A Scenic Tour of Miaoli's Nanzhuang
Located on the northeast coast of Miaoli county, a scenic town called Nanzhuang rests among the mountains. Rare in Taiwan, it's an area that's not been over-developed, where to this day locals irrigate their crops with the crystal clear, unpolluted water flowing from the range above. The plentiful trout are what bring most visitors to this sleepy town; even large travel groups come all the way to Nanzhuang, just to get a taste of their delicious fish.
Every spring, people visit Nanzhuang to enjoy the local bamboo shoots, mushrooms and winter persimmons. These delectable agricultural goods have brought more business opportunities for the locals and promoted tourism. The growing number of tourists has also created more accommodation options and restaurants in Nanzhuang, as well as the Nanjiang Scenic and Leisure Area. At the park, clear mountains, creeks and chirping birds are everywhere. After winning an award for being one of the best parks on the island, the new Nanjiang Scenic and Leisure Area joins the ranks of other award-winning spots around Miaoli, including Dahu Ginger Garden and a community in Tongsiao, which is ranked as one of the Top 10 Classic Agricultural and Fishing Villages in Taiwan.
Interestingly enough, many of the local entrepreneurs were once large business owners. They eventually came to Nanzhuang to open up small-scale endeavors and just relax within the town's natural beauty. To them, the town is a timeless place where they can lead a carefree life. As local tourism in Taiwan got more popular, Nanzhuang's Agricultural Association started to promote its agricultural offerings island-wide. They eventually developed a few scenic itineraries for tourists visiting the area.
Scenic spots of historical significance include Lion Head Mountain (Shitou Shan) and the local post office, a good example of traditional architecture left over from the Japanese colonial era. For those interested in trying local desserts, Guihuaxiang (桂花巷 or Osmanthus Lane) has a famous icy treat called Guihuabing that's worth savoring. Every spot you visit has a historic meaning or stories behind it, so you're sure to get a bit of culture no matter where you go.
The Executive Yuan's Council of Agriculture provided financial support for these parks to further carry out park development and projects. After a lot of hard work, three area parks, Nanjiang, JhongShan (in I-lan) and GuanShan (in Taitung), all received superior quality awards for being the best three scenic parks on the island.
Nanzhuang Township has a great climate throughout the year and is an ideal destination for family travel. So, make sure your camera batteries are charged, because you're going to want to remember any trip to this beautiful town in northern Taiwan.