Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Taiwan - The Hualien and Taitung Areas

The Hualien and Taitung areas of eastern Taiwan.

Sent by Wong, a postcrosser from Taiwan.

This is from Wikipedia : Hualien County is the largest county in Taiwan and is located on the mountainous eastern coast of Taiwan. It contains the island's largest port. It is the starting point of the Hualien-Taitung Line and the terminal point of North-Link Line of TRA. For the Provincial highway System, Hualien has the connection of Suhua Highway, Huatung Highway, Hualien-Taitung Coast Highway and the Central Cross-Island Highway. Hualien County also contains part of Taroko National Park and Yushan National Park.

Taitung County is a county in eastern Taiwan. The name means "Eastern Taiwan". Taitung County is also known as 後山(sounded "Hou Shan") by many of the locals, meaning behind the mountains or the back mountains. Taitung is officially administered as a county of Taiwan, Republic of China.

Taitung runs along the south east coast of Taiwan. Taitung county, possessing 3,515 sq. km is the 3rd largest county in Taiwan. Taitung County's coastline is 231 km long. Taitung currently has a population of 231,863. The country possess only one registered city, Taitung City. The rest of the county is composed of two towns and thirteen villages.

Due in part to its remote location and isolation by mountains from Taiwan's main population centers, Taitung was the last part of the island to be colonized by Han Chinese immigrants (late 19th century). Throughout the 20th century Taitung remained an economic backwater. Sparsely populated even today, this isolation may have been a blessing in disguise, as Taitung mostly escaped the urbanization and pollution that have come to plague much of the island's lowland areas.

In addition to the area on Taiwan proper, the county includes two major islands, Green Island and Orchid Island. Green Island was home to an infamous penal colony used for political prisoners during the "White Terror" period of Chinese Nationalist (KMT) rule (from 1947 until the end of martial law in 1987). Orchid Island, home of the Tao people (Taiwanese aborigines closely related to the people of the northern Philippines), has become a major tourist attraction despite the government-operated Taiwan Power Company's controversial use of part of the island as a nuclear waste dump.

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