Day 3, Taichung
6th December 2010, Monday
Ahh… what a nice feeling!
We had breakfast at the verandah of the hostel, overlooking the breathtaking view of Chingjing farmland. Simple breakfast of toast, eggs, porridge and freshly brewed coffee were order of the day. I simply couldn’t ask for more. We sat idly, chatting, laughing and admiring the view surrounding us, wishing we could stay here for another night! We reluctantly leave the very nice hostel to make our way to Chingjing Farm.
Chingjing Farm welcomes you
At first, most of us thought that, the farmland was around Xinshe, so there is nothing interesting about it, or maybe the Little Switzerland is the farm! Talk about not doing any homework for a trip! We reached Chingjing Farm and happy to find that, it is really a farm with sheep and horses! Since it was a weekday, we paid only NT80 and not NT100, for weekends.
Eat, eat and eat only
As we were walking up the stairs, I sprained my ankle on the uneven path! Damn it! The fun was just starting to roll out and here am I, ankle sprained! Anyhow, I tried my best and managed to get to the top of the farm, after a slow walk upwards! I seriously hate hiking! But the view is too wonderful to resist! Mental note: To include Salon Pas and Counterpain in my emergency kit the next trip!
We asked if we could watch sheep shearing but then, it’s winter now. So if they shear the sheep, probably the sheep will mati kesejukan! Haha! So, come during summer, then you will get to see sheep shearing and also blue skies!
Here, I had some wild boar sausages. The taste is exactly the same like any Taiwanese sausage, so, nothing special about it. We spent quite a bit of time here before heading to our next destination.
Plenty of barrels of wine
Next, we went to Puli town to visit their famous Shaoxing Winery. Here, they have a mini museum to educate people of the history of rice wine making. Finest grains of rice as well as river water were used to produce the sweet smelling wine. We didn’t try any because there was no guide in the museum. Then we walked about a shopping mall on the ground floor and tried their Shaoxing wine’s ice popsicles. We chose the wrong flavor – yam and it wasn’t very nice. Think of having the usual rice wine, meant to cook wine chicken or even siong tong lala mixed with yam. The fruity ones were not too bad!
We stop by a local restaurant for dinner. The locals love to eat noodles with small servings of dishes like pork knuckles, tofu, seaweed and eggs. As usual, I left the ordering to my friends who know Mandarin because ALL MENU and order forms were in Mandarin!
After the late lunch, we went to Paper Dome. The place was built to commemorate the devastation by the earthquake on 21 September, 1999 (921). We weren’t informed of going to this place earlier and hence, we were not too sure what it was. Also, the flyers given were all in Mandarin, made it even more difficult to understand what this place is all about. Some of us opted to sit out of this because paying NT100 to enter a place which we were not even sure is just too much! After I got home, I googled about this place, only to find out that it’s actually a church!
A Thousand Bells along 366 steps of staircase
Our next stop is the Wenwu Temple, which is situated overlooking the beautiful Sun Moon Lake. It was already evening when we were there and the sun just starting to set. Some of us went up to the temple to have a look see, while others remained at the pavement along the temple to scout for food. I had some roasted salted pork and it tasted not too bad.
We proceeded to Sun Moon Lake to stay for the night. This time, we were put up at a home stay, where our host family is staying downstairs while the rest of us occupied the above rooms. It was a nice, quaint place where tatami mats and bed sets were placed. I am rather charmed by this place! The owner is a very nice man and since the staircase going up to the rooms is narrow and steep, he helped to carry 10 luggage up!
President Fish, at additional NT500!
We went to have dinner after that in a town nearby. This restaurant served a fish, called the “President Fish” merely because the Premier of Taiwan had dinner here before and ordered the fish. Very cliché again if you ask me! We ordered it anyway. It’s actually ikan jelawat – and being a lake water fish again, it has many, many tiny bones! Dinner was good – we ordered a set for 6 people and as usual, the portions were rather huge even for 10 of us!
After dinner, we hung out at the nearby shops around our hostel to shop for some souvenirs.