Stroll trails in Taipei’s Zhuzihu area and visit relics of Ponlai Rice culture

A couple of trails in Zhuzihu have been renovated and connected by Taipei’s Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) to serve as a reminder of the local rice culture in the old days.  

  2336

A couple of trails in Zhuzihu (竹子湖) have been renovated and connected (photo courtesy of GEO)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News)—Most people know that Zhuzihu (竹子湖) ) is home to Yangmingshan's calla lilies, but few have any idea that the valley tucked between Taipei’s Mt. Tatun and Mt. Qixing was the earliest breeding base of Ponlai Rice (Japonica rice) when Taiwan was under Japanese colonial rule (1895 to 1945). A couple of trails in Zhuzihu have been renovated and connected by Taipei’s Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) to serve as a reminder of the local rice culture in the old days.       

During the Japanese colonial period, a Japanese engineer found that the Zhuzihu area was very suitable for planting short-grained Japanese rice cultivars because the area was situated on high terrain, the temperatures were low and the water quality was good. Therefore, cultivation of rice began in the area as early as in the 1920s.   

The GEO said that using the Waterwheel House (水車寮) at Dinghu (頂湖) as the center, the office had connected the Waterwheel House Trail, which was used for hauling rice in the old days, with the newly renovated irrigation ditch trail (水圳步徑) to form a circular trail network. For a connection with the historic rice culture of this area, start a walking tour from the Zhuzihu Ponlai Rice Foundation Seed Field Story House (竹子湖蓬萊米故事館), stroll the trails between the farm fields and hydrangea gardens, and end the tour at the original site of the Ponlai cultivation (蓬來米原種田), the GEO recommended.       

Members of the public are recommended to take Bus S8 and S9 and get off at Zhuzihu (Hutian Elementary School). Walk for five minutes along the Waterwheel House trail to reach the irrigation ditch trail; the whole trip takes about 20 minutes.  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)  

(photo courtesy of GEO)