Qingtiangang in Yangmingshan National Park is a large grassland that lays on top of an old lava terrace. It is famous for the water buffalo that congregate here to graze, and is one of the most popular areas in the park. Besides enjoying views of wild water buffalo, there are also many hiking trails and historic trails nearby. Overall it is a family friendly destinations and one of the most popular attractions in Taipei City.
Qingtiangang, literally meaning "Hill Holding up Heaven" gets its name from the KMT Qingtian garrison that once guarded the hills and grasslands here. Officially it lies in Shilin District of Taipei, but parts of the grassland also lie in Jinshan District of New Taipei. The grassland lies 770 meters above sea level.
The area known as Yangmingshan now was formed by volcanoes about 700,000 years ago, forming many mountains about 1000 meters or less in northwestern Taiwan. The park still features active volcanoes, vents, and hot springs.
The original name of the area was Caoshan (grass mountain 草山). During the Qing Dynasty, the area was used to harvest sulfur, and many of the hills were burned to help catch sulfur thieves, Qingtiangang likely being one of these areas.
Sulfur mining at Dayoukeng Crater in Yangmingshan National Park started in the Qing Dynasty by a British mining company who first obtained the rights to mine here in 1897. Currently you can find lots of old mining equipment that were abandoned here. The Yulu Old Trail was built near Dayoukeng to transport mining materials, and extended over to Qingtiangang. Mining sulfur ended with the formation of Yangmingshan National Park.
In 1927 during the Japanese era, Yangmingshan was made as the first national park in Taiwan, then known as Datunshan National Park Association.
The area around Qingtiangang to Lengshuikeng was made into a ranch for water buffalo, and grass from Japan was planted here for them to graze.
In 1950 after the ROC took Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek renamed the park after the philosopher Wang Yangming, and called the area Yangmingshan.
The KMT kept the ranch at Qingtiangang and continued to maintain it. They also built bunkers here and kept a garrison of troops.
In 1985, after resolving many land disputes, Yangmingshan National Park was officially designated as a national park in the ROC era.
In2018, a mother died after being pushed over by a water buffalo at Qingtiangang. In 2020, the family was awarded NT$3.96 million from the park and wooden fences were built around the grasslands shortly after.
The water buffalo at Qingtiangang are actually closely watched and cared for. Although they roam free around Yangmingshan, they are watched over by the Agricultural Associations of Jinshan, Shilin, Yangmingshan, and Beitou, and well as the national park management.
In the winter of 2020 which was unusually wet, tens of cows began to die of malnutrition, therefore the park took steps to supplement the diet of the remaining cattle. Many cows were brought to lower eve lavations for rehabilitation before being released back to Yangmingshan.
Due to its easy accessibility and nearby attractions such as Lengshuikeng and Qixingshan, it is a popular stop in Yangmingshan and has a parking lots and a visitor's center. In addition, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taipei City.
The visitor's center is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.
(car parking 30-50 NT， scooter parking 20 NT)
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Taipei, take provincial highway 2A north to the Zhuzihu Lookout. Keep right until you reach the turnoff the the Qingtiangang parking lot. Car parking is limited on weekends and the number of cars allowed up the mountain is also limited. There is also paid scooter parking.
On weekends this place can be the most popular place in the park, and cars can be backed up for up to an hour or more, so consider taking a scooter or bus.
By Bus: From Beitou MRT Station, Take Little Bus 9 (小9) to Qingtiangang Station (擎天崗).
Please see below:
Gold Mountain Ranch and Resort (aka Jinshan Yijing in Chinese, or simply "Horse Camp") is a campground and horse ranch in Jinshan District of New Taipei. A stay here includes activities such as horseback riding, four-wheeling, archery and bb-gun practice, and also a filling BBQ dinner and western style breakfast. Staying here makes you feel like you are in the rural American West, which is a unique experience in Taiwan. With a shortage of ranches and horse riding opportunities in Taiwan, Gold Mountain is a special place that you should not miss on your trip along Taiwan's northern coast.
From my conversation with the Laoban (Boss), Mr. Z, as well as info from their website, Mr. Z. started this ranch about three years ago as a pet project, due to his love of horses. Before that he was in the restaurant business. He said that he searched the entire island for a suitable place for a Horse Ranch, which was his dream, and happened to find this spot of land where the ranch currently operates. When he started the ranch, he would still drive back to Zhonghe every night to take care of his ailing cat. Now he spends all his time taking care of the horses, even sleeping next to them at night in case something goes wrong. Now him and four other employees help to run the campground and ranch.
Currently the ranch has 6 horses, about five ATVs, and can accommodate 60 people. Soon they plan to open a restaurant and bar on the property, as well as a wilderness survival training camp.
Check in: 1 PM
Check out: 11 AM
1600 NT - 2750 NT per night per person
Additional horse rides charged per hour/lesson.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/goldmrandr/
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How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Taipei, take National highway 3 north to Wanli, then take provincial highway 2 along the northern coast until you reach Jinshan. Then take provincial highway 2A east to county highway 25, and turn right at Sanhe elementary school. Turn left when you see the sign for "金山驛境." The ranch is at the end of the road. It takes about 50 minutes from Taipei by car.
By Bus/taxi: There are buses that leave from Taipei City Hall station to Jinshan hourly. The ride takes about an hour. From central Jinshan you can take a taxi (about 200 NT) to the ranch.
Please see below:
Zhuzihu is a small valley in Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園 Yángmíng shān guójiā gōngyuán, in Beitou District of Taipei City) between Qixing Mountian and Datun Mountian. The valley is especially fertile due to the rich volcanic soil and abundant rain, and the entire area is full of recreational farms which have become popular tourist destinations. You should definitely stop by on your trip to Yangmingshan.
