Exploring central Guanshan: Police history plus box lunch
By Cheryl Robbins
Guanshan Town, located in southeastern Taiwan's Taitung County has some great attractions including a water park, picturesque bikeway and pastoral landscapes. But, what if you have some time before your train departs from Guanshan station? Or, what if you just want to explore the center of Guanshan? What is there to do?
It turns out that the town center is not only convenient with many shops and eateries, but also has its charms. What follows are two examples:
Guanshan Police Historical Museum
Behind the current Guanshan Police Station is a small community that was originally built in the 1930s, during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan (1895-1945), and consisted of wooden Japanese-style buildings. Some of these buildings still exist, but some were torn down in 1979 in the name of progress, and replaced with brick and concrete structures. A path, so narrow that only one person can fit, was created between the more modern and the remaining historical buildings, resulting in a unique "time corridor".
Following this time corridor, you will come to a compact, attractive garden, complete with pond. In this garden stands a wooden building that originally served as a martial arts training center for Japanese occupation era police officers. It was transformed into a museum in 2005. A porch-like area offers shade and a quiet spot from which to view the garden.
As this is a working police station, most of the staff is dedicated to law enforcement, meaning that they are not available to keep the museum open for long periods of time. Those interested in seeing the museum should take note of the hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Groups can reserve other times.
This wooden structure has been well preserved. Inside, artifacts include those related to the history of this building and the police. They include uniforms, motorcycles, metal signs with formerly used police logos, firearms, samurai knives, riot gear, antique telephones and switchboard and old photographs. Visitors can even turn the handle of an old air raid siren which is still in working condition. Tel:089-811001
Guanshan Box Lunch
One of the reasons that tourists come to Guanshan is to admire its scenic landscapes of rice paddies. Close to harvest time, these paddies are at their most beautiful, filled with golden rice spikes. Some of Taiwan's best quality rice is grown in this town. Moreover, Taiwan has long had a box lunch culture. Combining the two, we have Guanshan Box Lunch, an eatery that has been in business since 1970. It is located next to the Guanshan Train Station. Although from the outside, it appears nondescript, inside you can order very tasty box meals to go and enjoy on your train trip. There are also tables available, if you prefer to eat in. These box meals feature Guanshan rice, stir-fried vegetables and a meat entree of pork (roasted, deep fried cutlet or braised), fish or chicken, available for just NT$75 to NT$90. Soup is available free of charge, as is the homemade chili sauce. Tel: 089-811-246