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Taiwan – A taste of Yunnan at Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理 Cingjing Lumama Yunna Restaurant

Tuck into a feast of authentic Yunnan dishes at Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Apart from enjoying the ubiquitous steamboat meals at their minsu, visitors to Cingjing can also visit Lumama Restaurant, a popular eatery serving authentic Yunnan/Shan tribe cuisine. Located just above Cingjing Farm 清境農場, the restaurant boasts a scenic view of the Central Mountain Range.

清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理 Cingjing Lumama Yunnan Restaurant

Lumama is housed in a pretty stone mansion. At 2044 metres above sea level, come in long pants and a light sweater, especially during night time. You’ve been forewarned ;)

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

The spacious restaurant occupies two levels
Mama Lu, who was originally from the Bai Yi tribe, settled down in Cingjing with her veteran husband who fought alongside Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist forces. The family decided to open a restaurant featuring Mama Lu’s Bai Yi cuisine which gained popularity with visitors. She now runs the dining establishment with help from her children. They also make regular trips to Yunnan to source for ingredients and special soup pots 汽锅。

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

客似云来
What’s special here is that the restaurant combines authentic Yunnan recipes with local produce from the nearby farms, ensuring a unique taste found nowhere else.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

You can order ala carte or if you have enough people (or are REALLY hungry) set meals which includes their specialty dishes. The portions are hearty.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

香酥包料魚 Crispy Stuffed Fish
God is fair – You are so ugly, but so tasty. LOL. Herbs and spices are stuffed into the Wu Guo Fish/Taiwn Lu Fish 吳郭魚/台灣鯛魚, a cichlidae species, bound with a string to keep the ingredients from falling out and then deep fried to a crisp.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Crispy Stuffed Fish 香酥包料魚
Super yummy – this is a must-order.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

It’s Fear Factor time – Crispy deep-fried Bamboo Worms 香酥竹蟲
One of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, these critters are imported from Burma and Thailand inside bamboo cylinders. Once you get over the initial hesitation and pop one inside your mouth, trust me – you will not stop. It was like eating crispy, airy French Fries, minus the fats and pile on the protein and fibre!
I could have easily polished off an entire plate by myself. Just don’t stop to examine the worms – I did that for 3 seconds, looking at the many legs and almost gagged. Just eat and don’t think, don’t look, lol.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

 Cold Appetizer 凉拌薄片
A crunchy and spicy cold appetizer of pig’s head skin 猪头皮, peanuts and spices

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Spicy Mung Bean Cake 凉拌豌豆粉
A popular cold appetizer, this is a green jelly served with cucumber, coriander and ground peanut dribbled with a sweet, spicy sauce.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Home-made Yunnan preserved meat 腊肠 + 腊肉

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Cold Pork Jelly 水晶凍
Think collagen-rich and start eating

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Tang Kwei Chicken Soup 當歸鸡汤
This was one of my favourite dishes. The wholesome soup warmed me up nicely and the tang kwei 當歸 so fresh, it was grown in their own backyard.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

We even asked the restaurant to dig up a fresh tang kwei to show us since we have never seen this plant in its natural form lol. It is more commonly found as a dried herbal medicine, and best for women. :)

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Thick Vermicelli in Soup 傣味米干

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Yunnan Chicken Stew Pot 云南汽锅鸡
This is another star dish, do note advance order is required for this dish. Go for it.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Fried minced meat with Preserved Sour Vegetables 酸菜肉丝

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Fried Local Cabbage 炒高麗菜
Another simple dish well done. The locally grown cabbage was sweet to the taste, no extra condiments were needed.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Yunnan Pepper Chicken 云南胡椒鸡

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant 清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理

Jin Sa 錦灑 Minced Pork with Herbs wrapped in Cabbage
A popular Shan dish, it is eaten by wrapping the savoury minced meat with raw locally-grown cabbage. I love the crisp of fresh mountain produce which paired very well with the meat. Best part – low carb! ;)

We were all very satisfied with the hearty meal – it was value for money at TWD3,500 (est. S$148) for 12 dishes + 1 soup. I never thought I could savor authentic Yunnan cuisine at Cingjing, cleverly adapted to make good use of locally-grown produce. The ingredients were fresh and dishes unique, I would think it’s worth a visit for any visitor to this part of town.

