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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE,
to the Basics,Taiwan's Tourist Farms
By Selena Huang
Are you tired of just sleeping in on weekends?
Need a change of scenery? Perhaps you should consider a trip
to one of Taiwan's many tourist farms. A return to the basics
offers fresh perspectives and makes Monday morning easier
to manage. No matter where you are, pastoral pleasures are
close by for an easy and inexpensive change to your weekend
farms in the north may be smaller in size when compared
to the rest of the island, but they are BIG on rest and
Destinations in the outlying suburbs of Taipei produce
hearty mountain vegetables, teas and fruits. Both Wenshan
Farm (in Hsintien near Shenchangban Station on HuTzuNei
Road (Tel: 02-2666-7512) and Ching Ching Ranch (64, Lane
266, ZhiShan[ChihShan] Road, Section 2; tel: 02-2841-1996)
are easy access options for a quick get away from town.
Farther a field, city slickers can enjoy a
variety of crops, animals and outdoor activities. Weichuan
Ranch (3-1, Kaorong Li (13) Lin,Yangmei Town, Taoyuan County;
tel: 03-464-4131) is devoted to dairy farming with milking
demonstrations and milk-based products for tasting and purchase.
The vast meadow invites leisurely strolls anytime of year.
Chiuliu Village Leisure Ranch (5, Lin 4, Chiudou Tsun [village],
Hsinwu Hsiang [township], Taoyuan County; tel. 03-477-8577)
includes recreational areas for games, like paintball, barbecue
parties and overnight camping plus a well-stocked pond for
weekend anglers. Fields of organically grown vegetables are
ready for picking in season, and an ecological preserve provides
a glimpse of Mother Nature at her finest.
At Shei Pa Leisure Farm (308-1, Minshih Road,
Taoshan Tsun [village], Wufeng Hsiang [township], Hsinchu
County; tel. 03-585-6192), oriental pears, peaches and kiwis
grow alongside alpine plants and flowers, and make for delicious
fixins' in fruit-laden dishes like Star Fruit Chicken, Wax
Apple Tuna Salad and Kiwi Shrimp.
Taiwan's central region follow the rugged contours of mountain
ridges and grow cold-weather crops, as well as raise dairy cattle,
goats and sheep.
Cow Ranch, nestled in the mountains of Miaoli County (166,
Nanho Li, Tunghsiao Town, Miaoli County; tel: 037-782-999),
is home to more than 500 head of dairy cows and thousands
of butterflies, which give rise to its whimsical name.
The ranch features a nature preserve, milking center,
animal viewing platform and butterfly sanctuary. Naturally,
a number of dairy products are on sale to satisfy lactose
Taichung County's Fushou Mountain Farm (29,
Fushou Road, Hoping Hsiang [township]; tel: 04-2598-1411)
integrates agricultural production and scenic tourism into
one experience. The farm is home to more than 100 varieties
of fruit trees as well as cold-weather vegetables, tea and
alpine flowers and plants. Fushou's changchun tea is one of
Taiwan's choicest teas. Food made from the farm's harvest
is served here, such as apple curry and crispy honey melon
eel. But, diners must make advance reservations.
Wuling Farm, also in Taichung County (3, Wuling
Road, Pingteng Tsun [village], Hoping Hsiang [township]; tel:
04-2590-1257), is a popular destination all year long thanks
to a beautiful setting that changes with the seasons. The
farm is well known for its cold-weather vegetables. In the
summer and autumn, temperate fruits such as peaches, plums,
pears and apples are in season.
Chingjing Farm is located in Nantou County
(25, Tingyuan Lane, Tatung Tsun [village], Jenai Hsiang [Township]
just off the Central Cross-Island Highway, where it affords
views of spectacular mountain landscapes, somewhat reminiscent
of European scenery. The farm produces peaches, oriental pears,
California plums, kiwi and cold-weather vegetables at different
times of the year. The farm also raises livestock and allows
visitors to hike on tea plantation trails or otherwise appreciate
the local flora. On the farm's "Ching Ching Meadow,"
visitors can watch a mock sheep auction. Chinese and Western-style
restaurants offer up farm-fresh beef and mutton meals, including
filet or sirloin steaks and lamb chops.
