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Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves

Fall in Taiwan boasts stunning natural beauty. In fact, autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Taiwan. The damp winter air has yet to surface, and we’re over that sweltering-can’t-stand-it-anymore heat of summer. Plus, there’s the stunning maple leaves across the island. Maple leaves change to shades of crimson and red throughout the country. Parks across Taiwan fill with an abundance of vibrant colors atop the maple trees.

When is the fall season in Taiwan? Fall starts in September and will end in December. November is one of the driest months in the country, so it’s recommended to travel during October or November.

We scouted the whole of Taiwan to bring you the top five spots for maple leaf viewing during fall in Taiwan:

1. Alishan Forest Recreation Area

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Alishan
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Alishan (image via @damienlmathews, Instagram)

Alishan Forest Recreation Area is located within Alishan National Scenic Area and is blessed with lush forests that turn into shades of orange during Taiwan’s fall season. After snapping a few Instagram photos of the incredible fall colors, head into the picturesque setting and hike through the various trails. Along the Giant Tree Trail, you’ll find towering cypress trees with massive trunks. Maple trees in vibrant colors are dotted through the park. Trek to an observation point to take in the views and feel like you’re walking among the clouds.

2. Manapan Mountain Trail

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Manapan Mountail
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Manapan Mountain (image via @pepexin, Instagram)

Hikers all over Taiwan rave about Manapan Mountain, one of the best destinations for maple viewing during the fall. Witness a diversity of floral and fauna, making it the perfect place for you to wander around. History lovers will be pleased to know that Manapan Mountain holds remnants of how Taiwan defended against the Japanese during WWII. Go forth and explore!

3. Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area (Ares Hsu)

Located in Renai Town, Nantou County, Aowanda has a reputation amongst Taiwanese as the ultimate place to enjoy maple trees during autumn. It’d be wise for all travellers to heed the advice of locals!

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area (image via @hsinchen_shih, Instagram)

Admire the maple leaves at the recreation area surrounded by the north and south stream before trekking along the 1.1km trail that leads you to three waterfalls. Test your nerves by crossing a suspension bridge and capture some truly magical fall colors below.

4. Shihmen Reservoir

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Shihmen Reservoir
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Shihmen Reservoir (image via @peterkan168, Instagram)

Stop at Shihmen Reservoir (also known as Shihmen Dam) this fall and catch sight of the bright autumn colors surrounding the water. This hidden gem is off the beaten tourist path making it a nice escape from the city. Admire the fiery maple leaves during the autumn and striking plum blossoms in the wintertime.

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Shihmen Reservoir
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Shihmen Reservoir (image via Buddy8d, flickr)

Delight in the maple trail with absolutely phenomenonal views during autumn. With warm colours splashed out all over accompanied by the cool blue of the water, Shihmen Dam provides a sight you don’t want to miss in autumn. Here’s the best part: a Maple Festival is held every autumn, allowing visitors a taste of the area’s best catch — fresh sashimi!

5. Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Shihmen Reservoir
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Taiping Shan National Forest Recreation Area (image via Ray Yu, flickr)

You’ve seen red, orange and brown maple leaves but have you seen purple ones? Red maple leaves are a common sighting year round at Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area but purple maple leaves only appear during autumn.

Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Taiping Shan National Forest Recreation Area
Autumn in Taiwan: Top 5 Places to See Maple Leaves, Taiping Shan National Forest Recreation Area (image via F.D. Richards, flickr)

Located in Yilan, just outside of Taipei, you can easily get there by hopping on a scooter or, why not book a tour of this majestic park Taipingshan. After hiking through the forest, relieve any muscle aches you might have by soaking in a hot spring at the foot of the mountain.

Don’t miss your chance to witness Taiwan in autumn!

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One comment

  1. Hello!

    May I find out whether the autumn leaves have turned red around October in Taipei? Or is that too early?

    Thanks!