Friday, February 3, 2017

Xinshe Flower Festival in Taichung, Taiwan

When I booked this trip to Taiwan, I just set it at around November because I thought it will be cold by then. I was surprised that I’d be able to catch a festival during my travel dates (I probably ought to look up different events in the country I want to visit, and then book along those dates next time). Anyway,I happened to know I’ll be just in time for the Xinshe Flower Festival in Taichung. I have never really heard of this city prior to coming to Taiwan, but as I browsed through the pictures I made it a point to visit, and I can say that this has been one of the highlights of my 16-day stay in the country. 

taiwan festival

It was gloomy all throughout my stay in Taichung, I would have wanted the sun to come out but it was a no-show for two days, so despite the light rain, I bought my umbrella and took the public bus to Xinshe, where the Sea of Flowers festival is held.

There is a free shuttle bus but it was too much of a hassle to go to so I decided to just take the Fengyuan bus number 270 from Taichung Railway Station. Most blogs indicated that there is still a 20-30 minute walk to get to the exact location, but in my case, the bus driver let us off at the entrance to the festival grounds. I’m not complaining. When I tapped my easycard though, I was charged 46 NTD, which was not bad considering how far it was. Despite arriving there pretty early, the place was already jam packed with locals. I wouldn’t blame them, considering that there is no entrance fee and it was on a weekend, this is the perfect place to spend with the family.

The Xinshe Sea of Flowers Festival 新社花海 is an annual grand activity in the city of Taichung famous for its flower exhibition that also helps promote the agriculture industry of Taiwan. There are exhibition halls wherein visitors can connect with farmers and learn more about flowers and its cultivation, and even buy local organic products. I heard the festival dates changes slightly every year, but most likely, it will be during the cool autumn month of November till early December. It was held from November 05 until December 04 last 2016. More updates on their official website, http://flowersea.tw/

I remember how Hitachi Seaside Park has been trending in Facebook last year, well Taiwan has also their own flower park (lots of them are in Taichung)!

colorful cosmos!

Snap, snap, snap! It was a four hours of nonstop picture taking, there’s really not much to do here aside from looking at the flowers, taking photos of the flowers and if you want, talking to the flowers (I saw some kids doing this, so cute!) We’re not permitted to take any and it’s pretty obvious from the ropes that hinders you from getting near the flowers. There were some exhibition halls that had displays of various agricultural products, too bad everything was written in Chinese. At least, it provided me shelter from the rain at times.

Who would have thought it was possible to spend 4 hours just by being around flowers. Despite how this looks, the area was really huge, I was told that it spans around 40 hectares of land. Just by walking around, it will probably take you an hour or so. It didn’t help that it was also raining, at least the pathways were covered so you wouldn’t get mud in your clothes. I guess my only complaint would be the lack of English signs for the flowers. I admit that I don’t know anything about the fauna aside from roses, sakura and sunflowers haha, but now that I am able to look up in Google, there were actually lots of variety of flowers that were planted there –cosmos, chrysanthemum, lavender, tulip, marigold and much more that I can’t name (because apparently, I don’t know much about them)

The flower fields never seemed to end

I have never really been interested with flowers, so my mother was really surprised why I even bothered to go to this festival. But people change. I think I found a new appreciation after I’ve seen the ‘sea of flowers’, and to think how rare this event is, I’m pretty lucky to have seen these vibrant gems during my trip.

How to go to Xinshe Sea of Flowers Festival:
The festival is held only during November-December, do check http://flowersea.tw/ for more announcements.
From Taichung Railway Station, you can board bus 270, 271, 276 and 277.
Weekend shuttle bus is also available for free provided by the local government of Taichung, but parking location varies every year.   

If you come to Taiwan in the wrong season, you can still enjoy at Meifeng, Lavender Farm, Chungshe Tourism Flower Market in Taichung.

More of my 16-day exploration of Taiwan here:








New Taipei

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