Friday, July 12, 2019

Instagram Stop: Zhongshe Flower Market, Houli, Taiwan

Taiwan is one of my favorite travel destinations. Just thinking about the night market grubs make me drool. But there's more to Taiwan than just street food, milk tea, Shifen, Yehliu, and Jiufen. Down south is Taichung which has an impressive (and not to mention massive) night market with even more pocket friendly finds. And one of the popular spots in Taichung is the Zhongshe Flower Market.

Hello, Zhongshe Flower Market
Thanks to Instagram geotags, I got to discover the picturesque Zhongshe Flower Market in Houli District. The diverse variety of flowers caught my interest and thought that it was worth skipping Sun Moon Lake. 
If you're coming from Taichung or Taipei, this flower market is a lot closer than the famous lake. And that also meant giving us an extra hour to sleep in.
We headed out around 10 a.m. for the flower market and didn't have a hard time finding it as it's a well-known spot especially for tourists. Ticket costs NT$120 which gives you access to the whole garden. 
The first thing you'll see is its shop where you could buy plants of all sorts for your own garden.
There's also a mini ride to amuse or entertain toddlers.
I was looking forward to bask in the beauty of the flower farm but I was disappointed as soon as I stepped inside. 
I was picturing a colorful garden filled with tall plants. But it seemed that October was not the best time to visit as there were a lot of visible soil that seem to be prepped for more flowers.
I honestly do not know how some made it look like the flowers were like giants in the photos. That must have involved a lot of squats. 
Needless to say, R wasn't happy with my decision and decided to just sit down near the exit with our other two male companions. (And yes, they were bummed too.)
Thankfully, tourist here seem to be in a more happy state that I didn't find it hard to ask someone to take a quick snapshot of me with the fake piano by the field.
Plus points too that there weren't a lot of tourist hence not having to over-crop the photos. 
However, I still regret choosing Zhongshe Flower Market over a relaxing cruise around Sun Moon Lake. This experience made me remember that Instagram is a distorted mirror of reality and that I shouldn't quickly believe what I see online. 
I read that the Taichung World Flora Exposition (TWFE) Houli Horse Ranch Park is a better option but with a more expensive ticket price of NT$350. I think I'm good with one garden experience in Taiwan for now. 
Don't get me wrong. The place is nice and well-maintained. You can still get nice photos if you get the right angles. But I think that this is not worth the drive or commute if you're coming from Taipei. Unless you really (really) love flowers.
Zhongshe Flower Market is located at No.469-13 Sanfeng Road, Houli District, Taichung, Taiwan.

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