What is special about this mountain town is that the Shueili River runs through the heart of the downtown area, and then it joins the Jhuoshuei River, filled with muddy water. It creates a contrasting scene of clear and muddy water. Follow the embankment at the upper-stream of Jhuoshuei River, we will walk across the Yongxing Bridge. The back garden of Shueili Township – Yongxing Village (Niuwenlu) will be right in front of us.
Yongxing Giant Tree – It tells us the story about the Hakka people in the olden times chopping camphor trees for distilling camphor. Going forward, there is a huge plum orchard. In January every year, the fragrance of snowy white flowers permeates the whole place. There are also other attractions such as the Flaming Spring, Butterfly Valley Trail, Formosan ash, unicorn beetle and more. Returning to the village, you visit the Lai Family House with about a hundred year of history, Batongguan Historic Trail, Lin Beng – the Founding Father’s Ancestral Temple, Yongxing Ancient Hanging Bridge, and more. All these tell us the traces of local history.
Suddenly, you will encounter rare plants in central Taiwan – cocoa in the magnificent landscapes of Nantou! Cocoa is gods’ food and the material for making chocolate. Surprisingly, Impression Chocolate Workshop is concealed in this village. The Chocolate DIY session is highly recommended, especially for parents and children. You can even try to make chocolate with local produce as ingredients. From the guided tour, you will be informed about the transition of traditional Hakka business to modern ones in three steps: camphor ->plum -> cocoa.
Most of the trees planted by Impression Chocolate Workshop have bloomed and given fruits. With the process of fruit picking, fermenting, sunbaking, roasting, de-shelling, coarse grinding, fine grinding, temperature adjusting, and molding, smooth dark chocolate that tastes bitter and sweet will be ready. All these chocolate trees are grown with environmental friendly farming methods insisted by local farmers to allow this tranquil and enchanting paradise to sustain.