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Taiwan – Experiencing Minsu 民宿 in Cingjing 清境

Cingjing 清境

Immerse in the fresh air and the scenic greenery of Cingjing 清境 at 2000 metres sea level – it’s heavenly!

One of the must-have experiences in Taiwan is staying in a minsu (民宿), also commonly known as homestay or bed-and-breakfast. These minsu often come in different themes and décor, and there’s one for you whether on a shoestring budget or nothing-but-the-best. Minsu owners are usually very friendly, make you feel at home and are very knowledgeable about the area. The owners often drive their guests to nearby attractions for free, or help to arrange trips around the vicinity for a nominal fee. Best of all, you get a sumptuous home-cooked meal at a home-away-from-home. Minsu is highly popular in Hualian and Yilan where it is close to nature – imagine gazing at the stars through your lodge and waking up to a picturesque scene of the hills! We chose to stay at a minsu at Cingjing (Nantou南投 district) which is about 3 hours away from Taipei.

Cingjing 清境

Cingjing is one of the most scenic areas in Taiwan and the views up there is simply amazing – I felt like a fairy walking on heaven!

Cingjing 清境

Ta da! We are at Qingjing Xiaozhu 清境小築, home up in the hills for 2 days. Cinjing is very popular for weekend trips from Taipei, just to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban living.

Cingjing 清境

Cingjing’s view is wonderful! No matter the season, you can expect a nice 15 ⁰C. Do book a minsu which is higher up the hills for a good scenic view. Ours came with a beautiful terrace. I can imagine sipping tea and chatting leisurely about life here.

Cingjing 清境

Even the flowers look especially alluring up in the mountains.

Cingjing 清境

Meals are served in this cosy dining hall.

Cingjing 清境

Simple home-cooked breakfast to start the day with

Cingjing 清境

Checking out the view from our balcony – excited!

Cingjing 清境

There are only 5 rooms at the minsu which can accommodate 2 to 4 guests. We took the bigger room and added a bed for 5 of us.

Cingjing 清境

Here’s the friendly owner of the minsu

Cingjing 清境

We saw many patches of vegetable plots around the vicinity (山菜), all looking so fresh and abundant! Someone quick pass me the salad bowl…

Cingjing 清境

I was told this particular plant is called por4 por4 ji4 (树子), and it tasted SO GOOD when fried with mountain vegetables!

Cingjing 清境

We saw cherry blossoms at the minsu too

Cingjing 清境

Morning dew

CingJing 清境

A wefie to remember our trip together ☺ We enjoyed our stay at Cingjing, we will be back!

Cingjing 清境

I’ll leave you with this amazing photo of Hehuan Mountains…tempting, tempting…you just have to see it for yourselves *wink*

Getting to Cingjing from Taipei
Take the HSR Train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung HSR station in about 50 minutes. Once at Taichung, take a taxi to Cingjing or go to the Tourist Information desk beside Exit 5 to purchase round-trip bus tickets to Cingjing via stopover in Puli. The bus journey takes about 2.5 hours. Stop at Cingjing Guest House bus stop (清境農場國民賓館).

Cingjing’s Tourism Website: http://www.cingjing.com.tw/

Qingjing Xiaozhu 清境小築
Address: No. 14, Shouting Ln., Ren’ai Township, Nantou 00546, Taiwan
南投縣仁愛鄉大同村壽亭巷14號
Tel: 0912-707186; 049-2803221
Email: 2803221@gmail.com
Website: http://www.shiautzu.tw

Searching for a minsu in Cingjing? Here’s some you can consider:
The Old England Hotel 老英格蘭莊園 (Creme de la creme of the lot; 6 months advance booking)
– Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊 (Gorgeous Italian-themed villa)
– Starry Minsu 清境民宿觀星園景觀山莊 (Highest-located minsu in Cingjing; good aerial view)
Misting Minsu 雲濛仙境民宿 (Convenient location)

Read more posts on Cingjing
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Look of the Day – Golden Girl

I checked out artisan gourmet store Dean & Deluca over the weekend and went for the golden girl look – matches the chi chi place I was visiting!

Look of the Day Golden Girl

Look of the Day – Golden Girl
Top: From Hong Kong (Granville Road)
Pants: Pleats Please, Issey Miyake
Glasses: Vintage Laura Biagiotti

Look of the Day Golden Girl - Accessories

Golden beaded wraparound bracelet: Forever 21
Monkey bracelet: Topshop
White ceramic ring: Bvlgari
Crucifix Diamante Ring: Forever 21

Look of the Day Golden Girl - Shoes

Ring: Bvlgari
Black leather flats: Louis Vuitton

Look of the Day Golden Girl - Hair

My hair matches the golden girl theme too!


