Sakura Trees in Wu Lin Farm
When most people hear the key words “spring” and “Japan”, the image of cherry blossoms often comes to mind. Most visitors to Japan during this period are often mesmerized by the beautiful sights of sakura trees in full bloom, raining pink- and white-colored flower petals in response to a strong breeze.
However, most people would not believe that there are places in Taiwan where the cherry blossoms are beautiful enough to rival scenes in Japan.
I was one of them… until I took a trip up to Wu Lin Farm(武陵農場) in Greater Taichung. Located on the border of Yilan County and Greater Taichung, it is part of the central mountain range, with the hiking route to Snow Mountain located inside the farm.
The cherry blossom “tourism” of Wu Lin Farm is probably one of the most successful transformation stories of central Taiwan. Originally the land of the Atayal people, Wu Lin started out as a farming area operated by the government’s agency handling retired military personnel affairs. With a constant supply of manpower, the institution was able to cultivate and expand in the vicinity, gaining fame as a farm in its own right.
However, following the introduction of agriculture tourism and plans for land conservation, the facility shifted away from being a “farm” and slowly transforming itself into a major tourist attraction in central Taiwan.
Today, the place is pretty much known for beautiful sceneries across all seasons – cherry blossoms in spring, fruits and greens in summer, maple leaves in autumn, and snow (depends on luck, though. Taiwan is not known for snowing) in winter.
One of the biggest problems with Wu Lin Farm is its location high up in the mountains. Traveling is most convenient via your own car; while there are buses from Taichung, the schedule is not exactly convenient. Furthermore, the road leading to the farm is small, narrow, and full of curves. At certain points, the path is only wide enough for single lane traffic, making traffic jams a nightmare. If you’re (un)lucky enough, you’ll get to see how mountain roads can be transformed into parking lots.
While not the best accommodation in town, the farm offers cottages and rooms. Of course, there is also a hotel inside the premise. Of course, if you are ready to stay in the great outdoors, there’s also a camping area with a parking lot nearby.
Nonetheless, if you have a chance to visit central Taiwan, you definitely don’t want to miss the chance to enjoy some of Taiwan’s best natural endowments!
English website of Wulin Farm: http://www.wuling-farm.com.tw/index_en.htm
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