A Fishing Village’s Culture of Oyster and Clam Farming

It is an exciting experience to explore the intertidal ecology and the unique culture of oyster and clam farming at Wanggong Fishing Port in central Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)
It is an exciting experience to explore the intertidal ecology and the unique culture of oyster and clam farming at Wanggong Fishing Port in central Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Wanggong (王功) is a typical fishing village located at Fangyuan Township of Changhua County in central Taiwan. The Wanggong Fishing Port on the northwest side of the village was completed in 1969, and the “Glittering Fishing Boats (王功漁火)” used to be one of the eight most famous attractions of Changhua in the old times.

Watch the video of a trip to Wanggong Fishing Port in central Taiwan:

The unique scenes of fishing boats sailing on the sea with sparkling light after sunset outside the Wanggong Fishing Port were spectacular.  However, the beautiful scenes are no longer in existence nowadays due to dwindling of the fishing industry over the past two decades or so.

Wanggong Fishing Port was thus transformed into a recreational fishing port in 2000, and it has attracted more and more tourists since then.

A unique three-wheel oyster truck that transports visitors to the intertidal zone in Wanggong. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A unique three-wheel oyster truck that transports visitors to the intertidal zone in Wanggong. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A unique three-wheel oyster truck transporting visitors to the intertidal zone in Wanggong (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

A unique three-wheel oyster truck transporting visitors to the intertidal zone in Wanggong (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Wanggong is famous for its oyster culture business, rich natural landscapes, and cultural resources, such as mangrove forests, water birds, fiddler crabs (招潮蟹), mudskippers (彈塗魚), clams and lighthouse.

Villagers in Wanggong have adopted the so-called cross-hanging method to cultivate pearl oysters (Pinctada,珍珠蚵), and they boast the most humongous and delicious oysters and clams (Meretrix 文蛤) in Taiwan.

Fresh oysters are grilled on a makeshift facility at the lagoon in Wanggong. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Fresh oysters are grilled on a makeshift facility at the lagoon in Wanggong. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

It is an exciting experience to ride in a unique three-wheel oyster truck running through the shallow water in the intertidal zone of the lagoon outside of Wanggong to pick oysters or dig clams in the mud.

While riding the roaring makeshift truck in the immense intertidal zone, the ocean breeze and the scent of the salt water can make visitors totally forget about their hassle and bustle of everyday life.

Patrons can eat grilled or raw oysters as much as possible during the exploration of the intertidal zone in Wanggong. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Patrons can eat grilled or raw oysters as much as possible during the exploration of the intertidal zone in Wanggong. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

As soon as getting off the makeshift truck, besides giving away a stainless tool and a plastic bag to every patron, the well-experienced farmer who drives the truck will brief his patrons on how to dig clams.

Visitors dig clams and forage for fiddler crabs in the mud. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Visitors dig clams and forage for fiddler crabs in the mud. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

While visitors are digging clams and foraging for fiddler crabs in the mud on the shallow lagoon, farmers are busy grilling fresh oysters with charcoal on the makeshift facility above the mud or sea water.

Patrons who have paid about US$10 for the adventure can eat grilled or raw oysters as much as possible while listening to farmers’ introduction to something interesting about oyster and clam farming in Wanggong.

In addition to viewing the beautiful natural landscapes and tasting delicious oysters, visitors can also visit the nearby Fangyuan Lighthouse. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

In addition to viewing the beautiful natural landscapes and tasting delicious oysters, visitors can also visit the nearby Fangyuan Lighthouse. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

In addition to viewing the beautiful natural landscapes, visitors can also pay a visit to the nearby Fangyuan Lighthouse (芳苑燈塔), which is in a black-and-white pattern and is the youngest lighthouse in Taiwan. It was built in 1983 and has been open to the public since then. Another iconic feature of Wanggong Village is the 10 units of massive windmills set up by the seashore.

 Another iconic feature of Wanggong Village is the ten units of massive windmills set up by the seashore. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Another iconic feature of Wanggong Village is the 10 units of massive windmills set up by the seashore. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Moreover,  many restaurants and the Wanggong Food Court are built by the Wanggong Dike, where visitors can get a taste of the famous oyster cake, fried oyster omelets, and other fresh seafood dishes.

Visitors can get a taste of the famous oyster cake, fried oyster omelets and other fresh seafood dishes. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Visitors can get a taste of the famous oyster cake, fried oyster omelets, and other fresh seafood dishes. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Additionally, Wanggong is one of the best places to savor the gorgeous sunset at the end of the day in Taiwan. It is an ideal location for professional photographers to capture beautiful sunset shots.

Wanggong is one of the best places to savor the gorgeous sunset at the end of the day in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

Wanggong is one of the best places to savor the gorgeous sunset at the end of the day in Taiwan. (Image: Billy Shyu/ Vision Times)

It’s truly worthwhile to take a one-day trip to explore the intertidal ecology and the unique culture of oyster and clam farming in Wanggong village.

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