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Taiwan | Travel

11 days in Taiwan: Day 2 in Cingjing

March 29, 2015
Cherry blossoms in Cingjing Taichung Taiwan

I missed my HSR to Taichung that morning. My cousin and her boyfriend who were supposed to join me in Taiwan that day were also late as their flight was delayed by 3 hours. As a result, neither of us could make it at 8:00 AM to meet our driver who will drive us up to Cingjing.

Despite the mishaps, we still managed to cover these places on day two:

The travel to Cingjing

Evidently neither the couple nor I could meet the driver on time. I called the driver (which my cousin booked prior to the trip) and he kindly agreed to pick us up at a later time.

If you miss your HSR ride like me, fret not. Just head over to the counter and let the staff assist you. The staff will stamp on your ticket and you will be told to get on any later train that heads for the stop. You will have to take any available seats in the cars with unreserved seating though.

Not the HSR counters. This counter is for TRA tickets in Taipei, Taiwan Main Station

As there are several train services that run within the same building, please make sure that you are queuing up at the correct counter. This picture above captures the TRA counters, not the HSR one!

It was 10-ish when we finally got into our ride.

Comfy car booked to travel to Cingjing from Taichung, Taipei

My cousin did her research and hunted down Mr Lu to bring us around for two days. It was the standard yellow cabs which you will see in Taiwan, something like this:

cab taxi in taiwan

The car was able to house 3 large luggage in the boot and 4 passengers. Mr Lu even prepared a bottle of mineral water for each of us in the car.

Good driver to look for to travel to Cingjing.

Mr Lu will drive us up to Cingjing, and on the second day, to Sun Moon Lake, Xinshe, and finally back to Taichung. This cost us about NT7000. I wouldn’t have considered this itinerary if I was alone since these locations are nearly inaccessible by public transport and hiring a driver is too expensive for a single person.

Midway stop at Guanyin waterfall and bridge

Guanyin Waterfall while we travel to Cingjing from Taichung

En route to Cingjing, we stopped by Guanyin Waterfall (观音瀑布) and the suspending bridge.

Guanying waterfall

As you might tell, we could have given this a miss.

Well, Mr Lu did tell us that there was an even more magnificent waterfall 20 minutes up slope but…we were so not up to it.

Guanyin bridge. Midway stop while travelling to Cingjing from Taichung HSR

Like a true city-bred Singaporean, we gasped at the rocks, streams and mountains afar.

Guanyin bridge, Taichung, Taiwan

Address: 南投縣埔里鎮埔霧公路, Puwu Rd., Puli Township, Nantou County, Taiwan

Arriving at Cingjing

We then headed straight for Cingjing. It was about a 1.5 hours travel to Cingjing from the Taichung HSR station.

We kept a lookout for cherry blossoms and spotted a few along the roads. It was close to the end of the season so many of the blooms have wilted. But those which were still in bloom were breathtaking.

Cherry blossoms viewing in Cingjing, Taichung, Taiwan

From afar, we could already make out the majestic silhouette of the Old England Manor (老英格兰庄园), possibly the most well-known homestay in Cingjing.

Old England Manor, 老英格兰庄园 Cingjing Minsu Cingjing Homestay in Taiwan

A double room at the Old England Manor will set you back by NT15000/night.

Old England Manor, Cingjing, Taiwan

The standard rates for the homestays in Cingjing is about NT3000/night. And there are lots of choices; the mountain was littered with homestays. Our driver joked that there are about 200 minsus in Cingjing but probably less than 10 are registered. I might have gotten the numbers wrong, but yea, you get the gist of it.

Minsu at cingjing, taiwan

Yes, those little houses in the background were almost all minsus.

The air was fresh and the views were gorgeous! I’m liking the place already.

View form Cingjing, Taiwan

I was famished so I asked for lunch. Mr Lu drove us to this hawker centre-like area.

What to eat at Cingjing

The food here was barely passable but I don’t think there were much alternatives, considering that we wanted to head to Green Green Grasslands next.

Cingjing farm

Mr Lu drove us to enter from the highest point of Green Green Grasslands (青青草原/清境农场) so we could leisurely walk down the slope to view the place.

Route at Cingjing, Green green grasslands to Small swiss garden in Cingjing, Taiwan
The entrance ticket cost NT160/adult. You need to give yourself a stamp on the hand at the entrance before you entered.

Cost of Ticket to Green Green Grasslands, Cingjing Farm, Taiwan

Wear a good pair of shoes because the area has quite a fair bit of steps and slopes; some looked like driftwood wedged haphazardly into the ground. Also, avoid wearing your swanky branded boots unless you want animals’ defecation all over the soles because there were –

Sheeps, sheeps in green, green grasslands, cingjing farm, taiwan

Sheeps, sheeps everywhere.

