Pretty dope view of an old English countryside eh? Well I hate to break your bubble but, this is not a secluded town in the outer surbs of England, in fact, you can find this view in Cing Jing, Taiwan.
Known as the Switzerland of Taiwan, you can expect to find amazing scenery, rolling hills, sheeps grazing, cool weather and…crisp fresh air here.
From Taipei – Take the High-Speed Rail (HSR) to Taichung HSR Station (~700TWD, 1hr), lookout for the Nantou Bus Counter to purchase bus tickets to Cingjing Farm (250TWD for return tickets, ~2hrs)
(Note: Some accommodation provides free pickup at certain stops along the way up, so do make prior arrangements with them beforehand.)
For groups of 4 and above, hiring a driver/taxi for a day may work in your favor if you plan on touring around.
Cing Jing Farm is HUGE, come on a weekday and you will feel like you have the whole place to yourself. Other than the famous Evergreen Grassland where sheep roam freely in the pastures, there are SIX walking trails for you to explore, so do take your time and venture around. You could consider a lunch-stop at Carton King followed by a nice stroll around Little Swiss Garden and pop by The Honey Shop to grab a bottle or two of natural raw honey at a very good price.
Tip: Catch cherry blossoms here in Feb
Sunrise at Hehuanshan
Pro: You (may) get to witness a spectacular view of the sun rising from between the mountains
Con: … you have to wake at 4am and baby, it is COLD outside.
I know I know… 4am sounds pretty insane, but trust me; it is going to be worth it. Even if you did not manage to catch the sunrise, you will get a chance to see a sea of clouds below you. Oh! And if you head there during winter season, you might be lucky enough to see the snow on Wu Ling Peak. Piece of advice: do bundle up before setting off!
Tip: There is a higher chance of catching the sunrise in October.
This activity can be arranged with your minsu (homestay) at ~400 TWD/pax.
I wanted a really relaxing 2d1n in Cing Jing so I did not plan too many activities but here are a few other interesting places to go if you have more time to spare:
A charming tudor-style mansion that doubles up as a homestay (though their cheapest rate starts 15,000TWD… WOW). The only way to explore its grounds if you are not a guest there is to head over for their afternoon tea set (450TWD). Well that is a pretty good deal for a chance to get transported to Europe for a couple of hours.
Dine with a killer view and try their famous Urn Chicken (basically a whole chicken is roasted in an urn with firewood, very traditional and delicious).
Where to stay:
Here’s a rule of thumb when looking for accommodation in Taiwan, whenever you can, opt for a Minsu (homestay). Not only will you enjoy home-cooked local delicacies for breakfast, you will also gain a deeper understanding of their culture and experience their lifestyle.
Starry Minsu (Highest Minsu = Mountain views in the day/blanket of stars at night)
Misty Villa (Convenient location)
Sunnydale (Payment possible via NETS!)
Top Cloud Villa (Convenient location)
Cing Jing Xiao Zhu (Quaint, homey place, value for money)
Florence Resort Villa (Luxurious Italian-themed resort)
In my opinion, 2d1n is just right to explore Cing Jing. It is just enough time to experience this breathtaking scenic town and at the same time, make you want to go back for more in the future. It is a great place to visit if you want to relax and soak in the beauty of nature, or just to escape the heat and enjoy the cool mountain air.