Discover Taitung> In Depth Travel >Wander into the mythical wonderlands of the mountains and forests – Low-emission tourism in Jinfeng Township

Wander into the mythical wonderlands of the mountains and forests – Low-emission tourism in Jinfeng Township

Jinfeng Township, located in Taitung’s South Link, is an area predominantly populated by indigneous Paiwan and Rukai people. It is a vibrant place filled with tribal energy. Jinfeng Township is also known as the “Land of One-hundred Steps.” The name comes from the Paiwan One-hundred Step Guardian Snake. Slowly meander through the streets and alleys. Find traces of tribal history and an atmosphere filled with a mythical air that will leave you feeling enchanted and full of hope. We’ve started this low-emission one-day indigenous tour to give everyone the chance to enjoy tribal life while protecting Jinfeng Township’s pristine mountains and forests. (This tour was planned by the Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Section of the Taitung County Environmental Protection Bureau)

Rent an electric scooter and hit the road!

1st Stop: Rent an electric scooter and hit the road!

“Low-emission Tourism” means reducing the amount of carbon emissions associated with transportation . No pollutants will be released into the air because this entire tour will be conducted on electric scooters. Here’s a fun fact; Taitung has around 82 charging stations for electric vehicles. This makes traveling by electric scooter an extremely convenient way to get around! Jinfeng Township does not have a train station, so passengers can choose to get there by bus. If you would like to rent an electric scooter, you can get off at Taimali Train Station and find a scooter rental shop nearby. It is only a short 20-minute ride from Taimali to Jinfeng Township. Along the way, you can experience the laid-back vibe of Taitung’s coastal villages and the untouched scenery of the surrounding area.

Tailor-made happiness – Paiwan glass bead workshop

2nd Stop: Tailor-made happiness – Paiwan glass bead workshop

Shashike is one of the top spots to visit in the many villages of Jinfeng Township. On this leg of the tour, you’ll learn how to make a Paiwan bead guardian bracelet, so you can bring home the wonderful blessings of the tribe. Legend has it that these crystal-like glass beads are a gift to the Paiwan people from the gods and represent the eyes of captured dragonflies. The glass beads are also seen as a sacred wedding gift that get passed down for generations. The many different patterns all are imbued with unique cultural meaning. The instruction has each person select their own beads. It’s said that the beads are actually choosing whom they want to bless. Afterwards, visitors follow the instructor’s directions on how to string together the beads to create a one-of-a-kind blessing that you can wear on your wrist.

Address: No. 28, 2nd Neighborhood, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact Number: 089-783-538 (reservations required)
Hours of Operation: 10:30–17:00
Suggested duration: 1 hour

The beauty of pottery culture - Zhengxing Pottery Village

3rd Stop: The beauty of pottery culture – Zhengxing Pottery Village

The Paiwan believe that their ancestors’ souls live in their pottery. Zhengxing Village is proudly named “Pottery Town” and was deemed one of Taiwan’s top ten environmental protection communities by the Environmental Protection Agency in the Executive Yuan. The residents all enjoy talking about pottery and the yards of many houses in the community are decorated with clay jars. The pottery is covered with unique and majestic indigenous images including the one-hundred-step snake, lilies, and more. A leisurely stroll down this 500-meter road is like stepping back in time. Each tile and every wall brings together memories of the tribe’s history. Enjoy the artwork and listen to a guide tell ancient legends from the village. Your magical imagination and the villages peaceful atmosphere blend together in time and space. The feeling you get while visiting here is simply wonderful.

Address: No. 331-964, Zhengxing, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact Number: 089-782-497 (reservations required)
Suggested duration: 1 hour

A wild lunch in the mountains - Pulami Farm

4th Stop: A wild lunch in the mountains – Pulami Farm

The phrase “Pulami” means abundance in the Paiwan language. Pulami Farm serves indigenous-themed cuisine that uses locally sourced ingredients. By dining here, you help out the local economy and don’t contribute to pollution created from transporting food. Enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of this restaurant housed in a log cabin as the aroma of wild greens wafts in from the kitchen. Not long after you sit down, a large pot of “shake” rice gets brought to the table. “Shake” rice is actually millet congee with wild greens. Its name comes from how it’s cooked. Chefs have to shake the pot while cooking so the rice doesn’t get burned. In addition to “shake” rice, you will also get the chance to taste barbequed boar, stir-fried wild greens, red quinoa bagels and other delicacies. You’ll feel just as if you’re visiting an old friend while listening to the owner, Ms. Xiuzhen, share stories about her daily life.

Address: No. 407, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact Number: 0919-147-896 (reservations required)
Hours of Operation: 10:00-19:30
Suggested duration: 1 hour

Handmade sweets – DIY pickled roselle

5th Stop: Handmade sweets – DIY pickled roselle

Roselle flowers are known as the rubies of the plant kingdom. This not only refers to its high nutritional value, but also how its red flowers shimmer under the sun just like rubies. Jinfeng Township is a roselle production hotspot. In November, these glorious red flowers line the township’s roads and act as a welcoming party to those coming for a visit. On this tour, you’ll learn how to make pickled roselle at Pulami. Pick up a roselle flower and carefully remove the outer part of the flower, known as the calyx. Clean the flower and place up to 25 calyxes in each small jar of pickled roselle. A special tool is used to remove the seeds from the calyx and placed into the jar. Then, the flowers and sugar are layered into the jar. Afterwards, the sweet pickled roselle is finished! Use them to make tea or eat them as candied fruit!

Suggested duration: 1 hour

Paiwan indigenous culture tour – Jialan Tribal Village Plaza

6th Stop: Paiwan indigenous culture tour – Jialan Tribal Village Plaza

Next, we will now head to the Jialan Tribal Village for our in-depth tour. The Jialan Tribal Village is located in the downstream portion of the Taimali River. To allow visitors to get to know indigenous Paiwan and the area’s culture, the tribe designed and built the Jialulan Plaza, which is home to the chief’s house and a youth center. This project not only built traditional stone houses, but outside of the square is home to a culture path that features indigenous inlays. In addition, unique cultural elements and important events of the tribe’s history are displayed on the clay slabs of these structures. The residents double as tour guides as they help visitors retrace history. The oral history that the guides tell pass indigenous legends down to the next generation.

Address: Jialan Tribal Village, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County
Contact Number: 089-751-144 (reservations required)
Suggested duration: 2 hours

Become a Paiwan princess – Experience the Paiwan swing

7th Stop: Become a Paiwan princess – Experience the Paiwan swing

The putiyuma is a formal and solemn wedding ceremony held for the leaders and aristocracy of the Paiwan tribe. In this ceremony, a swing represents the status and power in the tribe. The putiyuma allows the groom’s family and members of the tribe to determine whether a bride is suitable and will predict if a wedding will go according to plan. Swinging with the wind and flying straight and high up mean a woman can run a household well. When getting off the putiyuma, the groom will catch the bride and carry her throughout the crowd of guests. Come take on this challenge if you would like to experience this unique custom for yourself!

Address: Jialan Sky Footpath, Jinfeng Township, Taitung County – Makelou Happy House (under the Lawan bridge- by the Sky Footpath)
Contact Number: 0978-692-853(reservations required)
Suggested duration: 1 hour

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