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Taiwan trip 22 Dec – 4 Jan 2014 (Day 6)

Day 6: Taichung – Chung Tai Chan Monastery – Cing Jing – Zhonghua Night Market

If you have heard Cing Jing before.  Yep yep!  We went to Cing Jing for a day trip!  No regrets!

But how do we get there? We joined a day tour to Cing Jing.  Hassle free trip.

Well, I did spend some time doing research on how to get there independently from Taichung city to Cing Jing (vice-versa).  However, many forums and sites we were unsure if its reliable.  Different people says different thing.   There wasn’t any firm answer.  Besides, there wasn’t any transport back to Taichung in evening.  There was an indicative of the last bus back to Taichung from Cing Jing, but we afraid we will miss the bus or the bus may be full?

As we only want to spend a day trip there, leave in morning and back in the evening.  Taking public transport to Cing Jing was not easy as there is a bus transfer in Puli even when return back to Taichung.   If we miss the bus in Puli to Cing Jing or the bus did not arrive punctually, we definitely waste our time.  We also found that Cing Jing is a kind of like a Resort place.  Most tourists overnight in Cing Jing.  Very rare tourists like us would only spend a day trip there.

The reason we do not overnight is because, there isn’t anything to do at night in Cing Jing. We would rather stay in Taichung city to continue with our good exploration in the night market or at the city streets.

Cing Jing located in the highlands.  Clouds, many hills, scenic and land filled with sheeps are the words to describe the place.

How do we get the tour?  There are not many travel agencies offer day trip when google search.  We joined the tour when we arrived in the City Inn Hotel.  We looked at the brochures available at the hotel lobby.  Definitely there are travel agency brochures that offer day tour.    Apologise again that I forgotten how much for the day tour to Cing Jing.  Never thought I would need to write a blog report about  my trip >.<

The trip was marvelous.  The van came to fetch us from our hotel at 9am. Beside us joined, a group of family members from Hong Kong joined too.  It was about 8 tour members in the coach.  We had a quick breakfast in the hotel.  The interior design of the dining area was pretty modern and interesting.. I enjoyed the cosy of the dining area and the variant of the food…. loved it.

Our morning buffet breakfast at City Inn Hotel in Taichung

Our tasty buffet breakfast at City Inn Hotel in Taichung

The tour did not bring us direct to Cing Jing.  The tour also brought us to a monastery called Chung Tai Chan Monastery.  The monastery is located in Puli town between Taichung City and Cing Jing. It has got a very large building that looks abit like a castle to me with many large sculptures in the building.

Chung Tai Chan Monastery

Chung Tai Chan Monastery

After the visit we proceeded to Cing Jing.  The road is uphill and winding.  Along the hill the scenery was so beautiful as if we were in a European country.  The van alighted us at a resort where we had our lunch there which was included in the tour package.  The guide asked us what we would like to have, fish, beef, seafood or chicken.  Well we chose beef and seafood.  Beef in noodle, and seafood in fried rice.  Salad was a side dish that we can eat all we want.

Our lunch meal included in the tour package

Our lunch meal included in the tour package

Well, the lunch meal was so-so.  Nothing really fantastic though…

Our tour guide brought us to visit the art boxes decor…. Ok.  Pretty interesting. I find that Taiwanese have the talents in art though.  Don’t you think?

Arts in Paper boxes

Arts in Paper boxes

 

After the shops visit and art boxes, we then proceeded with our visit in Cing Jing.   We were stunned of the beauty scenes in Cing Jing.  There were lots of sheeps and we were above the clouds.  The journey from Taichung to Cing Jing although it was pretty far, around 2-3 hours drive – the visit really worth for the long journey.

There were shows too.. horse performance.  But we did not watch the performance as we were too busy exploring the scenic view and snapping of photos. We skipped the performance.

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The sheeps do not afraid of humans. They van be daring when comes for food. Another pic shows the horse performance stage. We skipped the performance.

Beautiful scenery at Cing Jing

Beautiful scenery at Cing Jing

Windmill and Sheeps at Cing Jing

Windmill and Sheeps at Cing Jing

 

Along the pathway, we arrived to the stalls where we supposed to meet our tour guide there.  There were stalls selling fruits and snacks…  Once all members arrived, we back to our van and headed back to the Taichung City.  We requested to drop us at Zhonghua Night Market as we heard that it was another night market that recommended  to go.

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Zhonghua Night Market

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Zhonghua Night Market is a market for youngsters.. somewhat like Ximenting though.

