TRAVELS ON THE EAST COAST -- TRIALS OF A TOURIST IN TREMENDOUS TERRAIN
Linda Gail Arrigo December 25-30, 1997
For those who remember the spring green rice fields and lush mountain foliage that surrounded Taipei before the headlong industrialization and suburban spread of the 1970's -- or for those who just dream of escaping the motorcycle exhaust-laden atmosphere and concrete apartment warrens of the present Taipei -- a trip to the east coast of Taiwan is a refreshing salve for the soul. But go quick before it's gone. Land speculation, housing construction, and industrialization, with all the side-effects so well known on the west coast, are advancing at a breakneck pace. This development is speeded by ambitious highway building projects that run down the narrow east coast, snake across the rugged center of the island, and probe far up into the mountains. Soon the Taiwan urbanites with their new craze for minivans and four-wheel drive vehicles will be able to visit even more hotel sites and souvenir shacks set among remote peaks.
This report, however, is geared for vacationers who may want to explore on their feet, to brush up against the jungle, and maybe even splash in the clear pools of a mountain cascade. It also favors the impecunious travellor; those with more funds have many more options. It will start at a location near Taitung and move north to Hwalien's Taroko Gorge.
The southeast region of the island has the greatest concentration of
the indigenous Austronesian tribal peoples (related to Filipinos, Malaysians,
Melanesians, etc.) that occupied Taiwan prior to migration from south China.
They are about 10-15% of the population here. You can hear their
soft polysyllabic languages spoken in small towns along the hills and occasionally
see older people with facial tattoos. But it is rare that one sees
anything culturally distinct along the roads. The majority population
here is Hokkien Taiwanese, with lingering clumps of the old mainlander
military population that was settled on the east coast after 1949.
The indigenous people are increasingly assimilated and indistinguishable,
despite their recent popularity as a touristry emblem. They are more
visible when they are hired by mountain tourist resorts to sing and dance
to cliched "native" tunes; or hawk trinkets around commercially-run hotels
that loom over the scenery.
BUNONG CULTURE CENTER AND HOSTEL
The Bunong Village at Yenping Hsiang, Taitung County, may be the only modern vacation center in Taiwan actually owned and run by indigenous people. It seeks to educate the visitor with authentic indigenous art and performances, in a natural environment of grass, trees, bamboo, and slate, though it also partially caters to the habits of urbanites. Thirty-minutes drive north of Taitung City, the Bunong Village covers several acres of level land situated next to a stream gorge, surrounded by high green hills. It features a sophisticated coffee house where you can watch the surrounding greenery and flitting birds through large plate glass windows, and listen in cool leisure to soft keyboard music or indigenous singers, either live or on compact disc. Outside there are wide areas of clean lawns and flowering trees, a large fish pond with tinkling water flow, groupings of low slate tables and benches for picnics or conversations, impressive displays of indigenous carvings in slate and wood, a covered stage and covered seating area for performances, and a craft shop where native designs are reproduced with modern hand looms to make belts, hats, etc.
The rooms are in one-story cabins, new, clean and reasonably priced, either group lodgings with thick comforters on raised wooden floors, or wood-panelled rooms with beds for three. Individuals can sleep in the group rooms for NT$200/night; rooms for 1-3 are about NT$1200/night. The showers and restrooms are separate from the rooms, but with good quality fixtures and regularly cleaned. Aside from the coffee shop, which serves waffles and toast as well as fancy teas and expresso, there is a noodle shop and also facilities for feeding groups of up to a hundred people.
This complex is the recent brainchild of Reverend Bai Kuang-Sheng (Bunong name, Bion). His accomplishments are astounding considering that not only is he from an ethnic group that suffers discrimination in education and employment, he was also crippled by polio in childhood. Five years ago he completed the new hall of worship and Bunong-language kindergarten in the nearby small town of Yenping, with donations and loans from the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. The Church has systematically promoted the rights of the indigenous peoples. The church building has modern conference rooms with microphones, computers, fax machines, etc., so together with the Bunong Village resort this is an excellent and accessible site for low-cost, relaxing conferences and gatherings.
Rev. Bai's vision is that the indigenous people of Taiwan must become educated to deal with the modern society and to attain economic independence, but they must keep their language and cultural roots and sense of community. Then they must educate the Taiwanese majority to respect the minority culture. In the past he had a handicraft workshop with a dozen handicapped people. The dirtiest and most dangerous jobs in Taiwan's economy used to fall to the indigenous people (now they are losing these jobs to foreign workers), and they are often injured in lumber mills and on fishing boats. The Bunong Village hostel complex currently provides employment for 28 community people.
