About Meinong Town
Meinong is a famous Hakka Village in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan. Meinong is a small town with a population of about 50,000. The Rukai aborigines were the original inhabitants of Meinong.
In 1736 Hakka settlers, drove the aborigines out to the mountains. The Hakka settlers then founded the town of Meinong. Now, 95% of inhabitants in Meinong are still Hakka.
The village is famous for it’s oil paper umbrellas. Since 1630 Meinong has grown tobacco. In the early days tobacco was Meinong’s most important crops.
The Tobacco Tower which was used to store the large tobacco leaves, can still be seen today. It is old and simple but still remains a symbol of Meinong’s agricultural culture.
Things to Do and See in Meinong
Meinong Folk Village
The Meinong Folk Village is an interesting place. It is a bit touristy however, it is recommended as a worthwhile visit. You can see and buy many traditional crafts such as paper umbrellas, fans, bamboo baskets and bamboo hats.
There is an old man there who has his own stall. He plays music from a tube of toothpaste or a sword. If you like his music, you can buy his music CD.
Address: No. 80, Lane 421, Sec. 2, Zhongshan Rd., Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Tel:07-681-7508 Opening Times: 8am-5.30pm, holidays to 6pm
The Paper Umbrella Factory
Tseng Te-yun was the founder of the Kuang Huahsing Oil Paper Umbrella Factory. He taught the art of making oil paper umbrellas to his son. His son has persisted in keeping Meinong’s most traditional art alive.
The umbrellas are made of paper and bamboo. They are hand-painted and made to be durable and waterproof. To buy an umbrella will cost between NT$400 – NT$2000.
Hakka cooking is based around noodles rather than rice. A famous type of noodles are called ‘Ban-tiao‘. They are thick white noodles made from rice flour. The dish may be fried with pork or boiled. It can be served in a soup or dry.
You can try ‘Ban-tiao‘ (NT$50 per bowl) and many other Hakka foods at the Meinong Traditional Hakka Restaurant. Rice Noodle Street is an excellent place to try some more authentic Hakka flavours.
Other famous Hakka dishes in Cishan include stir-fried intestines and stewed cabbage.
Hakka Restaurant Address: Jhongshan Rd., 362 – Sec 1, Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Rice Noodle Street Address: Meixing St. and Zhongzheng Rd., Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Yellow Butterfly Valley, Meinong
The Yellow Butterfly Valley is located northeast of Meinong. The butterflies are said to flock to Meinong in June and July. The best time to see them in this period is in the morning when the sun rises.
The valley’s elevation drops to 100-300 metres above sea level. Shuanghsi Park is also located there.
East Gate Tower
Originally built during the Ching Dynasty as a deterrent to invaders. The tower used to mark the end of the town. The tower seen today dating back from the Post-Japanese era, is now a reminder of the town’s long history.
Address: Intersection of Dongmen St. and Lane 16, Minzu Rd., Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Hakka People & Culture
The Hakka people (Kejia, “guest families” or “guest people” in Mandarin Chinese) are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language. They have links in China. Their ancestors were said to have come from Mainland China. The Hakka people are known for being extremely hard working and thrifty. The Taiwanese Hakka people count for 15% of the population.
How to get to Meinong:
Meinong is connected with regular buses to Kaohsiung and Pingtung.
- Kaohsiung Bus Station: Tel. 07-3128140
- Pingtung Bus Station: Tel. 08-7237131
- From the Yanchao Interchange on the Freeway n.3 just follow the National Highway 10 (Kaohsiung Branch) to its end at Cishan.
- Follow the road signs to Meinong.
Meinong Township Office: No. 260 Meizhong Rd., Hehe Li, Meinong Township, Kaohsiung County
Note: *Meinong can also be spelt “Meinung”