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Lighting up 'Remains of the 13 Levels' in New Taipei ruins area's tranquility, say locals

Locals complain that conduct of some visitors disturbs peace

The Remains of the 13 Levels. (CNA photo)

The Remains of the 13 Levels. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The lighting of the "Remains of the 13 Levels" in New Taipei County since Mid-Autumn Festival has many local residents fearful that the quiet coastal community of Shuinandong (水湳洞) will lose its tranquil character, reported CNA on Saturday (Sept. 14).

After crowds of visitors poured into the quiet community to watch the lighting of the potential World Heritage site on the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 13, some locals have complained that some visitors' conduct has disturbed the peaceful life there.

A local resident surnamed Shih (施) said in a Facebook post that besides admiring the scenery, some visitors threw litter into her backyard, forcing her to pick up a large amount of trash.

Since the announcement of the lighting event, hordes of tourists have been seen entering the community of Shuinandong. Residents have even reported cases of tourists intruding into their homes through unlocked doors, according to CNA.

A resident surnamed Hu pleaded with tourists in a Facebook post not to make loud noises while admiring and taking photos of the unique historic site and to take away their trash, according to the news agency.

The Remains of the 13 Levels, which sits on a hillside overlooking the ocean on the northeastern coast of Taiwan, is illuminated by amber lights from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every night.

This spectacular landmark was formerly the Shuinandong Smelter that refined ores mined in the vicinities of Jinguashi (金瓜石) and Jiufen (九份) into copper during the Japanese colonial period.

Built in 1933, the smelter was taken over by a state-run company after Japan handed Taiwan over to the Republic of China in 1945. The company finally ceased operations in 1981, as copper in the area was almost completely mined out.

In 1987, the state-run Taiwan Power Company (TPC) took over management of the old refinery. In order to reproduce the “golden town” and remind people of its beauty and historical context, the TPC cooperated with world-class lighting artist Chou Lien (周鍊) and renowned artist Joyce Ho (何采柔) to curate the illumination project, which it says will lend the site the appearance of an outdoor art gallery at night.

(The General Association of Chinese Culture video)

(謝志煌 video/YouTube)