Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 Calla Lily Festival (海芋季) - Miau-Ban Calla Lily Garden (苗榜海芋園) - Zhuzihu Black Forest (竹子湖黑森林) - Spring in Taipei [Taiwan Day 932: Spring in Zhuzihu - March 20, 2016]



It's the time of the year again that people flock to Zhuzihu to pick the long-stemmed flowers of the calla lily. I have already experienced picking these white flowers in Taiwan Day 560 (White Harvest) and it was really a perfect day to enjoy the festival. The sun was up and it was less muddy in the fields. This year was a little different. It was raining the past few days in Taiwan and the fields of calla lily became an instant quick sand of mud. Oh well! People still went to Zhuzihu to experience spring beyond the usual cherry blossoms.


The 2016 Calla Lily Festival started in March 18 and it will end on April 17. Just like last year visitors have the chance the pick several flowers and be taken home. I still remember what I did last year to pick those calla lilies. I twisted the root portion of the stem before pulling it out of the soil. It was really fun on a sunny spring day.








I originally planned to pick calla lilies but the fields were filled with water. Some of the visitors came with their rubber boots and admired them for being prepared for this event. I didn't want to put myself on an embarrassing situation if I ever slid on the muddy fields so I just decided not to pick flowers anymore and just take photos of the scenic area. The flower fields were beautiful to look at but I got disappointed after checking the photos. The flower picking farms were just filled with the green color of the leaves with the calla lilies as tiny white spots on the pictures.





The Taipei City government promotes the calla festival with photos of abundant white calla lilies on the fields in Zhuzihu and I searched the place for that magic spot. I walked along Zhuzihu Road until I saw a farm dotted with whiteness. I entered the gate of the farm until a woman blocked my way and stopped me from going inside. I entered Miau-Ban Calla Lily Garden (苗榜海芋園) and it was a private farm. I paid the entrance fee of NTD 150 and she then gave me a laminated card of the farm with some Chinese instructions at the back as a proof of my payment which I need to present upon getting out of the garden. Picking flowers was not allowed in the farm and you can just buy the pre-harvested calla lilies from them. Miau-Ban Calla Lily Garden also have restaurant where you can eat your favorite Taiwanese food.










chasing an innocent duck































Just look for this house and you will easily find the Miau-Ban Calla Lily Garden (苗榜海芋園).













The good side of visiting a private garden was the great number of calla lilies that you can see inside. There were less people too! It was a perfect place to take great photos of a calla lily farm. I got hungry after my photo sessions and a man selling steamed buns solved my problem. We really don't each understand each other since he talked to me in Chinese and I answered him in English but I was able to made him understand that I want the totoro-looking buns.














Another interesting place to visit in Zhuzihu was the Zhuzihu Black Forest (竹子湖黑森林). Fir trees stand tall at this spot in the Yangmingshan with a big art installation composed of large pebbles creating a giant heart shape in the grounds of the forest. The place had been visited by Korean actress Ha Ji-Won during her recent trip in Taipei making it more popular nowadays. Bus 128, 129 and 131 makes a stop at 頂湖 (Dinghu) and you just need to make a short hike up in road until you see the big heart in the woods. Bus S8 and S9 also makes a stop here during the Calla Lily Festival.
 
I transferred to bus 131 to reach Zhuzihu from Yangmingshan Flower Clock

How to go to Zhizhu? It's the same bus routes for my Sakura Series in Yangmingshan. Actually, I boarded Bus 128 from MRT Shipai Station since that bus normally goes to Zhuzihu directly but it made it made a final stop at the Yangminshan Flower Clock and I transferred to another bus going to Zhuzihu. Traffic has been controlled in Yangmingshan to create an orderly celebration during the time of spring.

Zhuzihu Black Forest (竹子湖黑森林)

2016 Calla Lily Festival

It's still cold here in Taipei but everybody knows that winter is slowly losing its grip. The showa and yoshino cherry blossoms have already appeared while the calla lily flowers are now ready for harvest. Take a peek at the sky in the Zhuzihu Black Forest and the tall fir trees would say 'hi'. Don't just sit there and read this post. Come to Taipei and experience the spring in Zhuzihu.

2017 Sakura Series - Taiwan
2017 Sakura Series - Japan
2016 Sakura Series - Taiwan
Taipei Attractions
New Taipei Attractions
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