There are 14 native species of cherry blossom in Taiwan and “Taipingshan White Cherry Blossom” which is endemic to Taiwan grows only in cold cloudy Taipingshan region at elevations of 800-2,000 m. Its flower season is in late March, later than ordinary Taiwan cherry blossoms. Inside Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area and past Jancing Historic Trail, there are bunches of native Taipingshan White Cherry Blossoms flowering extravagantly on both sides of road. In addition to sea of clouds and Taiwan Cypress forest, it is another gift from Mother Nature to Taipingshan.
The species of bird are plenty in Taipingshan. Owl has the image of forest keeper and is a nocturnal bird of prey and is difficult to spot. There are 8 species of owl recorded in Taipingshan: Tawny Owl, Spotted Scops Owl, Brown Hawk-Owl, Long-Eared Owl, Glaucidium brodiei, Indian Scops Owl , Tawny Fish Owl and Brown Wood Owl. Among them, Tawny Owl has the highest frequency of occurrence and therefore is the indicator species of nocturnal bird of prey in Taipingshan.Spring and summer are the breeding seasons for Tawny Owl and it is often spotted hawking small animals from tree top on both sides of Yijhuan Route 1 and Cueifong Scenic Road. If you visit Taipingshan, how about trying to watch Tawny Owl at night?
Jioujhihze Hot Spring is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains. It is far away from the mundane world but only a 100- minute drive from the downtown Yilan City. It is an ideal destination for one-day trip.The source of Jioujhihze hot spring water comes from the cracks of stone on the hillside. The temperature there is about 140°C and is reduced to 38-42°C at hot spring bathing area to feel comfortable for human body. The hot spring here has no odor and is clear. Its content is weak based calcium carbonate which can make skin feel slippery. So, it has the nickname “Hot Spring for Beauties”. The facilities here include a SPA pool, naked bathing pools for men and women, and the outdoor family thermal bathing area. It is worth mentioning that the SPA pool was built from a huge rock brought down the stream by typhoon. And naked bathing pools and outdoor family thermal bathing area can make visitors enjoy the pleasure of hot spring bathing and forest bathing at the same time.
Papilio maraho is identified as the national butterfly of Taiwan. Its name derives from the feature of extra-wide tail of adult butterfly. The Japanese had given it the status of natural heritage during the period under Japanese rule. The host plant of Papilio maraho is Taiwan Sassafras and, because its scarcity, the living space of Papilio maraho is limited within the areas of Taipingshan and Mingchi. In early summer, it is just the season for Papilio maraho metamorphosing from pupa into butterfly. You are welcomed to Taipingshan to chase after this dreamlike butterfly.The distribution area of Papilio maraho is very narrow and its habitat is dot-like distributed. Besides, due to its habitat loss and threatened by severe hunting pressure, Papilio maraho’s population in the wild decreases day by day. Currently, Council of Agriculture of Taiwan has announced it is listed as an endangered species according to local Wildlife Conservation Act.
Most of the Purple maples at Taipingshan are located at both sides of the central stairway. Under sunlight, its bright red leaves decorate the central stairway as an autumn tree tunnel. We recommend that visitors first walk along the central stairway upward and continue to go forward slowly into the virgin forest to sense the aroma of phytoncide discharged from Taiwan cypress.Generally speaking, maple leaf and aceraceae leaf included will change their color when the temperature becomes cool in autumn. However, Purple maple is different. Its leaf color is always in deep purple from shoot to leaf. The leaf peeping period of Japanese maple at Taipingshan begins in April until October when its leaf begins to fall.
On Yijhuan Route 1 past 20 k, there will be a lot of Foxgloves appear on roadside. In summer, strings of its wind bell-shaped flowers blossom in red, purple, pink and white. But always keep in your mind that the whole plant of Foxglove is highly toxic so that never touch it while watching it. Moreover, there is a legend regarding Foxglove, which is said that an evil elf gives the flower to fox as a gift to muffle the noise of its steps.
Since it is located at medium and high elevations, Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area is the best place to gaze stars besides watching the sunrise and sunset. Without light pollution, it is convenient to spot the Milky Way or meteorites at night sky if the weather condition allows. Both beginners and veterans are welcome to visit Taipingshan at night to uncover the secrecy of the universe as well as to observe the mountain ecosystems in daytime.
As the temperature gradually decreases in autumn, the color of Taiwan Beech’s leaf also increasingly turns into golden yellow. Then both in the air and on the ground will be splashed with the yellow leaves of Taiwan Beech in your eyes. Not to mention, its leaf peeping period is so short that it attracts a lot of admirers to make a pilgrimage to Taipingshan every year.We sincerely invite you to visit Taipingshan and explore the attractive world of Taiwan Beech. Please seize the opportunity in time if you want to experience personally. We also remind you that, before preparing your trip, please pay close attention to the information relating to Forest Recreation Area and the transport condition to make your ecotourism safe and sound.
The season has slipped into winter. As cold air mass coming, Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area which is at elevation 2,000 m will be clouded with snow, resembling countries at high latitudes.Please pay close attention to weather forecast or go to Taipingshan fans club (https://www.facebook.com/tps100.forest/) for the latest information. By the way, since the weather is very cold in the mountains, please always keep yourself warm and dry. It is also strongly suggested that snow chains be employed to your car to counter the slippery road surface and always be driving carefully in fogs and in the mountains.
Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area has always been the best destination for people in Taiwan to watch the sun rise. To welcome the first light of dawn at New Year’s Day, Recreation Area will open earlier to the public at 3:00 am. We expect visitors can enjoy an experience different from other noisy events and hope the fresh phytoncide and beautiful landscapes here will usher in a good start of the New Year for all visitors. The popular sites for watching the sun rise at Taipingshan are: viewing platforms at Taipingshan Villa, Cueifong Scenic Road 14k, Wangyangshan Trail and Pingyuan Trail.
- Fans Group for Taipingshan