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Sights to See

 

Nankunshen Daitian Temple

The stone sculptures, paintings, and artworks of traditional chien-nien (cutting-and-pasting ceramic pieces onto lime dust) technique are prominent in this temple. It was listed as a Class II National Heritage Site in 1981, and is the most important site in Tainan City. The temple is actually composed of two temples: Daitian Temple is the larger one, and the smaller one is Wansan Hall. According to local legends, there was a dispute between the two gods about who should stay here, Gangshan Buddha came to mediate the conflict, and the two gods eventually agreed to share the land. This is also the reason why visitors should bring both gold and silverpaper (to burn) when they come to pray and burn offerings. Major temple festivals which usually continue for ten days are held in late April, mid-June, mid-August, and mid-September (lunar calendar). This kind of “Wangye” belief not only allows many people to participate in temple festivities, but also serves as a traditional religion to remind the people not to forget their roots. Temple festivals also give the people an excuse to take a break and enjoy their time.

 

Shuangchun Coastal Ecology Park

Recreational Area

 

Shuangchun Coastal Ecology Park is located between Bajhang River and Jishuei River, and is the northernmost coastline in Tainan City. The sand on the beaches are very fine, thus the name “pearl of the west coast”. This is the only coastal ecology park in Tainan due to its unique and rich natural scenery and ecosystems. The park, which encompasses 80 hectares of land, has a visitors’ center, parking lot, beach sports area, fishing area, bird-watching area, natural ecology display area, and boardwalks. The mangrove conservation site at the entrance has various mangrove species including grey mangroves, Kandelia obovata, red mangroves, and Lumnitzera racemosa. The park has dense shelterbelts and wooden board trails for walks and bird-watching.

 

Jiukonghan Ancient Battlefield

 

Jiukonghan is situated northeast outside of Xipunei Village. The Tougang culverts turns 90° here, runs north then turns west through Keliao and enters the sea at Yonghong Bridge. The Japanese built automatic dams to control and prevent floods during the Occupation Period. They also built concrete bridges on which ox-driven carts could pass. There are nine culvert openings below the bridge, thus the name Jiukonghan, or “Nine Culverts”. This is the area where the first battle against the Japanese in Tainan County took place (the “Battle of Zhusong Mountain”), and is also the place where the soldier-scholar Lin Kungang from Jiangjun committed suicide after being defeated.

 

 

 

 

Jishuei River River Mouth

 

Jishuei River river mouth is a beautiful intertidal zone which has abundant aquaculture resources. In addition to precious mangroves, this area is also home to many wild oysters, razor shells, Chinese cyclinas, clams, and various types of shrimps and crabs. During low tide periods, locals come here to gather all sorts of shellfish and set up fixed nets. Collectors would visit the zone after typhoon for floating “treasure”.
 

 

 

Luzhugou

 

Luzhugou is a village located on the north coast of the Jiangjun River river mouth. In the past, there were a lot of canals, or “luzhuzai” in the area, thus the name. At that time, all travelers coming from Sanliaowan in the east had to pass the luzhu canals to enter the village. The fishing harbor in the north of the village, known as Beimen Harbor or Luzhugou Harbor, was once one of the three largest fishing ports in Tainan County. However, the harbor is no longer as busy as it once was. Most of the fishermen’s boats are motor plastic rafts, and there are about 160 rafts in the area. The village had about 170 families. Most of the houses are built facing north/south, and the roads in the village run north-south. Luzhugou is the largest plastic raft harbor of former Tainan County.

 

Baoan Park

 

Located not far from the Baoan temple in Keliao Village, the park was originally a wasteland due to its extremely high soil salinity. Eventually Baoan temple provided the budget to hire experts to help evaluate and improve the situation. The locals implemented the expert’s recommendations, such as building an underground sewer system, and the salinity in the soil gradually decreased, allowing plants to grow again. Now the park is filled with many plants and flowers.

 

 

Beimen Lagoon

 

Beimen Lagoon extends from Beimen tidal land to Mashagou beach. The lagoon, which is about 6 km long and 2 km wide, is the only remains of the former Daofeng lagoon, and is surrounded by Wangyegang shoal and inland seacoasts. The shoal provides protection and keeps the waters calm. Beimen fishing harbor, which is located at the southeast side of the lagoon, is the largest motor plastic raft harbor in Tainan County.

 

Abandoned Japanese Factory

 

There are two odd-looking buildings next to Beimen Elementary School on Provincial Highway No.17. These are the ruins of chemical factories built by the Japanese during the Occupation Period. The Japanese used to manufacture hydrogen nitrate which is later used in explosives. The factories were heavily bombed by the Allies hear the end of the Pacific War, and were mostly torn down afterwards. Due to the lack of appropriate equipment, these two buildings were left behind. More than five decades later, these two brick buildings still stand, which speaks a lot for the architectural skills and dedication of the Japanese.

 

Beimen Salt Fields

 

Beimen Salt Fields includes five subordinate salt fields: Wangyegang, Keliao, old Beimen (Zhoubei Field), Zhongzhou, and Jingzijiao (Laidong Field). Developments began during the Qing Period, and the fields were restored and expanded during the Japanese Occupation Period. The total area of the tiled-paved salt fields amounted to 380 jia, spreading from the south of Jishuei River to Sanliaowan River, from Provincial Highway No. 17 to the seacoast.

