Liushishi Mountain(Sixty Stone Mountain) is located to the east of Zhutian Village, Fuli Township, in Hualien County. It is situated at an elevation of around 800 meters above sea level, in the Coastal Mountain Range. There is a daylily field of 300 hectares in size, and along with Chihke Mountain, this is regarded as one of Hualien County’s two large daylily cultivation areas. So why is this area called Liushishi Mountain(Sixty Stone Mountain)? According to locals, during the Japanese occupation era, the average paddy field could only yield around forty or fifty dan of millet. (A “dan” is a unit of dry measure for grain equal to 100 liters). However, in this area, the average paddy field could yield sixty dan of millet, thus it was called LiushishiMountain(Sixty dan Mountain). Because the Chinese character used for the word dan is the same as the one used for the word stone, this name became “Liushishi Mountain(Sixty Stone Mountain)”. According to another account, during the Japanese occupation era, a lush camphor forest was located on this mountain, and in order to produce camphor, the trees were all cut down. Afterwards, sixty large scattered stones were found on the side of this vast mountain, thus the name “LiushishiMountain(Sixty Stone Mountain)”.
After turning onto Liushishi Mountain Industrial Road (Chanye Road) from Provincial Highway No. 9, a length of zigzagging mountain road will lead to Liushishi Mountain’s daylily fields. Upon arrival at the mountain ridge, the scene of this stretch of exquisite and vast open country will immediately cause drivers to forget their weariness from car-driving. The immense daylily fields look like a vast dark green carpet, spread out on one mountain ridge after another. The red tiled farms scattered across these green, overflowing fields create a natural scene of more beauty than one can take in.
In recent years, the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration has built ten pavilions on Liushishi Mountain, each of a different design. They are designed according to different varieties of daylilies and given beautiful names based on these varieties. Standing in the pavilion, facing the mountain wind, one will almost feel like a bird soaring in the skies, freely and unhurriedly roaming this emerald green valley. Each pavilion has its own style: you can face the Coastal Mountain Range, or enjoy the impressive sight of the sea of daylily flowers, or look down at the rift valley’s open country landscape. At night, you can enjoy the star-studded sky, looking like diamonds scattered across a black velvet cloth.
The daylily flowering season takes place in August and September of every year. This is when most tourists come to LiushishiMountain. Many visitors can be seen crowding the narrow Chanye Road, coming up the mountain to enjoy the sight of the daylily seas. Actually, if you visit off-season, you can experience quiet, beautiful and mysterious scenery to an even greater degree, especially during the winter. At that time, as you look down at the East Rift Valley from Liushishi Mountain, the incomparably imposing rapeseed flower fields that look like a giant oil painting are unforgettable!
Photo by Yang An Shen