Chihshang is an open country with ponds and even the rare active faults. To the east is the coastal mountain, to the west is the Central Mountain Area, and to the south is Sinwulu River. This place is away from urban hustle and bustle, and we can enjoy fresh air and elegant country scenery here as well. Although it is located in the Huadong Valley, there is a broad view and it is a perfect place for star-gazing at night since the shadows cast by the mountains can be used as a screen.
Chihshang is an important tourist spot with convenient transportations located on the tourism line of Huadong Valley. Nanheng Highway starts from Chihshang where the provincial highways and Tze-chiang Express also run through. Chihshang, also known as the “hometown of rice,” produces soft, delicious rice, and “Chihshang lunch boxes” are also well-known throughout Taiwan. Chihshang is also known for the invention of “flat cocoon.” Quilts made from silk is one of the specialties of Chihshang, and places such as Da Po Chih, Pastoral Farm Resort, and Taitung Veterans’ Farm are all well-known tourist attractions. The tourist attractions that are within an hour of driving from Chihshang are: Guanshan Water Park, Valencia Tourism Farm, Luye Tourism Tea Farm, Chulu Ranch, Beinan Cultural Park, Chihpen hot spring, Chihpen Forest Recreation, and East Coast National Scenic Area to the south (to Taitung), Fuli Small Tianhsiang, Luoshan Waterfall, Antong Hot-spring, Yushan National Park, He-gang Tea House, Wu-he Tourism Tea Farm, Rui-hui Hong Ye Hot-spring, Siouguluan River Canoeing, and Butterfly Valley to the north, and Wulu Three Views (Wulu Hot-spring, Tianlong Suspension Bridge, and Wulu Valley) and Lidao Villa in the Nanheng Highway area. Chihshang is located at the center of these attractions and is thus the perfect hub for tourists.
Da Po Chih was originally known as “Da Pei Chih.” Da Po Villa was named after Da Po Chih when it was developed during the Ching dynasty. Eventually, people started to call this place “Da Po Chih” instead of “Da Pei Chih.” In 1910, the Japanese government’s immigration office announced the eastern area as the reservation land for immigration, and the measured size of Da Po Chih was 55.29 hectares, which was different from what people thought at that time (they thought Da Po Chih was 100 hectares in size). Da Po chih is the main pond in Huadong Valley and is famous for its beautiful sceneries. Prior to the 1950s, Da Po Chih enjoyed great production of carps, milkfish, Cocos goby, shrimps, Gumbusia affinis, loaches, eels, basses, and squids. Many residents who lived by Da Po Chih relied on the catch from this pond. The aquatic plants seen here include water chestnuts, lotuses, water bamboo shoots, water hyacinth, duckweed, reeds, and willows. Birds seen here include ducks, crows, bamboo partridges, turtledoves, swallows, eagles, sparrows, egrets, and brown shrikes, making this place a haven for these aerial animals. In the earlier days, it was common to see people relaxing by the pond with their fishing rods, and fishermen sailing across the pond on their rafts, making this place a surreal utopia. On typhoon days, the water level of this pond often rises 1 meter above Chingfu Bridge, flooding today’s Hsinsheng Rd. area and reducing rice harvests. After the 1970s, due to the deposit of sand and mud and increased numbers of drainage systems, the land area of Da Po Chih has been greatly reduced, and artificial developments here has further put the natural Da Po Chih in the faded history. In 1985, Taitung County Government answered the villagers’ expectations by establishing scenic spots here. Based on 28 hectares of land, a 3-stage project was carried out from 1992 to 1997. A total of 6 areas has been planned out based on the “Taitung County Chihshang Village Da Po Chih Scenic Area Planning and Design”: 1. public facilities, 2. service facilities, 3. sports parks, 4. natural parks, 5. recreational farming area, and 6. countryside scenic spots. The project includes 62 constructions that are currently underway. Thanks to its ideal geographical conditions and water environments, Da Po Chih is a great water park that has educational and recreational values. The Tourism Bureau has already formulated the “Chihshang Village Da Po Chih Scenic Area Planning” that is to be carried out in 2009 and 2010. However, due to mixed views from Huadong Valley Management Bureau and the local government on the construction issues on Da Po Chih, negotiations are still required.