An airplane trip to Taitung is the easiest, fastest way to leave behind the noise of Taipei. There are various attractions in the region: Chih Ben, the hot springs area south of Taitung; the seashore park with strange rock formations, San Hsien Tai (Three Fairies Pavillion), north of Yenping; and the possibility of further airplane hops to Orchid Island (home of the Yami, the least-assimilated indigenous group, and also a nuclear waste dump) or Green Island (with a hot spring in the surf, as well as formerly-notorious prisons for political offenders). Airplane tickets to Taitung can be bought at a discount from travel agencies, as little as NT$850 one-way to Taitung.
The Bunun Village is a rare less-commercialized retreat, with a cool breeze off the ocean as well. It has a minibus to pick up visitors at the airport (30 minutes away) or the nearby train station. The Lu Yeh train station, one station north of the new Taitung train station, is just about 4 km. from the Bunun Village, nearly at Yenping town. You can telephone (Tel:(089)561375, 561211,561183; Fax:(089)561409 ) and ask for Jennifer, who speaks good English. If you drive, go southwest out of the town of Lu Yeh, and then turn right onto the new bridge that crosses the stream gorge; from there you are very close, just follow the signs in Chinese. By the way, Hong Yeh (Red Leaf) village, the home of Taiwan's first champion little league baseball team, is about another forty minutes' drive into the mountains past Yenping. There is a small swift river that would probably make good rafting and a sparsely-developed public hot springs facility out that way as well.
Even better, a little exploring can be done by foot right around the
hostel location. About 3 km. farther up the stream gorge the road
ends and you walk on about ten minutes to a large swimming hole.
There you can jump off the rocks into seven feet of clear, cool water.
This is the beginning of Hu Dieh Ku (Butterfly Canyon), with small yellow
butterflies and shiny blue dragonflies flitting among the dense foliage
above. Another more secluded pool is a few minutes beyond.
To get past the narrow gorge there you must wade chest-deep; a further
forty-minutes of rock-hopping up the gorge is well rewarded with a last
deep pool under a tumbling cascade.
NORTHWARD FROM TAITUNG
As can be seen clearly on a topographic map of Taiwan, the southeastern
edge of the island is cleaved through with a narrow north-south rift valley
parallel to the central mountain ranges; so on the east edge of the valley
and along the ocean there is another narrow mountain range that ends just
south of Hwalien City. The valley is nearly half as long as the whole
island of Taiwan but only about ten kilometers wide. Both the main
highway, Number 9, and the railroad line run down this valley. Either
provides a spectacular view of the mountains rising on each side and of
a pastoral landscape more like the Taiwan of twenty years ago, although
even here beetlenut and corn have considerably displaced the manicured
green rice terraces of the past. Train time between Hwalien City
and Taitung City is about three hours, and there are a dozen runs a day.
HSIU KU RAN RIVER GORGE
There are three or four main river basins along this long valley, some flowing south and some north before cutting through to the ocean. The middle one, the Hsiu Ku Ran River, has cut a deep chasm through the eastern mountain range that is nearly as spectacular as Taroko Gorge. It is only recently more accessible to viewing because the road through the mountains parallel to the river, called the Rei Gang Highway, has been improved; but it is not yet choked with vehicles and souvenir shops, and the vegetation is even more lush than at Taroko. In fact, the twenty-kilometer road could serve as a footpath for a peaceful day's hike, with the possibility of dipping in the river at the ends and once in the middle, although the road is mostly elevated a few hundred feet above the river.
Even more convenient, the river begins its journey through the mountains near the large town of Rei Sui, a main stop on the train line. Also, just five km. west of the town, at Hong Yeh (Red Leaf) Village in Wan Rung Hsiang, there is a small hot springs vacation hotel set on a hill (Rei Sui Hot Springs Hotel, Tel:(03)8872170) that is being renovated from a Japanese-period police resort; it has an outdoor pool with iron-laden water. The area has the quaint dilapidated look of a forgotten backwater, with wooden farm houses still in use.
