19 Apr Taiwan: Rainbows of Taichung & Qingjing Grassland
Our 2 days in Nantou County, Taiwan included visits to the Rainbow Village, Qingjing (or Cingjing) Farm and a bonus place, small peacock garden.
Taiwan is like so near yet so far. The reason why we haven’t considered Taiwan was that Ant & Eileen didn’t have an impressive experience many many years back. Running out of places to go for short trips, they finally agreed on a “second chance”. So Joel and I were really looking forward to the trip while Joey was no stranger to Taiwan having visited in recent years.
Usually, Eileen and I are the ones to come up with itineraries for trips. But we wiped our hands off this trip and gave Joey the job. Now that I’m blogging this down and looking back, Thank you, Joey! We had a really great time!
For the longest time, I kept bugging Joey to write down the Rainbow Village in Taichung as a MUST visit spot. It’s a really small village which didn’t take us more than an hour to explore. The perfect place to stop by before the long drive to Qingjing. Thankfully for the local university students’ petition to not have the village torn down, tourist like us get to see grandpa, Huang Yung-fu’s colorful art.
Rainbow Village, Taichung
If the government ever ask me to move outta my house, maybe I should attempt to gather all my friends and draw the whole freaking HDB flat. Then again maybe not. Because I would soooo.. get handcuffed, locked up and asked to pay a hefty fine for ‘vandalism’. But hey… I’m not complaining about my clean and green city. *smiles*
And this is the rainbow grandpa, at the age of 94!
Huang has lived there for 37 years, staying even after his neighbours abandoned their homes and only 11 houses remained. That's when he decided to paint. "I was the only person left in the village and I was bored," he said. "The first thing I painted was a bird inside my house."
I was told the food might be too oily for our liking by friends who have visited Taiwan but our guide brought us to places he would eat. So we were mostly really pleased with our meals.
I didn’t expect to be impressed by the scenery on the first day but surprisingly, I was. I guess going to a place without high expectations, on the contrary, can surprise you in many ways.
Right after lunch, we made our way to Qingjing farm before we check ourselves in our accommodation. To be honest, Qing Jing farm feels too commercialised. There’s nothing to shout about really. See some lambs, catch the sheep shearing & dog herding show, take a walk around the green grassland and that’s about it.
Qingjing Farm (清境農場)
Personally, the jokes that the shepherd made while the sheep were between his legs, I couldn’t help but feel anger and pity more than I could laugh at it. I would have appreciated his professionalism if he just did the basics of how a sheep is sheared. The praisable things I could think of is that the farm’s well-maintained lawn and the hygiene, not a place reeked of some distinctive foul smell. Then again, I suppose a well-kept farm contributed to a staged and commercialised outcome. That aside, again, the scenery of the drive up alone made us happier as we surrender to nature sightings.
And this is my favourite sheep picture. Giving me the “mind you own business” look and looking slightly like a Llama instead.
Our accommodation with a pretty darn good view.
Yas to lovely weather!
Thanks to the driver, Andy, I could make stops midway as and when I ogled at how beautiful the sceneries were. He asked me a couple of times if I would like to stop for pictures and of course, I wouldn’t give such opportunity a miss. That’s the best part of having your own guide. If we were to join those group tours, I would definitely not have this batch of amazing photos. Andy has an interest in photography as well so that’s a huge plus point. We both get to explore the unusual spots for our photo taking session.
I wonder who parked the car at such a dangerous looking spot. This must take some skills and guts!
We didn’t wake up in the wee morning to visit Sun Moon Lake because the word has it, that reality is a far cry to expectations unlike what everybody sees in googled images. So we made the decision to briefly stop by on the way before heading back to Taipei city. And so this is the renowned Sun Moon Lake. Meh~
Since we still had some time before heading for Taipei, Andy thought we could pay a short visit to the peacock park. It’s super random and surprisingly, there were a lot of peacocks. Not like a pathetic few but a runway of flamboyant show offs. They were running an internal competition trying to fend off each other with their chest up, butts up and peacock feathers raised high up. Man.. these birds damn proud. Who sets up a peacock park anyways?!
Ending off with some food street photos in Nantou area. Till then… I hope it wouldn’t take long for my entire Taiwan trip entries to be up after this post.