Tianliao District's Beguiling Moon World
【◎Written by Winnie ◎Photos by Zeng Sin-yao ◎English translation by Hou Ya-ting】
Four fifths of Tianliao is composed of badlands. Nicknamed “Kaohsiung's Moon World,” it is made up of sharp pinnacles, natural ridges and gullies. Visitors are impressed by its stunning scenery and intriguing barren landscape. With its surreal scenery, it is a great place to go cycling. Heading to Moon World Landform Park, the most popular destination in the area, visitors will enjoy cycling along Yueciou Road. Once they arrive at the landform park, they can explore on foot.
There are ponds in the surrounding area, which capture reflections of the rugged ridges. Within the park are numerous trails that circumnavigate both Jade and Moon Lakes. Inside the park is the tourist center, which provides visitors with tours and information about the badlands. Jade Lake is situated in front of the tourist center. Visitors can circumnavigate the pathways and enjoy the unique landscape.
For those who enjoy physical challenges, walk 600 meters from the Jade Lake pathway and climb 156 stairs up to Moon Lake. This is the pinnacle of park. Moon Lake is a natural pond and from there visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Jade Lake. There is also a crescent shaped lookout that also provides fantastic views. The layered mudstone badlands showcase a kaleidoscope of beauty.
Although the soil makes agriculture difficult, there are several animal farms in the area from which produce local delicacies. On the way to Moon World Landform Park, Yueciou Road has numerous chicken restaurants that feature local chicken dishes. Another popular local specialty is Salted Pork, which is marketed by Tianliao Farmer's Association.
Visitors should also sample the mud-seasoned boiled eggs. Mr. Lin Jhih-jhong, a local fowl farmer, raises local free-range chickens. Their eggs have a unique flavor after boiling with local wild mudstone grass known as Bu-jiang. These mud-seasoned boiled eggs have become a popular dish with locals and visitors alike.