. Among its many attractions are experience performances bursting with the urban creativity and life aesthetic of this port city.

ARTCO-C6

Add: 1 Dayong Rd., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City ( 高雄市鹽埕區大勇路 1 號 ) Tel: (07) 521-4899 Hours: Mon~ Thu 10:00~18:00, Fri~Sun and public holidays 10:00~20:00 Banana Pier & Fisherman's Wharf Travel in Taiwan

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MY FAVORITE SPOTS TAITUNG

A Bit of Hawaii in the West Pacific Places to Go in and around Taitung City

With a population of just 107,000, Taitung City doesn’t come close to being a major urban center. What it is: an excellent base from which to explore the east coast and the East Rift Valley. Text: Steven Crook Photos: Rich Matheson

Kimbo

Taiwan’s government recognizes 16 indigenous ethnic groups, but Taitung’s (city and county) native people are mostly Puyuma, Paiwan, and Amis. Thanks to his musical achievements, one local Puyuma singer has won great fame. Kimbo, also known by his Chinese name, Hu De-fu, was born in 1950 to a Puyuma father and Paiwan mother and is now an elder statesman in Taiwan’s music industry. An accomplished songwriter and pianist, he’s been credited with bringing Taiwan native music to a wider audience, and has performed everything from traditional indigenous songs and Mandarin ballads to a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Kimbo launched his musical career in 1970, and within a few years he had moved on from performing in restaurants and coffee-shops to frequent TV appearances. During the 1980s and 1990s, however, music often took a backseat to activism on behalf of his fellow indigenes. 42

Travel in Taiwan


MY FAVORITE SPOTS TAITUNG

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ey to Taitung City’s appeal – and one reason why this part of Taiwan is sometimes compared to multiracial Hawaii – is its unique blend of people. In addition to substantial numbers of Minnanren (Taiwanese whose ancestors moved to the island from mainland China’s Fujian province two or three centuries ago), Waishengren (individuals who arrived from mainland China since World War II, and their progeny), and Hakka (many of whose forefathers came from mainland China’s Guangdong province), one in five city residents is a member of an indigenous Austronesian tribe.

Beinan, Not Beinan If you’ve arrived in Taitung City by train, a logical place to start your tour is Beinan Cultural Park. Visitors who’ve studied a map before arriving may feel a little confused by the name. Beinan is the name of a nearby township, but the park is entirely within Taitung City. In fact, the park’s name refers not to the current local government division, but to the Beinan people who inhabited this part of Taiwan from about 5,300 years until perhaps 2,300 ago. Scholars have yet to determine what relationship, if any, exists between the Beinan of yore and Taitung’s current aboriginal inhabitants (including the Puyuma, which are known in Mandarin as the Beinan as well). Archaeologists working on this site have unearthed 1,523 slate coffins, plus skeletons and priceless funerary items such as knives and arrowheads made of jade. A few were removed and studied during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945), but it wasn’t until 1980, when work began on Taitung’s new railway station, that a concerted effort to retrieve and catalog everything got underway. One of the original excavations has been preserved and is open to the public (free admission; 8:30am-5pm daily). For a detailed explanation of what’s known about the Beinan people, as well as Taiwan’s other prehistoric peoples, a better place to go is the National Museum of Prehistory. In addition to displaying some of the items found at Beinan Cultural Park, the museum features

re-creations of prehistoric life. Fiberglass figures fish, cook, make pots, skin a deer they’ve just caught, and prepare a stone coffin for an interment. The displays go far beyond humanity. There’s a great deal of information about Taiwan’s geology, rare species such as the Formosan landlocked salmon, and creatures which once roamed the island. Incredibly, these included elephants, elk, horses, hyenas, rhinos, and tigers.

