The Mataian Wetland Ecological Park Area is located at the foot of Masi Mountain in Hualien County's Guangfu Township. The springs of this natural wetland flow unceasingly. It covers a surface area of 12 hectares. The clear, shallow Fudeng River originates from Masi Mountain, where the spring waters converge from under the ground. This river zigzags from south to north through the Mataian Wetland Ecological Park, nourishing the lush life of this area. Changes in the river's water speed and depth have resulted in a greatly varied natural environment. Consequently, the Mataian Wetland Ecological Park can boast of almost 100 kinds of water plants. The variety of birds, frogs, insects and water animals is also astounding. In any of the field drainage ditches of the Mataian Wetland Ecological Park, the remains of fish, shrimps, shellfish, and spiral shells can be found. There is exuberant life everywhere.
The Mataian Wetland Ecological Park is the traditional homeland of the Mataian Ami people. In past times, due to the abundance of pigeon peas, the Ami people named this area "Vataan", which means "pigeon peas" in the Ami language. The name "Mataian" evolved from the name "Vataan". On these wetlands, the Ami tribe developed their unique "Palakaw" ecological fishing method. Through the use of crude materials such as large, hollow bamboos, the trunk of the common tree fern, the trunk and branches of the south crape myrtle, etc., they made a three-leveled structure to place in the dykes. The fish and shrimp would roost and breed inside. After a period of time, they would bring the south crape myrtle branches out from the water, and put the shrimps that were sticking to the branches into a triangular net. The eel and catfish that were hidden in the bottom layers of the big bamboo tube would also then be easily caught.
Besides these fresh, tasty water products, visitors to the Mataian Wetland Ecological Park can also sample a variety of unique, tasty edible wild herbs, including. pigeon peas, the fruit of bread fruit trees, yellow rattan palm, tender bamboo shoots, betel nut flower ears and betel nut palm, gesian rice, western vegetables, water celery, wild bitter melon, and Cochinchina momordica seed. Through the skillful cooking methods of the Ami women, each of these wild herbs is transformed into a unique and delicious table delicacy. It is also possible to sample the fish and shrimp caught in the Fudeng River, as well as the red sticky rice and salt roasted scaly fresh tilapia - the specialty of the Mataian Wetland Ecological Park.
In 1991, Hualien County Farmer's Association set up a specialized area in the Mataian Wetland Ecological Park to promote the cultivation of Hualien County's county flower, namely, the lotus. In the past more than ten years, lotus cultivation area has increased yearly from the original five hectares that it occupied. The time to come and enjoy these flowers is from May to August of each year. Strolling leisurely along a "T" shaped wooden footpath, one can enjoy the romantic feeling that comes from standing in a sea of lotus. There is a good view of the entire Mataian Wetland Ecological Park from the lookout post. Visitors who enjoy cycling can try out the Mataian Wetland Bicycle Path, where they will experience a trip that is full of natural wonders.
Address:No.15, Lane 42, Daquan St., Guangfu Township, Hualien County 976, Taiwan (R.O.C.)(Take the road on the west side at 250K, Provincial Highway No.9)