History Channel to explore Taiwan’s forgotten past


TAIPEI — History Channel Asia will premiere its new series, Hidden Cities, later this month with four episodes on cities in four Asian nations, including Taiwan. Starting on Sunday, Oct. 24, Hidden Cities will explore some of Asia’s many secrets, from forgotten palaces and old buildings with undiscovered histories, to underground fortresses that shelter incredible relics and untold stories, announced the TV channel through a Taipei public relations company on Friday. In the first four episodes, the network’s first series produced in Asia, host Anthony Morse travels to China’s ca ital of Beijing; Malaysia’s northwest states of Penang, Ipoh and Kedah; Java in Indonesia; and various places around Taiwan. For the Taiwan episode, Morse went to the mausoleum of presidents Chiang Kai-shek and his son, Chiang Ching-kuo, at Cihu (Lake Mercy) in Taoyuan County. He also met with Weng Yuan, who served as a member of the staff at the late presidents’ residences. Weng told Morse that Chiang Kai-shek liked to stroll and sit beside the lake around 5 p.m. each evening to contemplate and enjoy a quiet moment. Once forbidden to outsiders, the lake has opened to the public in recent years. Morse and his camera crew next explored Taiwan’s outlying island of Kinmen, also known as Quemoy, the anti-communist bastion where, more than five decades ago, Taiwan troops fought the last battle against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The crew explored Kinmen’s maze of underground tunnels dating from the Cold-War standoff, savored the island’s famous sorghum liquor, and learned how to make kitchen knives out of PLA bombs dropped on Kinmen, which is located as close as 2 kilometers to the Chinese mainland. Morse finally visited a beach village in Hualien on Taiwan’s east coast that was once off-limits to Taiwanese people as it was home to Japanese prisoners and their dependants in the aftermath of World War II. The Taiwan episode is scheduled to be screened Nov. 14, according to the public relations company. The 30-year-old Morse, born to an American father and Burmese mother, will come to Taiwan Oct. 31 to promote the series, it said.