The rain was still going strong after we had our lunch & prepared to leave Chenggong Fishing Port. Nevertheless, the tour had to go on. Just a 10-min drive up north, was our next destination – Pisirian.
Pisirian is a simple Amis tribal village and its name means “goat-herding” in the tribal language. Located along the scenic East Coast, Pisirian used to be home to countless goats in the tribe. Now, with many of the younger generation leaving the village to work in other big cities, goat husbandry is no longer the main source of livelihood for the tribe. While we didn’t see live goats when we arrived, there were a number of driftwood goat installations displayed on the raised platform along the coast. They looked as if they were guarding the safety of the tribe.
The view at the raised platform along the coast was beautiful, even though it was a gloomy day. On a clear day, one could see the famous Sanxiantai vividly on the right side of the platform, just a quick 5-min drive down south of the tribal village. If your eyes are sharp enough, you may have spotted its iconic arch bridge in the bottom right pic of my above collage. We didn’t go there as renovation works were ongoing at the bridge.
Thanks to the local community development association, the declining tribe has seen a rise in popularity in recent years because of their continuous efforts to liven up the village again. Besides the lovely driftwood designs, famous pictorial book writer – Jimmy Liao was invited to illustrate 11 awe-inspiring murals in different corners of Pisirian. The murals feature the 2 main characters from his picture book, “One More Day With You”. Because of Jimmy’s reputation, Pisirian is now 1 of the favourite tourist destinations in Taitung for fans who come all the way here to admire his illustration works. We didn’t have time to check out all 11 murals though, below are the pretty murals we admired.
Next, just 10 min up north on Provincial Highway 11 from Pisirian, we arrived at a cute little place of worship in Yiwan, known as the Card Church.
According to both driver guides (Mr Wang & A-Wei) we had for the 3 days, there are many churches in Taitung, of which many are creatively designed. This was because back in the 19th century, many Christian missionaries who came to Taitung to preach to the indigenous tribes offered a lot of help in terms of providing medical, education & moral support for the impoverished people. A lot of these indigenous folks began to believe in Christianity after receiving assistance from the missionaries, giving rise to the construction of many churches in the county.
Construction of the Card Church was completed in 1953 in the Yiwan tribal village to meet the increasing number of devotees in the village. Unfortunately, the main structure of the church was destroyed in a typhoon in 1974. Card Church’s current design resembles a mini Gothic-style church with a cross & angelic sculptures on the rooftop. Walk to the side of the church & you will find that the building main structure is almost as thin as a piece of card. As the church looks like a design out from one of those scenic postcards, it was thus named as such. In 2003, the fairy tale-like church was designated as a “Historical Architecture” by the Taitung County Government.
As word got around, the unique church is now seeing an increasing number of visitors who flock here to capture that picture-perfect moment in Taitung. The church is open to visitors all year round, but not allowed to enter to check out its interiors.
After taking a few shots outside the church, it was the end of our tour in Taitung’s largest township – Chenggong. Interesting fishing town with rustic charm that I will remember for a long time!