Laid-Back Walks in Meinong, Kaohsiung’s Back Garden

Like Sai Kung is known as the back garden of Hong Kong,
Meinong is the one of Kaohsiung.
They say Meinong’s scenery is such a picturesque,
travelers do not even have to plan ahead to explore the region,
and are guaranteed beautiful, laid-back trip to enjoy.

文、攝影/去台灣 TripTaiwan

Enjoy a view of Meinong on top of the Lion Mountain Observation Deck

Just about 45 minutes by car from downtown Kaohsiung, Meinong is home to a string hills and green, blush fields. Scattered among the endless fields are traditional style Hakka houses radiating a view of a simple country life. Meinong’s beauty is visible all day from dusk till dawn; however one will not want to miss the view of glowing gold rice fields in May. To get the best full view of the whole Meinong plain, one must get to the top of Lion Mountain’s Wugu Temple where a secret observation deck is located. Find a quiet spot on the deck to enjoy the gentle breeze and picturesque view of broad and extensive fields with the hard working farmers working thereon, painting an idyllic perfect picture of Meinong’s beauty.

Lion Mountain Wugu Temple
Address: Shishan St., Meinong Dist., Kaohsiung City 843

Limited Daily Supply: Vegetable Dyed Rainbow Hakka Rice Noodles

Meinong is a town deeply rooted in Hakka tradition, so it’s food is an iconic example of Hakka cuisine. Unlike the typically seen white rice noodles enjoyed by many Hakkas, owners of “Syuan Wei House” Mr. and Mrs. Jhong have created a special limited “rainbow” version of the beloved rice noodles.Using taro flavored number 147 Penglai rice produced in Meinong as a base, the couple blend in juices from home grown organic fruits and vegetables such as dragon fruit, sweet potato leaves, butterfly pea flowers, cherry tomatoes, red yeast rice and others. The rice and juice mixture is then colorfully transformed into noodles of blue, orange, pink, green and the other colors, which are available in limited daily quantities. In addition to the rice noodles, do not miss out on other classic Hakka dishes, such as the Hakkanese Stir Fry, Chinese Ginger Chitlins, Slow Boiled Cabbage, just to name a few local favorites! Eating such tasty Hakkanese dishes is even more delightful paired with cute retro decor of Syuan Wei House and the artful display of food using hand crafted pottery utensils made locally in Meinong.

Syuan Wei House
Address:No.384, Sec. 2, Zhongshan Rd., Meinong Dist., Kaohsiung City 84342
Phone:+886 7 681 2820
Business hours: 10:00~14:30
Facebook Link

Enjoying Local Ice Cream at the “Wild and Field”

Whenever someone asks me for recommendations on what fun is there in Meinong, “Wild and Field” is always a top recommendation from me! The life and scenery of the Taiwanese countryside may be not so interesting to many people hailing from the city, but “Wild and Field” makes it to have attracted even the most difficult visitors without fail. The Hakka meaning of the store name is derived from a Hakkanese proverb meaning “always hanging around.” This charming little store was founded by three young people from different places of Taiwan: YOYO, Wei Jhih and Big Head. They decided to retreat from the busy city life to open this vibrant workshop selling books, local crafts and ice cream, while working with local farmers to display and sell local goods. In the front of the store is an ice cream stand selling different flavors of hand-made ice cream using only the highest quality, in-season ingredients such as black sugar, pumpkin, mulberry, sesame and others to create both tasty and healthy treats! Inside the store, you can find their self-published periodical “The Wild and Field Post”, arts and crafts from local artists and craftsmen, different types of fresh local produce, and freshly baked bread. Acting as a spokesperson and liaison between visitors and the younger generation, “Wild and Field” has become a local hub for Meinong farmers to showcase and sell their healthy organic farm goods. In addition, they also organize various educational events for everyone to join, such as the Winter Carrot Picking Event! Just a short walk from the Meinong Bus Station, the “Wild and Field” has become the must-go destination for every backpacker and passerby to sit back and relax, enjoy ice cream, and get to know the town!

Wild and Field
Address:No. 14, Section 1, Zhongshan Road, Meinong District, Kaohsiung City, 843
Phone:+886 988 158 109
Business hours: 11:00~17:00
Facebook:Wild and Field

B & B at “the Vinyl and Banana Sanheyuan”

“My mother was an anchor person at a radio station and my grandfather a banana farmer. Both of them are very important to me, so I decided to name my bed & breakfast ‘The Vinyl and Banana Sanheyuan’.”

The once magazine photographer and now turned as a B & B owner, Jhong Shih Wei (鍾士為), has quitted his past glorious job covering international events in many cities like Hong Kong and New York. He now lives a quiet life in Meinong using vinyl records to share his fond memories of this place’s past.

Since the Japanese occupation era, Meinong has been the main production regions for tobacco leaves. During its peak time, Meinong housed up to 1,800 tobacco barns and has become a unique sight of the region. Meinong’s high volume of tobacco production allowed farmers of time to enjoy financial success and support their children to receive higher education and won the nickname “the homeland of doctorates”. However, due to the decline of tobacco industry, the fortunes and barns also faded away. Jhong Shih Wei’s family tobacco barn also suffered from the same fate of abandonment. Driven with determination by the love for this land and his “Home” Home, Jhong decided to preserve and revamp the old traditional Sanheyuan house his grandfather left to him, along with all the dowry items and furniture passed down from his great grandmother, and to bring the past all back.

In the B & B you can find a collection of 4,500 vinyl records of classic pop music artists, such as Cui Jian (崔健), Teresa Teng (鄧麗君), Lo Ta-you (羅大佑), Chang Yu-sheng (張雨生), Beyond… “Being an anchor person for a radio, my mother used to invite many seemingly familiar to me faces to our home to do interviews who turned out to be celebrated singers,” Jhong recalls. He smiles and says that there was one time he told his friends about a celebrity coming to visit and they swarmed his home to see the star in person, causing chaos and awkwardness to his mother during the interview. Much of Jhong’s mother’s collection of vinyl records were kept in the home. There were a lot more than the current amount; unfortunately much of the collection has been ruined by termites. “Interestingly, they never fed on those classic. The most valuable Teresa Teng collection is all still intact!” Jhong jokes.

The beauty of Meinong must be savored delicately, just like listening to the music playing at “The Vinyl and Banana Sanheyuan”, and gently swaying with the rice fields in the breeze.

The Vinyl and Banana Sanheyuan
Address:No.34, Ln. 112, Xinglong 1st St., Meinong Dist., Kaohsiung City 843
Phone:+886 912 823 556
Facebook link


Heading to Meinong:

| Kaohsiung Bus Chimei Line Number 10 bus from Kaohsiung Zuoying Station to Meinong. Fair price NT$88 (HK$23.5). Website (Only in Chinese).

| Close by to both HSR Zuoying Station, Kaohsiung Station are auto rental services that offer drivers for hire. Cost per 5 person vehicle is about NT$4500 per day (~HK$1200); 9 person vehicle is about NT$5500 (~HK$1480) (up to 8 – 10 hours of service time per day).

Kaohsiung Bus Meinong Station