Sheeps in Cingjing farm, green green grasslands, 青青草原,清境

The sheeps were let loose and visitors could buy food from a vending machine to feed them. Unfortunately for us, the feeds were all sold out.

Feeding sheeps at Cingjing farm.

It wasn’t only us who felt the disappointment. Here’s a sheep which was nibbling on the leftovers at the feed vending machine.

Sheep eating feed at Green Green Grasslands, Cingjing Farm, Taiwan

Even though we didn’t get a chance to bribe the sheeps, the cherry blossoms and mountain view easily made up for the ticket price.

Selfie at Cingjing Farm, with Cherry Blossoms.

There were horses too. But I think they were mainly there for performance purposes.

Green green grassland, cingjing farm, horses and performances

We also spotted a boy who kept the water flowing for a thirsty sheep.

Sheep drinking water at Green Green Grasslands, Cingjing Farm, Taiwan

On the way, we passed by this shop that sold honey products.

Honey product shop at Cingjing farm

And the entrance was swarmed with bees.

Hordes of bees at cingjing.

Yes, those yellow dots were bees. But trust me, there were much much much more bees there than captured in the photo.

I am not too sure why anyone will walk in to purchase their products.

We continued walking down to the Small Swiss Garden (小瑞士花园). There wasn’t much to see, safe for some decorative windmills and more cherry blossoms. Or maybe we just didn’t walk the full length of the garden.

Small swiss garden at Cingjing, Taiwan

There is a Starbucks, convenience store and some eateries nearby too. If dinner is not included in your plan, do stock up on your rations here.

Fon Chin Homestay – Almost like a resort

We covered the main sights of Cingjing in about two hours and got to our minsu, Fon Chin Homestay (also called Julie’s Garden), a little before 3:00 PM. Realizing that we didn’t make any dinner plans, we asked Mr Lu if he could drive us out for dinner later on since there were no convenience store or restaurants nearby. Being the nice guy he was, he kindly obliged.

Fon Chin homestay, Julie's garden, Cingjing Homestay, Cingjing minsu

Fon Chin was an idyllic accommodation.

fon chin homestay cingjing (2)

There were dreamy swings which overlooked the mountains.

Fon chin minsu, julie's garden homestay, cingjing, taiwan

It was also home to many animals, such as this friendly dog:

Pet dog at fon chin homestay, julie's garden minsu

and Mr Goose:

Pet goose at fon chin minsu, julie's garden homestay

We were upgraded to a huge family room which had 3 double beds with built-in heating. The heated beds were magical in warding off the cold at night.

Fon chin minsu, julie's garden homestay, cingjing, taiwan

As you can tell, the room was spacious.

Room at Fon chin minsu, julie's garden homestay, cingjing, taiwan

Here’s the view from our patio, which was shared with just another room of guests.

View form Fon chin minsu, julie's garden homestay, cingjing, taiwan

Dinner at Ah Dong Chicken

After we bummed around for a couple of  hours, Mr Lu came to get us for dinner. I don’t think we had a discussion on what to eat for dinner; Mr Lu was confident about his recommendation, which he had pointed out to us on the way up to Cingjing.

An Dong Chicken, An dong yao zai ji, cingjing, taiwan

And boy, this Ah Dong Chicken (阿东窯仔鸡) was one of the best meals I had in Taiwan.

An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan
These were the special kilns used to roast the chicken.

An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan

Here’s a portion of the food we ordered.

An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan

I will admit I wasn’t too impressed when I saw the chicken.

I mean, it looks just like any normal chicken right?

An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan

From the corner of my eyes, I spotted Mr Lu putting on cotton farm gloves and another layer of disposable gloves over. After he made sure we got all our photos, he promptly proceeded to attack the chicken…

An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan

Nah! Mr Lu was helping us to rip the chicken into smaller pieces.

It was an amazing display of dexterity.

Chicken ripping at An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan

He also recommended us to dip the chicken into a mixture of pepper and salt if we were not keen on the sauce provided. It was heavenly.

We also ordered:

  • Stir-fried cabbage (炒高丽菜)
  • Stir-fried sugarcane shoots (炒甘蔗筍)
  • Caipo Egg (菜脯蛋)
  • Golden Tofu (黄金豆腐)

Menu of An dong chicken, cingjing, taiwan

With the exception of the shoots, everything else was awesome.

And though we evidently over-ordered, it was hardly surprising that all the dishes were almost wiped out.

After the super satisfying dinner, we could only return to Fon Chin as there were no other places we could hit at Cingjing at night.

