After a full year traversing Japan (and a short visit for National Duties last year), this time I was ‘suggested’ to go to Taipei. Cut long story short, July-August is the hottest months for countries in the region and so I was not exactly that excited until someone pique the idea of going to Qing Jing.
I have saw quite alot of advertisements from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau on my transit through the MRT stations so yes I am one of the successful KPI from that campaign. I would say Qingjing is also a to-do list after friends did mention about the place quite a lot of times on Facebook.
Carton King Creativity Park
On the way up the mountains we passed by Taichung for late breakfast, early lunch and then make our way up to the mountains. Along the way Xiaowei said something about a cardboard paper theme park that got a bit of curiousity piqued.
Image a theme park made entirely up of paper and you have a very whacky place to visit. The Carton King is located in various places and for convenience, you can just pop by the small outlet at Qing Jin but the main one is at Da Keng. There is a restaurant made entirely of cardboard paper and yes you can safely sit on it since it can handle me pretty easily.
想像一個完全由紙製成的主題公園。 Carton King（纸箱王）有很多家分店，為了方便起見，您可以去清境的小店走走。但主店在大坑，所以路过就来看一看。
Qing Jing (or Cing Jing) 清境
Qing Jing, in Chinese meant A Place of Tranquility because the word Qing means clean or clear. Established in 1961 by the Veterans Affairs Council to house retired servicemen and their family, it has become a tourist destination for the young and old. It has sort of becoming a grassland for sheep, and the first thing that comes to mind is Switzerland and the highlands. Add to the fact there are a few hotels and accommodations that are built with facades of European architecture it just add that bit of illusion.
There are also sheep shearing and horse riding show on the grounds. The kids can also take a ride on the horses and the adults can just relax at numerous viewing spots throughout the grounds.
What I felt is that the best part of the place is to actually shoot the night skies. Too bad July is a bit wet and should visit around the September-October period.
清境，中文意思是一個寧靜的境界吧，因為清一詞意味著清潔或清晰。 退伍軍人事務委員會於1961年成立，為退休軍人及其家人提供住宿，已成為年輕人和老年人的旅遊目的地。 它有點像草原，首先想到的是瑞士和高地。 此外，還有一些酒店和住宿建築採用歐洲建築立面，增加了一點點去了欧洲的幻覺。
If you have been to the highlands then Qingjing basically is what Genting used to be like before the whole place is turned into a shopping center in the skies. The air is fresh, the grass is green, the sky supposed to be blue but is full of clouds. But anything just to escape the pressuring heat in the city. Singapore is hot enough and coming to a temperate country‘s summer is definitely not my favourite season of the year.
To say this is a ‘farm’ is not exactly correct. It is more like a playground that happens to have sheep roaming the grounds. Good thing the area is enjoyable helped by the cool breeze.
清境有如80年代的云顶。 空氣清新，草原又綠，蓝天白云，帮我逃避了城市壓力。 新加坡已经夠熱了，来到这里真是够凉爽。
Só this is the general layout of the whole place. If you want some local food you can go to the middle where the carpark location is and enjoy some street side food. It is not exactly a small place but also not that big it became daunting. I personally like the pasture area but the iconic windmill is at the south park.
這是整個清境农场的總體佈局。 如果你想要一些當地街边美食，你可以去中央的停車場所，享受一些街頭小吃。 它不是一個小地方，但也不是大得那麼难走。我個人喜歡青青草原，但風車部署在南方观山牧区。
The iconic windmill of Qingjing.
That’s the horse riding trail that the kids would love but it is quite short.
The view is pretty nice and a good respite from the Taipei heat.
There are such nice trails around the farm. Just take the lesser road used by the tourists and explore a bit.
Wu Ling and He Huan Mountain
I do have a plan to at least stay quite late at night at He Huan Shan for milkyway and sunrise so you do need to get transportation to and from the drop off point. This is a must go if you are at Qingjing and do make the effort for the sunrise if weather permits. I don’t have that luck unfortunately as a typhoon was forming and the whole place is full of clouds. But it was a nice drive up the mountain and see the view.
我確實有一個計劃，至少在何歡山度過深夜。 如果你在清境，如果天氣允許的話，可以去看日出，這是必須的。 不幸的是，由於颱風正在形成，整個地方到處都是雲，所以我沒有那麼幸運。
During winter months the top of the mountain will have snow and provides ample reasons to visit here again to enjoy a White Christmas.
