spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


3 Comments

Taiwan – Step into a candylicious fairytale at Cingjing’s Nina de Chocolate 妮娜巧克力工坊

Nina_01

Who can ever resist such pretty bonbons?

Tucked away in the picturesque mountains of Cingjing, Nina de Chocolate is a cute, little candy house making exquisite handmade chocolate bearing interesting flavours with locally-sourced ingredients such as Cingjing gooseberry, kaoliang liqueur and even Alishan wasabi.
Nina_02Located within Florence Resort Villa, Nina de Chocolate reminds one of a candy house found in a fairytale. It is one of the attractions in Cingjing, and people come here to buy their special handmade chocolates home or have tea.
Nina_03
Even their mode of transport is so cute!

Nina_04
The theme of the place is whimsical, and great for families with kids or just about anybody with a sweet tooth (dats me!).
Nina_05
Enjoy the cool air and have your chocolates at the outdoor terrace.
The chocolate atelier is maintained at an optimal 18 degrees celsius to ensure the best quality of chocolate, so if it gets too crowded, visitors are offered tea and invited to wait at the terrace for a short while.
Nina de Chocolate 妮娜巧克力工坊
With such delicious dessert, everyday is Christmas ;)
Nina_06
Nina de Chocolate was opened by the owners of Florence Resort Villa as a present for their daughter named Nina who loves chocolate, and Nina also means ‘girl’ in Spanish.
Nina_07
The interior of the shop is a cosy space with a retail area and chocolate DIY corner. All the girls were naturally attracted to the chocolate. The welcoming shop staff also offer you chocolate samplings *squealing with glee* :)
Nina_08
Nina de Chocolate uses Swiss Lindt and Belgium chocolate to ensure a smooth, rich taste and no preservatives are used. They creatively use locally-sourced ingredients such as gooseberry and red tea from Cingjing, wasabi from Alishan, Kaoliang wine, Taiwanese black sugar and peaches to create unique flavours.
Nina_09How do I resist this amazing spread – I want to try every single flavour! :p The chocolatier also offers seasonal flavours, do ask for them when you visit.
Nina_09a
My eyes lit up when I saw the alcohol series; there’s cherry liqueur, blueberry liqueur and even rice wine flavour!
Nina_09b
Their attractive packaging makes for awesome gifts to bring home. Do note they do not keep long as no preservatives are used, so only buy if you are travelling home within the next 3 days.
Nina_10
This is the lucky girl Nina :) By the way, the three Italian gondolas beside her are made of chocolate. They do not melt as the air in Cingjing is perennially cooling.
Nina_11
These attractive chocolate pops sure make attractive gifts to bring back home for visitors.
Nina_12These chocolate-coated nuts have a slightly longer shelf life, so you can buy them home. They are easy to pack in the luggage too ;)
Nina_13
These ink stamps are so Japanese-inspired!
Nina_15
The pretty chocolatier introducing the cocoa bean to us, and showing how to make a chocolate-coated gooseberry which was freshly plucked.

Showing us how chocolate is prepared
Nina_16What’s more special than simply visiting a shop to buy chocolates? We made our own at their DIY chocolate-making class. Classes are held daily and each session lasts about 2 hours with a maximum 15 pax. While you can register on the spot, the DIY classes are pretty popular with kids and groups, so I would encourage you to make an advance booking online if you can.
Nina_17Here’s my very own chocolate mold and decorative ingredients; time to unleash the Picasso in me :)
Nina_18After you are done with your designs, chocolate which was earlier prepared by the staff is poured into the mould and put into the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.
Nina_19
And viola – my masterpieces! :)
Nina_20Proudly showing off the fruits of our labour :) Nina_21
And we indulged in a chocolate feast to reward ourselves ;)
Nina_21
One of the most special flavours in the shop is this attractive pink-coloured one named Galaxy. Much like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory, it is made up of cotton candy, strawberry crisp balls, Belgium white chocolate and…… jumping sweets which fizzles in your mouth!
Nina_22
Looking inside of Galaxy – Interesting flavour worth a try :)
Nina_23
Oooh…the kaoliang rice wine is oozing out of my chocolate! *hic*
Nina_24I love dark chocolate, and the 85% raw chocolate sent me to the moon. I can still remember the feeling of smooth, rich chocolate filling up my mouth. Mmmmmmm…sinful pleasures ;p
Nina_25
This green wasabi flavour is one of the shop’s most popular offerings – there were only three left! (And I ate two muahaha)
Nina_26Saying it with a chocolate – I LOVE it!
Nina_27
My master creations all wrapped up and ready to go home with me :)
Nina_28Nina de Chocolate is really a fairytale come true, cos’ we had so much fun and chocolate to last the entire trip – I felt like a child again :) Do drop by for a visit the next time you are in Cingjing!

