The attractive Hakka village of Shengxing (勝興; shèngxīng) is particularly appealing in the spring when the area’s distinctive white tung flowers (tónghuā) are in bloom. Shengxing was once an important transport hub for the camphor oil industry, but a new tunnel meant main-line trains bypassed the village in the late 1990s. Today the tourist industry is booming, which means weekends and holidays turn the place into a bit of carnival, surrounded by car parks; it’s best to visit on a weekday if possible.

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