Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 4, Sun Moon Lake → Cingjing

So, I'm back with Day 4! (:

Woke up bright and early at about 4.45am to catch the sunrise at the pier, but it was quite a huge disappointment, because the mist was too dense for us to see the sunrise ): 

This was at 5:05am.

It gradually got brighter, and Tzu was like, "OMG I think the Sun is already up, just that we couldn't see anything." Hahaha SIGH ): ): It's quite often that it gets misty in the mornings, so it really depends on luck to watch the sunrise. But I read online that the sunrise is really beautiful to watch, so do try to catch it if the skies happen to be clear that morning! (:

Bespectacled and tired faces at 5:30am

After, we decided to head back to our Minsu to pack up our luggage and we went for breakfast at the sister hostel which was about a 5-7mins walk away. Breakfast was really simple: Plain porridge with some small simple dishes like pickled vegetables and some Paos (:

We ended breakfast quite early and went on to checkout, at about 8am to move on to Cingjing. Which was a huge mistake because the Shuieshe Visitor Centre only opened at 9am ): And that's where to buy tickets for buses to get to Puli which is sort of in between Sun Moon Lake and Cingjing. So, we waited for an hour, and spent it spamming photos and playing silly games hahaha.

What I wore: Floral Pants from Lacepipe, Blazer from H&M, and a Zara Spag in Mint inside. 
Coupled with shoes bought in Taichung(Only 4SGD!!) and my trusty Longchamp (:

Morning shot! (:

Finally, we managed to buy tickets when the visitor centre opened, and they cost about 64NTD each to Puli. 

The Bus Terminal at Puli, where we waited to transfer to another bus which would take us to Cingjing. The ticket cost 127NTD each. 

Tzu giving his 'Kiam Pa' face. Lololol.

We waited for about 20-25 mins for the transfer if I'm not wrong (: And we had some sour plums with us which we bought earlier on the trip just in case we needed any to curb motion sickness when we were travelling around. Especially for rides going up to the higher grounds! 

I fell asleep on the bus ride because I was too tired from waking up at 445am heh, which explains the lack of photos. The ride took about 1.5 hours to 2 hours (: and we reached the stop at about 1145am. After alighting, we had to drag our luggage up the slopes to Misty Villa, the Minsu we were gonna stay at ((:

Misty Villa from the outside

The homely decor of the common area of Misty Villa (:

The outdoor dining area 

The owners of Misty Villa kept a greedy looking bulldog as a pet and here's a picture of me with it :D

We left our luggage with the Minsu, and went on out to grab some lunch and explore the place (: We walked over to the shops area and looked around for some place to eat, and then it started pouring ): ! Thank God we were in a sheltered area(Carton King) when the rain started tho!

So basically, the entire shop's stuff is made out of carton boxes and materials (:

The Carton Mini Zoo

The (slightly crooked) Eiffel Tower model

Small knick knacks

The Carton Family

After walking around, we settled for lunch at Mos Burger because it was still pouring and we didn't really want to spend a lot at a restaurant. 

After lunch, it was still drizzling a little, and we headed back to Misty Villa after waiting for the rain to mellow down and settled into our room. 

The room area

Balcony portion

Overall, a good place to stay for reasonable pricing. It's quite clean and spacious as well (: Organized some stuff around and went down to the common area to wait for the car ride provided by Misty Villa to take us to  Green Green Grassland 青青草原 at 2pm.

It was a risk to go on with our plan of visiting it, as it was really quite misty then, due to the downpour. And the Misty Villa owners warned us that it might be too misty and drizzly that they would cancel the sheep shearing show and the animals may be kept in. But we didn't really have much of an option either because we only planned for 1 day in Cingjing, so we went ahead with it anyway. 

Oh yes, I forgot to mention! The tickets to 青青草原 and Swiss Garden(another attraction in Cingjing) were bought through Misty Villa. And they were very nice to tell us that, it was possible for us to refund it if we don't use the tickets after we've bought them as well (:

Carvings of Sheep at the walkway leading us to the Entrance of 青青草原

Super misty and walkway with pictures and some history of the place

And we were in! :D

It was really quite cold and wet due to the mist and drizzle earlier on. So the pathways were like wet and my glasses kept fogging up/getting wet. And I was like, "Where's the sheep??" ))): 

We followed the signs and walked around looking for the sheep shearing show venue and hehehe, I spotted a sheep and I was like "OMG I SEE ONE FINALLY!" hahahaha.


And then, Tzu was like, "Ehhhhh they're all there!" hahahaha and we spotted a whole group of them, and got super excited hehe! :D

Up close shot, you can see it's pretty lashes! :D

The greedy ones!

There are dispenser machines where you can buy food to feed the sheep all around, and I took out my wallet immediately to get some hahaha. I really love animals, especially having the chance to feed them/interact with them! (: 

Greedy sheep getting very impatient, seeing that I've food in my hands hehe

Tzu with the sheep! (:

We hurried on to find the venue for the sheep shearing show, which was just close by and surprisingly, lots of people turned up still, despite the wet and misty weather. 

Sheep getting round up by the Border Collie

Sheep on stage!

Poor one who got picked for shearing

Getting sheared

I actually thought it was rather sad for the sheep to get it's wool all sheared off, because the weather was rather chilly. My blazer and pants were barely enough to keep me warm because of the mist and drizzle which made my clothes wet. But thankfully, the shearer said that sheep have 2 layers of protection, and the wool is only the outer layer heh! :D so they are actually feeling rather warm and fuzzy still although their wool is being shaved off. 

More greedy sheep, hankering after the food in my hand :9

I actually took videos as well, but the file's too big to be uploaded on Blogger ): After the sheep shearing show, we moved on and explored around, but it was really rather cold and misty so vision wasn't very good at all ):

A huge and pretty windmill!

