Travel Secret #331 By Siddharth Birla
A stone’s throw from Yangmingshan National Park is the picturesque and serene Bamboo Lake (Zhu Zi Hu) with rich, green fields of white trumpeting calla lily blossoms.
A buzzing farmer’s market by the day, Zhu Zi Hu is lined with rusty, wooden shops on either side of the road, displaying colourful Chinese signboards and decorations that invite you inside. Shopkeepers dressed in bright blues and pinks greet you with sweet smiles as they hawk locally farmed fresh fruits and flowers. I amble around, tasting handpicked fruits and revelling in the scenery painted by rows of calla lilies blooming against mist-shrouded mountains. You can pluck a few stalks—they cost about Rs 20 (10 TWD) a piece.
We stop for lunch at the busy, beautiful Miao Bang Garden restaurant. Conversation flows as I relish the rich spread: Mushrooms, beef noodles, pork, fried prawns, steamed buns and ostrich!