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Introduction to the Towns

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Nan'ao Township



Land Area

690.9585 km²




7 villages, 51 neighborhoods



Located in the southeast of Yilan between 121° east longitude and 24° north latitude, Nan'ao township is bounded by Dong'ao Village, Nanqiang Village and Zhaoyang Village at Provincial Highway 9 and faces the Pacific on the east, bounded by Xiulin Town, Hualien County at the Heping River (Large Zhuoshui River) on the south, adjoins Su'ao Town and Dongshan Town on the north and borders the Nanhu Mountains and Datong Town on the west.
The name "Nan'ao" was given customarily by people as it is located on the south of Su'ao. It consists of such rivers and high mountains including the Dong'ao River, Da Nan'ao River, Heping River (Large Zhuoshui River), Dayuan Mountain (with an elevation of 1489 m), Shiliufen Mountain (with an elevation of 1817 m), Sanxing Mountain (with an elevation of 2551 m), Nanhu N. Mountain (with an elevation of 3535 m) and Nanhu Mountains (with an elevation of 3740 m).




The Han people, Kavalan people, Pin Po people, Japanese and westerners came to Nan'ao either by sea or by mobilizing plenty of manpower and materials to open up the mountains and build roads, indicating the longing of the many ethnic groups for Nan'ao. With the intervention of the political forces, the Atayal people had to make a choice between the free natural land and future sustainable development in addition to overcoming the great power of the nature. Nan'ao was not really transformed until the Su'ao-Hualien Highway and North Link Line were opened for traffic; however, it remains the town that covers the largest area (740.65 km²), most sparsely populated (8 persons per km² on average) and has the most abundant natural resources and greatest potential for development in Yilan.


Historical Description


In the Qing Dynasty, Nan'ao was included in the scope of "Hou Shan". In order to eliminate the foreigners' yearning for the territory, the Qing Government ordered Governor Luo Ta Chun to build the north road to allow the forces of the Qing Government to enter. Nan'ao was put under the jurisdiction of Kavalan Department that was established in the 15th year of the Jia Qing regime (1810). In the first year of the Taisho period (1912), Nan'ao belonged to Yilan Department Nan'ao Branch and was changed to Taipei Prefecture Su'ao Branch in the 9th year of the Taisho period. After the recovery of Taiwan, the region was put under the jurisdiction of Taipei County in 1946 and was officially changed to under the jurisdiction of Yilan County in 1949.