HEPING ISLAND PARK

“An offshore island, yet a connected island”,probably best sums up for Heping Island. Get away from crowded city to Heping Island, all you need to do is take a turn and cross a 70-meter bridge.

Five million years ago, Heping Island was originally three isolated islands, they were the Bush Island, Sheliao Island and Zhongshan Zi Island. Later, the three small islands were gradually merged by manmade facilities and reclamation. The "Heping Island Park," where we are now, is the original location of Zhongshan Zi Island.

Now, Heping Island is connected to Taiwan by the Heping Bridge. Heping Island's coasts are strongly affected by marine erosion and weathering. This contributes to the island's many natural landscapes, making it an ideal place for an outing and for learning about nature.

Feel tired of your busy life? Why not packing up your bag and go Heping Island Park! Let’s do it! Sitting on the beach and listening to the sound of the waves beating on the shore, smashing a favorite song, picnic with friends and enjoy the leisurely life of the island. Find your peace is so simple.

Hello, fellow rock protectors. It's a pleasure to introduce you all to Heping Island Park. I hope we will all have a great time here. Emerged above sea level five million years ago, Heping Island was originally three isolated islands. Now, it is connected to the Island of Taiwan by the Heping Bridge. Heping Island's coasts are strongly affected by marine erosion and weathering. This contributes to the island's many natural landscapes, making it an ideal place for an outing and for learning about nature. Sitting right next to Keelung Harbor, the park is the best place to watch large cruisers going in and out of the harbor. Come and watch the beautiful view of the sunset and cruises nowhere else can compare.

The ancient map shows us that Heping Island originally consisted of three islands: the Bush Island, Sheliao Island and Zhongshan Zi Island. Later, the three small islands were gradually merged by manmade facilities and reclamation. The "Heping Island Park," where we are now, is the original location of Zhongshan Zi Island. "An offshore island, yet a connected island" probably best sums up Heping Island. To come here to Heping Island from the crowded city, all you need to do is take a turn and cross a 70-meter bridge. Small alleys lined with low houses will greet your eyes, as if you've gone back 70 years in time. You will also find that those around you are slowing down their paces.

At first, there only lived the settlements of the aboriginal Basay people on the island. Spanish, arriving in 1626, was the first foreign people to come here, and they subsequently built the "Fort San Salvador." In 1668, the Dutch came and stayed for 23 years. Later in 1884, during the Sino-French War, the island was occupied yet again, by the French army for a few months. Then there came the Japanese rule. "Sheliao Island Temple" (社寮外島集善堂) enshrines Wan Shan Gong (萬善公) - in other words, it enshrines those who passed away here during the last 400 years and keeps their remains. People of various ethnicities were gathered here, carrying the stories of the past hundreds of years.

Guests who signed up for the "Deep Environmental Guided Tour" please line up at the yellow container house and collect your helmet, safety vest and wristband.

On Heping Island, where the Ryukyu people population once reached 500, there is the biggest Ryukyu fishing village in Taiwan. Among the Ryukyu people here, the most famous was Mr. Chouzou Uchima. The statue standing before us was built in his image. The Ryukyu people taught the locals how to collect gelidium and fish by diving, catch fish with a harpoon, as well as how to operate a canoe and to observe the tides and stars. Mr. Chouzou Uchima taught the locals every skill related to the ocean and was called the "sea god" with reverence by the Keelung fishermen. This statue was built in memory of the close ties between Taiwan and Ryukyu back then.

To your right, the Zigzag Bridge is the starting point of the rock conservation area. Only guests who signed up for the "Deep Enviromental Guided Tour" , is permitted entrance. As members of the rock protectors, we have a huge mission, that is, to promote the importance of geological conservation.
The following are the vows of the rock protectors, please be committed to them.
1. Be duly equipped, with safety vest, helmet, ID wristband and non-slip shoes.
2. The Alabao Bay (Alabawan)is a coastal area prone to rock falls. The terrain here is uneven and slippery. Please be careful and watch your steps. Do not stray away from the trail.
3. Please be kind to the environment and protect the rocks. Do not bring away any creatures or rocks.
4. When encountering others from the opposite side, please keep to the right to keep the path unblocked.
5. Please pay attention to the staff's whistle sounds and follow their guide.

