Starting in mid-April, the northern and central parts of Taiwan are covered with a white blanket — Tung blossoms, an icon of the Hakka culture for the members and friends of the Hakka community. Spring is also the season of fireflies and a good excuse to reconnect with nature after several weeks of self-imposed confinement (remember to keep a social distance of 1 meter outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic)!
If you live in northern Taiwan, you can refer to the “Tung blossoms map” launched by New Taipei City. Here is the list of three easy-to-access-to destinations to enjoy Tung blossoms.
1.平溪桐花火車 | Hop on a Train to See Tung Flowers in Pinxi!
Jingtong Railway Station is a traditional Japanese wooden station. You will find nearby the remains of a coal preparation plant and further up the hills the breathtaking Shifen Waterfall. As the tung blossoms season draws near, you can enjoy the beautiful views of blooming tung flowers along the way from Jingtong railway station to Shifen Station.
2.深坑賞桐步道 | Shenkeng Wanfu ecological park
Shenkeng, about a 15-minute drive from Taipei City, is a good place for you to relax on holidays. The 1-hectare Wanfu ecological park in Shenkeng District is now covered with snow-white tung flowers.
Continue to walk along Shenkeng Road, and you will see the trail behind the Arouyang mansion. The trail is worth a visit! Within one hour hike, you will arrive at the Tung blossom valley. After enjoying the Tonghua, you can also visit Shenkeng Old Street to taste the stinky tofu and Hakka cuisine.
3.三生步道| Sansheng riverbank trail
Located in Sanzhi District, The Sansheng riverbank trail is 2 kilometers long. The trail features a full view of terraced fields and rows of tung blossom trees. It is a recreational spot for hiking on the weekend.
How to get there? After taking the MRT to Danshui Station, take the Danshui Bus to Sanzhi, Jinshan and Keelung at the bus stop on the right outside the station. Then get off at “Xinzhuangzi” stop and walk to your destination.
4.苗栗造橋鄉劍潭古道 | Jiantan Historic Trail
With a total length of 2.5 kilometers, the Jiantan Historic Trail in Zhaqiao Township has a long history. At the entrance, you can see a vast sea of Tonghua flowers blooming. There are three pavilions on the ancient trail where overlook the small town at the foot of mountains.
How to get there? Take the train to Miaoli Railway Station, take Miaoli Bus route 5801 and get off at Jinshui Village stop s and walk for about 8 minutes.
5.三義西湖度假村 ｜West Lake Resortopia
The West Lake Resortopia in Sanyi Township, Miaoli county, which covers 60 hectares, features more than a thousand tung trees. In the huge park, each of the four major spots featuring Tung trees boasts a unique landscape. You can not only enjoy the lake and mountains but also see the sea of white Tung blossoms. In addition, the park’s ecology is diverse, and fireflies glowing in the dark can be seen every May.
After taking a train to Sanyi Railway Station, take a taxi to West Lake Resortopia for about 15 minutes.
6.南投埔里牛耳度假村｜New Era Art Resort & SPA
Located at Puli Township, Nantou County, the New Era Art Resort & SPA covers 20,000 hectares of grassland and thousands of tung oil trees. It is one of the top spots to enjoy the “April Snow.”
In addition to the white flowers, there are stone sculptures created by local artist Lin and every piece of art in the resort has a story. What’s more? After walking around and having fun, you can have a revitalizing spa treatment and enjoy the sauna to relieve your stress and anxiety.