Cingjing Lumama Restaurant清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理
Address: No. 210-2-1, Renhe Rd, Datong Village, Renai Township, Nantou, Taiwan
南投縣仁愛鄉大同村仁和路210-2-1號〈近松崗博望新村〉
(Just off No. 14 Jia Provincial Highway 省道台14甲線 above Cingjing Farm 清境農場)
Opening Hours: 11:00AM to 9:00PM (kitchen closes 8:00PM)
Tel: +886 4 9280 3876
Email: lumama2003@yahoo.com.tw
Website: http://www.lumama.tw
Cash only
Getting Here

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Taiwan – Xitou Monster Village 溪頭怪物村

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町“You definitely have to visit Monster Village when you are coming to Nantou!” my Taiwanese friend excitedly recommended. Thinking it was a haunted theme park, I went with much trepidation. The fear turned into pure glee when I realized that Monster Village is a kooky Japanese-style village located at the entrance of Xitou Nature Education Area (溪頭自然教育園區). And the monsters were cute ones – 大好きな!This monster-themed attraction is especially popular with domestic day trippers to the Nantou area since it opened in 2011, drawing more than 200,000 visitors monthly.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Entrance of Monster Village

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Before its fame, the place was originally Ming Shan Hotel (明山森林會館) serving mainly domestic visitors. A food vendor selling sausages nearby decided to use a giant red Japanese Tengu face with a long sausage nose for publicity. As more and more people got to know about the humorous publicity gimmick via social media, the hotel got so many calls asking about “this monster sausage place 妖怪村” that they decided to re-build the resort into a monster-themed village. As for the sausage seller – he shut down just months before the hype materialised so he never got to cash in on that success. He did try to set up stall again, but wasn’t able to compete with the other sausage stalls which had also set up. Well, that’s life sometimes…

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Here’s the famous “sausage nose” lol

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Village Square

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

There are lots of good photo points, so be sure to bring your camera, and smiles :)

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The attraction adds a new monster to the village every year, and these greenies are this year’s latest additions. Not sure if they are ducks, relatives of Shrek or whatever haha.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

There are regular shows at the village, such as this fortune-telling monster.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Making a wish and sending it over to the monster for advice

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Fancy a ride on the Monster Train?

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Cute shuttle bus

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Off we go to explore the shops and eateries!

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Even the dads get into the ‘act cute’ moments

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Erm, excuse me but there are 2 monsters above you…

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Oopsie!

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Monster Mail
I wonder if they get delivered, or devoured in monster speed too

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Play a game with the Lucky Lion 招财狮, and collect your prize at its very strategic location! *shy* So shy my photo was blur lol

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The nostalgia started flowing when I saw these game stations

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Drum up a monster tune

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Or flaunt a monster fortune

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Mountain King 山大王
The story goes that the Mountain King is an unlucky but kind man who becomes a mountain guardian to protect the good and punish the bad.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Get your fortune told by the Mountain King for TWD10, that’s definitely a bargain haha

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Japanese-inspired elements are prevalent at the attraction, such as this pool which you will find at most Japanese temples.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Bubbles are fun

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Decorative carts which make good photo points

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Scheduled music performances at the centre of the village

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Look around you and you may spot something tongue-in-cheek – such as this movie poster for “Anus Man.”

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Boo!

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Food stalls and shops line this road leading to the Xitou Forest Recreation Area

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

They do not have KFC here, but they have KEC with a geisha hen as mascot

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Fancy an eyeball dumpling?

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The Black-Hearted Shop sells black sesame and matcha soft serve, licky licky!

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Happy food vendor

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Even the drinks are packaged so interestingly

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

A lot of locals will go hiking at Xitou Forest Recreation Area in the morning, and stop by here to buy some local vegetables on their way home. They are really fresh and cheap.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Drooling at the peaches…I want to dive right in and eat them all up

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Get a photo taken with Kuma 枯麻 (a sun bear) and Badou 八豆 (a clouded leopard), the two main mascots of the village.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

We spotted a long queue forming in front of Kubota bakery久保田面包店, waiting for the freshly baked ham and cheese bread called咬人猫面包(man-biting cat bread) which is sold only at 10.30AM and 2:30PM daily.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Start queuing 20 minutes before if you wish to try, and each person is only allowed to buy 2 pieces to ensure enough supply. You may want to keep the bread wrapper too – there’s a serialised number which you can see if you have won a prize from the village.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Ta da, the famed ham and cheese bread

