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Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserve

Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserve

◎Written by Huang Da-wei, Chen Ting-fang

◎English translation by Hou Ya-ting

◎Photos by Hou Ya-ting

 

 

The tallest of Wushanding’s mud volcanoes. Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserve covers 3.88 hectares in Kaohsiung's Yanchao District. Known for its unique mud volcano scenery and desolate beauty, this fragile landscape has been a conservation zone administered by the central government's Council of Agriculture since 1992.

 The reserve currently has five volcanoes. The tallest and most active one is a dome-shaped mud-spewing vent. It displays constant geothermal activity, with mud bubbling and oozing out. Three other small ridge-shaped volcanoes can be found in close proximity to the tallest volcano, while the oldest volcano on the site is now extinct.

 The height of these five mud volcanoes varies. When standing next to the most active one, visitors can hear an extraterrestrial gurgling sound. Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserve offers a variety of beguiling landforms created by mudflows, including dried flows and small craters.

The moving mud constantly changes texture, revealing the beauty of nature.

Buddling mud

 The moving mud is a captivating sight. It oozes slowly, then gradually solidifies, resulting in cracked beds of clay-like mud. The surface is constantly changing its texture, revealing the beauty of nature. Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserve is, indeed, a living landscape.

 Due to the high level of salinity in the mud, the land around the volcanoes has a barren appearance. Nonetheless, within the nature reserve, various types of tree have been planted, among them mahogany and Formosan date palm, creating an ecologically diverse environment. Within this woodland, after rain, it is sometimes possible to spot White-lipped tree frogs. Between mid-May and the end of June, visitors can see rhinoceros beetles. Barbets and Crested serpent eagles are commonly seen avian species.

 Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserve relies on visitors to behave correctly so as to preserve the mud volcanoes and the entire site. Outsiders should take care to not damage anything when visiting the reserve. Yuanjiao Cultural Association, a local group promoting conservation of the local environment, offers guides on site from 9 am to 4 pm every Saturday and Sunday. Yuanjiao Cultural Association hopes to cultivate awareness of these remarkable mud volcanoes. Mr. Chen Shih-wen, the association's chairperson, points out that entry is restricted during wet weather because the ground can become wet and slippery.

Sun Valley

 While in the area, sightseers should also visit Sun Valley, which is known for its magnificent badlands. The dramatic ridges and gullies are very different to the lush countryside that is common in Taiwan. It is said that the layers of mud which created Sun Valley contain magnesia and sulfate, hence the valley's shimmering silvery color when the moon is full.

     Wushanding Mud Volcano Nature Reserves
    No. 183-8, Shenshuei Sec., Jinshan Village, Yanchao Dist., Kaohsiung City
Visiting hours: 9 am to 5pm
Note: Visitors are requested to fill a form on arrival before entering the nature reserve; please bring an identification card/resident certificate/passport so that staff at the entrance gate can verify the information on the form.