The Fushan Botanical Garden is strategically located between the boundary of the Wulai Village of the Taipei County and the Yuanshan Village of the Yilan County. Spreading across 410 hectares of land and being surrounded by Shiashan or the Snow Mountain, the Fushan Botanical Garden is the largest botanical park in Asia.
The Fushan Botanical Garden is one of the three major forest research areas of Fushan and is a branch of the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute. The park was originally created to preserve the forest ecology of the northern Taiwan region. The garden’s vegetation of mountain slopes mostly consists of natural temperate-zone broadleaf types of trees such as Camphor. The garden is also said to almost encompass all the available plant species of the island. It also consists of numerous wildlife species in the area.
The garden is divided into 3 parts: the Botanical Garden, the Water Protection Zone and the Hapen Nature Reservations Zone. Today, only 20 hectares of the Botanical Garden area is open to the public where 7,000 different types of plants can be seen. Visitors are in for a 20-kilometer walk into the forest as they go through a relaxing environment amidst nature. Visitors are then to go through self-guided trails with interpretative plaques for their use. They will also go through a wooden bridge and plenty of pavilions to rest in.
In addition, an exhibit and guides are available at the garden’s Administration Center making it an educational trip for many visitors. Just recently, the garden’s management added digital tour guides where visitors can use a decoder to scan barcodes that are displayed with each plant. The decoder then links them directly to the correct page to read more useful information about the particular plant. There are different routes to take around the garden which will take different durations as well. The Fushan Botanical Garden Guide can be referred to in order to follow a definite route. Usually, it takes half a day to tour the entire garden.
Visitors who plan to visit the park are required to make reservations as the number of visitors is currently limited to about 300 persons per day. The purpose is to protect the natural ecology of the garden and to allow the environment to continue relatively undisturbed by outside forces. Applications can be made at the garden’s official website as admittance without prior reservation will not be allowed. Visitors can apply within 75 days of date of admittance but applications made within 30 days of admittance are considered to be immediate applications.
The garden is open daily from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, but is closed during Tuesdays and the entire month of March. Because there is no entrance fee to the Fushan Botanical Garden, visitors are asked to rather respect their surroundings by throwing all garbage out of the garden to maintain the natural ecology of Fushan. There is no doubt that the lush greenery, mountain slopes and scenic lake blend together into one charming view that exhibits nature in its supreme splendor.