Travel with me #114 : The hidden gems of Taichung, Taiwan!

in #dlive6 years ago

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Dear Steemit Friends:

Far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, the farm was originally established in February 1961 as a place for retired soldiers to settle down with their families, giving them land, homes and a sense of purpose.

We have such an adventure to go on together today full of sights, flavours, hotels, more flavours and amazing architecture. We will be exploring Qingjjing Farm and some of the cultural and culinary offerings of Taichung City in central and western Taiwan.

The first stop I take on my travels today is Qingjjing Farm, located in the mountains very much in the centre of the country. This central region of Taiwan is green and beautiful, with soaring mountains and the peace and tranquillity of solitude. Far from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, the farm was originally established in February 1961 as a place for retired soldiers to settle down with their families, giving them land, homes and a sense of purpose.

Located in the small township of Ren'ai in Nantou County, Qingjjing Farm is a thriving tourist attraction for those who want to see a working farm set in beautiful surroundings. Attractions include sheep farming, cattle farming, tea and kiwi fruit growing, sheep sheering shows, horse riding shows and many beautiful gardens to explore. The easiest way to get to Ren'ai Township is from Taichung by taking a tour, though the journey through the mountains to reach the farm is quite long! It really is in the middle of nowhere.

Qingjjing Farm in the misty mountains


The grand entrance to Qingjjing Farm.

The farm is located in the most beautiful scenery. Mountains like you've never seen before. Greenery and soaring peaks that take your breathe away. I was so excited to see the beauty in which Qingjjing was located... But then the mist! I had seen such beautiful imagery in my customary research that I do before all my expeditions and travellings, but today was not my lucky day! When I arrived at the farm, I was well and truly in the mist and clouds of the mountains - I couldn't see a thing.

Not to be put off, I got straight out into the 'Mountain Path' that runs around the beautiful areas of the farm, determined that I might see a view through some parting clouds. I don't know if you've ever been in heavy mist and clouds, but it makes all of the sounds very quiet because it stops noise travelling very far. It was quite eerie walking through the mountain pathways and the sound completely deadened around me. I felt completely alone with my thoughts and somehow that felt more special than the view - at least that's what I thought, I had no view to compare it to!

Trying to find the the views of the mountains around me.

My walk was, non the less, very enjoyable with lots of little farm-yard style sculptures scattered around for visitors to enjoy. There was plenty of sign posts guiding you around the huge farm which was lucky because it would be easy to get lost in the mist! You can also see how many attractions there are to see here which are really suited to those who spend most of their life in cities and want to get a taste of rural life and farming.

It's funny because I had read that Qingjjing Farm was also known as 'Foggy Eden' but I thought, it can't be that foggy! Well let me tell you, Steemit Friends, it really is! In fact, the sunlight beautifully played off the fogs and mists and clouds throughout the day, sometimes streaming shafts of light down on the different attractions of the farm. Very beautiful!

I present to you, the view!

Qingjjing Farm is still an important working farm for the local community. They do make money from tourism but they also still make much of their income from the sale of different animal and agricultural products. There are extensive areas within the farm to learn about the different animals that area farmed here, such as cattle and sheep. I must admit, there were so many and I had so little time that I spent too much time just enjoying the animals and didn't get any good photos!

It was fascinating seeing how a true farm works and the different ways they farms the different animals and other products that they produce. If you want to learn more about being a farmer, out in the country, this is the place to come. I had a really lovely time on the farm and I loved just being 'in the countryside'.

Exploring the rolling hills and grazing pastures of the farm

This is a Chiang Kai-shek statue, which can be found all over Taiwan. They are statues of the late President of China, Chiang Kai-shek and can be found in many areas of the country. They have been subject to some controversy, with pro-Taiwanese government initiatives removing many of the statues which led to protests because many people claim that they are still important historical and cultural artefacts.

This one was particularly impressive and I can see why many people might be sad to see them removed and destroyed. There have been some negotiations which have led to many of the statues being located in memorial gardens as a happy compromise. In the mist, with the stairs leading up to it, this was a very mystical place!

I found some crazy sculptures of butterflies!

Exploring the woods and of course, making new animal friends, I fell in love with this place. I'm sure the views would have been grand and spectacular, and I'm sure I would have had my breath take away by the size and beauty of the landscape around me, if the mist had allowed me to see it. But none the less, I fell in love with Qingjjing farm for its solitude and under-stated beauty. The sort of beauty you can only see if you take the time to just 'be' in a place and experience the feel of the place.