Lunch Options Like every other Taiwanese city, Taitung’s downtown is crammed with eateries. Given the gallery-quality works of art on the walls, and the top-notch furnishings, Silaidong must be considered one of the classiest – and that’s before the food appears on your table. Silaidong has been described as having brought “five-star hotel-quality beef noodles” to Taitung, but that’s not its only special qualification. Its founders include Kimbo and his wife, who worked with the Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel to ensure the food here meets the highest standards. And here’s an example of Kimbo’s efforts to improve the lot of his indigenous fellows: every employee is native. Silaidong’s Signature Beef Noodles (NT$300) is a generous bowl of ramen and succulent meat served in stock that takes 12 hours to prepare. The set includes side dishes of pickled cucumber and coddled egg. Other recommended items on the menu include the Home-Cooked Chicken Rice set (NT$180), and the Pork Steamed Bun (NT$80). The last is a version of the guabao or “Taiwanese hamburgers” now catching on in New York and other Western cities. Travel in Taiwan

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MY FAVORITE SPOTS TAITUNG

Creativity Takes Over from Functionality The Taitung region has nurtured some of Taiwan’s most-loved musicians, but only recently has it gained an appealing livemusic venue. Tiehua Music Village, in the heart of the city, is a convenient place to enjoy a concert. Formerly a dormitory for railway workers, this spacious complex, along with the nearby Taitung Railway Art Village, became available when the city’s railway station was relocated in the 1990s. A visitor information center and the city’s long-distance bus station are also located nearby. This site is an excellent example of a trend that’s become evident island-wide in recent years: when large state-owned sugar mills or warehouses are shuttered, rather than demolish the buildings and sell the land to developers, artist groups and NGOs are invited to come up with ways to use the structures for the public good. Kimbo is just one of many Taitung-born musicians who’ve performed at Tiehua Music Village. Tickets range in price from NT$200 to NT$350, and there are shows every evening from Wednesday to Sunday. Details of upcoming events can be found at www.tiehua.com.tw (Chinese). During the daytime, this is a good spot to wander, enjoy the sculptures and other pieces of public art, and then relax with a cool drink.

Seaside and Forest So alluring are the native communities, hot springs, and high mountains inland of Taitung City that visitors can be excused for forgetting they’re close to the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately, the city has made enjoying the coast both fun and easy by building a bikeway linking the Seashore Park, the Railway Art Village, and other points of interest. In addition to offering fine views of the ocean and southward along the mountain-backed coast, the Seashore Park has Paposogan – a viewing platform that’s an attraction in its own right. A spacious rattan dome, it provides shade on hot afternoons and makes for romantic photo opportunities once the sun has gone down. There are at least three bicycle-rental stores near the Seashore Park, plus one at Taitung Forest Park. Quality bikes can be hired for as little as NT$100 per day. The bike trail makes for safe cycling, and for much of its 21km length there’s a good amount of shade.

Getting To and Around Taitung However you approach Taitung, you’ll enjoy some excellent scenery en route. Flights from Taipei Songshan Airport take one hour, and there usually are six services per day. East Taiwan now enjoys improved rail services, with the fastest Taipei-Taitung expresses needing just three-and-a-half hours. Trains to/from Kaohsiung usually take less than three hours. Longdistance buses from Kaohsiung and Hualien are an alternative if slower

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option. Coming from the latter, it’s often necessary to change buses halfway down the coast. Car rentals should be arranged in advance so you’ll be met at the airport or train station. If you’re willing to spend several hours behind the wheel, consider hiring a vehicle while in West Taiwan, and driving all the way to Taitung. There’s an amazing amount to see and do en route!


