History Of Romantic Photo Spot

Taiwan hosts a number of very romantic spots, but one in particular is a favorite for Valentine’s, engagement, and wedding photos: The Twin Heart Weir in Penghu County. Most people don’t know the history behind these stone hearts in the bay, but recently the Smithsonian reported that they don’t exactly have a very romantic background.

The stone walls are an ancient and ingenious way of catching whole schools of fish! When the tide is in, the water flows over the stone walls and the fish come with it, not realizing that when the tide heads out again, they’ll be trapped. Fishermen then walk the walls and make easy pickings of the fish – usually anchovies – stuck inside. Romantic, right?

The walls work well because fish have a tendency to turn around when they encounter a curved surface – which is why the weir can have a small opening to keep the water fresh and still not lose a lot of fish out of it. These particular walls (there are more all over Taiwan) date back to the late 17th century, and fisherman of the era would regularly catch about 1,000lbs of seafood a haul!

The practice of using weirs to fish was so effective that it wasn’t until the 1950s and the open availability of motorized boats that it was retired for more advanced technology. Most weirs have fallen in the more than half a century since they’ve stopped being used, but these and a select few across the country are being preserved as important historical reminders of Taiwanese ingenuity.