With the pleasant sun coming out, you might be tempted to walk outdoors to indulge in the Nature. But as you take a relaxing stroll somewhere along the scenic paths, have you ever wondered about the history of the roads under your feet?
The historic trails that scatter throughout Taiwan have very different fates. Some of them have been fortunate enough to be designated into national parks or government agencies, and were able to retain their original looks thanks to the care and maintenance dedicated to them. Due to limited space, in this issue of NPQ, we will feature one historic trail from each of Taiwan's national parks, and we sincerely invite our readers to plan for a walk down the historic trails on a beautiful summer day and see what they have to offer.
Langqiao Beinan Historic Trail in Kenting National Park (KTNP)
Length of the trail: Approx. 12 km.
Park entry permit: Not required but visitors are advised to follow a guide familiar with the route.
Best season for visit: Spring, fall and winter.
Alangyi Historic Trail, the last part of Langqiao Beinan Historic Trail in KTNP, is the only gap in Taiwan's round-the-island highway network. The place is not easily accessible, and hence won the titles such as "the corner of the world," "the pure land,"etc. Nonetheless, Alangyi Historic Trail is still known for its breathtaking scenery, rich ecological resources, and abundant cultural heritages. A walk down the vestige of this ancient trail will take you back in time and make the entire trip absolutely worthwhile.
The north-south Langqiao Beinan Historic Trail dates back over 5,000 years. But the first recorded use of the trail was in the Dutch rule, during which the indigenous people depended on the road to hunt,form alliances and migrate to eastern Taiwan. In the wake of the Mutan Incident in 1874, the trail rose as a major main street for the government officials and the Han people, but its importance declined as the Qing government switched its focus to north Taiwan. The part of Alangyi Historic Trail that still exists as of today stretches between Hsuhai Village and Nantien Village, with a total length of approx. 12 km.