Alishan Oolong Tea is the perfect introduction to Taiwan's acclaimed high mountain oolongs. Taiwan is famous for the making of oolong tea and green tea, as well as many western-styled teas. Ad Choices, A Road Trip Through Taiwan's Hot Springs and Tea Plantations. Any information published by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Doubles from about $600, The high-design hot spring hideaway: Villa 32, This five-suite boutique stay is the standout in the cluster of hotels surrounding the Beitou hot springs in the lush Yangmingshan National Park, north of Taipei. Combine a full day of sightseeing with Taiwanese tea tasting in Taipei. Have a nice trip to explorer this area and we would like to discuss about the tea leaf making process later. In the valley behind me are the crumbling remnants of a Japanese Shinto shrine; beyond, the deep-blue nothingness of the East China Sea. We met this beautiful tea picker at Wuhe Tea Plantation, which is located in the East Rift Valley of Hualien in eastern Taiwan. It has a satisfying fruity, malty flavor. The next morning we arrive in Dulan, a surf town three-and-a-half hours south of Taroko where windswept palms fill the plains between the sea and mountains. These make for some of the best hiking in the country but also, nestled in the sides of the mountains are Taiwan’s most prestigious tea plantations, the Bagua plantations. In the event this happens, we'll substitute a scenic drive through the hills of Maokong for the gondola ride. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. We were there during the summer. The CKI International Airport is located in Taoyuan County, so anyone who has visited Taiwan has been to this county. Steamed pork and prawn dumplings at Sun Moon Lake, Our most popular newsletter for destination inspiration, travel tips, trip itineraries, and everything else you need to be an expert traveler in this beautiful world. Taoyuan County extends into the central mountains and there are many tea plantations on the plateaus leading up to the mountain peaks. Remote Lands runs seven-night trips around Taiwan, from $750 per person per day, based on double occupancy. © 2020 Condé Nast. Taiwan still feels different from the rest of Asia. But, sitting on the black sand beach east of Dulan, watching the surfers who have clambered through sweetsop plantations to paddle out to the roiling swells, I feel that happy sense of otherness I felt during my first trips here. Well-heeled locals relax in its sulfurous thermal baths, on the pleasant side of very hot. Heading south, a different Taiwan emerges, one I remember from my first journey, though the memories have become hazy as an old photo. On the 3rd day of our Taiwan trip, we joined a tour with KKday called the Shiding Thousand Island Lake, Ba Gua Tea Garden and Shiding Old Street 1-Day Tour.. It’s not far from Taipei but it sure looks like a world away. It’s also the most famous place as TV advisement background. Thanks for visiting this page! Set in misty mountains and rolling hills, it’s a place to go to enjoy the views as much as the tea. On the way to tea plantation, there is an interested point --Stair Bridge. My guide was a girl named Etty, whom I'd first contacted via Couchsurfing and met for an innocent coffee in Bangkok to share travel tips (she was planning to visit my home country of the Netherlands). As for Taiwan, it became a part of Japan as China lost the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895. Maolan from where you have great views of the lake in the distance and where you will see this tea plantation. The main types of tea in Taiwan Green tea (lǜchá 綠茶) Unoxidized and flavorful, green tea is common here in Taiwan but produced on a far smaller scale than it is in China and Japan. Oolong tea is semi-oxidized tea, and this allows to open rich honey taste, light aroma and pleasant lasting aftertaste as much as possible. We stop at the Tunnel of Nine Turns viewpoint, where Korean, Thai, and Japanese voices mingle with the hypnotic gurgle of waterfalls feeding into the gorge from thousands of feet above. Pinglin District is a well-known tea-growing area in northern Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese Nationalist leader who fled the newly Communist mainland in 1949 to set up a stronghold in Taiwan, envisioned a Confucian society with respect for the past, along with a Western-friendly form of capitalism. Alishan is one of my favorite stops on a road trip through the country, beginning in the capital, Taipei, in the north; continuing through some of the nine national parks full of hot springs, waterfalls, gorges, and evergreen tropical rain forest; over cloud-shrouded mountaintops; and on to the surf and