TAIPEI (Taiwan News)--The central stairway of Taipingshan Villa (太平山莊) is a dreamy place in northeastern Taiwan from now until Summer as during this time the special maple trees flanking the stairway are full of deep red maple leaves.
Taipingshan Villa is located in Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area (太平山國家森林遊樂區) in Datong Township, Yilan, a northeastern county of Taiwan.
The recreation area is most colorful after spring, and the most eye-catching is the Red-Leaf Japanese Maple (紫葉槭) leaves along Taipingshan Villa’s 496-step central stairway.
In early spring, new sprouts of the tall maple trees flanking the villa’s central stairway will grow into deep purple leaves. As the season progresses and the leaves receive more sunlight, the colors of the leaves will turn into scarlet, and then fiery red in summer.
If immersed in thick fog or mist, which is ever-present on Taipingshan, the scenery can best be described as poetically beautiful and surreal, and is a special delight to visitors who come during the period from spring to September.
It is highly recommended that visitors walk along the entrancing stairway to enjoy the experience of walking through a red-leaf tree tunnel. At the end of this stairway, they can immediately walk onto the Chinese Hemlock National Trail (鐵杉林國家步道) to enjoy the aroma of phytoncide (a substance naturally produced by plants to fend off germs and bugs).
The national trail is only 1.1 kilometers long and takes hikers about two hours to complete.
Taipingshan Villa is popular lodging on Taipingshan, with it many rooms and cabins, as well as a restaurant and coffee shop. People interested in staying at the villa must book one month in advance.
Taipingshan Villa is also the starting point of the Bong Bong Train (蹦蹦車), which used to be a forest railway for transporting timber in the old days
The verdant Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area, one of Taiwan’s three largest forest farms in the old days, is now famous for its numerous hiking trails, Cueifong Lake (翠峰湖), the largest high mountain lake in Taiwan, and Jioujhihze Hot Spring (鳩之澤溫泉).
(Forestry Bureau photo)
(George Liao photo)
(George Liao photo)