Rei Sui is the starting point for floating down the river through the gorge on five-person inflated boats. Even in the winter, groups can contract for the voyage; but in the high season they run regularly. The river is hardly white water by American standards, but it is deep and swift, with some rocky areas, and the outfitters require wearing of life jackets and helmets. There are ten expedition companies listed in the tourist literature, seven with addresses near Rei Sui (Tels: (03) 8337596 and 8871596; 8873042; 8872622; 8872822; 8873042; 8781166; 8873201) and three in Hwalien City (Tels: (03) 8339275; 8872061; 8356285).
A leisurely drive from Rei Sui to the ocean, with many picture stops, takes about an hour. The main challenge is finding the turnoff from Highway 9. The brown tourist signs for the "east coast scenic area" and "river boating" point you east through the town market, and from there the main road then turns south, to a big new bridge over the river (but this is not the right way for driving; this road turns south and doesn't cross the mountains).
On the right just before the new bridge there is a huge tourist information center with peaked gables and a two-storey-high whitewashed aborigine-style statue. This seems to be a staging point and parking lot for river raft expedition departures as well. They have exhibits on local flora and fauna, and a map of the river and highways painted on the wall. However, on a recent visit they had no maps or literature to hand out.
And the correct way to get to the Rei Gang Highway, which runs along the north edge of the gorge, is to turn north into a vendor-choked side street that is across from a tall white building in the market, just two blocks or so off Highway 9. No tourist sign was seen, but there are signs in Chinese saying "Gang Kou" (Harbor), which is the town near where the Hsiu Ku Ran River comes out on the coast. You have to get on to the right street in order to pass two old bridges that traverse the gravel wash of a tributary stream.
In the simplified tourist maps of Taiwan there is no way to distinguish the bridges on the different routes. It is best to remember that maps in Taiwan are anyway frequently in error or insufficient in detail, maybe a leftover from the martial law era when accurate maps were considered military secrets.
If you drive across the mountains or down the coast, you can still take a very short river cruise that seems to be available year-round, on motor launches holding about twenty people, at a pier at the mouth of the Hsiu Ku Ran River. Strong swimmers who are a little more daring might walk a ways up the river on the rocks by the side, and body surf down in the rapid current. The main channel of the river is about ten meters wide here.
Just about a block before the Rei Gang highway meets the Number 11 highway
on the coast, there is a wooden building that houses the workshop of an
indigenous wood carver artist named Lai Yi-Hsing (Laihedze in his own language).
There are a few other tourist shops and raft expedition representatives
around the intersection. Other than that the Rei Gang highway is
mercifully free of vending shacks.
ON THE WAY BACK TO HWALIEN
It is a pleasant drive along the ocean from Da Gang Kou back to Hwalien, a distance of about seventy kilometers on Highway 11. There are some rough spots where construction equipment partially obstructs the road or paving is incomplete, since the highway is being widened. The mountains go right to the edge of the ocean along most of the route, but there are a few narrow beaches. One that is commercially developed is just about midway in the drive, close before the town named Chi Chi (Rocky Cove), and that is also the name of the recreation spot. The large gray buildings on the ocean side of the road, with parking lot and gate, are easy to spot. Up to November there is a charge for access to the beach here. The modern facilities include bath house, showers, life guards, restaurant, and camp sites (roofed wooden platforms and picnic tables; NT$250).
If you are driving the inland valley route (Highway 9), there are a few other sites that may be visited. Turning off the highway at the town of Wan Rung (Ten Thousand Glories) a few kilometers into the mountains on Highway 16, there is a cluster of a few houses called Sen Rung (Forest Glory). This is the site of a Japanese-period camphor wood lumber mill, and the original workers' houses are largely unmodified and are built of planks of this wood, painted green. The Japanese managers' residences up the hill are more substantial and still show signs of beautiful gardens. There are traces of the steep narrow-gauge railroad that brought the camphor logs down from the mountains. According to maps, this railroad extended at least thirty kilometers west up the ridge of the mountain.
Farther north at Shou Feng, Highway 14 splits off to the northwest and soon crosses over a rocky creek, Lao Hsi, where local teenagers dip in the water on holidays. At about 5 km. along out this side road, one reaches Li Yu Tan (Carp Lake), a beautiful oval lake set against verdant hillsides in a nature preserve with several well-marked trails. Trail maps are carved in wood at two starting points on the scenic road looping around the east side of the lake. There are also boats for rent on the commercialized west side of the lake. Signs advertise lodgings, but there are no sizeable hotels. There are public buses to the Hwalien train station, but infrequent.
