I am very excited to share with you our amazing Taiwan adventures which just recently concluded. We visited so many places, ate super delicious food, and made the most out of our trip in terms of expenses.
Are you thinking of: #TaiwanderhowTaiwanderwhy we did it? Join me as I share with you our amazing stories!
Our first day in Taiwan was dedicated in visiting Nantou County 南投縣. It is an area known for its hills and mountains, breezy air, and stunning tourist attractions.
On this day, we visited four major attractions: Old England Hotel, Cingjing Farm, Carton King, and the Small Swiss Garden.
Overall, here are the key takeaways from our trip to Nantou 南投縣:
- Transportation. Arrange all transportation-related details in advance.
- Scout for the best hostel/hotel options. For our trip, our most important considerations were: proximity of the place to the tourist spots we wanted to visit, daily rate, transportation arrangement, and good reviews about the place
- Plan out your destinations in Nantou. There are so many places to explore in this county, however, not everyone has the luxury of time to go around without a solid plan.
- Be prepared for the weather. The weather at night could drop at its lowest so never leave your mittens, scarf, and pullover.
Here are the important steps related to our transportation:
- We booked our bullet THSR ticket in advance to secure sure seat.
- We printed the confirmation form and exchanged it for an actual ticket at the airport’s convenience store (Hi-Life) at 10 NT per ticket
- We lined up at the UBus 750 counter (just inside the airport) and purchased a Ubus Ticket at 30 NT (counter opens at 06:00 am)
- We went to the exit (a few walk away from the counter) and hop on the UBus 750
- The ride from the Airport to Taoyuan THSR Station was just 10 minutes
- Bullet train ride from Taoyuan THSR Station to Taichung is just 40 minutes at 470 NT
- We went to the 1st Floor of Taichung THSR Station, Exit 5, Platform 3 to purchase an integrated ticket that includes: fare for Nantou bus (two way), and entrance to Cingjing Farm at 600 NT
- We asked the lady at the Bus Counter to help us inform the driver that we will stop at Shouting Bus Stop.
- We hop on a direct Nantou bus ride from Taichung THSR Station to Shouting Stop (this is 2 minutes walk to our Hostel). Travel time is 2 hours and 10 minutes.
- Inside the bus, we also asked the help of local travelers to inform us once we reach Shouting Stop.
We booked our train tickets two weeks in advance, and for this, we got a 20% discount – hurray! Moreover, we emailed Springground B&B in advance and arranged for a free shuttle ride around Nantou.
Also, taking the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) or their bullet train is highly recommended: travel time is only 40 minutes through THSR and the ride is really smooth and fast.
However, if you have ample of time to spare, you can take a direct bus from the airport going to Nantou or an ordinary train (TRA). The travel time is relatively longer and the ride could be bumpy, but the fare is cheaper than the bullet train.
To visualize our route for this day, here is a diagram of our travel map:
Where to Stay in Nantou?
Our hostel of choice in Nantou is the Springground B&B which we have booked in advance at a discounted rate via booking.com. We chose this place for the following reasons:
- It is super near the bus stop (2-3 minutes walk)
- Very easy to find since it is just beside the Old England Hotel
- It has the best view of the old England Hotel and the mountains from the balcony
- They arrange free transportation around Nantou
- The hostel is situated strategically beside the highway
These are the rooms in Springground facing the mountains
From the balcony, these are the exact views you can see – the magnificent Old England Hotel!
This is the front view of the Springground – notice that it is just beside the highway.
This is the bathroom inside our room.
The corridor at the Springground B&B
Recreational/Dining area in Springground
Also, below are the details related to Spring Ground B&B:
Getting Around Nantou
Here is an outline of our travel trip around Nantou. This was organized strategically based on proximity of the places from our hostel:
The Old England Hotel
Our first stop for our trip in Nantou is The Old England Hotel. They serve an afternoon tea here from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM at 500 NT (on top of a 10% service charge) as of November 2015.
Look at how amazing this place is:
The Old England Hotel is a Tudor-styled building overlooking green mountains. Its structure is impressive and huge!
This is me with the spectacular hotel at the background
Our individual photos at the hotel’s gate before we headed to our afternoon tea drink.
These are our fancy sandwiches, cakes, pastries, scones, and macaroons paired up with overflowing tea and coffee.
After our afternoon tea session, we went back to Springground to hop on the available free shuttle to our next destination… the Cingjing Farm!
One of the best attractions in Nantou is the Cingjing Farm. This comprises a vast land of green scenic mountains (around 760 hectares), breezy weather (average of 16 degrees Celsius), adorable sheeps, and a lot more inside. Join me as I tour you around:
All praise to these views: alpine vegetation!
Re-imagining Europe through this tourist area inside Cingjing Farm
Of course, a trip won’t be complete without snapping a photo of this beautiful place
Inside is a souvenir shop where you can buy items of your choice
So much beauty inside the farm…how about a pre-nup here?
Credit to my bestie Weng for taking this awesome photo of the farm’s amphitheater where a sheering show is performed
Never leave this place without seeing the windmills
We are super happy to have photos like these: nature is so adorable!
Stairway to heaven? Make sure to climb up these stairs to have the best view of the entire farm.
My bestfriend and I tried putting our fingers inside the sheep’s wool: it was too thick and warm inside!
Am I being ignored here? Meh….
Say hello to bestie’s new friend.
This is another European inspired castle inside the farm
Finally, since it was already past three since we had our afternoon tea at The Old England Hotel, we decided to grab some food on sticks.
At this point, we were also set to go to the next place in our itinerary. We asked a local if there was a pay phone nearby, but he was gracious enough to lend us his phone instead. We called the hostel to inform them that we finished exploring the farm earlier than what we initially expected, hence, we would also need them to bring us to the next destination earlier than what we initially agreed on. We couldn’t be any thankful to the person who lent us his phone.
Whew! Are you enjoying the first part of our Nantou trip by far? If yes, here is the second part of our Nantou trip. Enjoy!