Slow life in Taichung Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip

Reported by Senior Editor, Xue-yao GUO and Chief Editor of Travel & Living series, Vivi WU

Want a relaxing trip without spending much time in the traffic? This time, Visit Taiwan Enjoy Farm brings us to enjoy Taichung. Let’s get a trip far away from the crowded city and have a break from electronic devices.

Agro-tour to the home of fruits, Shinhe Sightseeing Orchard
Top-grafting pears, utilizing the pear branches in the high mountain areas grated to different kinds of pear trees in low areas, so to grow the same pears in the high areas from the trees in the low areas. Dongshi Township, Taichung, located between the central range and Taichung basin, grows all kinds of fruits all year round. Fruit farmers in the 2 major leisure agricultural areas in Dongshi, “Soft Pond Leisure Agricultural Area” and “ Pears Homeland Leisure Agricultural Area”, leverage the blessed weather and terrain, making Dongshi the biggest source of top-grafting pears in Taiwan. This trip, we visit Shinhe Sightseeing Orchard to experience the picking process of top-grafting pears.

The farm owner, Mr. Zhan, is from a family in farming for generations. He explains that during grafting, imported Japanese pear bud wood is used. It has to be replaced annually, unlike other fruit trees, i.e., Mango, only takes this step once to reap the fruit in the future. Asides from scion, soil harrow, tree trimming, branch support setup, and nutrition management are required before harvest season. The process is quite intricate.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
Top-grafting pears before picking are protected by a paper bag to prevent bird’s eating, pests and diseases. Mr. Zhan told us, when the yellow color slightly shows through the paper bags, meaning the top-grafting pears could be ripen. When picking, do not use brute strength to pull down the pears; it may separate the stem from the fruit, even hurt the trunk. The correct way to pick is to break the branch reversely upwards, then take down the pear.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
Asides from picking, the farm also has top-grafting pears, graded by the variety and size, ready for sale. In addition, Hsinhe Sightseeing Orchard also grows loquat and mango. The most well known is the “Monster Loquat”, 4 times larger than the normal loquat; therefore, the largest in Taiwan. It is juicy and tasty and the sweetness is the same as the normal ones. Mr. Zhan said as long as there are seasonal fruits for harvest, they welcome tourists to experience fruit picking. If time is permitted, a camping trip is also a good idea. Due to floods of tourists, please call to make a reservation before visit.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
Taste flowers and fruits and enjoy the scenic views: Spring Mountain Leisure Farm (沐心泉休閒農場)
Away from the plain, Spring Mountain Leisure Farm is located above mountains. The farm’s total area is over 8 hectares with and elevation difference of 300 meters; therefore, a variety of nature can be found here. Besides, the farm uses its home grown fruits and flowers in the dishes which are highly acclaimed, a must try here!

“Pumpkin and Vegetable Pot” with a great and sweet mouth feel and rich flavors, is the popular dish. And the pumpkin in the dish is the product from the farm, exactly “from farm to table”.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
The lemongrass in the dish “The Lemongrass Chicken Fillet” is also home grown. If you are lucky, you could even taste the “olive juice”, made by the fruit from olive trees on the farm, only served in a certain season.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
Don’t forget to seize the rare opportunity to walk the farm’s special design, “Floral Trail”. Cherry blossom, tung flower, daylily and 大雪木 take seasonal turns to blow the tourists away. Hiking trails on the farm are the favorite of many hikers. Climbing up to the mountain peak with an elevation of 900 meters to enjoy the condescending superiority, and breathing the phytoncide in the forests can refresh the body.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
An unplugged trip: 東豐綠色走廊 & Houfeng Bike Lane
東豐綠色走廊 used to be the Dongshi branch of old mountains- line railway, total distance around 12km, and now the only closed bike path in Taiwan. There are bike rentals along the way, tandems are available, too. Even the whole family, old and young, travel together can find bikes to each need. Houfeng Bike Lane, with a distance around 4.6km, is connected to the 東豐綠色走廊 and includes Tunnel No.9 and the steel bridge spans Dajia River, which are unique views to this bike lane.

Not long after departure from the Houfeng Bike Lane, we arrive at castle like First Winery, free of admission. The outdoor area of First Winery has many barrels as the background for photo shooting. Children can learn indigenous trees and herbal plants here. Inside the winery, there are all kinds of wines, from fruit wines, sweet wines, Japanese sake to health wine, free for tasting. And there is even customized service for wedding memorial wine.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip
Moving forward from the winery, we can see the spectacular steel bridge, with 6 trusses over the riverbed of Dajia River. It was used to be an important indicator of the old mountains-line railway but now a historical architecture. Farther forward is the Tunnel No.9, with a distance around 1.2km. Though a tunnel, the lighting inside is sufficient and the temperature is comfortable and therefore good to explore. In the mid tunnel walls hung many old pictures of the railway, tourists may stop here and learn further about the hardship of building and digging a tunnel in the old days. The end point is “ Houli Horse Ranch”. Make sure you arrive early if you want to experience horse and carriage rides. The ranch only opens until 5pm.

On the way back to 東豐綠色走廊, there are Shigang Old Train Station torn by 921 earthquake, Vendors and a Centurial Mango Tree, where legacy has it that children playing on the tree are blessed by the village deity. There are shades all along the way, even in torching summer, it is still very cool.
Slow life in Taichung   Delicious Food and Beautiful Scenery, an unplugged trip

Taking a short break from the electronic devices by having an unplugged trip could be the best way to recharge ourselves. If long vacation is not available, spare one or two days from the hectic life, and enjoy the leisure time in the nature!

Soft Pond Leisure Agricultural Area

Add: No 75 Qingfu Street, Qingfu Village, Dongshi Township, Taichung City
TEL: 0975-031330

Pears Homeland Leisure Agricultural Area

Add: No. 168, Lane 688, Sec 3 Dongchi Rd., Zhongke Village, Dongshi Township, Taichung City
TEL: 0920-545679

Shinhe Sightseeing Orchard

Add: No. 105-2, Dongguan Rd, Qingfu Village, Dongshi Township, Taichung City
TEL: 0935-710-069 (Please call to make reservation for fruit picking or camping)

Spring Mountain Leisure Farm

Add: No 60, ZhongXing Street, Xinshe District, Taichung City
Tel: (04)2593-1201

東豐綠色走廊 & Houfeng Bike Lane (后豐鐵馬道)
First Winery, the winery in the home of railways

Add: No.32, Alley 2 Lane 260, Puzi Street, Fengyuan District, Taichung City
TEL: (04)2512-3393