Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hualien, Taiwan

According to the tourism board of Hualien County, this scenery, on Taiwan's eastern Pacific coast, is what prompted Portuguese explorers to call Taiwan Formosa (meaing "beautiful"). If Hualien looks anything like this card, the Portuguese were making a pretty big understatement...

Rocky Mountain Sixty of Taiwan's Hualien County
(from Yen for the mountains round robin group 15)

Hualien was originally known as Kilai, but the Japanese changed it to Hualien during their occupation, because Kilai sounds like "I hate it" in Japanese. (No joke, it really does.)

On the far right is a stamp celebrating the Girl Scouts centennial! The R.O.C. Girl Scouts organization, which is now known as the Girl Scouts of Taiwan, was established in 1919. It became a tenderfoot member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in 1963 and a full member in 1966.
In the middle is Murraya paniculata or orange jasmine, one of a set of four flower stamps issued in 2009.
On the left is Dicrurus aeneus or bronzed drongo, a subspecies endemic to Taiwan, immortalized on this 2008 definitive stamp.

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