:::   Home Three Treasures of Hengchun that Grow in the Howling Wind: Onion, Sisal Hemp, and Gangkou Tea Three Treasures of Hengchun that Grow in the Howling Wind: Onion, Sisal Hemp, and Gangkou Tea
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Three Treasures of Hengchun that Grow in the Howling Wind: Onion, Sisal Hemp, and Gangkou Tea

2021/04/28
Located at the southernmost point of Taiwan, the Hengchun Peninsula is located in the tropical climate zone where it experiences warm weather all year round, with normally only two seasons, a dry season and a wet season. Every year from October to April when the northeast monsoon blows, the strong howling wind across the mountain over the Hengchun Peninsula affects the region’s natural landscapes as well as human and social development. Onions, sisal hemp, and Gangkou tea, which have adapted to the weather, have become the three treasures of the Hengchun Peninsula due to their economic value.
 
Sisal hemp in The Sisal Industry Historical Monument

Onions were introduced to Taiwan in 1912, and the successful cultivation of onions on the Hengchun Peninsula began in 1945. The howling wind that blows away insect pests and humid fog makes this place the best environment to grow onions. The strong wind also prevents foliage growth so that the onion bulb gets the most nutrients for a more pungent flavor and sweeter taste. Onions are an important economic crop of the Hengchun Peninsula. March and April is the onion harvest time; every year in those months you can see yellow-brown onions everywhere in Hengchun, Checheng, and Fenggang. Don’t miss the best season to try the authentic local onion-flavored dishes.

Sisal hemp was introduced to Taiwan from Mexico in 1901, and it adapted to the dry and barren lands. Sisal hemp which grows in the howling wind has stronger natural fibers which don’t absorb moisture easily, making it the best material for making ropes used on sailing boats in earlier days. From 1945 to 1965, Hengchun Peninsula became an industrial town of hemp production that reached 200 tons a month and brought a great amount of foreign exchange to the local communities. That’s how the common proverb started, “Sisal hemp fibers build houses.” Not until nylon was introduced to the market did hemp production decline. The history of the hemp industry is on display in the History of Sisal Hemp Industry Exhibition Center. 

Sisal hemp was also introduced during the Japanese occupation period, as the most suitable fiber plant for the local climate and soil.   Take part in a sisal hemp weaving DIY class
 
Gangkou Tea won its name from the major production area, Gangkou Village, Manzhou Township in Pingtung County. The seeds from four different species, Qingxin Oolong, green tea, Hongsinwei, and Xueli, are cultivated. They are the teas  growing at the southernmost end of Taiwan as well as on the land at the lowest altitude. Due to the howling wind and sea wind, there is less fog and rain as well as much sun exposure. Gangkou therefore features a strong taste and durable brews. Take a trip to Gangkou Community to harvest tea leaves or try some tea drinks; you Take a trip to Gangkou Community to harvest tea leaves or try some tea drinks; you may taste the tea made from the tea leaves you picked, withered, and kneaded yourself. Enjoy the tea with friends and family in the sea breeze. The tea leaves can be re-brewed 6 to 7 times, but each brewing time should be less than 1 minute to keep the flavor sweet and to avoid bitterness or astringency.

Gangkou tea is the lowest-altitude tea variety in Taiwan.   Gangkou tea

History of Sisal Hemp Industry Exhibition Center
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 4:50 pm, Monday to Friday
Telephone: 886-8-886-6520
Ticket fare: free entry

Gangkou Community Ecological Tour
Community telephone: 886-963-522-868
Contact email: gangkou0815@gmail.com
Official website: https://kko.uukt.com.tw/