TAIPEI (Taiwan) - For most city dwellers in Taiwan, Autumn often passes by without too much notice. Usually it just seems like a few weeks of cool, comfortable weather following the humid summers, just before the slight chill of the wet Taiwan winter sets in.
But don't be fooled, Autumn in Taiwan does in fact exist. It also happens to be an excellent time to get out of the city and appreciate the island's amazing natural environment.
Here are five suggestions from Taiwan News on some excellent spots to enjoy the season.
1. Xitou Nature Education Area, Nantou County
Nantou is well known for its natural beauty with attractions like Sun Moon Lake and Qingjing Farm. The Xitou Nature Education Area in Nantou is also great place to enjoy nature all year round. In the Fall, from late October to early December, the area is remarkable for its many Maple trees and Gingko trees. If you time the visit right, the Xitou Nature Education Area offers the classic seasonal treat of beautiful red and yellow leaves along picturesque mountain trails.
Xitou Nature Education Area (Photo Credit: mdmho lin, Flickr)
2.The Caoling Historic Trail, New Taipei
The Caoling Historic Trail is located in the far eastern region of New Taipei, and works its way into the upper reaches of Yilan County. In Autumn, this Northeastern corner of Taiwan offers a scene unlike any other on the island. When the silver grass is in bloom, the Caoling Historic Trail offers a panorama worthy of the silver screen. Calm winds, and cool air fill the small valley, and make the tall silver and gold grass sway peacefully. To experience the beauty of the rolling waves of grass yourself, plan a visit to the Caoling Historic Trail between early to mid-November.
Caoling Historic Trail (Wikimedia Commons)
3.The Alishan Forest Recreation Area, Chiayi County
People always say Alishan is one of the must-see locations in Taiwan. And it is true that Alishan is a great place to visit any time of the year. However through most of November, the mountain offers an abundance of fall foliage, especially the maple trees which create a stunning complement to the beautiful red and orange of the Alishan sunrise. If you haven't been to Alishan yet, this fall is an excellent time to go.
Alishan Fall Sunrise (Photo Credit: Ameilia Sinarta, Flickr)
4.The Xiake Lou Historic Trail, Hsinchu County
This trail is a little hidden treasure in Hsinchu county. The Xiakelou Mountain trail was a trail used traditionally by the native people of Northeastern Taiwan. There are several species of maple along the trail, which provides for some breathtaking vistas during Taiwan’s short Autumn. For residents in Taipei, this would make for a great day trip out of the city.
5. Heping Township, Taichung County
Heping Township is part of Taichung county and is nestled right in the center of Taiwan's central mountain range. Therefore, it is not the most easily accessible area of Taiwan, but for all the work it takes to get there, the natural landscapes are breathtaking. This mention is actually two in one, since there are two farms in the region that are both full of stunning trails and vistas the whole year.
Wuling Farm (Photo Credit: Wuling Farm)
The first is Wuling Farm, a farm originally dedicated to helping develop agriculture in the central mountain region, which has now dedicated itself to ecotourism. As a result, Wuling farm offers some wonderfully planned and immaculately maintained trails for visitors to experience.
The second farm, Fushoushan Farm has been called the Petite Switzerland of Taiwan for its amazing vistas, and misty mountains. It is notable for the Heaven Pool reservoir, as well as its great variety of plants and flowers. Wherever you visit in the region, Heping Township has a variety of bed and breakfast inns that would make for the perfect Autumn getaway this year.
Fushoushan Farm (Photo Credit: Fushoushan Farm)