What We Ate
Because the place is so touristy, getting things to eat is not an issue. If you want to go budget, there are 7-11 shops around and there are roadside stall at the South Entrance of the Farm. There is one notable place to really spend the afternoon and it is The Old English Manor High Tea set. It is about $30 per person and the Tudor setting is really posh to the point I felt underdressed in t-shirts and shorts. Nevertheless we did enjoy the stay and food when the mountain is pouring with heavy rain.
Of course, we can’t do without the local dishes and Qing Jing has a lot of options as well. The usual suspects are the stew pork rice and noodles and if you are on top of the mountain, try their roast chicken as well. For a chicken lover like me, I am in heaven while in heaven.
因為這個地方非常適合旅遊，所以吃東西不是問題。 如果为了省省钱，周圍有多家7-11便利商店。農場南入口處有路邊攤位。 下午有一個值得一去的地方，那就是The Old English Manor下午茶套餐。 每個人只需付約30星元就可以享受高档生活。
This is the taro ball or yam ball. We all know about yam paste so basically it is yam paste and ball in a big paper bowl. This is the antidote to the Taiwan heat.
My guide Xiaowei introduced us to this coffee place. Their ice drop coffee is really tasteful. Smooth and full of flavour. Totally love it after a hot day in Taiwan. This is one of those local spots you wouldn’t know if you travel alone.
The Old England Manor
I would say having High Tea at The Old England Manor is actually a highlight in itself. Furthermore there was torrential rain when we arrived so I was pretty glad to escape the drenching. To say that this is not a hotel I feel it is unfair since it is really a minsu. The mish mash of the interior did give a bit of that English vibe and having high tea feel…English Victorian style.
The food is quite alright but I think the lunch, albeit expensive, can be a better option. Then again, High Tea is about sweets and cakes and all things that go well with English tea and for a mere S$30 is pretty affordable just to experience the interior of this quirky pseudo European environment.
Welcome to my home!LOL!
At the back of Old England Manor there’s a small cottage that serves coffee and cakes too. So if you think the high tea is a bit too much, this is a great alternative though I didn’t get to try.
My accommodation is actually a souped up container box. However that doesn’t mean it is not comfortable. Far from that it is pretty homely and the wash room is quite well equipped. There were towels for us to use to, and disposable toothbrush and toothpaste. Although it is a ryokan, mingsu, it is to me as good as a 1-star hotel. I have travelled a lot of places and have been to worse so this is certainly more than acceptable so long it is clean, well maintained and has a toilet that works well.
我的住宿實際上是一个装修过的貨運集裝箱。 然而，這並不意味著它不舒服。 遠非如此，它非常舒适，洗手間設備齊全。 有毛巾供我們使用，還有一次性牙刷和牙膏。 雖然這是一家民俗，但它對我來說就像一家一星級酒店一樣好。 我已經走了很多地方並且情況更糟，所以這肯定是可以接受的，
This view is just outside my cabin. This is unedited and you can see very clearly the milkyway core up in the skies. Imagine this being a cloudless night!
For transportation to Qing Jing, one can get the tourist bus from Taichung or the High Speed Railway Station. I opted for a full package with accommodation and transport.
There are few advantages. First of all, the Farm is quite scattered. There are definitely more thing to see around the area including He Huan Mountain. If you do want to do trekking, transport is also needed to drop you at a spot before you climb the mountains or trekking.
If you are travelling alone then it gets a bit expensive. The budget way would be the shuttle bus and walk/trek the whole area.
If you want me to answer some personal questions, please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will help you as much as I can.
My Gear for the Trip
- Huawei P20 Pro Smartphone and Content Creation Center
- Nikon D500 with Laowa 12mm f2.8 DSLR
- Canon M50 Mirrorless Compact
- Sony RX100 Mark 6 Compact Camera
- Insta360 ONE 360 camera
- DJI Spark Drone
About Wilson Wong
Founder of the 10000+ members Singapore Photography Interest Network photography group, avid gadget lover and budget wanderluster. He also writes for Techgoondu.com a tech website for the non-techies about the latest trends in personal tech. His wish is to help people get the right stuff and enjoy life without cutting off limbs to do so.