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Dalin Township is located in Chiayi county, Taiwan, with 64.17 square kilometers. It has population of 31,917 up to August, 2015. Geographically, Dalin is important for the transportation in the south-west part of Taiwan. Two Superhighways (No,1 and No.3) parallel go through Dalin, and a major Provincial Highway with heavy traffic crosses the town. Taiwan Railway, with a modern Train Station becomes a landmark of Dalin.
Dalin was formerly known as "Dapulin" since the Qing Dynasty (the last Chinese dynasty). The Chinese emperor Kangxi (1654-1772 A.D) has reclaimed the area according to the record of Chinese history. The first man who came here was named “Xuei”. Xuei was Cantonese, he combined the name of his hometown and the forest he saw, and chose “Dapulin” for this region. Afterwards, many Han people from mainland China immigrated here and worked in the forest. Most of them were from the south part of China- Canton and Fujian. The dialect commonly used was “Minnan”. During the Japanese Colonization Period (1895-1945 A.D), a sugar cane factory was set up at Dalin. It brought prosperity for the town.
Dalin is an agricultural town, with abundant produce such as rice, bamboo, orange, pineapple, and orchid. Dalin is one of the largest suppliers of Taiwan Phalaenopsis in Europe. Buyers from Netherlands come visit several times a year. Dalin is suitable for plant growing because of fertile soil and abundant water supply. There are around2,600 hectares of farmland at Dalin, which produces roughly12,000 tons of food every year. Recently the township cooperates with Nanhua University, located at Dalin and is one of the only two universities in Chiayi county, to promote local, non-toxic healthy produce.
Dalin is a green town, and has won twice the prizeof “the High-Quality Environmental Demonstration Area” from the Environmental Protection Administration in the past years. Dalin has several green parks in the town. One is Dalin Sports Park, which includes the athletic field, basketball ground, and kid’s play ground.The other one is “Minghua Wetland Park”, where birds shared the goodtime with human beings. The third one is “the Sports Green Land”, which was built based on a wasteland environment, combined with nature wind and sunshine. In 2014, Dalin was picked as one of the top 3 “the Most Friendly Township” in Taiwan.
Culture and Arts
Life in Dalin is simple and traditional. Since “Beishi Chiayi Cultural Development Association” was established, the “Beishi Folks Journal” is published every season about the culture and art activities in Dalin. Dalin is also an ecological hotspot since Rhacophorus arvalis, a rare tree frog species, has been reported. A romantic trip within Dalin can be arranged by local volunteers. They guide the tourists to know the history, culture, art and ecology of Dalin free of charge. Ancient “Dalin Wan-kuo Theater” was once a center of entertainment for the residents. But it was forced to close down because the film industry was no more glorious and people don’t go to theater any more. With the support of the Ministry of Culture, the theater is reopened and a lot of good old memory comes back. The facelift of the new cinema will definitely be the spotlight of local entertainment not only for the old people but also for the younger generation as well.
Locally Sourced Veggie Dishes
Dalin is nestled on the Jianan Plain, which is the largest in Taiwan, and a national breadbasket. That explains why the Dalin cuisine is sourced either locally or from neighboring areas with a peerless penchant for carbon footprint reduction. Among the sublime Dalin specialties are jiu-ceng-chui (nine-layered steamed rice cakes; Yihe Community), century-eggs and salted duck eggs (Minghua Community) and a natural, gardenia-based yellow dye (Shanglin Community).
The Found-in-Nature Cookies
The fertile Dalin soil has resulted in a vibrant agricultural scene. Using a vacuum-drying process, Dalin farmers preserve, without the addition of any harmful chemicals, the colors, fragrance and mineral content of seasonal vegetables and fruits to create “natural cookies” that are patented in various countries and exported to the Western world.
Representatives of Cittaslow
Contact: Chen chien hung