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New Taipei City Travel

Hiking enjoying the beauty of tung blossoms and taking pictures A one-day tour in Tucheng and Shilin

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Category :
Hiking Trails & Rail travel & Outdoor excursion & Secret attractions
Travel days :
1 day
適合對象 :
Public & Family & Backpackers

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Day

Introduction

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As the spring transits to summer in May, the hilly regions around Tucheng in New Taipei City are adorned with snowy white tung blossoms. These pristine blossoms transform the verdant hilltops into a snowy spectacle. The fragrant tung flowers gently fall from the branches in the spring breeze, creating a picturesque scene reminiscent of snowfall. After tung trees were introduced from southern China during the Japanese domination period, they were extensively planted in low-altitude mountainous areas in central and northern Taiwan. Tung trees were once important economic crops for the Hakka people and were used to produce paints, and furniture in the early days. The New Taipei City Hakka Tung Blossom Festival takes place in April and May each year. We invite everyone to hike though the mountains, and explore the nearby century-old railway station!
桐花公園

The century-old railway station of Shulin
In this era of pursuing efficiency, people try to minimize the time it takes to get from point A to point B. As we often rush towards our destinations at high speed, we often neglect the scenery along the way. As the holidays approach, let's take a break from your usual rush and explore train stations that you have often heard about from the radio during your commute, but never had the chance to visit! Situated between Shulin and Yingge, Shanjia Railway Station was established in 1903 and is now over 120 years old. Originally named the “Sanzijiao Parking Space”, Shanjia Railway Station once bore the heavy responsibility of transporting coal. You can still find remnants of past mining around the station, such as Dafeng Coal Mine No. 1 Pit and Dafeng Coal Mine No. 2 Pit, offering a glimpse into the coal mining history of the Shulin area.
山佳車站

Recognized as a designated historical site by New Taipei City, the second-generation Shanjia Railway Station, constructed with bricks, represents a fusion of Western and Japanese architectural styles. It preserves the classic and elegant appearance of buildings from the Japanese domination period and still stands adjacent to the third-generation Shanjia Railway Station, creating a unique juxtaposition of old and new. Shanjia Railway Station is the only remaining station built during the Japanese domination period along the Taiwan Railways Administration (hereinafter referred to as the TRA) corridor between Qidu and Hsinchu; and is a must-visit attraction for railway enthusiasts. The indoor space of the Station exhibits a replica miniature model of Shanjia Railway Station made from recycled materials, the TRA's passenger timetables from Taiwan's Early Restoration, and  railway tourism brochures from the Japanese domination period, creating a nostalgic atmosphere.
山佳車站

While strolling along Shanjia Street, which runs along the station's edge, you will come across several walls adorned with colorful murals depicting the cultural and scenic elements of Taiwan's old-time landscapes. These include scenes like farm ox carts and traditional barber shops, seamlessly blending with the nostalgia of Taiwan's past. Furthermore, you'll encounter 3D murals featuring dinosaurs, Taiwanese black bears, and other playful and incredibly realistic depictions. The Shanjia Railway Scenic Park was constructed by the local residents to revitalize the vacant land along the railway. In 2017, the local authorities even stationed a 35H1304 black coal hopper car and DL1044 shifting machine to preserve the historical memories of Shanjia.
鐵道地景公園
鐵道地景公園


Relish the tung flowers in the mountainous area of TuchengCrossing over the Dahan River, you'll find yourself in Tucheng District on the southern bank. The slopes of Tianshangshan (Tianshan Mountain), often referred to as the first peak, are covered in full bloom tung blossoms. These blossoms grace the entire mountainous region with swathes of snowy white, forming a captivating sight when viewed from afar. It stands as one of the prime locations in New Taipei City to savor the beauty of tung blossoms. The Tung Blossom Park on the mountain is even the primary venue for the annual New Taipei City Hakka Tung Blossom Festival. To savor the beauty of tung flowers, you can drive to the Park's first and second parking lots; or hike from Chengtian Temple to the Tung Blossom Park for exercise and photography.
🚌Public Transportation Guide: Take the MRT to Yongning Station, then transfer to Bus Blue 43 Extended Line (Nantianmu) or Blue 44 Extended Line. Get off at the “Trailhead” stop, where you'll find the Tung Blossom Park archway. Your mountain hike begins here.

