(Oluanpi Park，Photo by:Thomas Au Source：flickr）
Oluanpi Park boasts spectacular coral reef formations, 240 different species of plants, and many animals and birds. Visitors can see the beautiful Hengchun Birdwing Butterfly and Large Tree Nymph Butterfly dancing in the breeze; commonly seen bird species include the Formosan Bulbul, Lesser Scimitar Babbler, and Himalayan Tree Pie. In September, large numbers of migratory Brown Shrikes pass through the area on their way from Siberia and China. Prehistoric remains of a pre-ceramic culture dating from around 5,000 years ago have also been found in Oluanpi Park, which thus combines natural wonders with historical significance.
Oluanpi lies at the southern end of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range, and looks out towards the Philippines across the Luzon Strait. “Oluan” comes from the Paiwan word for “sail”, referring to the sail-shaped rock in nearby Hsiangchiao Bay, while the “pi” part of the name means a cape or promontory. In 1882, a British engineer was commissioned to build a lighthouse here, as an aid to shipping. When Taiwan was ceded to Japan by China, the withdrawing Chinese soldiers destroyed the original lighthouse; a new lighthouse was built in 1898. During the Second World War, the strategic importance of the lighthouse led to it being bombed repeatedly; after Taiwan was returned to China, it was rebuilt again on the original site. The lighthouse is 21.4 m high, and its light is visible for 20 nautical miles. Once known as the “Light of East Asia,” the lighthouse is now a historical monument.
Situated on Kenting National Park’s east coast, Lungpan Park faces out over the Pacific Ocean. The Park features spectacular sheer slumping cliffs and verdant coastal terraces; it is an ideal place to watch the sunrise or sunset, or just to enjoy the marvelous vistas of the Pacific Ocean. In April, Lungpan Park affords very good views of the Southern Cross. Attracted by the near-total absence of interference by artificial light, astronomy enthusiasts and star-gazers from all over the world come here to view the stars at night; Kenting National Park Administration has established two car parks along the coastal highway to facilitate star-gazing.
(Fongchuiesha，Photo by:Ethan Chan H C Source：flickr）
Fongchueisha (Wind-blown Sand) lies halfway between the Oluanpi and Jialeshuei recreation areas; it is situated at a distance of around 7 km from Oluanpi. In the summer rainy season, rainwater collects in low-lying areas, and sand is washed down towards the sea in “sand rivers.” In the winter, the strong northeasterly winds blow the sand up to the top of the cliffs. The combination of these two natural processes has created the area’s unique landscape. In recent years, highway construction and the planting of horsetail tree windbreaks have made the windblown sand phenomena less spectacular than they used to be.
︱Gangkou Suspension Bridge︱
Gangkou Suspension Bridge is situated in Gangkou Village, at the mouth of the Gangkou River. In the autumn and winter, when the water-level is low, the river often runs dry before reaching the ocean, creating an interesting sight that can be viewed clearly from the Bridge. Gangkou Village has Taiwan’s most southerly tea-gardens. Gangkou Tea, famed as one of the “Three Treasures of Kenting,” derives from a variety of tea plant that was introduced to Taiwan from Fukien (China) during the Qing Dynasty. Due to the climatic and soil conditions, Gangkou Tea is characterized by thick leaves and low moisture content, which gives the tea a strong, slightly bitter flavor; tea made from Gangkou Tea leaves tastes better the longer it is allowed to steep. Anyone with an interest in tea is sure to enjoy a visit to Gangkou!
Jialeshui was originally called Jialuoshui, a name deriving from the Taiwanese word for waterfall. In 1975, when Chiang Jingkuo (later President of the R.O.C.) was visiting the area, he decided that it should be renamed Jialeshui, which has connotations of peace and happiness. The rocks and coral reefs at Jialeshui have been eroded by the wind and by the waves of the Pacific Ocean over the years, creating many strangely shaped rocks, including Turtle Rock, Hare Rock, and Honeycomb Rock. The Jialeshui area is also rich in marine life, including colorful Labridae fish, lobster, abalone, sea snails, and mudskippers. The Kuroshio Current flows just off the coast here, making this an excellent spot for sea-fishing.