Miaoli County

Miaoli County (Mandarin Pīnyīn: Miáolì Xiàn; Hakka PFS: Mèu-li̍t-yen; Hokkien POJ: Biâu-le̍k-koān or Miâu-le̍k-koān) is a county in western Taiwan. Miaoli is adjacent with Hsinchu County and Hsinchu City to the north, Taichung to the south, and borders the Taiwan Strait to the west. The Council for Economic Planning and Development of Taiwan classifies Miaoli as a county of Central Taiwan, while the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau classifies Miaoli as a county of the North. Miaoli City is the capital of the county, and is also known as "Mountain Town", owing to the number of mountains nearby, making it a destination for hiking.

Miaoli County

苗栗縣
Top:A night view of Tongluo, Second left:Lonteng Ancient Bridge, Second right:Liyu Reserve Lake, Third left :Chunhsiang Strawberry Farm Park, Third right:Hakka Cultural Park, Bottom left: Osmamthus Street in Nanchuang, Bottom right:Mount Huoyen
Top:A night view of Tongluo, Second left:Lonteng Ancient Bridge, Second right:Liyu Reserve Lake, Third left :Chunhsiang Strawberry Farm Park, Third right:Hakka Cultural Park, Bottom left: Osmamthus Street in Nanchuang, Bottom right:Mount Huoyen
Flag of Miaoli County

Flag
Coat of arms of Miaoli County

Coat of arms
Taiwan ROC political division map Miaoli County
Coordinates: 24°33′48.29″N 120°49′32.98″E / 24.5634139°N 120.8258278°ECoordinates: 24°33′48.29″N 120°49′32.98″E / 24.5634139°N 120.8258278°E
CountryRepublic of China (Taiwan)
Regionwestern Taiwan
SeatMiaoli City
Largest cityToufen
Boroughs2 cities, 16 (5 urban, 11 rural) townships
Government
 • County magistrateHsu Yao-chang (KMT)
Area
 • Total1,820.3149 km2 (702.8275 sq mi)
Area rank11 of 22
Population
(December 2014)
 • Total567,132
 • Rank13 of 22
 • Density310/km2 (810/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (National Standard Time)
Websitewww.miaoli.gov.tw
Symbols
BirdEuropean magpie (Pica pica)
FlowerCamphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)
TreeTea olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
Miaoli County

Name

The name Miaoli was coined using two Hakka Chinese words, meu (; 'cat') and li (; 'raccoon dog') to phonetically approximate Pali (Bari) from the Taokas language. The resulting word (貓狸) is a widespread but non-orthodox variant referring to Viverridae. In 1889, during late Qing rule, the name was modified from various forms (貓裏, 貓裡, 貓里) to its current form.

History

Evidence of settlement in Miaoli dates back a thousand years. Many archaeological artifacts have been found showing that during the prehistoric era, people lived in the river terrace. They mainly led an agriculture life and engaged in hunting and fishing for their extra food source. About a thousand years ago, an indigenous group Taokas settled here.

In the mid-17th century, Han Chinese began to migrate into the area, beginning a gradual process of deforestation and establishment of permanent settlement sites. The prior inhabitants of Miaoli were either assimilated into the dominant Han population, or migrated deeper into the mountainous range. After several hundred years, Miaoli had become the home of people from different origins, such as Hakka, Hoklo, Atayal and Saisiyat.[1]

Kingdom of Tungning

After Koxinga took over Taiwan from the Netherlands, he placed Miaoli into Tian-Sing County (天興縣) and started an immigration plan to develop this area.

Qing Dynasty

After the last Tungning Ruler Zheng Keshuang surrendered to the Qing Dynasty, Tian-sing County was renamed Zhuluo County. In 1889, Miaoli Hsien (苗栗縣) was established as an independent county under Taiwan Prefecture. At the end of the 19th century, thousands of acres of high-quality fertile fields had been reclaimed in the area of Nanzhuang, Shitan, Dahu and Zhuolan. Public and private schools were also established all over Miaoli which made the area a place of gathering intellectuals and elites in northern Taiwan.

Empire of Japan

The county was at first eliminated under Japanese Imperial rule. Byōritsu Chō (Japanese: 苗栗廳) existed from ca. 1901 to 1908, but was split over Shinchiku Chō (新竹廳) and Taichū Chō (臺中廳) in 1909. From 1920 to 1945, Byōritsu Town (苗栗街), Enri Town (苑裡街) and six villages were under the jurisdiction of Byōritsu District, under Shinchiku Prefecture.