The Yushan (Jade Mountain) Theological College on the northwest slope above the lake has for decades been the main educational institution especially for Taiwan's indigenous peoples, and in the late 1980's its students were the agitators for the Return Our Land movement. Its library is small but includes many Western-language works on the indigenous tribes. It has frequent seminars and activities, so if you are interested in indigenous people you might call (Tel: (03) 8641322).
About two level kilometers beyond Carp Lake you cross a bridge and turn right to turn northeast towards the city of Hwalien; it is just twenty minutes to downtown. The bridge spans the Mukua (Papaya) Creek, which is not far below. If you turned left the road would take you along the creek into the mountains, not far from population but still mostly pristine. According to maps there is a foot path that continues far into the mountains after the road ends. The creek is in most seasons two or more feet deep with a swift current in the middle of a wide gravelly stream bed, serendipitous for a safe long ride on an inner tube or an air mattress. It joins the Hwalien River farther down near the ocean.
The main route, Highway 9, at Shou Feng passes by the new National Dong
Hwa University, sprawled out like a California campus on the levelled gravelly
delta of the Hwalien River. It is notable especially for its School
of Ethnic Relations and Culture (Tel: (03) 8662016), indirectly recognizing
Taiwan's newly competing identities and the previously-suppressed indigenous
cultures. Hwalien City is still another half hour to the north.
HWALIEN CITY: THE BLIGHT OF "DEVELOPMENT"
The Hwalien train station has a large display of the scenic treasures of the area, and also gives out plentiful tourist guides - in Chinese.
Hwalien City exhibits all the problems of urban sprawl, chaotic traffic, and inadequate sanitation that are stereotypical of the west coast Taiwan cities. It is the largest city on the east coast. But the air is still relatively fresh, outside of the city center. And on a clear day the mountains rising up sharply on the west side of the city are breathtaking.
Two particularly egregious examples of environmental destruction in the name of recreational development may be cited for Hwalien. One, the worst, is the Nan Pin (South Shoreside) Park, not far from the city center; it was redeveloped about five years ago. One may at least appreciate that it is a wide tract of land open to the public, though the grass has long reverted to weeds, and few of the trees planted lived. But the shoreline has been completely obliterated to human use by the dense placement of legions of concrete "wave-breaking" forms, rather like eight-foot-high chain link chunks. The areas higher above the water which perhaps were designed to be wading pools or picnic platforms are now huge ragged slabs of cracked and undermined concrete, with dangerous unfenced drop-offs of six feet. You would not want your children to play here.
The second is a pricey recreation park at the foot of the mountains on the west side of the city out Chien Kuo Road, called Hwalien East Hawaii (Tel: (03) 8570131), which is marked by a large billboard with garlanded Samoan women and is modelled on Hawaii's Polynesian Cultural Center. What is ironic is that the land was taken from use by the local community of indigenous people, whose culture nowhere appears, to be rented out by the government to outside developers. Aside from Polynesian dancers, the park has water slides, swimming and boating.
The most interesting social phenomenon in Hwalien is the rapid rise
of a huge Buddhist philanthropic organization based here, founded by a
slight, Southeast Asian-trained nun named Tze Chi. This is also the
label on the associated new hospital and medical school. These and
a mammoth temple with modernized architectural design are on the north
side of the city. The Tze Chi organization has adherents throughout
Taiwan and also international branches that extend aid to China and even
SAN CHAN CREEK, A TREK INTO THE SILENT HEART OF THE MOUNTAINS
San Chan (Three Bungalows) is a small slovenly town with indigenous population, an inland bus stop on the old north-south highway up the narrow coast from Hwalien City. The larger nearby towns that you might see signs for are Ching Mei (Scenery Beautiful; nearer the ocean) and Hsiu Lin (Elegant Forest), all of which belie their names and are lined with honkytonk karaoke bars. San Chan town is at the entrance of a major gorge opening from the mountains, the only one north of Hwalien and about 7 km. before Taroko. From the highway or train you can see the huge double cut into the mountains from the highway or train; the San Tsan Creek splits immediately into north and south branches, just behind the town.
