Taoyuan Valley Garden (桃源仙谷) [Travel in Taiwan (Maple Series)] | luomujie blogspot

Taoyuan Valley Garden (桃源仙谷) [Travel in Taiwan (Maple Series)]

A yellow maple forest in Taoyuan that glitters under the sun.  Its leaves shining like gold.  Who would have thought that such attraction exists in Fuxing District! In the mountainous area of the city, all eyes are focused on Xiao Wulai Waterfalls. But during October and November when tourists are looking for signs of autumn, a secret place in Taoyuan is worth to see.

1. Taoyuan Xiangu

Introducing the Taoyuan Valley Garden aka Taoyuan Xiangu.  A 200-hectare property located along Luoma Road.  Secluded, underrated and mysterious.   There is so much to discuss about this tourist attraction.  Often ignored because of being virtually inaccessible by public transportation, most people come here with their own  cars leaving the riding public clueless of what it has to offer.

Address: 336, Taoyuan City, Fuxing District [Google Map]
Opening hours: every day, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

2. Things to do in Taoyuan Valley Garden

I had been planning for years to visit the Taoyuan Xiangu.  I have heard of its famous tulips festival during February and I imagine myself seeing beautiful flowers surrounded by a lush forest.  I will walk along the hiking trails and then be surprised to see lots of cherry blossoms.

Residents of Taoyuan City are really lucky.  Because they don't need to go to Wuling Farm to see a sakura forest. Taiwan Xiangu already has it!  Add to that are its plum blossoms, beautiful flowers and of course, the maple trees.  In summer, the place becomes a resort and in winter, pine trees change the ambiance as their needles become copper red in color.

Flowers/plants to see all year round in Taoyuan Valley Garden
Monthflowers/plants to see
Januarypink plum blossoms, tulips
Februarytulips, cherry blossoms
Marchspring flowers
Aprillavender, sage
Maytung blossoms, firefly season
Junelily, hydrangea
Augustkirin chrysanthemum, summer flowers
Octobergolden maple
Novemberautumn chrysantheum
Decemberred maple, white plum blossoms

Taoyuan Valley Garden also has an interesting Insect Museum.

pine trees that would soon shed their leaves

golden maple trees

3. How to go to the Taoyuan Valley Garden

3.1 by bus

You can go but it will be difficult to return.  Even Taoyuan Xiangu admits it. It's possible to see Taoyuan Valley Garden by boarding Bus 5109 from Daxi at 10:10 am.  However, the same bus would go back at 12:50 pm in the afternoon.  So visitors will be left stranded in the tourist spot or others will hurry to go back to Taoyuan Station without seeing most of the attractions.

I can always ride a taxi but I'm afraid that if I will board a yellow cab, the taxi driver might not come back to pick me up because of its far distance from Taoyuan Station.  I don't speak Chinese and this makes talking to taxi drivers difficult because not all of them can understand English.

3.2 by tripool taxi

Thanks to tripool taxi, I was able to visit this secret spot in Taiwan.  I just went to the web app (https://www.tripool.app/?utm_source=luomuji) and typed “Taoyuan Station” as my pick-up point and “Taoyuan Vally Garden” as my drop-of point.   I selected the 7:00-7:30 pick-up time, and waited for the confirmation e-mail after booking.  I made another booking for my return trip, but this time I put "Taoyuan Valley Garden" as the pick-up point and "Taoyuan Station" as the destination with 12:00 noon to 12:30 pm pick-up period.

At 9:00 pm, the night before my travel adventure, I received another e-mail reminding me of the approved pick-up time which is 7:00 am and 12:30 pm. The following morning, I waited in front of Taoyuan Station at Zhongzheng Road at 6:50 am.  I cannot be late so I made sure that I'm already waiting for my tripool taxi, ten minutes before the approved pick-up time.  I waved upon seeing a white Mitsubishi Colt with plate number RAE-1351.  Seeing a car with plate number starting with the letter R means that it is a licensed and legal taxi in Taiwan although it doesn't look like one.  

To find your tripool taxi, just look at the plate number of the passing cars at the agreed meeting place.  And here it is! A Mitsubishi Colt with plate number RAE-1351

“My personal driver is here”, I said to myself as it stopped in front of me.

#tripooltaxi  #notcolorum  #TaiwanTourismBureauapproved
Mr. Chen, my chauffeur for the day drove the car for one hour up to the parking lot of Taoyuan Valley Garden.   It was a smooth ride and I felt having my own personal driver.  With tripool taxi, I became a boss and Mr. Chen became my employee.  While I will enjoy the maples at Taoyuan Xiangu, he would just wait for me for 4.5 hours until the 12:30 pm pick-up time for the return trip.

No yellow cab driver would do that unless you contracted him to pay NTD 3,000 for one day of service.  They would need to find their next passengers to earn money, and not waste time waiting for someone in a far-away place.

I only paid almost NTD 900 for my tripool taxi ride in going to Taoyaun Xiangu from Taoyuan Station. For the return trip, I made another booking in the web app (https://www.tripool.app/?utm_source=luomuji),  and also paid the same amount.  It would have been great if there were Travel Buddies who joined my trip.  I can share with them the cost of my ride making my travel expenses cheaper.  Haha!