Nina de Chocolate 妮娜巧克力工坊
Address: 南投縣仁愛鄉大同村榮光巷8之3號 (at Florence Resort Villa 佛羅倫斯民宿)
Tel: +886 (0)4 9280 2988
Opening hours: 9:00AM to 7:00PM
Website: http://www.nina-choc.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Nina.chocolat

Read more of my travels in Taiwan

Advertisements


Leave a comment

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

Read more of my travels in Taiwan


2 Comments

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.
Read more of my travels in Taiwan


4 Comments

Taiwan – Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站: A Home Away from Home in Xitou

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站
A European-style house nestled amongst the woods in Xitou, Nantou County, Yazhu is a great place to stay if you are looking for a relaxing stay with nature, or a convenient location to explore the many attractions nearby – Monster Village 妖怪村, Neihu Primary School 內湖國小, Xitou Nature Education Area 溪頭森林遊樂區, 忘憂森林, 杉林溪, 八卦茶園, 鳳凰谷鳥園, Assam Tea Farm 日月老茶場, etc. – oh so many! It is also just beside Shui Keng Bus Stop 水坑站 which is served by most of the public buses in the area.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

On our way to Yazhu!
You can easily spot its signage along the road

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

We are finally here! :)
Yazhu was originally built by a Chinese doctor as his retirement home. He decided to turn it into a minsu so that more people can come and take a respite away from their busy urban lives.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a cute dwarf!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

A spacious dining area where you can hang out in between meal times greeted us. Coffee and tea is provided 24/7. Did I mention the most important of it all – there’s wifi! :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The 3-storey building houses 10 rooms of various sizes which can accommodate up to 6 pax in a room.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

A simple breakfast, but I have to say this was one of the BEST food I have tasted in a minsu. The ingredients were freshly prepared and so tasty! I can still remember the taste of the crunchy bun and juicy filling… One of us had a vegetarian meal, and she was all praises for it as well.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a cute cup holder! You can feel the effort put in by the minsu owners to make their guests feel comfortable from the little touches prevalent throughout the house.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Say hello to Cai da-jie 蔡大姐 the minsu owner :)
She is so friendly and down-to-earth we felt like living in a real home. Her husband, who is in the real estate business, is also the one who built most of the minsu in Cingjing area, so we can be sure no effort was spared to built Yazhu.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

We loved the hand-made rabbits ‘playing’ nearby :)
These rabbits were made by Cai Da-jie’s friend; I thought they added a fairytale touch to the place, like Alice in Wonderland.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Off to view our ‘nests’ for the night!
Super spacious I must say…this room is particularly popular with honeymooners

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Oooo…there’s a balcony :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a wonderful view! Having a leisurely tea here must be such a luxury.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a big dressing area!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Looks like I will have a great snooze in this place ;)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

A Japanese-inspired room

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

It’s not often a toilet can surprise me, but this one did – there’s a Japanese bathtub!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Water comes from the nearby hot spring, and the minsu provides onsen salts for an awesome soak. This must be the next best thing from going to Japan! Wondering what’s the kawaii yellow ducky? It’s a thermometer for you to measure the water temperature :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Snacks and drinks when you get hungry at night

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The minsu provides transport (from Sun Moon Lake and even Taipei)  and sight-seeing services if you need. The van can take up to 6 pax plus luggage. Enquire with the minsu when you book.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Exploring the surroundings…ribbit

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The minsu is surrounded by much greenery and life just slows down to a relaxed pace.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

I noticed a lot of butterflies frolicking around, happy!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

The Xitou Nature Education Area 溪頭森林遊樂區 is located in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. It has abundant natural resources and ecosystems, including a bamboo forest, divine trees, ginkgo forest, mountain trails, tea farms, and fireflies.
Come during the month of April when it is the Lugu firefly season 鹿谷鄉螢火蟲季 and witness this magical scene. In fact, you can see the fireflies at a grass area just in front of the minsu, no need to look for them!

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Idyllic stroll amongst nature

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

What a glorious morning stroll :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

There are some interesting professions around the area, just like this traditional floral signboard maker. I was pretty intrigued.

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

When it was time for us to leave, Cai Da-jie gave us a part of the minsu to remember by – a pair of rabbits! :) Dottie and Peaches are now happily living in my home, and I look forward to bringing them back to visit Yazhu during firefly season :)

Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Yazhu – a home away from home :)

雅筑小站 Shito YaZhu Villa
Address: 南投縣鹿谷鄉興產路45號 (近溪頭風景區)
Tel: 049 275 1600
Reservation Hours: 8:00AM – 10:00PM
E-mail: yazhu2751600@gmail.com
Facebook
Website: www.yazhu.tw

Getting There

By Bus
You can take a bus from Taichung Gancheng Station 台中干城車站, Taichung train station台中火車站, Taichung HSR台中高鐵站, Zhu Shan Bus Station 竹山車站and Sun Moon Lake Shuishe Tourist Centre 日月潭水社遊客中心 towards Nantou, Xitou line 溪頭線.

.台灣好行 http://www.taiwantrip.com.tw/Besttour/Info/?id=9  Alight at 「內湖國小」站或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.南投客運 http://www.ntbus.com.tw  Alight at「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.高  鐵 http://www.thsrc.com.tw  Alight at 「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.台  鐵 http://www.railway.gov.tw Alight at 「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.統聯客運 http://www.ubus.com.tw  Alight at 「內湖國小」或「溪頭妖怪村」站
.員林客運 http://www.ylbus.com.tw Alight at 「有水坑」站

By Car
1. 高速公路國道三號(中二高)→下竹山交流道(244K)→右轉接台3線往竹山方向→於台3線230.5K處左轉接投151甲線→接151線往鹿谷→過內湖國小後約1.7公里即抵達雅筑小站(151縣道14.9公里處)。
2. 台21線往水里方向→於水里接台16線,往集集、名間方向→於名間接台3線,往竹山方向→於台3線230.5K處左轉接投151甲線→接151線往鹿谷→過內湖國小後約1.7公里即抵達雅筑小站(151縣道14.9公里處)。
Taiwan, Cingjing - Shito Yazhu 雅筑小站

Read more on Nantou area
Explore Taiwan with Spunktitud3!


58 Comments

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
Explore Taiwan with Spunktitud3!