Fengnan Village in Fuli Township has a river, known as the Bie River, which originates in the Coastal Mountain Range. It acquired its name from the bie turtles - a kind of fresh-water turtle with a soft shell – that used to live in this river in groups, where they would appear and disappear. Fengnan Village's previous name, "Bie River Village", was also named for the turtles. The Bie River converges with many other rivers in the Coastal Mountain Range, and then from "Shimen" (stone gate), pierces east through the volcano ridge of the Duluan Mountain stratum. From there it flows into the East Rift Valley's mudstone layer area, and then converges into the Xiuguluan River near the Fuli town center.
But don't underestimate this tiny Bie River. As it passes through the hard volcano ridge of the Duluan Mountain stratum, it forms a deep gorge of about 500 meters long. When walking along the Fudong Highway that follows this gorge, the road becomes narrower and narrower. On one side is a very steep precipice, and on the other side is the deep river gorge. A part of it also goes through rock to make a small mountain tunnel. At a first glance, this gorge looks as precipitous as Taroko Gorge, thus it is named "Xiaotianxiang", after a place in Taroko Gorge. The flow of the Bie River through the mudstone layers of the East Rift Valley has created a meandering terrain in Fongnan Village. This is due to the looseness of the mudstone layers, as well as the fact that the neighboring mountains obstruct the flow of the river. The communities in Fengnan Village are located on these river terraces that have resulted from this meandering terrain.
Because of the unique terrain formed by the Bie River, including the gorge and the meandering landforms, Fengnan Village in Fuli Township is like a natural, heavenly made classroom for geological observation. As you follow the Fongdong Highway that connects Fuli Township in Hualien County with Donghe Township in Taitung County, you will be able to observe this varied and distinctive geological landscape along the way.
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