the long forgotten anshun salt factory

Tainan had been Taiwan’s earliest salt producing region since the mid 1600s, so within Taijiang National Park was a ghost village. Once this site with its small temple between dormitories on either side, housed a salt factory. Now the factory held little more than a few rusty displays.

Mangroves right next to Anshun Salt Flats

The Anshun Salt Flats was the first industrial district for salt production in Taiwan. It was constructed during Japanese colonial times, covering 164 hectares of solar evaporation pans paved with pottery shards to retain heat in the ponds. Constructing pottery shard saltpans meant building a square, then mixing soil and clay with one’s feet before leaving it to dry in the sun. 

This pan would have once been filled with salt water, Anshun Salt Flats, Taijiang National Park

Because of the salt’s high quality, more than 90% was exported to Japan and the remainder to Korea.

The morning I arrived, there was only four other people wandering around this deserted piece of the past. It felt like the loneliest place.