The mist, fog and cloud made you feel like you were in a little half bubble, with the world around you being blocked out and forgotten. Farming here would be a simple life, but one I think I could enjoy for a time. There's space for your thoughts and for reflection that you just can't get with the hustle and bustle of a city, I loved it!

Lunch in a quiet local restaurant


By the time I had fully explored the farm, it was getting quite late in the day and I still needed to get back to Taichung City, about an hour and a half drive away, so I knew it was time to get a bit of food before making the long journey back. In the township of Ren'ai I found this lovely little local restaurant that had an array of beautiful food on offer and I knew this would be a great spot to grab a late lunch.

The wonderful thing about just discovering a restaurant that you've not planned nor heard of is that you're often in for a surprise. I have to admit, sometimes (but rarely, luckily) the surprise isn't what you want, but in this case it really was what I wanted! The food was absolutely amazing, served extremely freshly and with a wide range of dishes to choose from, this was exactly what I needed after a long morning walking around in the fresh air of the farm.

There were so many options that I had to just try a few! I got myself some stir fried hot green vegetables, sweet potato leaves, mixed bean sprouts, a poached egg/omelette dish and a tofu with preserved egg dish. They were all absolutely amazing, really beautifully served and it was so good to sit down and have such a feast because I was starving!

Treeart Hotel: arty and modern in central Taichung


Treeart Hotel has got loads of quirky little modern design features located all around the lobby and corridors and its 42 rooms are clean, modern and beautifully appointed.

After a long bus ride, I finally arrived in Taichung, fully ready to check into my hotel for the night and relax after a long day's travel and exploration. Treeart Hotel was to be my hotel for the night and it is a really funky, located right in the middle of Taichung City in the Xitun district. It's got loads of quirky little modern design features located all around the lobby and corridors and its 42 rooms are clean, modern and beautifully appointed.

Upon arrival at the hotel, you're struck by two things. The first is the amazing architecture on the front of the building, beautifully lit up, making an amazing statement onto the Taichung skyline. The next thing you notice is these two wonderful bear sculptures that greet you and welcome you into the hotel!

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As you can see here, Treeart Hotel has spared no expense when it comes to the decor inside. Everywhere you look from the dancing lights of the artificial fire, to the light installations in the ceiling, the interior design is completely beautiful. Both modern and minimalist, your eyes are drawn to the focal points of each room with clever use of light and texture.

I think the reception team who were helping me check in were quite amused by the fact that I couldn't stop staring around me as they were trying to tell me about my room and where all of the amenities were in the hotel. What beautiful design. Showing off the fact that it is newly built, every part of the decoration, furniture and sculptures were immaculate.

Look at this really cool old fashioned phone that has been re-purposed!

A breakfast feast in the rooftop restaurant


Well this was a real treat to find when I got up in the morning at Treeart Hotel for breakfast. Directed to the top floor by the hotel staff for my breakfast, I walked out of the elevator to find this stunning restaurant. Hugely bright and airy, full of colour, I felt woken up and energised as soon as I stepped into the beautiful room for my breakfast. I felt like I could almost be outside, dining alfresco! If the breakfast was going to be anything like the setting I was in for a real treat.

And I really was in for a treat! As you can see, I went for a bit of everything and was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of local dishes to try. Often in modern hotels, the breakfast has become quite westernised usually opting for a more continental style breakfast. That's often a safe option so I was really excited to try out some local foods for my breakfasts and try some of the very crazy and interesting options that seemed unique to Treeart Hotel too!

First I tried the miso soup with pork belly on top, which was delicate and refreshing, just what I needed after my long day the day before. Of course I got myself some fruit for some sweetness and then things got a bit weird! Served in a car I had smoked chicken in a muffin with a side of fried crab claw (top right) which was absolutely amazing; non traditional all around! I also had these crazy coloured breads on the side - one of them was blue!

Peeled chili pepper chicken soup

Yes I may have got myself too much breakfast, whoops!

Luce Memorial Chapel at Taichung University


I wanted to visit the famous Luce Memorial Chapel at the university so I went down to the lobby of the reception to find out the best way to get there. And they told me, 'by bike!'. I said, 'I don't have a bike though so how will I get there?' Well, turns out that Treeart Hotel is dedicated to the environment as well, with free bikes for you to borrow while staying with them! I was so excited to be able to cycle through the city, just about 15 minutes, to see the chapel. What a great, green way to get around.

Luce Memorial Chapel is a Christian church located on the campus of Tunghai University, the city's main university. The construction of the of the chapel was finished in 1963 and is the work of the famous architect, I. M. Pei who also helped design and develop the campus for the university as a whole.

