Tianliao Moon World – Imagine Yourself Being Transported to The Moon
June 01, 2018
Tianliao boasts Taiwan’s largest concentration of active badlands and mud volcanoes, with its primitive yet beautifully forlorn landscape offering geology lessons in a 100% natural setting – its craggy, mercilessly barren terrain gives rise to a livestock-dominated economy, gourmet foods and other specialties, as well as a lakeside trail that meanders through tracts of land oddly reminiscent of the lunar surface where I felt as though I was being whisked away to the moon!
Tianliao Moon World is a swath of geologically distinctive badlands that resulted from crustal rejuvenation, a long-term process that saw heavy rains and raging rivers wash away the sand and then deposit it on mudstones. Diastrophism, along with weathering and sedimentary mechanisms, transformed the sand-mudstone mixture into what we see today – tracts of land sustaining no plant life except shallow-rooted, drought-and-salt-tolerant or maritime species.
Before exploring the moon world, drop by the mudstone interpretive centre (tourist centre) located at the entrance of the scenic area where you’ll learn more about this unusual phenomenon through a collection of mudstone specimens and images. Look forward to seeing:
• the sawtooth ridge: a mountain ridge protruding at an acute angle like the sawtooth
• the v-shaped valley: a long depression in the land surface, with a v-shaped cross section
• the grotto: a terrific diving spot formed when a ravine’s loosely structured muddy deposits get washed away, leaving behind a tunnel-like hollow with partially collapsed roof
• the mudflow: a small alluvial fan formed by mud washed down the ravine
• the earth fingers: finger-like protrusions that are gravel-covered dirt residues left behind by rain
Besides admiring the unique geological formations, you can follow the lakeside trail which brings you to the Jade Pond, Moon Pond, “Ladder to Heaven”, “Crescent Viewing Deck” and various other slopes and valleys. Strolling along this trail gave me an illusion of traversing the bleak lunar surface! You should definitely include the Tianliao Moon World in your itinerary when you visit Kaohsiung.
Tianliao Moon World
Address: No. 34-1 Yueciou Road, Tianliao District, Kaohsiung City 823
Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm daily