MY FAVORITE SPOTS TAITUNG

The Indigenous Heartland Taiwanese of Chinese descent dominate Taitung City, but travelers don’t have to go far to find communities where Puyuma folk are the majority, and where the tribe’s language and customs are part of daily life. One such village is Kasavakan. It’s very easy to find: drive south from Taitung City on Provincial Highway 9, and just after the 389km marker turn right. About 20 public buses per day link this intersection with downtown Taitung. As soon as you enter Kasavakan, you’ll see the wood statues that give the streets of this little village a special character. One is the “The Princess and The Holy Deer,” depicting a Puyuma legend which explains how the residents’ ancestors came to settle in this place. Another indigenous village, Katatipul, is located just west of Zhiben Railway Station. There you can visit the Roman Catholic Immaculate Conception Church. Founded in 1954 and designated an official heritage building by Taitung County Government, it is strikingly different from most churches in the West. It’s a reinforced-concrete box with a flat roof instead of a steeple. Inside and out, aboriginal motifs created using wood and slate enjoy equal billing with traditional Catholic iconography. The former include paintings inspired by Puyuma oral history on the compound wall, and chairs inside which bear indigenous faces. According to the priest, around 70 people attend Sunday service, and both Mandarin and the Puyuma language are used during sermons. Visitors should ask for permission before entering the church. Donations for repairs are much appreciated.

Steven Crook ( stevencolincrook@gmail.com) is a long-term resident of Taiwan and author of Taiwan: The Bradt Travel Guide.

National Museum of Prehistory ( 國立臺灣史前文化博物館 ) Add: 1 Bowuguan Rd., Fengtian Borough, Taitung City ( 台東市豐田里博物館路 1 號 ) P31阿里山賓館_E_1-3_201505-06.pdf 1 2015/5/8 上午10:21 Tel: (089) 381-166 Website: www.nmp.gov.tw

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.

English and Chinese Amis tribe 阿美族 Beinan Cultural Park 卑南文化公園 Beinan people 卑南人 guabao 刈包 East Rift Valley 花東縱谷 Hu De-fu 胡德夫 Kasavakan 建和部落 Katatipul 卡地布部落 magao 馬告

Paiwan tribe 排灣族 Puyuma tribe 卑南族 Roman Catholic Immaculate Conception Church 知本天主堂 Seashore Park 海濱公園 Taitung Forest Park 台東森林公園 Taitung Railway Art Village 台東鐵道藝術村 Zhiben Railway Station 知本火車站

Silaidong ( 喜來東牛肉麵 ) Add: 86 Changsha Street, Taitung City ( 台東市長沙街 86 號 ) Tel: (089) 318-383 Website: www.facebook.com/silaidong.beefnoodle

Tiehua Music Village ( 鐵花村 ) Add: 26, Lane 135, Xinsheng Rd., Taitung City ( 台東市新生路 135 巷 26 號 ) Tel: (089) 343-393 Website: www.tiehua.com.tw (Chinese)

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


S

SPECIAL REPORT FREE TOURS

AIRPORT ESCAPE 1

A QUICK FREE TOUR OF SANXIA AND YINGGE Text: Owain Mckimm Photos: Maggie Song

If you’ve ever booked a flight from A to C with a long layover at B, you’ll know how painful it can be to kill the downtime that’s been forced on you at the B airport. If, however, B is Taiwan Taoyuan International, you have an alternative. Hop on a mini-bus for a free tour of two interesting heritage communities just a 20-minute drive away, Sanxia and Yingge!

