The Life of Pi ─ (Mostly) Made in Taiwan
If you have not seen Taiwan director Ang Lee’s most recent Oscar-winning work of cinematic art, you must. If you have not ever seen the beautiful Pacific island of Taiwan, once you’ve watched The Life of Pi, you will have.
Pi spends much of his time out on the ocean, first on a freighter and then on a lifeboat. These sequences – most notably the powerful storms and the freighter’s sinking – were filmed in the central city of Taichung at decommissioned Shuinan Airport. This is the site of a wave-generating pool that will be opened to the public as part of a film studio down the road. The pool, equipped with pneumatic wave generators sourced from the USA, is the world’s largest, 75 meters long, 30 wide, and three deep. It is able to create thousands of different wave effects, including waves 12 meters high, using pressure precision-controlled with 12 floodgates. The Taichung city government plans to open a movie park here by 2015, which will feature sound stages, backlots, and an editing complex.
Before his rescue, Pi comes across a magical floating island of banyan trees, their exposed roots everywhere. The incredible environment was not computer-generated; it actually exists, though not on a small floating island. The scenes were filmed on Taiwan’s pristine southeast coast, in Pingtung County, in the White Banyan Park. Managed by the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI), the park is currently off-limits to tourists, because the white banyan tree is susceptible to airborne brown root rot, which may be inadvertently introduced should a constant stream of visitors be allowed. Note that there is a collection of the trees nearby ay theHengchun Tropical Botanical Garden in Kenting National Park, on Taiwan’s southern tip. The trees are over a century old; the garden was originally opened in 1906 as a research station by the Japanese, who ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945.
Pi finally drifts ashore on a beautiful deserted white-sand beach in tropical Mexico. You can visit the bay – in Kenting National Park. Baishawan/White Sand Bay, 500 meters long, is on the park’s west side. Framed by coral reef, the sand is made of fine shell fragments. The tranquil bay, comparatively secluded, offers fine swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, and there are water-activity gear-rental outlets nearby. It was declared “Best Kept Secret” in Beach Tomato.com’s 2011 Travel Awards, the editors proclaiming that “this oriental sandy treasure has been kept hushed behind monumental evergreens…. This is a tropical beach paradise…”
Read full article from Taiwan The Heart Of Asia News & Events
Useful information :
Taichung City: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002112&key
Kenting National Park: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002122&id=421
Pingtung County: http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002122&key
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