Tamsui Pumpkin Tunnel (淡水南瓜隧道) [Travel in Taiwan 180519: Pump Up the Pumpkins] | Travel in Asia

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tamsui Pumpkin Tunnel (淡水南瓜隧道) [Travel in Taiwan 180519: Pump Up the Pumpkins]

#5yearsinTaiwan


Orange balls hanging above your head.  Meet the Cucurbita, a puff of happiness that grows from a vine.  The vegetable that is debated to be a fruit has proven itself, that it has the power to turn a farmland into a tourist attraction and the charm to lure people.  Far away from the MRT Tamsui Station, it didn't stop locals from visiting a tunnel full of squash.  What's interesting on this place?  As the only foreigner who visited the farm, I think it's about time that I give the vegetables here that hype that it deserves.







A prelude to summer.  As the temperature in Taipei continues to rise up for the arrival of the hot and humid months of Taiwan,  flowers have developed into fruits in hangar-shaped vineyards in Tamsui District of New Taipei City.  An empty tube at first but will eventually be filled with different varieties of the squash plant.   At their ripening temperature of about 30 degrees Celcius, the vegetables are ready for picking.  

Admission is free and you can even buy some pumpkins and other vegetables.









Tamsui Pumpkin Tunnel.  Everybody is welcome to visit this fertile land.  “Can I take pictures?”,  I asked the lady selling some of the already picked vegetables.  “Yes”, she said.  There was no entrance fee and at first glance the place looks empty.  Standing from Datun Bridge, one could see five tube-like vineyards.  They all look green but looking carefully with your eagle eyes you will see the orange balls that will eventually make your mind crazy.







Watch your head!  The height of the tunnels are not uniform.  Tall people will find it difficult to explore some of the vineyards as their openings were not high enough.  The two near the Datun Bridge were tall and wide enough to accommodate a large number of people.  As you find the right spot to observe the entire vegetation, bend your knees and look at the squashes from above.   Go to the far-end of the tunnel and gaze at the length of the vineyard.   The dome has been filled various pumpkins hanging from the ceiling.  























The farmer removes the dried leaves from the vineyard and puts them on his wheelbarrow.


Variety is king.  There are different kinds of squash to see here.   There are the gourds which look like ancient water bottles.  For the pumpkins, some were colored green, others were dark orange ones.  There were also round pumpkins with a lighter shade of orange.   There were also pale ones, almost white in color.   A cardboard with Chinese text explains to the visitors the different kinds of vegetables to see.








Size is queen.   Of the many types of squashes here, two were striking.  They have an unusual size compared to those hanging at the ceiling of the vineyard.   The first one is a large, pale and rounded pumpkin.   It is too heavy that its stem couldn't support its weight.  A net is now being used to help carry its big size.  Small orange pumpkins grow near to it making it easy to identify that it is larger than the usual.   In one of the wider vineyards, an elongated green squash can be seen at the far-end of the tunnel.  It looks like a green variety but gravity pulled the flesh of the fruit that it grew mostly at its end with the stretched part now acting as a false stem to bear all of its weight.







How to get here?  From MRT Tamsui Station, board any of the low floor buses with these numbers: 821, 860, 861, 862, 863, 864, 865, 867, 874, 879, 882 and 892.  Get off the vehicle at Datun Bridge (大屯橋) stop and walk towards the farm.  Admission is free and you have all the freedom to take photos.  








Our favorite vegetable during autumn is available to everyone during the month of May.   Travel now to the Tamsui Pumpkin Tunnel and grab your imaginary basket once you are there.  Enter the vineyard and get excited about the different kinds of squash that you can touch.   Harvest the good vibes as you fill the fruits with your undying love for Taiwan.  The time now is ripe to pump up the pumpkins.  

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Tamsui Pumpkin Tunnel (淡水南瓜隧道)
address:  251, New Taipei City, Tamsui District, 北部濱海公路


How to get here: MRT Tamsui Station -> Bus 821, 860, 861, 862, 863, 864, 865, 867, 874, 879, 882 or 892 ->  Datun Bridge (大屯橋) stop -> walk to the farm



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