Discover Taitung> Taitung Times >2021 Vol 05 Taitung Times
Taitung Times Vol.05.2021 - time for taitung
Reimagining Taitung’s Past
Reimagining Taitung’s PastA drive down highway 11 isn’t complete without stopping by Baxian Caves of Changbin. At first glance, Baixian Caves looks like your average beachside park. But, just beyond the surface, visitors can uncover a rich part of Taiwanese history.	Baixian Caves have gone through many different iterations over the years. In 1968, when a geologist went to do research on the caves, he found that Taiwanese people practicing folk religion had been living there since Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). These religious practitioners had filled up the caves with altars, urns and Buddhist iconography. Up until 2017, devout practitioners lived in the caves with modern cooking and sleeping facilities.   	The geologist from the 60s discovered 17 different caves with the remains of ancient stone tools. Subsequently, a team of archeologists went down for a proper excavation and found evidence of Taiwan’s earliest human settlement. This evidence supports the theory that people walked over on a frozen Taiwan Strait from China during the Ice Age around 30,000 years ago. These Paleolithic hunter-gatherers lived in small nomadic bands. Their most advanced technology was smashing rocks together to create sharp stone fragments. They used these stone bits to sharpen bones. These bone tools helped them do everything from hunting to making clothes.Baxian Caves is home to an important part of Taiwanese history. Therefore, the Central Government turned the caves into a national heritage site in 2006. Part of the reason was to revert the caves back to its natural state. The Taitung County Government spent 6 six years, from 2011 to 2017, clearing the caves of all religious iconography. Recently, the caves have been closed for further renovation. 30 caves have been discovered in total, but the paths to them have been worn damaged by typhoons and earthquakes. However, on April 30, the largest cave reopened to the public. Over the next few years, the County Government will gradually make repairs so that visitors can safely access the other caves. Without the former religious objects, people can visit the Baxian Caves and imagine how our forebearers lived before the advent of just about everything.
Pacavalj Fabric Workshop
Pacavalj Fabric Workshop

Pacavalj Fabric Workshop is located in Daniao (Pacavalj) village, Dawu Township, Taitung. Dawu Township is an idyllic and peaceful place mainly composed of the Paiwan ethnic group. Unfortunately, Dawu was severely hit by Typhoon Morakot in 2009. The storm caused severe flooding, wiped out infrastructure and resulted in several deaths. 
Rebuilding the tribe’s damaged buildings was just the beginning. The most pressing issue was how to revitalize the culture and economy after the storm hit. As a result of this disaster, the Paiwan people began to pay attention to the problems and development of the tribe as a whole. 
With the assistance of World Vision Taiwan, Pacavalj Fabric Workshop was established the year following Typhoon Morakot. The workshop created job opportunities for local women. Now, the women of Dawu can work in their hometown and still have time to take care of their families. 
Pacavalj Fabric Workshop’s design ideas come from the retro style betel nut bags. This concept has been applied to cosmetic bags, tote bags, backpacks, and other useful products. All of their pieces combine Paiwan traditional imagery and embroidery with modern styles. Pacavalj Fabric Workshop is not only a cultural business that showcases indigenous pride, but also a platform for both learning and marketing. 
It’s not easy for tribal women to strike a balance between work and family. The workshop manager said that her team was made to take care of each other. Moreover, they shouldn’t criticize one another when someone has family problems, but rather provide companionship and care. Therefore, the Pacavalj Fabric Workshop is a place to work but more importantly, it’s a place for women to grow and become the best version of themselves. Pacavalj Fabric Workshop has seen hard times. However, thanks to the persistence and dedication of Dawu’s women, it has gained the support of the local men. The whole community now backs Pacavalj Fabric Workshop and has developed into a cultural and creative hub of the Paiwan people.
Rise to the Challenge
Rise to the Challenge
Taitung’s clean air, mild weather, amazing scenery make it a paradise for hosting triathlons. Therefore, thousands of athletes visit Taitung every April to compete in two events, the Puyuma and Challenge Taiwan. Athletes from abroad are particularly fond of these races because of the friendly people, especially the bilingual reception teams that make them feel right at home. 
The weekend-long event kicks off with a 226km and 113km race. The 226km race, sometimes called an Iron Man, requires contestants to first swim 3.8km, cycle 180km and finally run a full marathon (42km). On Sunday, contestants can participate in a shorter, but faster 51.5km Olympic length triathlon. 
For those doing the 226km race, contestants first swim two laps around Flowing Lake. The clear blue water is a pleasant temperature and big enough to accommodate thousands of swimmers at once.
Afterwards, racers cycle two rounds from Taitung City, past Chenggong and then back. Even though it’s long, Highway 11 has plenty of space, relatively few cars, and some of the best ocean views in Taiwan.  
Finally, everyone throws on their shoes and runs along the tree-lined Mahengheng Boulevard. Even though the running portion is close to Taitung City, contestants still enjoy clean air that’s virtually free of PM 2.5.
The 226km race starts at 6 am and ends at 11:30 pm, however, most contestants finish in 10-14 hours. Luckily, the racers have company. The area around Flowing Lake is quite festive during the day, as the contestant’s families and friends come out to cheer everyone on. 
Everyone appreciates all the hard work these athletes put in before the race. For those that just want to finish, contestants will average two hours of training a day for 6 months to a year. However, the elite 5% of contestants will train from four to eight hours a day.
	At night, there’s a banquet for all participants. During the Puyuma, awards are given to the top contestants. This is the organizers way of thanking the contestants for inspiring everyone in Taitung to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Upcoming Events
・Sanxiantai Night Tour
・Xiaoyeliu Night Tour
・2021 King Kong Marathon
・Green Island Endurance Swimming Challenge
・2021 Chishang Bamboo Raft Festival
・2021 4th Flowing Lake Endurance Swimming Festival
・2021 Starry Taitung Night Concert- Baxian Caves, Changbin Township

・2021 Starry Taitung Night Concert- Bunun Cultural Museum, Haiduan Township 
・Taiwan International Balloon Festival

* PLEASE NOTE: Event dates are subject to change or cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please also refer to the websites of specific events for more information