Dong Yin Island: Formosa's very northern
Zheng Translated by Sho Huang
Dong Yin, situated at the very northern
end of Taiwan, provides a spectacular example of wave
erosion. As the Tai Ma Ferry slowly approached Chung
Zhu Harbor, we were greeted by three soldiers, standing
perfectly straight on the dock, who swiftly secured
ropes tossed out from the ferry. Savoring our arrival,
we found the sight of the blue sea and green mountains
relaxing and comforting.
It's recommended that visitors hire
a scooter and head down to Dong Yong Lighthouse, at
the very northern end of Dong Yin. There, the (government-designated)
Grade 3 ruins and the lighthouse's white stairs resemble
a scene from the Aegean Sea, as sky and sea merge with
each other. In addition, the British architecture of
the lighthouse, built in 1904, resembles an 18th century
villa standing in the carpet of green grass by the sea.
The attractive lighthouse is 14.2 meters
high and is wider than most lighthouses. A smart-looking
shed, henhouse and pigpen in the back are all great
elements which further the Aegean-like vista. There
are also four basins, designed to catch rainwater, built
underneath the shed, while channels have been built
below the windows to prevent rainwater from coming into
the shed--all part of the detailed, well though-out
architecture. It's also interesting to take note of
the canon and the foghorn, designed to guide ships through
After you leave the lighthouse, the
first thing that comes into sight are Tai Bai Tieng
Shan and Lei Gu Shu ("drum-shaped") rock formations.
Keep going and you'll see Lie NuYi Keng ("a woman
of justice and morals")--a hole more than 100 meters
high caused by years of sea erosion. There are fences
around, however, as it's still quite a scary sight.
Yi Xian Tian ("One Thread Sky") is another
nearby tourist sight which can only visited with a permit
from the local information center, with a soldier guiding
you through. To apply, all you need is your ID card.
This geological feature consists of a gap between two
cliffs with a bridge on top. An army tunnel was built
into one side of the gap and standing on the bridge
and looking down can be a thrilling experience.
At An Dong Tunnel, there's no sign of
the typical summer heat. The 300-meter tunnel descends
at a 30-degree angle like a roller coaster and there
are eight exits at the end. There, it's a great spot
to look at the sky and birds, have a chat or take a
look at the military equipment. However, climbing back
up can be quite a chore.
On the way to Xi Yin, Hai Xian Long Que ("Dragon
Watchtower") and Gan En Ting ("Grateful Pavilion")
on Chung Zhu Island can also be visited. Most of the
Xi Yin area is under army control with only Qing Shui
Ao, a U-shaped harbor, available for sightseeing. In
addition to its beautiful places of solitude, Dong Yin's
wave-eroded landscape is also a paradise for cliff fishing.
Thank you to the Ma Zu Scenic Resort Office for its
assistance in writing this article.