Nestled in the central mountains of Taiwan is Cingjing. Its gentle hillslopes and green meadows dotted with Victorian styled cottages and grazing sheeps are reminiscent of the European countryside. Here is an account of a recent trip to this little Taiwanese settlement.
Driving through the Central Mountains in Taiwan and after a day spent in the gorgeous Taroko Gorge and Hehuanshan Mountain (read my first part of the Taiwan trip here), we reached Cingjing Farm in the late afternoon of a wet and misty December day.
Staying in a minsu
We had a night and half a day to explore this place located at Renai Township in Nantou county of Taiwan. We checked into our minsu – Taiwan is known for its minsus (homestays or small villas and small hotels) that are quite popular among tourists, especially in the countryside. We stayed at this idyllic minsu called – Twins of Seattle! I was quite amused with the name par se and a bit doubtful when I booked the place, but it turned out to be quite a great stay. Since we reached late we spent the evening lazing around and enjoying the mist and chilly evening with a piping hot steamboat for dinner.
Our minsu was about 10-15 minute drive from Cingjing’s main attractions, nevertheless we were glad that it was at a peaceful place and at a good elevation. Next morning we got up for the spectacular sunrise overlooking the river at a distance and panoramic view of the hills.
Green Green Grassland
We were geared up for a day exploring the farm. Soon after breakfast we took the minsu shuttle car to Green Green Grassland – the main farm that tourists visit in Cingjing. I think the double ‘green’ is to emphasize how green the meadows are. However, it was winters when we visited and the grass wasn’t that green. It was rather brown.
The farm is spread over several acres of land on hillslopes. We took a stroll across the farm where sheeps were grazing and it was fun to click some photos with them, although they seemed to be more interested in the grass than their visitors.
On the other end of the farm were more pastures with a windmill – I guess just to add more to the farm’s touristy appeal. But it didn’t look so out of place. The farm overlooks the crisscrossing mountains and the valley at the distance with some breathtaking views and is ideal for landscape photography.
After spending about an hour or so at the farm we returned to our minsu. Cingjing has one more attraction the Small Swiss Garden, however, after reading not so positive reviews, we thought of skipping it from our to do list.
Overall I would say Cingjing was a calming experience far away from the hustle and bustle of urban areas. The place was not just picture perfect, its people were wonderful too. We survived there perfectly without knowing a word of Mandarin, and our hotel staff not knowing a word of English. We spoke in sign language and used Google Translator extensively. Thanks to the helpful and friendly locals who did whatever they could to make our stay enjoyable and comfortable (I will come to that in a separate post).
Things to Note:
If you are planning a trip to Cingjing, there are two ways of reaching the place. One is via Taroko Gorge and Hehuanshan. This route is longer. Most people visit Cingjing from Taichung or Sun Moon Lake or even Alishan which are about 1 hour away each. One day is more than enough to visit the farm. In fact you can totally skip staying at the place and make a day trip. Else you can combine a visit to Hehuanshan mountain along with Cingjing. But do visit the farm!
- The entrance fee varies for adults and children and whether it’s a weekday or weekend. Visit http://www.cingjing.gov.tw/en/information/index.php for more information.
- Nearest High Speed Railway Station is Taichung.
- The farm opens at 8 am and closes by 4 pm.
Visit their official website for more details.
Coming up next: From Cingjing to Sun Moon Lake.