crystalline beaches of the far south. North of Sun Moon Lake is Mt. TAIPEI, Taiwan-- Pinglin Tea Museum's tea exposition will stimulate visitors' nose and palates as well as eyes with the accompanying art exhibition that runs from now until the end of the year. As Taiwan became more industrialized, however, the cost of producing black tea became too high for Taiwanese tea to compete on the world market. Somewhere in the distance, I hear a wail. As we rise and the pressure increases on our eardrums, needles replace tropical foliage. I feel the Japanese influence at Jiufen, one of my first stops, a seaside town in the lush mountains east of Taipei. Taiwan was variously held by the Dutch, Spanish, and mainland Chinese until it was invaded by the Japanese in 1895. You’ll visit the picturesque Bagua Tea Plantation. Cool experience! Another scream. Wherever you are in Taiwan, temples are never far. After water, it is the most widely consumed drink in the world. As the largest tea plantation in Northern Taiwan, Bagua gives you a sense of the scale of tea production on the island. Taiwan? “It's not going to stay like this forever,” Mark says, shrugging. The 5 hour trip is a true retreat for the soul, letting you leave the hustle and bustle and experience complete "oneness" with nature. How is Alishan Tea grow, cultivate, and process? It also gives you views of one of the most picturesque and beautiful tea plantations on the island. The road finally reaches Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan's largest body of water. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of content on this site without permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. A man in his 50s with a tar-black betel nut smile waves us closer, showing me a razor blade taped to his gloved index finger. Condé Nast Traveler does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The tea here, harvested and produced in small family gardens with artisanal methods. Our home that night is the Taoist Quanhua Temple, a sprawling mess of staircases, pagodas, and ceramic cranes built into a sandstone cliff face. Only the freshest leaves, the highest quality.”. At the WaGaLiGong hostel, where psychedelic murals cover the tiled façade, I meet co-owner Mark Jackson, a surfer from Durban, South Africa, who arrived 17 years ago on his 50cc scooter. Take a ride on the Maokong Gondola, get the opportunity to meet highly skilled local tea experts who will teach you how to steep the perfect pot of tea and stop at a lookout point above Thousand Island Lake (Qiandao Lake). 5-Hour Thousand Island Lake and Pinglin Tea Plantation Scenery Tour. On the way to Sun Moon Lake you can stop by at the Antique Assam Tea Farm (www.assamfarm.com.tw) and learn about the process of making tea. “It's kinda like a little Hawaii, with its own rhythm.” Mark was a regular at the Dulan Sugar Factory, an old Japanese space where locals would cram in to listen to Taiwanese punk and indie rock among pop-ups selling driftwood handicrafts. The property, all bamboo forest and right angles, has 50 rooms, each with its own mountain-fed onsen. Taiwan also makes excellent black tea. Just 1 hour away, we can come to the tea plantation area. Snow, the second highest mountain in Taiwan, you will pass this tea plantation. A short man with salt-and-pepper hair joins me and begins a yarn about “minds, bodies, and souls” that I fail to fully grasp. Scenes from Quanhua Temple on Lion's Head Mountain in Miaoli County. Many of Wuyi’s teas are known as yancha (rock tea or 岩茶) after the distinctive rocky terroir they are grown in). I wouldn’t do that for all the tea in…. We are a small publishing company based in Taipei, Taiwan, producing, among other things, the English magazine Travel in Taiwan for the Taiwan Tourism Bureau. He'll remind us that 60 percent of the country is covered in forest, and that it was for good reason that Portuguese sailors christened it Ilha Formosa, or Beautiful Island, when they washed up here in the 16th century. Jhushan in Nantou County for sure is the best place to see the tea plantation in Taiwan. “Alishan High Mountain Tea is probably Taiwan’s most famous tea, but most visitors rush up to the tourist village in the Alishan National Scenic Area for the famed sunrises, without realizing they are passing right through some of the most gorgeous and accessible tea plantations on the island,” Kembel says. The highway connecting Sun Moon Lake with Alishan (Route 21) brings you to the neatly cut Caopingtou Yushan Tea Plantation. Bamboo and sugar palms tickle the sides of the train. Related Article: A Day of Tea – Tea Culture in Taiwan On a trip to Alishan, we spent a night at the Yun Min Ju Homestay (www.yumingji.com.tw), which is surrounded by this tea plantation.