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CHERRY BLOSSOMS (櫻花)


TAIPEI (台北)


NEW TAIPEI (新北)


YILAN (宜蘭)- NORTHERN TAIWAN


HUALIEN (花蓮) - TAROKO (太魯閣)



SUN MOON LAKE (日月潭)


TAICHUNG (台中) - CENTRAL TAIWAN


TAITUNG (台東) - EAST RIFT VALLEY (花東縱谷)


KENTING (墾丁) - SOUTHERN TAIWAN


OUTLYING ISLANDS


Sunday, November 11, 2018

NEW

Fushoushan Farm.  The best place to see maples in Taiwan.  During November, thousands of people go to the mountain city of Lishan to see an impressive display of warm colors. I had been planning to see the autumn foliage here for years but I always failed to do so.  Filled with excitement to see it for the first time, I felt that it was like waiting for a chance for true love.  Haha! And at last,  I've been here and I saw the maple leaves with hues of red, orange and yellow.  My dream has finally come true!











The recreational farm is 5 kilometers away from the Lishan bus stop and DIY travelers will find it difficult to reach Fushoushan if they don't have their own car.  Buses only stop at Lishan and not at Fushoushan Farm and there were no taxis around.  Most tourists especially the locals buy travel packages worth NTD 4,500 to NTD 5,500 per person.  It's a 2-days, 1-night package that will bring them to the most beautiful sight in Taiwan during the fall season.  I was envy of them, but the gods and goddesses of Taiwan have a different plan for me.

When you meet ultra-friendly locals at Lishan

Sani and her husband






Romance me, autumn.  Ultra-friendly locals helped me to get to Fushoushan Farm from Lishan.  Thanks to a family whose house is located on the highway, I was able to ask them for help.  Not only that they are very helpful to a foreigner like me, they can also speak English so I was able to have a chat with them.  “Please sit down”, the head of the family told me as I wait for a surprise.  Sitting in front of their dumpling store, they asked me to wait for 30 minutes, until a car arrived.  Inside were Sani and her husband, a couple with a Bunun and Atayal lineage.

But before I get inside the vehicle, I was asked to have a picture with a Taiwanese flag.  Haha! It feels so nice to meet these Taiwanese people. Sometimes I think that the Taiwan gods that I have always imagined, are these locals who are always ready to lend their helping hand in times of need. 






Dried leaves lying on the ground, lifeless trees ready for winter.  The scenery around the Swan Lake embraced me with its calmness.  A burst of laughter from a distance broke the silence.  Visitors were having fun taking pictures of maple leaves as I talked to Sani and spelled the word “Manila”, the capital of my country, the Philippines.  The couple led me near to the entrance of Songlu Lodge where the maple trees can be found.  After thanking them and saying goodbye, they went back to the lake to set their mat for their picnic.

Songlu Lodge






A summer residence turned into a popular tourist attraction every autumn.  The former guesthouse of Chiang-Kai Shek is now a mecca of maple chasers.   With orange to yellow leaves, sprawling branches of small but cute Japanese maples blended with the wooden structure of the house.








The chimney and the triangular roof plus the reddish color of the maples combine, to create a feeling of being in Japan without ever leaving Taiwan.  Like a work done from a stroke of a paintbrush,  the entire place radiates as the sun rises from the east.  The shining rays of the sun illuminate the leaves to create a hearty atmosphere.  The invisible hand that created this surreal world is nowhere to be found, but the love is deeply felt by the hearts of those who believe in its magic.










A child showed to me her collection of fallen leaves.
Three maple leaves that have fallen on the ground.  


As the wind blows, the maple leaves fly one by one and fall to the ground.  There is no promise to forever as the trees need to conserve their nutrients for the coming winter.  So the young and old collect the leaves, much to their delight.  Preserving a memory in their soul that they will always remember in their entire leaves.  They held it tightly with their hands as if they were precious treasures that they will never let go.







The sound of rustling leaves ushered me to explore the other areas of the lodge. There is more to see outside the tall pine trees that envelope the guest house.  Larger maple trees are having their own show and visitors took their chance to have pictures with them.  I did not waste any time and set up my tripod and camera to pose for pictures.  With my orange sweater blending with the color of the leaves,  I became one with the maples.  They too, fuse to become part of my wonderful life in Taiwan.























The four seasons of the year are remarkable in this country.  There is a hot and humid summer, cold winter, lovely and romantic spring, and a poetic fall.  The last one is the most special because you would always want to hold onto I but you cannot.  The maple leaves will all soon disappear and the foliage party will be over in December.  So like letting go of someone you truly love, I will always keep autumn in my heart.

MAPLE (紅葉) LOCATIONS IN TAIWAN



Fushoushan Farm (福壽山農場) [Travel in Taiwan 181110 (Maple Series): Autumn in my heart]

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