Rural parts of Chai-yi are foreign to most Taiwanese that are not from Chai-yi.
English4TW team brings you to two rural townships of Chai-yi, which are Min-xiong and Xing-gang. They are worth mentioning because they each offer unique tourist attractions, and the fact that they are very close to each other is just icing on the cake.
We first take you to the Pineapple Hill in Min-xiong. If you had the opportunity to visit Happy Hill in Chai-yi and enjoy their finely made coffee and bread, the nice view of the rural part of Chai-yi from the uphill is Min-xiong.
If you have been to Chai-yi Cypress Forest Life Village, hopefully you didn't miss out on trying the freshly baked and warm pineapple cake from Pineapple Hill. This store in Min-xiong is their original store.
What makes this one unique is, in addition to tasting their delectable pineapple sample, you get to see where they grow pineapples in the field!
Coming inside the store, you are greeted by friendly staff. Once you take a seat, every person gets a piece of complimentary pineapple cake, a cup of A-li-shan tea and some pineapple vinegar!
Up on the second floor is where you get to see the large field of grown pineapples.
The atmosphere here is quite different from the store in Chai-yi Forest Life Village. This store is much more spacious.
Did you notice something about the free samples? The pineapple cake, A-li-shan tea and pineapple vinegar are all golden. It makes you feel like you are on a golden-diet trip, doesn't it!
From Zhong-zheng College, head toward San-xing village and then follow the road signs to get to the original Pineapple Hill.
Min-xiong Kumquat Farm
Did we say something about being on a golden-diet trip, that's right! Follow a small alley and you are now in a large village Min-xiong Kumquat Farm.
The store was established in 1960. For more than half a century, kumquat has been homegrown in Min-xiong.
Kumquat is high in vitamin C, which benefits your skin, increases your body's cold tolerance, prevents cold and lowers lipids. Just the thought of the sweet and sour kumquat makes us salivate!
Upon coming into the exhibit hall, you can try their sweet and sour kumquat juice sample. Be sure to check out their frosted kumquat cookies. In ancient times, kumquat cookie omelets were used during postpartum care for mothers.
They recently came up with their unique kumquat fruit honey, which is made very differently from their more well-known kumquat lemon juice.
Unlike kumquat lemon juice, kumquat fruit honey is hot brewed and made with the fruit skin, thus allowing the aroma to completely emanate.
Kumquat lemon juice is thirst quenching and suitable for the hot summer; kumquat fruit honey is warm and mellow, which makes for a perfect winter beverage.
Ban-tao-yao Crafts Studio of Jiao-zhi Pottery and Chien-nien
The reason we bring you to the other rural township Xing-gang is none other than its Ban-tao-yao Crafts Studio of Jiao-zhi Pottery and Chien-nien.
It's located in Bantou village. You can take the right fork in the road toward Bei-gang to arrive there. Ban-tao-yao Crafts Studio of Jiao-zhi Pottery and Chien-nien has two entrances.
Ban-tao-yao includes Koji Pottery, also known as Chai-yi Pottery, originated from the days of the Japanese colonial era. The most famous Koji Pottery artist and teacher Ye Lin Zhi was born in Chai-yi.
His artwork was displayed at the France World Expo and drew praises from artists and collectors across the world.
Koji Pottery was then given the name The Art of Taiwan. Chai-yi has become the home of Koji art ever since. To this day, many Japanese still refer to Koji Pottery as Chai-yi Pottery.
In addition to Koji Pottery, Ban-tao-yao includes art of Chien-nien, which is essentially a Taiwanese version of the Mosaic sculpture.
The art of Chien-nien was originally Temple Art; the founder of Ban-tao-yao Chen Zhong-zheng infuses modern elements, such as painted wall pottery, to make mosaic sculptures look like real flowers, roof decorations, fruits and animals.
Even the sculptures of children playing in the water look unusually distinctive. These Mosaic sculptures all create an extremely playful atmosphere very suitable for children.
Inside the restaurant, there is a plant factory where organic vegetables are planted. Once you are done with pottery sightseeing, topping it off by eating some organic food may just be quite an interesting experience!