Chia - I Country

HOW TO GET THERE
 

CKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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The CKS International Airport - (take the buses of Guo-Guang Motor Transit Co., Jian-MingMotor Transit Co.) - Sung-Shan Airport - Chiayi Airport

KAOHSIUNG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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Kaohsiung Xiao-Gang Airport - (take the buses of the transportation route of the airport, Bus 301, Guo-Guang Motor Transit Co., Kaohsiung Motor Transit Co., Chung-Nan Motor Transit Co.) - Kaohsiung City - (take the train of Taiwan Railway, the buse of Guo-Guang Motor Transit Co.) - Chiayi County / City

Chia-I's attractions are mostly of cultural and historical interest. Foremost among these is Lantan , which used to be called "foreigner's stockade". This lake roughly covers an area of one by two kilometers and is shaped like a gourd.The lake was developed by the Dutch in the 1620s as a place to practice naval maneuvers, but it has now been converted into the main source of Chiayi's water supply and a popular site for moon gazing during the mid-autumn festival. Yimin Pagoda , located beside the Mituo Temple ,was built in 1938 in memory of the 503 persons who died during a local rebellion. The park in which the pagoda is located has many trees, and locals often go there to take advantage of the shade. One of Chia-I's most prominent local sons was Wang De-lu , who rose to a prominent official position in the Ching Imperial Government and helped to suppress the Lin Shuang-wen and Tsai Chian rebellions. He died in the Penghu Archipelago where he was posted in 1841 during the Opium War. His remains were brought back to Chiai, where his grave site covers two hectares of land. The grave site is 87.5 meters long and 43.4 meters wide, with numerous animal and human tomb guardians carved out of stone on both sides. It is listed as a historical site of the first rank.


AMUSEMENT PARK

  • Mt. Ali
    Historical Background : 250 years ago, a chief of the Tzo tribe went hunting in a mountain and had great gains. In memory of the chief, the Tzo tribe named the mountain Ali. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese chopped the forests and shipped the wood back to Japan. However, the deforestation had irritated the tree god that the Japanese set up a tower to worship the tree god.
    Cultural Highlights : Mount Ali is very famous for the sunrise view and the cloud ocean. The clouds are so dense and thick that the mountaintops appear like islands on the cloud ocean. The best time to watch the cloud season is autumn and visitors can go to Tse Yun Temple, Mt. Ali Hotel, Mt. Ali Rail Station, Tzao Ping Park, Chu Shan Kuan Ji Li and the first parking lot. In addition, the Mt. Ali Rail is also very famous because it is one of the three mountain rails in the world.
     

FOREST PLEASURE GROUND

  • Alishan Forest Recreation Area
    The Sister Ponds are supposed to be the manifestation of two aboriginal girls who died for love. The two ponds are about 50 meters apart. The larger is 528 square meters in size, with an island on which there is a cypress tree stump that has been converted into a pavilion. It can be reached by a bridge from the edge of the pond. The second pond is only 66 square meters in size. To its right is one of the most densely grown natural cypress forests in the whole area. Shoujen Temple, reconstructed in 1969, is the biggest temple in the area. The temple is dedicated to the Lord of the Somber Heavens , the Earth God, and the Goddess of Birth . According to local folklore, each year during the week before the third day of the third lunar month, three silkworm moths settle before the alter for about a week before flying off again. The Buddhist Tszyun Temple was built in 1919. It contains a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha which is made of bronze and filled with gold dust. It was originally given to the Japanese emperor by the King of Thailand in 1918; the emperor later sent it to Alishan, because Alishan stands opposite the imposing peak of Yushan a mountain that is higher than Mt. Fuji.
     

FARM / SCENERY

  • Chiayi Farm
    Tzengwen Reservoir is located between Dapu in Chia-I County and Nanshi in Tainan County, Its dam was constructed in 1967, and is 133 meters high and 400 meters long. The reservoir has a surface area of 17 square kilometers. It took six years to complete this reservoir, the largest in Taiwan. The southwest coast of Taiwan is formed from stretches of sand banks, which the continuous blaze of the sun has made into salt flats. The town of Budai is the foremost producer of salt in Taiwan.
     

  • Tatajia Rest Area
    Historical Background : Ta Ta Chia has an altitude of 2600 meters and it is the northwest entrance to Yu Shan National Park. It is the origin of Nan Tze Hsin River, Sha Li Hsien River and Shen Mu River. The mountains include Chien Pu Mountain, Yu San, Lin Chi Shan, Lu Lin Shan and Lu Lin Chien Shan. Ta Ta Chia is on the border of the Jade Mountain and Mt. Ali; therefore, mountain climbers often gather here before they set out. Thus, Yu Shan National Park set up a tourist center here in April, 1991. Besides food and beverages, the center also provides careful ecological introduction to the geography, weather, flora and fauna of Ta Ta Chia area. The exhibition area is divided into four sections. Each section has lively and thorough description of the geography, weather and ecological system. From Ta Ta Chia to Mt. Ali stretches a track as long as 20 kilometers and there are beautiful flowers along the road in spring and autumn.
    Cultural Highlights : There are 5 tourist tracks in Ta Ta Chia for visitors to choose from on the basis of the individual ability and time. One of the tracks is 1.1 kilometers long with introduction board alongside the track, carefully explaining the plants, mountains, rivers and ecological system. The tracks are all well-paved and easy to tread. Visitors can appreciate various woods and flowers along the tracks. The fascinating blossoms in summer has attracted many tourists. In addition to the beautiful flowers, you can also appreciate the spectacular mountain views of Yu Shan, Mount Ali and Central mountains from here.
     

