COMPASS MAGAZINE, November 2006.

Poetic fall beauty at Taichung County's Wuling Farm

---By Lishea Zheng Translated by Sho Huang

Wuling Farm in the fall brings to life a verse by Song Dynasty poet Ming Dao, "Clear river flowing through the green mountain, sky reflecting in the river, bright red leaves going for 30 kilometers, the universe is full of white clouds and red leaves." At Wuling Farm, it is the clear waters of Qijiawan River, Taoshan, Xueshan and Yosheng rivers which mirror the beautiful leaves.

The farm is located in the high mountains of Taichung county's Heping xiang (township). After the 9-21 earthquake in 1999, the only way to get there has been the Route 14 Puli-Hehuanshan-Dayuling-Lishan-WuLing route, rather than the Route 8 Central Cross-Island Highway, which has been been blocked since then. Visitors from northern Taiwan can also travel via the Route 7 and Route 7 "Chia" spur from I-lan county.

Wuling Farm's gorgeous maple leaves attract thousands of tourists each year. However, this fall, besides the maple leaves, Wuling has something else to offer--the bright orange Golden Needle Flower (a type of lily), strewn between the maple leaves and the violet sage plants underneath the maple trees. Taking a stroll here allows you a view of layers of various colors from different angles in a poetic scene.
The Wuling Ecological Culture Series of activiites combines tourism and tree planting to promote tree growth in the mountains. The resulting High Mountain Botanical Garden takes up 10 acres and is divided into different sections containing thousands of examples of 100 different tree species, plus ponds, water plants, Chinese herbs, grasses, flower beds, and walkways for butterfly and bird watching. The garden also offers non-holiday tours, covering lodging, tickets, parking, meals, a bus ride in the garden, guided tours, caps and postcards, all for a fee of NT$1,300 to NT$2,300. Even if there's only one person signed up, the tour will still go on. If that's the case, you'll have the whole place to yourself, a wonderland of maple leaves, violet sage plants and orange lily flowers.

Wuling Farm Guoming Hotel (04) 2590-1259
Wuling Hotel (04) 2522-9696
Wuling Fu Ye Resort (04) 2590-1399
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