Pastoral Farm Resort, constructed by Taiwan Sugar, is a 400-hectare large park. It was originally a syrup plant belonging to Taiwan Sugar. After it was closed down in 1986, it was turned into a ranch for cattle as well as tourism. Today, the facility has areas for cattle, barbeque, camping, large conferences, social gathering, shops, boarding, restaurants, and not to mention the greeneries and prairies. The stone walls inside the ranch is a great place to watch more than 30 species of birds such as ring-necked pheasants, turtle doves (red/golden-back and red-neck), bamboo partridges, brown shrikes, Styan’s Bulbul, swallows, and sparrows. On the fields, you get to see white or gray rabbits, squirrels, white-faced foxes, and wild rats. On the ranch, seeing the cattle and sheep grazing on the green land with egrets flying through them makes you feel like being in Mongolia, and this is why this place is also called “mini Mongolia.” The 2000m tarmac from the ranch’s gate to the central facilities is a great place for jogging. On the right is the old railway track, and on the left is a strolling path. A bottled mineral water plant was established in September, 1999, that produces and sells high-quality drinking water around the world. The management style of Pastoral Farm Resort has been fully transformed since 1998, and this place is now a part of Huadong Valley scenic attractions. Based on the “Taiwan Sugar Chihshang Pastoral Farm Resort Investment Plan,” there are a 3-stage planning, investment, and execution of this area from 1999 to 2001. This project includes 3 major sections and 25 sub-sections. They include a 3-star hotel, a stone hotel for honeymooners, camp site, shops and specialty sops, conference halls, tennis court, bike lanes, carriage rides, min-horse rides, the sugar and local rice culture museum (reconstructed from the original syrup plant), and indoor playgrounds. Carriage rides are available here since January of 1999.
Taitung Veterans’ Farm is conveniently located by Huadong Highway, near the exit of Nanheng Highway, Chihshang Gas Station, Park No.3, and Chihshang downtown. The unique signs of TVF are clearly placed at both sides of the provincial highway; one is shaped liked a lighthouse and the other is shaped like a monumental. The white walls are covered with black, white, and red pebbles. 100 stone lions are placed by the base of the wall. The 1.56 hectare site also has an incubation area, totaling 3 hectares. The building has offices, employee’s cafeteria, living quarters, warehouse, production sties, and garages at two sides. The back of the building was originally a fish pond but is now a tennis court. A bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek is placed at the plaza. The carefully designed plaza has the Tze-chiang garden, a sample garden, a fountain, and other gardens. When all the plants are blossoming, the site is so beautiful that it is also called “Chihshang Park.” Also, the history museum also demonstrates ancient farming tools and the history of modern agriculture, making this a great place for educational activities.
Chihshang Silkworm Recreation Farm is located at 27, Neighborhood 7, Wanan Village. With mountains at its back (coastal mountains) and a river at the front (Sinwulu River), this place is a beautiful spot for viewing the hills, the entire Chihshang township, and Sinwulu River. This is not just a great place for getting rid of your earthly worries but also great for understanding the history of Chihshang’s silkworm industry. Taiwan’s climate is perfect for raising white mulberries and silkworms. In the earlier days, many families used wild mulberries to raise silkworms in order to increase their income. In the 1970s, the government established agricultural areas in order to facilitate the economic growth in rural villages. Its purpose was to change individual farmers’ operations and encourage collaborations between different farmers within the same area; forming regional agricultural productions that enjoy lower cost and helping ranches become modern corporations. In 1974, the Land Bank established the Chihshang Silkworm Exhibitory Plant that was initially 50-hectare large but was then reduced to 25. The collaborative mulberry farm was 83 hectares and the grapefruit farm was 12 hectares. The Chihshang Silkworm Exhibitory Plant was the core of Chihshang’s silkwork industry, and it was in charge of providing mulberry plantations, purchasing silkworm cocoons, producing goods, leasing mulberry gardens, and selling silk quilts.
Chihshang Silkworm Factory is the birthplace of “flat cocoon”: by studying their habits, a specially-designed platform is built to let silkworms spin out silk irregularly for 5 days and 4
nights, during which the spinning process is fully monitored. This changed the past way of extracting silk and is a major breakthrough in the silkworm industry. The inventor of this technique, Mr. Tsan-chi Huang, has won the award of “Ten Outstanding Young Persons.” “Flat Cocoon Silk Quilt” is made of 100% “flat cocoon” silk. It has excellent strength and is the best silk quilt in the world. Due to China’s dumping of cheaper silk fabrics, Chihshang Silkworm Factory was closed down in June of 1998, and in order to prevent this excellent product from disappearing in the market, the production was continued by Tian Hong Silkworm Company and is monitored by Chihshang Farmers’ Association. In February of 1999, Ming Chuan Co. who owns 9 utility chain stores throughout Taiwan acquired the right to operate Chihshang Silkworm Farm at a price of more than NT$ 6 million. The farm was then renamed to “Chihshang Silkworm Recreation Farm,” and new facilities have been included such as tourists’ tracks, renewed tourism fruit farms, and newly decorated buildings.
Services here include: Farm specialties (such as Long-yu Tea and Long-chu Tea), boarding, camping, Meiyuan grass-sliding area, fishing area, self-serve tea house, and silkworm and firefly areas…etc., making this place great for relaxing, culture, and outdoor education.