I didn’t even know that Taiwan has cherry blossoms.
It’s a universal truth acknowledged that when Spring arrives, so do flocks of people with one objective in mind — to see the cherry blossoms 🌸.
Korea and Japan are known cherry blossom hotspots, with about 63 million people travelling to and within Japan in 2019 to catch the sakuras in bloom. It’s no wonder that the prices of flights and hotels become astronomical thanks to this “sakura surcharge” during the Hanami season.
Photo credit: @niniii.shiba via Instagram
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly (and less crowded) cherry blossom experience, Taiwan is an underrated destination. Compared to Korea and Japan, expenses and flights are generally cheaper — plus, you can beat the crowds of people vying to get a shot with the cherry trees!
While there are over 20 species of cherry blossoms in Taiwan, the most common ones are the Taiwanese Mountain Cherry and the Taiwan Cherry (Formorsan Cherry). Unlike the baby pink Japanese sakuras, Taiwan’s native blossoms take on a deeper and more vibrant shade of pink.
Nonetheless, you can still find the popular Japanese Yoshino cherry trees around Taiwan. These pale blooms were imported to Taiwan during the late 1800s and you’ll be able to see them in popular cherry blossom spots!
Taiwan’s 2023 Cherry Blossom Forecast
|Region||County||Estimated Flowering Date|
|North||Taipei||Early Feb – Mid Apr|
|North||New Taipei||End Jan – Mid Mar|
|North||Taoyuan||Feb – Mid Mar|
|North||Hsinchu||Mid-Feb – early Mar|
|Central||Taichung||Feb – Mid Mar|
|Central||Nantou||Late Jan – Mar|
|East||Yilan||Feb – Mid Mar|
|East||Hualien||End Jan – Feb|
|South||Chiayi||Mid Mar – Mid April|
|South||Kaohsiung||Jan – Feb|
Cherry blossoms have a reputation for being elusive, with the petals wilting within two weeks. But the good news is that Taiwan’s cherry blossom flowering season spans longer — from January to late April!
Note: The dates shown are the estimated flowering period of the county and will vary across viewing spots.
Northern Taiwan — Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu
Photo credit: @niu0501 via Instagram
Cherry blossoms make their earliest appearance in Northern Taiwan with certain species blooming in January before spring. Taipei City is the most convenient place to catch the blooms and some crowd favourites are the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Yangmingshan National Park. The best part is that the entrance is free for the public!
The cherry blossoms can be enjoyed both during the day and night at Neihu LOHAS Park. Photo Credit: Taipei Travel
Hop on a 15-minute THSR train to continue the cherry blossom trail and you’ll find yourself in New Taipei City where you can even catch the annual LOHAS Cherry Blossom Festival. Various cherry blossom species line the boardwalk and they look even more beautiful at night as you walk by the stream.
Smangus is home to one of Taiwan’s aboriginal villages, the indigenous Atayal tribe. Photo credit: @t.smangus via Instagram
If you’re looking for an escape from the city, a trip to one of the neighbouring counties like Taichung or Hsinchu will do the trick. For nature lovers, spend a night at Xiong Glamping (From ~$165/night) and wake up to cherry blossoms right outside your door!
Cherry blossom viewing spots: Taipei — Yamingshan National Park (陽明山), Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂); Tamsui — Tianyuan Temple (天元宮); New Taipei — Neihu LOHAS Park (樂活公園), Big Bear Cherry Blossom Forest (三峽大熊櫻花林); Taoyuan — Lala Mountain Loving Farm (拉拉山恩愛農場), Shoushanyan Guanyin Temple (壽山岩觀音寺); Hsinchu — Smangus (司馬庫斯).
Spring festivals: LOHAS Cherry Blossom Festival (3 Feb – 28 Feb), Yangmingshan Flower Festival (11 Feb – 19 Mar).
Getting around: Taipei city and Tamsui are connected by the public bus and MRT systems. New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Hsinchu are reachable via the THSR from Taipei.
Central Taiwan — Taichung and Nantou
Wuling Farm is said to be one of the nicest cherry blossom views in Taiwan. Photo credit: @gsn935430 via Instagram
Central Taiwan is known to be one of the best places to view cherry blossoms — picture a gorgeous sea of pink cherry trees! Travel to Taichung City where you’ll find Wuling Farm, a cherry blossom paradise.
There are over 20,000 trees on the compound and dozens of varieties are planted like the Yoshino cherry, Fuji cherry, and Pink Lady Cherry. If you’re short on time, you can go on a one-day Wuling Farm tour from Taipei (~S$50)!
Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is the first and only Japan-certified cherry blossom location outside of Japan.
Nantou’s Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (~S$40/pax) is famous for its yearly cherry blossom festival, where there are special programmes and performances planned for visitors to experience. Besides snapping pictures of the gorgeous scenery, there’s also a theme park and outdoor museum!
Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots: Taichung — Wuling Farm (武陵農場), WELE Cherry Blossom Park (中科崴立櫻花公園), Taian Police Station (泰安派出所樱花林); Nantou – Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村), Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), National Chi Nan University (國立暨南國際大學)
Spring Festivals: Sun Moon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival (1 Feb – 5 Mar), Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Cherry Blossom Festival (6 Feb – 5 Mar), Chi Nan University Cherry Blossom Festival (19 Jan – 5 Mar)
Getting Around: Taichung and Nantou counties are connected by TRA and bus.
Eastern Taiwan — Hualien, Yilan and Taitung
Cherry blossoms flowering at Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary of Hualien. Photo credit: @shy_team_photo via Instagram
Eastern Taiwan does not have as many cherry blossom flowers as compared to the central areas but if you’re already passing through the area, do check out a hidden gem only locals know about — Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary in Hualien. There are said to be 5,000 cherry trees planted within the college campus, drawing many local tourists to visit the magnificent blooms each year between January and March.
Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots: Yilan — Mingchi National Forest Recreation Area (明池國家森林遊樂區), Hualien —Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary (玉山神學院), Shuhu Cherry Blossoms Trail (樹湖櫻花步道), Taitung — Taimali Qingshan Farm (青山農場)
Southern Taiwan — Chiayi and Kaohsiung
Alishan Forest Railway train passing by cherry trees during spring. Photo credit: @joetographr via Instagram
Chiayi county’s Alishan National Forest Recreation Area is one of the most well-known tourist spots in Taiwan thanks to its dreamy and scenic foliage throughout the year. In March, the pale Japanese blossoms, Yoshino cherries, bloom along the train tracks and are best admired while waiting for the iconic red Forest Railway train to pass.
Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots: Chiayi — Alishan National Forest Recreation Area (阿里山國家森林遊樂區); Kaohsiung — Baoshan Erjituan Cherry Blossom Park (寶山二集團櫻花公園38甲櫻花公園).
Spring Festivals: Alishan Cherry Blossom Festival (Mar – Apr)
Getting around: Chiayi and Kaohsiung (Zuoying) are connected via the THSR system. TRA also connects from Chiayi to Alishan. Kaohsiung City has its own metro system.
How to get around Taiwan
Public transport is the most budget-friendly option when travelling within and between cities in Taiwan. The local metro (MRT) is available in larger cities like Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taoyuan, New Taipei and Taichung. You’ll need the EasyCard (~$4.40) for Taiwan and Kaohsiung, which can be pre-ordered online and picked up at the airport.
Inter-county travel is also convenient thanks to the Taiwan High-Speed Rail (THSR) and Taiwan Railway (TRA). For smaller counties in eastern and central Taiwan, buses might be a better option to reach attractions.
*Pro-tip: Get the 5-Day Joint Train Standard Pass (~$124) which includes unlimited use of the THSR on any two days along with unlimited use of the TRA for five consecutive days.
If you’re travelling in a group, renting a car is one of the most fun ways to get around Taiwan and will give you more flexibility over your itinerary. This would be more convenient when travelling around central and eastern Taiwan.
If you have a higher budget, consider booking a private car charter for greater comfort and ease when travelling between multiple cities.
Uber is also available in Taiwan if you need a taxi for short-distance travel!
For those looking for a hassle-free experience with the popular cherry blossom locations, a pre-booked tour would offer the smoothest convenience. Here are other cherry blossom viewing tours you might find useful or complementary to your trip:
– Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Ticket in Nantou: ~S$34
– Chiayi: Alishan Mountain Discovery Journey from Kaohsiung: ~$83
– Chiayi: Alishan Day Tour & Multi-Day Tour: ~$88
– Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village Day Trip (From Taichung): ~$88
Check out Klook’s Cherry Blossom site for more tour options in other parts of Taiwan, as well as deals on accommodation and transport to help you save more for your upcoming trip. 🌸
Viewing cherry blossoms is just one reason to visit Taiwan. If you’ve missed the cherry blossom season, there are still many stunning seasonal blooms and festivals you can catch throughout the year such as Tulips, Sunflowers and Lavender.
In truth, the island has so much to offer all year round. Whether a quick getaway or a two-week-long road trip, Taiwan has plenty to offer from misty mountains, seaside dolphins and delicious culinary wonders — while still being budget-friendly.
Here is a list of itineraries and guides that will help you plan your spring trip to the island of Taiwan:
– 9D Taiwan Itinerary Under S$100/day From Taipei to Kaohsiung
– The Ultimate THSR Taiwan Food Guide: 25 Must-eats in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung
– 8D Taiwan Itinerary: Insider’s Guide to Hidden Adventures from Taipei to Kaohsiung via THSR
– 8D Eastern Taiwan Itinerary: The Gateway to Nature’s Best Adventures (Yilan, Hualien, Taitung and Kenting)
– Muslim-friendly 4D3N Taipei Itinerary — A Solo Traveller’s First Time in Taiwan
Where is your favourite place to view cherry blossoms in the spring? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credit: @angelalo via Unsplash
This post was brought to you by Klook.