We took the HSR train from Taipei main station to Taichung. We bought the tickets online as there were early bird discounts, and collected them at the station.
We bought 2 bento, tea eggs and 八宝粥 (which I always wanted to try)!
At Taichung, we wanted to take the bus to Cingjing but it was full and the next one was only coming 1 hour later. So we resorted to the taxi touts and took a taxi right up to our minsu, Bunbury Fruit Ranch B&B 民生果园. I guess it's more convenient then having to lug our luggage around. We also didnt want to waste anymore time. plus since there was a few of us, we wouldnt feel the pinch after splitting the cost.
Our minsu was really lovely! But it was on such a steep slope that the driver had to help us drive our luggage to our room from the counter! I can't imagine having to lug my own luggage up the slope... Even walking was difficult!
As usual, we booked 2 family rooms. As seen in the earlier photos, the minsu actually has 2 stories. Hence, we had a room on the 1st floor and another on the 2nd floor. Do note that you'll have to carry your luggage up the 2nd story! However, the 2nd storey room is definitely bigger. The room one the 1st storey does not have a heater unit, but relies on electric blankets in the bed.
We also got the corner unit so we had a great view of the mountains surrounding us. Yes, this view is from our room! The air was so fresh, I couldnt help taking in a deep breath to cleanse my lungs from all the polluted air I normally breathe. The kind minsu owner gave us a ride to Cingjing!
We went to 青青草原 first. We were really excited to meet the sheep!
The good thing about Taiwan is that we were able to get student priced tickets by using our student passes which aren't local!
As it was a public holiday, there was a notice saying that the sheep would be on their enclosures and not roaming around as per usual due to the higher number of visitors. We tried to take photos with the few sheep that were roaming around, but they ignored us and only went towards people who fed them. So we decided to buy sheep food to feed them too! :) Our bribes worked and basically they licked our hands to get the food. Our hands were all covered with sheep saliva, haha! Tried to take a selfie with a sheep, and it started to eat my hair :O
The view at Cingjing farm is extremely breathtaking as well! Endless mountains, crisp fresh air...
Next, we walked down to watch the horse show. It was performed by Mongolian horse riders and the show was unique and impressive! The horses came from different countries, and were all beautifully groomed and their manes and hair were shiny. The riders were also very experienced and performed tricks such as skipping rope while standing on the horse, doing a handstand on the horse and more!
After the show, we went forward to feed the horses with carrots provided and got to stroke the horses. We also took photos with the horses and their riders, and a horse licked the entire side of my face HAHAHA. Here's some horse saliva for ya.
Went to the shops area, where there was this big lantern display across the whole place! Most shops were situated here, such as restaurants and Starbucks etc.
It was so cold that night!
We went for dinner at Carton King, a restaurant which is cardboard themed and everything inside is made of cardboard, such as their tables and chairs! Food was also served in cardboard. The decorations around were cute, such as cows, sheep, giraffe and alpaca made of cardboard.
They also have a retail shop where you can buy and make your own cardboard animals!
It was already 8+PM, so we decided to stay at the area and attend the countdown event. When we paid for our food, we got free tickets to Swiss Garden. It was good because we could visit to while time!
Swiss Garden is pretty small, and due to us visiting at night, we could not really see the flowers. There were still many animal cardboard cutouts that were lit with colourful lights. We looked up at the sky, and saw so many bright stars! Not as many as during the sec 2 camp in Kota Tinggi, but it was still quite a sight. It's a pity how Singapore has too many street lights such that we can't see much stars at night...
We also bought and wrote post cards to ourselves!
We bought starbucks, then found a nice grass patch to sit on, on a small hill beside the countdown event.
It was more of a big dance party cuz there were DJs (who were all female!) and MCs. It was very cold (5 degrees), so we were wondering how the dancers on stage could take the cold since they were wearing skimpy outfits. We also witnessed a proposal right on stage! We waited for 2.5 hours before 12AM came. Fireworks exploded in the sky and it was so close to us and also covered the entire sky, that we all had to tilt our heads back to watch. I laid down on the grass, and it was such a beautiful myriad of colours and effects that filled up the dark nighy sky. The fireworks really exceeded our expectations and it was breathtaking! It was my first countdown event I attended, first time counting down in Chinese, and the first time I've seen fireworks so close to me.
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We went on our first D&B overseas trip, without Jiawei! We went to Taiwan from 30 Dec - 5 Jan, so yup we had our New Year countdown there! We went to Taipei and Taichung. We changed hotels every night according to our itinerary, and we would always book 2 family rooms which could accomodate 4 people in each room.
We reached in the evening, and checked into our hotel for the night, Chair Man Hotel. In our trip, this was the smallest one we stayed in by comparison, and it had no windows too so it's definitely not for claustrophobics. It's also the older style of hotels.
It was already dinner time. We had planned to walk to Ningxia Night Market but the counter staff told us that it would take 30 - 40 minutes if we walked, so we decided to cab there since we were starving!
It's quite a small street but the food was still good! Everyone sold different food instead of those larger night markets where there are many stalls selling the same thing. We pooled our money together so it would be easier to buy stuff. we also bought 1 or 2 of everything, so that we would have more stomach space to try more food! We ate quite a lot, and only spent $8.80 each which was affordable!
Wild hog sausages which were Singyan's favourite LOL
Famous orh luak / oyster omelette. It's a proper shop and not located inside the night market. You have to walk to the end that is selling fruits and make a right turn.
Bought a custard apple to share, which we seldom see in SG. It tasted like soursop, and had seeds inside each individual bulb. This was also our attempt at balancing our diet by having fruits.
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