A floral leisure farm that combines tourism and agriculture has been the focus of many Taiwan townships. Local farmers transform their agricultural farms into leisure farms, allowing visitors to have fun and experience rural life. In recent years, the wetland portions of the Guanyin Township of Taoyuan County have been successfully developed into lotus flower fields, popularly known as Guanyin Lotus Ranch, to encourage more visitors and tourists. Regarded for its quaint and traditional environment, it has given birth to various lotus flowers of varying species. Besides boasting the broad farm of lotus flowers, several private farm ranches offer popular lotus dishes, lotus flower harvesting and selling, as well as other related commodities. They also conduct cultural-based activities.
The scent of lotus scatters over Guanyin and Xinwu townships during summer. Because of the continual support of the Taoyuan County government, the lotuses are healthily growing and blossom perfectly, making Guanyin Lotus Ranch the latest tourist attraction in the country. Actually, Guanyin houses the major lotus preservation area in North Taiwan.
The annual Taoyuan Lotus Festival starts during the time the lotus flowers blossom. Plenty of fun-filled and interesting activities are included such as the lion dance, the lotus garden show, the water lotus dance, return to ancient life, flying kites, lovers together, children’s toy classroom, setting up free fries and the hundred person scarecrow contest. This bunch of curiously-named activities integrates art and industry, promoting appreciation and learning on the lotus as well as the beauty of the Taoyuan County.
Oftentimes, lotus flowers are in complete bloom during May, with plenty of tourists and photographers flocking to the area to appreciate the flowery scenery. Guanyin Lotus Ranch primarily cultivates Dahe lotus variety and Perfume Lotus variety for sightseeing purposes. Overall, Guanyin Township comprises a total of about 30 to 40 lotus flower gardens with each having individual characteristics.
Besides the lotus ranch, the town also has several lotus corner restaurants. One restaurant is operated by the Kuan Iam Farm, which is known to have 35 lotus varieties in its garden, the largest in the nation. Included in the menu are some lotus-based dishes such as lotus ginseng chicken, lotus ginseng silky soup, fragrant lotus leaf rice and lotus one hundred mushrooms as well as other common Taiwanese cooking.
In addition, another interesting place is Tian Jing Sha, a pottery studio mainly specializing in making lotus-shaped ceramic works and providing day tours to visitors for leisure. Tsaota Lotus Garden with its sister enterprise, Guanyin Lotus Farm, on the other hand, offers various lotus products, such as lotus snacks, lotus root powder, lotus ice, honey lotus, lotus seeds, lotus seed cakes, Lianpeng painting and perfume lotus tea. The Guanyin Lotus Ranch has a total land area of about 10 A of lotus fields, making the whole place the biggest lotus farm in Taiwan. They also have a traditional courtyard house, antique buildings and their own lotus restaurant, operating for 70 years and can accommodate 700 guests.
In getting to Guanyin Lotus Ranch, catch the Taoyuan Passenger Bus in Taoyuan Station to Guanyin Township. If you are driving, go to the National Freeway 1, turn to the No.66 East-West Expressway going to the direction of Guanyin. After reaching the 7.2k point, turn to the right until you arrive at the Tourist Recreational Fam Ranch Zone.