Republic of China

After the handover of Taiwan from Japan to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945, the present day area of Miaoli County was incorporated to Hsinchu County. On 16 August 1950, the government re-established Miaoli county on 16 August 1950 with Miaoli township as the county seat. On 25 December 1981, Miaoli Township was upgraded from township to a county-controlled city.

Geography

Miaoli County is considered to be located in the central northern part of the island of Taiwan, contiguous with Hsinchu county, Hsinchu City, and Taichung City. The Xueshan Range is located on the border between Miaoli county and Taichung City. Miaoli county north to south averages about 50 kilometers and east to west averages about 64 kilometers. It is roughly diamond-shaped in appearance. The overall coastline of Miaoli is about 50 kilometers long.

Miaoli has little flat lands (plateau) and very mountainous due to the Xueshan Range. Miaoli has rich rainfall along with abundant rivers.

Administrative divisions

Hsu Yao-chang
Hsu Yao-chang, Magistrate of Miaoli County
苗栗市市街 - panoramio
Miaoli City, the county seat of Miaoli County

Miaoli County is divided into 2 cities, 5 urban townships, 10 rural townships and 1 mountain indigenous townships. Miaoli County has the second highest number of urban townships after Changhua County. Miaoli City is the county seat which houses the Miaoli County Government and Miaoli County Council. The incumbent Magistrate of Miaoli County is Hsu Yao-chang of the Kuomintang.

Miaoli County Map

Miaoli County Map
Type Name Chinese Taiwanese Hakka Area
(km²)
Number of
Villages
Number of
Neighborhoods
Population Density
(per km²)
City Miaoli City 苗栗市 Biâu-le̍k or
Miâu-le̍k
Mèu-li̍t 37.8872 28 702 90,063 2,401
Toufen City 頭份市 Thâu-hūn Thèu-fun 53.32 32 538 102,654 1,925
Urban
townships
Houlong 後龍鎮 Āu-lâng Heu-liùng 75.8072 23 367 38,360 506
Tongxiao 通霄鎮 Thong-siau Thûng-sêu 107.768 24 394 36,941 343
Yuanli 苑裡鎮 Oán-lí Yen-lî 68.2472 25 360 48,589 712
Zhunan 竹南鎮 Tek-lâm Tsuk-nàm 37.5592 25 515 83,622 2,226
Zhuolan 卓蘭鎮 Tah-lân Cho̍k-làn 75.316 11 176 18,353 240
Rural
townships
Dahu 大湖鄉 Tōa-ô͘ Thai-fù 90.8392 12 180 15,549 171
Gongguan 公館鄉 Kong-koán Kûng-kón 71.452 19 281 34,847 488
Nanzhuang 南庄鄉 Lâm-chng Nàm-chông 165.4936 9 184 10,674 65
Sanwan 三灣鄉 Sam-oan Sâm-vân 52.296 8 93 7,132 136
Sanyi 三義鄉 Sam-gī Sâm-ngi 69.3424 7 161 17,235 249
Shitan 獅潭鄉 Sai-thâm Sṳ̂-thàn 79.432 7 100 4,725 59
Tongluo 銅鑼鄉 Tâng-lô Thùng-lò 78.38 10 218 18,909 241
Touwu 頭屋鄉 Thâu-ok Thèu-vuk 52.504 8 120 11,377 217
Xihu 西湖鄉 Se-ô͘ Sî-fù 41.0752 9 108 7,589 185
Zaoqiao 造橋鄉 Chō-kiô Cho-khièu 47.9976 9 118 13,456 280
Mountain
indigenous
townships
Tai'an 泰安鄉 Thài-an Thai-ôn 614.5936 8 64 6,157 10
County total 1,820.3149 274 4,679 567,132 312

Colors indicate the common language status of Hakka within each division. Note that Nanzhuang and Tai'an are also indigenous areas of Atayal people.

Demographics and culture

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1985 550,343—    
1990 547,609−0.5%
1995 560,128+2.3%
2000 559,703−0.1%
2005 559,986+0.1%
2010 560,968+0.2%
2015 563,912+0.5%
Source:"Populations by city and country in Taiwan". Ministry of the Interior Population Census.

Population

The main population of Miaoli County is comprised by the Han Chinese and the Taiwanese aborigines. The Taiwanese aborigines constitute about 1.9% of the total population where the rural areas is where the Hokkiens are the main group in western urban areas of Miaoli, while the Hakkas comprise the main group of Han Chinese in the rural southern and central parts of Miaoli county

Taiwanese aborigines

The Saisiat currently reside in the Wufeng Township of Hsinchu County and the Nanzhuang Township of Miaoli County.[2] Due the oppression by initial Han immigrants, the Atayal aboriginal group and the Nanzhuang Incident, the population of the Saisiat people have decreased to 5,000 people. It is the least populous Taiwanese aboriginal group after the Thao people. The traditions and culture of the Saisiat is greatly impacted by the Atayal aborigines and Hakka people in the region.

