Pingtung County lies at the southern end of Taiwan. It's bordered by Taitung County to the east and Kaohsiung City to the northwest. To the west of Pingtung is the Taiwan Strait, which divides Taiwan from China. To the south of Pingtung is the Bashi Channel, which divides Taiwan from the Philippines. 屏東縣位於台灣的南端. 它的地理位置東臨台東縣, 西北方有高雄市, 西邊是分隔著台灣和中國的台灣海峽, 南邊則是台灣和菲律賓之間的巴士海峽.
Of course the year isn't over yet, but Pingtung County's lowest recorded temperature for 2020 was 14 C. The highest recorded temperature was 33 C. Generally speaking, it's rainier as you go toward Pingtung City, and drier as you go south toward Hengchun. Air quality is also worse as you approach Pingtung City, and better as you approach Hengchun. 當然今年還沒結束, 目前為止, 屏東縣2020年最低溫是14度, 最高溫是33度. 愈往屏東市愈會下雨, 往恆春則天氣比較乾; 往屏東市方向的空氣品質也比較差, 往恆春則比較好.
The Jung Shan (#1) Freeway ends outside Pingtung County in Kaohsiung, but in Shiao Gang District it feeds into Highway 17, which then passes through Donggang, Linbian, Jiadong and Fangliao Townships. The Formosa (#3) Freeway goes straight through the heart of the county, ending in Linbian Township, where one can either proceed onward into Dapeng Bay or switch onto Highway 17. Highway 1, stretching from Pingtung City to Fenggang in Fangshan Township, passes through the most populous parts of the county. In Fenggang Highway 1 feeds into both the Southern Cross-Island Highway and Highway 26. Highway 26 leads into Kenting. In addition to these roads there's also the Mountainside (#185) Highway, which starts in Fangliao Township (not far from my house) and passes through the more remote eastern half of the county. 中山高速公路的終點在高雄, 可是終點在小港區連接台17線. 可經由台17線到達東港鎮, 林邊鄉, 佳冬鄉還有枋寮鄉. 福爾摩沙高速公路直接來到屏東縣的中心, 並在林邊連接到台17線和往大鵬灣的方向. 台1線從屏東市到枋山鄉楓港, 經過屏東縣人口較多的地區. 在楓港, 台1線連接南迴公路和往墾丁的台26線. 除了這些主要道路之外還有沿山公路. 這條公路的起點在枋寮,很靠近我家, 可以去到比較遙遠的屏東東部.
The Pingtung County Government is located in Pingtung City, not far from Kaohsiung. From an administrative standpoint this poses some problems, in that the county government is very far from the southern end of the county. The drive between Pingtung City and Hengchun Municipality, where Kenting is located, takes about two hours, and between these two places there's a lot of traffic. 屏東縣政府在靠近高雄的屏東市. 對政策來說這個位置不太好, 因為縣政府離屏東縣的南端很遠. 從屏東市開車到恆春鎮的墾丁要二個小時, 路上更是常常塞車.
Pingtung City is also less developed than you might think, mostly due to its proximity to Kaohsiung. When people in Pingtung City want to buy things they often make the trip west to downtown Kaohsiung. In terms of urban amenities Kaohsiung has a lot more going on. 你可能會覺得靠近高雄的屏東市是個很現代的地方. 事實上不是. 屏東市居民逛街通常會到西邊的高雄. 高雄的設施比較好, 活動更多.
Pingtung County is a very agricultural place. It has its share of industrial areas, but most of those inhabiting the townships and municipalities beyond Pingtung City are involved in some form of agriculture. Tourism is big business in the southern end of the county, but as one travels north from there the contrast between farmland and mountains is striking. Aside from agriculture and aquaculture, residents of the villages scattered along the coast engage in fishing. 農業在屏東縣很重要. 雖然屏東也有工業區, 可是離屏東市比較遠的縣民大部分靠農業賺錢. 屏東南部的觀光業也很重要, 從南往北走, 除了山區就是農地. 除了農業跟養殖漁業, 海邊的村民也出海捕魚.
