The Japanese Sakura trees, famous for their beautiful pink flowers, started to flourish early this year in Taiwan. Indeed, the good weather brought us an early blossom (20th of January). On the news, they don’t stop talking how good Yangmingshan (Mountain near Taipei) is. So, the Peanuts Daily’s team tried the amazing Yangmingshan flower festival (Sakura season) for you and we are going to tell you how to ruin your Saturday or Sunday.
You will start by taking the bus number 303 at Jiantan MRT station (劍潭站). You will have a line up of 1 to 2 hours depending at what time you get there. If you consider taking this bus at another station, don’t even think about it, the bus will be full. Once you are on the bus, you will have the nice sweaty smell of the fellow passengers who will push you around without apologizing. Because newspapers and TV news promote the Yangmingshan Sakura blossom, the bus ride will take you 2 to 3 hours instead of 30 minutes.
On the other hand, if you decided to take your car instead of taking the bus, you won’t have the line up but you will still get the traffic jam. Once you are on top of the mountain, you will discover that there is not enough parking spaces. Therefore, the passengers of the cars will be able to get out but not the driver.
Now, you arrived at Yangmingshan （陽明山） and you want to admire the 1,000+ Sakura trees you’ve heard of. If you see a few dozens you will already be lucky. Each dozen of trees will obviously be surrounded by hundreds of people taking the exact same picture. You will try to take a romantic picture with your partner to show to your friends how great it was: but don’t lie to yourself, you know it was crap.
This is time for a late lunch. First, try to avoid the rubbish full of orange skins or sausage picks while you are walking and find a place to eat. Either, you will eat traditional market food but you will have to wait 30 minutes for it; or if you want to be a bit fancier and try the unique restaurant of the area, a 2-hour waiting line is ahead of you.
This is already the time to go back home. There is a bus stop right at the exit of Yangmingshan: don’t even think of joining the line or you will queue a long time for the bus there; this will be a 3 hours queue minimum. We advise you to go to one of the previous stops in order to do a short 45 minutes queue. The return to Jiantan will be very pleasant again. You have another option and take a taxi instead. It will only cost you 2,500 NT$ instead of the usual 250.
As you can see, if you want to ruin your day to see a pink tree by doing line-ups and being pushed around, Yangmingshan is the place for you. Don’t tell us we did not warn you. At least, be a bit clever and go there by scooter, you will gain so much time.
Otherwise, we strongly advise you to go to Alishan, the mountains are full of Sakura trees and there are not packed.
Author: Mr. Daille, Jeremie.