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Dongshan River Water Park

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The Dongshan River is only 24 kilometers long, but it is the fifth-longest stream in Yilan. A multi-purpose riverside recreation area has been planned along its course to provide for sports, leisure, and recreation activities divided into upstream, midstream, and downstream sections, each of which exhibits a different recreational character into what, it is hoped, will make the river into an outdoor water park. The most important recreational site on the river is the Dongshan River Water Park, which has been designed to rebuild the natural relationship between man and water. This park simulates the natural landscapes and incorporates elements of the native culture of Lanyang—for example, there is a water stage, five conical stone towers built of pebbles, and Turtle Island, which rises from the sea off the Yilan coast, bring the landmark of Lanyang into the park, seemingly without thought. The banks of the Dongshan River are claimed by legend to be protected by a green dragon and a yellow dragon, and for this reason undulations and curves are built of pebbles along the river's banks to simulate dragons' scales, with pottery tile inlays of green and blue, and orange and yellow, adding to the characters of the two different types of dragon. Interesting mosaic pictures—masterpieces executed by the children of Lanyang—embellish the dragon-skin steps.

Today, the annual Dragon Boat races, international scholastic rowing championships, and international toy festival are all held in the Dongshan River Park. For the Qixi Chinese Lovers' Day, and magpie bridge (by which, according to Chinese traditional, two legendary lovers are allowed to meet once a year) is built to add to the park's romantic atmosphere. Over the past few years, the Dongshan River Water Park has become one of the hottest tourist destinations in Taiwan.

The Dongshan River attracts large numbers of visitors to its famous scenery. Qinshui Park, located along the banks of the river, is especially popular for its outdoor stage shows, shallow pools where visitors can wade in the water, and deeper areas where they can row boats. Green and yellow ceramic dragons guard the riverbank, which is lined by colorful tile mosaics made by schoolchildren. If you go there in the summer, don't forget to take along your swimming gear and enjoy the swimming pool.

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