One of my favorite memories from our Taiwan trip last month was our visit to Zhongshe Flower Market in Taichung’s Houli District.
This is an oft-mentioned destination when I scoured sample itineraries, but I was pretty set on not visiting it because it was too far from Taipei and I couldn’t find two sources that agreed on the best way to go here. However right on our first day, we met a group of girls who’ve been and encouraged us to go.
And so that was what we did! And I have to say, if you have a day to spare to go to Taichung, this is worth it. The flower gardens are really beautiful, photos were begging to be taken at every corner, and there is also a super sulit barbecue buffet here that you can partake of after spending a sunny morning with the flowers!
The best time to go is early morning, when there are still very few tourists. When we arrived it was barely 9am and there was only 1 group aside from us (we fortuitously met another Pinoy daughter-dad duo whom we split cab fares with going to Rainbow Village and Taichung Rail). So we had the place all to ourselves.
Expect to spend at least 3 hours here, then you can take a trip to other Taichung destinations such as Rainbow Village or Sun Moon Lake.
Oh and don’t forget to bring sunscreen! I suffered really bad skin when we got back. Tsk.
So how did we get to Zhongshe? This is what we did:
- From Taipei Main Station, we bought tickets to Taichung (around NTD $300). I simply showed the ticketing officer a screenshot of the Taichung Station. 🙂 The train was prompt and the trip took 2-3 hours. It was a great opportunity to observe the Taiwan countryside as well.
- From Taichung Station, you’d need to get off the platform first, go to the ticketing office and ask for the local rail that goes to Taiyan Station*. Then you tap your easycard / get a ticket and return to the platform. Ticket is about NTD $30 if I remember correctly.
- We got off at Taiyan. From the station it is a 20 minute walk to Zhongshe. There is a bulletin board at the exit with a small piece of paper that contains the walking instructions, or re-clarify it w/ the ticketing officer. You will really need to to walk as this area has no taxis, it is farms on either side of the road. We were told that if you get off at Houli (right before Taiyan) there can be taxis, but this might be expensive and I can’t verify if it.
- From the station, the walk is simply one straight journey down a road that bisects various farms. At the very end of this road, you’ll start seeing cars and buses again, then you turn right and walk a bit more until you see the Flower Market, which is across the street. Don’t forget your umbrella, sunscreen, and water.
*Upon getting off at Taichung, we asked an officer for instructions to go to Houli (since I initially didn’t want to go for walking from Taiyan from my mom’s sake). The platform officer couldn’t speak English but he want out of his way to get his phone, Google the flower market and read about it so he could give us proper instructions. He directed is to get off at Taiyan instead, and we just ended up following him since I didn’t wanna get lost.
At Zhongshe, the entrance fee is about NTD $280 w/ the buffet and $250 w/o. But I strongly suggest to get the buffet, since there are no nearby restaurants. Unless you have food.
To get home, there are already many taxis at the flower market which can take you back to Taiyan station or your next destination. In our case, we decided to take a taxi to Rainbow Village which ended up costing us NTD $800 (!) it was expensive, but at least we split it 4-way and we saved time.