November 4, 2011

A day spent in Checheng, Nantou

Many visitors have heard of the Jiji Train Staiton in Nantou, Taiwan, but not the Checheng Station, which is the last stop of the Jiji branch railway. We came to Checheng (車埕) by car, but obviously the railroad can also take you there along with a splendid mountain scenery.

Checheng has been an essential timber processing industry center for central Taiwan since 1919. Railroads were built for the timber shipping purpose. The name of the “Checheng” even came from the close pronunciation of “Trolley place”. Imagine how busy this place was like because of the timber business. Until 1986, the government implemented the law to prohibit logging, so the operation was completely stalled. However, the legacy of the wood processing facilities and equipment has become a local attraction and a landmark.

During the devastating “921 Earthquake” in Jiji, 1999, the Checheng Station was destroyed. Currently what we see is a beautiful re-built wood platform station. Strolling around town, the process of the wood industry can also be discovered.

This beautiful ecology pond was used to store the big logs that were cut down from the hills. The logs released resin in the water to extend the life of the wood. Now, a gorgeous “Visitor Center” was built next to the pond, providing a place for resting and supplies.

There are three cranes used to lift the floating woods. Each of them had a different purpose. One lifted the logs from the pond, and one from the truck, and the other transported them to the train. The internal motors of the drive could lift 11-13 ton woods. You can tell by the photo, it is a heavy-duty metal hook!

Then the woods were delivered to the planthouse for cutting. This is a 3 story building, and each of the stories has its own function. Mainly they are for storage and cutting. The use of the wood chip and waste were also reproduced to produce goods such as juniper oil… etc.

In the back of the planthouse, the railway warehouse, signal building, and the ruin of the plant can be seen. What a peaceful place for relaxing and putting your minds back to the timer year!

The old town of the Checheng has kept the same old look as in the 80’s, with no commercials except a few snack places. The wooden meal box is the famous souvenir to take home. There are many DIY places in town showing visitors how to make one.

“Meal Box” (Bian-Dang) type of meal is my favorite meal in Taiwan. We came to this small diner in the corner of the old town and had my favorite pork chop with rice! The best of all was that we got to take the wooden box home.

The right top corner of the wooden box is the one we took home. It can also be used to steam rice with the special wood smell. I have not tried it yet; will share the process once I have a chance!

Checheng is such a lovely mountain town! When you are in the famous Jiji Station, don’t forget to continue your journey to stop at the last stop of the most beautiful train station -"Checheng". Read More

13 comments:

Rizalenio said...

What a wonderful journey. I felt like I was beside you on this trip through your stories and photographs. Happy weekend! :)

micki and kristen said...

Hi, Rizalenio Thanks for your feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed this journey as well~~ :) Have a great weekend!

Greg said...

Oh, I really want to go--first for the extremely unique bian dang, but of course mostly for the history. Thank you for the wonderful pictures! :)

micki and kristen said...

Hi, Greg
You are very welcome! I love Bian Dang, and I don't mind having Bian Dang everyday~~ Enjoy it!

阿山 said...

好久沒有更新了
你回來了!
最近好嗎?

集集這個名字很特別
而我聽到這個名字的時候
是在youtube上的一個卡通!呵不知道你有沒有看過!

這個地方真是個拍照的地方
有很豐富的人文體材!

micki and kristen said...

嗨,San
你好啊!謝謝你一直的關心和支持!實在真不好意思吔,這麼久沒更新,讓大家久等了~
一直沒機會回台灣旅行,直到10月才回去呢,才有文章分享~
"集集"在youtube上有個卡通啊?!我不知道吔,趕快來搜尋下!謝謝分享喲~

Zhu said...

Hey, you're back!

It's been a while :-)

I love anything made of wood, it's such a great material! Love the smell too.

Meal box looks cool, I'd try that!

micki and kristen said...

Hi Zhu, Thanks for visiting us again! So sorry for not being able to update the post. Did not travel until October, so here I am again~ :) :)
I think you will definitely like that wooden meal box, especially the pork chop, rice, and veggie in it~ Yummy~

Thailand Traveler said...

Checheng looks like a such a peaceful, serene place! It's like a quiet small town where you can retreat when the busy city gets you down, and where you can recharge yourself with energy. I would really like to visit it one day!

Rafael Lam said...

Very special train station,
makes me remember the train museum in Kaohsiung,
nearby love river and Pier-2 Art Center!

micki and kristen said...

Thanks for your comment, Thailand Traveler~

Hi, Rafael Thanks~ You were in Taiwan lately? I will be visiting your blog soon. Oh, boy I need to be updated~ :)

My Taiwan Holiday said...

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them and uploading your blog. You've inspired me to improve on my blog on Taiwan! Please let me know what you think www.mytaiwanholiday.com

micki and kristen said...

Hi, My Taiwan Holiday, thanks for your compliment and visiting us! You have a very nice blog about Taiwan as well. Keep up your great work! See you soon~

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