Wangyegang salt fields: Located in front of Nankunshen Daitian Temple, the salt fields were established in 1919 by Cai Tianyou. The layout design is rather creative, as the fields are shaped as a circle and the crystallizing ponds are in the center.

Keliao salt field: Located on the tideland southwest of Keliao Village, the salt fields were developed by the Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society. It is why the salt fields as also known as the Martial Virtue Society salt field. It was later bought by Lin Hsiungcheng who came from a wealthy family in Banciao, then sold to Taiwan Salt Company.

Zhoubei salt field: This is the third generation of the Zhoubei salt field. The second generation was set up by salt farmers Xie Zuo, Huang Gouyong, Wang Magong in 1848. The locals called it “Old salt fields”. It was originally handed down through the families, but later was bought and managed by Taiwan Salt Company.

Zhongzhou salt field: Located in the south of Beimen Village. In 1901, the Chen family in Xuejia Zhongzhou developed this salt field from their fish farms, which is right next to their ancestors’ grave. The salt field was forcefully procured by Taiwan Salt Company and managed by the company. The family is one of the few salt farmers who managed to get their land back after the war.

Jingzijiao salt field: This is currently the oldest original salt field in Taiwan. It was established in 1818 when salt farmers from Jiali’s Waidutou salt field moved here. It was later procured by the Taiwan Salt Company. In 1952, the areas of salt fields were redefined, and Jingzijiao salt field became the only central-style tiled-paved salt field in Taiwan history.

Due to the fading industry and coastal expressway constructions, the five salt fields have been divided into irregular parts. However, some groups are actively advocating the revival of the salt fields, and so far parts of the Jingzijiao salt field has been restored as a salt field experience. Abandoned salt fields provide rich nutrition for a vast variety of animals. When the tide is low, the bare salt fields are wonderful food sources for passing migrant birds, thus making the area an outdoor museum of salt field culture and ecosystems. 

 

 

Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration Office

 

Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration is Taiwan’s twelfth National Scenic Area. Its wide variety of tourism resources include wide sandbars, wetlands and lagoons along the seacoast and their ecosystems, thousands of hectares of salt fields and fish farms, and diverse temples and religious cultures. This area is also a famous black-faced spoonbill habitat conservation area which welcomes hundreds of spoonbills every year. In the future, the area will be transformed into a tourism area that offers wetland tourism, water sports and recreation, and history and culture.

 

Sanliaowan Wangye Cultural Gallery, Donglong Temple

 

Originally named the “Cian Temple”, Donglong Temple began to interact with the Donglong Temple in Pingtung in 1945, and the two temples have since then shared same worship rituals and festivals. This Donglong Temple is a traditional Minnan-style temple structure, and presents an elegant and delicate composition. It was designed by National Heritage Awards winner and Fujian Province Xidi School Min style temple master carpenter Wang Jinmu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beimen Salt Administration Office

 

During the Japanese Occupation Period, the central government was not responsible for collecting salt taxes. The responsibility was delegated to the offices located at five respective salt fields (Lukang, Budai, Beimen, Tainan, Anping, Wushulin). The offices were also responsible for affairs related to the production and sales of salt. This English style office, which was built over a hundred years ago, is completely made of wood and did not use one single nail. The structure is held together with dowels and remains standing after many earthquakes.

 

Grave of Cheng Chengkung’s Aunt

 

 

This is the grave of Zheng Xiniang, wife of Beimen Zhongzhou pioneer Chen Yigui and alleged distant aunt of Cheng Chengkung. Her grave is next to the southward trail, at the turn north of hill. The trail may be hidden in the knee-high grass. Walk about 30 meters and you will see a westbound trail, turn onto the trail, walk about 10 meters and you will see the grave. The headstone is made of granite, and has the name of the lady and her hometown carved on it. Rumor has it that this is a decoy grave, and that no one knows where the real grave is, so that people will not disturb the family fengsui.

 

 

Beimen Island Church

 

This church is located on the south shore of Yunglungguo, and is the mid-Tainan branch of the Mustardseed Church of the Presbyterian Church. It was established in September, 1959, and originally was called the Beimen Mission. The church began to take in blackfoot disease patients in May, 1960, and distributed clothing and groceries which led to increasing numbers of worshippers. Services are still held in the church, but participants are very few.

 

 Keliao Hong Mansion

 

The Hong mansion is a two-story, three-living room store front-style house. The houses on the two sides are used as stores, the one in the middle is the main living room and stairs are built behind the shrine screens. The eaves pillars on the first floor are made with plain bricks, the interior of the house is all made of wood, and the windows are latticed. The second floor structure is designed to let the pillars directly go through and support the floor/ceiling. The pillars stand on the brick pillars on the first floor, forming a low balcony. The Hong Mansion was built during the Japanese Occupation Period by Hong Dashu who was a traditional Han medicine merchant. Currently, the traditional medicine store is run by the second generation.

 

The Crystal Chapel

 

The Crystal Chapel is the first “fantasy chapel” in Taiwan. It is also the first “wedding photo site” themed project to be planned, constructed and promoted by the public sector. And will also be the most popular site in Beimen.
The design of the Crystal Chapel was inspired by the Sydney Opera House and the St. Laguna Chapel in Guam. The project, which costs millions of NT dollars, is to become the largest wedding photo shoot site in Taiwan with an area of seven hectares. The area will offer many scenes and backdrops, such as the Ice Palace, Café, and Crystal Chapel. The Salt Chapel will be the main sight. In the future, surrounding areas will also be developed in hope to attract lovers and married couples to visit.