Hutoushan Park with a view 苗栗市的虎頭山
Today we're going to a park with a view in Taiwan. It's a park that commemorates the Russo- Japanese war in 1904 and is called Hutoushan Park.
台灣苗栗市的虎頭山在1904年的日俄戰爭中扮演重要的角色。 因此在公園裏建了一個紀念碑。 除了有紀念價值外，虎頭山上有一望無際的360度景色。 西面能眺望海岸線和通霄發電廠。雖然工業味較重，但這是現實生活中不能缺少的建設。 虎頭山公園有三層。從樓梯往上到最高一層會見到紀念碑，而三方都種了矮小樹木，能遮擋山腳下通霄市。 在這裏直望藍天白雲很有大地在我腳下的感覺。
THE TLTR VERSION
You may think its kind of odd, what's Taiwan's role in a war between Russia and Japan? The TLTR version of this, is that at the turn of the century, Taiwan was a Japanese colony. The Japanese army had a outlook post at the top of Huotao mountain on the west coast of Taiwan looking out to the China Sea. One day, the soldiers at the outpost noticed a Russo Baltic battleship passing through. The Japanese soldiers immediately informed their commanding officers, and it is believed that this piece of intelligence helped the Japanese to win the war. After the war, the Japanese erected a memorial at this spot to recognise Taiwan's contribution to the war.
HUTOUSHAN PARK 360 DEGREES
Huotaoshan means tiger head mountain in Chinese, but it's not clear exactly why this location is so called. In fact, there are quite a few places called houtao around Taiwan. If you ever come here, make sure you come to the one at Tongxiao, Miaoli County. You will know if you're at the wrong place if you don't see this beautiful entrance.
The memorial park is located at less than 100m high, not very high for a mountain, especially in Taiwan. However it offers a fantastic and contrasting 360 degree view. The Tongxiao Power Plant and its 122m tall chimneys faces the west side along the coastline. You can't see it very well as I didn't bring my DSL camera with me that day, but the chimneys are painted with cartoon charactes. I thinks its a good idea to lessen the industrial impact of it.
Turning 180 degrees is the clear blue sky and a range of low mountains in the background. I was very lucky on this day as the weather was fantastic. The blue, white, green and yellow painting was something that I wouldn't mind hanging on my living room wall. If you step a bit further out towards the shrubs, Tongxiao town is below. It isn't that interesting, maybe that's why they've grown the low shrubs, both to stop people from walking too far out and to shield the urban view.
The park has three levels. The top level is where the memorial is erected, and offers the best view all around. The next level down is is a seating area, great to just chill out or have a picnic if its not too sunny. And the final level, which you can see in the black and white photo above faces the industrial side of Tongxioa town and the sea.
Hutoushan Park offers a great view of the sunset. The last time I came here, I arrived at around 3.30pm and it was really hot. That day I didn't want to hang around for another two hours for the sunset. This time, I was with friends, and we had plans for the rest of the day so we left before the sunset. Looks like I will need to come back for a third time.
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