Day 7 & 8: Wuling

Taroko NATIONAL PARK to Wuling

From Taroko National Park to Wuling Farm was about 110km probably about 4 hours driving and through several stretch of  windy roads. There was a road blockage along Highway 8 at the 114km marking. That section of the road was under major repair and was opened to traffic only four times a day. We timed ourselves to reach there during the 12pm-1pm opening timeslot.

Route from Taroko Gorge to Wuling Farm

Route from Taroko Gorge to Wuling Farm

On our journey we saw at several random spots (along the road side) many plum blossom (or was it cherry blossom). Some of these spots were very stunning. Not only were the tree branches full of pink flowers, the ground around the trees were carpeted in pink too.

Stunning Plum Blossom along the way

Stunning Plum Blossom along the way

At Dayuling we took the northward branch that went toward Lishan/Wuling. The route involved a one direction road through a mountain tunnel, the traffic direction was controlled by a traffic light.

One way direction tunnel

One way direction tunnel

After about 1 hour of driving on more curvy roads we reached Lishan. There we stopped to take a break.

Lishan, Lishan Guesthouse and around

Lishan, Lishan Guesthouse and around

Near Lishan Guesthouse was 攬勝樓, Pagoda Rest Stop on top of the hill. We drove as near as we could, before walking steps to the top to the Pagoda.

Walking up to 攬勝樓

Walking up to 攬勝樓Up at the Pagoda Rest stop we had a great time walking around the open balcony looking far and about. We saw a beautiful lake/reservoir far away and many terraced farmland beyond.

Beautiful view from 攬勝樓

Beautiful view from 攬勝樓

After 攬勝樓 we drove up to Fushoushan farm 千櫻園 (thousand cherry blossom garden). In this garden there we some 1000 cherry blossom trees. Unfortunately we were still too early in the season so only a couple of trees had open flowers, as for the rest only flower buds.

Fushoushan Farm "Thousand cherry blossom Garden"

Fushoushan Farm “Thousand cherry blossom Garden”

Our visit to Wuling Farm was on the 2nd day when we set out to Wuling Farm from Sqoyaw Village where we stayed 2 nights. After breakfast we walked out /up the hill to the start of the village to catch a private bus that took us to Wuling Farm. From Sqoyaw village to Wuling Farm was 12km.

Wuling Farm was a popular place for viewing Cherry Blossom. To get to into the farm “tickets” were needed. Ticket to board the private bus and ticket to enter the farm. Private cars were not allowed into the farm unless one had prebooked one of the limit accommodations in the farm. Private buses picked visitors from Lishan Guesthouse (the first stop) and at several other designated stops along to route to Wuling Farm some 24 km from the first stop.

Bus station at start of Sqoyaw Village to Wuling Farm entrance

Bus station at start of Sqoyaw Village to Wuling Farm entrance

Wuling Farm was huge, about 700 hectares in size. There were a few places in the farm where accommodations were available. Unfortunately all were fully booked long before this season.

Map of Wuling Farm

Map of Wuling Farm

Wuling Farm had over 20,000 Cherry Blossom trees. The Cherry Blossom Festival was from 7th Feb to 28th February. Entrance tickets were sold to limit entry to 6000 visitors a day. Each set of  ticket was priced at TWD320 which covered bus transfer and farm entry.

Cherry Blossom at Wuling Farm

Cherry Blossom at Wuling Farm

In Wuling farm we found only one place 武陵茶莊 (a teahouse) where we could buy our meals. The place was packed with visitors and the queues for food and drinks were long. It took us a while to to find an empty table and get some food to fill our tummys. We had two meat buns, glutinuous rice and two cups of tea.

Meal break at 武陵茶莊

Meal break at 武陵茶莊

We spent about 6 hours in the farm before taking the private bus back to Sqoyaw village.

Cherry Blossom at Wuling Farm

Cherry Blossom at Wuling Farm

Cherry Blossom at Wuling Farm

Cherry Blossom at Wuling Farm

Our stay at Sqoyaw Village

We tried booking accommodation at Wuling Farm but found all accommodations booked way ahead of our visit. We searched for accommodations in the villages along the route to the farm and finally found one at Sqoyaw village. The cost was reasonable at TWD2000 for two per night. No ensuite or breakfast included.

This accommodation was not on Booking.com or Agoda.com, we could only rely on the “LINE” messaging on the google map of the location to communicate with the manager. The manager was great, on finding out that we planned to visit Wuling Farm Cherry Blossom festival, she helped us to pre-purchase the tickets. We did not even have to transfer any deposit or payment to her.

Our stay at Sqoyaw village

Our stay at Sqoyaw village

We had a very nice room on the ground level of the “hotel”. The toilet on the ground level was shared by the two guest rooms on the ground level. The toilet had two entrance doors one of which was from our room. Since we were the only guests on the ground level, the toilet was in a way not shared at all.

The ground floor had a kitchen, a shared dining place with a huge TV.

Ground level of our stay at 瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿

Ground level of our stay at 瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿

The name of our stay was  瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿. It was a Japanese Style B&B built by it previous owner who was a Japanese.

On site we found that we could order dinner and breakfast too. So we quickly put down our order for dinner and breakfast for subsequent days. As for our first dinner we ate at a simple restaurant in the same lane as the stay. The food was not that great.

Wow our host was a great cook. After the “lousy” meal at a nearby eatery the night our next dinner cooked by our host was fantastic. The dinner was TWD580 for two persons.

Dinner at 瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿

Dinner at 瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿

Breakfast on our last morning was also very lovely. We had traditional chinese porride and various condiments. The breakfast was TWD280 for two person.

Breakfast at 瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿

Breakfast at 瑪岱夢(水月)日式包棟式民宿

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