Taitung - Chenggong Town


Chenggong Town is located in the northeastern part of Taitung County, with Changbin Township in the north, the Pacific Ocean in the east, Donghe Township in the south, and the coastal mountain range on its west side, bordering Donghe Township and Fuli Township in Hualien County. There were many immigrants from western Taiwan living in this hilly area during the Japanese occupation period, but under the social economic changes over the years, it has gradually returned to the original mountain forest that it once was. As early as the Qing Dynasty and the Japanese occupation period, there were Hakka families who migrated to Chenggong Town. There was also a site established by the Hakka people in 1916 as the first company and trade name “Guanghengfa (廣恒發)” on the east coast.

The old name of Chenggong Town, "Ma Lao Lou," originates from the Amis language. The town’s fishing port, also known as Xingang Fishing Port, is the most important and largest fishing port on the East Coast. Chenggong fishing harbor is backed by a mountain and faces the sea. It is located on the part of the sea where the Kuroshio and the Oyashio warm and cold currents must pass through, so the fishery resources here are especially rich. The end of March to June each year is the season with the most abundant fishery production in this area. In October, the arrival of the strong northeast monsoon brings an abundance of marlin. The common species of marlin that can be found here are: swordfish, white skinned swordfish, black skinned swordfish, red meat marlin, and plantain marlin. The marlin meat is fresh and chewy, and its taste is first class. Every year from October to November is marlin season, and various restaurants serve cuisine made with marlin, attracting many old friends to enjoy a meal together. In addition, fresh and delicious wild lobster and bonito are also quite famous here.

Chenggong fishing port is also an important base for whale watching activities on the east coast and has a marina. The whale watching boats set out at 7:00 in the morning and run every two hours. There are three outings a day and each excursion lasts for about 30 minutes. Out on the boats, you can see whales and dolphins playing on white waves of the sea, a scene that brings pleasant surprise to many visitors.


Sanxiantai | 
三仙台

© Tourism Bureau (Photo credit: Wu Chi-shue)

Sanxiantai, located in the northeast of Chenggong Town, was originally a cape. However, due to the erosion by the seawater, the neck of the horn was gradually lost and Sanxiantai became an offshore island surrounded by coral reefs. There are a lot of tropical fish on the seabed, making this place suitable for diving and swimming. As the island was formed by volcanic eruption, it is dotted with interesting looking rocks, and scattered with sea erosion trenches, potholes, sea columns, and seawalls.

Sanxiantai is rich in ecological landscapes, and is the best habitat for marine birds. Reef herons are found between the conglomerate and terns are common in the summer. Fish are abundant in the nearby sea, and it’s also a famous place for fishing. Coastal plants such as Pandanus tectorius (screwpine), Taiwan date palms, Silvery Messerschmidia (a species of flowering plant) and Canavalia rosea (a species of flowering plant in the pea family) are everywhere on the island. This is an important base for studying coastal plant ecology and is listed as a nature reserve.

 

Guanghengfa Site | 廣恒發遺址

What is now known as the "Cheng Guang Au Cultural Landscape" park was originally the site of the "Guanghengfa Business," which was once the first trade name in eastern Taiwan. The three-arched archway in the Baroque style and the "Tingzijiao" in the brick arch-style are built of stone.

Cheng Guang Ao was an important stronghold for the Han people on the east coast during the Qing Dynasty. Wen Tai-kun (溫泰坤), a Hakka from Neipu in Pingtung County, came to Cheng Guang Ao in 1894. He founded the first company on the east coast, Guanghengfa, which became the largest grocery store on the Hualien-Taitung coast at the time. It sold daily necessities such as rice and salt. It also used the port to transport materials directly from the west to the back hills.

In 1996, the eastern coastal road was widened and the north side archway was destroyed. The commercial façade of the remaining Baroque building and the Tingzijiao are still clearly identifiable. Today, the site of Cheng Guang Ao Cultural Landscape is a testimony of the Han people's development history on the east coast.