this Mazu temple is the meet-up point for those who have signed up for oyster harvesting activity

this Mazu temple is the meet-up point for those who have signed up for oyster harvesting activity

Due to the geographical location of Fangyuan, a port town by the coast, seafood features prominently in the diet of locals. Oyster is a common food here, so for tourists to Changhua, one of the best experiences is oyster harvesting in Fangyuan.

 ready on the cart with water shoes, gloves and face mask

ready on the cart with water shoes, gloves and face mask

out to the seabed of Taiwan Strait

out to the seabed of Taiwan Strait

Be taken on a motorised cart (or bullock cart, depending on the tour operator) to the shore of the Taiwan Strait during low tide for a crash course on oyster harvesting and participate hands-on in this local cultural heritage.

oysters

oysters

 I'm convinced this is a self-made cart

I’m convinced this is a self-made cart

Off the Taiwan Strait coast, it was exceptionally windy during the time we visited in mid-January. Therefore, we were advised to tie up our hair, tuck in our clothing and wear a windbreaker. Provided were a face mask, a pair of gloves and water shoes. These shoes were required to walk on the wet seabed to harvest the oysters in hard, sharp shells.

 cultivating oysters

cultivating oysters

our guide explains how the harvesting should be done

our guide explains how the harvesting should be done

From personal experience, I wish to alert that the weather could be exceptionally windy, and there were times when I felt like the wind could lift me off the ground.

I'm trying my hand at it

I’m trying my hand at it

 the crew does most of the work, actually

the crew does most of the work, actually

Also, while we were “in the sea”, the sand was very fine and with that strong wind, the sand went into our eyes, ears, hair, clothes, skin and even mouth, which explains the face mask that was provided to us by the operator.

guide washes the oysters that have been harvested

guide washes the oysters that have been harvested

one of the activities is to dig holes in the ground with bamboo poles

one of the activities is to dig holes in the ground with bamboo poles

The time spent out in the sea was probably 1.5 hours; before leaving, we were given joss paper to be thrown up the sky behind us, as a superstitious gesture to appease the sea spirits. For visitors of other faiths besides Buddhism and Taoism, feel free to opt out of the ritual.

throwing joss paper into the air to appease sea spirits

throwing joss paper into the air to appease sea spirits

 back to land

back to land

For all our labour, we were more than welcome to feast on the freshest oysters grilled over charcoal fire, on-site, as a reward for our effort. My oyster harvesting experience in Fangyuan was easily one of the most memorable of my Taiwan trip. If you are in this area, I strongly recommend that you sign up for this package as well.

grilling oysters and clams

grilling oysters and clams

freshest oyster ever

freshest oyster ever

For further information, search on Google Maps: 芳苑海牛車隊/潮間帶集合點

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