Yangmingshan National Park (阳明山国家公园) is pretty throughout the year, and always different throughout the seasons because a multitude of flowers blossom on the hills and mountains. Cherry blossoms and camellias bloom January to March, callus lilies and Yoshino cherry blossoms shine from April to May; azaleas dominate from May to October, while silver grass blankets the mountains in October and November. We were in Yangmingshan National Park in April and just in term for the calla lily season.
We took the 260 bus to Yangmingshan, bought a day ticket which would allow us to go on unlimited rides on shuttle 108 (NTD 60), that stops at popular scenic spots on Yangmingshan, such as Yangmingshuwu, Zhuzhihu, Xiaoyoukeng, Erziping, Datun Nature Park, Lengshuikeng, and Qingtiangang. If you have bought a Easy Card, you can use that too; each bus ride would cost NTD 12 – NTD 15.
Zhuzhihu (竹子湖) was our first stop where calla lilies flourished at the foot of the mountains, taking our breaths away.
Besides roaming about and enjoying the gorgeous scenery, flower picking was a favorite activity. You could pluck 6 flowers at only NTD 100.
We didn’t pick any flowers but rather, we sat in a quaint cafe with great coffee among the flowers. You could see there was a difference between different plots of flowers. Some plots were more scarce while some plots had more impressive flowers. The ones that had more flowers were usually adjoined to a coffee shop, which would indicate a minimum spending amount. The coffee shop we took our lunch was called Green Valley (or “Lu Shan Gu” / 绿山谷) with a Japanese vibe.
We took the set meals @ NTD 300 per person, inclusive of a drink, main course and dessert. The food was ok, nothing to shout about; but the coffee was really good; medium bodied with a heartening scent.
From the cafe, we could see some fuming activity afar, which was our next destination – xiaoyoukeng (小油坑).
This piece of active landscape is “alive” because of the post-volcanic activities where underground water is being heated from residual heat from a volcanic eruption, forming fumes
This picture below from Yangmingshang’s Official Website is much more stunning. Xiaoyoukeng is really a gigantic hole formed as a result of continuous weathering from the heat and the steam, buried within the mountains.
Our next stop was “Lengshuikeng” hot spring area. Lengshuikeng literally means “cold water pit”. At 40 °C, it is typically colder than most of the hot springs in the area and hence the name. Silly me, I never thought of bringing any towels, toiletries or swimsuits (not sure if it’s required) with me so we just hung out at the place for a short 10 minutes. The gender segregated hot springs and foot bath is free of charge. Just remember to bring towels 🙂
Our last stop in Yangmingshan was Qingtiangang (擎天岗)，a massive flat plain perfect for cows to graze on, and for humans to stroll on.
More Info :
Yangmingshan Official Website