PHOTO STORY: Taiwan's Oldest Salt Field

PHOTO STORY: Taiwan's Oldest Salt Field
Photo Credit: Olivia Yang/ The News Lens
What you need to know

Salt fields ran along the shoreline of southern Taiwan for more than 300 years, before they were abandoned in 2002.

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Tainan, in southern Taiwan, was for centuries the most important area for producing salt on the island-nation. Salt fields ran along the shoreline of the city for more than 300 years but they were abandoned in 2002 as the cost of imported salt became cheaper than making it locally.

Jingzaijiao Tile-Paved Salt Field (井仔腳瓦盤鹽田) is the oldest remaining salt field in Taiwan. The over 180-year-old field is now a tourist attraction where visitors learn about and experience salt-making.

Built during the Qing Dynasty in 1818, the Jingzaijiao Tile-Paved Salt Field was formerly known as the Laidong Salt Field. The site was later obtained by Taiwan Salt Company and was redesigned in 1952 to become the only central-style tile-paved salt field in Taiwan.

Pieces of broken pottery and tiles are laid manually onto the crystallizing ponds of the fields, which results in purer salt mined. The tiles absorb heat, which speeds up the salt-making process.

Taiwan's tile-paved salt fields were eventually replaced with sand-paved fields, which could produce larger quantities at lower costs.

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Editor: Edward White