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Travel in Taiwan

2


SPECIAL REPORT FREE TOURS

S

A

nyone who has ever spent hours stuck in an airport between flights will know how frustrating it can be. After all, there are only so many times you can wander around Duty Free. For airline passengers passing through Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport with a layover of between 7 and 24 hours, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau therefore now offers daily free English tours. There are two 5-hour tours per day, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Travel in Taiwan recently tagged along on the morning tour, which highlights the more artisanal side of greater Taipei as opposed to the showier city tourist spots – Taipei 101 and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall – visited in the afternoon. The first stop on the tour is Sanxia, a bustling urban district of New Taipei City (which surrounds Taipei City) about 20 km southwest of central Taipei. The bus pulls up near a foot bridge crossing a river and leading to Qingshui Zushi Temple, an ornate Daoist temple dedicated to a deified Song Dynasty monk. Before we enter the temple, our guide explains a little about temple etiquette – where to enter and exit, and how to cross the threshold. Inside, the temple is full of intricate artwork – support columns are covered with delicate stone carvings of birds, dragons, and flowers; wood and stone reliefs depicting scenes and figures from Chinese myth line the walls. Taiwan's religious culture is certainly too complex to come to understand in any deep sense on a single tour, but among many insights offered our guide gives us a tantalizing glimpse by explaining the process of using divination blocks and fortune sticks to elicit advice from the temple deities. After this, we have some free time to explore the temple's environs. Branching off from the temple courtyard is Sanxia Old Street – a 200-meter-long street lined with red-brick arcades and wood-panelled storefronts, the buildings crowned with ornate baroque facades. The architecture here dates back to Taiwan's Japanese Occupation Period (1895~1945), and contrasts starkly with the mainly concrete architectural landscape that we passed through on the way to temple and street. Here you can find quaint little teahouses, fabric stores, traditional pharmacies, and calligraphy shops, but perhaps the most prominent item on display is Sanxia's signature foodstuff – golden bull-horn bread. These croissant-shaped pastries consist of a buttery solid outer shell that

3

conceals a fluffy white interior. They can be enjoyed as is or cut in half crosswise and topped with ice cream. The next stop on our journey is nearby Yingge, another district of New Taipei City, known as the "Pottery Capital of Taiwan." The community has been producing high-quality ceramics since the early 19th century, and now functions as a base for Taiwan's best ceramics artists (over 800 of them). Beginning at the Yingge Ceramics Museum (www.ceramics.ntpc.gov.tw), we learn about the checkered history of the area's flagship industry, and we enjoy exhibits of ceramic art by local artists alongside displays of the area's more practical output: toilet bowls, roof tiles, and teapots. From the museum we head over to Yingge's Ceramics Old Street – a cobblestoned set of lanes lined with over a hundred stores selling everything from cheap, mass-produced saucers to costly, handcrafted statues. It's a furiously hot summer's day, so our guide ushers us into one of the shops, where we're treated to a Taiwanese tea ceremony by the owner, who fills us in on the ins-and-outs of tea brewing, drinking etiquette, and the proper consumption of Taiwanese tea before looming departure times for our tour-group fellows force us to make the 20-minute drive back to the airport.

English and Chinese

How to Sign up To register for one of the tours, sign up at the Tourist Service Center in the Arrival Lobby at Terminal 1 or 2. Tours are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. There are 18 places available per tour. The Sanxia-Yingge tour starts at 8am, with a return to the airport by 1pm. To pass through Immigration, you'll need a valid R.O.C. visa or be from a country eligible for visa-exempt entry. For more information, visit

eng.taiwan.net.tw/tour/index.htm .

Ceramics Old Street 陶瓷老街 Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 中正紀念堂 golden bull-horn bread 金牛角麵包 Qingshui Zushi Temple 清水祖師廟 Sanxia 三峽 Sanxia Old Street 三峽老街 Taipei 101 台北 101 Yingge 鶯歌 Yingge Ceramics Museum 鶯歌陶瓷博物館

1. Qingshui Zushi Temple in Sanxia 2. Footbridge in Sanxia 3. Ceramics Old Street in Yingge

Travel in Taiwan

47


POPULAR PASTIMES LIVE MUSIC

An Island of Festivals Exciting Music Events around Taiwan Text: Joe Henley Photos: Megaport Festival, Radish Records Ltd. Co.

Megaport Festival

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Travel in Taiwan

Taiwan might not yet have the summer open-air musicfestival culture of Europe, nor do its major cities yet boast the 24/7, all-genres-all-the-time live-music culture of aural hubs such as New York, London, or Berlin. However, recent years have witnessed a surge in the number of fests, which are being put on all over the island.

