Visiting Taiwan . 29 Sep 2012. Day 1. Part 2/2. Cing Jing (清境)

Welcome to our lovely minsu!!!

   

A pretty cool loft…

We reached back to the minsu closed to 5 pm and the room was more than ready to welcome us. I was surprised that it was neatly divided into 2 storeys with the lower deck being the living hall and the upper deck as our sleeping area.

   

At the edge of the living hall was a small area allocated to accommodate 2 chairs and a table for some outdoor time if one wish to and before the balcony is the washroom. What shocked me was when I turned my head and saw the bathing area…

The windows are non–tinted and see through!!!

As much as I tried to protest bathing in this washroom, Poh tried convincing me that the bathroom faces the valleys and no one would be in their right mind to climb the valleys at the current temperature (14 degree celsius) just to peep at me bathing… Rawr… I gave in. 😦

I was initially a little because I thought we had booked the room with the bathtub and the week before we flew, I had happily bought bath soup but I guess it would not be too good an idea to soak in the waters at such low temperatures and catch a cold later. *self-comfort*

Click here to see the different rooms! 🙂

Actually, he was right. When the sun sets, the place got really dark and cold (around 11 degrees celsius), especially so when it’s already autumn and going into winter, plus we were high up in the mountains (Note: Cing Jing is 1750 metres above sea level). But it was still a little unsettling at first. Ha! Plus, note the flat ground in the above picture? We saw a guy playing with the resident dog the following morning at those greens! Though that was like perhaps 5 metres below where we stayed, I was really keeping my fingers crossed that no sane man would do such a foolish thing as imagined and if anyone  did, I wish the person would get lost in the greens and take what he saw to the graves. Ha!

Cloudy cloudy…

Ok back to the room… I scrambled upstairs so that I could have a full view of the room before anyone comes into the picture and managed to snap these shots.

These beds are really comfy and what makes it better is under the sheets are heater sheets! That means, when the temperatures dipped at night, we were comfortably warmed as we could choose how warm we want the heater to be and no one woke up freezing cold! Yay!

The uniqueness of the room was also the curtains located above the beds. It can actually be pulled open!

We had left it opened at night and tried to star gaze but unfortunately, we came at the wrong season and there was nothing but pitch black. I think, the best time to visit this place would probably be March – April so that the skies would be clearer and the skies could come in sight.

Ta-dah!

See how tired we are but yet smiling for the camera? Haha…

We freshened up a little and headed out for dinner. By the time we went out, it was really all grey and a little misty.

Threading on the path we came in from… It really seemed shorter each time we walked along it…

As much as we would like to go for more authentic meals at the roadside stalls (so far no stomach upset from eating at these stalls), we were really deterred to sit in the cold. We then went into this cute-looking restaurant we passed by in the afternoon and caught sight of people having hot pot. It was just too tempting to resist eating something warm in the then-close-to-freezing weather.

At first, we were a little intimidated by how deserted the restaurant was. In Singapore, unless it is during the non-peak hours, it’s rare to find a restaurant that empty and if we do, the most plausible explanation we can think of would be that the place serves bad food.

We certainly hoped it was not the case and realised that we had came a little earlier than the usual crowd (we arrived at the restaurant around 6 pm) and that Taiwanese tend to have their dinner a little later. Eventually, as it neared seven-ish, more people joined us at the restaurant. We had ordered several dishes to try as most of the items on the menu seemed really good. The sad thing is, I have no recollection what these items are though they were really tasty. This made me come to a conclusion: The low traffic at a restaurant does not attribute to bad food in Taiwan. Seeing is believing. Here are the pictures of the noms:

 These were special sweet potato chips!

Happy and satiated customers! 😀

After dinner, we walked downhill for about 10 minutes to the Swiss Garden, hoping to shed some of the sumptuous dinner we had and to catch the fountain show at 8 pm.

Hazy hazy… Even my camera misted up…

There is a 7-11 convenience store 10 minutes walk downhill from the restaurant.

Things for BBQ sold in 7-11

We chatted with some of the locals and came to know that during the Mid-Autumn Festival, Taiwanese likes to celebrate the occasion by having a barbecue party. As the Mid-Autumn Festival 2012 fell on 30th September and we were then in Taiwan, we saw these items being sold in most of the 7-11 during then.

People lit candles and lantern at the open-air car park

Before entering the Swiss Garden, we saw displays and little shops selling handicraft.

Live band 

Light display within Carton King

You can choose to send a post at 1750 metres above sea level!

I had thought that Carton King is an exclusive shop at Cing Jing but I realised that it is actually the name of a chain of shops. There was also another smaller outlet at Qing Tong (青桐). Bah… It is accessible from both the Swiss Garden as well as the parade square.

A restaurant that was featured in one episode of the Taiwanese variety show too. You can also see how the Swiss Garden looked like in the day if you choose to watch the video. 😉

Mascot of 7-11 in Taiwan. Such a English outfit it’s wearing…

Meow…

The real Meow

This cat caught our attention because it was perching its back and staring intensely across the parade square at a dog which seemed extremely eager to go near the cat. The dog was constantly wagging its tail and tried to approach the cat while the owner held it back. The cat was, however, apprehensive and not letting the dog anywhere near it. It even took a swipe at the dog when it came a little closer. Errr…

Here are some highlights of the park:

Pumpkin Carriage (Prince Charming not included)

The Water Fountain Show
(Makes me reminisce about the one that was at Sentosa)

Creative Flower Display

Farm Gardens

Nature at its best

Shortly after visiting the Swiss Garden, we headed back to the minsu for an early night as we did not have a fantastic sleep on the plane the night before.

In my next post, there will be pictures of the awesome sight we wooke up to, our visit to the HeHuanShan (合歡山) ,also known as the Joy Mountain, and other places we included in our itinerary when we visited Taiwan. Til then, good night!

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