Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Taiwan trip – 25 Feb 14

I didn't know that breakfast was included until I checked in yesterday so we do not have to source for our own breakfast today. Breakfast is a set which comprise of 2 toasted bread, ham, bacon, egg & tea or coffee.

After having our breakfast, we proceed to checked out and then walked to Shuishe visitor centre to wait for the 8.25am bus to Puli. We did not waited long for the bus to come. This website shows the timetable of the buses to and fro Sun Moon Lake.
Shuishe visitor centre
Fire engine station

The bus is relatively empty so we get to seat from Sun Moon Lake to Puli. We reached Puli after 45min of bus journey. We bought the NT250 ~ S$10.60 Cingjing pass each which comprise of return bus ticket from Puli to Cingjing, Green Green Grassland admission discount coupon, Cingjing Guest House discount coupon and Cingjing to Cingjing Guest House one way bus coupon.
Puli bus terminal
Cingjing pass

While waiting for the bus to come, we ate the Assam tea egg roll which we bought from the mochi stall yesterday. The egg roll taste good and is not so rich in egg flavour compared to the egg rolls sold in Singapore.
Assam tea egg roll

The bus came and it's full, so passengers who boarded from Puli station have to stand. A guy from Malaysia who is quite gentleman give up his seat to me and poor hubby has to stand for the 1.5hr journey ride.
Several villas near Min Guo Guesthouse bus stop 國民賓館

From the bus stop, it is a 5min walk to Misty Villa but it's a tiring walk uphill and pulling the luggage at the same time. When we reached the reception area, there is a staircase leading to the rooms but luckily the receptionist told us that we can leave our luggage here since we can't check in yet and they will help us to carry the luggage to our room later.
Misty villa

We walked to the Carton King and Swiss Garden which is just across the main road from Misty Villa. The Carton King display items made from paper carton which ranges from stationeries to decorative items to wallets and shoes. The items are not cheap and we did not dine at the restaurant.
Carton King Shop
Paper carton horse
Animals make of paper carton
Paper carton house
Products make from paper carton
Meow meow
Postcard shop

We bought the Swiss Garden ticket from Misty villa at a discounted price of NT90 ~ S$3.80, usual price is NT120 ~ S$5. The garden is open from 8am -10pm. I was disappointed when we went into the garden as I was expecting lots of flower to be blooming but it's just a handful only. We shall use the ticket for re-entry at night for the fountain show.
Mini Swiss Garden
Panorama view
Cherry Blossom

The recreation center houses MOS Burger, Starbucks, Steam boat restaurant, snack stalls and souvenir shop. This is one of the reason why I chose to stay at this area.
Recreation center

We had lunch at the noodle stall and ice cream for desert. MOS burger is a better choice but we are not coming to Taiwan for the fast food so we ended up eating noodle which is only mediocre.
Lavender and lemon grass ice cream

There is a stall selling nougat and I bought a mixture of flavours which includes yam, chocolate, strawberry, rose, green tea etc.

After lunch, we strolled back to the hotel and are able to check in. Luckily our luggages were carried to the room already otherwise it's extremely tiring climbing up the stairs and carrying the luggages concurrently.

The room is extremely huge and is the largest room we have stayed in Taiwan throughout this trip. From the balcony, we have a panorama view of Cingjing which is simply breathtaking! There is even a water cooler in the room itself.
View from the balcony
Room for the night

At 2pm, we gathered at the reception area for the free shuttle bus to Cingjing farm (Opening hours: 8am - 5pm). The ride to Cingjing farm is about 10min from Misty Villa. With the Cingjing pass, we bought the admission ticket at a discount and paid NT120 ~ S$5 per person (usual price NT160 on weekdays & NT200 on weekends). We got a stamp on a hand which facilitate re-entrance to the farm. We planned to stroll from Cingjing farm to Misty Villa since it's all the way downhill which was quite relaxing and the weather was a great help too.
Map of Cingjing Farm
Castle like building
Scenic view
Bah bah white sheep

During the summer season Jun - Aug, there is sheep shearing show everyday but only once during the weekend in the remaining months so we are unable to catch the show as we visited the farm on a weekday.
Sheep shearing area
Green pasture
Botak vs non botak sheep
Bah bah black sheep

We tried the goat milk ice cream but it tasted like normal ice cream. There are also other local products sold here but we didnt buy anything.
Products from the farm
Food stalls

It's a bonus that when we visited Cingjing, we saw many cherry trees blossoming. I didnt purposely plan for the trip to coincide with the cherry blossom period as usually the period is unpredictable until the days are nearer. It's hubby first time seeing cherry blossom but I have seen it in Alishan when I visited Taiwan few years ago. Nevertheless, seeing the cherry blossom still make me feel excited.
Cherry blossom

There is a horse skilled performance scheduled daily at 10.45am and 3.45pm. We reached the performance area early so we are able to get a good seat facing the center stage. The performers are all from Mongolia and they performed amazing feats such as standing up on the horse, turning upside down and using hands to balance the body on the horse etc. The performance lasted about 30min and after that, audience may proceed to the stage for photo taking. We left after the performance and continued to stroll back to the Misty Villa.
Standing on the horse is no easy feat
White horse
Stairway to heaven?

Instead of taking the 499 steps trail, we took the other trail which runs parallel to 499 steps. This trail is rather flat and less tedious.
499 steps trail

We tried to find the sunset trail but to no avail so we had early dinner at the recreation center. As there is not much choice for dinner here and we settled for steamboat dinner. Hubby had 麻辣火锅 while I had 猪五花锅 which cost NT610 ~ S$25. The price is expensive considering that we spent S$16 for 2 pax steamboat in Kaoshiung.
Steamboat dinner

As the night darken, the Swiss Garden is lighted up which makes the surrounding pretty romantic. We return to the Swiss Garden for the musical fountain performance which takes place hourly from 9.30am - 8.30pm and extra performance at 9.30pm on Friday and Saturday. In my opinion, the musical fountain performance at Sentosa fares better.
Little Swiss Garden at night

It was extremely cold at night as the temperature drop to less than 10 degree celsius. We were shivering when bathing so we have to bath quickly to avoid catching a cold. There is mattress heating pad which makes it so comfortable hiding inside the bed sheet amid the cold weather. We turned in early as we have to wake up at 3am tomorrow for sunrise.

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