Continuing on from my previous post on my day trip at Xinshe on Day 2 (Part 1), here’s the next post as there were too many pictures altogether!
You can read all my previous posts on my Taiwan trip here:
- Preparation for my Taiwan Trip
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 1 (Taichung)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 2 (Part 1) (Taichung – Xinshe)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 2 (Part 2) (Xinshe – Taichung)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 3 (Part 1) (Taichung – Sun Moon Lake)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 3 (Part 2) (Sun Moon Lake)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 4 (Part 1) (Sun Moon Lake – Cingjing)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 4 (Part 2) (Cingjing)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 5 (Part 1) (HeHuanShan – Cingjing – Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 5 (Part 2) (Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 6 (Part 1) (Taipei – Shifen)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 6 (Part 2) (Shifen – Houtong – Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 7 (Part 1) (Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 7 (Part 2) (Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 7 (Part 3) (Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 8 (Taipei)
- mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 9 (Taipei – Singapore)
Stop #4: Princess Annie’s Garden (安妮公主花園)
After our 3rd stop at Lavender Cottage, Mr He surprised us by letting us have a quick glimpse of Princess Annie’s Garden. Previously I had also mentioned it in my itinerary during our interactions and I had to strike it off due to the lack of time.
Princess Annie’s Garden is built with multi-layered European wood, taking visitors straight into a European landscape painting. Next to the garden is Xinshe’s vital “Bai Lun Juing”. Because Xinshe lacks water resources, residents rely solely on this giant suction tube. Covering approximately 500 pings, the garden is lush with multi-colored flowers and plants, creating the likeness of a royal castle. Coffee and flower and fruit teas are priced around NT$150. All set meals are seasoned with herbs. The most popular dish, the Provence-Alpes Cote-d’Azur Baby Ribs, will set you back NT$380.
Only managed to take a couple of shots of the place while in the cab. Technically we couldn’t go in the place without an attraction ticket (100 TWD with 100 TWD coupon), but we told the person we were going to drive through quickly only. Luckily he let us in though 😛
Anyway, Princess Annie’s Garden is really small, though rather beautiful – there’s nothing much there so luckily we didn’t spare much time there. There’s a nice cafe there as well if you would like to dwell there for awhile but other than that, you can skip it unless you have the extra time to spare.
Stop #5: Mushroom Garden (百菇莊/百菇庄)
Xinshe is very famous for their mushrooms so I made sure to have a stop at a mushroom farm to buy some mushrooms!(:
Calling all mushroom lovers! Head to the Mushroom Garden in Taiwan where you’ll probably see the more mushrooms in one place than you’ve ever seen! Learn more about the process of growing mushrooms, and packing them for sale. Of course, complete your visit by purchasing a pack of your favourite mushrooms for yourself. This place is also known as 百菇庄.
Basically there’s a small restaurant serving all sorts of mushroom related food items – menu is somewhere below when you scroll down later.
At the other side of the place, there is the mushroom growing area. As this isn’t the mushroom season, we weren’t able to see as many mushrooms, but there were still a couple!(:
There’s also an area here where there are talks held where you can learn about the mushroom growing process.
All the different types of Taiwanese mushrooms available!
Storage area where all the mushrooms picked are kept.
You can also buy fresh mushrooms and other mushroom related products as a souvenir. And of course, I bought some mushrooms for my mom as well as this dried mushroom snack for myself!(:
Next to the shop is the small restaurant and as promised earlier, this is the full menu for your reference. There’s mushroom meat braised rice, mushroom soup, fried/grilled mushrooms, and mushroom sausage to choose from!(:
Oh, and even..a mushroom ice cream!
Which I of course tried despite having lavender ice cream previously at Lavender Farm. Very weird taste though, extremely mushroom-y with frozen bits of mushroom. Didn’t like it at all ><
It’s a huge pity that I had lunch at Lavender Farm earlier or I would have ordered everything off the menu! Still, I made sure that we at least tried out most of the fried mushrooms here – and Mr He also mentioned that they are taste the best here because they are so fresh! Agree with him because this was where I had the best mushrooms in Taiwan!(:
Must Orders: Try everything! HAHAHA! It’s really good!(:
Stop #6: Carton King Creativity Park (紙箱王)
Carton King is another must-visit destination to check it out in my opinion. Luckily, there are quite a number of Carton Kings around Taiwan, with the largest / main one at Carton king Creativity Park at Dakeng (near Xinshe).
Almost everything in Carton King (紙箱王) is made by corrugated paper, such as ceiling, tables, chairs, lanterns, plates, pen…etc. In souvenir store, it offers not only your usual paper products, but also paper hats and bags made from leather-like paper.
