Sunday, June 9, 2013

Taiwan: Day 6

Wake up! Time to view sunrise! It's going to be a very long day.

The time was 4am and temperature14°C. We took biscuit and chocolate milk that we bought from 7-Eleven the night before night for breakfast. The store was located just beside our lodge so it was very convenient. We walked a few meters uphill from our minsu to the all wooden train station.

 Hubby felt so cold.

 A large crowd was purchasing tickets. Such amount of tourists trembled us.



 Our ride was at 4:50am. NT150 per pax for a round trip. For sunrise session, earliest train leaves at 4:20am and last train at 4:50am.

Would you look at the long queue! Left side was starting point of 2nd floor, right side was end of line towards the train and we were somewhere in between. We queued for about half an hour.

 We reached the top in about 30-40mins. It was still dark and early.

 Our group members were on the front line.

This fellow's job was to tell stories about Alishan and countdown to sunrise. There was also another one like him at the other end near the restrooms. He told us about the history of Alishan mountains and the culture that all Chinese especially from mainland China to visit Alishan at least once in their lifetime. He bragged non-stop but full of spirit.
 
A sea of tourists and the bald cherry blossom trees. You can have breakfast at the stalls behind. The egg pancake was very nice.

The first ray. Do you agree that this is beautiful? The uncle who gave the never ending speech got louder and stronger, the crowd got chaotic and with no reason we got so excited for sunrise. LMAO!

A clump of cotton candy cloud added drama. It was already 6:30am but the sun was still shy to peek out. Just wait for it...

Wait for it...
At this very moment, do not glance elsewhere because the phenomena is happening very quick.

At last the great sun has popped out! Everybody cheered! We hugged eachother like it was New Year's eve countdown. OMG! Never celebrated sunrise before. Happy New Day!!! Anyway, this has thought us to appreciate life more, appreciate that we are able to wake up daily to enjoy mother nature.

By this time, it was still beautiful for the human eyes but too bright for the camera.

Last shot before we went down.

We disembarked at mid-station to explore around the forest. As you can see here the station was yet to be completed.

Walked up the road a bit and saw this beautiful mountain.

We are now on our way to the forest.

Passed by a resort and saw this German shepherd. You get to see lots of huge dogs in Taiwan even in restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. Yes, its true we saw a Golden Retriever in Carrefour at Taipei.

Maple tree, the sign of autumn.

As you walk pass this railway track, you will be on your way into the woods.

Unique tree arch.

Going downhill. 

I dare not climb up to take this picture so hubby climbed up instead.

Nice deck for us to walk. Notice that today there are less photos of myself coz I was busy taking photos of the scenery and embracing mother nature.

This is the Younger Sister pond which has surface area of around 66 square meters. The Elder Sister Pond has a surface area of approximately 530 square meters. There is a 180 meters trail along the two pond, and a gazebo made by cypress on the Elder Sister Pond. There was a saying that two sisters from the Zou jumped into the ponds to commit suicide over love and that was why these ponds got famous. Based on recent scholar study, it’s a hoax made up by a photographer who tried to attract tourists.

The elder sister pond is larger but drying up.

Heart pose.

Can you see the pig?

Heart shaped tree.

  Whoa! This park is enchanting!

Map of our route.

We walked and panted but when I stopped for resting, I turned to my left and ...whoa amaze balls! I think I just saw heaven. Picture taken by my cellphone only.

Passed by Japanese garden.

Got Japan feel eh? After we checked out of our minsu, we had a long journey down to railway station to board to Taichung and we slept throughout the journey so no pictures taken.

This was our lavender themed minsu in Taichung. Same as Colormix in Taipei; no lobby, no breakfast but very cheap. Just below us was the night market and further up there was Feng Jia University. Not recommended to stay here if you don't intend to visit Taichung. Our intention was to go to Cinjing sheep farm and we wasted hours of traveling when there are lots of beautiful Swiss themed resorts up there. Furthermore, He Huan Shan (one of Taiwan's snow mountain) is only an hour drive from Cingjing.

After about 2.5 hours on the highway and going around the mountain, we reached Cingjing sheep farm. Do get a one day tour guide to take you around that area because there's so much to visit. If you come from Taipei, it's 260km!

 The entrance of Cinjing. 

There are boarding cages for you to keep your dogs because dogs are forbidden to enter as they may cause havoc to the sheep. Tickets are priced NT160 per pax on weekdays and NT200 per pax on weekends while opening hours from 8am - 4pm. Visit Cingjing Farm website for more info.

Don't know what this rock says.

Just remembered the whole field has sheep feces everywhere. Hope I did not lie on some sheep dung.

It would be a great spot for meditation if not for the overwhelmed tourists.

My first catch.

We missed the sheep show few minutes before our arrival due to the long journey we had. Sheep shearing demonstrations on stage are held during weekends (Sat & Sun only) at 9:30am and 2:30pm. Each show lasted about half an hour. So I guessed we arrived at 3pm that day.

Hubby's first catch.

My 2nd catch of the day and more to come...

Okay, I was getting tired of running around because I did not buy food but just used my hand to trick them.

I sneaked in the gates to get to this black sheep.

Love this black sheep coz he's so charming!

You can ride on ponies and horses for NT100.

There was announcement for horse show if not mistaken on 3:30pm so we followed the crowd uphill towards the arena. The Turkish troups were damn good.

Saw this windmill on our way down.

Those are dustbins LOL.

 A Swiss resort that looks pretty but I bet it's expensive.

After a few meters of driving, we arrived at Creativity Park where Carton King and Small Swiss Garden are. Entrance to Small Swiss Garden is NT120 per pax. It's a shame we were only given like 45 minutes here so we did not enter the garden nor even had dinner or even tea in the Carton King cafe as expected.

 The carton windmill you will see at the entrance.

 Carton train. Gosh everything is made out of carton here!

In the gift shop where we bought some rice wine in tiny bottles.

 The mail kitty. Then we had to go down hill for 2 hours back to Taichung.

So after we washed up and rest awhile, we walked down to Feng Jia night market which was right at our doorstep. This night market was the cheapest of all we've been. Everything here was cheaper by at least 10% from other night markets in Taiwan.

We went to a coffeeshop and had the cheapest meal of this trip. If I could remember this only costs NT350 per person including refillable drinks and unlimited rice.

Our main dish shared by four was dried chilli chicken. It wasn't as spicy as it looks so maybe that's why the cook put so much dried chilli.

 At one end of the night market was Feng Jia university.

At last found the tall ice-cream. The texture was smooth and wasn't creamy at all. More to the icy side like frozen yogurt. On a side note, I had to edit our faces for night shots coz it's dark and we looked really tired. So I just want to say goodnight and we will be heading to the beautiful turquoise Sun Moon Lake tomorrow.

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