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Snow White & The Huntsman: A Tale of Female Liberation

Snow White and the Huntsman
Snow White and the Huntsman is nothing like the fairytale most of us grew up with – sweet, innocent princess grows up pretty to incur the wrath of her power and beauty-hungry wicked stepmother, escapes to the woods to meet 7 dwarfs and happily lives with them until the evil queen poisons her with an apple. She is saved only when a dashing prince comes and gives her the kiss of life. And then all the birds sing, animals come out to play, flowers bloom and everybody lives happily ever after. Nah-dah. This movie is nothing like that.

Cast of Snow White and the Huntsman

Cast of Snow White and the Huntsman

Instead, the movie sports a rather dark undertone, and the main character of the story seems to be the evil queen Ravenna (played by Charlie Theron) who feels like a mental nutcase about to explode anytime. No surprises at all if you notice that she is the one in the centre of the promotional movie poster instead of Snow White.

Ravenna

Can I have her headdress please? Gorgeous! And check out her arm rests

You can practically see the pain in her eyes as she goes about quenching her thirst for eternal beauty and ruthlessly killing anyone who stands in her way. It seems that the director of the movie has set out to make her a sympathetic villain simply out to fulfil her destiny – being taught at an early age beauty and magic are the only ways to wrest power from men who massacred her entire family, which explains her obsession with beauty. She practically sucks the youth out of young girls to keep her youth, and I almost lost my dinner when she dug out bird innards and ate them like escargots. Ewww. Her costumes are out of this world, and jewelry simply amazing – I would wear them in a heartbeat.

Beauty Bath

The Evil One takes a beauty milk bath

Ravenna

Going bonkers

The evil queen is unfortunately the only character with a more fully-developed character. The other characters seem flat, or simply a token representation of the original fairytale. William’s (Sam Claflin) – the suppoused love interest – kiss couldn’t even wake Snow White from her death sleep – a grieving widower huntsman (Chris Hemworth) did the job instead. Duh. Then again, Chris Hemworth was HOT, and his apparent grief just makes you want to give him a big hug. I was pretty surprised when he kissed Snow White cos’ that literally came out of nowhere, and she was supposedly dead. Eek.

Snow White (played by Twilight’s Kirsten Stewart) is nothing like a damsel in distress, instead she is like Xena the warrior princess able to stand on her own and fight her own war – talk about female liberation! Other than that, her character hardly stuck a chord, so much so that I have nothing much to say about her. Perhaps the movie title should be “Ravenna and the Hot Huntsman” instead.

Huntsman and the Dwarfs

Chris Hemworth as the Huntsman with the seven dwarfs. The dwarfs are actually established actors such as Ray Winstone, Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan made to look small through special effects.

Props-wise, the magic mirror, which is such a crucial part of the fairytale that has been overlooked so far in other versions of the fairytale, is given an ‘upgrade’ in this movie too. Instead of just a talking face, the mirror morphs into a life-size gold figure which looks like the Grim Reaper while dispensing advice to Ravenna. The other parts of the movie looks borrowed from other movies – a white stag strongly resembles Harry Potter’s guardian Patronus and the set is reminiscent of “Lord of the Rings” amongst other things. The CGI of the movie is a saving grace and the cinematography is magnificent.

Mirror

The Evil Queen’s magic mirror goes 3-D

A white stag which strongly resembles Harry Potter’s guardian Patronus

Here’s some trivia about the film courtesy of IMDB:

–Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder were considered to play Ravenna, the Evil Queen.

–Charlize dropped out from J.Edgar to play this role.

–Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy, and Michael Fassbender were considered to play Eric, the Huntsman.

–Dakota Fanning, Selena Gomez, Saoirse Ronan, Riley Keough, Alicia Vikander, Bella Heathcote, Emily Browning, Lily Collins, and Felicity Jones were all considered for the role of Snow White.


Rating (out of 5)
: 2.5 apples – and make them organic please.

Photos from IMDB

Snow White And The Huntsman (PG13)

  • Release Date: 31st May 2012
  • Language: English
  • Running Time: 127 mins
  • Genre: Action
  • Director: Rupert Sanders
  • Cast: Charlize Theron, Nick Frost, Kristen Stewart, Sam Claflin, Chris Hemsworth

Synopsis
In the epic action-adventure Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart plays the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen (Charlize Theron) out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) dispatched to kill her. Sam Claflin joins the cast as the prince long enchanted by Snow White’s beauty and power.

Official Movie Trailer