1st Stop: The Festival of the Calla Lily
As Bus S8 gradually travels into Zhuzihu, the landscape swiftly transforms into one of otherworldliness that is ink wash painting. Unlike the picturesque view at the foot of the hill and the colorful scenery along the way, this place is like a mountain field Chinese water ink landscape. With simple color tone yet rich in artistic conception, the numerous white calla lilies resemble miniature lanterns, illuminating the entire misty valley surrounded by lush mountains. As you step off your car, you are guaranteed a warm reception of gentle breeze, and all that has weighed heavily on your mind has lifted and disappeared into the crystal blue skies.
Zhuzihu is being transformed into an eco-destination as well, in addition to being the perfect place for the adults to leave their worries behind, as it already is. This year, the calla Lily gardens will be reinvented into a fairyland for children. There are the Cheshire Cat with his distinct, mischievous grin, smoking his hookah and arrogantly gazing down at the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter who is forever trapped in the afternoon tea ceremony, and the Queen of Hearts carrying a flamingo as a croquet mallet. These characters from “Alice in Wonderland” add some childhood fun to the white sea of flowers, complementing the limelight of the main attractions.
Besides the various calla Lily gardens, another economical way to explore the calla lilies is a stroll along the creek trails. There are six creek trails in Bamboo Lake, and besides the calla lilies and babbling streams, every trail offers something different. For instance, as you wander along the circular trail at Dinghu region, you could even see the smoky vents of Xiaoyoukeng.
After the walk, take a break and enjoy a sumptuous meal at Zhuzihu. Numerous themed restaurants dot along the CallaLily Avenue in the Dinhu and Xiaohu regions, and these mountain cuisines promise to cater to both mature and young palates alike. 2nd Stop: Qingtiangang
Qingtiangang is filled with one's fondest childhood memories, including a casual walk with the grazing cows on the green pasture, meteor shower-gazing in a raincoat (to fight the wind) and lying on the grass in the middle of the night. Though without artificial recreational facilities, children can often spend for a good half day here, while adults lie on the picnic mats to enjoy the afternoon sun. You can even stop at Lengshuikeng on the return trip for a relaxing foot soak at the hot spring.
3rd Stop: Yannick Sweet Village Shops 1 and 2
Besides Lengshuikeng’s hot spring, you may also end your calla Lily trip with a relaxing afternoon tea at the former US military dormitory. Behind the Chinese Culture University, there is a big area of abandoned US military dormitories. Today, along with the wave of old house revivals, the dormitories are being transformed into dessert shops well-liked by both adults and children. The shops are decorated with fascinating knick-knacks dated back to of the 50s, such as the olden letter box with house number, a typewriter and fireplace. The retro style and the dessert menu add a decidedly nostalgic taste to it. During the flowering season, children may make use of the tools provided here to make their own bookmarks with the flowers they pick up along the way, capturing the happy moments of the day and taking them home as keepsakes.
1.From MRT Shipai Station, take bus 128 or S8.
2.From MRT Beitou Station, take bus 129 or S9 (Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Beitou-Jhuzihu Route) to Zhuzihu; or take bus 230 to Yangmingshan Bus Terminal and transfer to bus 108, 128, 129, S8, S9, 124 or 131.
3.From Taipei Main Station, take bus 260 (including Shuttle & Flower Clock lines) to Yangmingshan Bus Terminal and transfer to bus 108, 128, 129, S8, S9, 124 or 131.
4.From MRT Jiantan Station, take bus 260 (including Shuttle & Flower Clock line) or R5 to Yangmingshan Bus Terminal; or take bus 111 or Flower Festival Shuttle 127 to Yangmingshan Car Park 2, and transfer to 128, 129, S8, S9, 124 or 131.
5.From MRT Jiannan Road Station, take bus 681 to Yangmingshan Car Park 2, and transfer to 128, 129, S8, S9, 124 or 131.
6.From MRT Wanfang Community Station, take bus 109 to Yangmingshan Car Park 2, and transfer to bus 128, 129, S8, S9, 124 or 131.
7.From Gongyuan Road, in front of Gong-bao Building, take Royal Bus “Taipei - Jinshan” route to Zhuzihu entrance.
Remarks: Buses 128 and 129 only extend to Zhuzihu during the Festival of the Calla Lily
Qingtiangang: From Zhuzihu Police Station bus stop, take bus 108 to Qingtiangang stop.
Yannick Sweet Village No.1: Take bus 108 to Yangmingshan Bus Terminal, transfer to bus Red 5, 260, etc., alight at Chinese Culture University, turn right at Lane 55 of Gezhi Road (diagonally opposite McDonald’s, there is a signboard at the entrance of the Lane), and walk for about 10 minutes.
Bamboo Lake creek trails:http://www.geo.gov.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=97392534&ctNode=28438&mp=105041 (Chinese)
Qingtiangang tourist information:http://www.ymsnp.gov.tw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=185:2011-07-22-04-05-45&catid=234&Itemid=387 (Chinese)