One of the specialty products of Kinmen, Taiwan which I learnt from my recent visit to Kinmen, is a herb called “金門一條根 Jin Men Yi Tiao Gen”, loosely translated into a kinky-sounding “A Kinmen Root.”
Found in the Kinmen area, pharmaceutical books claim that the Yi Tiao Gen herb, or 阔叶大豆 (Glycine tomentella Hayata) can enhance blood circulation, build general health and is especially good for treating arthritis and body aches. I immediately dragged my aching body (yes, I over-shopped again, ha) in search of this remedy.
My sweet pal Xiao Kai brought us to 金門浯記一條根 conveniently located in the city centre Jin Cheng 金城 (just opposite the bus station). They are the first shop in Kinmen to promote products made from Yi Tiao Gen, and have worked with local TCM institutions to research on this herb.
金門浯記一條根 Kinmen Wu Ji Yi Tiao Gen
Address: 金門縣金城鎮民生路9-18號(金城車站旁) – this would be a more convenient location
Tel: 082 322 285
Opening Hours: 7:30AM to 9:30PM
金門浯記一條根(總店 Main store)
Tel：082 322 352 / 3231 493
Fax：082 323 312
Opening Hours：8:00AM to 6:00PM
Website: http:// www.km5g.com.tw
Visiting Kinmen? This map of Kinmen will be useful (Source: Kinmen County website).
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.
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/
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)
More on Taiwan:
Taiwan – Blooming Delights and Cultural Richness in Daxi 大溪
Taiwan – Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公園
Taiwan – Jiufen’s 九份 Golden Nostalgia
Taiwan – Urban Respite at Beitou Hot Springs 北投溫泉
Taiwan – Tamsui 淡水：Of Romantic Sunsets & Tantalizing Snacks
Taiwan – Jingguashi 金瓜石：Goldmine of Yesteryear
Taiwan – SHIFEN十分放天灯: Sending Wishes to the Sky
Taiwan – Sun Moon Lake 日月潭: Picturesque Nature
Getting to Shifen
MRT Muzha Station (捷運木柵站) -> No. 15 Taipei Bus (台北客運15路公車) -> Shifen (十分)
1. Take the train to Ruifang Station (瑞芳站) at the Taipei Railway Station (TRA). It’s where Taipei Main Station is – follow the underground signs to get to TRA. Train schedule: http://twtraffic.tra.gov.tw/twrail/English/e_index.aspx
2. Alight at Ruifang Station and buy tickets for the Pingxi Line (平溪支線). Take the train to Shifen Railway Station (十分火車站). Rides are unlimited on the Pingxi Line.
Taking a Taxi from Ruifang Station
You can save some time by taking the train to Ruifang Station, and taking a taxi there. The prices are regulated by the authorities and clearly indicated, so the taxi drivers cannot overcharge. Save even more by sharing a taxi with other travelers going the same way.
Single destinations: Jiufen (九份): NT180; Jinguashi (金瓜石); NT240, Shifenliao (十分): NT480; Shuangxi (双溪): NT600
– Package A (NT$1,000)
Ruifang Railway Station (瑞芳火车站), Nanya Rocks(南雅奇石), Yin Yang Sea (阴阳海), Thirteen Level Refining (十三层遗址), Gold Waterfall (黃金瀑布), Jiufen Old Street (九份老街)
– Package B (NT$2,300)
Ruifang Railway Station (瑞芳火车站), Jiufen Old Street (九份老街), Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布), Shifen Old Street (十分老街), Taipei (台北)
– Package C (NT$2,000)
Ruifang Railway Station (瑞芳火车站), Jiufen Old Street (九份老街), Yehliu Geopark (野柳风景区)
– Package D (NT$2,800)
Ruifang Railway Station (瑞芳火车站), Nanya Rocks(南雅奇石), Yin Yang Sea (阴阳海), Thirteen Level Refining (十三层遗址), Gold Waterfall (黃金瀑布), Jiufen Old Street (九份老街), Shifen Waterfall (十分瀑布), Shifen Old Street (十分老街), Taipei (台北)
*Prices for reference only. Check the prices when you are there.
If you are looking to hire a driver, you can consider Mr Liu 刘先生. He’s a burly uncle who used to be a truck driver, and very honest. He charged us a very reasonable per day rate, brought us to all the places where the locals went, and none of those touristy crap. And we felt safe with him. You can give him a try if you wish. Mr Liu’s Mobile: (0)988-121-529.
Another contact you can try is Lucky Zhao +886 913 185 157, slightly pricier but good service and speaks well.