A World-Class Landform Spectacular Tianliao's "Moon World"/世界級的精彩地景 田寮月世界


田寮引人入勝的地景 Tianliao's captivating landscapeA World-Class Landform Spectacular

Tianliao's "Moon World"

◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi
◎Photos by Pao Chung-hui


  Tianliao District is famous for its world-renowned mudstone badlands. This spectacular type of landscape can be found in Tainan's Longci and Zuojhen districts and Kaohsiung's Neimen, Yanchao, and Tianliao districts. Similar features can also be seen in Taitung County's Liji as well as Hengchun Township, near Kenting in Pingtung County. But none of these places can compete with the magnificence of Tianliao.

  Tianliao District covers just under 93 square kilometers and is dominated by undulating hills. Of this hill country, around four fifths is badlands, hence the region's nickname, "Moon World."

環湖步道 Lakeside walkways  Many people wonder how the Moon World badlands came into existence, so we put the question to Professor Chyi Shyh-jeng of the Department of Geography, National Kaohsiung Normal University. Professor Chyi says the area's distinctive mudstone is ocean-floor sediment that was raised by tectonic uplift. Following years of erosion by the area's waterways, such as the Erren River, the mudstone landscape took on its current appearance. Moon World is a result of the mudstone features being weakly lithfied aquitards. Each time it rains, the surface absorbs most of the moisture and expands as a result. Then, when the sun comes out, the surface cracks up because of its dryness. Repeated wetting and drying compromises the surface integrity of the mudstone. Downpours cause landslides, thus forming exposed ridges and gullies that support vegetation only sporadically.

  Tianliao's landscape is varied and inspiring. More than 20 movies have been shot hereabouts. In addition to feasting their eyes on this geological and topographical wonder, tourists should know about the local businesses that make the most of the unique landscape, and which make visits to Tianliao even more interesting. The abundance of natural ponds has helped create a thriving aquaculture industry. As you walk past exposed mudstone ridges, you can see their reflections on the surfaces of the fish ponds. The badlands' other unique products include local specialty dishes, such as the much sought after "mud baked chicken." These are locally raised free-range chickens, each one baked in a mud cast. The badlands seem lifeless, yet in fact are a significant source of income for Tianliao residents.

裸露的山脊倒映在池潭水面 Reflections of exposed mudstone ridges can be seen in fish ponds.

  To provide better services for the tourists who flood in to see the badlands, the Tourism Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government has created Tianliao Moon World Landform Park, which features ecological tours, lakeside walkways, the Path to the Moon Walkway, and the moon platform, so visitors can appreciate Moon World's scenery from every angle. The current construction project is Wulikeng Walkway, at the back of a mountain. Some 700m in length and featuring 650 steps, it is due to open in August 2014. When you visit Moon World, you are advised to stop first at the Tourist Center. There you can collect useful information and plan a truly memorable experience in Moon World.


Moon World Mudrock Geology Tourist   
Center 07-6367036 (10am – 5pm)
★ Open every day of the year


月亮造形平台 The moon platform世界級的精彩地景 田寮月世界





田寮月世界地景公園後山的五里坑步道 Wulikeng Walkway at the back of Tianliao Moon World Landform Park  觀察田寮區各處綿延的裸露山脊,形狀饒富變化,步行其中予人柳暗花明又一村的感受,獨特而豐富的地質更吸引逾20部電影前來取景拍攝。造訪田寮,除了參觀惡地外,因惡地發展出自成一格的生活型態和產業文化也相當有意思,當地有著為數眾多的池潭,蓄水之外也發展養殖漁業,裸露山脊的倒影映在池潭水面上,池潭裏的魚群跳躍身影,讓池潭水面看來銀光閃閃,這樣美麗景致是田寮隨處可見的場景。而田寮的放養土雞也樹立好口碑,如利用當地著名泥火山的泥漿包裹土雞製做成知名料理「泥火雞」。田寮人活絡了產業,為看似寂靜的惡地帶來活力。



Center 07-6367036 (10am – 5pm)   
★ Open every day of the year