Sunday, 13 July 2014

Taiwan Travelogue: Day 1-2 [Cingjing & Sun Moon Lake]

Hi Lovelies!!

Can't believe I am back in Singapore already. I booked my tickets to Taiwan somewhere in May during Scoot's Morning Glory Sale. Booked a midnight flight there and back with my mummy. All in with baggage and insurance was $350 per person. I think it is not cheaper or what, just average. When I was doing my research on Taiwan online, I saw people who managed to get it under $300, I don't know how they do it. Anyway, ever since holidays started I have been looking forward to my Taiwan trip, especially after the crazy MIE programme.

It was our first time to Taiwan but since there's only the two of us, we didn't book any drivers as it is too expensive if we slight two way. So I did my homework and did a lot of research online, reading 1001 Taiwan travel blogs about where to go and how to get to places. So I shall give back and blog about my experience in Taiwan and hopefully it will help others who are going Free & Easy to Taiwan with only 2 people.

We had 8 full days in Taiwan and here's a breakdown of where I went for the 8 days.
Day 1: Cingjing [Green Green Grassland]
Day 2: Cingjing [Sun Moon Lake]
Day 3: Taichung [Fengjia Night Market]
Day 4: Taipei [Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall > Longshan Temple > Ximending]
Day 5: Taipei [Taipei Zoo > Maokong > Wufenpu > Ruohe Night Market]
Day 6: Taipei [Yeliou > Jiufen > Shifen > Keelong Night Market]
Day 7: Taipei [Tamshui > Fisherman Wharf > Shilin Night Market]
Day 8: Taipei: [Taipei 101 > Yong Kang Street > Wufenpu > Zhongxiao Dunhua]

Day 1: Cingjing [Green Green Grassland]

Our flight touched down at 5.30am in Taoyuan International Airport and we caught a really beautiful sun rise on the plane.

Cingjing was our first stop, so as soon as we touched down, we headed to take a bus to the High Speed Rail (HSR) to take a train to Taichung.

Directions: From the airport, board 705 UBus to Taoyuan HSR (NT$30); 15 mins interval between trips 

Once you reached the HSR, you can buy your tickets to Taichung. Advise for those take the HSR, it is cheaper if you pre-book your tickets online as you will get early bird discounts. Trust me, it makes A LOT OF DIFFERENCE!

We booked the 7.57am tickets as I was afraid we cannot make it in time for the earlier trip. I read online that if you reach early, you can request to change to earlier slots. However, too bad for us, the earlier train is fully booked. So we had to wait. It wasn't so bad as there is Macs, MosBurger and 7eleven around.

The train wasn't really 'high speed' but you can to enjoy the beautiful view of the countryside. The train timing is very accurate. We reached Taichung at 8.35am.

Once at Taichung, we headed down to the basement to buy bus tickets to Cingjing. There's a bus counter called the Nantou Bus. There's buses to Puli, Sun Moon Lake and Cingjing.
Directions: Take Nantou Bus to Cingjing
My advise would be to get the package, which includes entrance tickets to certain places of attraction. Here's the 2 package that I got. You can go to their website to find out more about the prices and also bus timings.

TIP: For those between the age of 15 - 30 years old, you can apply for the Youth Travel Card at any Travel Service Centers & Visitor Centers.


The period when we went was their school holiday period hence many families were travelling to Cingjing as well. Well waiting to board our bus, we walked around the HSR. Taichung HSR is bigger than Taoyuan's. There's a mini Carton King Cafe there as well and some exhibition going on so we took some pictures there.

The journey was a long one. Took around 2 hours for us to reach Cingjing but the view was worth it!

It was the peak period so we didn't manage to book the popular minsu. Instead, we booked a really cosy one called SuWu Minsu. Only issue was a it a bit hard to find and buses cannot get in there.

It looks very simple from the outside. Actually inside also.. Haha. This was the place we stayed for 2 nights.

The view from our Minsu and the weather was cooling too. Goodness!

After we left our luggages, we headed out to Green Green Grassland! It was within walking distance from our Minsu. So that's a plus point!

