Thanks to its position astride the Tropic of Cancer and plentiful rainfall, Taiwan is a place where foliage and flowers of all kinds thrive. Wherever land is left undeveloped and untilled, wildflowers quickly establish themselves, adding a range of colours to a natural environment that already features every possible shade of green.
Many Taiwanese are enthusiastic gardeners, in spite of the population density and general lack of space. Throughout towns you’ll see balconies bedecked with flowers and lovingly-nurtured potted plants. The latter often serve a secondary purpose: They’re also used to mark out parking spaces.
Flowery Celebrations Around Taipei
This spring as in previous years, there are some events which flower-loving travellers might want to add to their itinerary. The 2024 Yangmingshan Flower Festival (February 7 to March 17) is an excellent reason to visit the national park that protects the mountains northeast of Taipei. At this time of year, tourists can enjoy an abundance of rhododendrons, camellias, peach blossoms, wild peonies, and other plants.
If you’re coming for cherry blossoms, the very best period is usually the last week of February into the first week of March. Blossoms can be found in the vicinity of Yangmingshan National Park’s Flower Clock; the clock and its surroundings are worth spending some time whatever the season.
The 2024 Zhuzihu Calla Lily and Hydrangea Festival is scheduled to run from March 14 to June 23. In addition to growing the bulk of Taiwan’s calla lilies, the horticulturalists who work around Zhuzihu (‘Bamboo Lake’) cultivate pesticide-free vegetables that are much sought after by health-conscious Taipei residents. The trumpet-shaped calla lily (aka arum lily) is an exceptionally elegant decorative flower. Originally from the southern part of Africa, it’s adored by Taiwanese on account of its pristine white blooms. These durable flowers often appear in wedding bouquets.
The climate around Zhuzihu (‘Bamboo Lake’) is unusually wet and foggy, even by the damp standards of northern Taiwan, so come prepared in terms of clothing and footwear. Some farms charge for admission — and give you flowers in return — but if you’re visiting as part of a Life of Taiwan private guided tour, you can be sure these details will be taken care of. The authorities often impose traffic controls, so self-driving tourists should plan accordingly.
If you have just a few hours to spare and don’t want to go into the national park, the 2024 Shilin Residence Tulip Festival (February 22 to March 3) is an opportunity to surround yourself with floral glory. Featuring tulips imported from Japan and the Netherlands alongside tasteful installation art, it’s also a good place for a brief stop if you’re going to/from Xinbeitou’s hot springs or the National Palace Museum.
The Shilin Residence isn’t merely a place for flower fans. For those interested in 20th-century and Cold War history, it makes for a very worthwhile detour. The main building within this 9.3-hectare (23-acre) property was inhabited by none other than Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the dictator who led China during World War II but was forced by Mao Zedong’s victorious Communist armies to retreat to Taiwan in 1949. He died in 1975, yet the interior of the residence wasn’t opened to the public until after Madame Chiang Kai-shek passed away in 2003.
Another flower-related event to mark on your calendar is the 2024 Taipei Azalea Festival. Between March 1 and March 31, the azalea — the official flower of Taipei’s capital — will be the centre of attention at Da’an Forest Park, where concerts and other cultural performances, educational events, and open-air markets will entertain locals and tourists alike. For most of these events, there’ll be no admission charge.
In Taiwan, Flowers are Everywhere
In East Taiwan, Mount Liushidan (aka Sixty Stone Mountain) is renowned for its fields of daylilies. These protein-rich orange flowers are used to make soups and other dishes, but it’s the combined effect of thousands of them covering the entire hillside that draws sightseers. Similar vistas can be seen further south at Taimali Kinchen Mountain.
If you explore Taiwan’s spectacularly mountainous interior, you’re sure to see such delightful wildflowers as the delicate Formosan Thistle (which grows in Yangmingshan National Park among other places) and the high-elevations-only Taiwan Ladybell.
To begin planning the trip of a lifetime, contact us today and we’ll explain the various options for family tours or nature tours of Taiwan. See you on the beautiful island!