The Hakka Cultural Renaissance Memories─Tea, Camphor Laurel, and Sugar Cane
 
Jul 01, 2018
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In the mid-19th century, Taiwan had three major exports: tea leaves, camphor laurel, and sugar cane. Tea leaves and camphor laurel were mainly cultivated along the Taiwan Romantic Route 3. The Chiang A-Shing Tea House in Beipu Township, Hsinchu, the Formosa Tea Industry and Culture Gallery in Guanxi Township, Hsinchu, and many other well-preserved former tea factories remain as a reminder from those glorious years.

Rebirth:Industry

In the mid-19th century, Taiwan had three major exports: tea leaves, camphor laurel, and sugar cane. Tea leaves and camphor laurel were mainly cultivated along the Taiwan Romantic Route 3. In its heyday, 60% of all Taiwanese tea leaves were produced here. They were exported to more than eight seaports in over sixty countries. The Chiang A-Shing Tea House in Beipu Township, Hsinchu, the Formosa Tea Industry and Culture Gallery in Guanxi Township, Hsinchu, and many other well-preserved former tea factories remain as a reminder from those glorious years.

Visions From a Tea House

The aromatic, amber-hued oolong tea Dongfang Meiren, known as the "Oriental Beauty" in the West, was the crowning jewel of the Taiwan Romantic Route 3. The Hakka Affairs Council (HAC) planned the "Longtan Tea Story Park" in Taoyuan to revitalize the tea industry and create jobs for Hakka youth returning to their hometown. The park is expected to weave tea culture, Hakka cuisine, and life on a tea farm into one mesmerizing experience.

Visitors From Afar

The people and sights, the history and geography-these are the abundant tourist attractions on the Taiwan Romantic Route 3. Thanks to international promotion by the HAC , more than 15,000 tourists from Japan have already visited this year, underscoring the potential of this beautiful mountain route.

Vitality and Creativity

Local artists, musicians, and photographers benefit from various memorials to the arts, as well as the "Local Artist Project" implemented to inspire a new generation of creative minds. The "Zhudong Music Village," currently under construction, will be situated in township , Zhu-dong that has hosted Hakka singing competitions for half a century. It will be an open space designed for musicians to perform in, and for locals to visit and admire their craft.

By mining the treasures of Hakka culture, then infusing it with vitality and creativity, the HAC hope this new resource will inspire youths to return home, and reclaim their birthright: the dormant beauty of this mountain avenue and its inhabitants.

Edited by Duo Lee
This content is sponsored by The Hakka Affairs Council.