Qiaotou Sugar Refinery (Ciaotou District)

The sugar industry in southern Taiwan, which can be traced back to the 17th century, was for many years one of the area’s defining features. After taking over Taiwan in 1895, the Japanese made a push to bolster sugar production and turn the industry into Taiwan’s largest. Built in 1902, the Qiaotou Refinery was Taiwan’s first modern mechanized sugar refinery and an early indication of Taiwan’s impending industrialization. Closed in 1999 and designated as a county historic site in 2000, the refinery was transformed into the Taiwan Sugar Museum in 2006. The new tourist attraction features Baroque architecture from Taiwan’s Japanese colonial era. As they gain understanding about Taiwan’s sugar-producing days, visitors can even take a ride on the charming narrow gauge sugarcane train.