Miaoli County

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Miaoli County
苗栗縣
County
Flag of Miaoli County
Flag
Coat of arms of Miaoli County
Coat of arms
Taiwan ROC political division map Miaoli County.svg
Coordinates: 24°33′48.29″N 120°49′32.98″E / 24.5634139°N 120.8258278°E / 24.5634139; 120.8258278Coordinates: 24°33′48.29″N 120°49′32.98″E / 24.5634139°N 120.8258278°E / 24.5634139; 120.8258278
Country Taiwan
Region Western Taiwan
Seat Miaoli City
Largest city Toufen
Boroughs 1 cities, 17 (6 urban, 11 rural) townships
Government
 • County Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung
Area
 • Total 1,820.3149 km2 (702.8275 sq mi)
Area rank 11 of 22
Population (January 2014)
 • Total 565,661
 • Rank 13 of 22
 • Density 310/km2 (800/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC+8)
Website www.miaoli.gov.tw
Symbols
Bird European magpie (Pica pica)
Flower Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)
Tree Tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
Miaoli County
Traditional Chinese 苗栗縣
Simplified Chinese 苗栗县

Miaoli County (Chinese: 苗栗縣; pinyin: Miáolì Xiàn) is a county in western Taiwan. The name Miaoli was coined using two Hakka words, cat (貓) and raccoon dog (狸), which phonetically approximate Pali (Bari), a community of Taokas people. Miaoli is contiguous with Hsinchu county, Hsinchu city to the north, Taichung City to the south, and borders the Taiwan Strait to the west. The Council for Economic Planning and Development of Taiwan classifies Miaoli as a county of Central Taiwan, while the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau classifies Miaoli as a county of the North. Miaoli City is the capital of the county, and is also known as "Mountain Town", owing to the number of mountains nearby, making it a destination for hiking.

Geography[edit]

Miaoli County is considered to be located in the central northern part of the island of Taiwan, contiguous with Hsinchu County, Hsinchu City, and Taichung City. The Xueshan Range is located on the border between Miaoli County and Taichung City. Miaoli County north to south averages about 50 kilometers and east to west averages about 64 kilometers. It is roughly diamond shaped in appearance. The overall coastline of Miaoli is about 50 kilometers long.

Miaoli has little flat lands (plateau) and very mountainous due to the Xueshan Range. Miaoli has rich rainfall along with abundant rivers.

History[edit]

Evidence of settlement in Miaoli dates back a thousand years. In the mid 17th century, Han Chinese began to migrate into the area, beginning a gradual process of deforestation and establishment of permanent settlement sites. The prior inhabitants of Miaoli were either assimilated into the dominant Han population, or migrated deeper into the mountainous range. Miaoli was established as an independent county first in 1889.

Empire of Japan[edit]

The county was at first eliminated under Japanese Imperial rule; between 1901 to 1908, parts of modern Miaoli, then known as Miaoli Ting (Chinese:苗栗廳) were merged into the district of Shinchiku Prefecture.

Republic of China[edit]

After the handover of Taiwan from Japan to the Republic of China on 25 October 1945, the present day area of Miaoli County was incorporated to Hsinchu County. On 16 August 1950, the government re-established Miaoli County on 16 August 1950 with Miaoli Township as the county seat. On 25 December 1981, Miaoli Township was upgraded from township to a county-controlled city.

Demographics[edit]

The main population of Miaoli County is comprised by the Han Chinese and the Taiwanese aborigines. The Taiwanese aborigines constitute about 1.9% of the total population while the Hakka are the main group of Han Chinese.

Taiwanese aborigines

The Saisiat currently reside in the Wufeng Township of Hsinchu County and the Nanzhuang Township of Miaoli County.[1] Due the oppression by initial Han immigrants, the Atayal aboriginal group and the Nanzhuang Incident, the population of the Saisiat people have decreased to 5,000 people. It is the least populous Taiwanese aboriginal group after the Ita Thaw. The traditions and culture of the Saisiat is greatly impacted by the Atayal aborigines and Hakka in the region.[2]

Han Chinese

During the Qing Dynasty, Miaoli was inhabited by Hakka. Currently, the inhabitants of the four coastal townships of Miaoli (Nanzhuang Township, Houlong Township, Tongxiao Township, and Yuanli Township) consists of primarily Taiwanese Hokkien speakers. With the exception of the four coastal townships and Tai'an Township, the main population consists of Hakka.

Divisions of Miaoli County[edit]

Liu Cheng-hung, Magistrate of Miaoli County

Miaoli County is divided into 1 city, 6 urban townships and 11 rural townships. Miaoli County has the second highest number of urban townships after Changhua County. Miaoli City is the county seat which houses the Miaoli County Government and Miaoli County Council. The incumbent Magistrate of Miaoli County is Liu Cheng-hung of the Kuomintang.

MiaoliCountyRaw.png

Township Name Chinese Name Surface Area(km²) Number of Villages Number of Neighborhoods Population Density(person/km²)
City
Miaoli City 苗栗市 37.8872 28 702 91,138 2,405
Urban Townships
Houlong Township 後龍鎮 75.8072 23 367 38,387 506
Tongxiao Township 通霄鎮 107.768 24 394 37,142 344
Toufen Township 頭份鎮 53.32 32 538 101,596 1,905
Yuanli Township 苑裡鎮 68.2472 25 360 48,452 709
Zhunan Township 竹南鎮 37.5592 25 515 82,515 2,197
Zhuolan Township 卓蘭鎮 75.316 11 176 18,462 242
Rural Townships
Dahu Township 大湖鄉 90.8392 12 180 15,677 173
Gongguan Township 公館鄉 71.452 19 281 34,808 487
Nanzhuang Township 南庄鄉 165.4936 9 184 10,727 65
Sanwan Township 三灣鄉 52.296 8 93 7,121 136
Sanyi Township 三義鄉 69.3424 7 161 17,394 251
Shitan Township 獅潭鄉 79.432 7 100 4,668 59
Tai'an Township 泰安鄉 614.5936 8 64 5,964 10
Tongluo Township 銅鑼鄉 78.38 10 218 19,007 243
Touwu Township 頭屋鄉 52.504 8 120 11,403 217
Xihu Township 西湖鄉 41.0752 9 108 7,647 186
Zaoqiao Township 造橋鄉 47.9976 9 118 13,505 281
Miaoli County 苗栗縣 1,820.3149 274 4,679 565,661 311

Culture and Tourism[edit]

[3] The various cultural festivals of Miaoli County includes, Miaoli Marine Tourism, Meng-Hua Literary Award, Hakka Tung Hua Festival, Hakka folk song festival, Miaoli international tourism festival, etc.

Popular regional agriculture, food production and culture promoted by the government include strawberries from Dahu Township, Hakka zongzi, Sanwan Chinese pears, Touwu Daikons, Sanyi wood sculptures, Tai’an persimmons, and many more.

Transportation[edit]

Miaoli Bus

[4]

  • The Taiwan Railway Administration Western Line passes through Miaoli County and has 15 stations in the territory of Miaoli.
  • Taiwan High Speed Rail passes north to south through Miaoli but does not have any stops.
  • The Miaoli government proposed for a MRT like system in downtown Miaoli, but the plan was rejected by the central government.

Both Taiwan No 1 and Taiwan No 3 highways have stops here.

Sports[edit]

The main sports and recreational structures in Miaoli include Miaoli Sports Hall, Miaoli County Tennis Court, and the Park of Zhunan Township.

In Taiwan National Athletic Games of 2011, Miaoli is ranked 21 out of 22 teams with 1 gold, 1 silver, and 8 bronze.

Relative location[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]