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.