This is the entrance/exit of Carton King and you can buy your tickets at the counter there. Entrance fee is 200 TWD with 100 TWD voucher to offset your purchase at Carton King.
The map below of the place makes it look rather big but not to worry, it’s not very big. It takes less than 5~10 minutes to walk from 1 end to another(:
First of all, you’ll go through the cardboard animal kingdom but along the way, there are plenty of cardboard pinwheels and other cardboard/corrugated paper hanging decorations – super cheery and pretty!(:
After a short walk (prolonged only because of phototaking), we reached the main area of Carton King where the souvenir shops are and the larger corrugated paper/cardboard displays are at. Oh and we saw ramune soda sold at one of the stalls!
Some of the souvenir shops around the area where you can buy unique souvenirs(:
Again, this area is quite small and can be covered within 10 ~20 minutes tops. Basically, there are a number of famous and iconic landmarks around the world and others made out of corrugated paper scattered around a lovely garden! Super realistic no?
Some of the landmarks made out of the corrugated paper/cardboard are hugeeee like this leaning tower of Pisa while some are really small.
I really like to stroll by the path with the pinwheels – they are really pretty, colorful and as mentioned – super cheerful! 😀
We walked around the whole area taking photos of practically everything so you can see what I saw through the photos at Carton King(:
Of course, that’s not all to it as there’s also the Honey Bee Museum (蜜蜂故事館) inside the park. Since we finished covering most of the places, we headed there to take a look.
P.s the only live bees you see are the ones here, lol.
There are a few entrances to the Bee Museum, but we took the outdoor stairs route. Once you enter, you’ll be greeted with a souvenir shop selling all the bee-related products such as honey, etc.
Nothing much really, so we headed back downstairs by this other staircase.
At the first level of the building is where Carton King Restaurant is located. Here, you can have a nice meal and be awed by everything cardboard – from the seats, to the cup holder, plates and so much more! I opted to skip dining here as I planned on dining at the Carton King Restaurant at Cingjing (Day 4) instead(:
A couple more snapshots around the place before heading into the main souvenir shops to take a look.
There are many souvenirs and knickknacks to choose from, but in the end, we didn’t get any!
Oh and here’s a pretty nifty idea. On your ticket, you’ll see this 6 squares where you are supposed to go around the places to collect the little chops. After that, you can redeem it at Bee Museum for a tiny souvenir – a little car made of cardboard as seen below. Super cute, HAHA and we did that for fun!
Stop #7: Moncoeur (心之芳庭)
This is a last stop of the day at Xinshe. Moncoeur is located quite close to Carton King at Dakeng – perfect planning by Mr Liu to end off the day in a romantic fashion! 😀
Moncoeur is a beautiful place which is suitable for couples to date, and is a good place to take pictures. Moncoeur wants to transmit the message that Love and happiness can create touching memories, so every places in Moncoeur are arranged and decorated in a romantic fashion. To sum up, Moncoeur is a place which is romantic and full of love. If you like beautiful scenes, you can come to visit Moncoeur.
You enter by the pathway at the side, not the main gates as seen from the background. I believe that you have to pay to enter the main gates but that’s usually where weddings are held as I saw a beautiful chapel there. Also peeked through and it was a lovely place inside.
This is the pathway to the attraction area and this particular area is a popular place to take photos as a couple.
There’s a little counter along the way where you can purchase the tickets. The entrance ticket is 200 TWD with a 100 TWD discount voucher given as usual. Super adorable design don’t you think so? 😀
Moncoeur is essentially a replicate of a quintessential European town with a couple of retail shops with souvenirs and small eateries housed in these charming little houses. I really love the whole place and it’s really beautiful(:
As always, here are photos around the place – it’s really a great place for phototaking as a tourist or for weddings!
We stopped by chochoco to purchase a chocolate milk using our vouchers.And there’s a reason why I opted not to eat the ice cream here 😛
As you climb up the hill, you’ll come to the area with the love spoons. Not sure where to get it though 🙁
As you climb up the hill, you’ll come to the area with the love spoons. Not sure where to get it though 🙁
The menu as below, take your pick depending on your favourite! For the themed ice cream, don’t worry, you can choose your own ice cream flavour – you just need to choose whether you like strawberries, macarons, marshmellow or chocolate as toppings!(:
After that, choose 2 flavours of ice cream! We selected both flavours to be vanilla as I wasn’t a fan of the other flavours. Plus we already had Lavender ice cream previously at Lavender Cottage!
