Taipei Jade and Flower Weekend Market
Holiday Jade / Flower Weekend Market (建國假日玉花市)
It could be the biggest jade market in Asia. Combine with the flower market, it is always one of my top place I proudly recommend to my non-Taiwanese friends and bring them around during weekend or Sunday. Good that it has not been invaded by the tourist from China mainland and remain as a hidden gem for local and tourist who has done their homework. Try to plan a weekend or Sunday in Taipei so that you can visit this place. It is a must even if you don’t like jade or flower.
This is also the main purpose I write this blog. Even I seldom visit Taipei nowadays (I used to visit quite often due to business trip), I would like to recommend people who visit Taiwan to come to this place. In here, you see the real Taiwan. And what make it better is – it is free.
The weekend markets are set up under the Jianguo Flyover. During weekend, I believe it is a big carpark. During weekend and Sunday, it turns to be a haven of Jade and flowers sellers. It attracts crowds and also some other side business like antique, jewellery, plants, ceramics, snack, fish, paint and etc. I would think it is like a carnival in the west. Here you see the merchant gather there probably not just for the business but it is like a fun fair, a weekend pass time 0r gathering for them. Some probably set up the stall just to show off their collection. Air-conditioning was set up a few years ago and it has made the place even more pleasant.
This picture was taken before the markets changed to an air-conditioning place. Playing chess is one of the popular activities for the merchants there while waiting for customer. The neighbour stall will help each other to look after the stall. Whenever there is customer interested on any of the items, they will shout and ask the owner to come back. I like this helpful spirit of looking after each other.
A man who brought his pets (3 huge size and handsome dogs) to the markets has attracted a lot of people attention. This is Taiwan. You see all sort of people and activities. They are friendly and generous to share great things with others. The 3 huge dogs are a surprise highlight of our visit to the markets.
I could have taken the photo above many years ago because the photo looks old. My first trip to Taipei was probably on year 1999. I go to Taipei almost every year since then and almost every trip I will visit the markets. Some of the them like this bougainvillea stall is always there to impress the visitors.
[Photo above and below] Bonsai – A miniature trees grown in containers definitely is one of the unique plant arrangement you will see only in East Asia. Bonsai is Japanese pronunciation of the earlier Chinese term “penzai”. “Bon” or “Pen” mean a pot or a tray, “sai” or “zai” mean planting. You see all kind of Bonsai here and definitely is one of the highlight in the flower market here.
I am going to side track again. Saw this interesting history about bonsai in Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonsai) –
“The Japanese art of bonsai originally derived from the Chinese practice of penjing. From the 6th century onwards, Imperial embassy personnel and Buddhist students from Japan had been visiting and returning from mainland China, bringing back souvenirs that included container plantings”.
This show how the art of bonsai started in Japan. Strangely the Chinese of “penjing” (盆景）is seldom used nowadays. Instead, the word bonsai (盆栽) from Japan, is used more often in Chinese society.
[photo – Adenium] – The first 3 photo above
Adenium is known as a “Rich” or “Wealthy” flower (富贵花）in the east. Its actual name is 沙漠玫瑰 (Adenium obesum). There are a lot species there. While searching for the information of this “Wealthy” flower, I found there is a farm in Kraji (Singapore) specialise in this flower and they have even posted a Youtube video about their farm. For those who like Adenium, this information would be good –
[photo – wheat grass]
End with a close up photo of wheat grass just to express there are a lot of different plants in this weekend and Sunday market. It is like a mini flower expo. I gave the market a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
A Youtube video posted by Sheila Simkin –
Total time I spent in my last visit: At least 3 hours.
Address: Between Renai Road and Xinyi Road, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Da’an Dist., Taipei City 106, Taiwan (R.O.C.) / 建國高架橋下橋段信義路與仁愛路間
Useful links –