Tourist Railway Route

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Jiji Dam & Shueili Snake Kiln
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If you go west from the town of Jiji you will come to the Jiji Dam, Taiwan's biggest water conservancy project. The dam is 353 meters long and has 18 flood gates, four sand discharge gates, and a fish channel. It is a most imposing example of a combination of nature and science that has become a sightseeing spot.

If you travel in the direction of Shueili, the charming scenery of the Checheng Train Station, Stone Guanyin Suspension Bridge, and Mingtan Reservoir will help you to forget your worldly concerns. The Mingtan Reservoir feeds Taiwan's largest hydroelectric power station; although it is a man-made lake, its blue waters nestled amid green mountains present a most romantic sight. Take a stroll below the power station, and the railway station, the old tunnel, and the little railroad, with the majestic power station above, will make you feel like you have been transported to a small village of half a century ago. An entirely different feeling awaits at the nearby Checheng Wine House and wooden schoolhouse.

Go south from the Shueili Train Station for a short distance, turn toward Mt. Erping, and you will have a chance to enjoy cooling, delicious zhihzih ice, a kind of Popsicle made from extra-pure filtered water from the hydroelectric station. For just NT$5 you can enjoy the cooling mountain breeze as you savor your ice in this busy shop.

The soft but tough quality of pottery lends a touch of art and romance to these rustic railroad villages. Jiji alone is home to two well-known kilns. Muzai Kiln, with 13 portals, is a classic example of early labor-intensive production; after the Sept. 21 earthquake, it was rebuilt as a tourist attraction containing a number of specialty shops that make it a place for culture and sightseeing as well. The Tiansing Kiln has an old kiln of a very special character, located beside the “Green Tunnel”; its display space, with a richly artistic atmosphere, combines with the “Green Tunnel” to create enchanting sights of pottery and nature's beauty.

The Shueili Snake Kiln (named for its resemblance to a snake rising from the earth) was built in 1926 and today is the most traditional, best preserved native wood-fired kiln left in Taiwan. A Ceramic Cultural Park has been developed around the kiln, offering entertainment and education along with culture. The large, well-planned park has a diversity of attractions, giving it a powerful attraction for travelers.

If you do not wish to leave after a day in this area with its abundance of historic and cultural attractions, then find yourself a hotel or home stay and spend a night enjoying the warm and friendly hospitality of the local people.

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