A White ‘Flower Wonderland’: Tung Hua Season in Taiwan

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Tung Blossoms: An Introduction

It happens only once a year, usually in April and May. Little flowers blossom and change the scenery of the entire area. The lush green trees come to life with vibrant blooms of white containing small dashes of interior pink and yellow.

The region gradually transforms into a blanket of white, and I am not referring to snow, I am talking about ‘tung hua,’ often referred to as ‘tung blossoms.’ The paths are naturally converted into a white walking oasis as these little flowers gently trickle from the trees, creating a ‘flower wonderland’ for all to see and enjoy.

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Hakka Culture & Tung Hua Significance

The tung trees once played a significant role in the lives of the Hakka people and their livelihood, so huge and important that the Taiwan Hakka Affairs Council organizes concerts and events around major tung hua sightseeing areas.

Traditionally, the Hakka people extracted oil from the tung trees and used the wood from the trees as a means of income and a way to support their family. And even though the oil and wood aren’t harvested anyone, the tung trees are still very symbolic of the Hakka culture.

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Location

Tung blossoms can be seen at varying locations all over Taiwan. Miaoli seems to be a popular area for enjoying these pretty blooms but they can also be seen in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Changhua, Nantou, as well as other areas.

For a more complete list of locations and driving directions in English, refer to this website. Also, this website will also provide information about the ‘blooming status’ – a great tool to refer to when planning your trip.

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Personal Impressions

For those of you who are regular readers, I am sure you all know that I love flowers. I enjoy admiring the beautifully arranged floral decor at some of Taiwan’s top flower festivals, the vibrant colored blooms indicating the arrival of spring, and the green carpeted hills covered with an abundance of orange tiger lilies. So, I am sure my love for tung blossoms must come as no surprise.

I love taking advantage of the warm spring weather to explore the highlighted tung hua regions in my area. It is the perfect excuse to get and about and enjoy an early morning walk.

Personally, I feel the fallen blossoms are the most beautiful in the early morning light. Those white flowers that fell during the night create a perfect white layer over the walking area and look spectacular under the glow from the morning sun. Those pretty blossoms will later become a distant memory as hikers’ footsteps pound them into the soil and pavement.

Another thing I love about tung hua season is the several creations that can be spotted along the path. Piles of tung blossoms are neatly aligned and positioned by other hikers forming artistic expressions. Several flowers are carefully organized to display messages of love and hopes for forever. These temporary art impressions can be found all over marked paths, creating the perfect opportunity to test one’s photography skills. 

And of course, I am always up for that challenge! 

What about you? Do you like flowers? Do you ever go out and enjoy the pretty blooms blossoming in your area?

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42 thoughts on “A White ‘Flower Wonderland’: Tung Hua Season in Taiwan

  1. Beautiful! They look a bit like frangipani (plumeria in Hawaii, kalachuchi in the Philippines). Are they fragrant? The yard of the nursery school my daughters attended had two huge frangipani trees. They bloom all year long in the Philippines. Each morning when I dropped my daughters off, the grass was sprinkled with fragrant white blossoms, soon to be raked up by the gardener. What a shame!

    1. They bloom here as well!! They are referred to as ‘egg flowers’. It must have been beautiful to see so many of them in the Philippines!

      No, tung blossoms not really fragrant..

  2. I am a a big fan of flowers too, it’s difficult to say but tulips might be my favorite ones. These white Taiwanese flowers look so fragile to the touch and they are incredibly beautiful, shame they flourish only once a year.

  3. Beautiful blossoms and I agree, “fallen blossoms are the most beautiful”. Love all the photos.

  4. This looks wonderful! In Germany we have similar happening in April, though they are definitely different trees I guess they are somehow related as the blossoms look a bit similar. In the cities are often whole streets with those trees arrayed which have usually white or pink blossoms.
    I will try if I can find some pictures of it from it somewhere in the depths of my harddrive

  5. I’m a tree lover through and through, but I enjoy flowers too! This article reminds me of the blooming cherry blossoms here in the states, especially the Washington DC area.

    Thanks for the fantastic information and the wonderful pictures!

  6. How beautiful! Your article makes me long for late March and April around here, when we enjoyed wave after wave of gorgeous blossoms out here in the countryside. And as always, love your photos, Constance!

  7. I love flowers too!! I mostly just keep a lookout when i’m walking around but these looks so pretty!!! It’s so nice when it’s a blooming season, isn’t it?

  8. Lovely shots. There’s a nice place to view these on Baguashan about ten minutes from where I live. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it up this year before the plum rains started.

  9. Gorgeous photography Constance! I’m not going to lie and say that I am a flower critic or expert because I am certainly not but what I can do is appreciate high quality pictures which is clearly what you have taken here. Great job!

  10. It’s a beautiful traditional to create a ‘flower wonderland’. You must have really enjoyed it! I don’t think Chinese are so creative, never seen anything like that in Dongguan. Would you be able to shape your name using these lovely flowers?

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