Located right in the middle of the campus, it is actually a hexagonal shape at its base, then rising up to create a kind of tent shape at the top. Named in honour of Reverend Henry Luce who was an American missionary to China in the 19th century. Rev. Luce became a vicar in 1897 and was sent as a missionary to China where he spend 31 years spreading Christianity.

Tunghai University was first established by Christian missionaries in 1955 and is the second oldest university in Taiwan. As you can see from the logo of the university there is a Christian cross in it and the three interior circles are meant to represent the holy trinity. Located in the Xitun District of Taichung the campus is centrally located within the city but still provides a beautiful green sanctuary for students to come and study.

Thank you for exploring more of Taiwan with me today my Steemit Friends. Qingjjing Farm was truly a very special place to visit and I am so happy that I made the journey from Taichung City to visit, even if the views weren't quite what I'd hoped. I still loved learning about rural life and how the veterans have been farming and settling that wild, beautiful and foggy land. The Luce Memorial Chapel at Taichung's university was a marvel and I really enjoyed exploring it so much - I definitely needed the cycle ride to it and the walk around it to burn off the huge breakfast that I had at the Treeart Hotel.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you did, please do leave a comment and let me know which bit you liked most. If you want to see more than give me a follow (if you haven't already of course) because I post blogs quite regularly about my adventures and I would love to have you a long with me on more of my travels!


伴着火车轻快有节奏的圆舞曲,搭配着窗外不断切换的田园风光连环插画,暂别了时尚繁华的潮流都市台北,换上一整套清凉的行头,再带着一副好心情上路,下一站锁定了拥有丰富城市个性的奇妙目的地——台中。台中市不仅是台湾人口排名第二的城市,在很多人眼里,也是全台湾最宜居的城市之一,因为优越的地理位置,让台中成为了上帝宠溺的幸运儿,一年四季拥有舒爽的天气,免受台风打扰。台中不仅拥有深厚的文化底蕴,当地居民过着安逸又非常小资的生活,而且自然风光优美宜人,火车还没停站,我就深深感受到了这座城市的绿色是随处可见的。在去往酒店的路上,我惊讶到这里有着不亚于台北的笔直大道和繁华夜市,也能欣赏到现代化高楼林立的风采,却似乎比起台北,少了一丝喧嚣和浮躁,多了一份安逸与淡然,这样一座有着多重性格的都市,无论是它华丽的外表还是典雅的内在,都给了我更多的动力去探索这里一切未知的美好。

第一站,我选择去亲近绿色,拥抱大自然,早在网络上就看到了清境农场清新淡雅的自然风光,它位于台湾南投县仁爱乡,从台中坐车过去只要一个多小时的路程。清境农场坐落在群山之间,海拔1750m,与武陵农场、梨山福寿山农场合称为台湾三大高山农场。这里最吸引我的就是凉凉天气里的绿茵草地,放眼望去青青牧场,让伴随着芳草清香的绿色在心房融化,让独特的视觉与嗅觉体验在身体里留下记忆。在听说了有趣的绵羊群才是清境农场的主人之后,我更是兴奋不已,迫不及待想去问候在山头上绿草间萌萌的小绵羊。运气不佳的是,工作人员告诉我,这几天恰好是羊咩咩们组团去体检的日子,所以这次就无法和小绵羊们同框了。虽然漫山遍野不见绵羊,也完全影响不到我静心观赏清境农场的兴致。这次来的时候,恰好赶上天气阴凉,层层白色的迷雾逐渐爬上山头,给我这次清境农场的探索之旅增添了不少乐趣。迷雾上的世外桃源好似仙境,突然觉得清境农场简直就是仙境农场嘛。

第一次这样自由自在的在迷雾中散步,雾气弥漫好似给这片绿地增添了一股独特的神秘气息,耐人寻味。徜徉在宽阔草原上的景观步道,身后的片片绿树林从迷雾之中探出头来,整个山体也是若隐若现。呼吸着清新湿润的雾上桃源,尽情的放空自己,享受这美妙迷人的瞬间。清境农场的规划有序,分为绵羊区、牧牛区、蔬果区和高山花卉区等,还有许多著名的景点,例如青青草原和小瑞士花园。来到这里,似乎并不用着急走景点,倒是可以漫无目的地顺着步道前行,站在山坡上,迷雾环绕身体四周,眺望远方绵延不断的大片青青草原,俯瞰山下零星的村庄,一种小瑞士的既视感。路上偶遇充满童趣的蓝白色小风车,更是让台湾独有的小清新式风格崭露无遗。各式各样的欧式房子,伴随着田园风光,确实是人们逃离都市酷热夏天,拥抱慵懒惬意生活态度的最美伊甸园。离开了令人流连忘返的清境农场,在司机的推荐下,我来找寻台中美食啦,旅行当中最不能错过的,当然就是各地的风味小吃。我来到了位于台中西屯区黎明路三段的宏佳火鸡肉饭餐厅,距离逢甲夜市不到一公里的餐厅到了夜晚热闹滚滚,这家火鸡肉饭更是24小时飘香不停歇,想必生活在台湾,想要瘦身节食,一定是很艰难的决定吧。