B

eing in a band is tough for young Taiwanese if they hope to keep playing music beyond their high-school or college days. Opportunities to earn a living strictly through music are sparse, and parental expectations that they buckle down and get a "real job" loom large in a culture in which filial piety plays such a major role. For men, the mandatory military service can be a band killer as well. Yet step into any rehearsal studio in the country on a weekday night and you'll find it packed with young bands, diligently practicing in the hope of one day gracing one of Taiwan's numerous festival stages. One of Taiwan's longest-running festivals is the annual Spring Scream (www.springscream.com), held near the southern beach village of Kending


POPULAR PASTIMES LIVE MUSIC

during a weekend in early April. Staged in the picturesque park surrounding the Eluanbi Lighthouse, the fest features several stages spread out over the spacious grounds, which flirt with the rugged coastline of the Hengchun Peninsula. Spring Scream draws bands from around Taiwan, a few from neighboring countries, and the occasional North American, Australian, or European act. From a gathering of friends at a local bar in Kending, event organizers Jimi Moe and Wade Davis have seen their festival-baby grow to a happening that routinely draws several thousand revelers, many of which enjoy the communal atmosphere of the festival's adjoining camping facilities. Just a few days before Spring Scream, the eyes of Taiwan's music lovers are cast on the southern port city of Kaohsiung and the Megaport Festival (www.megaportfest.com ). Founded by Freddy Lim, vocalist for Taiwan's biggest extreme metal export, Chthonic, Megaport is primarily focused on the heavier side of the music spectrum, drawing fans in their thousands to

Kaohsiung's Pier-2 Art Center (pier-2.khcc.gov.tw ), an area of former warehouses that have been converted into art spaces and performance venues, in late March. In the north, the biggest fest going is the Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival, a government-sponsored event that takes place in July at Fulong Beach on the northeast coast. The fest doubles as a competition for local bands, which compete for large cash prizes. With the fest being free, organizers boast overall attendance figures for the weekend in the hundreds of thousands, though no concrete numbers are available. Everyone from up-and-coming local bands to Taiwanese stars and international acts have graced Ho-Hai-Yan's seaside stage over the years. For something with more of a loose and alternative vibe, check out Beastie Rock. Held in New Taipei City's Tamsui Cultural Park, in and around a collection of former warehouses beside the Tamsui River, the multi-stage festival is not only

Spring Scream

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POPULAR PASTIMES LIVE MUSIC

about the music, but also about expanding the counterculture movement in Taiwan, with bands, fans, NGOs, and protest organizations actively encouraged to disseminate their points of view in numerous ways. The organizers have booked bands of many different styles for the fest in its five years of existence, from electro-pop to extreme metal, but tend to favor those that have a political or social bent to their music. Taichung and Chiayi are not to be left out, with a couple of festivals bursting onto the scene in recent years. Fans of the hard and heavy should head to Taichung in August for Hearttown (www.facebook.com/hearttownfestivaltw ), a festival that draws top punk and metal bands from around Taiwan, Asia, and the world.

In Chiayi, Wake Up (www.facebook.com/wakeupfest ) is another relatively new festival, featuring more of a local flavor and attracting bands of varying genres. In this year’s edition, headliners included what is arguably Taiwan's biggest rock 'n' roll act, Wu Bai and China Blue. From early spring through to the fall, north to south, Taiwan's varied music festivals run the genre and thematic gamut. Time your visit to coincide with any one of these fests, and witness one of Asia's newly emerging culture scenes.

Spring Scream

English and Chinese Beastie Rock 巨獸搖滾音樂祭 Eluanbi Lighthouse 鵝鑾鼻燈塔 Fulong Beach 福隆海水浴場 Hearttown 山海屯音樂節 Hengchun Peninsula 恆春半島 Ho-Hai-Yan Gongliao Rock Festival 新北市貢寮國際海洋音樂祭 Kending 墾丁 Megaport Festival 大港開唱 Pier-2 Art Center 駁二藝術特區 Spring Scream 春天吶喊 Tamsui Cultural Park 淡水文化園區

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EASY HIKING JIUFEN/JINGUASHI

Pointy Peaks with Fantastic Views Hiking Options around Jiufen and Jinguashi Text: Richard Saunders

Photos: Richard Saunders, New Taipei City, Vision

The small mountain town of Jiufen is one of the top tourist draws in northern Taiwan, attracting visitors who come to walk through its alleys, sample snack foods, and snap pictures of the coast off in the distance. Many leave without knowing that there is much more in store close by: several easy-to-follow trails that lead to lofty peaks, including Mt. Jilong and Teapot Mountain, bringing you through an amazing landscape of verdant mountains and blue sea.