Zhuzihu valley (竹子湖 Zhúzi hú) was formed from lava that flowed out from Datunshan (大屯山 Dà tún shān) and Xiaoguanyinshan (小觀音山 Xiǎo guānyīn shān).
Due to its location as a high mountain valley, it rains easily here; annual rain accumulation is about 4500 mm.
Before Chinese settlers came to this valley, it was simply a road from the Taipei Basin to the coast, and a hunting ground. In the early 1600s, the first Chinese settlers came to farm here in three main family groups. In 1895, a brief skrimish was fought here between the Japanese and local settlers who did not want to be part of the Japanese empire.
The Japanese built hot springs here, experimental farms, a library, and a hiking dormitory. They began planting cabbage and rice here.
After the ROC took over Taiwan, cabbage growing became less important, and the farmers here began planting flowers and catering to tourism instead.
Now Zhuzihu is one of the most popular spots in Taipei to see flower gardens, mainly white and purple Arum-lilys (海芋 Hǎiyù) and Hydrangea (繡球花 Xiùqiú huā) which bloom from about February to June.
8 AM to 5 PM
(March 27th to June 21st, in 2020)
When to go:
From late February to early June, when the Arum-lilys and Hydrangea are in bloom.
100 NT per person (can be used to purchase drinks, food, other merchandise)
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Taipei, take provincial highway 2A north to the Zhizihu Lookout. At the roundabout, stay to the left off the main highway and then keep right until you reach the valley. Car parking is limited on weekends and the number of cars allowed up the mountain is also limited. There is free scooter parking everywhere.
By Bus: From Beitou MRT Station, Take Little Bus 9 (小9) to Fengjiakou Station (風架口).
Please see below:
Nantou lies at the heart of Taiwan and is it's only landlocked county. It is known for its rugged natural landscapes and mountains, and includes the highest mountain in East Asia. If you come to Taiwan you should definitely pass through this place and stop by at some of the sights we will mention below.
In this blog we will visit the following places:
Flying Cow Ranch is a recreational farm in Miaoli County that is open for tourists. Activities there include cow milking, pony rides, as well as feeding ducks, goats, and rabbits, making a trip to this farm fun for the whole family.
Flying Cow Ranch was originally created in 1975 by the government, using students that were sent to America to learn the art of raising dairy cows. After they graduated from schools in the US, the government set aside land in Miaoli for a dairy farming model in Taiwan, known as the "Central Taiwan Youth Dairy Farm" (中部青年酪農村). In 1985, it was converted into a recreational farm, and in 1995 it was opened to the public.
7 AM to 10 PM every day
220 NT per person (including a free dairy product)
50 NT per car
3000-5000 NT per night (1000+ NT per campsite), you can book a room here.
How to get there:
By Car: From Taipei, take National Freeway 3 to Miaoli and get off at the Tongxiao exit. Then take county road 121 east until you see the signs for Flying Cow Ranch, the Ranch is up the mountain about 2 KM. Car parking is 50 NT, scooter parking is free.
By Bus: Take Miaoli Motor Transport bus 5820 from Tongxiao Station two and a half hours(!) to Qixia Bus Station. From there it is a 2 KM walk uphill to the farm!
By TRA: You can take the HSR or TRA train to Tongxiao Station, then take the bus or a taxi (300 NT) to the farm.
By HSR: You can take the HSR to Miaoli Station, then switch to TRA, or take a taxi directly from the station (about 400 NT).
Please see below:
Qingjing Farm (aka Cingjing Farm) is a high mountain farm in Renai Township of Nantou County. It features beautful mountain scenery, sheep petting zoo, animal shows, horse riding, and horesmanship shows.
During Japanese rule, the area around Qingjing farm was originally pasture for the cattle of the Seediq aboriginal tribe. This is the same tribe that caused the Mushe Incident, the biggest rebellion against the Japanese during that era involving mass killings of Japanese and even more Aboriginals in return. If you don't know what I'm taking about, you should watch the film Warriors of the Rainow: Seediq Bale. The Mushe incident memorial can be found a littler further down the road in Wushe as the Mona Rudo Resistance Monument.
Later in 1959 the ROC government made the area a relocation area for a few military families to plant tropical fruits. In 1967 Chiang Chin-kuo (Chiang Kai-shek's son) visited the area and remarked: 「清新空氣任君取，境地優雅是仙居」meaning "There is fresh air for one to breathe, and the area is elegant like the dwelling place of a fairy." From then on the farm changed it's name from Rongmin Farm (榮民農場meaning honorary citizens' farm) to Qingjing Farm, meaning "Fresh Landscape."
By 1985 the farms around Qingjing all were making losses. But then the first hotel was built in the area, the income of which was greater than that of the farm itself. From then on the tourist sector of Qingjing farm began. Nowadays the farm is purely a tourist attraction, and many hotels and hostels have been built in the area.
Full adult ticket: 200 NT on holidays, otherwise 160 NT
Student ticket: 130 NT
Elderly/disabled/children 6-12: 80 NT
Groups over 30 people: 120 NT
8 AM - 5 PM every day!
How to get there:
From Taichung, take the Kbus, Nantou Bus, or Quanhang bus to the Puli bus station. You can also take Kbus from Taipei Main station straight to the Puli bus station. From there, you can buy entrance tickets to Qingjing and round trip bus tickets all in one via Nantou bus. The bus will leave and come back to Puli Station. Be sure to take the bus all the way to the Qingjing entrance.
Take national Highway 6 to Puli and then continue onto provincial highway 14 all the way to Qingjing farm. There are private parking lots above the entrance for about 200 NT a day, and there are usually extra spots even on a busy day.
Please refer to the map below:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.