When our tour bus rolled up to Gaomei Wetlands, about two hours away from Taichung City, I thought the scene looked familiar – rows and rows of spinning windmills, twirling against a flat expanse of land and river. Then I realised why – it was the scene from the 白色风车 (Bai Se Feng Che – literally ‘White Windmill’) music video from my favourite teenage heartthrob back in the days, Jay Chou. I feel closer to him already 😀
These aren’t your typical windmills – they’re massive. Towering several stories high, the windmills generate electricity for households and are owned by the Taiwan Power Company. Due to the lay of the land, which is flat and uninhibited by structures or trees, the wind here is very strong – at points we felt ourselves swaying while walking! The entire Wetlands comprises some 1,500 acres and is home to a rich ecology. Flocks of migratory birds come to stay for the fall and winter, making it a great spot for bird-watching.
Long concrete walkways – one at the bottom, the other elevated.
Wooden gazebos where one can stop and take in the sights.
At the end of the road is a lighthouse. Didn’t manage to visit it though.
Waiting for sunset.
The sun sets fast, and one feels a sense of romantic nostalgia, watching the glowing orb sink into the horizon against a beautiful tapestry of red, orange, pink and purple that’s almost devoid of clouds. Even fi you’re not a fan of Jay Chou, worth a visit! 🙂
Since the location is remote, you could rent a taxi/van (like what we did). Public transport is trickier:
Bus 93 to DaJia. Alight at QingShui Main Stop. Ride takes 1.5 hours, and comes every 20-30 minutes. Then take 178# or 179# to GaoMei Wetlands.
Walk from the High Speed Railway Station to Xinwuri TRA Station (5 – 10mins), and take the local train to Qing Shui. Proceed with bus ride to GaoMei Wetlands.