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Be sure to stop by the Monster Post shop to grab some souvenirs. They are all designed and produced in-house, so they make really good presents.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The items are all very tongue-in-cheek, so come with your sense of humour and you will definitely enjoy your visit :)

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Cheeky snacks

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Blood Pack Lamp

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

A cheeky take on the country’s famous Kinmen Kaoliang – this one is Gangmen (anus in Mandarin) Kaoliang lol

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Sweets with very witty packaging

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The many ways to say good bye
Give it to your frenemy or an admirer who cannot get the hint

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Hmmm…

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

This, was an instant hit with my male friends who asked me to buy for them lol. Sorry to disappoint, I don’t think the milk sweets really work that way :p

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The ladies will know what this is… it’s actually just tea with an alternative packaging

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

This one is interesting – it’s instant cup noodles packed in a rocket carton haversack

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

A good gift to get for your branded female friends – cakes with LV-inspired packaging

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Feeling hungry? Try their signature wood fire-roasted chicken

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The ambiance of the restaurant is retro 60s, quite cool

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

八豆妖?
The Hokkien for “Are you hungry?” And yes, Taiwan Beer is “very song” haha

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

We had the set menu for 10pax. At TWD2500, it worked out to be about only S$10.50/USD7.80 per person, very affordable and we ate like kings and queens.

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

The chef (yes dressed in soldier uniform) helping to cut the chicken for us

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Mmmmm…the fragrant smell! Can’t wait to start eating!

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Preserved Vegetables with Braised Pork Belly

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Braised Yam

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Fried River Shrimps

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Fried Pumpkin with Basil Leaf

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Hotplate Tofu

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Fried Mountain Vegetables

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

Sweet Sour Fish

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

And of course, beer!
These are Taiwan Beer with the attraction’s own branding

Monster Village 溪頭怪物村 / 松林町

I had so much fun, I am turning into a monster myself! lol

Monster Village is not really big so you can cover it quite quickly, but the beauty of the place unfolds when you take time to go around and appreciate the little touches and effort put in to make the place fun. It’s also a great place to buy souvenirs home (I had many requests from friends when I uploaded the cheeky snacks on social media). I would recommend setting aside 2 to 3 hours to visit Monster Village.

 

You can combine Monster Village with nearby attractions in Nantou, or go hiking at Xitou Forest Recreation Area in the day time. The forest belonging to the National Taiwan University houses a great variety of trees including cedars, rare redwood species as well as bird / firefly watching activites during the right season. Go on the Skywalk for an aerial view of the nature reserve.

 

 

 


Xitou Monster Village
溪头松林町 妖怪村溪头妖怪村
No. 2-3, Xingchan Rd, Lugu Township Nantou County, 558, Taiwan
南投縣鹿谷鄉內湖村興產路2-3號, 558
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 10:00AM – 8:00PM; Sat & Sun: 10:00AM – 9:00PM
Free Admission
Website: http://www.mingshan.com.tw
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheMonsterVillage

 

Getting There

1)
Sun Moon Lake – Xitou Shuttle
Take the Sun Moon Lake – Xitou shuttle bus line which covers attractions in the Nantou area.

 

2) Taiwan Tourist Shuttle 台灣好行
Take Taiwan Tourist Shuttle at Taichung Gancheng Bus Station (台中干城車站), Taichung Train Station (台铁台中站), or Taichung HSR Station (台中高鐵站). Get off at the last stop- Xitou (溪頭) and walk about 5 minutes to Nantou Monster Village. A one way ticket costs NT175 per person, and round trip is about NT330. Take note that the last bus from Xitou to Taichung is 1720hrs, so it will be wise to get your bus tickets back once you reach Xitou to avoid missing the last bus.

 

3) Public Bus
Take Taichung Bus or Yuanlin Bus from Taichung Gancheng Bus Station (台中干城車站) directly to Xitou (溪頭)/Shanlinsi (杉林溪). Get off at Xitou and take a 5-minute walk to Nantou Monster Village.
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Photography – Once Upon a Sunny Tale

Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊

This scene taken at Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯渡假山莊 in Cingjing 清境 reminds me of a fairytale, complete with castles, cottages and a cheery sun. Now I just need my fairy godmother to send a Prince Charming, and the picture is complete :)


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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)

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