August 14, 2010

Jingzijiao Tile-Paved Salt Field


Jingzijiao Tile-Paved Salt Field is located in the Beimen Township, Tainan County. It is the oldest manual salt production filed in Taiwan and has 180 year history. Most salt fields in Taiwan have been abandoned. The restoration of the Jingzijiao Salt Field not only preserved the traditional salt production culture, but also brought tourists to this rundown fisherman village


There are 2 kinds of salt fields in Taiwan, Sand-Paved, and Tile-Paved Salt Field. Jingzijizo Salt Field is the Tile-Paved. The Tile-Paved Salt Field is formed by manually laying the broken debris of pottery and tiles onto the crystallizing ponds of the salt fields. This approach resulted in purer and clearer salt being mined.


One of the advantages of the tile-paved salt field is to make salt fast because the tile absorbed the heat fast. The Sand-Paved Salt Field is mixed with sand and compacted clay. The process of making salt is slower, but it can produce a large quantity so that the cost is lower. Sand-Paved Salt Field has become the practice in Taiwan afterwards.


There are always 2-3 workers in the field. They wear bamboo rain hat, flower handkerchief, and arm covers. However, in order to take photos of them, you need to be there before 5:00pm before they are off work!


Jingzijiao Salt Field is open with no time limit. You can come to the crystal pond anytime to experience the fun of raking and picking salt.


“Yanshouzi” is a process to push all the salt to the center of the pond by a bamboo stick. However, it was raining for 2 days before I was there, so this process could not be made.


There are free guides provided during weekends and holidays. You can check and reserve at “Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Management Office”. A free salt bag is also provided to each visitor to take home.


Beside crystal pond, there are also large and small evaporation ponds. After the sea water comes in, it would be directed to these ponds and exposed to the sun for 3-5 days in the crystal ponds. When the seawater density reaches to center level, the salt can be formed. I climbed up to the “Coastal Defense Mound” to view the entire salt field.


Watermill is to redirect the seawater from the lower level pond to the higher level pond. There are 3-4 watermills by the evaporation pond for the visitors to experience.


Outside the embankment is the oyster farm. Strolling on the embankment is quite comfortable during sunset. This is the place to watch the oyster farm, sunset and Whiskered Tern during fall and winter seasons. Unfortunately I was not able to see the sunset since it was covered by the dark clouds. It was pretty clear in the morning, but it became dark towards sunset.


Although I did not see the sunset, I was very happy to see this old salt field.


It offers different atmosphere no matter during a clear, raining, morning or evening. Biking around it is quite pleasant.


There are a couple snack vendors around the salt field selling cold drinks and fresh seafood. Besides the Salty Popsicle, the “Salt Steamed Egg” is something to take home with in Beimen Township. The “Salt Steamed Egg” was made by cooking the Thousand-Year Old Egg in the stir fried sea salts. It tastes very good. The egg yolk became harder, no longer soft, but very tasty! Read More


fufu said...

salt steamed sgg?? i wanna try... you know what we have salt steamed chicken in malaysia with several herbs :) hihihi

erm well after looking at your pictures... i cant help myself looking forward my trip to bolivia... the salt fields there are just stunning!!!!!! have you heard about the place? lol

Anonymous said...

Eh eh, if it weren't for the locals, it could have been taken right by where I grew up. There are huge salt fields too and I visited them a few times when I was a kid. I found it truly magic... because come to think of it, it's logic that salt comes from the sea but I'm sure a lot of people don't realize the whole process.

Lovely set!

shloke said...

You did a wonderful job in writing a very attractive article. Beautiful photojournalism, as always!!! I have a question for you. Are you writing from Laguna, California or Taipei, Taiwan???

This is my first time seeing tile-paved salt field ever and as cheesy as it sounds, it looked quite magical seeing endless plots of sand fields. I would LOVE to visit Jingzijiao salt field and get my very own bag of salt and salty popsicle :)

Rafael Lam said...

That little girl working in there is so cute!
So interesting to see these salt fied, specially can go to the crystal pond and picking the salt!

I want to try those tasty「鹽焗蛋」! ^^

London Caller said...

Wow this salt field is so Zen!
Like those stone gardens in Japan! Ha ha...
Especially Photo No 7 with the “Yanshouzi”.

I watched a BBC documentary a long time ago, there's actually another type of salt field from the desert. Instead of piling the salt into small mounds, they came in the form of "salt slabs", very interesting!

Anyway, I haven't had salted eggs for a very, very long time...
I actually quite miss "century eggs" too!
In particularly, the small quail eggs served with pickled ginger!

London Caller said...

>This is quite interesting! Do those made of plastic, paper, or wooden boxes?

Sorry, I forgot this...
No, they're all bricks made of clay.

kristen and micki said...

@Fufu- The salt steamed chicken sounds so good. I would like to try! A friend of mine is from Bolivia, and I would love to visit there too. Lots of places in South America are very interesting. Have not heard of the salt field in Bolivia, but I am sure that it must be remarkable. Take this great chance to visit all these countries while you are there!

@Zhu- Thanks! It is very neat to see how the salts are produced. We appreciate how this small essential item comes from! Good for you, you had lots of rural life experiences.

@Mylo- Thanks! Love to have your feedbacks too! If you see the posts with Chinese and English and they are Kristen’s beautiful writings from Taipei, and I am translating them in English from California. If you see the posts with English only and they are my writings. We put Wandering Taiwan together. I visit Taiwan often and travel with Kristen.

@Rafael- Thanks! I am sure you will take tons of awesome photos in the salt field and love “鹽焗蛋”!

@Londoncaller- The desert salt field must be very interesting! I love to eat the “Century Egg” with Tofu and adding some other sauces! So cool, and a great summer dish!

London Caller said...

>wow! you are a pilot and have your own plane?

He he... That aeroplane is actually my logo.

lechua said...

the young girl is already helping out at the fields?

just browsed the comments above and noticed u an kristen are at different locations.... how often do you visit taiwan? i thought mebbe u take weekend trips to be able to cover this much of taiwan.. but from california??

London Caller said...

Ha ha... The aeroplane has been repaired and ready to go.
Calling for London! ;)

kristen and micki said...

@Lechua-The little girl shows on the photo is a visitor and she was experiencing in the field.
I visit Taiwan 1-2 times a year, and each time we take time and visit different unique places. Our posts here cover our journey and Kristen’s journey in Taiwan as well.

@Londoncaller-Glad to see your airplane is taking off!:)

shloke said...

Okay, thanks for the info :)

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