At the height of 1750 metres above the sea, the Cingjing Mountain range is a beautiful getaway for holiday-goers. The mountain is a quiet and serene, making it ideal for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Farms dot the mountainside, with few signs of human habitation among the verdant fields of the mountain. The Cingjing mountain range is truly an idyllic and tranquil place. The skies are azure blue, with beautiful white clouds drifting slowly across the horizon. The weather is wonderfully mild, with light breezes, clear skies and fresh air, requiring little more than a light jacket to wear outside.
However, the true beauty of Cingjing lies in the scenery. A short 40 minutes bus ride up the mountain later, one can immerse oneself in the magnificent paranomic view of the mountains, which seemingly stretches on forever to the horizon. Cloudy mists in the morning lend an air of mystery to the mountain range, sometimes even blending in with the clouds. Such is the beauty of Cingjing that it has a distinctly European aura, appearing like a painting from the mind of artists such as van Gogh.
With the rising or setting of the sun, for a brief few minutes of splendour, the deep-blue sky is transformed to orange, with the mountains below bathed in a warm glow of sunlight, as the sun is in the horizon. Sunrise or sunset is a wondrous spectacle on Cingjing. The beautiful vistas of the Cingjing mountain range can easily enchant any visitor to the mountain range.
A short 2 day 1 night trip is well suited for a visit to Cingjing. It will prove to be a novel experience for urban dwellers and is certainly an eye-opener. Numerous mountain resorts are available for lodging, providing decent accommodation and great hospitability. Most come with a buffet spread, as well as vans or coaches carrying guests to nearby eating areas.
In the day, one can visit the Cingjing farm, and while away a happy afternoon on a nature trip. The Cingjing farm houses a large flock of sheep for the visitor’s enjoyment. The docile and fluffy white creatures are extremely friendly, allowing children and adults alike to go up close and pet them. Visitors can have their photos taken with them. Highlights at the farm also include a sheep-shearing show, where farmers all the way from far-flung New Zealand entertain the audience. Kids will certainly enjoy this part of the trip.
If farm animals fail to engage you, the Cingjing farm has multiple trails for you to savour a stroll, basking in the sheer unadulterated beauty of the countryside while you do. Cingjing farm has a garden nicknamed the “Small Swiss Garden”. The garden has mock windmills, as well as entire rows of flowers, giving the landscape vibrant splashes of colour. Cingjing farm is certainly worth a visit, not least for the excellent scenery.
A place of interest to visit would be the Old England mansion, also a lodging area. A European building, it has beautiful wall sculptures, a white marble façade and a giant clock on its main tower, a sight that appears to be straight from a fairy-tale. If one is able to get inside by purchasing the tea set, or is a guest in the hotel, he will see the intricately designed dining room as well as the Victorian architecture of the place. The gardens of the mansion have elaborately carved works of masonry, with stone fountains and marble sculptures at every nook and cranny. The mansion is worth a visit for the beautiful architecture of the Victorian building.
Another Cingjing attraction to look out for is the Carton King shop. It has a restaurant where everything except the food is made of corrugated cardboard. The furniture is made of cardboard as well, proving amazingly sturdy. Cardboard sculptures adorn the walls. The Carton King has many cardboard products, such as puzzles, cardboard DYI structures and even cardboard hats and bags. One can send a postcard to themselves back in Singapore as well.
The Carton King shop is worth a quick look through for the novelties presented there.
The Cingjing nightlife is generally uninteresting, the area being too dark for any activities. For dinner-time, there are excellent restaurants where one can experience the genius of Taiwanese cooks. There is cheap, good food to be had.
If one wants to experience snow, a visit to Mount Hehuan is highly recommended, being one of the only places where snow can be seen in Taiwan. Mount Hehuan is 3000m above sea level, and while one has to brave a winding road up, the wondrous scenery is worth it. The road, while difficult and curvy, grants one a commanding view of the luxuriant Taiwan forestry, and the surrounding mountains. The temperatures can hit below freezing in the winter, and hover around 5 degrees Celsius in the summer, making it a refreshing experience from the habitual sub-tropical summer-time Taiwan. The view at the peak can simply not be missed however. The lush fields and wild greenery of the mountains appear to be but beneath your feet, making you feel as if you are at the top of the world. Hikes around the mountain is also possible, with numerous trails each offering a striking view of the scenery. Sunrise and sunset is also a breathtakingly beautiful sight on the mountain. The whole slope of the mountain will be pure white, sprinkled with the brown and black of mountain rock and trees. The pearly white snow will be a rare treat to visitors from tropic climes, oftentimes coating entire roads and hamlets with icy whiteness.
The Cinjing mountain range is, quite simply put, an amazing experience. Alluring scenery, interesting attractions, as well as the sheer novelty of it all creates a second-to-none way to spend your holiday. The downright beauty rightly earns it the name of, “Heaven in Taiwan”.