While cherry blossom season in Asia is more closely associated with Japan and crowds of people flocking to see beautiful flowers in places such as Kyoto, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out you can also be tickled pink in Taiwan. From mid-February to early April (although in some parts of the country the flowers bloom much earlier), trees in many parks, forests and recreation areas across the country turn pink, attracting masses of tourists in the process. Here are the best places in Taiwan to get your blossom fix.
Taipei and New Taipei
1. Yangmingshan (陽明山)
A national park best known for hiking trails and hot spring baths, Yangmingshan is also one of the best places in Taiwan to see some cherry blossoms. Blooming especially early here, with some trees turning pink as early as January, lots of the cherry blossom trees can be found along the park’s hiking paths, making your hike an even more memorable experience. (Read more: The ultimate hiking guide to Yangmingshan National Park)
Where to go:
- No. 12, Lane 42, Pingjing St, Shilin District
- Section 1, Hushan Rd, Beitou District
- No. 38, Section 2, Hushan Rd, Beitou District
2. Lohas Park, Neihu (樂活公園)
Lohas Park in Taipei’s Neihu district hosts the Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival each year, as a 3km stretch along the park’s Neigou Stream boasting nine varieties of cherry blossom trees turns pink. At night, the park turns magical as the trees are illuminated by lights. The festival usually runs between mid-February and early March, with last year’s event including a flower market and an outdoor screening of Aladin. (Get around in Neihu: Taipei’s Organic Agriculture Mountain Tourist – Farm Experience in the Baishihu Area)
Address: Lane 61, Kangle St, Neihu District
3. Tianyuan Temple, Tamsui (天元宮)
Easily one of Taipei’s most photogenic spots to visit during blossom season, Tianyuan’s cherry trees burst into color every February, surrounding the five-story pagoda in a fluffy cloud of pink petals. Unsurprisingly, the structure, which resembles Beijing’s temple of heaven, is quite busy during this time. But the crowds are worth it for the impressive views down to the city.
Address: No. 36, Section 3, Beixin Rd, Tamsui District
4. New Taipei City Gold Museum, Jinguashi (黃金博物館)
Not far from Jiufen, this area is at its most enchanting from March to April, when the Taiwan and Yoshino Cherries are in full flower. Rhododendron also grows here and blooms during the same period, covering the hillside in whites, hot fuschias, and pale pinks. Get there early, and leave yourself time to tackle Teapot Mountain, which climbs up from behind the museum to dramatic views over the north coast (weather permitting).
Address: No. 8, Jinguang Rd, Ruifang District
4. Sanxia (三峽大熊櫻花林)
While sakura season in Japan may have a reputation for being fleetingly brief, Sanxia enjoys a delightfully slow burn. Given that there are over 6 varieties of cherry blossoms in this mountainous southeast corner of New Taipei, the flower-viewing often stretches out from January all the way through to March. For best shots of the cherry blossoms, be sure to head higher up the hill where the trees are denser.
Address: No. 228, Zhulun Rd, Sanxia District
Taoyuan and Hsinchu
1. Treemore Garden, Fuxing
Located between Daxi and Xiao Wulai, Treemore Garden is an ambling trail past over 1,000 cherry blossoms. Art installations such as Japanese torii gates, angel wings, and hot air balloons add to the whimsy of this scenic spot. What’s more, you can even go full sakura and rent kimonos to wear while you walk around the garden while the trees are in bloom.
Address: Fuxing District, 基國派路520巷133之1號 (Google Maps)
2. Loving Farm, Lala Mountain (拉拉山)
In Taoyuan, Loving Farm (恩愛農場) up Taoyuan’s Lala Mountain is a stunning place to see blossoms. A fruit farm, here you will find the blossoms of Fuji Cherry Trees which are actually a hybrid of the Japanese variety and only grow here in Taiwan. One of the most Instagrammable spots on the island, expect crowds when you visit.
Address: No. 143-1, Zhongxin Rd, Fuxing District
3. Smangus (司馬庫斯)
Better known for its huge cypress trees and Atayal heritage, mountaintop Smangus bursts into color from late January to mid March as the blossoms open on its over 2,000 cherry blossom trees. The panorama of the Central Mountains makes for an astounding floral experience on clear days. While you’re there, make sure you save time to check out the towering giants at Smangus Ancient Tree Grove, which have stood for up to 2,700 years.
1. Wuling Farm, Taichung (武陵農場)
Wuling Farm in Taichung turns pink in February and is so popular with visitors that it hosts its own cherry blossom viewing festival (be sure to check dates to find out about charges). Up in the mountains, it can be tough to access the farm and is best to drive yourself or to join a specialist blossom viewing tour. (See also: Snow Mountain – A Winter Hike on One of Taiwan’s Most Beautiful Mountains)
Address: No. 3-1, Wuling Rd, Heping District
2. Tai’an Police Station, Houli
“Taiwan’s most beautiful precinct” might seem like a weird choice for this list, but the 200-meter road that leads up to the building is a must-see during cherry blossom season. Over 100 rosy trees line the short street, whose location just off National Expressway One makes it a delightful stop for anyone passing through Taichung this spring.
Address: No. 1, Anmei Rd, Houli District
3. Dongshi Forest Garden, Dongshi (東勢林場)
Just outside of urban Taichung, the majority-Hakka village of Dongshi burns a deep pink every spring due to the numerous Taiwan cherries that grow here. In addition to the shocking displays of Fuschia sakura, other local attractions include Dongshi Forestry Culture Park, featuring a 5-hectare lotus pond that explodes into bloom every summer.
