27 October 2017

Harvesting salt in Tainan

Never post with more attractions in Beimen: HERE

We came to Tainan to see the Jingzijiao Wapan Salt Fields (井仔腳瓦盤鹽田). It's the oldest manual salt production in Taiwan with 200 year tradition.

It's a famous spot for photographers, especially those trying to capture sunset. I have seen a few and tried to learn something from the way they take pictures. Despite the cold weather, many people come here. 
The place is open for visitors all the time and totally free. If you don't go very late you can also see about 3 workers there. 

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan

Residents in Taiwan’s coastal areas obtained salt before the production period. Mainly they boiled seawater to take salt directly, or to trade with merchants from mainland China. In 1648 the Dutch East India Company imported 20 pieces of crushed stone needed to build a salt granule (crystallized pool) from mainland China. They opened up the salt mine, but salt produced here was bitter and couldn't be sold. Therefore, until the end of Dutch rule, the salt required by Taiwan was imported from mainland China, except for local residents who cooked their own sea salt.
In June 1895, Japan began to rule Taiwan. In July of that year, the monopoly system was abolished. However, because this change was too sudden, the original salt sales network in Taiwan was instantly disintegrated. Salt produced here couldn't be sold smoothly, and most of the salt farmers switched jobs to sun-drying fields. At that time, the area of ​​salt fields was reduced from 640 to the remaining 203.
During the World War I, with the development of Japanese industry, the demand for industrial salt increased. Taiwan Governor’s Monopoly Bureau decided to build a new salt industry in Taiwan, and was established in 1919. "Taiwan Salt Co., Ltd." was responsible for the production of salt, while Dainippon Salt Co., Ltd. was responsible for the export of salt to Japan.

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan

Originally the salt fields was located in Fengshan but moved twice due to flooding. It hasn't been replaced since establish in North of Tainan in 1818 by salt farmers. It used to be called Yongdong Field. The site was a desert till 1952 when the area was redesign and became central-style tiled-paved salt field.
There is also another famous place to visit - salt mountain. You can even climb on the top of salt hill, but the entrance isn't free. 

Salt fields was very popular before but due to high costs many places was closed in 2002. Many salt fields also became abandoned. 
The management office of Yunjianan Binhai National Scenic Area made a lot of effort to attract tourists to this area. They wanted people to experience the tradition of salt making and salt picking.

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan

Salt is made by drawing seawater into salt pans and evaporating it in the sun for 3-5 days. 
Those salt fields are made by manually laying broken debris of pottery and tiles onto the crystallizing pond. This way resulted in purer and clearer salt being mined. 
The tiles absorb the heat fast so making salt can be quicker in tile-paved salt fields. 
The process of making salt in sand-paved salt fields is slower but can produce more salt for lower cost. 

Staying there you can also see few people working and learn more about this culture.
Also you can find few shops there, some selling different salt as well as traditional food. 
You can also climb on viewing towel to see this place from a higher level.

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan amwf couple taiwan

Little salt hills with water around and reflection of the sunset are really breathtaking. This place became an unique landscape. 
Kids can also play there, just like playing with snow. There are two salt fields where they can freely go.

jingzijiao wapan salt fields Tainan taiwan

Jingzijiao Wapan Salt Fields, No. 64永華里 Beimen District, Tainan City, 727


  1. You got some great shots of it! I still need to go here someday :)

    1. Thank you :) And I really like your blog and photography, it's great!