Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 7 - Tainan (台南) | Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳鹽田) | Qigu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山)

7 December 2018

Part 2 of Day 7 @ Tainan
1) Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳鹽田)
2) Qigu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山) 

It is a short drive (~15 to 20 minutes) from Beimen District to Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields - Beimen's first salt fields. This is our first time actually seeing a salt field and we are pretty excited!

Look at those little piles of salt! Many especially photographers prefer to come in the evening as the setting sun shines upon the salt field and gives a beautiful glow and reflection of the sky. Otherwise, just be here and admire the mosaic collage landscape.

Jingzaijiao Tile-Paved Salt Field, formerly known as Laidong Salt Field was once a barren dessert and currently the oldest remaining in Taiwan. To prevent salt crystals from attaching to the soil, salt miners manually laid out the broken pieces of pottery and tiles onto the crystallizing ponds of the salt fields which results in purer and clearer salt being minded. Unfortunately, due to the cost of imported salt getting cheaper and increase labour cost, the salt field industry that runs along the shore for the past 3 centuries went downhill. Thankfully, it has now became a notable tourist attraction in the Southwest coast where visitors learn and experience the art of salt-making, drying and harvesting.

Take a closer look of the tile-paved fields! The seawater is trapped within and as it evaporates, crystallized salt grains are collected and sweep into a small pile of salt mountain. When the salt is dried, visitors have the opportunity to role play as the salt farmer. Rake the salt into the wicker basket, carry the pile on your shoulders, feel the salt texture and experience the work of salt industry as how it was.

Working hard on the salt field

Our driver guide shared with us that we can each take a packet of salt back home. These salt is not consumable but more for warding off the evil. You have to get the pocket from the temple near the salt field to collect the salt from here.

It feels like we can make 'salt castle'

Collecting our salt

Remember to drop by the souvenir shop as they sell really delicious salt topping ice-cream at NT50! You can choose between different salt topping flavour too! (Original, Plum, Shipjack Tuna Flakes, Garlic and even Curry!!)

We took plum and tuna flakes and both are awesome! A perfect blend of sweetness and saltiness all in one slurp!

We also bought a box of salt back home

I thought during the December month, we will be spared from the scorching sun. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be the situation at Tainan. It was a blazing hot afternoon on our first day but thankfully a windy one.

Behold the 'snow cap mountain' that lies ahead! Take a closer look and it is actually a Salt Mountain!

Qigu Salt Field was once the largest salt-producing salt field in Taiwan and had its glorious days of supplying salt for domestic agricultural and industrial needs. Again with changes in time, solar salt is no longer economical and the salt industry declines. To preserve the history of the salt field, efforts and funds have been injected to build the Salt Industry Museum and also transform the surrounding areas into a park. That is also how Qigu Salt Mountain was form.

Standing at about 6 stories tall, Qigu Salt Mountain is the biggest pile of salt that we ever stood on. Initially I thought our feet will sink in with every step that we took but that was not the case! Apparently, tons of salt storage has harden over the years and it now feels more like a stone mountain.

View from the top of Qigu Salt Mountain. 

Family photo to mark our climb up to the peak of Qigu Salt Mountain.

It is always nice to try new things so we had more salted flavoured ice popsicle at NT20 per stick. I must say the taste is nothing that we have ever tried before and also not the ones that we fancy.

Its interesting to see salt castle instead of sand castle. 

We headed on and found ourselves at the salt drying experimental zone. You will find Keeled Watermills (龙骨车) which uses pedals attached to chain-driven interlocking paddles to bring sea water into the salt fields. The water is dried to make salt.

We tried paddling and it is not as simple as it looks. You need to lean your body against the log for support before paddling. Miss a step and you may lose your footage and fall. Working on the salt field is definitely not an easy task.

After the failed attempt with salty ice popsicle, we did not give up and decided to try the Salty Toufu Pudding (NT40)

A surprisingly delicious mix of soya, brown sugar and red bean. This cup turns out to be pretty nice (though I do not have a preference for red bean).

We definitely hit our salt quota within one morning! Nevertheless, it was a fun and eye opening experience at the salt fields.

Part 3 of Day 7 on our next post.

Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields (井仔腳鹽田)
Address: Jingzaijiao, Yonghua Village, Beimen District, Tainan City

Qigu Salt Mountain (七股鹽山) 
Address: No. 66, Yancheng Village, Qigu District, Tainan City

Check out our 2 Weeks Taiwan Itinerary Family Trip here

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