Of Autumn flowers and shelters from the cold
Explore the flowering autumns of Taiwan and hot springs to shelter you from the coming of winter
Chiang Kai Shek Shilin Residence
Autumn, a season traditionally marking the end of summer is perhaps one of the most beautiful, heralding the coming of winter. For Taiwan, the period represents a special time in which autumn & winter flowers such as the chrysanthemum bloom in full. Customarily, the chrysanthemum plant bears significant meaning for the Taiwanese bearing meanings such as lasting friendships, rest and recovery and enduring life. Taiwan’s premier couple, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his wife, Madam Soong Mei Ling, who were aware of these elements showed remarkable appreciation for the flower and had dedicated an entire garden to it within their home, ‘the Shilin Residence’. As a precursor to the flower’s bloom, the Chrysanthemum Show was held from 1950s to 1975 on the General Chiang’s birthday on October 31st.
The Chysanthemum show was revived back in 2002 and continues to see visitors throng to visit the remarkable attraction situated here. Chiang Kai-shek’s Shinlin Residence while famed for its botanical gardens also had remarkable historical significance as it was where Taiwan first held its country level elections in the 1950s and was also the reception venue to many foreign heads of state including U.S Presidents Nixon, Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Chaolin Ancient Trail
For those who prefer the rugged trails, the silvergrass trails of the Ancient Chaolin trail await east of the city of Taipei in the junction of Gongliao district and Toucheng Town. Measuring some 8.5 kilometres long, the ancient trail was part of Dalan Ancient Trail connecting Wanhua of Taipei City to Yilan during the Qing Dynasty. Some sources have indicated that the trail is the only surviving part of the Qing Dynasty Road. The beautiful trail especially during the month of November is filled entirely by silver grass, transforming it into a field of silver waves. Visitors who wish to return in summer may also obtain the opportunity of viewing ginger lilies in full bloom during this season. The trail takes about 4 hours for those who wish to complete the entire trail.
The chills of Taiwan during winter may fall as bitterly low as 8 Celsius but seeing that