Address: No. 6-1, Shilin St, Dongshi District
4. Fushoushan Farm, Taichung (福壽山農場)
Sitting on the roof of Taiwan at 2,200 meters above sea level, Fushou Shan Farm is half-way on the Central Cross-Island Highway, an area known as Little Switzerland for its pine forests and alpine scenery. Needless to say, the scenery is stunning, and with six varieties of cherries covering the area, you can expect a heavy blanket of pink petals from mid-February to April. Tack this one onto a trip up Hehuanshan. Or driving across from the west to Taroko Gorge, which is about 2 more hours by car.
Address: No. 29, Fushou Rd, Heping District
1. Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area, Nantou (奧萬大森林遊樂區)
The blossoms in this Nantou forest recreation area are out early, usually blooming in January. Blossom season here usually lasts around two months and coincides with the best time of year to see the leaves of the bald pine trees and the redwoods turning from yellow to red. (If you are visiting Nantou: Lakeside Luxury: Sun Moon Lake’s Top Luxury Experiences)
Address: 南投縣仁愛鄉大安路153號 (Google Maps)
2. Wanda Power Station, Re’nai (萬大電廠)
A relic of the Japanese colonial period, Wanda Power Station opened to the public as an ecological education center in 2017. As one of the lesser-visited sites on this list, you’ll more likely to get the scenery for yourself. Given its location in Ren’ai Township, Wanda is also a great stopover if you’re making the long drive up to Wuling Farm or Hehuanshan Mountain.
Address: No. 1, Da’an Road, Ren’ai Township
3. Wujie (武界)
Hovering at an altitude of around 800 meters above sea level, this dreamy Bunun village is known locally as the “Home of the Clouds.” Needless to say, that makes for some pretty magical scenery as you explore the pale pink cherries that grow among Wujie’s mountain-clinging tea plantations.
Address: 南投縣仁愛鄉法治村茶園巷13-2號 (Google Maps)
4. The Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, Nantou (九族文化村)
As if you still needed convincing that Taiwan is a outstanding destination for cherry blossoms, Japan’s own official sakura association actually shortlisted this spot as having some of the best blooms in the world. Over 5,000 native and foreign varieties cloud the park in various shades of pink throughout February and March. Standard entry will set you back NT$850, but the garden also has a number of unique seasonal promotions, including a Sakura market, live music performances, and a special Hanami lunchbox. Best of all, the trees are illuminated after dark in a kaleidoscope of colors, making for a truly unique flower viewing experience.
Address: 南投縣魚池鄉大林村金天巷45號 (Google Maps)
Chiayi and Tainan
1. Alishan, Chiayi (阿里山)
Beautiful enough in its own right, Alishan takes it up a notch when the blossoms are out. The Nantou national park sees blossoms blooming between January and March with the area being home to several varieties of blossom trees. Find a teahouse to sit outside amongst the trees or ride the forest railway to get a truly spectacular blossom viewing experience. (Explore more: A Guide to Hiking in Alishan)
Address: 605嘉義縣阿里山鄉 (Google Maps)
2. Wusanto Reservoir, Tainan (烏山頭水庫)
Taiwan’s largest manmade reservoir, Wusanto is a great choice in southern Taiwan if you’re looking to skip the crowds. The cherry blossoms are set along a road on the west side of the lake so you won’t have to hike to reach them. While you’re there, check out the mini temple of heaven, just to the south of the cherry blossoms.
Address: 720台南市官田區 (Google Maps)
Kaohsiung and Pingtung
1. Baoshan Cherry Blossom Park, Kaohsiung (桃源38甲櫻花公園)
Teetering 1,500 meters above sea-level, this cloud-breaching garden sits in rural Taoyuan District. It takes the best part of 2 hours by car to get there traffic permitting, but that investment is more than paid off the moment you catch sight of the garden’s sweeping mountain views. Not too far away is the fragile South Cross Island Highway, one of Taiwan’s most stunning scenic drives that runs from Tainan to Taitung. The sections of the road were closed at the time of writing, but you can find up-to-date information in Chinese here.
Address: 桃源區荖濃溪林道寶山巷 (Google Maps)
2. Wutai (霧台)- Pingtung
Wutai township in Pingtung is one of the top scenic spots in Taiwan’s south to view blossoms. Cherry blossom season here usually starts in late January, with a 10km stretch along Taiwan’s highway route 24 turning a delightful pink. A popular spot to visit during Spring Festival, other attractions of note here include Shenshan Waterfall and Wutai Presbyterian Church. (Deep in the south: Hiking in Taiwan: A Seashore Trek along the Alangyi Historic Trail)
1. Mingchi National Forest Recreation Area, Yilan (明池森林遊樂區)
In Yilan county, this is a less popular place to seek out blossoms but definitely one worth visiting. A large cypress forest, the blooming flowers add an extra touch of beauty to the area, while it is highly recommended you hike up to Mingchi Lake to see the much rarer white cherry blossoms. (Go deeper in Yilan: Hiking in Taiwan: Forest Trails, Hot Springs, and Riding the Rails in Taipingshan)
Address: No. 1, Datong Township
1. Qingshan Farm, Taimali (青山農場)
Kinchen Mountain might be most famous for the blankets of golden daylilies that cover it during the summer, but from February to March it blushes a rosy hue from the 800-900 trees that grow there. Nearby attractions include Sunrise Platform, a lookout where you can watch day break over the region’s immaculate cerulean coastline.
Address: No. 196, Jialun Industry Rd, Taimali
(Cover photo/Angela Lo)