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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

◎文/侯雅婷 
◎攝影/鮑忠暉

 

  踏進田寮區,眼前隨處可見讓人嘆為觀止的泥岩惡地地景。「泥岩惡地」奇景分布於台南的龍崎、左鎮,高雄內門、燕巢和田寮,以及台東的利吉和恆春墾丁。但以高雄田寮的泥岩惡地最為壯觀,四面環山的田寮區總面積約93平方公里,境內主要為丘陵地形,高達80%的面積為惡地,人們給了田寮泥岩惡地「月世界」這樣的美名。

  許多人不禁感到好奇,月世界惡地是如何形成的?國立高雄師範大學地理系教授齊士崢表示,板塊運動將離陸地較遠海底沉積的泥岩層抬出水面,再經過二仁溪等河川侵蝕,形成了泥岩丘陵。而今日在這片泥岩丘陵所見的月世界惡地,是由於泥岩軟弱、不透水,降雨時泥岩表面吸水、膨脹,日曬後脫水、乾裂,重複乾、濕變化,導致表層泥岩變得疏鬆,大雨時容易整片滑落,形成缺乏植被而裸露的嶙峋山脊、蝕溝遍布的惡地。

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。

  為了更便利遊客前來田寮欣賞世界級的地質景觀,市政府觀光局於2011年設立面積約27公頃的「田寮月世界地景公園」,透過闢建生態解說中心、環湖步道、觀月步道、月亮造形平台等設施,以及後山「五里坑」設置長約700公尺、約有650階的步道,預定2014年8月啟用,使旅客能從不同的角度欣賞月世界地景公園。遊客不妨先至解說中心,為即將展開的「月世界」探索做足準備。

   

月世界泥岩地質解說中心
Center 07-6367036 (10am – 5pm)   
★ Open every day of the year

 


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