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Hakka culture in Hengshan, Hsinchu County Day trip in Dashanbei Agricultural Park

Hakka culture in Hengshan, Hsinchu County Day trip in Dashanbei Agricultural Park
Neiwan is the best-known travel destination in Hengshan Township, Hsinchu County. Whether you go to the old street, the train station, or the bridge, there will always crowds every weekend. People arrive by train, motorcycle, and bicycle. After camping became popular, more campsites close to Hengshan have been established among the mountains and rivers not far from Taipei. More and more campers can be seen along the roadside to Hengshan. This shows that Hengshan has become a true paradise.

During recent years, many people have begun promoting Hakka culture so that visitors to Hengshan can have a deeper experience. That is why visitors from near and far are attracted to this beautiful place. During their visit, they learn more about Hakka history, including the tea leaves and camphor that they are famous for.

Hakka culture in Hengshan, Hsinchu County Day trip in Dashanbei Agricultural Park
Dashan Beiyue: Repurposed elementary school turned paradise
Since the Hsinchu County Government started promoting free bus services, traveling around Hengshan has become more convenient. Whether visitors take the High Speed Rail or a commuter train, they transfer to the Neiwan Line to stop at the Hengshan Train Station and then take the bus. It is like going to a Hakka paradise and enjoying a leisurely sightseeing tour. For those who have never been to Hengshan before, you can take the bus along the winding mountain road to Dashan Beiyue and stop for a meal or coffee. The name for the campsite, Dashan Beiyue means a new life and is taken from the area where it is located, Dashanbei (the Chinese characters for "Beiyue" (北月) can be combined into the word "Bei" (背)). Two young adults repurposed this elementary school in Hengshan that was shut down. The owner is a postgraduate student at National Tsing Hua University and is only 130cm tall due to a bone condition. Aside from repurposing the elementary school into a well-known travel destination, they collaborated with farmers along Provincial Highway 3, repackaging the produce to promote them in a more fun and creative way. Their restaurant menu also uses local products combined to create delicious food such as cold noodles with grass jelly, kiln-baked bread, and Oriental Beauty champagne. Coming to Hengshan, you can enjoy fantastic food, drink a cup of coffee, and enjoy scenic spots under the 80 year old trees—let your heart go back to your carefree childhood! The campsites on the second floor are available for rent, but everyone knows how popular this beautiful campsite is, so make a reservation early!
Hakka culture in Hengshan, Hsinchu County Day trip in Dashanbei Agricultural Park
Dashanbei Leisure Farm: Fireflies, flowers, and orchards for year-round fun
You can take the bus back to Leshantang Temple, a historical site in Hsinchu County, honoring Buddha, Manjusri, and Samantabhadra built in 1890. The temple is located in the center of the Dashanbei leisure farm area. There is also a hiking trail that begins and ends nearby. After worship, you can walk around and take in the beautiful views of the temple—it will definitely make you feel happy and carefree.
Next, explore either the short or long trail. Both trails have a Hakka flavor with an original style and a variety of trees. It is a magnificent sight when the sun shines through the branches. During the Tung flower season every April, all the Tung flowers surrounding the trail create an illusion of being drowned in flowers, washing away all your weariness and troubles. You also can buy Hengshan kiln-baked bread made with natural yeast to share with your relatives and friends back home. But you need to move quickly because they always sell out on the weekends!
This is also an important place that grows mandarin oranges in Hsinchu County. Many fireflies come here in summer, making it a great place to see fireflies. In the winter, Dashanbei is famous for the mandarin oranges; grown in the orchard on the hillsides around Leshantang Temple. You can enjoy picking mandarin oranges from December to March every year. From seeing fireflies and Tung flowers, going hiking, and picking fruit, there are many places to go and a variety of activities for every season in the Dashanbei leisure farm area.
Hakka culture in Hengshan, Hsinchu County Day trip in Dashanbei Agricultural Park
Hengshang Elementary hundred-year camphor: A symbol of balance between man and nature
If you still have time before going home, you can see the 200-year-old camphor tree near Hengshan Elementary School. According to legend, a camphor supplier had hired workers to cut down the tree but they were all struck ill because they had offended the local god. As a result, the tree was never cut down. Now, the tree is protected by the Hsinchu County Government. The residents built a temple to Tu Di Gong in front of the tree to bless them. The spirit of mutual respect between people and nature and contentment with life is evident here.