Being a sub-tropical island, Taiwan has an incredibly rich and diverse range of flora, including to my mind the most magical of flowers, orchids. In addition to the indigenous varieties, orchids are grown on an ever increasing commercial scale, the celebration of which is captured in the annual Taiwan International Orchid Show (TIOS).
The TIOS is actually a trade fair and attracts many international buyers and sellers. However, it is also open to the public and attracts around 300,000 visitors over 10 days.
Although the show is located in Tainan County, it is close to Chiayi County and the Chiayi High Speed Rail station is the closest (see below for the address). You will see displays for the show in the station, and you can either get there by bus or taxi. Ask at the information desk for directions to the correct bus platform, from which buses leave every 20 to 30 minutes. A taxi will cost around NT$600 and take around 20 minutes.
While the trade fair side of things will be interesting to anyone who is involved with cultivating orchids with everything from specialist scissors to body lotion, the Competition Hall is where the bulk of the orchids are displayed. New varieties and competition winners stand side by side in row upon row of dazzling colours and shapes.
The photos on this page were taken at the 2016 show, where the special exhibit was rare monkey orchids from Peru and Ecuador to coincide with the year of the Monkey. The theme for the 2017 show is “Discover Sustainable Orchids”.
The 2017 TIOS is on from March 4th to March 13th, and details can be found on the official site: http://www.tios.org.tw/tios/ If you have any interest in orchids then the show is well worth a visit. It can be done as a day trip from Taipei, albeit a very long day!