Gaomei Wetlands (高美溼地) is a vast open wetland just to the north of Taichung Harbor. It offers one of the greatest sunsets in Taiwan, and a remarkable range of ecological life from birds, to tiny crabs and other invertebrates. In the winter the area acts as a natural refuge for migrating birds, and is one of the only places in Taiwan to have wild ducks.
What to See
Gaomei is windy all year round, especially in the winter. While wind turbines have been placed to tap this wind power, they act as a spectacular backdrop during sunset. Visitors can follow a long elevated wooden walkway 800 m into the bay in front of the windmills. The walkway remains above the water even at high tide so you may spot marine life like puffer fish and shellfish swimming casually underneath. Visitors can also soak their feet in the tidal sand to hunt for sand worms and tiny crabs. There’s also a large modern viewing ‘bridge’ for those who just wish to photograph the sunset.
Gaomei is very windy, so you should take warm clothes especially towards the end of the day. If it’s cloudy, it’s unlikely you’ll see a sunset there, so try to choose a clear day to go. Getting there isn’t a quick trip so allow a couple of hours if coming from Taichung. Aim to arrive around 4pm to see something of the wetlands first before sunset time. July is peak season, so be prepared for crowds of locals around Sunset then. Bring a to pair of binoculars (or a camera with a good zoom lens) if you’d like to view some of the 130 plus bird species endemic to the area.
By Taxi is the easiest way. It’s not easy to call a taxi once at Gaomei, so it’s better to negotiate a round trip fare, and have the driver wait for you in the car park near by. Taxis from Taichung train station will be around $1300(1 hour), and around $1000 from the HSR (50mins)
At Qingshui Train Station (and Taichung High Speed Rail Station (HSR)) share taxis are often looking for people to fill a cab to the wetlands. Private taxis from Qingshui station (near the wetlands) cost about $250NTD
By train and bus is the Take other way to reach Gaomei. Take the train from Taichung Station to Qingshui, then take Jeya bus to Gaomei, the last stop (25 mins) then walk 5 mins to the entrance to the wetlands.
Feature Photo by Ian Liao
Body Photo One by Chance