Saturday, March 1, 2014

hidden treasures: part one

Welcome to Nanyuan, a hidden treasure in Hsinchu County's mountains! This is a garden + resort area that Sean and I explored today on our best scoot adventure yet. We set out with a hand drawn map and a vague understanding of where to go. Magically, after scooting through the mountains and having to jump off our scooter once or twice to push her up too steep hills, we made it! Nanyuan is completely isolated in the rugged mountainside and even required a little off roading on our scooter. What did this mean for us? Solitude. In one of the most populated countries in the world, it is here that we found peace + quiet + emptiness! The whole complex was practically ours to explore alone.
This 28 hectare complex was originally built by a wealthy newspaper man in 1980s. He built a 28 hectare garden + resort for his retirement! Can you imagine? It has since been turned into a tourist destination but due to the steep entrance fee of 800 NT (nearly $30 USD), many people pass by it. It's a shame because they are missing out but at the same time it's perfect for those of us who decide it's worth the money and visit anyway. It's a delightful way to spend a gloriously sunny afternoon getting lost in the maze-like garden full of interesting buildings, ponds and plants.
I have so.many beautiful photos from our scoot adventure today I will surely have to create a part two [and maybe three] just to do this place justice. And that doesn't even take into consideration all the times we pulled over on the side of the road to snap photos and gawk at Taiwan's stunning natural beauty. It is just so.hard to live in such a wonderful place with so much waiting for you just an hour scoot away.

More to come soon! 

14 comments

  1. I love that you started off with a hand drawn map a 'vague idea' of where to go...best exploration trip! That and I really love all your photos, from a photographer's eye they are so beautiful. Makes me wish I was there to see that in person too. What a fun day out!

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    1. Those are always my favorite kind of trips mostly because my husband has superpowers and can find anything, even with just a hand drawn map! I just got a new Canon ESO M and have really loved playing around with it! It takes the most beautiful photos!

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  2. This place is incredibly beautiful! x

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    1. It really was! The drive there was almost better!

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  3. um, yes. Luke and I will need your directions to visit this magical secret garden.

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    1. I will pass on our hand drawn map and then let Sean chat off Luke's ear about how to get there as you know I could go 10 times and still not be able to find it on my own :)

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  4. This looks amazing! I love your photos. Looking forward to seeing part two (and three!)

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    1. Thanks! Part two is in the works :)

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  5. Gorgeous place and the photos are brilliant!

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  6. Sometimes I get turned off by steep entrance fees too especially if I don't think it'll be worth it…but your photos are amazing and looks like you really enjoyed it so it was a good find!! :D

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    1. I understand. In Taiwan, it is very rare for an attraction to cost this much. I mean, for this fee you could ride the high speed rail twice. I think it's intentional to keep the crowds down. I didn't mind at all. Most places in Taiwan are absolutely packed with people and I think that would ruin the whole draw of this garden.

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  7. okay this is gorgeous! that picture of the blooms against the wall is amazing...i'm in love! Xo

    the well-traveled wife ♥

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    1. Thanks! I loved photographing this place. There were simply so many stunning things to choose from when it came time to snap photos!

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