The first day of the road trip is 4 hours riding motorcycle to reach Taichung. We have lunch in a restaurant near Taichung Rail Station before we depart to our first accommodation near Cingjing Farm. The ride from Taichung to Cingjing takes about 2.5 hours. Our first accommodation at 果色天香 at the second floor is very nice; the room is big and clean. Beside the bathroom in our room, we can also use the bathroom at the first floor. The owner is warm and friendly, too. There are convenient store and restaurant nearby so that we do not have to worry about what to eat for dinner. Breakfast is also provided: bread with jams, even the home-cooked meals are prepared for every guest.
The second day we go to Cingjing Farm in the morning, which is around half an hour ride from our accommodation. There are a lot of people there and thanks God the weather is very nice! We pay 200NT for the entrance fee and we also need to stamp the back of our hands when we cross different sections of the farm area. Our visit to Cingjing Farm is started by watching sheep performance, where a man shows us how to cut sheep’s wool, how to lead sheep herd with the help of a dog and it is ended with photo session. The show reminds me of the Shaun the Sheep cartoon. Then we buy sheep food so that we can get closer the sheep and play, take picture with them. The food is packaged in a box and the price is quite cheap, 10NT/box, sold at a sheep-shape-vending machine. I love touching sheep, their wool is very thick!! But it is also quite difficult to take photos with them since they move fast.
We are lucky that day the weather is very nice. The nice weather combined with perfect view of Cingjing Farm grassland plus the surrounding mountains make me feel like I am at New Zealand! We find a beautiful spot and spend long time to take many photos. Finally we also visit the sheep castle where we can see sheep babies but we find no sheep babies around. Finally, we have lunch at the dining area of Cingjing Farm but we are disappointed with the meal: the whole baked chicken is very stiff and has no taste at all. But still the dining area is very crowded since it is the only place selling meals.
From Cingjing Farm we continue our road trip to Sun Moon Lake and stay there for a night. The accommodation we stay 潭香時尚旅店 is located in a busy area of SML, lots of restaurants, convenient stores, bike rent stores, cafes, etc. The room is also big and clean but the staff service is not recommended, he keeps asking us to spend money to buy boat tickets, rent bikes but after we spend money for those expenses, he no longer greets us not even a smile. Breakfast included is very simple, only sandwich. That afternoon, we decide to rent bikes before dinner and stop at some points to take photos. There is not much to do at night so we just play games until midnight.
The third day is spent at SML area, at first we want to take boat but then the plan is modified to ride roundabout the lake (which is around 30 km in distance). We stop atseveral places: XiangShan Visitor Centre, TouShe Dam Trail, Xuanguang Temple to eat braised egg and enjoy Xuanguang Temple Pier view, Cien Tower (nice place to see the entire SML from the top floor), YiDaShao to have lunch, YiDaShao pier and visitor center (which is packed with tourists) and WenWu temple.
After the lake roundabout, we then travel to Taichung and the main destination is to visit Fengjia Night Market. The hotel we stay at Taichung 台中博奇大飯店 is the best accommodation we have during the trip, it is luxurious, has its own parking area, tasty breakfast, too. After check in, we directly go to Fengjia Night Market which is still half an hour from our hotel. Fengjia Night Market is very crowded making it is difficult for us to find parking space. We have steak for dinner in a restaurant 東大牛排 which provides various side dishes: ice cream, cake, popcorn, fruit, salad, soup, bread, soda, tea/coffee, Japanese egg custard, pudding. We eat until full during 1.5 hours limited time!
The fourth day is the last day, we originally have nothing to do but to prepare riding back to Taoyuan but then a new plan to Gaomei Wetland emerges. This place is pretty hard to reach by public transportation. It is very popular for its scenery, which is very beautiful during sunset with the background of huge windmills. However we go there in the afternoon so the huge windmills are not clearly visible due to the very bright sunlight. At this wetland, we walk through the walking path which sideways we can observe several types of crabs, a lot, literally a lot like covering all of the wetlands. At the end of the path, we can step on the wetland which is actually dense sand which is not like the sand we step on the beach. We spend around an hour here before finally ride on our motorcycle and prepare ourselves for a 4 hours travel back to the north.
We arrive at Zhongli at around 6 pm and head to a Thailand restaurant 大象泰式美食館 to have dinner. It is a buffet BBQ restaurant, meat (pork, chicken, beef), vegetables, meatballs, cake, ice cream, beverages, Thailand dessert, instant noodles (from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia), and it even has unlimited draft beer for additional fees. A lot of foreign workers eat here, the Thailand atmosphere in the restaurant is very strong, even the TV show is in Thai language.
Cingjing Farm is very beautiful, Sun Moon Lake is bigger than I imagine, GaoMei is beautiful in its way and even though the exhausting road trip is over, the memory stays in the heart.