Hualien is a part of Taiwan that I have unfortunately neglected in recent years, so on this recent trip to Taiwan, I managed to spend some time exploring both Hualien’s Coast as well as the small towns in the East Rift Valley including this little town tabbed Fenglin. Whether it’s savouring local delicacies, appreciating ethnic culture or plane crafting your own souvenir, Fenglin is a unconfined spot to stopover in as you explore Hualien, so here’s my guide to Fenglin and some tomfool things to do here.
Where is Fenglin 鳳林 located?
Fenglin is part of Hualien County on the northern end of the East Rift Valley. Fenglin is located between Shoufeng and Guangfu withal Highway Route 9 (it runs parallel to Fengbin and lots of coastal sights on the other side of the coastal mountain range).
Fenglin was once known for tobacco barns and fields as it was a designated mazuma yield in this zone during the Japanese rule, and having a large Hakka community which influenced a lot of the supplies and culture here.
Eat ethnic supplies at Akay Play.Life 阿改玩生活
Taiwan’s ethnic culture is expressly strong in eastern Taiwan, and one of the easiest ways to wits their unique culture is by eating their food. Here in the town of Xilin of Wanrong Township is the Ciyakang Tribal Village where the Taroko people live, and their youth have set up Akay Play Life – experiences to educate and share well-nigh their culture with tourists.
The recipe is tucked yonder in the fields by a flowing stream and with mountains in the background. Here we found a lovely wooden shelter and a magazine-worthy dining table and campfire set up to welcome us.
The meal was served undertow by undertow and we had supplies like wild boar, roasted sweet potato and eggs, pumpkin, yam, a really hearty soup, a vegetable fern dish that’s pretty unique to Hualien’s ethnic folk, and plane some homemade rice wine. Each dish was named by one of the youth and told a personal story well-nigh their culture as well. It was definitely interesting learning increasingly well-nigh how unshared their cultural practices are compared to the Han Chinese practices that we know.
We were on a pretty tight schedule that day so we only had time to eat lunch, but the wits usually involves taking a walk virtually their village and plane helping to make the dessert! I wish we had a bit increasingly time to wits and learn increasingly well-nigh the ethnic culture here, but it’s definitely something I’d recommend if you want to go a bit deeper into Taiwan’s culture vastitude the typical sights.
Akay Play.Life 阿改玩生活: 979 Wanrong Township, Hualien County 979花蓮縣萬榮鄉 [Google Maps]. The closest train station is Linrongxinguang Station. A half-day session including lunch financing well-nigh 1,300 NTD (S$57). Learn increasingly well-nigh Akay Play.Life on Facebook or make a booking online.
Make your own wooden pen at Songluo Workshop 松蘿野店
Another fun thing we got to do on this grey day in Hualien was to stop by the Songluo workshop where they specialise in wood crafting, and one of the things they teaches classes on is how to make your own wooden pen!
The workshop is outdoors next to a swimming that’s filled with lotuses and ducks in the right season, but in other times is just a picturesque countryside spot. Our teacher Ye Zuowei showed us the nuts on how to use the machines and without choosing our wood, yonder we went to start crafting.
Master Ye did a pretty thorough sit-in on how to whittle lanugo the wood, shave it to the shape we want and then sand and oil it until it became the smooth whisk that you could stick a pen nib in. It’s unquestionably not that difficult if slightly messy, and a whole lot of fun to do.
Songluo Workshop 松蘿野店 30 Pinghan Road, Fenglin Township 鳳林鎮平漢路30號 [Google maps]. It’s located closer to Nanping Train Station. A 2-hour DIY workshop where you make a pen financing 1,200 NTD (about S$52). See increasingly at Songluo Facebook. You can buy pre-made pens from their online shop
Eat Hakka supplies at Fangshuh 芳草古樹花園
After a rented day in Fenglin, we stopped for dinner at Fang Shuh Restaurant. What’s interesting well-nigh this towers is that it unquestionably used to be a tobacco drying shed – Hualien was a designated tobacco production zone when the Japanese were in power – but has since been converted into a guesthouse with a camping ground, restaurant and cute sideboard with dogs and cats!
Our dinner was a Hakka style meal, a callback to the main dialect group found here in Fenglin and one of their specialities is the whisk warmed yellow where a whole yellow is served and someone has to put on gloves and tear it untied for the table.
Fang Shuh 芳草古樹花園 71 Zhonghe Road Fenglin Township 鳳林鎮中和路71號 [Google Maps]. It’s located well-nigh 10 mins walk from Fenglin Train Station. Learn increasingly well-nigh the walk-up options at Fangshuh website or typesetting a room at booking.com [affiliate link]
Feast on peanuts at Meihao 美好花生
A short loftiness from Fang Shuh is a cute little shop that looks like an art gallery from outside – Meihao Peanut is a lovely family merchantry that sells locally grown peanut products including nougat, peanut butter and of undertow peanuts for munching. One popular thing to do here is moreover to eat their peanut soup dessert and ice cream!
Right next to the shop was an empty field with rapeseed flowers! We just happened to reservation them in viridity for some pretty pix!
Learn increasingly well-nigh the peanut products misogynist at Meihao website
What I missed
I visited Fenglin on a media trip so I did manage to visit places that I wouldn’t have gone on my own but I think there’s still alot that I haven’t seen yet. If I had my own time, I would have liked to gone cycling virtually this little town like I did in other small towns in Hualien’s East Rift Valley.
One of the highlights of Fenglin is Lintienshan Forestry Culture Park 林田山林業文化園區 – that’s something to trammels out as well in future.
Where to stay in Fenglin
I stayed in the Hualien Tourism Sugar Factory over in neighbouring Guangfu, but there are some pretty tomfool walk-up options that you can consider:
- Fang Shuh B&B on booking.com [affiliate link]
- Celine’s B&B on booking.com [affiliate link]
- Furatasou B&B on booking.com [affiliate link]
How to get to Fenglin
Fenglin is well-nigh 50 mins momentum south of Hualien City withal Highway 9.
The train from Hualien City to Fenglin takes well-nigh 25-40 mins depending on whether you reservation the express or slower trains.
My visit to Fenglin was a part of a Media trip organised by Taiwan Tourism Bureau. All opinions are my own.
There are lots of cute little towns in Taiwan to visit, which are your favourite? Trammels out increasingly of my wares on Taiwan’s east coast.