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Enjoyed walking at Zhonghua Night Market. By the way, we loved the banana chocolate crepes.. yummm

Guess what?  We enjoyed walking at Zhonghua Night Market than Fengjia Night Market.  Why?  Because it is a youngster night market where we find different than the usual night markets and what we really like most was it is a combination of shopping centres and food stalls.  It is something like Ximenting but there were more stalls than Ximenting though. The weather was cool.  We went into the shopping centres for shoppings and also had a cup of coffee when we felt the cold weather was unbearable and out when we looked for food.   Zhonghua Night Market was actually recommended by a lady where we were seated in the same cable car to Maokong Gondola.  We had a chat and she was from Taichung.  She was the one recommended us to visit Zhonghua Night Market that she said it’s a must visit night market in Taichung.  and Yes! we glad we met her and glad we did!

If you are traveling to Taichung, you can miss Fengjia Night Market but definitely not Zhonghua Night Market. The good news is the night market is not far from Taichung Train Station. Walking distance about 10 minutes walk.

We also glad that we did not plan to stay a night in Cing Jing in our itinerary.  As you know, there wouldnt be anything to do in Cing Jing at night.  We might as well, spend the evening in the Taichung city and have a good walk in Zhonghua Night Market. 😛

It was a tiresome and fulfilled day.

So.. what’s our next day schedule?  Stay tuned….

 

 

 

Taiwan trip 22 Dec – 4 Jan 2014 (Day 5)

Day 5: Taichung – Miyahara – Gaomei Wetland – Fengjia Night Market

We woke up really early to make sure we able to reach Taipei Main Station by 9am.  Thanks to my brother-in-law for waking up early to send us to the Qilian Metro station at 7am. Pai seh pai seh…

We took TRA train and not THSR for money saving.  Well, not really a budget travelling trip but due to the 2 weeks long trip, money should be spend wisely.  This was what we usually eat in our breakfast from 7-Eleven ready made breakfast.  Just heat-up in the microwave.

Usual breakfast bought in 7-Eleven

Usual breakfast bought in 7-Eleven

Hours in the train was pretty bored…

Domo and Norman were bored too...

Domo and Norman were bored too…

In the train

In the train

 

Although it took about 2 hours 15 minutes to arrive Taichung Train Station. The price of the ticket is TWD$375 = S$15.60 (one way). To be safe, if your itinerary is taking train on the peak hour, it is best to purchase the tickets in advanced either through TRA website or to purchase at least the day before departure at the TRA ticket counter.  TRA ticket counters can be found in all the TRA stations.  As for us, we had purchased the tickets before we left Singapore. 😛

We saw MOS Burger Restaurant in the Taichung Train Station, so we gave it a try to check out if there were any differences with the MOS in Singapore.  Well, indeed there were differences.  They do have special festive burger for Christmas season such as Turkey Burger.  But we did not order that, we ordered the Bacon Beef Egg Burger and a cup of green tea with milk.  Both were fairly good… but i feel green tea with  milk was poured too much though. :S

Taiwan MOS Burger Menu
Taiwan MOS Burger Menu
Green Tea Milk -- milky

Green Tea Milk — milky

 

Bacon Beef Egg Burger - Good!
Bacon Beef Egg Burger – Good!

After our so called early lunch, we walked to our hotel.  It took about 7 minutes walk from the train station and we arrived CityInn Hotel.  The hotel was fairly new.  We met only one group of Singaporeans staying in this hotel..  Most of the customers were from Hong Kong.

Check-in City Inn Hotel

Check-in CityInn Hotel

City Inn Hotel Lobby Area

CityInn Hotel Lobby Area

Let’s check out the room…

City Inn Hotel Bed

CityInn Hotel Bed

City Inn Hotel Desk

CityInn Hotel Desk

Mirror & Basin

Mirror & Basin

Bathroom

Bathroom

What?  A condom is available for use?

What? A condom was provided?

The room is indeed small.  The bathroom is pretty large.  We were happy with the room, as we felt even though the room is small but we really satisfied with the cleanliness.  What added point most was the hotel is fairly new.   Moreover, it is a very considerate hotel… complete toiletries set were provided and an additional item also provided such as condom.

If you are planning to visit Taichung,  I strongly recommend you to stay in this hotel only if you do not mind small room.  Check out the hotel for more info by clicking here

As soon we left our luggage in the room, we commenced our Taichung exploration.  If you have the time, there are many things to see and walk in Taichung city.  But for us, our time was  limited.  Here a glance of how Taichung city like….

Taichung

Taichung oh Taichung…. you are too large for us to walk for just two days….

About 15 minutes of walking distance from the hotel, we arrived Miyahara.  A dessert, tea and ice-cream parlour in cool library setting.   We tried the milk tea and the ice-cream.  Milk tea was ok. But the ice-cream was  yummmm…. superb!

Miyahara. From Opthalmology to a cafe..

Miyahara. From Opthalmology to a cafe..

