Shaufung, Hualien (3) The prosperous land of Hakka immigrants/Written and Photographed/ Hsieh Chung Li

Shaufung of Haulien along with Funglin, Fuli, and Yuli could be considered a great melting pot of inland migration. There are notable sightseeing spots such as the Carp Pond and the charming campus of National Tung Hwa University. Most of the Hakka immigrants came from Hsinchu and Miaoli during the Showa Period of the Japanese occupation. Together with the Fukienese, the Amai aborigine, and the mainlanders, they work the land to become one of the most productive agricultural zones in Taiwan. Visitors have to get through other villages and towns to reach Shaufung – a vertical valley full of rural flavor where fireflies fills the night sky with magical lights; marine farming of clam gives one the fun of the “feeling for clams and wetting their pants”; and inviting country resort replete with hometown atmosphere. Visitors should also not miss Tung Hwa University and the Fontian village of Japanese immigrants.

  The mountain and lake view of the Carp Pond are featured in almost all tourism materials of Hualien. Many tourists opt to cycle to enjoy the scenic spot. In just two years, the spring firefly festival has overtaken the Carp Pond to be the most celebrated event in Hualien. According to the Hualien chapter of the Wild Protection Association, experts have identified 13 special types of fireflies. The population is dwindling, a sign that tourism may be taking its toll on ecology. Though the association and its volunteers remain concerned about disturbing the firefly ecosystem, they are working actively to promote education on conservation and hope that visitors taking part in the firefly festival between March 29 and May 4 would restrain themselves and help save the fireflies.

  The vanilla fad in the west has found its way to the Carp Pond in the form of Jhian-da Vanilla Health World. If one takes No. 9 (C) provincial highway from Hualien City to the Carp Pond, it is nice to drop by the vanilla world. Inside the health world, there are plantations of various kinds of vanilla as well as vanilla spa, vanilla meal, and accommodation.

  Chi Tsue Village used to be a sugar cane plantation and awn flower; the presence of Tung Hwa University however adds a touch of humanism to the northern tip of the vertical valley. As one enters the university from the main gate via No. 11 (C) provincial highway, the administration building, college of arts, and student activity are found on the outskirt of the East Lake. The University campus integrates harmoniously with the lake and the mountains. Along the perimeter of the lake, one can see flame tree in summer, and bauhinia variegate in autumn and winter.

  To the south of Papaya creek and west of Hualien Creek inside Shaufung, the rich spring water lend itself to marine farming of “golden clam”. An early settler Tsai Yau Jin who moved in from Yulin made use of the spring water for marine farming. His family business “Li Chuan Farm” is managed by the second generation. Apart from farming golden clam, they also operate a resort business. For instances, the big pool behind the reception cottage is now transformed into a “clam-picking pool” for families. Tourists can also taste fresh clam and purchase jars of clam essence.

  Visitors can also choose to stay in a modern Mediterranean resort built next to the Li Chuan Farm. On the western end of Mi Chaeng Bridge is the I-Yuan famous resort village, “Old-Tree Home”. Literally, I-Yuan is home to more than 800 old trees which the owner Cheng ShenDe saved from the axes of a road widening project years ago. The sight of the luxuriant trees and singing birds of I-Yuan proved that the effort of Cheng ShenDe was worth the while. Another article will describe in greater detail the “Three Fontian Villages” which dates back to the Japanese occupation.