Tianliao Moon World (田寮月世界), also known as the Moon World Landscape Park, is an area of badlands in the Kaohsiung area. It is also close to central Tainan. The park is said to resemble the surface of the moon, with formations around sometimes barren lakes that were formed after thousands of years of erosion.
A few flat footpaths make their way around this rather desolate yet magnificent park, which should not take more than an hour to fully explore. Riyue Temple (日月禪寺), a rather stunningly colorful temple, is also located just outside the park, plus there are also a few hiking routes that extend out from the badlands if you have time. For those that want to know more about the area’s formation, you can pop into the Mudstone Geography Center at the entrance, which features illustrations and more detailed explanations than the signs along the footpaths.
It’s also worth having a little exploration around the area. A short walk away is the Moon World Mud Volcano (月世界泥火山), a small but largely unexplored area of volcanic activity. It’s not really large enough to get on many tourist maps, but the bubbling volcanic mud and pleasant walk into a mini forest is an excellent way to spend a bit of time before the bus back into Tainan or Kaohsiung.
How to get there
If coming from Kaohsiung, first take the Kaohsiung MRT to Gangshan and then take a bus bound for Chishan and get off at Riyue Temple (1 hour, NT$24). From Tainan THSR station, take a bus bound for Shih Chien University and get off at Riyue Temple (40 minutes, free). If coming from Tainan Station in the center, it’s probably easiest to first take a shuttle train to Shalun Station, then take the bus from the THSR station. For both bus routes be sure to use Google Maps as you reach the Tianliao Moon World, just in case you miss it. Bus times are a little infrequent, so consider taking a taxi if you are in a large group.
From central Tainan it takes about 50 minutes, and from Kaohsiung it takes around 1 hour. Parking is available at Tianliao Moon World.
To the mud volcano
To get to the mud volcano, walk down the main road past the Daqun Parking Lot bus stop and the various restaurants for about 5 minutes until you see the brown “月世界泥火山” sign on your right. Follow the signs with these Chinese characters on them and you’ll be there after 10 minutes or so.
Hours and fees
Hours: Open 24 hours
Official website: Kaohsiung Travel