The Innumerable Charms of Taoyuan District/深入道地文化之美,都市之外的桃源仙境


The Innumerable Charms of Taoyuan District

◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting ◎Photos by Zeng Guo-yi, Pao Chung-hui


  Around two thirds of Kaohsiung City's Taoyuan District is high altitude, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 meters above sea level. Its topography has had a profound influence on its lifestyle and culture. Its weekend market, held on a terrace in front of Baoshan Elementary School, operates from 10 o'clock in the morning until 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and has grown into a platform where regional farmers sells locally-grown toxin-free produce. 

  The weekend market also showcases delectable cuisine with healthy ingredients, for example delicacies favored by the area's Bunun indigenous people which make use of ingredients like hericium erinaceus (sometimes called lion's mane mushroom) and black fungus. Other mouth-watering dishes include barbecued wild boar, bamboo soup and bamboo-tube rice, all of which are unique to aboriginal cuisine. At the height of summer, the weekend market offers a black fungus beverage and jelly fig seeds with lemon juice. In addition, an informal outdoor concert of aboriginal music is a lovely feature of the market. The buzz of the market, not to mention the laughter and hospitality of the locals, draw both newcomers and faithful repeat customers to the market.

  Taoyuan District boasts several beautiful hiking trails in the Baoshan and Erjituan areas, where main roads provide access. The Erjituan Wulong Tea trail stretches between one and two kilometers with picturesque vistas all year round. Strolling leisurely among tea plantations has great appeal, and travelers may be interested to see the picking of tea leaves during the six harvests each year. Erjituan Calla Lilly Trail is two and a half kilometers in length, and nurtures Calla lilies thanks to a perfect natural environment and climate. White calla lily blooms flourish from December to April, giving the area a romantic ambiance. Erjituan Bunan Gathering Trail (also known as the Cherry Blossom Trail) charms visitors with cherry blossoms in wintertime. For hikers who seek a greater challenge, Erjituan Toujian Shan Coffee Trail climbs past coffee trees, many of which are endemic to Taiwan. Hikers may occasionally smell aroma of coffee when passing plantations. Baoshan Wild Tea Trail presents cherry, plum and peach blossoms between mid-December and March.

  Many visitors go to Baoshan or Erjituan planning to camp alongside tea plantations, in lush green forest or in bamboo groves. Camping at altitudes of 1,300 to 1,500m above sea level rewards travelers with fresh air, comfortable temperatures and forest phytoncides. Additionally, they relish daytime panoramas which go as far as Mount Jade (Yushan), Siaoguan Mountain and Mount Beinanzhu. After dusk, the stars whisper "goodnight," and call for a return visit.

桃源仙境 Taoyuan District presenting an abundant variety of geological features

  Taoyuan also has several distinctive cable bridges. Suaci Suspension Bridge, named after the local Vilangn Tribal Community, incorporates cultural elements from the Saaroa (also known as Hla' alua) tribe. The bridge mast is decorated with wild-boar features and the entrance of the bridge bears images of tribesmen and women pulling the bridge's cables into place. Suaci Suspension Bridge, the first bridge of this type in Taiwan able to carry motor vehicles, facilitates the transporting of local produce such as jelly fig seeds and plums. Kalavung Suspension Bridge is situated at Taoyuan Village, where masses of plum trees obscure the mountain. During plum blossom season  roughly the end of December to the middle of January  these trees explode with white blossoms. The sight is something to behold. Situating at Ua-asik Village, Ua-asik Suspension Bridge connects to the opposite bank of the Laonong River. Tasipal Suspension Bridge bears the totem of local Bunun Tribe, allowing visitors to appreciate indigenous culture. The toponym Tasipal is Bunun meaning "tribal community on the opposite bank." Tasipal Suspension Bridge connects Lafulan Village's Lakus Tribal Community and the other side of Tasipal Tribal Community. Masuhuaz Suspension Bridge is situated at the entrance to Masuhuaz Tribal Community, and those in the know say standing at the bridge is an ideal spot for appreciating wintertime's charming cherry, plum and peach blossoms.

