(All images: Hakka TV)
Chinese name: 牛欄河親水公園
Located at: Guanxi Township, Hsinchu County
Niulan River (牛欄河) originates from Longtan District in Taoyuan City, flows through Guanxi Township (關西鎮) in Hsinchu County, and joins Fengshan Creek (鳳山溪). It is one of the main tributaries of the upper reaches of Fengshan Creek and is about 5.2 kilometers long. Its name comes from the period of the Qing Dynasty when local residents set up fences next to the river for cattle grazing. Niulan means “cow fence” in Chinese.
In the 1980s, several floods occurred in Guanxi, endangering the lives and property of homes and people on both sides of the river. Therefore, since then, the Council of Agriculture carried out a series of planning and remediation for Niulan River. In particular, the 1999 renovation project on the upper and lower reaches of the Dong’an Bridge (東安橋) is worth mentioning. In addition to preventing floods, it also combines relevant ecological and landscape viewpoints and sets up fish ladders and other facilities from the perspective of ecological restoration. Later, in cooperation with the local government, the results of the improvement of the Niulan River were continued, and the Niulanhe Riverside Park was built with both ecological preservation and flood prevention as the goals. In the park, there are famous local buffalo sculptures, park trails, and riverbank willows. The biggest feature of the Niulan River after the renovation is that a fairly complete and rich water ecology has been maintained.
The historic Dong’an Bridge is located in the Niulanhe Riverside Park. Its ancient name is "Caifeng Bridge (彩鳳橋)". It was originally a wooden bridge but was not strong enough. After being washed away by the flood many times, it disappeared. In 1933, the government, local officials, and local residents jointly recruited Japanese technicians to design a new bridge and collect local stones to build it. Finally, they came up with the five-hole arched stone bridge design and it was handed over to the well-known local stone mason Li Zhen (李鎮) who finished building the bridge in 1935. Each bridge stone has a different color and texture. Coupled with exposure to all weather conditions over the decades, the old bridge has a unique flavor and beautiful shape, which is rarely seen in Taiwan. Located in the central area of Guanxi Street and stretching over the river, this five-hole stone arch bridge is elegant and magnificent and is one of the eight scenic spots in Guanxi, still attracting many tourists to this day.