这家餐厅在夏日夜晚,仿佛摇身一变成了喧闹的夜宵场所,我到的时候,餐厅门口的露天座位已经满当当咯,还好店内也有着宽敞明亮的用餐环境,餐厅门口对外的开放式厨房里,店员们忙忙碌碌为客人准备点餐和外带的食物,面对眼前一锅锅香喷喷的卤锅,各种便当里的最佳配菜,口水直流。为了方便大家,新来的客人只要从柜台自行拿取菜单点菜就好。看着菜单上分类规整的美食,真的每个都想尝试呢。火鸡肉饭绝对是必点的,况且我是第一次吃,无比激动,除此之外还点了卤肉饭,烫青菜,荷包蛋和皮蛋豆腐等小菜。美食上桌,迫不及待挖起一勺火鸡肉饭,浓密的汤汁拌饭,正是我最喜爱的味道,湿润的饭体散出阵阵鸡肉的甜香,这样分量足又够味的饭类美食,真是怎么吃也吃不够呢。卤肉饭同样是伴随着软嫩的油花和香气逼人的瘦肉入口,口感超赞,好吃到停不下来。期间又去找帮忙盛小菜的店员小哥哥连要两碗烫青菜,吃起来爽口到尖叫。美食过后,再带大家参观下这次我选择在台中住的酒店吧。

璞树文旅酒店也是一股清新的风格,很有台中小资的味道,建筑内外都营造出自然有机,生态健康的画面,融合了风水光氧合的设计理念,建筑内外蔓延开来的绿色植物展现出无限的脉动感和充满正能量的生命力。头顶彩色的星光灯,很有律动性地变换着颜色,门口有品牌代言人两只小熊的铜像,还有绿色环保的浪漫白色竹篮单车可以免费租用,这让我想起了不久前的马尔代夫之旅,永远忘不了载着好心情骑行的乐趣。我理解的酒店设计概念,大概是让每一位住店旅客感受住在“树”里的乐趣,无论是大堂最吸引人目光的枝叶气根概念灯,背景墙上的水流瀑布,还是不经意间从你身边延展出的绿叶,都非常有自己独特的气质跟质感,木质的座椅非常具有文艺青年范儿,整个空间不愧是由知名设计师精心打造而出的,就像酒店的名字一样,会呼吸的旅树,果然不同凡响。来到这里,我心中满是绿意盎然,生机勃勃的景象,伴随而来的是抛掉旅途疲惫的舒心感受,还有无限的温馨和幸福感。酒店早餐厅位于建筑顶层,风景极好,我选择坐在一片绿色树墙里面用餐,这家酒店的早餐属于半自助式的,你可以在菜单上先选择想吃的主餐,再去旁边的简易沙拉吧取小吃。

这个可爱的小车车其实是儿童餐,但是经不住造型酷炫的诱惑,我还是从大人餐换到了儿童餐= =这道装在黄色跑车里的是胡麻熏鸡玛芬堡和奶油蟹爪,使用了蜂蜜芥末酱和胡麻酱作为调合,搭配奶油蟹爪和红豆羊羹,不仅口感丰富,一盘下肚让新的一天充满能量和活力。盘子里西瓜样式的面包作为小食,绝对增添了用餐情趣。信州白味增猪腩清汤, 多肉清香,且带着味增咸香,而另一碗金针剥皮辣椒鸡汤,则选择了有机金针花入菜,整碗满满肉汁和金针香气,回味无穷。一顿幸福的早餐过后,我来到了东海大学,这是一所基督教新教背景的综合大学,是台湾非改制升格设立且现存的第一所私立大学,校园面积广达135.65公顷,其中最有名也是最为时尚文艺的拍照圣地,当数这座建筑造型独特的路思义教堂了。它是一座基督新教礼拜堂,是台湾著名的建筑大师陈其宽和美国华裔建筑师贝聿铭的共同之作。如今这座教堂已经成为了东海大学的标志,连游客们都会特意前往校园,驻足欣赏这座融合了美学与文化内涵的惊艳艺术作品。三角形外观看似简洁,却又十分庄严,教堂双曲面的搭接,使得每一个角度都会呈现出不同的视觉感受,而所有流线型逐渐汇聚形成“向天”的意象,宛若祷告的双手,为莘莘学子们祈福。多么充满诗意又动人的建筑艺术作品,充满了人文关怀,鲜明的黄色外砖搭配一大片绿地,也给了我美轮美奂的视觉享受。今天的台中美食美景探索之旅就要告于段落啦,之后还有更多惊喜的旅程再等着我们。

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Beautiful and colourful place.

