A thick fog lent an ethereal quality to the two-thousand-metre-high Qingjing Farm, Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan, and I felt as if I were lost in mysterious reverie. Lush, majestic trees whose age are beyond my reckoning blotted out the sky as I sat under them. The horizon was also punctuated by belts of peach blossom trees with fuchsia petals. A multitude of sheep perambulated the undulating prairies, impervious to the presence of humans, some grazing, some inquisitively snuggling up to outreached palms for a delicious snack.
The farm was first established on 20 February 1961 to house guerillas serving in the Yunnan-Burma border areas, their loved ones as well as other retired soldiers. Armed with hoes and shovels, they undertook the laborious task of clearing the land and building houses. In 1982, Taiwan’s government saw the need to rev up its tourism industry, eyeing agricultural resources such as Qingjing Farm as potential attractions. By 1994, the farm became a hotbed of ecotourism, drawing visitors eager to get up close with the free-roaming livestock.