Us with it (:

We caught the Horse performance as well, but I don't think its very exciting or fun at all and in fact, I would say, skip it if you're in a hurry or just watch the first 5 minutes of it. It just got rather repetitive after a while because it was more like a human-riding-horse-and-doing-tricks sort of thing rather than like an interactive session like the Sheep Show earlier on. 

The riders on their horses

Tzu with some cute wooden horsies

That pretty much summed up our day at Green Green Grassland! We looked for the exit(there are 2) which would take us out and lead us to the main road to our Minsu (: This is the Bu Bu Gao Sheng “步步高升" trail if I'm not wrong, but we walked down instead of upwards tho! 

The steps

Incredible view of the clouds and mountains from the steps

That pretty much summed up Green Green Grassland for us! (:  If I'm not wrong, the sheep are supposed to be roaming around freely, but due to the bad weather they were all kept in the fenced up area. So I guess it wasn't the best timing to be there, but at least I had some fun I think heh ((: 

We headed back to Misty Villa after and took warm showers. And ended the night with some takeaway food from the 7-11 in the Minsu with the tv, because there really isn't much to do at Cingjing when its past 7-ish. 

With that, I'm ending off my post with a  *act* cool picture of the boyfriend hehe :D

Goodnight (: ! 

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Travelogue: Taiwan Day 3, Taichung → Sun Moon Lake

Hi! (: I decided to not be procrastinating any longer with my Taiwan posts heh although it's been so super long since I'm back. So here goes day 3! (:

We woke up bright and early to pack up and went down to a nearby place for brunch. There are lots of eateries around serving breakfast/brunch and their food are mostly rather good, so we just followed the locals and ended up at this eatery nearby our Minsu. 

Seafood Porridge which I picked for brunch: it was piping hot and tasted like porridge my grandpa used to cook for me (': 

Tzu chose a more american option: Bagel topped off with Cheese, Eggs and Bacon :9 

The greedy fella with his food hehe

We checked out after our brunch and the lady working for the Minsu helped us to call a cab to take us to Taichung High Speed Rail Station where we would travel next to Sun Moon lake (: And while waiting, we decided to do a couple #ootd hahaha.

I was in Corinne Basic cropped top from Megagamie, and Floral Tapestry shorts in Posies from A for Arcade (:

How to get to Sun Moon Lake from Taichung HSR station: 
Follow the signs to Bus Station which was at the basement level, and buy bus tickets to Sun Moon Lake. They cost about 100+NT and the trip takes about 2 hours.

The signs that lead to the Bus Terminal to purchase the bus tickets (:

Us being bored while waiting for our bus

Us with Edmund!!! :D

And what were the odds, but we ran into one of our hall friends who as on holiday in Taiwan as well. PLUS, this wasn't the first time we ran into him. Hahaha :D
Our bus came fairly quickly, and we were off to Sun Moon Lake (: ! And these were some of the scenery shots taken along the way:

Pretty, mountainous views from the bus (:

We alighted at Shuishe Village and checked into our Minsu which was Love Home Pier Inn (: The room was pretty big and more spacious than the one at Taichung. 

The sitting area 

Bed area 

View from our window (:

The Minsu was quite clean and I don't really have any complaints staying there (: Plus, it wasn't very expensive either! Double yay for poor students like me hahaha.

Freshened and changed up into my jeans (because Sun Moon Lake is slightly colder than the weather in Taichung) and we headed out to take the ferry ride around the lake. The tickets cost about $300NT for the entire round trip.

The ferry ride basically goes to 3 piers: Shuishe Pier, Itachao Pier and Syanguang Pier. We started at Shuishe(which was the pier our Minsu was) and moved to Syanguang next.

Happy us! 

Okay, basically, we didn't really bother about visiting the temple at this stop, all we wanted was just to try the famous Tea Eggs at this stop hahaha :D 

The famous Tea Eggs! NOM NOM.

The queue for the eggs :9

How they make those delicious tea eggs; they are apparently infused with a special mixture of herbs and mushrooms :9

Close-up shot of the egg-y goodness

Happy girl is me with my egg! :D

We bought 2 each initially, but ended up queuing again to get one more each, so yes, we had 3 eggs each to ourselves hahaha. Too good and delicious; a definite must-try at Sun Moon Lake (:

And of course, some touristy shots must be taken! 

We were told to pose like this by the local whom we approached to help us take a photo together hahaha.

Next, we moved on to Itachao Pier, and it started to drizzle a little. We were told earlier in Taichung to bring along an umbrella everywhere we go during this season as light showers of rain might occur during the day. So, it was okay cause there'll always be an umbrella in my bag (: Plus, the drizzle went away as quick as it came as well. 

Basically, we walked along the streets after getting off the ferry and got some food because we were getting hungry hahaha. AND we spotted this stall selling this: 

Boneless Chicken Wings stuffed with rice and topped off with chopped Spring Onions and Chilli! :9

This was so so so so good srsly (that I needed to make the text above bold hahaha). I'm thinking about it as I'm blogging right now omg. Hahaha. 

We tried some Handmade Mochi as well, and they are all made on the spot. And I'm a huge fan of Mochi because I love the soft texture and different flavours and fillings! Hehe.

The shop front of the Mochi stall

Each Mochi is individually packed like this

Happiness with food

We left on the last ferry ride back which was some time in the evening if I'm not wrong (: And found a small eatery to have dinner before heading back to our room with lots of snacks to just laze around with the tv because there really isn't anything much to do at Sun Moon Lake after dinner time.

Oh yes, and I remembered we got hungry in the middle of the night like at 12-ish am, so we headed outside to the nearby 7-11 to get some more food. PIGS ARE USSS HEHE.

Welllll, so that concludes Day 3! ((: