If you are in the middle of crafting your itinerary for Taiwan, consider adding the Zhong She “sea of flowers” in Houli District, Taichung to your IT.
The pretty blooms and instagrammable angles makes the the long trip to Taichung worth it. This was a non-negotiable stop for us. We just had to go and check it out and of course, ready our camera. Lol.
*This Taiwan destination is popular among local and foreign tourists. Time your visit early in the morning before busloads of visitors arrives.
Taichung Car Tour versus Commute
We signed up for a private car tour for our Taichung sightseeing activity, rate was 6K NTD for 10 hours tour. This Houli flower market was our first stop. The other two were Rainbow Village and Summit Resort aka Xinshe Castle. We opted not to go to the other popular tourist spots in Taichung – Carton King, Lavender Cottage, etc. mainly because we don’t want to rush from one place to the next.
We want to stop, savor, experience as best as we can. Rushing to complete as many sites as possible in a single day is a turn-off.
Can you commute going to Houli flower market? Based on my research, yes you can. But if you are just visiting Taiwan for a short time, joining a tour group or taking a private tour makes more sense, because those 3 spots are really far.
Our driver / guide Mr. Huang picked us up in Rainbow Hotel in Ximending, Taipei at exactly 8 AM. We drove through freeways and freeways. Their freeways were criss-crossing, and there is no toll fee!!! Just Wow!!!
We arrived in Houli after 2 hours and a few minutes. It’s really far considering we were on a freeway 95% of the time.
Houli Flower Market entrance fee is NTD 150. They have an annexed barbeque restaurant where visitors can avail of unlimited barbeque for NTD 350. This NTD 350 is a package deal for unli bbq + entrance to Zhong She Guan Guang Flower Market.
*Tip: If you are going for BBQ lunch or early dinner at Zhong She, have someone stay in your table, then just switched places. The resto staff will not clean-up the table as long as there is still someone there. So, in effect, you can come back to eat again if ever picture-taking made you hungry. Susulitin kung susulitin baga hahha.
But, if you are short on time, I suggest NOT to have the bbq there because barbequing takes time. Time that you could be back on the road going to the next tourist destination.
*We had our lunch nearby Rainbow Village, in a sort of carenderia set-up. There was regular white rice! Yeyyy! Lol. The food there was great and cheap. NTD 90 that gives you rice + 4 side dish + chicken. My choices were delicious, white rice + beancurd dish + sautéed bean sprouts + Chinese sausage 2 parts + chicken thigh. Busog! Approved!
*I’ll update this post with a map of where we took lunch. Masarap sya!
How to Commute to Houli’s Zhong She Flower Market
Step 1: To save time, take the Taiwan High Speed Railway. From HSR Taipei Main Station buy ticket for Taichung. Then once you get to Taichung, you need to transfer to a regular train. HSR fare for this route is NTD 700, trip will take about an hour.
Step 2: Find the Man Man Train (commuter train) and take that to go to Houli Station. You need to do a bit of research here to locate the regular train station. But I supposed it will be walking distance from the high speed rail station.
Step 3: Once in Houli train station, you can walk for less than 2 kms or take a taxi. (I’ll try to request Pasyalan sa Taiwan admin if I can add their direction tips on this post, they have a very specific walking guide to the flower market from the train station).
*Ask a local for direction as necessary. Although, I have to warn you, finding a Taiwanese who can speak English is a tad difficult. As in. We got an advised that says if you really have to ask someone for direction or whatever, try to ask a youngster, say college or yuppie looking individual. There is a slight chance that, that young person may understand and speak English.
*Please do further research to verify what I said above, since the commuting info to Houli Flower Farm was not per my actual experience but based on the research I did prior to our Taiwan visit.
TULIPS!!! Walang tulips sa pinas hehhe
The Sea of Flowers and PhotoShot
Upon arrival in the flower farm, Mr Huang spoke on his phone in Chinese and showed us what he said via Google Translate app; his message translated to English. Yep, that is how we survived the tour. It was a fun experience hahah.
“We will take pictures for 100 minutes”. We read on the translation app.
“Take picture slowly it does not matter”. He showed that to me in different versions, two more times, I think.
Okay, now, since I was really concern that the trip to Houli took a long time. He was driving fast but still it took a couple of hours to get to Zhong She Guan Guang farm / market that I made some mental calculations and came up with the thought that “we only have one hour and 40 minutes for the entire tour to take pictures”. Hahahhah. I don’t know what came over me.
So yes, we rushed through the “pictorial” in Houli. I was stressed, and I stressed my sister, Kenneth, and husband, Titus,. Kenneth reprimanded me “Ate, ayaw sig mug-ot”. Take out the frown from your face, hahahha.
I told them that if we need to skip Rainbow Village to have more time in Houli, we will do it. Took a bit of time before I was able to relax, lol.
Thankfully, the pictures turned-out okay, look below! 🙂
Field Trip Boy, That Neverland Girl, Penfires in Taiwan Taichung Houli flower farm!
After 60 minutes hopping from one section to another in a frenzied photoshoot, we went back to the parking lot. Mr Huang wasn’t in the car. Titus went back to look for him.
My husband said that Mr Huang was very surprised that we came looking for him too early than what he expected. Ouch. 100 minutes pala of stay time in Houli hahahha.
On the next tour stops, we made sure that we understood each other especially as to the ‘stay time’. Hahhahah.
Anyhow, these are some of the best pics taken in Zhong She Flower Market in Houli District. We’d love to be back there, someday. 🙂
This is the first post on the Penfires Taiwan Tour series. Check-out the other posts, you might find some helpful tips or know what to avoid. Like my 100 minutes fiasco hahha.
Our Taiwan getaway was a combination of private car tour and DIY exploration. Will share more details on other posts. Thanks for reading!