Sunday, August 1, 2010

King Car Orchid Farm 金車蘭花園

This large commercial orchid farm, owned by the King Car conglomerate, welcomes tourists. It isn't far from the hot spring area in downtown Jiaoxi, so it's well worth a detour.

There aren't any tours of the green houses. Visitors are welcome to wander around and see how orchids are grown. To the left of the entrance is an area housing a collection of rare orchids. Most of these only bloom in winter when the weather is cooler. At the far end of this room is a door which leads over to the main greenhouses, most of which are devoted to the iconic Taiwanese moth orchid (phalaenopsis).

After seeing the orchids, you will come back to the entrance via a retail area selling plants to visitors. Of course there is a selection of orchids, but they also offer some unusual plants. The prices are about the same as what you would pay at the Jianguo weekend flower market in Taipei, but a plant still makes a great souvenir of Yilan.

On your way out, the gift shop offers a full range of Kavalan whiskey, the famous whiskey produced
in Yilan by King Car, the same company which owns these green houses. This unusual flavor of this award winning whiskey is truly excellent and well worth the price.

To get here, take the road next to the Jiaoxi Post Office. At the dead end, turn right. Take the first left and go over the train tracks. This is Dawen Road 大塭路. Keep going until you reach the highway overpass. On one side of the overpass is the Shandori Hotel. On the other side of the overpass is a road. Turn left and follow this little road to the greenhouses.

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