Surrounding the Cultural Landscape
Meinong is a well-known Hakka town in Taiwan. It has rich cultural heritage, cultural landscape and strong cultural identity of the locals. It is an important area for tourism and significant figure in terms of Hakka community culture reservation in Taiwan. Participants can travel in Meinong with the package tours of the festival. Meinong is close to Cishan, Shanlin, and Liouguei. The area has rich cultural heritage and natural landscape. It is recommended to visit the neighboring towns after the festival.
■ Historic Street of Cishan
Cishan is a hilly town, neighboring Meinong on the east and has Nanchihsien River running through. It is a beautiful town that has hills and rivers.
To visit the Old Street of Cishan, one can start from the station (Historic Architecture Train Station)—Stone Arches Corridor (historic architecture)--- Cishan TianHou Temple (City Designated Historic Architecture)--- Farmers’ Association (The only Farmers’ Association that is a City Designated Historic Architecture in the whole country)—Baroque Street House—Life and Culture Park (Former Gushan Elementary School, a City Designated Historic Architecture school. The unique architectures of the assembly hall, corridor of the north building and the office are the main attractions) – Gushan Park (A great point for view of Chiwei Mountain, Meinong Plain and Central Mountain Range)—Enjoy the local cuisine.
■ Shanlin Gourd Carving
There are different ethnic groups that reside in Shanli, like Pingpu, Hakka, and Hokkien. Hakka people are the majority. Gourds originally were only harvests from the fields. After gourd sculptors’ work of characters, pictures and creativity, gourds are turned into an art form. Gourd sculptors continue to polish their skills. Gourd art has become one of Shanlin’s specialties. The Gourd Carving Hall in HsinChang Elementary School exhibits different styles of gourd art. Don’t forget to pay a visit when you’re in Shanlin.
■ Liouguei Colorful Butterfly Valley and Shiba Louhashan
Liouguei situates at the starting point of the Southern Cross-Island Highway, in the Maolin National Scenic Area. The majority of the population is Hokkien and Hakka. Veterans later arrived here to start settlements. Local Pingpu people and indigenous people who migrated from neighboring mountains make Liouguei a multicultural town.
Colorful Butterfly Valley has a dynamic landscape and rich native plantation. The majority is teak and Cassia siamea. These two trees create a great environment for butterflies. The best time to watch the occurrence of yellow butterflies is from May to July and September to October.
Shiba Louhanshan situates next to Laonong River. It consists of over 40 conical mountains. The shape is similar to flames so it is also known as ‘Liouguei Flame Mountains.’ It is a natural reserve where squirrels, monkeys and other wild animals inhabit.