Tea Pot Mountain Travel in Taiwan

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EASY HIKING JIUFEN/JINGUASHI

O

n a map, the five main peaks in the area around Jiufen and the neighboring town of Jinguashi don’t look extraordinary. Yet despite the fact that the highest is significantly lower than many hiker-visited peaks in Yangmingshan National Park, on nearby Taipei’s north side, the dramatic airiness, the feeling of vast, wide-open spaces, and the vertical drops and angular rocky towers make the mountains here appear high and imposing. This exuberant flourish of pointy summits (which, like those in Yangmingshan, are of volcanic origin) looms over Jiufen and Jinguashi, twin historic mining settlements overlooking the northeast coast, and walking along the rocky ridges on a fine, sunny day, with a vast swath of blue ocean laid out far below, is one of the most exhilarating outings in the Taipei area. Summer and fall are the best times to explore this stunning corner of the island, when the weather is at its best. 52

Travel in Taiwan

Note, however, that the sun is blisteringly hot from June to September, so be sure to bring sun protection and lots of water. In October and November, when the weather has cooled off somewhat, sunny days are still common, and the steep hillsides are covered with an ocean of beautiful silvergrass blooms. The easiest of the surrounding peaks to summit is towering Mt. Jilong (587 meters), which is located immediately northeast of Jiufen. To get to the trailhead from Jiufen’s Old Street area, just follow the main road through the town (County Highway 102) further uphill a few hundred meters until you see stone steps on the left side of the road. There are two paths to the summit. The more direct route is a 40-minute slog up steps all the way; a newer trail branching off to the left a few minutes’ walk from the trailhead meanders more gently around the f lank of the

mountain, giving views over a wide sweep of ocean far below and beyond. It joins the main path below the summit, which commands magnificent 360-degree views. The best base for exploring the hills around Jinguashi is the Gold Ecological Park (www.gep.ntpc.gov.tw), in the center of the town, which has narrow alleys of quaint old houses also well worth exploring. Getting to the rocky pinnacle of Teapot Mountain (599 meters), east of Jinguashi, is a slightly more strenuous proposition than climbing Mt. Jilong, but even if you don’t make it up to the summit rocks (not suitable for less-experienced hikers, as the peak is bounded by sheer cliffs, and the climb is rough and very steep in places), walking even just part of the way gives you fantastic views over Jinguashi and the coastline. The mountain is one of the most eye-catching landmarks in the area, and it really does look like a teapot from some angles (the Chinese


EASY HIKING JIUFEN/JINGUASHI

2

1

name is actually “no-ear teapot mountain,” for the “teapot” has no handle or “ear”). After entering Gold Ecological Park, pass the popular Benshan No. 5 Tunnel (where visitors can explore the first stretch of an old gold-mine tunnel), and turn right at a set of steps immediately after crossing a stream. Turn left at the top of the steps onto a minor road, which climbs to the trailhead of the path to the top of Teapot Mountain. The trail is a steep 20-minute climb that ends at the base of the summit rock, where you can rest and enjoy the breathtaking views from a pavilion.

trail which climbs between Japanesestyle stone lanterns and through a pair of torii (ceremonial gates) to the remains of Jinguashi Shinto Shrine. The temple, built by the Japan Mining Company in 1933 to commemorate its taking over of the Jinguashi mines, was dedicated to the three kami spirits of metallurgy, and originally included a main hall, a prayer hall, and a pavilion for performing rituals. Largely destroyed following Taiwan’s retrocession to Chinese rule in 1945, all that remain are lines of tall stone pillars and stone foundations, which curiously give it the vague appearance of a Greek or Roman ruin. A photo of the shrine as it looked during the Japan-rule era can be found in the park’s Environmental Building. Past the shrine ruins, the stepped trail continues uphill for some distance. Turn right onto a level track contouring the grassy mountainside, and on the left is one of the area’s open-cast mines, now open to the public, with several interesting info boards explaining mining processes.