射耳祭 Malahodaigian Festival  The dominant tribe in Taoyuan District is the Bunun people. Other indigenous tribes include Hla' alua in Kalavung and Haising Villages. Another 400 or so members of the Hla' alua reside in Mangacun Village in Kaohsiung's Namasia District. The Hla' alua people consist of members from Paiciana, Vilanganu, Hlihlala and Talicia. The Bunun tribe celebrates its own distinctive festivals throughout the year. The Malahodaigian ("Deer Ear Shooting Festival"), held each May, is a major event for the Bunun. The Malahodaigian is said to embody social, educational, economic and political meaning. The celebration also prays for successful harvests and hunting, and prosperous family members. Tribal heroes are saluted and hunting skills are passed down from one generation to the next. Shooting a deer's ear symbolizes hunting in the coming year, and only male Bunun are allowed to attend the ceremony. Female Bunun are kept out of the site. For the Hla' alua tribe, each community celebrates its own Miatungusu Festival ("Ceremony of the Sacred Shell") during the first 15 days of the Lunar New Year.

  Visitors can explore Taoyuan's culture in depth. Nature interprets the district's extraordinary scenery differently in each season. On the top of that, the hospitality of Taoyuan's residents makes travelers feel at home. It is no wonder Taoyuan has become a tourist magnet.



◎文/曾國義 ◎攝影/曾國義、鮑忠暉


  為讓大家看見桃源的美麗,就跟著我帶大家穿梭森林及漫步竹林,奔馳在山野中 ;並欣賞道地文化之美。







  來到寶山、二集團一日遊不夠盡興的話,還可選擇露營區觀光,這裡的居民在風景美麗的茶園邊、或座落在雲霧遼繞的森林中、或在終年翠綠的竹林間;與群山圍繞的置高點上經營露營區。在海拔1300~1500公尺的山上,氣候涼爽風景又美,白天可遠看玉山、小關山、卑南主山等,享受秀麗景觀 ,大口呼吸高山的清新空氣及芬多精,晚上還可欣賞到滿空星斗及美麗夜空。


  桃源區還有幾座橋樑是不可錯過的景致,沿途欣賞美麗山景外,也能觀察橋樑如何依不同地形建造,個個擁有獨特造型,橋身兩邊還繪上布農及拉阿魯哇族傳統圖騰,與大自然之美互相輝映。有機會走在吊橋上是不可少的親身體驗,以下分別作介紹。「索阿紀吊橋」是以當地美蘭部落原名命名,將南鄒沙瓦魯阿族的文化融入設計,橋柱彩繪模擬熊鷹羽毛的圖樣,橋台外觀則是山豬造型,橋頭有族人奮力拉住吊索的雕像,顯現巨大張力。也是國內首座能通行汽車的懸索吊橋 ,這座橋讓美蘭部落的愛玉、梅子可以對外運送。「嘎啦鳳吊橋」位在桃源里,所在地點的整片山頭種滿梅樹,梅花盛開期,滿山白茫茫一片美不勝收。橫跨荖濃溪的「瓦阿係吊橋」位於復興里,連接復興部落與對岸清水台地(部落耕地)。「達西霸樂吊橋」的入口處兩側護板及橋塔,彩繪當地布農族圖騰,讓橋梁充滿原住民意象。達西霸樂是布農族語對岸部落的意思,橋的一頭是拉芙蘭里樟山部落,另一頭是阿其巴部落,沒有車輛通行時,吊橋安靜穩重地懸掛在群山河道間,如同原住民頂上繽紛頭飾。「馬舒霍爾吊橋」位在梅山部落入口處,站在橋上就可欣賞部落景色,冬季時櫻花,梅花,桃花、李花圍繞,彷彿是世外的桃花源。


  桃源區以布農族居多,布農族每年當中都有不同祭典,一年中最隆重盛大的射耳祭(Malahtangia),於每年5月初的閒暇時舉行,由祭師決定祭典時間。它具有社會、教育、經濟、政治意義,祈求獵獲豐富、家族興旺及尊敬善獵英雄,並教導小朋友學習射箭。以射鹿耳象徵來年狩獵的豐碩,傳統上只限男子參加,女子則被禁止至祭祀場所。另外,拉阿魯哇族分布於桃源里與高中里;族人也有居住於那瑪夏區瑪雅里的,現人口約 400 餘人,拉阿魯哇族群係由排剪社(Paiciana)、美壟社(Vilanganu)、雁爾社(Hlihlala)、塔羅拾社(Talicia,已廢社)組成,每年農曆年元月1日至15日間,各部落會開始進行特有的貝神祭(Miatungusu)。