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Nature in a Nutshell: Taiwan’s Botanical Gardens

An Oasis of Nature in the Heart of Taipei: Taipei Botanical Garden

For nature enthusiasts with limited time or a preference for curated ecosystems, Taiwan’s botanical gardens offer a unique opportunity to explore the island’s biodiversity. The well-known Taipei Botanical Garden, located just a short metro ride from central Taipei, has served as a research centre since 1896. The garden is divided into nearly 30 themed zones, featuring aquatic plants, classic Chinese literature-inspired herbs and flowers, gymnosperms, lotus ponds, and palm trees. Birdwatchers flock to this garden to observe Malayan night herons, White-breasted waterhens, and other avian species.

An Off-the-Beaten-Path Gem: Fushan Botanical Garden

Nestled in the foothills just 33 kilometres from Taipei 101, Fushan Botanical Garden is a hidden gem, although somewhat challenging to visit independently. Public transportation is not available, and visitors need to apply for permission at least five weeks in advance. However, Life of Taiwan can assist with the necessary arrangements, including permits and a driver-guide. Fushan’s cool climate, misty ambiance, and lush vegetation make it a paradise for plant enthusiasts. It’s home to 515 plant and tree species, including some rare finds like the elusive Taroko Oak. The garden also offers opportunities for insect enthusiasts to observe crane flies, dragonflies, and other fascinating insects, along with the occasional visit from Formosan macaques, pangolins, Reeves’s Muntjacs, and wild boars during the nighttime.

A Tropical Wonderland in Taichung: Taichung Botanical Garden

Taichung Botanical Garden, adjacent to the National Museum of Natural Science, is home to over 700 plant species. The highlight of this garden is the Tropical Rainforest Conservatory, a massive steel-and-glass structure designed to replicate a tropical rainforest environment. Inside, you’ll find a waterfall and a small creek. This conservatory serves to maintain warmth and moisture while capturing the delightful scents that attract butterflies.

Research and Nature at National Taiwan University Tropical Botanical Garden

Located on the outskirts of Zhushan, an hour’s drive from Taichung, the National Taiwan University Tropical Botanical Garden is an intriguing stopover on the way to Sun Moon Lake. Managed by the university, this garden boasts an impressive variety of plants, including three types of sandalwood and rows of Taiwan incense cedars. The garden is also part of the university’s significant land holdings dedicated to various research endeavours, accounting for approximately 1% of Taiwan’s total land area.

Whether you seek self-education, fresh air, exercise, or picturesque picnic spots, Life of Taiwan can incorporate a botanical garden into your private guided tour of Taiwan.