Spring has arrived in Taiwan once again. To commemorate my favorite time of year, we made our annual pilgrimage to Yangmingshan National Park for the Yangmingshan Flower Festival.
The mountain is alive with budding green trees, azalea bushes in shades of white, pink, and red, while different varieties of cherry blossoms are in full bloom along the roadways and riverbanks.
We finished our afternoon jaunt at Zuzhihu (Bamboo Lake) where we walked amongst the calla lilies in the fresh mountain air.
There are over 80,000 azalea bushes blooming on Yangming Mountain at the moment. My favorites, other than the cherry blossoms, are the hot pink azaleas.
The 2014 Yangmingshan Flower Festival kicked off early this year because of climate changes. This year’s festival will run from January 29 to March 9th. The cherry blossoms are out in full force, but you’ll also be able to view all the other flowers that bloom in this area later in the year. Narcissus, viburnums, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and eusaphis have all raised their colorful heads towards the warm rays of the sun.
Transportation to Yangmingshan is always a source of contention between my husband and I, mainly because of the overwhelmingly large number of visitors that attend this event every year. The roads are congested at the best of times, and we’ve taken to riding the motorcycle up the mountain to get around the cars and busses.
This year, the city government has redoubled their efforts to implement traffic control for roads leading up to Yangmingshan. There is now a checkpoint for uphill traffic that goes from 6am to 4pm at the entrance of Fuxing Bridge (Lane 1, Section 2, Zhishan Road). Downhill traffic must also pass through a checkpoint at Yangming Road and Zhongheng Street between the hours of 2pm and 6pm.
City Hall encourages visitors to make use of public transportation, and they have a number of options available at the following MRT Stations:
- MRT Taipei Main Station: Route 260 and Flower Festival Shuttle 126.
- MRT Shilin Station and MRT Jiantan Station: Routes 260, 303, R5, S15, Leisure Bus 111, Flower Festival Shuttle routes 126, and 127.
- MRT Beitou Station: Routes 129, 230, S9, and S25.
- MRT Shipai Station: Routes 535, S8, and Leisure Bus 128.
- MRT Jiannan Road Station: Route 681.
- MRT Wanfang Community Station: Leisure Bus Route 109.
My husband doesn’t like spending too much time looking at flowers, but he enjoys taking advantage of Yangming’s shaded picnic areas.
How could you not love following these colorful walkways, especially when they lead to shaded fishponds?
By that time, we had already seen half the island by motorcycle. You can check out my series on The Motorcycle Diaries if you’d like to learn more about traveling Taiwan by motorcycle.
If you’d like to see some images and commentary about some of the other flower festivals I’ve been to in Taiwan over the years, you can have a look at these articles:
Callas from Yangmingshan (2008)