You can get down to the creek at the concrete levee that was partially destroyed by a typhoon soon after its construction three years ago; another case of "build and trash". However, nearby behind the town's Christian graveyard, the irrigation canal is still functioning; it is labelled (in Chinese) "United States Aid, 1951". Because of this water diversion, the creek may appear very low; but beyond the irrigation intake, the south creek branch is a lively stream.
Wear sturdy tennis shoes for walking over the small boulders of the creek and in the water. The north branch of the creek bed is short, steep, and usually dry. The south branch rises gradually with a wide stream bed and drains an extensive area. Both branches are within the Taroko National Park area. In half an hour at a leisurely pace along the south branch you are well away from madding crowds, and in an hour you reach clear, sand-bottomed pools in the creek that invite swimming, shoulder-deep. There are water birds along the way but few buzzing insects in the realm of the wide creek bed. You can also choose to stay dry above the knees, until another hour in, where the gorge closes in around a huge deep pool, with mossy cave grottos on the sides, fed by a tumble of water over huge boulders four feet above. Immersed, you might feel you have become one with the central mountains of Taiwan.
It is probably possible to forge past this point with some rock-climbing skills, but that is another expedition. According to the map the south branch creek extends about 20 km. in all.
TAROKO GORGE, THE MARBLE HIGHWAY TO THE WEST
If you have not seen Taroko Gorge in previous years, you won't know what you've missed. Me, I am ready to cry. They're making concrete Swiss cheese out of one of the natural wonders of the world.
If you can, wait a year or so until the current tunnel boring and road widening is completed. Then you can breeze through on the renovated Cross Island Highway (No. 8) on the way to or from Taichung and quickly look out at the steep white marble walls of the gorge from a few road stops, rather than sitting in the exhaust of huge tour buses for two hours. Even then, it will probably be best to avoid the weekends and the summer months.
Still, you can only try to make the best of the present. The road from the town of Taroko, at the bottom end of the gorge, to Tienhsiang, the bus junction at the upper end, is 20 km. long and winding. The road has no side lane provision for pedestrians or bikers; walk at your own risk. Most of the dotted-line hiking trails shown on the maps of this National Park are in disrepair, inaccessible, mismarked, or nonexistent, although brochures of five years ago promised trail development. Since the terrain is everywhere precipitous, it would not be wise to try to strike out and bushwhack. However, some trails near Tienhsiang have been maintained and improved, and so it only makes sense to stay there after you have seen the marble walls.
At Tienhsiang there is a fancy new tourist hotel, the Formosan Regent Taroko , and a new luxurious Youth Hostel Center. Both of these can be very expensive, unless you are part of a group package. The hotel also has Japanese-style sleeping capsules for NT$500. Fortunately the Catholic Hostel is still there for shoestring backpackers; the dormitory is NT$100 a night and clean enough. Small rooms with two double beds and private bathroom are NT$1200.
What really makes it worthwhile to stay at Tienhsiang is the Wen Shan Hot Springs. That is a completely non-commercial, open air hot springs that is deep down in the north fork of the gorge. The steaming hot water gushes out of the rock next to the swift rush of the river. Over the years the fissure has been excavated into a cavern, with an outside wall to hold a sand-bottomed pool over ten feet wide and up to three feet deep. Few bathers, though, can stand the heat for complete immersion. Most recline in a foot of water on the river banks where the hot springs water mixes with the river.
At night this is a surreal, nearly mystical, scene, with no lights except an occasional flashlight and candles that bathers may have set into shallow rock grottos. The steam rises in huge billows around the barely-lit, half-naked bodies, most young, some old; and congenial conversation with strangers is easy. A rise of white marble gleams ghostlike on the other side of the gorge, ten meters or so away. (The river flow is massive and it would probably be risky to swim.) The stars cluster like jewels strewn in the strip of sky that can be seen between the edges of the gorge, maybe a hundred meters above.
How do you get down to this hell-vision heaven of hot water? In past years it was somewhat dangerous at night, but now the descent has been secured with new concrete steps and sturdy steel rails at any place where a fall might be fatal. You can grope your way down even in the dark in less than twenty minutes, but it is best to take a flashlight, which can be bought at the bus station in Tienhsiang.
To get to Wen Shan Hot Springs head north 3 km. out of town on the highway that goes to Taichung. You pass several tunnels, and then a large police station on the right, with signs. A hundred meters later there is a parking lot on the right and a well-marked entrance to the trail just before another auto tunnel. The steps go up a little at first before the winding descent begins on the other side of the rise. You pass through a tunnel and then cross high over the river on a hanging bridge before descending again. There are usually two to fifteen people at the springs at any time of night or day.
