[ All about Salts! ] ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride Part 2 嘉義老廟蚵港騎之二

[ All about Salts! ] ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride Part 2 嘉義老廟蚵港騎之二

Click Here for Part 1!

ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride

Dongshi Fisherman’s Wharf

As our ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride cruised next to the coast, we soon arrived one of the major harbors in ChiaYi: Dongshi Fisherman’s Wharf (東石漁港).

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Road to the harbor.

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ChiaYi mascots again.

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Northern Tropic sign.

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Main harbor area.

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Fishing boat & oyster stacks.

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Traditional fishing market.

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With fishing as a dangerous activity in old days, DongShi had a big 300-year old temple as a worship center for praying fishermen to return home safely.

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Wide, quiet road leaving DongShi.

More ChiaYi Coastal Villages & BuDai

As we departed from DongShi, our ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride passed through more small fishing villages, eventually to BuDai (布袋), another major coastal town.

 

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WangLiao village, a small fishing village south of DongShi.

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Dragon fountain.

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Coast guard center at the harbor.

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More sluice.

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Passing Expressway #61, also known as “West coast highway” (西濱公路), the highway that goes along Taiwan west coast from Taipei to Tainan.

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Old house with wall art.

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Starting from BuDai and to south, the coastal region also had many former “salt field”(鹽田), providing salt in the old days.

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ZhoNan salt field (州南鹽場)

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The platforms were where the seawater was sprayed and evaporated, leaving salt behind.

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BuDai 7-11, with salt mountain decoration.

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The salt mountains at BuDai.

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While BuDai now was more famous for its tourist-full recreational harbor and “high-heeled shoe church“, it lost its character and so instead, I explored its beautiful, vast former salt fields south of the town.

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There was a concrete bike path now to ride through the quiet, beautiful former salt fields.

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At one point the bike path was not finished, so here we began some gravel riding!

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Starting point of gravel ride. You can bail out by turning left and onto Highway #17.

HaoMei Village Street Art

After riding through BuDai’s salt fields our ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride went through a quiet small village called “HaoMei (好美)”, which literally means “very beautiful”. It was famous for its marine themed street art throughout the village.

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Village’s entrance.

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Street art postbox.

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Fish shaped chair.

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HeLiao & NanKunShen Temple

To wrap up our ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride, we reached the last fishing harbor HeLiao (蚵寮) in our trip, and visited one of the most famous temples in Taiwan: NanKunShen Temple (南鯤鯓代天府).

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Main temple at HeLiao. Heliao literally means “oyster hut”.

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Giant “gold paper” furnace.

A cool thing about HeLiao was its “King’s ship temple” (王船閣). Unlike traditional Taiwanese temples that worship god/goddess, the temple worships a “King’s ship” that represented the spirits helping passengers safely travel from China to Taiwan several hundred years ago.

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“King’s ship temple”.

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The King’s ship. Very cool design.

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HeLiao’s harbor.

At the other side of HeLiao was the giant NanKunShen Temple complex. Built in more than 350 years ago, the temple was the oldest WangYe worship center in Taiwan.

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The big temple entrance.

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Temple’s monument. It was also classified as Taiwan’s heritage.

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Temple’s archway. Noticed that it was much bigger than any previous temples we passed through.

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Plaza with firecrackers.

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Temple’s body. There were too many people so we didn’t go inside to the 350 years old original temple body.

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Super doped jeep as the front car of parade.

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A group of worshipers.

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Unlike western churches, temples in Taiwan always had a section to serve hungry worshipers with awesome food.

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With such a famous temple, you need a dedicated hotel just to serve all the worshipers.

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Another lodge dedicated for worshipers.

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Dragon pillars.

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Temple’s garden.

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Lol…

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Temple’s private garden and museum.

After seeing the temple, we headed back east to where we started.

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Another bike path that nobody knows.

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This was a very interesting local tradition: at around April there was a “pigeon race” with pigeons carrying a ultralight bamboo whistle.

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Watermelon sign.

Verdict:

ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride was the best coastal ride I ever did so far. Not only the ride was very safe due to light traffic, the route was also full of true Taiwanese cultural elements from hundreds of years of practice, not contaminated by any government’s poor tastes of aesthetics.

For foreigners who want to taste the true Taiwan coastal culture, this ChiaYi Land and Coastal Ride is highly recommended.

Also Recommended:

Taiwan Bike Routes Map

[ No Big Buses. Peace of Mind ] AliShan Backroad Ride Part 1 阿里山小徑騎之一

[ See Tea Fields from the Sky! ] MeiShan 36 Turns with Drone Part 1 梅山36彎空拍之一

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