The next time you’re visiting Taiwan, be sure to allocate some time to visit Nantou, which offers scenic views and a refreshing break from the bustling city.
Trust me, you’ll want to squeeze this in your Taiwan itinerary. This city gal needs the occasional crisp air, and the two-day trippin’ out here is what got me rejuvenated.
Psst, if you’re into dreamy landscapes to let your mind wander off, this is exactly the place to be at.
We had a little help from OKBus and Meet Nantou to make the most of our two-day trip. With the e-tickets, in the form of QR codes, we could enter attractions at a discounted price and reserve seats on the OKBus to get around.
If you’re thinking of a quick stopover, here are the places we visited in Nantou to get your head in the clouds (quite literally).
1. Cingjing Farm
To get to Cingjing Farm, we took the OKBus from Taichung HSR to Cingjing (NTD450, 10% off from now till 28 February 2019 by showing e-ticket QR code), and used Cingjing Farm Online Ticket which is bought on Changi Recommends.
We visited in late November, and because winter is coming, it makes the castle entrance even more fairytale-like. Even though it was cold, I much preferred this season than when I last visited in summer.
Cingjing Farm is famed for its adorable flock of sheep free to roam around the grassland, you can also buy sheep pellets to lure them in for a selfie, but be quick though, these clever ones move away fast.
The trees and mountains shrouded by clouds at the background and the grazing sheep are perfect for the dreamy mood shot for the ‘grams. The picture above definitely upped my Instagram Stories and made it to my highlights.
It wasn’t long before the pellets were depleted, and we moved on to the next attraction.
Cingjing Farm: No. 170, Renhe Road, Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 546 | Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm (daily) | Farm online ticket can be bought on Changi Recommends
2. Swiss Garden + Nina Chocolate
Just a stone’s throw away from Cingjing Farm and a short 10 minutes ride on the OKBus, Swiss Garden is a little hideaway from the crowds.
Here’s where you can admire the lush flowers that colour the garden amongst installations that will make you feel like you’re momentarily in a small European town.
Located just outside of the Swiss Garden, take a break at Nina Chocolate for a hot cup of tea or the best hot chocolate I’ve tasted thus far! It was velvety and rich, comforting from the inside out; like a hug in a mug.
While you’re at it, try your hands at the Chocolate Making Workshop (NTD200) and bring home these DIY chocolate lollies to remind you of the sweet times you had in Nantou.
Swiss Garden: 546, Taiwan, Nantou County, Ren’ai Township, 定遠新村28號 | Opening Hours: (Mon – Thurs, Sun) 9am – 9pm, (Fri & Sat) 9am – 10pm | Meet Nantou Admission Ticket
3. Cingjing Skywalk
Newly opened to the public in 2017, the Cingjing Skywalk stretches 1.2km over Cingjing farm, overlooking the trees beneath and the picturesque landscape beyond the eyes can see.
There are a total of six lookouts on the Cingjing Skywalk, where you can stop and soak in the peacefulness that Mother Nature offers. It’s really a nice spot for a romantic stroll and you’ll be glad to know that it only lets in 4,000 visitors a day, so there’s no need to worry about the place being overly crowded.
Cingjing Skywalk: No. 186-1, Renhe Road, Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 546 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 5.30pm (daily) | Meet Nantou Admission Ticket
There are various ways to take in the beauty of Sun Moon Lake, and Meet Nantou’s Sun Moon Lake Bicycle + Ferry Tour + Ropeway (NTD 580) package comprise the ultimate combination of land, sea, and sky.
4. Sun Moon Lake Cycling Route
We started off by renting a bicycle and got on one of the ’10 most breathtaking cycling routes in the world’. Truly, the view before us on the boardwalk was picture-perfect.
You could get lost in your thoughts while staring into the far distance where the lake meets the mountains. What a sight to behold.
Though the boardwalk was my favourite part of the entire cycling route and I would have been happy to park myself there, there were other spots further down that have their own unique characteristics.
Look out for this corridor of trees, that is splashed in bright yellow and orange when you go during Autumn.
Bike Rentals: 安心騎：南投縣魚池鄉水社村中山路149號（one minute walk from Shuishe Visitor Centre）| 給你騎：南投縣魚池鄉水社村中興路19號（Opposite Zhongxing Parking Lot, next to 7-Eleven) | 騎鐵馬：南投縣魚池鄉水社村中興路12巷22-3號（Next to the Zhongxing parking lot, the entrance to the ring road driveway）| Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm (Daily) | Meet Nantou Admission Ticket
5. Sun Moon Lake Ferry Tour
Taking the ferry gives you a closer view of the Sun Moon Lake and its surrounding islands. Simply approach any Sun Moon Lake Yacht Fleet staff in a blue vest, stationed at the various pier with your QR code and exchange it for a paper ticket.
The ticket offers unlimited rides from Shuishe Wharf, Xuanguang Temple Wharf, and Ita Thao Pier, so you can take your time to explore the various attractions.
We took the ferry from Shuishe Wharf and disembarked at Xuanguang Temple Wharf just to get tea leaf eggs.
But before you judge us, Jinpen A Ma Xiang Gu Cha Ye Dan (金盆阿嬤香菇茶叶蛋) is a popular store that sells really fragrant tea leaf eggs, unlike any other.
Cooked with mushrooms, the tea leaf egg (NTD 13) tasted sweeter than the regular ones and had an oddly pleasant pastry-like smell that permeated the egg, which took some getting used to but eventually stuck on us. Definitely, a must try!
We brought the egg on board the ferry and headed to Ita Thao Pier for our next activity.
Opening Hours: (Shuishe Wharf) 9am – 5pm, (Xuanguang Temple Wharf) 9.20am – 5.20pm, (Ita Thao Pier) 8.40am – 5.40pm | Frequency: 15 – 20 minutes | Meet Nantou Admission Ticket
6. Sun Moon Lake Ropeway
Finally, for a panoramic view of the Sun Moon Lake, we took the cable car from the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway, which is just a walking distance from Ita Thao Pier.
Fun fact: the colours of the cable car represent the sun (red), moon (yellow) and lake (blue), which lines up in sequence. Don’t they look like fairy lights on a Christmas tree?
You can choose to ride in the regular cars or wait in line for the crystal cars with a glass base for a clear view of what’s down below.
It was drizzling and a little foggy when we rode the cable car, but the view of the Sun Moon Lake and mountains looked like a Chinese painting, which was breathtaking, nonetheless.
Do note that Meet Nantou’s admission ticket does not include admission the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, and requires a separate admission ticket if you’d like to visit.
Sun Moon Lake Ropeway: No. 102, Zhongzheng Road, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 555 | Opening Hours: (Daily) 10.30am – 4pm (Ticketing time: 10am – 3.30pm), (Public Holiday) 10am – 4.30pm (Ticketing time: 9.30am – 4pm) | Meet Nantou Admission Ticket
Laden with unspoilt nature and beautiful spots hidden in every corner, these are just some of the places in Nantou county to explore in two days.
Meet Nantou made travelling around fuss-free, allowing us to skip queues as the admission tickets are included in the packages. With OKBus, Nantou is not as NAN (‘difficult’ in Chinese) to navigate your way around.