Wuling Farm

Northern Taiwan

Wuling Farm, also known as Wuling Forest Recreation Area (武陵國家森林遊樂區), is a relaxing mountain retreat popular with Taiwanese families who come for the maples, cherry blossoms, crisp air and high-altitude vistas. During the spring cherry blossom season, the road from Yilan to Wuling is packed with cars, and there are daily limits on entry to the recreation area. Wuling is doable as a day trip from Yilan if you join a group tour operated by Taiwan Tour Bus (NT$1390, www.taiwantourbus.com.tw).

Wuling Farm was originally established by retired soldiers in 1963 as a fruit-growing area. The farm (elevation 1740m to 2200m) became part of Shei-pa National Park in 1992, and these days only a few show orchards remain. It is also known for its efforts to preserve the endangered and indigenous Formosan landlocked salmon (櫻花鉤吻鮭), masu salmon, which, unlike other salmon species, never leave the cold freshwater rivers of their birth.

Zhaofeng Bridge (兆豐橋; Zhàofēng Qiáo) a suspension bridge over the pristine Chijiawan River is in a section of Wuling Farm that's celebrated for its beautiful, cherry-blossom-lined walkways.

There are are a couple of hostels with uninspired buffet dining here if you wish to spend the night. A better option if you can manage it is the campsite set high on a gorgeous alpine meadow.