"Rural Taiwan" Nan-t'ou by akikonomu

Nan-t'ou Travel Guide: 134 reviews and 513 photos

Lying in the "mid-West" of Taiwan, Nantou is a largely agricultural area with beautiful hills, streams and farms. Some of the important crops in this area include fruits like betel nuts, kyoho grapes, tomatoes, pears and plum.

I have always thought that kyoho grapes are a specialty of Japan and was very pleased to find cheap and abundant supply right smack in Taiwan. Plum, plum wine and plum snacks are also a specialty of the region.

At one of the plum "factory" we visited, we were introduced to the aborogines of the region, their culture, lifestyle and how they are being integrated into mainstream society now.

As Nantou is flanked by the central mountains of Taiwan, it an extremely fertile region with abundant natural resources. And it is this greenery that has resulted in the numerous nicknames the Portugese and Chinese emperors of the past have labelled Taiwan with.

Apart from the rich natural resources, Nantou is also home to many natural hotsprings. Our tour took us to a hotspring hotel located high in the mountains. All around, natural sights surrounded the hotel and drawbridges suspended across deep gorges dot the landscape.

In addition, traces of Japan's past colonialisation remain widely untouched in many small towns and villages around Nantou. Hotspring towns with cobbled streets; quaint train stations with Japanese influenced architecture and signboards; highways cut into mountains serve as a reminder of Japan's presence in Taiwan.

This is quite a refreshing change from the city life in the major cities of Taipei, Taichung and Kaoshiung which we also visited.

Some of the more "famous" sights of Nantou include the heavily Japanese influenced train station in Jiji town enroute to the Sun Moon Lake district.

  • Last visit to Nan-t'ou: Sep 2008
  • Intro Updated Nov 20, 2008
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