Xinshe Castle 新社莊園: Faux Fortress
If you go a bit outside of Taichung, you may find yourself in Europe. At least it looks that way at first glance, as Xinshe Castle 新社莊園 (also known as Summit Resort or 新社古堡) looks like it an old European castle was transplanted right into the Taiwanese countryside. Though an odd sight, it is a beautiful local and a unique place to visit. Check out more info after the jump.
Coming here was a bit of a shock. I honestly never heard of such a place, and perhaps with reason. You won’t be reading about it in any history book. It is not that old, and was in fact not built by any Europeans. Even the official website leaves its origins a bit ambiguous outside of the fact that someone thought it would look nice to build a castle here. No wordy sign boards, no rooms filled with random artifacts behind glass, just some nice views.
Xinshe Castle is basically a large park with some unusual buildings. There are large koi fish swimming around in the pond, beautiful rows of flowers hiding behind the buildings, and yes, some restaurants. The food is your fairly standard fare, but you have no choice since it is a rather remote location. The main appeal of the park is to walk around, take photos, and just enjoy the scenery. Since it is fairly close to Lavender Cottage, many people do both in the same day.
Entry is 250NT, and you get a 100NT voucher to spend on food in the park. It is a nice place to walk around even though it’s kind of a weird fake castle in the middle of nowhere. It is certainly a very unique place to visit within Taiwan. Check out some photos from my visit.
No. 1 167 Xiezhong Street, Xinshe Dist. Taichung, Taiwan 426 426台中市新社區協中街167之1號 (Public transportation is a bit tricky, and you will still certainly have to catch a cab no matter where you start, so I recommend taking a cab or driving from Taichung. Alternatively, Xinshe offers a shuttle bus with Xinshe Castle/Summit Resort as a stop.)