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Silk Cotton Tree Road

林初埤木棉花道

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Silk Cotton Tree Road

On District Road 90 about halfway between the towns of Houbi and Baihe lies Silk Cotton Tree Road, a country lane that runs for several kilometers between two rows of red kapok, or silk cotton trees. Come here in springtime and you will be treated to the sight of a tunnel of fiery red blossoms that stretches as far as the eye can see.

The kapoks that line the road here were planted some fifteen years ago. Now they arch over the lane, meeting in the middle to create a spectacular sight when the flowers are in bloom. Kapoks grow quite large—eventually these trees will be 20-60 meters high. They are also deciduous, losing their leaves in winter, even in Taiwan’s warm climate. When spring is on the horizon, the large, five-petaled flowers bloom in clumps on the bare tree, leaving it swathed in a blanket of red.

Kapok flowers are not dainty little blossoms; they are pretty hefty, and you will know it if one falls and lands on your head. Also, the trunks of the younger trees are covered in spikes, so it is recommended that you don’t lean against them. The flowering season is short—only a couple of weeks. Kapoks generally bloom in late March and early April, but they have been known to open as early as February, so it’s wise to pay attention to the news if you are thinking of coming for a visit.

This is a very popular tourist spot when the flowers are open, so it might be best to visit on a weekday if possible. Sunset is the best viewing time, although this seemingly endless tunnel of flaming red trees is pretty amazing at any time of day. If you can’t make it in time for the flowering season, don’t despair; the new green leaves that pop out once the blossoms have dropped are gorgeous, and you’ll have the whole road almost entirely to yourself.

 

 

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  linchubi, Yufeng Vil., Baihe Dist., Tainan City

  台南市白河區玉豐里林初埤

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