Known as the “Woodcarving Kingdom of Taiwan”, Sanyi Township has deep ties to the exotic camphor and tung forests permeating Miaoli County. Annual festivals honour the trees, while both indigenous and modern artisans carry on the woodcarving traditions of the region.
Things to do in Sanyi Township
Beginning at the old Sheng Xing train station, Sanyi Old Street is the heart of the township, home to small eateries and shops selling pottery and art. Sample local Hakka food, such as dried tofu, taro cakes, pickles and the Lei Chia mix of spices and nuts. Off the main drag, try one of the signature bantiao noodle shops, such as Bicycle Stinky Tofu.
In the early 1900s, Sanyi was famous for wood carvings made from camphor trees. You can still find wooden statues, intricately carved chopsticks, sculptures and bowls made by traditional craftsmen.
For an in-depth look at the artisan wood industry, stop by Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum. You’ll be welcomed by elephants carved out of ancient twisted trees. Inside, peruse carvings by artists spanning generations, including both traditional and modern styles.
Stroll through the ruins of the Long Sheng Bridge, built more than 200 years ago. As part of the Old Mountain Line Railroad, it’s intricately tied to the history of the wood trade in Sanyi and Miaoli County. You can walk amongst the scattered wooden pillars along the old rail tracks and through the tunnel entrance littered with World War II barracks.
Getting around Sanyi Township
You can arrive by train into Sanyi Station then use taxis, bicycles or city buses. You can also rent a car at Taichung Airport near Taichung City, about 20 kilometres away.