Nanzhuang Village

Northern Taiwan

The village of Nanzhuang is a low-slung time warp of clapboard houses, shops and tourist stalls that makes for a great couple of hours strolling. Osmanthus Lane (桂花巷; Guìhuā Xiàng), an impossibly narrow alley packed with stalls selling Hakka food, tea and snacks flavoured with sweet osmanthus, is just behind the main drag.

The southern end of Osmanthus Lane opens into an old laundry area where villagers until recently still scrubbed their clothes clean on the stone slabs.

Nanzhuang is known for its tung trees, which were planted all over the hills of Miaoli by the Japanese and whose blossoms – dubbed 'May snow' in these parts – are loved for their snow-like appearance.

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