There’s a well-known theory among Taiwanese that their traditional brick houses all have ants due to the cement used to mortar the bricks together.
From as early as the 17th century and as recent as the 1970s, locals used a cement mixed from oyster ash, sugar water, and glutinous rice. This cement mixture was both a great use of local resources and, if you believe the theory, a fortified snack for six-legged friends. Oyster shell kilns represented a longstanding industry in Taiwan, but there’s only one left in the Anping area. It is now preserved as part of the Culture Museum of Anping Oyster Shell Cement Kiln.
The remaining kiln is the cornerstone for a small museum providing information on the history and process of making oyster-shell cement. The museum is very clean and modern with good displays and a nice garden area that connects the buildings with the old kiln. In the midst of the garden area is a display on rock oysters. There is also a building showcasing an oyster-ash cement mill. The old kiln itself is a 4-meter-wide circular brick pit about 2 meters deep. It is enclosed by a square brick wall over-grown with foliage. The kiln can be viewed from above or from pit-level.
While this museum is probably more interesting for people with a particular interest in kilns, it is worth a visit if you have the time. It is not far from the other attractions of Anping and admission if free.
Hours: Tuesday ~ Sunday; 9:30AM ~ 5:00PM
Phone: (06) 2286836
Location: No.110 – 1 An Bei Road (安北路), Anping District, Tainan City