Leave only footprints, and perhaps a digital trail of #instapics
Sometimes a city crusader needs a break. And what better way to have your well-deserved breather than tending to the fields of Taiwan?
While the vibrant hubbub of the metropolitan city never fails to thrill and excite, Taiwan offers up a quieter way of life with eco-tourism – an initiative embraced by the country’s government in 2002. Sought by the jaded urbanite, ecological tours are held at an array of farms, boasting diverse agricultural practices of fruits, vegetables and animals.
We embarked on these tours ourselves, where we picked fruits, pet animals and met some of the strong-headed farmers. Most of the farms are inherited by these resilient agriculture leaders, who not only embrace simpler virtues, but also champion over the reliance of modern technology.
Here are seven of such eco-farms not to be missed when in Taiwan:
1. Hualu Flower Leisure Farm
“It comes naturally,” perpetual flower child Chen Ji Nen, 57, on his undying love for these earthly blooms, which eventually led to the setup of the Hualu Flower Home Leisure Farm some thirty years ago. The farm started out by exclusively selling flowers and bonsai trees to large-scale companies, before branching out to the production of essential oils. These days, the farm focuses on DIY workshops and homestays in its bid to strengthen its recreational division.
At the eco-farm, you are to let the nose lead to its six aromatic zones, where a variety of herbs, spices, flowers and fruits are grown in abundance. With the farm’s natural bounty literally at your feet, a day’s tour (estimated $11) is certainly in order, that includes DIY activities such as essential oil-making, before concluding at a gift shop where a range of oil-based bath products are up for sale. For further immersion, stay overnight at its bread and breakfast-eqsue accommodation of 18 rooms, bedecked with the woodsy furniture and fixtures. Best part about the room is its floor-ceiling windows for sceneic views of the sprawling ranch.
Go during the colder period of November to May when the flowers are in full force!