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March 10th 2011
Published: October 14th 2011
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This morning we packed, left our bags downstairs, and caught the 10:25 bus to Cingjing. We made one 10-minute stop a little after 11 and after that we started seeing hotels and businesses. We asked the bus driver about Cingjing farm/Green Green Grassland, and he let us know when we were there, about 30 minutes after our earlier stop.

We bought our tickets for Green Green Grassland and along with it came some coupons we couldn't read. I think this place would have been nice to visit on some other day. Today was foggy and rainy and cold. We couldn’t see very far and the sheep weren’t grazing. There were some pens where the sheep were kept and they have shearing shows twice a day, but we weren’t near those hours. You can buy all sorts of milk products from goats or cows and tons of other stuff made from all the animals. I think my favorite part was when people were lining up to ride a horse (led by a man walking on the ground) around the stadium benches.

So we basically walked through the 3 areas and then decided to leave. Unfortunately, the next bus was at 16:10. That meant we had about 3 hours, so we decided to walk a little down the mountain and there we found a 7-11 and the Swiss Gardens. You had to pay again to get in, so we didn’t (we tried to just walk in but we couldn’t, and Ronald had already thrown the other tickets away so he had to go get them and show them to the woman – they were different tickets), and just ate a bit at 7-11 before continuing down the mountain.

After taking pictures of the Old England Hotel, we hitchhiked. It didn’t take too long for someone to stop and it ended up being a Taiwanese couple and the girlfriend had great English. She said people used to hitchhike all the time but it’s become unsafe. They were both really nice and we had a good chat about travelling before they dropped us off outside the Puli bus station.

From there we went to the hotel, grabbed our bags, and went to buy tickets to go to Yuchi (strange pronunciation, but it’s something like "e-oo-tz"), the little town just outside of Sun Moon Lake. The same strange old man that tried
Sun Moon LakeSun Moon LakeSun Moon Lake

we took this picture so we could ask people how to get there...
to help us in the morning was still there and had a little chat with Ronald.

When we got to Yuchi a short time later, I left Ronald with the bags and went to look around town. I couldn’t find anything close to hotels and only saw some small places where we might have been able to pitch our tent, so I went into the police station. They didn’t really speak English, and I don’t know any Chinese, but luckily, they did understand the word “hotel”. They called a place for me and told me it would be 1800 per night! I was shocked by the high price and asked for something cheaper and also told them I had a tent for camping. After I said this they said ok and told me they would drive me to the place. I went to get Ronald and we stuffed our bags in their car and the four of us took a short drive to A Secret Garden/Brazil Café.

The pathway leading to the property was made of cement and pieces of glass and mirrors. It was really pretty and it made me nervous because I knew something fancy/expensive was
Cingjing FarmCingjing FarmCingjing Farm

another picture for direction purposes
coming! The owner’s daughter spoke English and I asked her if we could put up our tent. She told me that they didn’t really have a place for that but did have a house we could have for the night. We told her our budget and how much we’d paid in Puli, and she spoke with her father and they agreed to give us the same price! So we had this awesome little condo for 700.

A little blurb about their place: The father, Hsien, spent 8 years in Brazil. When he came back he decided to build a house and café. In 1989 he built the first big house all by himself. With his two hands he built the house and it was finished in 9 months. It is beautiful, really. It has very large glass windows that pretty much make up the walls, and there are plants growing inside. They built a 1-meter deep brick wall around the house to keep out the critters, and the air circulation and lighting is all natural – no fans, no AC. Later he built two more guest houses but they have less glass than the original. The most amazing thing, however, was that not one single glass broke during the terrible 1999 earthquake. Pretty much it’s beautiful and it’s green.

Edit: its in chinese, but heres a link:
if you scroll down a little theres a picture of three women. The one on the right was Diana who studied in Canada and was really sweet to us. the one on the left is her sister and I dont know who the one in the middle is...another sister, maybe?
also, if you click the second pink button on the left and scroll down, the last picture is of the house we stayed in
After showering we walked around a bit. The town is really small so it only took about 15 minutes. We tried the wifi at 7-11 and then walked around some more. Tomorrow we’re going to Sun Moon Lake and when we get back hopefully they can show us the Vietnamese Noodle place…I’d love some Pho Bo.

Technical Details

- Bus from Puli to Cingjing (less than an hour and a half) = 115 per person

- Bus from Puli to Yuchi (about 20 minutes) = 38 per person

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


view from the busview from the bus
view from the bus

as we were climbing the mountain to Cingjing got worse as the day went on
street signstreet sign
street sign

it might or might not say the name of our hotel on it...we think the university is on there though

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