Han Chinese

During the Qing Dynasty, Miaoli was inhabited by Hokkiens in the coast and Hakka in the rural peasant mountainous areas. Currently, the inhabitants of the four coastal townships of Miaoli (Nanzhuang Township, Houlong Township, Tongxiao Township, and Yuanli Township) consists of primarily Taiwanese Hokkien speakers. With the exception of the four coastal townships and Tai'an Township, the main population consists of Hakka.

Sports

The main sports and recreational structures in Miaoli include Miaoli Sports Hall, Miaoli County Tennis Court, and the Park of Zhunan Township. In Taiwan National Athletic Games of 2011, Miaoli is ranked 21 out of 22 teams with 1 gold, 1 silver, and 8 bronze.

Economy

Popular regional agriculture, food production and culture promoted by the government include strawberries from Dahu Township, Hakka zongzi, Sanwan Chinese pears, Touwu Daikons, Sanyi wood sculptures, Tai’an persimmons, and many more.

Annual revenue of Miaoli County is NT$22 billion, while its annual expenditure is NT$32 billion.[3] Monthly, Miaoli County Government spends NT$600 million on their staffs salaries and another NT$600 million for retirement obligation. As of July 2015, the county government has a debt of NT$64.8 billion.[4]

Education

Education-related affairs in Miaoli County is regulated by Education Department of the Miaoli County Government. At the end of 2004, the population of people older than 15 years old was 451,128, among which 97.91% of them were literate. There were 108,052 college-educated, 156,870 senior high school or junior college graduates, 176,755 junior high school or lower graduates. The percentage of people receiving education higher than college was relatively low.[5]

Miaoli County houses several universities and colleges, such as the National United University, Yu Da University, Asia-Pacific Institute of Creativity and Jen-Teh Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management.

Energy

Power generation

Miaoli County houses the gas-fired Tunghsiao Power Plant in Tongxiao Township, the second largest gas-fired power plant in Taiwan with a capacity of 1,815 MW. The county also houses Taiwan's first offshore wind power plant named Formosa 1 Offshore Wind Farm.

Water supply

The Mingte Dam in Touwu Township supplies water for irrigation and water supply for the county. The dam has a capacity of 17.1 million cubic meters.

Tourism

Tourist arrivals to Miaoli in 2011 was 17,000,000 people.[6]

Tourist attractions

Nature

Nature tourism in Miaoli County including Flying Cow Ranch, Shei-Pa National Park, Waipu Fishing Port and Yongheshan Reservoir.

Museums

Miaoli County houses several museums, such as Huoyan Mountain Ecology Museum, Miaoli Ceramics Museum, Miaoli County Urban Planning Exhibition Center, Miaoli Railway Museum, Museum of Saisiat Folklore, Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum, Taiwan Oil Field Exhibition Hall and Zaochiao Charcoal Museum.

Cultural centers

Cultural centers in the county include the Miaoli Park, Wu Zhuo-liu Art and Cultural Hall, Wugu Cultural Village, Yingtsai Academy and Hakka Round House.

Theme parks

Theme parks in the county is West Lake Resortopia.

Temples

Temple in the county is Zhonggang Cihyu Temple.

Festivals

The various cultural festivals of Miaoli County includes, Miaoli Marine Tourism, Meng-Hua Literary Award, Hakka Tung Hua Festival, Hakka folk song festival, Miaoli international tourism festival, etc.

Transportation

苗栗總站(新竹客運) - panoramio
Miaoli Bus Station

Rail

The Taiwan Railways Administration passes through Miaoli County through the Coastal Line and Taichung Line. The Coastal Line consists of Qiding, Zhunan, Tanwen, Dashan, Houlong, Longgang, Baishatun, Xinpu, Tongxiao and Yuanli Station. The Taichung Line consists of Zhunan, Zaoqiao, Fengfu, Miaoli, Nanshi, Tongluo and Sanyi Station.

Taiwan High Speed Rail passes north to south through Miaoli and has one of its station in the county, which is the Miaoli Station located in Houlong Township.

Road

Both Taiwan No 1 and Taiwan No 3 highways have stops here.

References

  1. ^ "About Miaoli - Miaoli County Government". miaoli.gov.tw.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Miaoli County government has no money to pay salaries (update)".
  4. ^ "Miaoli County government has no money to pay salaries". focustaiwan.tw.
  5. ^ "Population - Miaoli County Government". miaoli.gov.tw.
  6. ^ "Culture and Tourism Buresu of Miaoli - Getting to Know Miaoli". Archived from the original on 22 July 2015.