There are a few other officially-sanctioned hikes out of Tienhsiang. The Pai Yang Dao (White Sun Way) starts about half a kilometer out on the road north, with a partially-barred pedestrian tunnel through the mountain wall on the left of the road. It was originally an access road for a planned hydroelectric power plant, so the grade is easy even though it goes past water falls and dripping tunnels (hence the other name of the trail, Shui Lien Tung or Water Curtain Cave). The road is 10 km. long, and you must return the same way.
There are almost no trails maintained for hiking the main scenic section of the gorge. If you walk down the road from Tienhsiang towards Taroko, you soon come to a large auto tunnel which has replaced a section of the narrower part-tunnel, part-ledge road that snakes along the face of the gorge. However, rather than restoring the narrow outer road to the natural appearance of the beautiful gorge below or reworking it for foot traffic, the construction crews have chosen to use it as a dump for the rock excavated from the new auto tunnel. One would like to think that this will be fixed later, but there is no sign it will be.
This is just one more reason to be dubious of the current top-down planning in Taiwan. It abandons the small-scale, natural, and human elements, and must inevitably damage the tourist experience of this land of natural beauty. Couldn't the major east-west highway have been routed somewhere else than right through Taroko Gorge?
There is however an official trail of about 4 km. a little farther on below Tienhsiang, beginning at Lu Shui (Green Water). According to signs, it was originally built by the Japanese in 1915 in order to subjugate the indigenous Taroko tribals. This trail comes out at a large parking lot and picnic area called Ho Liu (Flow Together) which affords an invigorating view of the gorge, relatively shallow here, and the jutting mountains around. Near here also a well-maintained hanging bridge crosses the gorge. A tin sign says to stop, but the sign stating this is an environmentally protected area, please ask permission, has fallen over the side.
After crossing this bridge, one can climb a very steep narrow path through soothing green jungle and leave the rumble of tour buses and trucks behind. This footpath is marked on almost all maps, even erroneously as a vehicle path that reaches far south to other mountain ranges. The path connects (watch your footing here) to a steep mountain gully where you can continue to climb pyrite-flecked boulders at a forty degree angle for at least another hour and nearly attain the height of the peaks immediately around the gorge. But no further trail markings are to be seen.
Finally, around the bend just below Ho Liu is the new Tze Mu Chiao (Benevolent Mother Bridge) which spans the side tributary, the Lao Hsi. There is also a small decorative pavilion built on the hillside there. The steep side channel off the gorge is piled with water-rounded marble blocks bigger than boxcars. Just a few years back a short climb over and through these marble blocks yielded the discovery of a fairy world of limpid pools in smoothed white and green marble basins. Marble arches embraced and shaded this secret beauty. It seemed as permanent and solid as the foundation rock of the gorge.
It must have been this last year that the face of the cliffs above shattered
and wrecked havoc on this ancient marble fairyland, felling the arches
and filling the basins with shards. Only a small pool, marked by
a distinctive orange iron stain on the white marble, remains. Perhaps
this is a warning that nature destroys, as well as does man.
This travelogue ends here at Taroko Gorge. It has focussed on areas where the traveller can intimately touch the land and the water, within fairly easy access of main travel routes. For the most part this is no longer possible on the heavily developed and polluted west coast of Taiwan, or even in Ilan. So far much of the natural beauty of the southeast coast region remains, despite the mammoth cement plants that are eating into the limestone mountains at almost every gorge from south Ilan to Taroko. The east has been somewhat protected because of its remoteness from population and transport centers.
But the invasion of new roads throughout this area, and particularly the new coastal highway from Taipei to Hwalien, forebodes a continuing and rapacious expansion of major land-altering projects and land speculation. Resort hotels and industries companies grab and abuse the physical resources, leaving farmers and indigenous people in hovels stripped of the natural environment and forms of livelihood they once enjoyed. The construction seems so often of the sort to turn a quick buck and turn to quick decay. As on the west coast, there seems to be no effort to rehabilitate and clean previously-used land or to remove dilapitated buildings. Readers who want to understand this process can begin with some long talks with Bion (Rev. Bai) and his brother Nabu at the Bunun Village.
Development and destruction seem everywhere in Taiwan to be part of the same package. But does it have to be this way?
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