TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Dongshi District (東勢區) in Taichung City, famous for producing fruits year round due to its climate, is also a nice place to admire fireflies and lotus flowers during summer.
Dongshi, which can be reached via the Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way, has a lot to offer cooped up city dwellers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Dongshi Forestry Culture Park (東勢林業文化園區)
Formerly the Taiwan Daxueshan Forestry Company (大雪山林業公司), the Dongshi Forestry Culture Park was the site of a lumber mill in the 1960s, the largest in East Asia at the time. It was also the first place in Taiwan where American-style logging operations were introduced.
The forestry park still retains vestiges of the logging industry, such as a lumber works, offices, and dormitories. The 5-hectare timber pond is a particularly popular attraction for photographers in summer when it becomes blanketed with beautiful lotus blossoms.
(Dongshi Forest District Office photo)
2. Dongshi Forest Garden (東勢林場)
The Dongshi Forest Garden is a low-altitude forest and home to a variety of plants and animals. Cedar trees, tung oil trees, maple trees, Taiwan acacias, and plum trees in the garden delight throughout the year. “Fireflies sparkle like thousands of twinkling stars towards the end of spring,” according to a statement from Taichung Travel Net. In addition, the garden is well facilitated with meeting rooms, a camp fire site, and a hot spring footbath area.
(Taitung City Government photo)
3. Ruanbikeng Agricultural Leisure Area (軟埤坑休閒農業區)
The Ruanbikeng Agricultural Leisure Area, which has a total area of 503 hectares, is dedicated to growing fruit. It is a rare place easily accessible to city dwellers where they can breathe fresh air, pick fruit, check out the holiday farmers market, and go hiking.
(Ruanbikeng Agricultural Leisure Area photo)
4. Sky Ladder Trail (天梯步道)
The Sky Ladder Trail located in Ruanbikeng Agricultural Leisure Area is known for its fireflies during April and May. There are forests of bamboo, camphor trees, sweet osmanthus, observation decks, and rest stops along the way. It takes about several hours to reach the end of the 3-kilometer Sky Ladder Trail.
(Taichung City Government photo)