southern Taiwan stretch far into the horizon, while herds of
grazing animals dot the landscape. Chiayi Farm (3, Lin 4, Hsihsing
Tsun [village], Tapu Hsiang [township], Chiayi County; tel:
05-252-1711) has more than ten open ranges and a spacious farmhouse
for a comfortable overnight stay.
red-tiled roofs and whitewashed walls lend a European
charm to the setting. In addition to fruit and vegetable
crops, expansive gardens are devoted to Chinese medicinal
herbs. Playful pursuits include grass skiing, archery
and paint ball. Hop Hop Leisure Farm (1, Hsihsing Tsun
[village], Tapu Hsiang [township], Chiayi County; tel:
05-252-1529) boasts a kangaroo mascot and energizing activities
such as making preserved plums and yam balls, or learning
how to weave straw grasshoppers. Tea is cultivated on
the farm, and if you like, steep your own brew and drink
in the view along with the tea.
Tsomalai Farm (61, Chiliwu, Erhsi Tsun [village],
Tanei Hsiang [township], Tainan County; 06-576-0121) combines
three distinct areas (leisure parks, orchards and ranch site)
with options for grass skiing, horseback riding, archery,
miniature golf, water recreation and the chance to pick fruits
and vegetables. Try your hand with farming implements used
by the forefathers, or just peruse produce on sale at the
Agricultural Promotion Center. When hunger strikes, head over
to the restaurant for a taste of healthy wild mountain delicacies.
With a full stomach, a nap in the fresh air is next on the
agenda. Takeng Leisure Farm (82, Takeng Li, Hsinhua Town,
Tainan County; tel: 06-594-1555) combines the flavor of ancient
rural villages with modern amenities, plus it gives you the
chance to dig bamboo shoots, pick wild herbs or catch pond-bred
carp - difficult accomplishments in the city. Swinging rope
bridges, small cable cars, wooded hiking trails, hot spas
and grilled suckling pig on the menu add to the ambiance.
Folks visiting Hengchun Ecological Farm (28-5,
Shanchiao Road, Shanchiao Li, Hengchun Township, Pingtung
County; tel: 08-889-2633) will carry away lifelong memories
of sheep grazing amid green fields. The staff is dedicated
to preserving native insect and plant life - the firefly re-introduction
zone is just one example of current efforts to save species
and habitats. In addition to nature appreciation, you are
also invited to feast on whole-roasted mutton. Vegetarians
can opt for the farm's famous mountain herb meals and organic
Locations in Eastern Taiwan can't be
beat for beautiful scenery. The region is famous for
fruits, mountain herbs, and warm friendly people who
welcome visitors from near and far.
Orchards are the star attraction at
Shangri-La Leisure Farm (1-1 Tachin Road, Tachin Tsun
[village], Tungshan Hsiang [township] Ilan County; tel:
039-511-456). Peaches, plums and mulberries are harvested
February through March, star fruit, guava and pomelo
from July to October, and oranges in the wintertime.
The surrounding mountain forests beckon daytime hikers.
Full accommodations, an agriculture research center
and roast suckling pig add to the attractions.
Toucheng Farm (205, Kenghsin Li, Toucheng
Town, Ilan County; tel: 039-772-168) features meadows and
bamboo forests in addition to fruit orchards. Picnicking beneath
banyan trees, poling bamboo rafts, fishing and picking fruit
in season are popular in these idyllic surroundings.
Wang Shun Yuan Leisure Farm (51, TehAn Road,
Tehan Tsun [village], Tungshan Hsiang [township], Ilan County;
tel: 03-951-3277) originated as a lumber camp. Its buildings
are constructed of wood harvested from the area and they emit
a fresh natural fragrance that rekindles the spirit. Organic
plants and vegetables are cultivated here and can be ordered
up for the freshest taste yet.
Shin Kong Chao Feng Recreation Farm (20, Yungfu
Street, Linrong Li, Funglin Town; Hualien County; tel: 03-877-1428)
yields crops of avacados, wentan, pomelos and oranges and
herds of dairy cattle for a taste of fresh milk and produce.
Chao Feng Creek runs though the farm and is perfect for picnics,
camping and fishing. A petting zoo is on site to keep the