  • Zen Yi Lake
    Historical Background : Located in Fan Lu, Jen Yi Lake is a natural lake with beautiful scenery. Rising mists and clear water pose a contrast to the green mountains. However, with the rapid development of cities and growth of population, the government turned Jen Yi Lake to be a reservoir in 1987. The reservoir not only supplies drinking water to Chia-I County, but it is also a tourist attraction.
    Cultural Highlights : Around the Jen Yi Lake, there are pavilions and beautiful plants. Visitors often play kites or walk carefree by the lake. There is also a third grade historic site and a tour track beside the lake. Visitors can enjoy the fresh air, the starry skies and the beautiful nature here at the Jen Yi Lake.
     

GENERAL

  • Alishan : The Railroad
    The Alishan Forest Railway is one of the only three steep-gradient alpine railways in the world, the others being from Darjeeling in India into the Himalayas and from Chile through the Andes to Argentina. Construction of the Alishan Forest Railway was commenced in 1899 by the Japanese. Intended to transport logs down the mountain, it has a 762mm gauge, a gradient of 6.25%, and a minimum turning radius of 40 meters. Traffic was opened on the 66.6-kilometer stretch between Chiai and Erwanping in 1912, and was extended up Alishan to a full length of 71.4 kilometers in 1914. The railway climbs from 30 meters above sea level to 2,216 meters, has 49 tunnels and 77 bridges, and passes through a cross-section of climates and terrain types. From Chia-I, the railway travels along relatively flat terrain for 14.2 kilometers before beginning the long climb, corkscrewing around Mt. Duli, climbing 200 meters over a distance of five kilometers. The railway then travels on to Pingjena Station. From here it zigzags up the mountain, reversing direction at each new section of line as it gradually ascends Alishan. Intended to transport logs and carry supplies, the railway has now become an integral part of the Alishan recreation facilities. After the Alishan Express was established in 1984 (requiring 3 hours and 15 minutes for the complete journey), some of the carriages of the original trains were converted into hotel accommodation. A number of locomotives are also on display at the Old Railway Display Area located near Jauping Railway Station.
     

  • Chia-I Salt Flats
    The salt farms are busiest between the months of March and May when the sun is strongest and rain is scarce. Walking by the seashore one can see white mounds of sand and taste the salt as it is wafted inland on the wind.
     

  • The Tsou Aborigines
    The Tsou aborigines are divided into the northern and southern tribes. The northern tribes are distributed in Chia-I and Nantou counties, and were known as fierce warriors and hunters. It was not until they began to settle down in agricultural communities that the various ceremonies of summoning wind and rain often associated with them arose. The most important of their ceremonies is the harvest festival. Traditionally, Tsou ceremonies were extremely long and complex, often lasting from 10 days to a month. This has now evolved into three-day celebrations each year on February 15 and August 15. Tradition dictates that the harvest ceremony take place at the tribe's meeting hall, traditionally the center for men's activities and also the political, religious, and economic focal point of the tribe. It is now used mostly for ceremonial purposes. Women do not participate in the harvest ceremony except in welcoming and sending off the spirits with song and dance. The climax of the harvest celebration is reached with a communal dance, which lasts for three days and nights. Outsiders are welcome to participate in the dancing. Cases of rice wine are piled up and everyone is expected to drink his or her fill.
     

  • Zengwen Reservoir
    The Zengwen Reservoir was built to regulate the flow of the Zengwen River and provide for the full utilization of its water, with the aim of improving and expanding agricultural irrigation in the Tainan area. Besides irrigation, the multipurpose reservoir also serves the functions of electricity generation and tourism. The expanse of water in the reservoir-the largest in Taiwan--adds to the considerable beauty of the surrounding mountains. The parts of the lake that have been opened to the public now offer camping areas, guest cottages, outdoor exercise, and playing in stream waters. The charming scenery here will make you forget to go home when your vacation is over. As you look over the lake from the high observation platform, the vast expanse of water will draw you to stay your steps and linger awhile. The nearby reference library offers multimedia shows and illustrations to introduce the reservoir's facilities, and provides travel information as well as interpretations of the ecology and environment of this scenic area to make your visit here educational as well as entertaining. In the area of the Zengwen Reservoir's No. 5 Bridge is an aviary and roadside garden. The aviary contains all sorts of flowers and other plants, and preserves part of the area's original appearance. The luxuriant foliage of the vegetation and the thick shade of the trees make this an enchantingly pleasant place to while away the time. Of course there are all kinds of birds here, with illustrations and introductions to their ecology and their habits. There are also introductions to the scenic area, as well as inexpensive food and beverage services.
     

MUSEUM / GALLERY / MEMORY

  • Alpine Botanical Garden and Museum
    Situated to the left of Tszyun Temple is the Alpine Botanical Garden, established in 1912. The garden covers an area of 152 square meters and has several hundred types of plants, each with a detailed explanatory plaque. The museum, which is located nearby, is built in Japanese style. Visitors can see specimens of the animals, plants, butterflies, soil, and minerals that are common in the Alishan area. There are also displays of traditional logging industry equipment, photographs, and traditional agricultural implements of the Tsou aborigines.

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Information provided by Tourism Bureau, Rep. of China.

 

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