Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Since the beginning of this semester, I have been hearing great things about Yangmingshan. Yangmingshan is the national park closest to Taipei ... actually, it's located in Taipei, just not the downtown areas. My teacher recommended very early on that we wait until late February to visit the park, when the cherry blossoms begin to ... blossom.

The weather has been very nice lately, in the mid-to-upper 70s for about 2 to 3 days of every week (don't be too jealous, the other days are downright miserable -- rainy and in the upper 40s and low 50s, which translates to the way the low 40s feel in NYC after the dampness is taken into consideration). So we decided to take an afternoon trip to Yangmingshan. Except so did half of Taipei, it seemed like. I believe the trip up the mountain is supposed to take approximately 90 minutes or so, but it took us about 3 hours going up and 2 hours coming down (by public transportation, of course) -- STANDING the entire time.

... which means we didn't arrive at the park until about 3pm. With the sunset looming ever near, we quickly made our way through the most accessible parts of the park, especially the parts with the cherry blossoms.

Pretty underwhelming. I think they needed a little more time to blossom.

The coolest part about the park (from what we saw) was that we could see Taipei's cityscape.

There's more to the park that I'd probably like to see if I have the chance to return before I leave. Probably not anytime soon, and probably not in the summer. None of us who went to see the cherry blossoms thought the 5-hour trip was worth it (we stayed at the park for less than 3 hours). Park Avenue in New York City has better cherry blossoms in May, I think!

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