Twenty-three million years ago, there were 10 animals on the island who fighted over the eternal precious stone – much competition and struggling ensued. Finally, the island chief Pharaoh decided to give the magic of the eternal precious stone to the 10 animals, and they eventually became the guardian rocks of Heping Island Park, safe-guarding the place day after day. Let's go find the 10 guardian rocks. Look up to the right, one of the 10 guardian rocks "King Kong" is right before your eyes. He is guarding the entrance to Alabao Bay to ensure the safety of the rock preservation area. Keep walking and you'll see the "Seal Rock" to your left, who has a pair of big ears and friendly eye. He is accompanying us on our exploratory journey.

Next, we see the marine eroded vertical rock cliff, on which we can see the most benevolent guardian rock "Pharaoh." The geological time of Heping Island Park dates back to the Talio formation of 23 million years ago. Now, let's calm our minds down. Imagine you're riding a time machine and you arrived here 23 million years back. Raise your head and open your eyes. Imagine you're 10 to 20 meters under the sea. Marine creatures such as tubeworms and crabs are moving around you, digging holes and foraging. Back then, this sea area was stable and rich in biodiversity. Many creatures inhabited this place.

This section is prone to rock falls. Please mind your steps and pass quickly. Do not pause to take pictures. Now we arrive back in the present time. Having been through tens of millions of years of diastrophism and marine erosion, this section has become a steep marine eroded cliff.

You probably have noticed that the rocks in Heping Island Park have layers. Take a closer look and you'll discover that each layer has their own color, like yellow, greenish grey and dark grey. These colorful rocks resembling mille crepe cake are called "sedimentary rocks."
However, geologists ascertain that the coastline of Keelung from Heping Island to Badouzi and Rueifang are part of Taliao formation. This layer of rock, pressed with sandrock and shale, was originally more than 10 meters below water as the sea floor. Due to crustal movement, the rock was pushed upwards and emerged from the sea surface, becoming the geological landscape unique to this stretch of coast.

One of the 10 guardian rocks "Crocodile Tears" is before you, lying and tearing. Have you noticed?
I see that you're all quite observant. Apart from the huge Crocodile Tears, have you noticed that on the rocks on both sides, there are long and strange looking things that look like straws? Can anyone guess what they are? Indeed, they are the "trace fossils of tubeworms". This type of fossil does not come from an organism's parts. Rather, they are marks left by prehistoric life – in this case the tubeworms' – such as crawling marks, trailing marks and holes they dug.

Pharaoh once saved the young black kite who was hurt. Since then, the black kite has been loyal to Pharaoh and become the magical "Black Kite" on Heping Island Park. Seeing this hook-beaked bird is poised to take flight, don't you just want to take pictures of this handsome creature?

In front of us, we can see many mushroom-shaped rocks, aka the pedestal rocks. As time goes by, they evolve in four phases – the thick-necked phase, when they resemble king oyster mushrooms; the thin-necked phase, when they resemble white beech mushroom; the neck-less phase, when you only see what look like mushroom stems; and finally the head-less phase, when the stones look like submerged truffles.
Overtime, mushroom rocks(pedestal rocks) typically go through the neck-less, thick-necked, thin-necked and head-less phases. Finally due to wreathing, they will become soil, nurturing vegetation and everything else that relies on it. Indeed, these rocks are like living beings. That said, do you think rocks are really alive? I'll leave that open for you to think about.

This section is prone to rock falls. Please mind your steps and pass quickly. Do not pause to take pictures. This area is often submerged in sea water and has lots of algae. Mind the slippery ground.
The bottom of the sea cliff where it meets the water is affected by strong erosion of sea waves, and thus tends to have sea notches in it. Therefore, it is usually possible to infer the changes in sea levels over past different periods of time by observing the sea notches. The notches indicate the water's rises and falls. When erosion continues, the notches will become deeper and form caves.

