Everyone was going gaga over Japan’s cherry blossoms, so we thought, maybe we can experience that in Taiwan given that it’s also spring time. When we researched if it was possible within Taipei, we were pointed to one place and that place only, which is the Yangmingshan National Park!
The park is huge and almost at the outskirts of Taipei. In fact, to get there, you would have to alight at one of the last stations up north of the Tamsui-Xinyi line. When we visited, it was also the season of calla lily. There were a bunch of potted lily everywhere around the park, and a vast pond filled with lily pods up to the edges! Their water system was also very impressive, clear and effective in keeping the water running. Probably, to avoid insects from living in it or to keep it fresh?
I admit, it was pretty disappointing when we found out that the highlight of the park at the time were calla lilies and not cherry blossoms. Funnily enough, we found this cherry blossom tree whilst wandering around the park getting lost. I was so excited, I ran towards it and realized they were fake, haha! Oh well, they look nice on picture, and somewhat real for us who haven’t seen some in real life.
As we continue getting lost around this massive park, we started feeling the hunger. This mill house across the lily pond was a restaurant. A homey vibe inside, meals were served shabu-shabu style, where meats were cooked in the middle of the table. However, it was too full, so we decided to continue our journey for the search of the sakura and the flower clock.
After an hour or so, we gave up and found a taxi to take us straight to the flower clock, which was very near to the entrance. !_! Seriously, we walked so much and it was just there, we passed by it on the way to the top! But I think we alighted at a different place and it didn’t stop there, or we alighted at the wrong stop. I, actually, can’t still figure out what happened. I guess that’s the very definition of getting lost. Haha If you are going to visit Yangmingshan and can only allocate half a day, just tell the shuttle bus driver or ask anyone where the flower clock would be and go straight there.
You can find carenderia-like shops across the flower clock, with street food stalls beside it. I thought it would be typical Taiwanese food but the meals were rather familiar! I had roasted chicken with stir fried vegetables and a bunch of Taiwanese side dishes. I love how the side dishes were just a couple of pieces and did not overwhelm the plate! They were affordable, too!
The Flower Clock
This is where most of the tourists go. The area centers around the flower clock, a gigantic flower art formed and functions like how a real clock would! Around it were stairs to explore and see various plants, trees and flowers. AND YES! The cherry blossom trees have just started to flourish! Possibly because it has already stopped raining, it could finally grow into pretty pink blooms!
If I were a local of Taipei, I can see myself and my family visiting this park often. Aside from the impressive variety of trees and plants, there is also a hot spring and other activities in the park.
How To Get There
- Take the Tamsui-Xinyi (Red) line.
- Option 1: Alight at Jiantan MRT and board the R5 shuttle bus.
- Option 2: Alight at Beitou MRT andd board the S9 or S129 shuttle bus.
To get back to Taipei, there is a bus terminal a few steps from the flower clock. There are many options and you can choose which route you prefer. Just refer to the bus stops listed per bus type/code.