Spring is the most beautiful season in Taiwan. Flowers flourish far and wide, from the high mountains to the Pacific coast in the east. Exquisite blossoms bloom into full beauty throughout this season, especially the precious sakura. Most people will envision sakura flowers to be a product of the Japanese climate; alluringly pink flowers lightly dusted with snow frosting, blooming around an ice encrusted path leading to an old village. However, cherry blossoms are not merely a Japanese property. The pleasant sub-tropical climate of the Taiwanese island allows thousands of varieties of flowers to flourish, including sakura flowers. From February’s start to the end of March, visitors to Taiwan will be engaged in scenes of the beautiful pink cherry blossoms.
Yet why even participate in cherry blossom viewing(also known as hanami)? For the sheer natural beauty of cherry blossoms of course. Delicate, willowy trees, sakuras in full bloom are wondrously beautiful. Cherry blossoms are in every shade of pink, depending on the variety, and are delicate and has an unearthly charm to them.
There are dozens of places in Taiwan where one can view the splendour of the sakura. For example, Danshui. The Temple is not just a lodestone of Taiwanese culture, but also has multiple cherry blossoms. They bloom later in the year than most other Taiwanese sakura trees, around the middle of March. These trees are a Japanese breed which the Empire of Japan brought when they colonised Taiwan. The flowers are often of a lighter pink than other breeds. At Danshui, you can enjoy a scenic walk through the Temple framed by beautiful sakura trees. The ancient looking Chinese temple, coupled with the pretty cherry blossoms, will combine a sense of sentimentality as well as wonder, as one walks beneath the sakura trees. Along the way, there are also streetside vendors that complements the walk with tasty traditional snacks.
Another place to visit will be the Alishan Forest Recreation Area. Alishan’s high altitude makes it the perfect place for cherry blossoms to flourish. It is internationally renowned for its distinctive forest railways, the colourful indigenous culture, and the myriad diversity of the ecologies there as well as the mesmerizing sceneries. Nonetheless, despite the views of the clouds, sunsets and sunrises, it is Alishan’s cherry blossoms that are truly beautiful. The Alishan Forest Recreation Area is covered by more than 19000 sakura trees and about 18000 of them are Yoshino sakura trees from Japan. Every year, from March to April, there is the Alishan Cherry Blossom Festival, which brings thousands, locals and tourists alike, to the mountain. The best spots to find cherry blossoms are the Alishan
Police Station, Alishan House, Alishan Work Station and Zhaoping Park. Visitors will be immersed into a world of beauty and pink, surrounded by thousands upon thousands of Japanese sakura trees. At Alishan, a visitor can also sample the cherry blossom cuisine present. The sweet flavour of the cherry blossom is infused into hundreds of foods, from ice-cream to drinks and biscuits.
Additionally, one can visit Wulai. Wulai is famed for its rich natural resources, hot spring, aboriginal culture and mesmerizing cherry blossoms that can be seen around February-March every year. The Wulai scenic area is filled with many cherry blossom trees, providing any appreciator of sakura blossoms a beautiful scene of cherry blossoms. Wulai has numerous hotels and hot spring resorts, where one can luxuriate in the 80 degrees water. There is also the Wulai Atayal Musuem, where centrepieces of the
Aboriginal culture present there are displayed. A visitor to Wulai can also see the majestic 80-metre tall Wulai waterfall. There are also Atayal tribal dances and performances for the visitors appreciation.
Cherry blossom viewing in Taiwan is a novel experience for any visitor to the island. The beautiful and dainty flowers of the sakura tree will enchant anyone. Take a visit to Taiwan during the spring and see them for yourself!