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Forest Recration

Jhihben Forest Recreation Area

There is an enchanted forest hidden at the far end of Taiwan’s Jhihben Hot Spring, where large swallowtail butterflies dance between the White Banyan trees. This is the Jhihben National Forest Recreation Area. The Recreation Area features a tropical monsoon forest at an elevation of 125 to 550 meters, where forestry used to be conducted in small scale. Hence, manmade woods of tropical tree species like Mahogany and Teak, which are rare to Taiwan, can be found here.  The flora of the Recreation Area is distinctive thanks to the tropical climate. Along the forest trail, you will find various species of ficus, which account for the majority of big tropical rainforest trees, including the hundred-year-old Big White Banyan tree with awesome aerial roots, the rare Lomariopsis cochinchinensis clinging to the trunks, the hundred-year-old Sour Creepers, as well as the Mountain Figs with extensive buttress roots. Altogether they form a southland-like tropical rainforest. There is a Healing Herbs Garden spanning over 990 m2 in area, growing some 50 kinds of herbs, including the golden-button-like Toothache Plant and the sunny Lemmon’s Marigold, relieving visitors’ souls and bodies.  The fauna here is just as fascinating. Birds like the rare Maroon Oriole and Formosan Bubul endemic to Eastern Taiwan, are common dwellers. Perhaps you can even spot a pleasant encounter with the Heng-chun Birdwing Butterfly, the largest butterfly species in Taiwan! When you visit Jhihben for a relaxing bath in the hot spring, why not also indulge yourself with a forest bath ecology trip by coming down here!

Shuangliu Forest Recreation Area

In Shuangliu (Two Streams) National Forest Recreation Area, you may appreciate White Banyan Trees that are linked to each other like a giant network, stroll in the gorgeous reforestation and climb Maozi Mountain to overlook the landscape, or trace upward following the Fenggang Creek to Shuangliu Waterfall, which was once voted the second most beautiful waterfall in Taiwan, rich in anions and refreshing air. Altogether, the Recreation Area offers tourists a distinctive experience of Hengchun Peninsula.  Located in Shizi Township, Pingtung, it is less than a thirty minute drive from Fenggang. The name “Shuangliu” came about owing to the convergence of the Fenggang Creek and Daren Creek here. It used to be a habitat of the Paiwan Tribe, thus the ruins of the signature architecture “Tortoiseshell Lodge” beside the White Banyan Trail. Also, since the Forestry Bureau planted a vast field of tropical tree species such as Taiwan Zelkova and Mahogany here in 1965, it is a great place for one to appreciate the beauty of a manmade hardwood forest.  A peculiar ecology is manifested by the representative flora of Hengchun Peninsula seen along Mt. Maozi Trail: including Taiwan Loquat, Taiwan Guger-tree, and Selaginella boninensis. Birds like Taiwan Blue Magpie and Taiwan Hwamei, as well as over 196 butterfly species, nest in the woods, waiting for you to visit. Perhaps you can also spot the protected wildlife species, Heng-chun birdwing butterfly!

Kenting Forest Recreation AreaKenting Forest Recreation Area

Formerly an ocean garden where coral polyps, calcareous algae, foraminifera, and shells flocked and thrived, Kenting National Forest Recreation Area became a unique forest ecosystem, an Uplifted Coral Reef Forest, thanks to the plate movement of the Earth 500 thousand years ago. Such an ecosystem is a mix of rich ecology, monsoon rainforest, and limestone landform, offering visitors an alternative touring experience in Kenting.  Merely a 10 minute walk from Kenting Street, it is the second national forest recreational area in Taiwan, home to thriving species of the uplifted coral reef forest and monsoon rainforest: big Bishopwood that cling tightly to the reef, Looking Glass Trees with extensive buttress roots, White Banyan Trees with countless aerial roots, etc. The Japanese established the “Hengchun Tropical Botanical Garden” here in 1906, which has been operating for over a century to date. Groups of Taiwan macaque and Red-bellied tree squirrel are often seen in the Recreation Area. Yet, the most captivating scene will be the migrant birds visiting during the autumn and winter, such as Gray-faced Buzzards in October. At times, you can even sight the elegant silhouette of the rare Black-napped Oriole. At the bottom level of the forest, there live precious tiny dwellers like the Huang Ze gray crabs (Geothelphusa albogilva) and Satsuma batanica pancala, endemic species to Taiwan. Another major feature of Kenting National Forest Recreation Area is its limestone landform. Geological treasures, including stalactites and stalagmites, can be found in the vadose caves, like the Silver Dragon Cave and Stalagmite Cave. This magical forest is definitely a feast for the eyes for anyone who likes adventure!

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