Miaoli Travel Guide
Miaoli is located in north central Taiwan Island, along the east coast of the Taiwan Strait. Covering 703 square miles (1,820 square kilometers), it can be divided into the west coastal and east mountainous areas. Minnan people mainly live in the coastal area, while Hakka people dwell the mountainous area. Their dialects, customs, and foods vary greatly, which brings unique experiences to visitors. The county teems with teas, sugar canes, jutes, and olives, which will impress you a lot, too. The best time to come here is from October to November.
Best Natural Scenic Spots in Miaoli
Flying Cow Ranch: It is located on the mountain in Tongsiao Township. Forests are green, flowers are blooming, and the air is fresh. Cottages, cows and sheep are scattered on the green fields. You can smell the fragrance of the grass, and hear the birds and the insects chirping. There are three areas in the ranch: tourist area, agriculture area, and natural ecology area. You can experience the farming life in the agriculture area, see many kinds of butterflies in the natural ecology area, and barbecue, camp, as well as buy dairy products in the tourist area.
Shei-Pa National Park: It has 51 high mountains and magnificent valleys. Among them, Shei Mountain and Tapachien Mountain are the most famous. The park covers an area of 297 square miles (768 square kilometers) with three recreation areas, among which Syuejian and Kwanwu recreation areas are in Tai’an Township. In winter, you can see snow on the mountain top sat the Syuejian recreation area. Kwanwu recreation area is full of misty clouds all the time. It is a good place to climb the mountains, watch the sunrise, and see birds, waterfalls, and trees over 2,000 years old.
Mt. Malapan: It lies at the juncture of Dahu Township and Tai'an Township. Maple trees can be seen everywhere. In addition, it abounds in peaches, pears, and apples. Strawberries are planted at the foot of the mountain, and from January to April, you can come and pick them.
Top Cultural Attractions in Miaoli
Nanchuang Township: The Hakka, Saisiyat, and Atayal all live there. You can learn about their customs and taste their special food. It has abundant products such as pleiones and lycoris aurea herbs, among which bamboo shoots, trouts, and mushrooms are the most famous.
Miaoli is a "Hakka County" because 70% of the people are Hakka. Hakka is a branch of the Han nationality-China’s main nationality. They have mature manual skills such as painting, paper-cut, hand tying and carving techniques. Saisiyat and Atayal are aborigines. The Saisiyat people believe in supernatural gods, and Bas-ta'ai, held every two years, is their main religious activity. Their textiles and wattled baskets are very beautiful. Atayal is the second largest aborigine group of Taiwan. Their people have tattoos on the face to avoid the demons and symbolize the glories. The hunting skills decide Atayal men’s ability and the women’s ability depends on their textile skills.
Hakka Courtyard: It is located at the center of Tung Flower Park in Tunglo Township. Many Hakka cultural relics are displayed in it, such as farming tools, daily necessities, and literatures. Tung flower is the representative of the Hakka culture. In May, when the flowers are blooming, you can come here to see the charming scenery.
Shenghsing Railway Station: It is an abandoned Japanese-style railwaystation. Built in 1903 with wood but a single nail, the station still stands solid. There is a monument at peak of Taiwan’s western railway at a height of 1,320 feet (402 meters).
Lonsheng Fallen Bridge: It is an arch railway bridge at Sanyi Township built in 1905 with red bricks. It was called the “Artwork of Taiwan’s Railway”. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1935, and only ten piers were left.
Other Attractions: Tai’an Hot Springs, Baba Gallery Mine, Sanyi Wood Sculpture Museum, April Snow Trail, Houlong Hakka Earth Building, Dahu Chunxiang Strawberry Farm, Lion Head Mountain, Xiangtian Lake, West Lake Resortopia, Huoyan Mountain, Tunghsiao Bathing Beach, Mingde Lavender Forest…
By train: You can take a regular train from Taipei, Hsinchu, or Taichung to many places of Miaoli such as Qiding, Jhunan, Houlong, Tongsiao, Yuanli, Tunglo, and Sanyi. Among them Qiding and Jhunan are two major stations. The train from Taipei to Jhunan costs TWD 170 to 220 with the duration of 1.5 to 2 hours, to Tongsiao takes 2.5 hours andcostsTWD 232 to 301, to Tunglo departs at 12:30, 15:20 and 19:00, and takes 2 hours with the ticket price of TWD 215, and to Sanyi is the same train as to Tunglo, which costs TWD 228 with the travel time of 2.5 hours.
The high-speed train passes through the county, but has no station. In the future, a station will be constructed at Houlong.
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By long-distance bus: Taipei, Hsinchu, and Taichung all have buses to Miaoli Bus Passenger Terminal. The trip from Taipei takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. Upon arrival, you can change to buses from Miaoli Bus Passenger Terminal to Toufen, Yuanli, Nanchuang, Sanyi, Dahu, or Tai'an.