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【Fun Hualien NO.47】Interesting local destinations》Explore What the History Textbooks Didn’t Teach You Discover Dachen New Village Through Sound

  • PostDate:2023-12-19

Located in Meilun, Hualien City, Dachen New Village was once the resettlement site for residents from Dachen Island after the Chinese Civil War. After six decades, the local “Gather Dachen” team invites visitors to explore the unique culture of this village. Through interactive guided tours featuring audio dramas, visitors can listen to stories and memories passed down from the people who retreated from Dachen Island during those tumultuous years. Traveling through time, visitors solve puzzles in line with the storyline while freely wandering through the village, discovering tales not found in history textbooks.


Text & Images/ Yoti Xue (Xue, Yung-Ting), Gather Dachen Team


Youths Returning to Their Hometown to Collect StoriesInteractive Guide Spotlighting the Culture of Military Dependents’ Villages 

Dachen Island is located in Dachen Town, Jiaojiang District, Taizhou City, Zhejiang Province, China. The island held a strategic geographical position during the Battle of Yijiangshan Islands in 1955. Due to prolonged conflict, residents of Dachen Island migrated to Taiwan, with some settling in the Meilun area of Hualien City and establishing the present-day “Dachen New Village.” Decades later, this community preserves Taiwan’s unique culture of military dependents’ villages, including language, customs, cuisine, and the sole temple in Taiwan dedicated to Ruan Bizhen, which hosts an annual birthday celebration on the 13th day of the 10th lunar month.


Social Innovation Lamb Studio’s team member Hsiao-Yen Chao (Xiao Xiao), is a fourth-generation descendant of settlers from Dachen Island. In 2021, she established the “Gather Da Chen” brand, compiling and organizing the stories of Dachen New Village and crafted these narratives into an immersive audio theater journey. Unlike conventional guided tours, visitors equipped with their smartphones and headphones can freely explore the village at their own pace and rhythm, interacting with residents along the way. This immersive tour allows visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the local culture and history.


INFO|Social Innovation Lamb Studio – “Gather Da Chen”
Address: No. 334, Minguang, Minyi Village, Hualien City
Telephone: 03-8242671
※Reserve through telephone or official website


Experiential ToursMeet up at 2F, Dachen Story House→Download app and script→Follow the storyline to solve mysteries within the village→At the relay station, take a break and enjoy some delicious soft-filling pastries→Freely explore the village, resonate with the story’s characters→At the final stop, collect a boxed meal of pork rice

In Dachen New Village, countless fascinating memories remain untold – some stories that might not be found in history textbooks. Yet, within the interactive guided tour of “Da Chen Xiao Hua,” visitors can experience a journey back to the day of the retreat from Dachen Island in 1955. Through an immersive theatrical experience combined with gaming elements, participants, immersed in the dialect and sound effects through their headphones, can vividly sense the historical setting of that era, almost as if transported back to Dachen Island in 1955. This interactive approach allows visitors to engage both online and offline, using their senses to explore Dachen New Village. Not only does it deepen one’s understanding of Taiwan’s military dependents’ village culture, but it also contributes to the preservation and development of the local heritage.


In the story “Migration on the Islands,” the “Gather Da Chen” team collaborated with residents from diverse backgrounds within the community, including veterans, Hokkien people, Hakka people, and new immigrants, inviting visitors to step into the community, listen to the stories of various ethnic groups, and become part of this place, further understanding the local customs and traditions within the Dachen military dependents’ village culture over the years. Throughout the activities, participants can also indulge in distinctive Dachen cuisine such as pork rice, soft-filling pastries, and aged ginger cold-brewed tea – traditional delicacies passed down from previous generations, offering a taste of the bygone daily life within Da Chen that can only be experienced here.