In season: Here’s where you can best catch Taiwan’s cherry blossoms

Taiwan has cherry blossom to rival Japan’s famed Sakura. Source: Shutterstock

WHEN you think of white and pink seas of cherry blossoms, you most likely conjure up images of Japanese springtime and the huge crowds that are drawn there each year to take part in the hanami, or flower appreciation.

But there is another east Asian blossomed gem that doesn’t get nearly as much attention, and yet holds just the same beauty as Japan’s famed sakura (cherry blossom) – Taiwan.

As springtime is fast approaching, Tripzilla has put together a handy guide for the best times to view the flowers in full bloom:

Alishan National Scenic Area: Late January to mid-April

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A favorite with visitors to the island, Alishan National Scenic Area is famous not just for its cherry blossoms. The national park is also known for its forest railway used by Japanese-built colonial era trains, peaceful hiking trails with sacred trees, and the production of Taiwan’s internationally-famous tea.

You can also catch fantastic sunrises and sunsets across the mountains and visit Taiwan’s highest elevation temple, Shoujhen Temple.

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Pingjing St Lane 42, Taipei: Late January to mid-February

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If you’re short on time and can’t make it out of Taipei to see the blossoms in bloom, fear not. Local secret and centrally-located Pingjing St Lane 42 still promises a pretty impressive display. And you won’t have hordes of tourists here jostling for space.

You’ll have to be quick though as the season starts to tail off at the end of January.

Wuling Farm: Mid-February to Early March

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Wuling Farm is an area of great natural beauty, with rolling hills and peaceful forest walks. This appeal does, however, make it a major draw for both local and international tourists.

The cherry blossom season can get busy. So much so that the Ministry of Transportation announced last week that daily entrance to the farm would be limited to 6,000 people. Access will be strictly regulated, with motorists needing official passes before they are allowed to drive into the area.

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Tianyuan Temple, Danshui: Mid-February to mid-March

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The Instagram opportunities here are in abundance. Located just outside of Taipei in the quiet countryside in the Danshui district, this Taoist temple has a huge garden that turns into a sea of blossom in spring time.

Make sure to check out the grand interiors and colorful embellishments of the temple.

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Yangmingshan National Park: Mid-February to mid-March

Come for the cherry blossoms, stay for the hot springs.

The blossoms at Yangmingshan National Park are just the beginning of the beautiful natural attractions. The park is also home to natural hot springs, numerous hiking trails, sulfur lakes, and Taiwan’s largest volcano, the Seven Star Mountain.

Wulai Scenic Area: Late February to early March

At the tailing end of the season is Wulai. This also has some great added attractions and makes a fine alternative if you’re unable to make it to Yangmingshan. Known for its traditional food street (Wulai Old Street), he area also has natural hot springs, and plenty of indigenous culture.