Sunday, May 3, 2009

Little Liuqiu Island

A couple of photos from a trip a few weeks back - my first-ever excursion to Little Liuqiu Island, southeast of Kaohsiung. It's a lovely little place, good for a daytrip, wonderful for an overnight stay.

Most of Liuqiu's residents live in typical modern concrete homes but there are some endearingly old structures. The one pictured left is perhaps the most ancient on the island. Known as the Tai Mansion, it dates from the 1820s and was the abode of one of the island's most important families. A small part of it is still occupied, and modern additions like a stainless-steel water tank diminish the beauty of that wing. The construction of a breakwater for a nearby fishing harbour is said to have upset the location's fengshui and caused the original residents and their descendants to scatter.

The mansion is largely made of coral as a building material. This is hardly surprising; the island is almost entirely coral (there's not much soil; I saw just two or three little vegetable gardens). Wave and wind erosion have given the island an exceptionally picturesque coastline, one of the most famous sights being the Vase (lower picture).

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