Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Beautiful Bay Is No Longer Beautiful!

     Sometimes, translating a place or a word is not easy to explain its real meaning or one' s thoughts. How to choose a word becomes a critical issue in the translation process. Beautiful Bay sounded like it would be a really beautiful place for me to visit when I first heard Beautiful Bay. But after I searched for information and detail about it , I found out it was not a beautiful place but ugly to me. In fact, Beautiful Bay is a hotel name which was built illegally at Sanyuan Bay on the east coast north of Taitung city. 
Driving on the east coast highway 11 near Dulan village,
Beautiful Bay hotel was very obvious sitting next to the
highway. I was very curious about the beach where the 

hotel was located. I tried to find a road to reach the beach 
since the hotel blocked the access. A local resident pointed 
his finger to the north to show me that there was a road; 
however it didn't do any good because I found it was a small 
and narrow road. I asked my husband to park our car 
and waited for me on the road side.   

     The Amis tribe calls Sanyuan Bay "Fudafudak" which means vast sand storms along the beach. Some marine experts found there was a new species of coral reef which only exist in this area in the world and more than 100 species of other coral reefs beneath the water. Because of the development of the resort and other recreational facilities, the coral reefs and other marine ecology were damaged. Photos of the coral reef, please visit:   
     In 2004, the Taitung government ignored the environmental protection law and signed a 50 year land leasing contract with the developer for solving its budget deficit problem. The contract allowed the developer to build the resort on the 6 hectares sand beach which was in an environmental protection area. The developer would pay only NT$ 30,000 or US$ 1,100 per month and 2% royalty fees to be allowed to build and operate the resort. The room rate in the resort would be around NT$ 10-20 thousands per night. The public would also have to pay an entree fee to visit the beach.
     In the beginning of the construction, the tribal people, the residents, and the artists protested against the developer. Their efforts failed because of the powerful corporation and the authority of the county government; however, their continuous actions won more people's support and caught the medias attention. 
    In 2010, the Taiwan Supreme Court ruled it was illegal to build the resort in the environmental protection area. The court ruled that the developer had to stop work on the resort, tear down the building, and also restore the area. 
     The most recently news is that the developer sued the Taitung county for allow it to build the resort on the beach. The developer asked the Taitung county to pay for its loss and the cost of tearing down the building and recovering the environmental damages. If the developer wins this case, the tax payers has to pay for the consequence. The result is that Beautiful Bay turned out ugly and became a major embarrassment for the Taitung County government.      
I walked into someone's courtyard after asking an old lady
how to access to the beach. Several dogs were barking at me.
I was very scared but unusual brave which I never experienced

 before. Perhaps, I was really attracted by this beach. The owner of
 the house agreed to let me walk through their housing area to
reach the beach after
 I told him my intention for visiting
 the beach.
I had to walked through this housing area and
dogs didn't bark at me anymore.   
I was surprised for what I saw. The style of the house
was beyond my imaginary which was a really 
original traditional tribal house. I wan't sure if I 
could live in this lifestyle? 
The owner of the house used drift wood to build
this house on the right side of the picture. 
One of two friendly dogs led me to the beach.
I guessed they were very excited for having
someone walked with them to the beach. 
I found my way to the beautiful beach finally. It was nice to be
at the beach but I wished I could shared the beautiful scenery

with my husband. The two dogs ran away from me to enjoy 
the nice beach. 
Looking back at the housing area, there were a lot of drift wood
from all around the island during the past typhoon seasons.
They surely had a good time playing on the beach.
They left nice footprints on the flat and clean beach.
This was Beautiful Bay Resort. Because it sat on the beach,
its foundation was not stable. The developer had to put a lot of
cements beneath the beach which had caused a lot of coral reefs
to die in stabilizing the resort's foundation.  
These posts were put up at the former Dulan Sugar Cane Factory. It 
illustrated how the resort damaged and endangered the natural 
environment of Sanyuan Bay. Also how the locals and other 
environmental activists pull together their efforts to stop this giant 
environmental monster.  
Just before I left the house, I spotted more than three kitty cats around the
house and also some puppies. 
Her name was Panai who was the chairwomen
of the Cihtong Tribal Village Association. She was
also the female owner of the house. She might be
used to a stranger passing by her house to get to
the beach. We started to chat on many issues
of the surrounding area for more than half hour
and I forgot my husband was waiting for me in our
car. She invited me to visit her again and she will
take us to explore the natural ecological
environments in this area. That was very nice of
her to offer. I encourage
 any travels who want to
visit Taiwan
 to interact with the locals. They will
have very wonderful and unique experiences with
the locals.        
She told me she had enough dogs and she asked
me if I would like to adopt some of the puppies.
I promised her that I would post the photo on
my Facebook page for adoption. I did post this
     It was sad to see the developer and the Taitung County government ignoring the natural environmental protection laws and the right of residences. They forced the local residents who lived there for their entire life to move out their houses in a short period of time because the land no longer belonged to them. They didn't sign any documents to give up their land. 
    It was very  nice to see people who came from different places in Taiwan to support the residents against this project. I hope the ugly bay resort would be removed from the location and everyone has the right to access to the beach not just for the rich people without paying a dime. So long Ugly Bay Resort!

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