Follow the steps on uphill, and at the top is a narrow road which gives access to the area’s highest peaks: Mt. Banping, Mt. Canguangliao, and Mt. Cao. A clearly signposted trail follows the ridge to the top of craggy Mt. Banping; the way is quite easy, but the ground is rocky and strong walking shoes are needed. Another, easier, option is to proceed along the road, and then turn left at the large sign announcing Diaoshan Historic Trail, a wide, surfaced trail that drops into the beautiful valley below Mt. Canguangliao (738 meters), the highest peak in the area. If hiking this route, rather than climbing all the way back up the same way, it’s easier to follow the road at the end of the trail for 2 kilometers to Mudan Railway Station, a small stop on the main railway line between Taipei and the city of Yilan. During the Second World War, Jinguashi was the site of the notorious Kinkaseki POW camp, where allied troops captured by t he Japa ne se du r i ng t he fa l l of Singapore and other Southeast Asian 1. The northeast coast seen from Mt. Jilong 2. Ruins of Jinguashi Shinto Shrine

If climbing the area’s striking peaks doesn’t appeal, several shorter hikes arou nd Jing uashi offer a rewarding combination of natural beauty, exceptional views, and histor ical interest. Tu r n right off the main artery through the Gold Ecological Park shor tly before Benshan No. 5 Tunnel, onto a stepped Travel in Taiwan

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EASY HIKING JIUFEN/JINGUASHI

regions were put to work in the copperrich mines in the area. Over 1,100 POWs were interned here, many of whom died under appalling conditions before the camp was closed in June 1945 and the prisoners moved to another POW camp for the remaining months of the war. All that remains of the camp, which was located just north of today’s Gold Ecological Park, is a bridge, a small fragment of wall, and a gatepost (marked by a plaque inscribed in English and Chinese). The remainder of the original site is now home to a small park with a memorial wall inscribed with the names of the POWs and a monument where a memorial service is conducted in their honor each year, on the second Sunday in November. It’s just a short walk downhill from the Kinkaseki site, along the winding road or newly-cut trail, to what is perhaps Jinguashi’s most unusual landmark, the Golden Waterfall. The stream here is laden with minerals exposed during mining operations on the hillside above. Over the years they have been deposited on the bedrock of the many-spouted cascade that plunges down the grassy hillside, turning it bright orange. It’s a great spot for photos, but don’t try paddling in the stream, as the high levels of heavy metals and other toxic chemicals naturally present in the earth of the hills above are dissolved in the water. English and Chinese Benshan No. 5 Tunnel 本山五坑 Bitou Cape 鼻頭角 Diaoshan Historic Trail 貂山古道 Fulong 福隆 Gold Ecological Park 黃金博物園區 Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布 Jinguashi 金瓜石 Jinguashi Shinto Shrine 黃金神社 Jiufen 九份 Mt. Banping 半平山 Mt. Canguangliao 燦光寮山 Mt. Cao 草山 Mt. Jilong 雞籠山 Mudan Railway Station 牡丹車站 Nanya 南雅 Ruifang 瑞芳 Shuinandong 水湳洞 Teapot Mountain 無耳茶壺山 Yangmingshan National Park 陽明山國家公園

