Friday, January 16, 2009

PingTai (平台)

PinTai (平台) is located up in mountain up near the origin of Langyang river (蘭陽溪), which is at Yilan (宜蘭 ) County southeast of Taipei.  We can make a day trip to this area through the Snow Mountain Tunnel, the second longest tunnel in the world.  In an ordinary day, Langyang river is a wide, almost dry riverbed (miles wide) filled with pebbles, some as big as the house.  When the Typhoon comes, it then turns into a torrent river.  The road is built on the cliff by the river bed, thus it is often easily destroyed by the water.  Even today, the highway and public work department are still carrying out construction work on the road and in the river bed, which are damaged by last year's Typhoon.  During our last trip to the region, I was intrigued by the scenery .  I went back to photograph it yesterday.  

PinTai is a flat piece of mountain top just by the river bed.  Direct translation of the name will be "flat platform", but "Table-Top Mountain" is better.  Because the mountain is facing east to the Pacific ocean, the area is usually very cold and misty.  The fields are dotted by small shakes built with metal sheets.  On a raining day afternoon, with the backdrop of mountain and riverbed, it gives us a surreal feeling.

The cold weather and the abundance of water make the area ideal for growing Chinese cabbage.  They are sweat and crispy and fetch high price at the market.

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