I certainly have to agree!

A nice Travelpost from a very adorable Girl.

Greetings, gorgeous honey sweetjssss

I must tell you that you look beautiful in the pictures. One of the most beautiful girls in the world. Returning to the subject of the post, beautiful location this Qingjjing Farm. I looked at the photos and the video on there and found the beautiful place, especially the parts more related to nature. The pictures there, it looks like the place was huge, right?

I wondered how it would be nice to take a walk there with Miya, which is my dog.

If some day I pass by there, I can ask her to visit this location? It would be a tremendous honor to go there with you.

Thanks for posting and for the beautiful photos.

Good night!!!!

julisavio hi dear!

Yes the Qingjing farm is absolutely huge! You can actually walk around it for hours.. Actually sheep are suppose to be the main attraction there, but my luck would have that they were all indoors that day.. probably because of the mist.

I'm not sure i'll be around when you visit.. but that shouldn't deter you from going anyway!

hello @sweetsssj, I'm kinda late commenting on this post. coz I'm so busy in my work, anyway I read your post article, what a nice adventure, truly the best of the best so far.
the place of Qingjjing Farm is a very unique place to visit with green natures views.
the foods you presented to us are very delicious to see.

and honestly I love this picture so much, you know why?
you look so mysterious of that killer smile.

the way you handle the old classic telephone handset, its so cute.

all pictures are perfectly taken with a nice color combo.

thanks for sharing this with us.

Upvoted and resteem your beloved post.

oh mrblu thank you for commenting anyway! You always pick out some of the best photos, this one is one of my favourite portraits!

我覺得你可以來台灣選總統了!XD.... 至少台中市長… 😂😂

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哇,不敢当呀,不如刘美女选,我给你投票^^

那好啊,你說的,那表示你得入籍台灣了.... ^_^

哇哈哈哈哈,刘美女好机智,真是多才多艺呢^^

哈哈评论区好欢乐!

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Hey sandia,

Love to see that you are posting more Frequently now and also post something new apart from your love "Turkey" 😅 well i have to say that Taiwan also got its own Hidden Gems like :- Qingjjing Farm.

That farm is looking totally awesome and with all that mist around it, makes it more magical to see and feel of ,

Iam glade that you made some new animal friends there also.

The food of that local restaurant was looking super delicious and colourful and you are looking very cute with that old style telephone booth.😃

Thanks for sharing sandia and hope to see your posts more frequently.😇

Thanks shiva for dropping by so diligently, yes, I'm still taking my time to write the post as best as i can. You're right, the mist in the farm really does make it that much more magical, but it's just a real shame that the sheep were not outside that day..

I wouldn't mind the long travel just to get to that mystical and enchanting place. I am not new to the mist and fog because we have had times in our city wherein the fog could be so thick you cannot see a thing. When I was a kid, we would get that more often. Now though we only experience that rarely. It is kind of sad so going to this garden is like reliving my childhood lol! There are other parts of the city that we call "home of the fog and mist" because that is exactly what that place is.

We have one thing in common with I. M. Pei :) He also designed one of the buildings here in which is Essensa.

Treeart Hotel is really cool!

I noticed 7/11 in one of the photos. I guess that store is invading the world :D

This comment was made from https://ulogs.org

hey leeart, yes i think the mist does make the place enchanting and "mistical" haha.. where I grew up, it's actually quite common but it's probably not the healthy kind, more akin to smog.

I had no idea about the Essensa actually, I will have to look it up now!

7/11 is Everywhere!

刘美女照片呢?

刘美女太害羞,只愿意做镜头背后的人哈哈哈

我負責拍照,難道你猜不出來?下次找你來開車....

对呀,刘美女摄影技术棒极了^^

Dear Jessi, we would like to invite you as a preferred speaker for the BlockBetas Blockchain Conference in Germany. As Steemit celebrity you are one of the first worldwide who makes a 100% living from Steemit and we would love to hear your story on stage!

I sent you a message on Facebook and rocketchat and we are looking forward to your response.

More info about the event at https://block-beats.com

cheers Chris4210

I was looking at some of your images. They seem photoshopped.

Here's an example. Any reason for this?

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