The most mysterious rock guardian among the 10 is this one – the "Leopard," who only shows itself during low-tide and when there are no strong waves. It is coming onshore. Do you seen it?
In the Amis language, Alabao means a foggy place where one tends to get lost. In the 1950s, a lot of Amis people began moving out onto Heping Island. Their chiefs used to warn the tribespeople that they should not lose themselves on foreign lands and forget where they came from. They should always remind themselves that they are the Amis people and Alabao means home.

Alabao bay was once selected as one of the "The 21 Most Beautiful Destinations to Watch Sunrise in the World." Here in spring, the view is like a painting, with the bean curd rocks bearing green algae. Bean curd rocks consist of two sets of intersecting joints. Due to marine erosion, the rocks are cut into squares, resembling tofu - hence the name, bean curd rock(tofu rocks).

To your right, you can see a natural marine cave, with a width of more than 20 meters. Legend has it that while Zheng Chenggong was fighting the Dutch, this cave was the Dutch's only base left. On the walls of the Dutch Cave, there were written Old Dutch. Since the Dutch Cave is close to the sea and often blown by strong winds, the Old Dutch words have mostly become blurred and indecipherable. Only the cave itself and some pictures remain for us to imagine the stories and what it was like back then. This cave is an invaluable historical site of Taiwan.

Have you noticed the lines on the rocks to your right? In geological terms, they are called "joints." Simply put, they are the cracks that appeared when rocks were pressured. And so nature has continued its work and eroded these cracks, eventually creating sea groves and these strange looking rocks. During Japanese rule, when the Japanese saw that the rock joints crossed approximately in right angles and that their sizes were that of Japanese flooring mat Tatami (畳Tieh), appearing like a chequered platform, they called the rocks One-thousand-fold tatamis.

This pavilion has a beautiful name – "Den-Yu Pavilion (Scenic Pavilion)." Yu refers to the Keelung Island you see over there. For generations, the island has played the role of Keelung Harbor's barrier, thus earning itself the title of Keelung Harbor's guardian rock.
Interestingly, while most rocks on Heping Island are sedimentary rocks, the terrains of Keelung Island over in the distance are mostly formed by igneous rocks. Underwater between Heping Island and Keelung Island, the ground once rose quickly and formed a "sea sill". Its tallest part is only 5 meters away from sea surface. To its east and west, the water is between 40 to 60 meters deep. The drastic decrease in the water's depth accelerates the tidal currents. That's why you can see jumping waves above the sea sill. And it feels like the sea is divided into two - clam on one side without waves, and festive on the other. You can see this spectacle more clearly about two times a day when there is spring tide.

Sea Hare has a pair of cute rhinophore. In spring, they often appear in groups on Heping Island Park. One particularly giant "Sea Hare" is before you. It is eyeing his favorite food algae. Have you seen it?

The most steadfast of the ten guardian rocks is the "Sphinx", which is right before you. It turns out we don't need to go to Egypt to see a sphinx. Taiwan already has one naturally formed one!
Can you tell me what color did you first see in this rock? There are yellow, grey and black. The colors indicate different rock formation and texture. The mushroom-shaped pedestal rocks before you have a black head, yet a yellowish grey neck. The head part is made of sandrock that contains calcium, while the neck part consists of just sandrock. So, the head part is better at resisting erosion. Due to the nature's tendency to "bully the soft", the resulting differential erosion creates a spectacle on the yellow sheet of sand rock, on which dark brown mushroom caps stick out. The abrasion platform before you has around two hundred mushroom rocks(pedestal rocks) on it. From afar, they resemble human heads and look like there are up to ten thousand of them, hence nicknamed "the pile of ten-thousand-people"

In order that little children can also get close to the ocean and eco-system when they visit the park, the Kiddie Pool here is designed to be only 60 cm deep. Children can swim happily with young fish! Since the sea waves can't reach the pool, children can observe marine life in a safe environment. There is also a lifeguard stand beside the pool, so parents can rest assured to swim with their children.