Address: 546, Taiwan, Nantou County, Ren’ai Township, 信義巷52號(仁愛國中對面)
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Read the full trip online:

Day 1 in Taipei
Day 2 in Cingjing
Day 3 in Sun Moon Lake
Day 3 in Lavender Cottage
Day 3’s Fengjia food guide
Getting to 921 Earthquake Museum on day 4
Day 5 in Park Lane by CMP
 Day 6 from Taichung to Hualien
Taroko National Park on day 7
Day 8 from Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall to Houshanpi
Jiufen + Shifen on Day 9
Pingxi sky lantern festival on day 9
Ending off with Taipei creative parks on Day 10
Tried and Tested: Accommodations in Taiwan


Useful Links:

  1. Hi there, sorry in advance if this is a double post, not sure if my previous comment got through. May I also request for Mr Lu’s contact too? Thanks in advance!

  2. 8 Ang Mo Kio Central 3

    Please recommend best location minsu for period 24/4/2016-26/4/2016 and may I have Mr Lu contacts.


    1. Hi Irene, I didn’t stay in minsu all the way so can’t really recommend much. But for reference, here are the accommodations I stayed in before:

      – Star Hostel (Excellent!)
      – Via Hotel in Ximending (Excellent but pricy)

      – Le Parker Hotel (Near the bustle but in a quieter area just a couple minutes away from Fengjia, slightly pricy)
      – Fengjia Garden/Garden Stay Minsu (Excellent location but the street is slightly quiet at night, not too bad place, runs like a economy hotel and the lobby is a Tangyuan shop?)
      – In Sky Hotel (I didn’t stay there but went in for a visit as my cousin stayed there in the same time period. New hotel, great rooms and great service. Just a little farther down from Fengjia garden)

      – Fon Chin Homestay (huge rooms, nice owner who speaks excellent english)

      – Mini voyage hostel (new, great location)

  3. Hi Eunice! Very useful post here. I am making a trip down to Taiwan this year, possible to get Mr Lu’s contact? Thank you:)

  4. I love the pictures of the cherry blossoms … did you take it in Green Green Grassland?

    My friend and I are staying over Taipei and then planning to travel to CingJing via taxi. Will Mr Lu or his taxi company take us from our hostel to CingJing?

    Can I have Mr Lu’s contact number?

  5. HI Eunice,

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. I am currently planning a trip to Cingjing.
    Can I have Mr. Lu’s contact details?
    Thank you!

  6. Hi,

    i need your advise as im travelling alone from Taipei to Cinjing Farm.
    i tried to research from the web it quite confused as which route of station i should head to.

    Ivan Lim

    1. Hi Ivan, sorry I’m not too sure too as I hired a cab up. I believe you need to take the HSR from Taipei to Taichung first. From there, you could take a cab or try googling for Nantou express (bus). I haven’t taken the bus personally so I’m not too sure of the routes. 🙁

  7. Hi Eunice!

    Really a nice place suggestion and write!

    May i know you did mention that hire a driver cost NT7000. Is it for one day trip full day?

    Thank you!

  8. Hi Eunice,

    I am planning to go Cingjing Farm from Taichung next March.

    Can I have Mr Lu’s contact details?

    Much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  9. Hi, im a solo female traveller travelling first time in taiwan. Would like to ask if Mr Lu does bring travellers from hualien to cingjing? Also, can i have his contact please? 🙂

  10. Hi Eunice, I will be travelling to Taiwan this coming November with my family.
    Can I have the contact details of Mr Lu please Thanks!

  11. Hi Eunice! Thanks for the write up! Appreciate if you could email me the contact details of Mr Lu and the price that was charged for your whole day trip. Thanks!

  12. HI:) I really enjoyed this blog post. Could I get the details of Mr Lu and also the price you paid?
    Thanks in advance!!

  13. Hi Eunice. My family and I will be going to Taiwan in nov. We are torn over which minsu to stay. We have a choice over Julie’s garden or misty villa. Everyone I know recommended the latter because of its close proximity to convenience stores. But it’s 30% more. How is Julie’s? Can you also share your driver’s contact with me? Thanks much.

    1. Hi there, I’ve emailed you Mr Lu’s contact details. As for the minsu, I’ve never stayed at misty villa so I can’t say for sure if the accommodation is good. Julie’s garden is a little out of the way but I loved the surroundings and the ambience of the place. If you have engaged a driver who can ferry you around, I don’t think it would be a problem but do remember to stock up on the snacks before you head back to the homestay to rest. 🙂

  14. Hi Eunice, I’m heading to taiwan next month and still looking for a driver to bring us around. Able to share Mr Lu’s contact with me? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  15. Hi Eunice, I’m planning to travel to Sun Moon Lake – Cingjing area with my family in December, and I would like to have Mr. Lu’s contact. I would also like to know whether or not it is possible for him to pick us at Shuishe and get into Cingjing, and the next day from Cingjing to Hualien. I would also like to know whether or not he speaks English. Thank you.

  16. Hi, Eunice
    Saw your Taiwan Blog… nice pictures and you got a friendly and reliable driver. I would like to have his contact. Hope you are able to share with me. Going to Taiwan next year 2018. Thank you.

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