I'm tempted to break Pingtung into three parts: 1) the southern tip, consisting of Hengchun and (maybe) Checheng, 2) the sparsely populated mountain townships, which extend all the way from Man Jhou in the south to Sandimen in the north, and 3) the agricultural western half of the county, which extends north from Fangliao to Kao Shu and Li Gang. The mountain townships have more aboriginal residents. The rest of the county is more of a mix of Hakka and ethnic Taiwanese/Hoklo speakers. 我想把屏東縣分成三個地區比較好: 1)南端包含恆春鎮跟車城鄉, 2) 人口最少, 從滿州到三地門的山區, 3) 從枋寮到里港, 高樹地區的農業重地. 山區的鄉鎮有比較多原住民. 其他地方則是客家和閩南人比較多.
But maybe a look at the numbers will make these contrasts more obvious. According to the last census, there are 815,367 people living in Pingtung. Of these 60,328 are members of aboriginal tribes. Around a hundred more people moved away from the county than moved into it, and the number of deaths was almost double the number of births. Overall these numbers point to a decline in population, and fewer opportunities for younger people. 從數字上來看人口差別會比較明顯. 根據上次的人口統計, 屏東縣的人口是815,367人. 全縣的原住民人數是60,328. 移出的人數比移入的人數多一百多人. 死亡人數幾乎是出生人數的兩倍. 這些數字表示屏東縣的人口減少了, 年輕人的就業機會也減少.
Pingtung City has the largest population at 198,359. Chao Jhou comes in at #2, with a population of 54,025. Hengchun, at the southern end of the county, only has 30,508 people. The most sparsely populated township is Wutai, home of the Rukai Tribe, with only 3,269 residents. 屏東市人口198,359人是人口最多的地方. 第二名就是人口54.025人的潮州. 最南邊的恆春只有30,508人. 人口最少的鄉鎮就是魯凱族的家鄉--霧台鄉, 那邊的人口只有3,269居民.
If I divide the county into mountain townships, Hengchun/Checheng and western townships, we see that the mountain townships have a combined population of 45,101, Hengchun/Checheng a combined population of 38,837, and the western townships a combined population of 731,429. Even tiny Lamay Island, off the coast of Donggang Municipality, has more people than any of the mountain townships. 如果把屏東縣分成山區,恆春跟車城和西區, 山區的人口是45,101人, 恆春跟車城人口是38,837人, 西區鄉鎮的人口是731,429人, 連靠近東港鎮的小琉球的人口都比任何的山區鄉鎮的人口還多.
Aside from population, there are also the famous places. For many tourists Pingtung County is synonymous with Kenting, though there are many other sites worth seeing. There's the National Taiwan Aquarium in Hengchun, the Sse Chong Shi Hot Spring Area in Checheng, the suspension bridge in Sandimen, and the Hakka Culture Park in Neipu. Lamay Island and Dapeng Bay, mentioned above, are also tourist attractions. 除了人口之外, 還有景點. 很多觀光客一聽到屏東就想到墾丁, 可是還有其他景點值得去. 恆春有國立海生館, 車城的四重溪溫泉區, 三地門的吊橋, 還有內埔的客家文化園區. 以及上面提到的小琉球和大鵬灣......
That, in the most general terms, is Pingtung. It's not the richest, most famous, or most populous part of Taiwan, but I'm now calling it home and I'm happy to do so. 屏東大概是這樣. 雖然屏東不是最有錢, 最有名或人最多的台灣縣市, 它目前是我的家, 我也很喜歡住在這裡.
Related Entries 相關的文章:
臺灣開發故事 (南部地區) Stories of the Opening of Taiwan (Southern Area) 3
Roaming Around Fangliao 枋寮一日遊
臺灣開發故事 (南部地區) Stories of the Opening of Taiwan (Southern Area) 2
NOTE: Problems with the English Wikipedia article: 1) "east of Half-Screen Mountain." I doubt the Japanese, who named the area, were thinking about it on that level. They just named the area after the mountain. 2) "home of the Taiwanese Plains Aborigines." That tribe - which was more likely several tribes, was located along the entire west coast of the island. They weren't really calling Pingtung "home." 3) Not all of the settlers were from Fujian. Many of them were Hakka people, and their presence in this area dated back to Koxinga. 4) Members of the Amis Tribe are also to be found in the area. 5) They've pretty much abandoned that development plan discussed in the article.