Mt.Bakua / MaoloRiver Tourism Route

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A mountain yam field (courtesy Mingjian Township Farmers' Association) & Ginger (courtesy Mingjian Township Farmers' Association) & Oranges & Pineapples (courtesy Mingjian Township Farmers' Association)
writing explanation as follows
Tea fields at Songbo Peak (courtesy Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area Administration)

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If you like religion and temples, you must not miss Shoutien Temple at Songbo Peak. This is Taiwan's biggest temple devoted to the Taoist Lord of the Somber Heavens, and it receives about 9 million visitors a year. When the god's birthday rolls around on the third day of the third lunar month, huge masses of pilgrims from all over Taiwan flow to the temple in an unending stream to pay their reverent respects.

A rich natural ecology flourishes along the banks of the Maolo River. The river is spanned by the arched red Lumei Bridge, and here the government has built the first county-grade tourist bikeway. This 3.8-kilometer route is perfect for a bicycle tour through the lush green vegetation along the riverbank, starting out from Lumei Bridge and riding beside the river in the direction of Caotun. And don't forget to stop at the Nantou Winery for a taste of the famous fruit liquors produced there. The other towns and townships in the county also plan to build bikeways; eventually, these will link all of the county's main tourist sites in a network that offers a new and healthy travel option.

Songbo Peak, located at the southern end of the Bakua Mountain Range, is the home of Songbo Evergreen Tea. Here you have close-up sights of lovely fields of tea; in the distance you can view Taiwan's western plains and, beyond, the Taiwan Straits. If you have time, you can hike the Dengmiao Trail or Chasiang Trail; the former leads to Shoutien Temple, about a 40- minute walk.
On the streets of Mingjian your eyes are certain to be drawn to the special local products on display: pineapples, mountain yams, water-urn tea, ginger, and others. Feel free to buy some; they have been developed and grown with great care and much labor by the area's farmers, and their quality is tops.

In Jhongliao, more than 80% of the houses collapsed during the Sept. 21 earthquake. This disaster awakened the local residents to the necessity of protecting their soil and water resources; they cut down the betel nut trees that once covered the countryside and planted 320,000 fruit-tree seedlings, which have transformed part of the area into the Shangri-la-like Heshing Organic Cultural Village. Other results of reconstruction include the plantdyeing arts of Yongping Village and the medicinal plant garden at Longyanlin. Come with a caring heart to witness these fruits of reconstruction, and the people here will be encouraged to strive for even greater results.

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