承天禪寺步道

The Chengtian Temple Trail is also known as the Chaoshan Trail, Nantianmu Trail, or Master Guang Qin Trail. Chengtian Temple was established by Master Guang Qin, a renowned Buddhist monk. This trail that leads to the Temple was paved with rough stones in the 1960s. Situated within a lush forest, the Trail is adorned with more than 40 stone tablets and stone pillars inscribed with the names of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The sides of the trail are lush with greenery,  creating a serene and tranquil ambiance. Along the trail, you can also come across devoted pilgrims offering their prayers.

承天禪寺步道
承天禪寺步道

There are also numerous tung trees along the Chengtian Temple Trail, creating a tranquil atmosphere as you hike toward the solemn Chengtian Temple. This is also a scenic spot for savoring the beauty of mountain tung flowers from a commanding height, allowing you to enjoy picturesque views of the Greater Taipei Basin and Guanyinshan (Guanyin Mountain).
承天禪寺步道
承天禪寺步道

The Firefly Viewing Trail between Chengtian Temple and Tung Blossom Park is approximately 600 m long. This stone-paved trail is constructed with beautiful patterned stones. As you walk along the Firefly Viewing Trail, you can enjoy the sight of butterflies dancing in the melodic sounds of flowing water and the chorus of insects and birds, creating a natural symphony. Due to the successful ecological restoration in recent years, the fireflies sparkle like stars in the night sky after dark.
賞螢步道
承天禪寺步道

Over the years, Tung Blossom Park has served as the primary venue for the annual New Taipei City Hakka Tung Blossom Festival. The Park is planted with nearly a hundred tung trees. Each year, during the blooming season of the tung trees in April and May, the entire park, including the mud-covered ground, stairs, plant leaves, and wooden platforms, is blanketed with snowy white tung blossoms, making it a sacred place for enjoying tung blossoms in New Taipei City. The Tung Blossom Park is designed with an outdoor performance area and a viewing platform; a tea brewing platform for taking a rest; an observation platform that offers views of the urban area of Tucheng; and several leisure pavilions. It also features an exciting and fun suspension bridge, allowing visitors to traverse the dense forest on a rope less than 20 cm wide.
桐花公園
桐花公園
桐花公園

Strolling along the park trail to savor the snowy beauty of tung blossoms, gazing into the distance to witness their graceful descent from treetops, collecting fallen tung blossom petals to create meaningful words or hearts, and capturing a selfie with tung blossoms in hand - all of these experiences offer a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquil early summer forest scenery.
桐花公園
桐花公園
桐花公園


 
Next
Canguangliao Historic Trail – Appreciating silver grass. Searching for gold. Indulging in the flavors of fall and all splendid sceneries.
Rumor has it that the name “Canguangliao” (“canguang” means shining light in Chinese) comes from the scenery when mountains, full of yellowish and white silver grass in fall, give spectacular light rays formed under the sun beams, making Canguangliao Historic Trail a “golden shining” scenic route! From Mudan Train station, take a bus to Shisanceng Old Tree Stop and walk for 10 minutes, and you will arrive at “Canguangliao Historic Trail Entrance”. Along the Trail, visitors will pass by the historic site of Jinguashi Water Pumping Station, small waterfalls, historic site of old grocery store, Jinshan Fude Temple, and more, and they will ultimately arrive at Shumeiping Observation Deck. The total distance is nearly 5km with a walking time of approximately 3 hours; the level portions of the Trail are constructed with stairs of relatively lower difficulty level for walking. Moreover, Canguangliao Mountain is the highest amongst Keelung Volcano Group, so visitors can even look over to Taipei City and Northeast Coast when there is nice weather with an expansive view. After exiting the Trail, follow County Route 102 to Jinguashi Geological Park, where was previously Benshan Mine. Visitors here will have the opportunity to observe traces of the most original mining sights. Then continue traveling to the nearby Jinguashi Shinto Shrine, which was built during the period of Japanese rule in response to the mining development. Even though it is all abandoned now, visitors can still have a glimpse of the sacred and solemn ambiance from the remains of the historic site. If you are interested in having more in-depth experiences of Jinguashi’s golden age, you can continue walking down to the Gold Museum, which is a museum campus transformed from the gold mining areas in the old days. Activities here will include learning about the mining history, the gold culture, and experiencing gold panning; spending a whole afternoon here will be no problem at all. At the end of the journey, visitors will connect to Jiufen Old Street, where they are recommended to order a bowl of cold or hot taro balls or to find a tea place and enjoy a cup of good tea, taking some time to savor this “golden” journey as they take a rest.
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