Miyahara

Ice cream, milk tea, pearl drinks … they have it. A hazel nut chocolate ice cream with cheese cake topping! Yum yum!…

If i am not wrong, Miyahara used to be an Ophthalmology (Eye care clinic) Clinic Centre.  It has now converted to a cafe.  For more details, you can click here to go to their website.

We walked back to our hotel for a little break and saw taxis were waiting near to the exit entrance at the back door of Taichung Train Station.  As that time the day was getting late, we were 50%-50% indecisive whether to go to the place we planned to go which was Gaomei Wetland.  This place was recommended by my brother-in-law as it was a must go place.  According to him Gaomei Wetland is located at the seaside and large windmills are in sight as well.  It is a good day trip if kids are to bring along because little crabs were frequently appeared.  And always the sea tide is low all the time hence the water is always shallow.  People can walk really far out to the beach and catching crabs.

Yes, we finally made the decision to go, but the time was already 3:30pm. The back door of Taichung Train Station which was next to City Inn Hotel (taichung), taxis were often seen there waiting for passengers.  We were trying our luck to ask for flat rate price from the taxi driver.  Apologise that we have forgotten the price of the taxi fare paid.  If you are interested to go, you can ask two or three taxi rates.  The flat rate to Gaomei Wetland won’t cost you a bomb as the taxi rate where we found was quite reasonable.  As for two-way (return trip) price.   Of course, do not call taxi from the hotel, the price for taxi from the hotel are usually higher than you flag your own. Definitely.  In fact there are plenty of taxis in Taichung.

Ok, the journey from Taichung city to Gaomei Wetland was pretty far.  It took about 1.5-2 hours journey.  By the time we reached Gaomei Wetland, the sky was getting dark.. and we quickly jumped out from the taxi and walk out for taking photos.  The taxi driver were waited for us. Oh… make sure your price of the taxi is a return journey so that the taxi driver will wait for you to send you back to Taichung city.  This is because getting a taxi in Gaomei Wetland was hard.  Hardly seen any taxi pass-by though.

Gaomei Wetland should look better than my pictures taken below.  The reason because going to Gaomei in January was not a good month.  So it is best not to go during winter time unless you have no choice just like us.  Travel in January, the wind was so strong, we almost blown away… and no crabs seen.  The sea tide was closed to the bay….  Fortunately, although nothing really experience as what my brother-in-law mentioned, but we still enjoyed ourselves due to  the strong wind and the coldness! Hahaha!

Gaomei Wetland. Large windmills in Taichung

Gaomei Wetland. Large windmills in Taichung

Gaomei Wetland - Lighthouse

Gaomei Wetland – Lighthouse

Gaomei Wetland... well, this kind of weather, the crabs were hidden

Gaomei Wetland… well, this kind of weather, the crabs were hidden

Strong wind In January 2014 at Gaomei Wetland but loved it!

Strong wind In January 2014 at Gaomei Wetland but loved it!

We walked for an hour and went back to our taxi where the driver was waiting for us at a Chinese Temple.  Indeed an experience for us! Best!  If you would like to go to Gaomei Wetland, I would recommend you to go not on winter time at around 3pm.  If you are going during Winter time, please go early.  As you know, during winter time, the sun sets 2 hours early than usual!  You may go in the morning or early afternoon when the sky was bright but not sunny.  For more information about Gaomei Wetland click here 🙂  You may also google Gaomei Wetland images.  There are plenty of nice scenery pics.

Well, instead of dropping us back to City Inn hotel, we asked our taxi driver to drop us at Fengjia Night Market.  So that we can get our dinner and have a night market walk there.

Feng Jia Night Market

Feng Jia Night Market

Food bought in Feng Jia Night Market.  My favourites - Clams in Black Pepper, Variety of Fried Mushrooms, and Pepper large prawns... oh yeahhh...

Food bought in Feng Jia Night Market. My favourites – Clams in Black Pepper, Variety of Fried Mushrooms, and Pepper large prawns… oh yeahhh…

A crowded of patrons Tau Foo Fah specialty shop in Feng Jia Night Market

A crowded of patrons Tau Foo Fah specialty shop in Feng Jia Night Market

Woahhh... Sitting calmly large breed poodles.  Btw, are they twins? Dress-up doggies are norm in Taiwan.

Woahhh… Sitting calmly large breed poodles. Btw, are they twins? Dress-up doggies are norm in Taiwan.

Indeed after all the makan “eating” of food food food in Fengjia Night Market, well it’s time to head back to the hotel.  Feng Jia Night Market to City Inn it’s not convenient though, the taxi fare roughly around S$8-10.

It was indeed an exciting day out on our first day in Taichung…. We stayed for 3 days 2 nights in Taichung, so what’s next for tomorrow in Taichung…?

To be continued…..