Take a seat by the tables at the side overlooking the view. It’s nice to breath in the clean, wonderful and fresh mountainous air from the top!(:
The super unique thing about ordering here is that you will get this pink balloon with your order number tagged on it. Then wait for your turn, go to the counter with the balloon and get your order! And yes, you get to keep the balloon after that(:
Here’s our order 俏俏爱上你 (Chocolate), lol fanciful names ya? I really love the presentation though and the order is EXTREMELY generous meant for sharing. We initially thought it was 2 scoops of ice cream, but seriously, there are at least 5-6 scoops inside – couldn’t finish it! This one comes with chocolate shavings, oreo crumbs, a slice of chocolate roll, chocolate wafer and cherry atop the ice cream(:
By then, it was about 6pm and the sky was getting dark soon. I notice that by 6.30pm, it usually becomes like night fall as if it’s 8pm or so. Tried to use whatever light was left to take some random photos around the area. By then, my phone battery died on me as I had been using it the whole day as my camera so had to use the bf’s photos instead for the following ones D:
As we were heading back to Mr Liu, we noticed that there was a huge crowd of people holding on to heart shaped balloons. Me, being greedy thought they were giving out so we headed there ;x
Initially, we were puzzled at what it was all about and then we realized… this is a live proposal! Having never seen one, we decided to stay a little while to see the whole proposal and snap some photos at the same time.
And then he took out the RING. Lol, the reason why it’s so shiny is because they placed an LED light there but there was a wow factor when he opened the ring box though, super cool!
Of course, the girl said yes and they kissed!(:
Wishing them a blissful marriage! 😀
After that, an hour or so drive back to Taichung from Moncoeur and I was so tired that I just conked out in the cab.
After reaching Taichung, Mr Liu was supposed to just drop us off at our hostel, Eiffel Tower Hostel (逢甲艾菲爾 ) – which he did. But he remembered that I mentioned that I wanted to buy the famous Taichung Sun Biscuits / Sun Cakes (太陽餅) from 阿明師 – one of the highly recommended brands by Taichung locals and he very nicely drove us there.
Stop #8: 阿明師老店太陽堂
The nearest 阿明師老店太陽堂 (Ah Ming Shi Lao Dian Tai Yang Tang) was quite a distance from our hostel so I was really thankful that he took the time to drive us there and it was already about 8pm. I really like the fact that Mr Liu doesn’t charge by the hours like many drivers (ie, additional 1 hour is 200 TWD, etc) and he charged us 2500 TWD for a full day to complete my itinerary. As a result, we later decided to give him 3000 TWD instead of the initial 2500 TWD(:
Here’s the shop and what they have for sale along with samples to try. Without hesitation, I already knew what I wanted to buy – the 太陽餅 and pineapple tarts. There are also other products for sale if you’re interested, but you HAVE to get the 太陽餅 (original) & pineapple tarts. So far, I’ve tried many brands and this is my favourite(:
10 太陽餅 Original Malt – 200 TWD
20 太陽餅 Original Malt – 400 TWD
30 太陽餅 Original Malt – 600 TWD
12 太陽餅 Honey – 300 TWD (Sweeter than Malt, but take the original!)
[Don’t remember costs of the pineapple tarts T___T]
Delivery to Taipei – 140 TWD
You can only keep the sun biscuits for up to 10 days and pineapple tarts for 1 month max. So I would suggest that you request for them to make a delivery to your hotel on the 2nd last day of your stay (to be safe). So far, I know that they do deliveries to hotels in both Taichung and Taipei, delivery service is about 140 TWD. Have to say that it was delivered very promptly to our hotel, City Inn Branch II on our 2nd last day – just remember to inform the staff there that you have a delivery(:
Oh, oops and because Mr Liu loaned us his VIP card, we managed to get an 8% discount! 😀
End of the Day
Our final, final stop for the day was Feng Jia Night Market. If you would like to see all my photos taken at Feng Jia Night Market, click here and scroll down to the last portion(:
We didn’t do much shopping there the day but we did on Day 2 as we mostly just ate. And ate. And ate. Anyway, here’s our loots for the day – bought a new bag, boots and a winter coat! Can’t remember the prices but it was pretty reasonable(:
Mini-Guide to Ramune Soda
Now before I end off, here’s a mini-guide to enjoying a Ramune Soda brought to you by the bf.
- Buy a Ramune Soda
Remove the blue cap
Press it down really hard like your life depends on it
- Blop and the marble is released
- Drink your hard-earned Ramune. SHIOK AH!~
Heh, anyway thanks for reading this long post, many more still to come since this is only Day 2! On Day 3, we’re moving from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake – stay tuned 😉
- Continue Reading Day 3 (Part 1): mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 3 (Part 1)