Green Green Grassland

We managed to make it in time for the Shearing Show. The host is an Angmo and it took me a while to catch his Chinese. He's very entertaining and the sheep were so cute.
Shearing Show: Every weekend, 9.30am & 2.30pm (So try your best to go on the weekends!)
It was really crowded!
After the show we took the time to explore the whole area, which is HUGE!

Everything was just so perfect! Totally in the arms of nature!

Another thing you can do there is to feed the sheep. They are just roaming around the grassland and you can buy the pellets to feed them.

What an experience!
Enjoying my goat milk ice cream
After we were done with Green Green Grassland, we wanted to look for a place for dinner.. But the sad thing is there isn't any restaurant or shops around the area... So we took a bus down hill and alighted when we saw some civilisation.. Apparently it there isn't much too. We saw some zichar like place and just packed something back. The food was terrible! Really blend and just plain yucky.

Our Minsu only provide meals on weekdays and on weekends it's chargeable. But the lady boss was nice enough, that she asked if we wanted dinner. We were more than happy as none of us finished our packed rice.

Dinner was really simple but yummy. They even serve a pot of peppermint tea. Very homely dinner.

After dinner was done, we went back to our room and decided to have an early night and charge up for the next day.
Day 2: Sun Moon Lake

We got up early and had breakfast downstairs. The Minsu provides breakfast. It's nothing fanciful, just porridge and a few small dishes. Something like Teochew porridge?

After dinner we hopped unto our mini van to Sun Moon Lake. At first we wanted to take the Nantou Bus but the Minsu had some collaboration with a coach company. So they helped us book a mini van to Sun Moon Lake. I can't remember how much it was though but it was direct to Sun Moon Lake. If you take a Nantou Bus, you need to change at Puli which is a hassle.

Apparently Sun Moon Lake is at another mountain. So the bus went down hill then up another hill.

Sun Moon Lake had a couple of mini island and you can opt to rent a bicycle to cycle around. There's also a boat that takes you to the different island. If you buy the package, it includes the boat ticket.

Once we reached, we went to Itashao island.

It was summer when we were there, so the weather was unforgiving! Unlike Cingjing, Sun Moon Lake isn't as cooling but the view was as breathtaking!

Once we arrive at Itashao, we headed off to the snack streets.

This is probably the best wrap we had in Taiwan! YOU GUYS MUST TRY THIS!

Sun Moon Lake is famous for their Mochi, Asamu tea and Ah Ma Tea Leaf Egg. So you got to try those.

Interesting fortune machine
At Itashao, there is a tribal performance to explain about the origin of their tribe. We were there in time for the show.

From Itashao, we took a Ropeway to 九族文化村 (Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village). It is actually a theme park up on the hill.

We didn't go to the theme park but it was still worth it to take a ride up so see the scenery. Oh yes, the Ropeway ticket is also included in the package.

There were many stalls selling tropical fruits, so we bought some mangoes and they were really sweet!

At about 5pm our mini van came and we were on our way back to Cingjing. Yes, up the mountain again.

This was dinner provided by our Minsu. Very healthy.

As usual, we had an early night as the next day we will be travelling to Taichung! You really live healthy when you are in Cingjing! Very relaxing and unwinding.

Review on SuWu Minsu

  • Economical, great for budget travellers
  • Walking distance from Green Green Grassland
  • Breakfast & Dinner provided
  • Staff are very helpful
  • Room is decent with basic necessity
  • Has nice balcony view
  • Need to walk pass the horse rearing area to get to minsu
  • Able to see the horses up close
Overall I feel for the price of the stay the minsu is value for money.

So that's Day 1 and 2 for you at Cingjing & Sun Moon Lake.

Read about the rest of my trip...

Day 3: Taichung [Fengjia Night Market]
Day 4: Taipei [Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall > Longshan Temple > Ximending]
Day 5: Taipei [Taipei Zoo > Maokong > Wufenpu > Ruohe Night Market]
Day 6: Taipei [Yeliou > Jiufen > Shifen > Keelong Night Market]
Day 7: Taipei [Tamshui > Fisherman Wharf > Shilin Night Market]
Day 8: Taipei: [Taipei 101 > Yong Kang Street > Wufenpu > Zhongxiao Dunhua]

1 comment:

  1. Your trip help me a lot. If you don't mind, can i ask where we can buy ticket for going different island by boat in sun moon lake?thank you