Jade Picking at Bai Bao Creek, Hualien
Another one of my favorite destination in our Taiwan Trip is Bai Bao Creek (白鮑溪) in Hua lien. During a holiday, I prefer to be engaged in an activity while taking in the scenery, it definitely beats just making a photo stop at a location.
At Bai Bao Creek, we were there to hunt for jade! As the source of the stream flows from an old Jade mine, there are plenty of raw Jades left for picking even after the miners stop mining them.
According to our tour guide driver, around 3 days after the typhoon seasons, the jades which are picked are bigger than palm size and they are rolling around you for your picking. Usually the aboriginals will go upstream in the forested area to pick them and sell them to the nearby Jade workshop. Even though there are plenty of jades to pick after Typhoon season (October – November), it is a dangerous activity (plenty of snakes), takes a lot of energy (to carry those rocks down) and requires a lot of luck (it must be around 3 days after typhoon season). Our tour guide driver once happened to be available for picking and managed to lug down a whole bag full of jade!
Even though it wasn’t Typhoon season during our picking (mid May), we did manage to pick a few in that 1 – 2 hours of picking. It requires some techniques, patience and luck!
That’s my family hunting for jade! There are a lot of back bending activities, lifting huge boulders aside, balancing in the fast moving streams and algae covered rocks and attempting to differentiate between rocks and jades!
A few characteristics of raw jade, they are green and when put against sunlight, it is a little translucent.
Too bad we are only there for a short 1 – 2 hours, otherwise, I would love to swim in the stream! The water is crystal clear and very cooling! Perfect for a dip during a hot day!
That’s me and my sister showing off all the loots we picked! To give credit to the real pickers, my Dad picked one decent size and quality jade which is suitable for further processing, my sister’s boyfriend picked one decent size and quality jade and a few rough ones of good size. I picked a lot of tiny ones which we can’t do much with them and my mum picked a huge rock with only 5% of jade content in there while my better half, he got none as the heat got into him. Haha.
You see the big black one? That’s the one my mum found! Haha. She was resting and playing with water most of the time. It seems like we picked a lot, but there is only 2 which can be further processed. The rest is either too thin or that there are cracks in the jade which is not suitable for processing.
The big green one was found by the tour guide driver! He is good! In the next post, I will share how it looks like after processing them!