1. Golden Waterfall 2/3.Gold Ecological Park 4. Teahouse with view in Jiufen

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2

3

4

Getting There Jiufen and Jinguashi can be reached directly from Taipei in just over an hour by taking bus no. 1062 from MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station (departures every 20-30 minutes 6am to 9pm). Alternatively, take a train from Taipei to the town of Ruifang, and then a bus (departures every few minutes) from the bus stop on the main road you see when leaving the station to Jiufen/Jinguashi. To get to the Golden Waterfall by bus, and then perhaps down to the coast at Shuinandong (location of two-colored sea waters) and then east along the coast to such places of interest as Nanya (strange rock formations), Bitou Cape (hiking trail on cape), and Fulong (golden-sand beach), take the Taiwan Tourist Shuttle (www.taiwantrip.com.tw ) bus on the Gold Fulong Route (day tickets NT$50; buses leave from Ruifang every half hour on weekends/holidays, and once an hour on weekdays).


OHYA‧ALL YOUR CHAIN BOUTIQUE MOTEL

Hotels of Taiwan

歐 悅。歐 遊 國 際 連 鎖 精 品 旅 館

HOTEL ÉCLAT 怡亨酒店

Taipei 台 北

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

No. of Rooms: 60

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

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: 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

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

MIRAMAR HOTEL HSINCHU 新竹美麗信酒店

No. of Rooms: 141 Room Rates: CORNER 8 COMFY ZONE D ROOM QUEENS KINGS STUDIO M

Hsinchu 新 竹

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

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: info@miramargarden.com.tw

Tel: 03.623.1188 Fax: 03.623.1199 E-mail: info@miramar-hsinchu.com

www.miramargarden.com.tw

www.miramar-hsinchu.com

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

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

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak:

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

www.ohyamotel.com

www.eclathotels.com

GLORIA PRINCE HOTEL TAIPEI

HOTEL SENSE

華 泰 王子大 飯 店

伸適商旅

Taipei 台 北

No. of Rooms: 220 NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$ NT$

Desk PeRsoNNel sPeak: English, Chinese RestauRaNts: Breakfast Buffet

Room rates at the hotels apply.

MIRAMAR GARDEN TAIPEI

Deluxe Room Grand Deluxe Room Premier Room Premier 9 Éclat Suite

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

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.

Tel: 02.2581.8111 Fax: 02.2581.5811, 2568-2924

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: info@hotelsense.com.tw

www.gloriahotel.com

www.hotelsense.com.tw

369, Lin-sen (Linsen) N. Rd., Taipei City, 104 104 台 北 市 林 森 北 路 369 號

Travel in Taiwan

55


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: galahtl@ms18.hinet.net

www.galahotel.com.tw

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.

56

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

53 HOTEL

永安棧

寶島53行館

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

www.grand-hotel.org

www.westgatehotel.com.tw

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: service@53hotel.com.tw

www.53hotel.com.tw


The motel’s design is a departure from the ostentatious and extravagant decoration of many motels; instead, city elements from around the world are merged into each guest room, quietly waiting for the next guest to arrive.

The style of the guest rooms is inspired by the lofts of New York. Weathered, rusting window frames, and mottled walls vividly and unrestrainedly display history in an old warehouse in the heart of the city’s Soho District.

THE BEST CHOICE TO SEE A VARIETY OF

OHYA Chain Boutique Motel is Taiwan’s largest chain of boutique hotels. It is listed by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau as a three-star hotel operation (the highest ranking) and has become a leader among boutique hotels in Taiwan. All 17 branches of the chain in Taiwan provide accommodation with luxury, comfort, health, and privacy, including 900sqm President suites and business-level suites.

Yilan

Linkou

Xinzhuang

Zhongli

Taoyuan

Changhua

Hsinchu

Taichung

Xinying

Yongkang

Zhushan

Kaohsiung

Chiayi

Taitung

Pingtung

ISSN:18177964

REGISTER ON OUR NEW SHOPPING SITE AND RECEIVE A NT$50 DISCOUNT. JOIN “OBOW SHOP” FOR A TASTEFUL AND FUN SHOPPING EXPERIENCE!

GPN:2009305475

200 NTD

Hualien

Travel in Taiwan (No.71, 2015 9/10)  
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