In this Angel To The Sea Marina, the best spot for photo shooting in our park.Standing right here and face to the sea,there is Yehliu Headland just like lying mummy on your left hand side.And Bitou Cape is on the right.Facing the East China Sea and feel the atmosphere of Angels walking towards the sea.Snap a photo and share to your friends!

The Blue Ocean Pool is one of the most popular sites on Heping Island Park. Swimming here in the clear blue water, you can often see marine creatures such as tropical fish and swimming crabs around you. It's quite fun indeed. Besides the pool, there is a lifeguard station. There are also professional safety personnel around to ensure the safety of visitors at the Blue Ocean Pool.

In the past, there wasn't actually a beach on Heping Island! To let children to play with water and also to play with sand and build castles, the "Summer Stay Beach" was built. The beach is clean and made of soft sand. Apart from being a suitable place for children to play sand in, it's also ideal for a sun-bathing session!
On the "Summer Stay Beach" there are three pieces of small bamboo plaited land art called "The Three Little Northern Island." Here, driftwood is used to create a coastal feel. The plaited bamboo sheets have been carefully handcrafted by Taitung's craftsman A-Sui and his colleagues.
Here, we hope to replace unrecyclable artificial materials with natural ones, providing comfort to every guest while helping to protect our beautiful land.

In 1626, the Spanish occupied Kelang Island (now Heping Island) and built Fort San Salvador on its south-west tip. Now, around four hundred years later, the original fort is nowhere to be seen. But there is the visitor center inspired by the Fort San Salvador, showing the image of the only castle in Keelung back then.

We are arriving at the part of Heping Island Park that was off-limit in the past. This area used to be a military control zone. The ground in front of the sentry booth is still painted the word "inspection", where soldiers used to stop people for inspection. Further up to the left, there is a little stone tab on the grass. It was set for the military dog kept here back then. We can still see its name and rank clearly inscribed on the stone.

Climbing 101 colorful steps and you’ll arrive at a mysterious place that few know about!
The old radar station has been refurnished to become the radar station cafe now, at the highest point of Heping Island Park. You can see how the designer played with the colors with the building’s outer walls. You’ll notice the camouflage patterns are cleverly integrated everywhere. Besides various drinks, you can also have a nice afternoon tea here. There is an outdoor space and an observatory platform. Actually, many photographers love to come here to take pictures!
Don’t miss out on the terrace above. You have a great 270-degree angle view here to take in the boundless ocean. You can see the Keelung Islet 3.3 km away. Hidden here is also the “Mudskipper” the guardian rock. Its popping eyes are wide open it is and merrily swimming offshore.

The first floor of Fort San Salvador provides diverse tourist services. The Visitor Center provides information services, has a breast-feeding room, bathrooms, shower-rooms as well as a Muslim prayer room. When you come to Heping Island Park, don’t forget to bring back some souvenirs for your good friends.

Inside “Landscape Restaurant,” the walls are painted a low-key and calming blue. It makes one relax upon entering. Eating the chief’s special Fishermen Rice and fried snacks while watching the spectacular ocean view is a great pleasure.
In the environmental education classroom, you can participant in interesting activities designed to teach information about Heping Island. Come here to learn how to observe the tides, learn about
elderly fisherwomen’s daily life and learn how to consume fish in a more environmentally friendly way. Please visit the Heping Island Park official website for more events.

The elegant “Love Pin Bar & Wedding Venue" uses coffee beans baked by the winner of World Barista Championship Berg Wu. Every cup of pour-over single origin coffee is packed with flavors. It also goes well with the “Intertidal Cheese Cake,” which uses the seaweed from Keelung’s intertidal zone. Moreover, you can also order a glass of 100% pure wheat draft beer. Mellow and aromatic, it also comes in different flavors.
On the right side of the platform, you will see the cute “Wild Boar”with its long ears standing and round eyes glittering. It is looking at us. Let's go and take a picture with him.

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