Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Move over cherry blossoms, there is a new darling in town.  The showy flowers of the tulips have been capturing the hearts of the Taiwanese from children to the young at heart.  How can you resist them?  They come in a variety of colors.  With a good weather during the Lunar New Year, visiting Shilin was a wise decision to spend the holidays.

I last saw these flowers in the Taipei Flower Test Center during the Camellia Festival and I didn't expect the city government to put up a bigger floral show dedicated to these beautiful flowers.  They were such a beauty!   The tulips festival started on Feb. 13 and will last until Feb. 28 so hurry before they are gone.

fringed tulip

Leen van der mark tulips

Jan van nes tulips

Stealing the show are the bulbous flowers of the hyacinth

Bees feast on the hyacinth flowers as they suck sweet nectar from them.

The tulips are displayed at the Shilin Official Residence.  How to get here?  Board the Taipei MRT and alight at Shilin Station.  From Exit 2, walk for 300 meters to reach the entrance of the park.  Continue walking until you reach the European garden.  You will see the flowers after passing by the Rose Garden.

white prince tulips

strong gold tulips

purple prince tulips

jumbo pink tulips

Chiang Kai-shek's former mansion and garden is not known to be a tulips hub in the city.  It was also the first time that a tulips festival is being held at the Shilin Official Residence.   I only know two floral festivals that take place in this park.  The first one is the Rose Garden Show which happens every April and the Chrysanthemum Festival which happens in November during the autumn season.  Both festivals have been covered before by the luomujie blog.

With the inclusion of the tulips festival in Taipei's calendar of endless activities, visiting the city during spring has become more attractive for local and foreign tourists.   So smile when you come to Shilin and enjoy the flowers while you take a selfie with them.  Post the pictures on social media and tell everyone about the good news.  Hey! Hey! Hey! There are tulips in Taipei!

Taipei kong mahal 180221: Hey! Hey! Hey! There are tulips in Taipei!

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Type of cherry blossom: kawazu sakura (河津櫻)

How to get here: Board the Taipei MRT and alight at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Station.  Go to Exit 4.  You can find the cherry blossoms behind the pond.

Status of flowering: full bloom

The kawazu sakura trees here are not that tall.  They are just enough to let visitors in Taipei see some cherry blossoms.

kawazu cherry blossoms and Taipei 101 behind

A busy bee can be seen sucking nectar from a kawazu sakura

Taiwan Cherry Blossoms - 2018 Sakura Series [Travel in Taiwan Wow lineup 180218: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (國立國父紀念館) kawazu sakura (河津櫻)]

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wuling Farm.  The luomujie blog's top pick for cherry blossom in Taiwan is here again in the Sakura Series.  Having visited the place twice made it easier for me to invite past Travel Buddies who had been missing in action for years.  They were Robert and Sanjoy and the two were very excited to see the recreational farm for the first time. 

I have made a detailed post in 2016 on what to do and what to expect in Wuling Farm.  It fueled the interest of my readers especially Filipinos who are dying to see the beautiful flowers of the Wuling cherry.  A lot of them raised questions about how to get tickets.  Since I live here in my beloved Taiwan, it was easy for me to go to Taipei City Hall Bus Station and buy three tickets.   The price of NTD 730 was very cheap on Taiwanese standards which include the roundtrip fare to Wuling Farm from Taipei and its entrance fee.

Travel Buddy Robert (left) and Travel Buddy Sanjoy (right)

The technique that I have mentioned is only valid for those people who are living in Taiwan.  Those who need to enter Taiwan first will have to get tickets from travel agencies in which the ticket prices have been doubled.   Unless you know someone in Taipei, then your friend can buy you the NTD 730 cheap ticket before you arrive in this country.   

Visitors can also get the tickets in 7-eleven but I bet that you won't  like the travel dates that their kiosk would offer.    The freedom to choose the travel dates will always be at the designated ticketing centers like Taipei Bus Station, Taipei City Hall Bus Station, and Yilan Transfer Station.   The 6,000 daily visitor limit has been distributed well among bus companies and visitors must take advantage of the good weather when choosing the right date to see the farm.

February 17 was the perfect day to have the adventure.   The Central Weather Bureau's forecast on that day says that it would be sunny.   At 60-70% of blooming status, the flowers will look fresh under the blue sky.   A cold front was predicted to pass Taiwan after February 20 bringing rain and strong wind that can blow away the precious petals of the cherry blossoms so Feb. 17 was a very good choice.

My Travel Buddies and I did not have enough sleep just to be Taipei City Hall Bus Station early in the morning.  Our bus left Taipei at 6:15 am and traffic in the mountains delayed our arrival by 15 minutes.  The four-hour travel to the Wuling Farm was worth it, although I have observed some changes with regards to this year's festival.

The official visiting period of Feb. 16 to 25 was shorter compared to the previous editions.   Last year, the blossoming of the flowers was very early so the traffic restrictions in the farm happened at the start of February.  The recent snowfall around the dates of Feb. 4  or 5 caused a dilemma for sakura fans.   Many feared that the buds that are just starting to appear would die due to frostbite.  And they did!

As expected, the flowers were less compared to last year.   We can't do anything about that because everything is in the hands of the Taiwan gods.   Snow brings a bundle of joy to Taiwan but not to the cherry blossoms.   I am hopeful that next year Taiwan's top cherry blossom viewing spot will be beautiful again.   See you again Wuling Farm for another round of the Sakura Series next year.  

Taiwan Cherry Blossoms - 2018 Sakura Series [Travel in Taiwan Wow lineup 180217: Wuling Farm (武陵農場)]

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