Hakka culture, authentic cuisine and butterfly-watching, Meinong has always been one of the most popular day trip destinations away from Kaohsiung.
The Hakka population in Taiwan is more than 4 million today, and it is the second largest ethnic group on the island. Meinong is a small Hakka community, around 40 minutes drive from the city center. Despite cultural tours, a new camping spot is opened recently which has quickly attract a lot of attention.
The Hakka culture is expressed in language, art, folklore and cuisine. Hakka cuisine concentrates on food texture. Preserved meats are often used in stir-fry dishes whereas preserved vegetables are common ingredients for steamed and braised dishes. Some popular Hakka dishes including Hakka noodles (ban tiao, 粄條), Hakka stir-fry (kejia xiao chao, 客家小炒), and Kiu nyuk (meigan cai kou rou, 梅菜扣肉).
Camping in Meinong
Fancy to spend a few nights under the stars? The Tale of Butterfly 蝶舞澗 is a family-friendly camping site located not too far away from Huangdie Cuigu (黃蝶翠谷), 20 minutes drive from the Meinong Folk Village. You don’t need to know how to pitch a tent as the Tale of Butterfly is a glamping spot which you swap a sleeping bag for bed with pillow and linen. Despite spending time to enjoy the outdoors, visitors can also participate in Hakka activities on site. What a better way to escape the chaos of everyday life!
(Huangdie Cuigu, butterfly-watching spot in summer time)
(The Tale of Butterfly, 蝶舞澗)
Things to do in Meinong
After breakfast in the tent, you’re ready to explore Meinong. It is the best way to get around if you have a scooter or car, otherwise you might have to rely on taxi to get around. Located on the way to many attractions, the Meinong Folk Village (美濃民俗村) is popular among tourists. The village is a small cultural center that has Hakka folklore products on display or for sale. The compound is decorated as the lifestyle of Hakka people and sells Hakka handicrafts such as the iconic Hakka floral prints and paper umbrella.
Meinong Hakka Cultural Museum (美濃客家文物館) is by the Meinong Lake (美濃湖) around 10 minutes drive from the Meinong Folk Village. Meinong Lake is a lake and reservoir, the second largest artificial lake in Kaohsiung. Surrounding by the mountains, the lake features trails alongside the lake for cycling and fishing.
Shiba Louhan Mountain (十八羅漢山)
Shiba Louhan Mountain is also called Eighteen Arhats Mountain, it lies next to Laonong River (荖濃溪), around 35 minutes drive from the Meinong Folk Village. Shiba Louhan Mountain consists of more than 40 mountains. Years of erosion have resulted in its rough geography and spectacular scenery.
Hakka cultural centers in Kaohsiung
Photos retreated from Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau, Wikipedia (Alexandre Bento Freire), Flickr (Metamorfa Studio), Ytower, and icook.
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