It was a pleasant weather indeed in Taichung, perfect for riding scooter aimlessly through this massive city. From all of the districts in Taichung, in my opinion Wufeng (霧峰) is the least explored. At a glance it seems like there’s nothing to see in Wufeng. Sure, National Chung Hsing University has organic farms there where you can go and have a picnic, and there is also Aoshan peak where you can hike. But in term of culture there isn’t a lot said about Wufeng.
The most historic landmark in Wufeng District would be the Lin Family’s Garden (林家花園). It was built almost at the end on Qing Dynasty, in mid 19th century. Lin family was the wealthiest and most prominent family in Taiwan. They are still prominent now, although perhaps not reigning at the top spot anymore. The main mansion is located in Banqiao, New Taipei City and was built by the powerful Lin Ben Yuan. Soon the family branched out to Taichung and Tainan cities where they constructed beautiful mansions and gardens. Now all 3 Lin family’s mansions are considered as historical landmarks and open to public. The Wufeng mansion however, is still closed and under construction due to the effect of 21 September 1999 earthquake that damaged almost 80% of the compound. Still, this doesn’t stop local tourists to come and take a peek beyond the brick wall.
What we saw from outside was a beautiful compound indeed. Amidst the clouds of renovation dust, you could still see the bright colours on the walls, along with intricate carvings. Too bad we couldn’t go inside. But at least we felt pretty satiated with what we could get.
address to the place: Minsheng Rd #40. Bus 100 goes from Taichung train station to Wufeng & stop at Zhongzheng Rd where you can just follow the sign saying “Lin Family’s Garden”
now compare the mansion to KMT buildings, sometimes so-called modern designs are lacking in many things
Leaving Wufeng was already 4:30 in the afternoon. With cloudy sky, there was no way to catch sunset in Gaomei. But we went anyway. Arriving there we were surprised to see how high the tide was. Sea water covered the wetland almost entirely, there was no possibility for us to walk on the mud. It was true what people said about Gaomei, the best time to visit the place is before typhoon, when the sky is clear and the clouds are red as if burning. Gaomei during cloudy time was still charming nonetheless, twilight gave a sombre feeling to the atmosphere. Silhouttes of people walking back and forth on the bridge, and just a right amount of yellow light peeking from the dark blue sky.
I took one hard look at the dashes of midnight blue on the sky and said my farewell to the place