Updated on: June 30, 2018
Starting from the Japanese occupational period, Chike Mountain was famous for its abundant production of chike trees. The Japanese cut down the hard chike wood, and sent it to Japan to be used for making gun barrels. After Taiwan retrocession, many Han Chinese came from the western part of the island to do land reclamation work. They first grew food grains such as corn, peanuts and sweet potatoes. Later on, they switched to growing daylilies. After 40 to 50 years of arduous land reclamation, Chike Mountain was transformed from a desolate mountain to a famous scenic spot with a sea of daylilies.
There are many varieties of daylilies, but those grown on high mountains are of a better quality. Because Chike Mountain, which reaches around 900 meters above sea level, has low temperatures, and because daylilies tend to grow slower, and also because of the abundant mists brought about by the clouds, and the red soil that is suited for daylily cultivation, the daylilies grown here are of a better taste. Daylilies are perennial plants, and many of the daylilies currently grown on Chike Mountain are more than 30-40 years old. Weeding and fertilization need to be done on a regular basis, but otherwise, very little care is needed. However, in August and September of every year, during their flowering season, the farmers need to mobilize the entire family to work hard as they pick, dry and bake the plants.
A number of years ago, the impressive sight of the Chike Mountain’s flowers in bloom gradually came to the attention of the public. Nowadays, there is a constant stream of tourists coming to visit this famous area. In fact, besides the golden seas of daylilies, visitors to Chike Mountain can see the famous “Three Chike Sights”. The first two sights are natural land formations, one being the three black igneous rocks found in the daylily fields, and the other being the unusually shaped and very heavy stone turtle. The third sight is the Wang Family Historic Residence, which has over 40 years of history.
The Wang Family Historic Residence is a wooden four-section compound, reflecting the style of southern Fukien Province. The wood used for building came from various trees, including the Formosan michelia, Taiwan zelkova and chike trees. This is the oldest building found on Chike Mountain. Around 1960, the elderly Mr. Wang invited a master carpenter from his hometown of Chiayi to journey this long distance and build the house. When visiting the Wang Family Historic Residence, besides conversing in the rooms, tourists can also see the preserved daily articles and farming tools, reminders of the early life at Chike Mountain.
During the month of August and September is the Lily Flower Season