Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 14 News List

March showers bring spring flowers

By David Momphard  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Yangmingshan Flower Festival draws big crowds every year.

PHOTO: MAX WOODWORTH, TAIPEI TIMES

Though the sun has recently been nowhere in sight, spring is nonetheless upon us. And with it comes the annual Yangmingshan Flower Festival (陽明山花季) with its famous canopy of pink sakura, or Japanese cherry blossoms. The festival runs now through Sunday, March 27.

Sakura aren't the only reason to visit the park, though. The cacophony of color includes camellias from bright red to pink and champagne white, azaleas, bougainvillea, apricot blossoms, the annual floral cuckoo "clock" heralding springtime, among others. An area of fine bronze statuary will also be on display.

You can choose to skip the flowers and sculptures altogether and head straight for the special hot-spring pools in Chientan Park. As with years past, the Taipei City Parks Division is holding the flower festival in conjunction with hot springs activities in Beitou. The Chientan Park men's and women's hot-spring pools are open free of charge to all visitors from 5am to 7pm every day.

Another option offered on the Beitou side of the mountain is the Bamboo Lake Calla Lily Festival. Unlike Yangmingshan, where visitors can only stroll through the orchards and floral exhibitions, the Calla, or lily of the Nile, are there for the picking.

The Yangmingshan Flower Festival draws crowds in the hundreds of thousands on weekends, rain or shine, when huge numbers of visitors travel to the mountain to enjoy the blossoms. Traffic restrictions will be in effect on weekends throughout the festival, so the Yangmingshan park administration recommends visitors use public transport.

The Red 5 bus from Jiantan MRT Station takes you straight to Yangmingshan Park.

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