Dancing with Flower Fragrance and Coffee Aroma on the Foggy Dongshan Highway
During the Koxinga period, the troops of Zheng Cheng-Gong started reclaiming the mountain area in today's Dongshan. Later on, the Hans settled down for farming. Originally, this site was called "Barbarian Community Village," a name of bad association. Besides, since this site was within the area of Dadong Mountain and located at the east ( "dong" in Chinese) of Tainan City, it was finally renamed as "Dongshan."
"Dongshan Bixuan Temple" was established in 1844 to enshrine the main goddess, "Buddha Mother," or Amitabha Bodhisattva (Guanshihyin, the Second Mother), a name commonly known to many people. In the Qing Dynasty, Fujianese people invited the Bodhisattva Mother to move from the Mainland China to Taiwan. As guided by the Bodhisattva Mother, these Fujianese worshippers discovered a piece of precious fengshui land for construction of a temple. At the very beginning, the Second Mother was worshipped at Volcanic Biyun Temple, which had a branch temple called Bisuan Temple. On the 23rd day of the 12th month in each lunar year, Bodhisattva Mother would be delivered back to Biyun Temple to spend the Chinese New Year for some days. Up to now, pious worshippers accompany Bodhisattva Mother to go there every year according to the original delivery route of those days, and bring her back on the 10th day of the 1st lunar month in the next year. This activity of escorts has been held for over 160 years, and is one of the significant events of the year in Dongshan. Besides, there is also another representative temple called "Fuyou Temple," which was also known as "Green Mountain Old Fairy Temple." How was it named? Worshippers must pass by Green Mountain before arriving at the temple. When climbing on the mountain on sunny days, they could clearly overlook the broad view under the mountain. As to Old Fairy, it was a name to pay respect to the main god, Lu Dongbin. This Old Fairy Temple was one of the 3 largest ones in Taiwan. Although the temple is located at a remote village, a large number of worshippers come here all year round. It even becomes a famous scenic spot to hikers. They can exercise and worship the god at the same time.
Being at the height of 700 to 900 meters above sea level, Dongshan has a tropical humid climate. During the period of Japanese ruling, "Arabica coffee" was imported from the Southeast Asia for trial planting. As a result, the coffee quality was extremely good. During the World War II, the sale of coffee was poor, and coffee plantation was forced to close. Not until the last decade was coffee planted again. After County Highway 175 was reconstructed into a broader road, the development of coffee and tourism was combined together, opening an alternative business opportunity for local farmers. After driving off the freeway, you can go to the marketplace first to queue for buying the famous local snack, "Dongshan Duck Head." Then you can drive to the Coffee Highway. Along the highway, there are a golf course and farms, forming a perfect resort for travelers. From February to April, coffee flowers bloom. From March to April, it is the harvest time of longan, Mandarin orange, Taiwanese orange and lychee. Fresh flower fragrance permeates the air all over the Highway, creating a romantic atmosphere for your journey. In the afternoon of a drizzling day, you can find a cafeteria with a good view, and order a cup of coffee with coffee beans grown by local farmers. After you have spent the wonderful afternoon, you can visit an orchard to enjoy picking fruits of the season. This activity can remove your toil of this week, and add lots of fun and vitality to you. What a fruitful trip it is! Come and visit Dongshan right now!