I found the residents of Taitung were incredibly interesting. There are Han Chinese, Indigenous people, and some foreigners like me. The weather is always sunny and the pace of life is slow. It not a busy place and it’s really safe. I have a daughter who is attending her first year at the junior high school in Dulan and I don’t need to worry about her walking home alone. He opened a restaurant kitty-corner to the Dulan Sugar factor called WaGaLiGong. He also setup some surfing courses. He has lived a happy life over the past decade. These characteristics are some of the factors that initially made him fascinated with Taitung.
“But…” Mark wholeheartedly retorted: “The only problem I see is the deterioration of the pristine and unpolluted environment in Taitung which is becoming more and more obvious – unlike when I first arrived.” He said that in recent years, when he takes foreign friends to the beach, that it is not a clean beach but has been replaced by a massive amount of garbage. Seeing this change has filled Mark with an infinitude of emotion. He hopes that no matter if it’s officially or privately sanctioned, that a balance can be found between the natural environment and the development of the tourism industry in order to protect the precious natural resources of Taitung. “If you love this place, you should care about it. I want to live here forever, so I hope that Taitung will get better and better!”
Mark suggested that more beach cleanup activities and fish conservation areas should be set up. “The Fushan Fish Recovery Area is doing some good work with restoration.” Stating an example, he said, “Permaculture is an increasingly popular concept in Western countries. The idea behind permaculture is coexisting peacefully with nature and an aspect that we can learn more about and promote.” Because he really loves Taitung, he has high expectations for it. The goal of an eco-friendly city and county can be marketed internationally as a form of eco-tourism. “Foreigners like this concept very much. This is also a world trend. The environment is never far away and it is an imperative topic for discussion.” Mark insisted that all residents living in Taitung should work together to protect the natural environment of Taitung so that it is still pure and beautiful even after 10, 20 or even thousands of years.