Meinong Township in Greater Kaohsiung 美濃
Meinong Township is located about 30 minutes east of Kaohsiung City. It is still part of Greater Kaohsiung but nothing near an urban area. Once you drive to the end of Highway 10, you see the beautiful green jagged mountains that rise from the fields of Meinong.
Meinong is a popular place to visit when visting Kaohsiung City and it can get very busy during weekends. Meinong is primarily a Hakka community so the Hakka language, building design, and cooking are all prevalent and unique here. The best way to see Meinong is by car or scooter. If you get your bicycle out here, it’s an even better way to ride through the small streets among the rice and flower fields. The air is always fresh and fragrant.
What to do in Meinong
Meinong Folk Villages
There are 2 “Meinong folk village” stops in Meinong and both are on the main roads on either side of the town.They are worth a stop since they showcase some of old Taiwan Hakka culture. Sometimes there are shows and perfomances to watch but mostly visitors have chance to sample and buy different Meinong snacks and trinkets. Peanut candy is very popular as Meinong is famous for its peanut crop.
Meinong Ban Tiao Noodles 板條 and other foods in Meinong
Ban Tiao is a kind of thick rice noodle that can be stir fried or boiled. The Hakka people in Meinong cooked this noodle dish and it is the most famous dish to sample. There are Ban Tiao shops everywhere. One of the the most famous is called “Lin Jia Ban Tiao” or Lin Family Ban Tiao. The noodles are cooked with chopped dry onions and scallions. It’s a delicious treat. Here you can get your ban tiao dry or in a soup. Also the PIG FEET are delicious as well as their stewed cabbage and winter melon. These are also must try dishes.
YE LIAN is a unique vegetable to the Meinong area. It grows in water and can be as long as 1 meter when picked. Cooks chop the vegetable into smaller thin pieces and stir fry them with some garlic. It’s also a must try dish when in Meinong.
Here is the location for Lin Family Ban Tiao: 843高雄市美濃區美興街25號 /Mei Xing Street #25 Meinong District Kaohsiung City
Zhong Zheng Lake 中正湖
Zhong Zheng Lake is right on the outskirts of the main road in Meinong on Zhong Zheng Road. It’s a picturesque place with a mountains reflecting in the lake. If anything, Zhong Zheng Lake is worth a visit to get a photo and enjoy the peaceful view.
Meinong Arts: Paper umbrellas and pottery 美濃紙傘 美濃陶窯
Paper umbrellas are one of the famous products that came from Meinong. The umbrellas are handmade and then painted with beautiful Chinese themed or nature themed designs. There are a lot fewer umbrellas shops than there used to be. One shop is located next to Zhong Zheng Lake. The umbrellas price between 450NT for a small one to 1200NT for a full size one. They are a nice Asian decorative piece.
In the 1990s, Meinong was a hotbed for pottery artists. There are a lot fewer today, but pottery shops can be seen all around Meinong. Potters use clay to make teapots, teacups, sake cups, plates, bowls, etc. that can be taken home and used. There are different qualities and expertise of artists so prices can be very low to very high for those who want only the best.
Meinong Flower Season 美濃花
From January into March, the township of Meinong commisions farmers to use thier vacant plots to plants rows and rows of colorful flowers. It’s quite a beautiful site as the sea of flowers bring summer colors to the winter season. Vistiors can be seen all over parking there cars and walking amonst the flowers for some incredible photographs.
Getting to Meinong
Meinong is right across the river from Qishan. The best way to get there is by car. Head east from Kaoshiung on Highway 10 until it ends. Go straight through the traffic light and down to the T intersection. Take a right and you are in the main Meinong area. Drive a few minutes and you’ll reach the old town area with lots of restaurants.
Meinong is also easily accessible by bus from the Kaohsiung Main Bus Station. Take Kaohsiung Bus Lines to Jhongtan Station; walk along Zhongsing Road to Zhongtan police station and then turn left, go straight to Section 2 Zhong zheng Road (approximately 500 meters). The ride will take you about an hour.
For more information on Meinong, visit their government website.