go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Introducing Meinong

In 1736 the intrepid Lin brothers led the first Hakka immigrants to settle the plains of Meinong (Měinóng). While the Hakka make up about 14% of the population of Taiwan, in Meinong the percentage today is around 95%. Hardworking people who value higher education, the Hakka of Meinong can count a disproportionate number of PhDs (and in the past, imperial scholars) among their population.

Thoroughly rural in character, and once the centre of a well-protected tobacco industry, Meinong was hit hard by Taiwan's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2002. With the monopoly system abolished, the town began to refashion itself into a country retreat. Hakka culture, historic sites and butterfly-watching became the cornerstones of the new economy.

Winter is a great time to visit, as the weather is perfect – warm and dry – and tourists are few. Summer is the season of the yellow butterflies and in the valleys to the northeast they swarm in the hundreds of thousands.