Jiadong 佳冬 is a small town between Kaohisung and the southern beach resort area of Kenting 墾丁. It’s a town I have visited numerous times over the years and is one of my favorite small towns in Pingtung 屏東縣. It’s a town with a rich history and lots of great old houses and buildings. Xiao Family House 佳冬蕭家古厝 and Xiao Western House 蕭屋洋樓 are two of the my favorites.
The old family house was built by a family that came to Taiwan from Guangdong. They got wealthy in the wine business and then in the everything business. The house was built between 1860 and 1880. It has 50 rooms and could house 100 people.
When the Japanese army came in 1895 there was even some fighting here.
It was designated as a historical site in 1985. In 1999 the restoration started and it finally opened in 2004. I visited Jiadong a few times but it wasn’t until my most recent trip that I actually went into the house. It was more than worth the 50NT I paid to get in. It’s a beautiful house.
Xiao Western House 蕭屋洋樓 was built in 1930. It was originally a hotel to house Japanese soldiers. After the war, it was used as a hospital for a time. I can’t find out what happened after that but I’m guessing that it was just abandoned. There are plans to try and designate it as a historical site and restore it also.
Jiadong has lots of awesome cool buildings that you can check out too.
This area of south Taiwan is known as Liudui 六堆 and is populated by Hakka people 客家人. Something that you’ll find in many Hakka areas of Taiwan are word-worshipping paper incinerators. Hakka people are well-known for their hard work and love of education. They respect books and learning so much that they had these special incinerators to burn any paper that had Chinese characters on them.
There’s lots more to see and do in Jiadong. So if you are in the area or on your way to Kenting 墾丁 stop in and say hi to one of Taiwan’s great small towns.