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Geographic environment

Hot spring, mountain wind, and Donggang River

From early 1990s, the social groups that organized the social movement and labor movement collaborated with the Rukai indigenous people to demonstrate against the building of Maga Reservoir. Since then, Pingtung has been described as a place with “green mountains and clear water.” In the songs of Lin Sheng-siang, a winner in the Hakka song category in the Golden Melody Awards, he tells the stories about the county in a very powerful manner.

Later, in the promotions of tourism, Pingtung were described as a place with “green mountains and clear water.” Likewise, this slogan has become the synonym of this utopia in the southern border of Taiwan.

To be more precise, the green mountain means Dawu Mountain, which is the southernmost peak of the Central Mountains. Running from the south to the north, it covers most of the terrain in Pingtung. With Laiyi Township as the border, North Dawu Mountain located to its north. To the south is South Dawu Mountain. Its apex is at an altitude of 3092M above sea level, being the southernmost peak of the 5 tallest mountains in Taiwan. Standing upright in the east of Pingtung Plain, across the peak, is the terrain of Taitung County.

We can say that in places with no barriers, such as the tall buildings in the city, Dawu Mountain is within the sight of all the residents in the county, displaying its phantasmagoric scenes.

At dawn, the sunny sky over Dawu Mountain seems to be a girl dancing in a white chiffon dress. At dusk, it turns into a witch waving a black kerchief suddenly, covering the mountains with dark clouds.

Blessed by Dawu Mountain, Paiwan and Rukai, the two major indigenous tribes in the county live there peacefully. They worship it because they believe their ancestors’ spirits lived deep in Dawu Mountain. The 5-year ritual of the Paiwan tribe begins from the dwelling place of their ancestors’ spirits.

In the middle of Pingtung’s badge, the green mountain on the backdrop is Dawu Mountain. In front of it, there is a lighthouse - Eluanbi Lighthouse, which is located at the southernmost tip of Taiwan.

In the southern terrain, southern legends abound. In the Hengchung Peninsular, the music of yueqin hums the nostalgia and charms of hometown. Like the scarlet of the setting sun, when it sinks into Guan Shan, it dyes the place with a romantic color. No wonder CNN has chosen it as one of the 10 most gorgeous sunsets in the world.

Rivers cultivate culture, which enriches a race. Located at the east of Kaoping River, Wandan Township is renowned for being the barn of Pingtung in the history of the county. From Agou to the Jiuru Township and Likang Township at the upper stream of Kaoping River, there is the richest reserve of underground water, offering ample resources for aquaculture. Meanwhile, Gaoshu Township located at the upper part of the river, is regarded as a water-source, water-quality and water-quantity conservation district, in which no large-scale and polluting development projects are allowed.

It is where the clear water in Pingtung is!

If we mention the mother river of Pingtung, it should be Donggang River. Originating from the Dawu Mountain system, Donggang River starts from Laiyi Township, the settlement of the Paiwan tribe. Then, its flows along Hakka communities, such as Wanluan, Neipu, and Nanjhou Townships, and goes into the Taiwan Strait. The river flows through a large piece of beautiful land—the Pingtung Plain, which is saturated with natural resources.

On this piece of land, the democratic spirit is bred that motivated people to go against the building of the Majia Reservoir. Thanks to the courage and passion of those young people then, Pingtung is well-preserved, with green mountains and clear water.

Now, underneath the greater Chaojhou, the underflow water still flows in the shingle layer and into the Erfeng Ditch designed by the Torii Shimpei. With ample water, the irrigation system of Erfeng Ditch is now preserved at Linyuan area in the newly developed Linhousilin Forest District, with the collaboration of Pingtung County Government and Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture. If we insist on preserving nature, Dawu mountain will stand under the sun and stars with green plants growing on it.

With green mountains and clear water, Pingtung’s average temperature is around 240C, inviting 9 million of visitors, who travel along Fangshan, Checheng, and Hengchung Peninsular in the south.

Under the nearby seas, there are world-class coral. With continuous melody of folk songs, Hengchun Peninsular is a place with a hundred years of hot spring culture.

Entering the peninsular, you will arrive at Sihjhongsi Hot Spring, which has been famous for the past century. In the col where the Mudan Incident happened, hot spring is not only a resort but also a place intermingled with history and conflicts, whose tension soothes in the hot water.

In the sea, Siou Liou Ciou is the pearl of Pingtung. It is also a coral reef, and the new home of green sea turtles. The people and culture there are as nice as Pingtung Plain, attracting immigrants from different countries.

 

Note 1: Agou was also called Ahou, which is generally believed to be the name of Pingtung pronounced in the language of Makatto clan of the Pingpu tribe. They called Kaohsiung Dakau, and Pingtung Agao. In the early times, Kaohsiung was also called Dakau City.