It’s easy to miss the beauty of nature when you’re busy checking out other more popular tourist attractions in Tainan. Often ignored and left unexplored, the ecosystem in Tainan is one of the best reasons why the city perfectly fits the phrase “nature meets culture”. And unknown to many, Tainan is home to some of the best mangrove reserves in the country.
Most of the mangroves in Tainan are found along the coastal region, the ideal habitat for mangroves. And like all species of mangroves in Taiwan, mangrove species in Tainan are all endangered. Mangroves are tropical and subtropical trees and shrubs that grow in wetlands, terrestrial and along tidal shores.
There are two kinds of mangroves: the true mangrove and the minor mangrove. True mangroves grow along the tidal shores and its seeds germinate into seedlings and breathing roots. Minor mangroves on the other hand are mangroves that live on terrestrial land as well as along tidal shores.
In Tainan, several mangrove reserves can be found in the secluded rural areas and often are only possible to see by joining specialized tours of private agencies. Indeed, the local government still has a lot of things to do to achieve the level of ecotourism it hopes to achieve in the city. But that shouldn’t stop you from seeing the heart of the city and trekking on the road less traveled.
Some of the most beautiful mangrove observation areas in Tainan include the Shuangchun Coastal Ecology Park, Tainan Technology Industrial Park, Cigu Lagoon, Sihcao Wetland Ecology (Sihcao Mangrove), Taijiang National Park, Black-faced Spoonbill Conservation Area and many others.
A trip to one of these mangrove parks provides not just an opportunity to commune with nature, but also to observe and watch the birds, tidal crabs, mudskippers and other rare kinds of birds that use mangroves as a migration stop site.
Mangroves provide a great shelter for many creatures because they affect the ecological environment in a positive way. Mangroves improve water quality, conserve the soil and make the water a rich environment for fishes.
That is why the local government continues to preserve and restore mangroves in the area: because they ultimately help in the preservation of the bio-diverse ecological environment of Tainan. Mangroves are the most natural ecosystem along the coast of Tainan and the government helps in protecting this environment by artificially planting them.
If you go on a specialized tour of the rural areas of Tainan, you will be able to see not only this rich environment but also the rural sceneries of Tainan. You will experience nature like it’s supposed to be experienced. Bask in the smell of the earth and take solace from the beauty of the surroundings. Your experience of Tainan shouldn’t be limited to cultural and historical sight-seeing.
So leave your gadgets behind, try back-packing even for just one short day and get yourself a seat in the many mangrove reserves tour in the city. Holidays, after all, are about charging your mental batteries and giving yourself a break from the worries of your daily life.