External links

Baishatun railway station

Baishatun (Chinese: 白沙屯車站; pinyin: Báishātún Chēzhàn) is a railway station on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) West Coast line (coastal) located in Tongxiao Township, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Dahu, Miaoli

Dahu Township (Chinese: 大湖鄉; pinyin: Dàhú Xiāng) is a rural township in the south of Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Dashan railway station

Dashan (Chinese: 大山車站; pinyin: Dàshān Chēzhàn) is a railway station on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) West Coast line (Coastal line) located in Houlong Township, Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Gongguan, Miaoli

Gongguan Township (Chinese: 公館鄉; pinyin: Gōngguǎn Xiāng) is a rural township near the center of Miaoli County, Taiwan. Its climate is sub-tropical, mild and very rainy. The yearly average humidity is 80%.

Houlong

Houlong Township is an urban township in western Miaoli County, Taiwan. It is bordered by the Taiwan Strait on the west and Zaoqiao Township on the east.

Hsu Yao-chang

Hsu Yao-chang (Chinese: 徐耀昌; pinyin: Xú Yàochāng; born 30 June 1955) is a Taiwanese politician. He represented Miaoli County in the Legislative Yuan from 2002 to 2014, when he was elected Magistrate of Miaoli County.

List of cities in Taiwan

In the structural hierarchy of the administrative divisions in Taiwan area, there are three types of administrative divisions with the Chinese word shì (市, "city") in their names.

The 23 cities in Taiwan:

Largest cities of Taiwan

Nanzhuang

Nanzhuang Township is a rural township in Miaoli County, Taiwan.

It has a population total of 10,381 (January 2017) and an area of 165.49 square kilometres (63.90 sq mi). The population consists of Hakkas and the indigenous Saisiyat people.

Sanwan

Sanwan Township is a rural township in northern Miaoli County, Taiwan. It lies between the Taiwan Strait on the west and mountains on the east.

Sanyi, Miaoli

Sanyi Township (Chinese: 三義鄉; pinyin: Sānyì Xiāng) is a rural township in southern Miaoli County, Taiwan. It is famous for its mudiao (woodcarving) industry, earning it the name the Woodcarving Kingdom of Taiwan.

Shitan, Miaoli

Shitan Township (Chinese: 獅潭鄉; pinyin: Shītán Xiāng) is a rural township in Miaoli County, Taiwan. It is located in a mountainous area with a mild, sub-tropical climate. Its rainy season is from May to September. Shitan is short on medical resources. It does not have a hospital or clinic, so people often have to travel to Miaoli City to get health care services. Shitan's population was estimated to be 4,468 in January 2017.

Tai'an, Miaoli

Tai'an Township (Chinese: 泰安鄉; pinyin: Tài'ān Xiāng) is a mountain indigenous township in southeastern Miaoli County, Taiwan. It is the largest township and the only mountain indigenous township in Miaoli County.

Tongluo

Tongluo Township is a rural township in Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Tongxiao

Tongxiao Township is an urban township in southern Miaoli County, Taiwan. It lies between the Taiwan Strait on the west and mountains on the east.

Touwu

Touwu Township is a rural township in north-western Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Xihu, Miaoli

Xihu Township (Chinese: 西湖鄉; pinyin: Xīhú Xiāng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Se-ô· hiong) is a rural township in Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Zaoqiao

Zaoqiao Township is a rural township in northern Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Zhunan

Zhunan Township is an urban township in northern Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Zhuolan

Zhuolan Township is an urban township in Miaoli County, Taiwan.

Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinMiáolì Xiàn
Bopomofoㄇㄧㄠˊ   ㄌㄧˋ   ㄒㄧㄢˋ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhMiaulih Shiann
Wade–GilesMiao2-li4 Hsien4
Tongyong PinyinMiáolì Siàn
Yale RomanizationMyáulì Syàn
MPS2Miáulì Shiàn
IPA[mjǎu.lî ɕjɛ̂n]
Hakka
Pha̍k-fa-sṳMèu-li̍t-yen
Southern Min
Hokkien POJBiâu-le̍k-koān or
Miâu-le̍k-koān
Tâi-lôBiâu-li̍k-kuān or
Miâu-li̍k-kuān
Places adjacent to Miaoli County
Special municipalities (6)
Cities (3)
Counties (13)
Cities and townships of Miaoli County
Cities
Urban townships
Rural townships
Mountain indigenous townships

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