Have you been rained by cherry blossoms? In spring, you stroll along the tree-lined park. Suddenly, a light breeze blows, and thousands of pink petals fall on you like raindrops. You cannot help but look up, then see the blue sky filled with blush pink clouds. How romantic and overwhelmingly beautiful!
Unfortunately, many beautiful things don’t last long. To experience the glory of this gorgeous sight, we all have to chase down these fickle and short-lived flowers.
In my opinion, Tamsui Wuji Tianyuan Temple has the best cherry blossom in Taipei. I will share what you need to know about cherry blossom season in Taiwan and why I recommend going to Wuji Tianyuan Temple for cherry blossom in Taiwan.
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Cherry Blossom Season in Taiwan
The cherry blossom season in Taiwan is considerably early compared to Japan or Korea. Considering its warm climate, understandably so.
Generally speaking, cherry blossom season in Taiwan is from mid-January to early April. It starts to bloom in mid-January to early February. Depending on the weather, location and tree type, you may be able to catch flowers in bloom before Tomb Sweeping weekend (the first weekend of April).
It is super tricky to predict when the flowers bloom. (Unlike Japan and Korea, Taiwan does not officially release cherry blossom forecasts.) Plus, if you are unlucky with a few days of rain, petals will drop before you can see them. Unfortunately, rainy days are super common in Taipei or the Northern cities of Taiwan.
Where to see Cherry Blossoms in Taiwan
January: Wulai Scenic Area, Yangmingshan National Park
February: LOHAS Park, Yangmingshan National Park, Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Tianyuan Temple, Wuling Farm, Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village
March-early April: Tianyuan Temple, Alishan
To be completely honest, Taiwan is not the best place to see cherry blossoms. For the best cherry blossom experience, go to Japan or Korea instead. You will much appreciate breathtakingly gorgeous scenery there.
Once I experienced cherry blossoms in Korea and Japan, I was underwhelmed with Taiwan. Most cherry blossom sites in Taiwan have a few cherry blossom trees and thousands of people fighting for photos in front of them.
That said, Tamsui Wuji Tianyuan Temple is one of a few cherry blossom sites worth traveling for. If you are already going to be in Taipei at the right time, I recommend heading over to Tamsui.
Tamsui Wuji Tianyuan Temple
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm
Location: [Open Google Map]
Wuji Tianyuan Temple (無極天元宮) is a Taoist temple up on the hill in Tamsui. A 5-tiered round pagoda is already beautiful architecture; however, when cherry blossoms bourgeon on the temple ground, huge crowds turn up to appreciate its gorgeous scenery.
The three-color cherry blossoms typically start to bloom in January. The Wuji Tianyuan Temple hosts an evening light illumination sometime in January to early February when these flowers are in full bloom. But other types of cherry blossoms come out later until late March.
Insider’s Tip: Bring a jacket. The sun in springtime can easily fool you. But you have to realize cherry blossoms sprout when it is still chilly. After all, Tamsui is a harbor city; the ocean breeze can hit you hard. Both the Big O and I had to dash in and out of Uniqlo to buy a puff jacket when we realized the wind chill factor in Tamsui.
How to Go to Wuji Tianyuan Temple from Taipei
Many people flock to see the short-lived blooms during the cherry blossom festival. The traffic to the temple will be controlled. Finding a parking spot is challenging, obviously on weekends. But you might be surprised how many people turn out on weekdays as well.
The best way to reach Wuji Tianyuan Temple from Taipei is by taking MRT. Take MRT Red line (Tamsui – Xiangshan) towards Tamsui. At the MRT Tamsui Station, take bus 875, 876 or 877 and get off at Tianyuan Temple. The bus is usually super crowded, but the Taiwanese all line up orderly.
If you find it too inconvenient, take a cab from the station. But be aware some taxi drivers might want to pick up others on the way up, in which case, you will pay a set price per person (e.g., 100 NTD per person.) Uber is also an option.
I did not have any difficulty going up. (By the way, the temple is up the hill. I would not recommend walking from the MRT station.) But the real challenge was when I tried to leave the Temple for MRT Tamsui station. The line for a shuttle bus was super long as many wanted to head out right before the sunset. With no taxi on sight, uber was not available, either.
If this happens, remember that convenience stores in Taiwan help call a taxi for you. That is precisely what I did. And I waited about 15 minutes in front of 7-Eleven and got in the cab to Tamsui MRT station.
Where to Go Next Near Taipei
>> Taipei: A Bustling Capital City of Taiwan
>> Beitou Hot Spring: Immerse yourself in Taiwan’s hot spring culture influenced by Japan
>> Wulai Hot Spring: Decompress in a serene mountain village famous for hot spring and aboriginal culture
>> Juming Museum:11-hectare outdoor sculptor park with a mountain view
>> Yingge Ceramics Old Street: Make your own pottery at the pottery capital of Taiwan
>> Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival: Release sky lanterns and make your wish come true
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