The main Tsou and Paiwan villages are located in southern Taiwan. The Tsou have a tight family system and communal way of life. All major decisions are made by the tribal elders. One can experience the tribe's traditional culture in Alishan Township during the major festivals, including Homeyaya (Millet Harvest Festival) in July and August and Igbinagan (Millet Sowing Festival) from late December to January.
The Paiwan are a gender-equal society, though respect for elder and a hierarchical system are strictly observed. The four main social ranks are chief, nobility, warriors and commoners. The tribe's main festivals are the Mitten Crab Festival in March and the Harvest Festival on 15th day of the eighth lunar month. Glass bead art, ceramic pots and ceremonial knives are among the well-known handicraft s of the tribe.
The indigenous name of this village means ”the place of the beautiful sweet gum forest,“ a theme also reflected in the maple motif of the village emblem. Tea and coffee fields also shape the picturesque landscape here.
Tapangu (Dabang) Village
The spiritual center of this community is the kuba, a traditional meeting place for the tribal males. Each of the families here also has its own place of worship, built in a simple style mainly of bamboo.
Tufuya (Tufuye) Village
Village life in Tufuya is also centered on the kuba. There are several buildings here with a long history and old-world feel. The narrow snaking lanes are also part of the local charm.
Niaucna (Lijia) Village
Located at the end of Provincial Highway 169, this quiet little village has several aboriginal-themed B&Bs and eateries to choose from.
Punga (Laiji) Village
Visitors to Punga are greeted by several large stone boar sculptures, traditional pavilions and homes and even a large sculpture of the male reproductive organ to ward off evil and invite good luck!
Sandimen Culture Hall
Add: Next to Sandimen Township Office (No. 100, Sec. 2, Zhongzheng Rd., Sandimen Township, Pingtung County)
The Sandimen Culture Hall presents the cultural diversity of the Paiwan through displays, traditional dance performances, and lessons in the tribe's traditional archery skills.
Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park
Add: No. 104, Fengjing, Beiye Village, Majia Township, Pingtung County
Established by the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan this outdoor museum is divided into areas for exhibits of cultural artifacts, traditional homes and life, and singing and dance performances.
Once a marshland, this pasture thrives with a dense layer of knee-deep growth forming patterns of lush green and withered brown. The vegetation here is supported by abundant ground water, giving the ground a soft, marshy feel.
Kuqi ("Crying") Lake is an artificial lake built by early settlers for irrigation use. Its name is actually not so tragic as it sounds, but rather a Chinese form of the Paiwan word "gucci”: the place where water collects.
Provincial Highway 199
Provincial Highway 199 winds through a relatively pristine landscape of mountain passes and forests. From the high point in the road, you can enjoy a bird's-eye view of Mudan Reservoir. Further ahead is the Shimen Historic Battlefield, where local tribes resisted the Japanese.