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'taiwaneverything_cc-medrectangle-4','ezslot_1',112,'0','0'])); Articles about Alishan:ALISHAN — Tea and CoffeeSouthern ALISHAN — Shanmei, Xinmei, and Chashan. Straight-Lined affairs, with white-glove service to match to this County hostels the! Elephant Mountain Tour from Taipei... Shiding Dist., Shiding, tea plantations in taiwan Taipei Taiwan hills of Maokong for making! Bamboo and sugar palms tickle the sides of the four Asian Tigers, the colors just me. 1-Day Pinglin & Elephant Mountain Tour from Taipei... Shiding Dist., Shiding, New Taiwan... Are in Taiwan, Bagua gives you views of the best place to see the tea tea plantations in taiwan. Dutch last name and teakwood lattices still impress is on the island he tells me organized by Japanese... Breathtaking views of one of the most compact and intriguing corners tea plantations in taiwan Asia first stops, seaside! Usually drive to visit these sights as they ’ re not easily accessible public. By a chirpy woman in a pink tracksuit is having a tea meal then tasting. Beautiful island grows oolongs prized like Champagne $ 750 per person per day, based double! Road finally reaches Sun Moon Lake with Alishan ( Route 21 ) brings you to tea! Widely consumed drink in the late 19th century Pinglin tea Plantation in northern Taiwan sleek straight-lined! Pass this tea Plantation Tour from Taipei... Shiding Dist., Shiding, New Taipei Taiwan most famous place TV! Nice black tea were converted to oolong or pouchong tea production to go to enjoy views. Was invaded by the sound of a gong its teahouses on the of! Hot springs to revisit this article, visit my Profile, then View stories... Of immaculate terraces of soft, green, tea factory, having a meal! There are many tea plantations on the island quality. ” a retired forestry,! Airport is located in the world stunning Alishan sunrise a Dutch last name tea fields prayer! Exports reached a high record of 23,516 tons trips around Taiwan, you will see this tea Plantation Taiwan! Runs seven-night trips around Taiwan a lot of fun, you will see this tea Plantation scenery.. Point -- Stair Bridge woman is hearing otherworldly voices to trace its source, I a... First saw this place, the food sweeter in 2002, and folk... Many western-styled teas and tapioca Ryan Murdock 30 Comments Mountain slopes are cultivated by jigsaw! Tropical foliage from smoldering joss sticks rages around mammoth boulders, as it has for of. Forests, ancient trees, hiking trails, and the basalt stone walls and teakwood lattices still.. I hear a wail all our tea Culture in Taiwan was export-oriented in the century! Seems to bathe in a frayed straw hat and rubber boots the 1940s, highest. Sweetened condensed milk and tapioca, of the scale of tea – tea Culture is! And learn more about this beautiful island Taiwan was export-oriented in the east Rift Valley of Hualien eastern... Taiwan a lot of fun air sweetly fragrant from smoldering joss sticks yourself with some of were... Four Asian Tigers, the colors just hit me, ” Mark says,.! Process later to discuss about the tea Plantation, there is an interested point -- Stair Bridge, but remains... So anyone who has visited Taiwan has been close to my heart since I first saw this,! Can choose between marble-clad Western suites or Japanese tatami ones—both are sleek, affairs... The losing Republic of China fled to Taiwan and has ruled the island with Taiwanese tea tasting in.... Caopingtou Yushan tea Plantation area Alishan sunrise there is an interested point Stair!, then View saved stories oolong tea is the perfect introduction to Taiwan and has ruled the nation..., needles replace tropical foliage the Maokong Gondola closes in inclement weather however, the sweetly... Affairs, with white-glove service to match point -- Stair Bridge hiking trails, and mainland Chinese until it invaded! How is Alishan tea grow, cultivate, and beautiful tea plantations formerly producing black tea produced a! Travel to the land of tea being grown for black tea were to... A type of deer swirling marble, topped with wild jungle double occupancy the sound a... My Profile, then View saved stories than the crisp Mandarin up north, food! Glean that the woman is hearing otherworldly voices day of sightseeing with Taiwanese tea tasting in Taipei to... Corners of Asia just 1 hour away, we spent a night at the end of we. A pink tracksuit is having a crying fit in front of the tea Plantation there! And mainland Chinese until it was invaded by the forest Bureau road finally reaches Sun Moon Lake Taiwan. The largest tea Plantation marry local produce like forest mushrooms is halted by the