For visitors coming from Taoyuan International Airport, Airport MRT Huanbei Station (A21) or the HSR Taoyuan Station, you can look at the price comparison table below.  People coming from Zhongli Station will be glad to know that their tripool taxi fares are the cheapest among the transportation hubs that I have listed.

Price comparison of one-way fares in going to Taoyuan Valley Garden from the nearest train stations and also from the Taoyuan international airport
Pick-up pointDestinationDistanceTravel timeEstimated fare in tripool taxi
# of passengers
1 or 234
TRA Zhongli StationTaoyuan Valley Garden46.9 kms59 minsNTD 872NTD 916NTD 959
TRA Taoyuan Station50.8 kms1 hr 1 minNTD 885NTD 929NTD 973
HSR Taoyuan Station63.2 kms1 hr 3 minsNTD 942NTD 989NTD 1,036
A21 Huanbei Station51.6 kms1 hr 2 minsNTD 888NTD 932NTD 977
Taoyuan Airport (TPE)67.1 kms1 hr 3 minsNTD 956NTD 1,004NTD 1,052

If you have doubts about tripool taxi, then you can board a yellow cab in front of Taoyuan Station. But there is no assurance that the taxi driver would travel for 51 kilometers again to take you back to downtown Taoyuan in the afternoon. If you can speak Chinese and the driver gave you his calling card after reaching Taoyuan Valley Garden, then you are fine. If not, then you will have a big problem. I doubt if the staff of Taoyuan Valley Garden can help you get a cab. They don't speak English!  It's better to ride tripool taxi or be sorry.

4. Entrance tickets

Adult tickets cost NTD 200 and visitors must pay at the ticket booth before entering.   At first glance, visitors might find it still closed at its opening time of 8:00 am.  There were even no gates to stop people from entering.  Just wait for the stay-in employees to arrive. They would come to open the ticket booth and hand you a guide map plus your ticket after paying the entrance fee.

The signs inside the forest park were written Chinese and it will be very tricky for international visitors. I too, became lost in my search for the yellow maple trees.  200 hectares of forested land is not easy to explore in just half a day.

marker at the gate of Taoyuan Xiangu

the ticket booth before the opening time of 8:00 am

At 8:10 am, this woman on her motorcycle came and opened the ticket booth.  She was late.  Anyway, I paid her NTD 200 and she gave me a ticket plus a map.

The map is very helpful for international tourists.  It is written in Chinese. Haha!

5. Maple viewing at Taoyuan Valley Garden

Looking at the map, there are two areas where you are expected to see lots of maple trees.  These are the maple forest areas and indicated by their names written in Chinese characters -> 楓林.  There are two of them inside Taoyuan Valley Garden:  Maple Forest A and Maple Forest B.  The best time to see the yellow maple trees in Taoyuan Xiangu is from October to November.  For autumn 2018, the fall foliage started on the last week of October and is expected to last until the end of November.

To get to these places in a systematic way, one must walk to the Flower Garden [Google Map] and start looking for the trails leading to the Maple Forest A [Google Map] and Maple Forest B [Google Map].

Follow the encircled sign and walk uphill to get to the flower fields.  It is easier to find the maple forest trails from that place.

Most of the maple trees in Taoyuan Xiangu are not the typical deciduous trees that turn green to red, but rather their leaves turn into a golden  color from being yellow green.  They can grow up to 10 to 20 meters in height and usually found in temperate and subtropical regions.  Taiwan is located on the Tropic of Cancer.  It is a subtropical island which makes it good for golden maples to grow.   So far in the luomujie blog's Maple Series, the Taoyuan Valley Garden has the most spectacular yellow maple forest that I have ever seen.   Look at the mountains and you would see large patches of yellow, teasing you to climb the hills and get close to them. 

Although the autumn foliage show in Taiwan happens in December, Taoyuan Xiangu's golden maple trees start its color change during October.  The yellow maple leaves typically last for two months, but it can be shortened if there is heavy rainfall or strong wind that can knock-off them off from their branches.   

Maple Forest A.  A lot of leaves had already fallen on the ground.

The golden color Maple Forest A is almost gone with most of the leaves already on the ground.  I remember the red maple trees of Shimen Dam as I looked at the top of the branches.  They appear so similar only that the maple trees are yellow in color.   Visitors might find more amber-colored leaves at the Maple Forest B after crossing the bridge, based on the map that I got from the ticket booth.

The encircled sign leads to Maple Forest B. Just continue walking until you find yourself in a golden forest.

Red and yellow maples fighting for supremacy.  Haha!

Golden maple trees are scattered around the entire Taoyuan Xiangu, so do not become disappointed if you only have time to see the place in December.   You might still see a few.   The red maples should have started appearing brought by the cold spell of the northeast monsoon in Taiwan.   It will be a battle between yellow and red before the year ends. The former will lost the war as the golden leaves become brittle while the latter will become bloody red.  The two varieties will try to stay relevant for its fans during winter...

Until spring arrives when it's time to see the cherry blossoms and the bulb-shaped flowers of the tulips.  And that would mean another visit to Taoyuan Valley Garden.


Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Taiwan

Sakura Series - Japan

Maple Series

Yehliu to Jiufen? Yehliu to Shifen? Cheaper than yellow taxis

The "Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei)

Other attractions in Taipei

New Taipei


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