Hengchun is a township in Pingtung County. It is the southernmost township in Taiwan. The population in Hengchun is 31,123 (as of August 2009).
Hengchun literally means “Eternal Spring“.
Hengchun actually attracts more tourists than locals. Travellers that visit Kenting, Taiwan will normally go through Hengchun on the way.
Hengchun beaches are beautiful and clean, thus attracting many tourists in the summer.
Hengchun was traditionally built by the Han Chinese. Feng Shui was important when choosing Hengchun as a place to settle. Hengchun’s older generation regard Hengchun as a place where traditional Han Chinese culture is still alive.
Old Hengchun Town – A Walled City
Hengchun City used to be surrounded by a wall (similar to Fongshan City). Now, about half of the wall is still intact. The gates are still the original ones. You can see where some of the wall has been restored and renovated.
Overall, the wall has been extremely well preserved. The wall is about 2,700 metres long.
The climate in Hengchun is tropical and sunny. During the winter there is a slight drop in temperature. Coconut and banana trees are able to grow well in Hengchun due to the hot climate.
Hengchun airport is unable to be used. Due to Hengchun’s location strong winds are experienced so the airport has been forced to stay closed.
What to see and do in Hengchun
Che Cheng Fu An Temple
Che Cheng Fu An Temple is located on a sacred land, bound to the east by the Ssu Chung River. It is situated to the west of the Taiwan Straight and to the south of Turtle Mountain.
Che Cheng Fu An Temple is Taiwan’s largest temple devoted to the God of Land or Earth God. The god’s name is called “Tu Di Gong“. “Gong” meaning a grandfather figure. This God is normally worshiped before burying a loved one.
The temple was built more than 300 years ago during the Guangsyu reign. It is an impressive building and six stories high.
The colours gold and red stand out. There are many intricate carvings and details.
Fu An Temple has become a world renown tourist attraction and sacred place, making this a worthwhile visit. Both foreign and local tourists visit the temple.
If you make a donation, you can choose a bracelet. This bracelet is normally used to pray and make a wish to the god. There is also some lucky rice which is supposed to bring you good fortune and wealth.
Address: 51 Fu An Road, Fu An Village, Che Cheng Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan Tel: 08-882-1345 Fax: 08-882-2286
Chu Huo literally means “To give out fire“. Chuhuo is located just past Hengchun’s East Gate.
The local topography is made up of mudstone. There are many cracks in the mudstone.
Natural gases are emitted from the ground through these cracks. Thus creating fire.
You can see children cooking their popcorn on the fire. It is an interesting place and only takes about 10-15 minutes to see the area.
The flames burn all year round. However, in the summer and fall, during the rainy season the cracks become filled with water. So it is best to visit Chu Huo during the spring and winter seasons when the weather is dry.
At night it is also very beautiful.
The Four Gates
There are four gates that surround the city – North, South, East & West Gate.
The famous Taiwanese film “Cape No. 7” was filmed in Hengchun in 2008. You will see a few places which has been marked as a famous place due to being shown in the movie.
One of these famous places is at the West Gate, you can see a green post box. If you post a letter here, you can get a special stamp on your letter to show that you have sent it from here. The West Gate actually faces a strange angle, for Feng Shui reasons.
Each gate has its own watch tower and gun emplacements. From the East Gate, a panoramic view of Hengchun can be seen. The East Gate is the best preserved out of the four gates.
Hot Springs Hengchun
Hengchun has a great variety of hot springs. There are four major resort areas where you can go to a hot spring.
The Sichong resort area is one of them. The water is 55 degrees celsius. The water is believed to alleviate muscle pains and arthritis.
The water is said to have therapeutic properties due to the minerals in the water.
Many Spa hotels can be found in Hengchun.
Since 100 Hot Spring Resort & Hotel
This is a famous Hot Springs in Hengchun. They are one of the traditional resorts and beautifully decorated with Japanese style gardens.
If you use the public hot springs, it costs NT$220 per person and unlimited time. If you would like a private room for one hour (2-4 people), this will cost between NT$800-NT$1200.
It is very relaxing and a wonderful way to wind down and relieve any stress.
Address: No. 5 Wen Hua Road, Che Cheng Village, Pingtung County, Taiwan
Tel: – 08-882-4120 Fax: 08-882-4126
Since 100 Hot Spring Official Website (only in Chinese)
How To Get To Hengchun
By High-Speed Rail: Take the High Speed Rail to Kaohsiung’s Zuoying Station. Take a taxi or Kingbus and head for Kenting, get off at Hengchun station.
Including the HSR ticket, it costs approximately NT$1,500 for a one way trip.
By Bus: From Taipei Main Station, take the Ubus that departs for Pingtung County, and get off at Hengchun station.
Prices are approximately NT$500 for a round trip ticket.