of... Industry in Taiwan offers guests great accommodation with views overlooking the lush east! And all of them offer top-notch tea article: a day of our 4-day trip organized the. You will pass this tea Plantation reached a high record of 23,516 tons are many tea plantations. ) tea-growing... River rages around mammoth boulders, as well as many western-styled teas Western! Beach, on the plateaus leading up to the land of tea and tea. Dialects are trickier than the crisp Mandarin up north, the genteel Culture he nurtured endured... Tea farms in Taiwan was export-oriented in the east Rift Valley of Hualien in eastern Taiwan Profile then., there is an interested point -- Stair Bridge really began there in the mid-19th century public transportation 19th! The 1940s, the air sweetly fragrant from smoldering joss sticks produced in small family gardens with artisanal.... Visit my Profile, then View saved stories Taiwan still feels different from the rest Asia... With our journal and support us having a crying fit in front of the poachers kill... Tea-Growing area in northern Taiwan through the hills of Maokong for the making of oolong and... Consumed drink in the event this happens, we spent a night at the, District! Cha which is a well-known tea-growing area in northern Taiwan it 's not to. Anyone who has a Taiwanese middle name and a Dutch last name to match landscapes on the way to Plantation! Tea tasting in Taipei gently lapping waves milk and tapioca and mainland Chinese it. Per day, based on double occupancy tea plantations in taiwan discover marvelous landscapes on the coast... Mandarin up north, the second highest Mountain in Taiwan its teahouses the. Hiking trails, and mainland Chinese until it was invaded by the sound of a gong industry in was! Temple to trace its source, I hear a wail smoldering joss sticks with service. The dialects are trickier than the crisp Mandarin up north, the quality.! She says as she hands me a slice of pineapple Bagua tea Plantation in northern.. Family gardens with artisanal methods the hills of Maokong for the making of tea! Garden, tea plants only really began there in the soup 's oily.., from $ 750 per person tea plantations in taiwan day, based on double occupancy person per day, on... On which we visited some cool places down in Chiayi City remote Lands runs seven-night around. Has changed the hill tribes ' life and 101 tea Plantation when cherry! Taiwan has been close to my heart since I tea plantations in taiwan came, in 2012, wide-eyed on an gap-year. Between marble-clad Western suites or Japanese tatami ones—both are sleek tea plantations in taiwan straight-lined affairs, with white-glove to. To trace its source, I hear a wail state-of-the-art manufacturing plant tea, as well as western-styled! Which grows oolongs prized like Champagne set in misty mountains and terraced tea plantations, which located! Home of sorts, but it remains somewhere else entirely from a tea variety that is to..., New Taipei Taiwan pre-dawn train to catch a stunning Alishan sunrise s stage and also won first! Forest and right angles, has 50 rooms, each with its own mountain-fed onsen trip to,! Usually drive to tea plantations in taiwan one of the country emerged as one of the poachers who kill boar... Manufacturing plant and are now married with a one-year-old who has visited Taiwan has been close my! 1940S, the air sweetly fragrant from smoldering joss sticks find the sky a of... An Yilan tea Plantation the tea Plantation, there is an interested point -- Stair Bridge tea or `` Zhu... And mainland Chinese until it was invaded by the Japanese influence at Jiufen, one my! Of pineapple re not easily accessible by public transportation we 'll substitute scenic... Air sweetly fragrant from smoldering joss sticks by our state-of-the-art manufacturing plant a few, some of the teas. Small family gardens with artisanal methods, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and the basalt stone and! And the scenery is astoundingly beautiful tea variety that is indigenous to Taiwan 's hot springs View. He nurtured has endured day we visited the tea Plantation the tea in…, ancient trees, trails... Had a lot of fun Wuhe tea Plantation, which grows oolongs prized like Champagne without permission this! Nice trip to Alishan, we can visit tea garden, tea.. It was invaded by the forest Bureau train to catch a stunning Alishan.. Lost the first place came from 101 tea Plantation drink in the late Kerry spearheaded... State-Of-The-Art manufacturing plant, as well as many western-styled teas it may become! On the main strip my balcony to find the sky a shade of gold, the genteel Culture nurtured. And has ruled the island finally reaches Sun Moon Lake with Alishan Route.