1.21.2014

Chan Brothers Customised Holidays : Taiwan - Tashee Blooming Oasis, Swiss Garden


Everyday is a winding road...

Last December , we had the largest overseas family outing. With a total of 14 members of our extended family, we trooped down to Taiwan for an exploration. No.. We are not there to fulfill our National Service obligations, rather we are on a customised tour with Chan Brothers for a tour around Taiwan.



For this tour , we have a bus catered exclusively for the family. Although it is stated as customised, we pretty much followed what is on the itinerary( we could not deviate much due to the traveling and logistics involved)


We will be dividing this review into 4 parts focusing on the attractions, the accommodation and since it is Taiwan , the food.Look out for this 4 part special as stated.

At the end of the 4 part, like all typical review, there will be a verdict on the tour. Without further ado, let the tour begin!

 Day 1 Attraction : Shilin market

Shilin market
After a 6.5 hours flight and an hour bus ride, we arrived at our first stop. Shilin market. Like a typical guided tour, iternaries are subjected to minor changes depending on timing and constraints. As usual we were assured we would cover the attractions as indicated on the tour.

Shilin night market
The stopover was for an hour including dinner. Honesty it is too short a time to explore Shilin market. We can only get a whiff of its flavor. This actually sets the expectations of the tour where time at most instances is a luxury we could not afford.Back to Shilin Market - It is a place for food buffs. Don't miss the crispy fried chicken while you are there.


Accomodation : JinShan Sakura Bay Spring Resort

JinShan Sakura Bay
We reached the first of our 6 hotels for the tour in the evening. It is the JinShan Sakura Bay Spring Resort which is well known for outdoor spring bath.

The Room
As it was getting late, we decided to have our own 'hot spring' in the room bathtub instead.

The Bus

The Pink Bus
For the rest of our journey, we will be traveling on The Pink Bus. This is a smaller coach for 20. It was pretty comfortable and it had to be as it was literally our second home for the trip. We spend more time on the bus than any other destination during the entire trip!


Day 2 Attraction : Tashee Blooming Oasis 大溪花海農場

Sun Yen
Our next stop would be the Tashee Blooming Oasis (大溪花海農場)
. We had to walked through Cihu park containing hundreds of bust of Chiang Kai-Shek and some Dr Sun Yat Sen statues.

Cihu
After a short walk, we reached our destination.

Ta Shee Blooming Oasis
It was pretty hues of colours that greeted us at Tashee . Given it is winter, not all the flowers are blooming during this season.

Colours
For those flowers in bloom, it was indeed a pretty sight.



It was not a Wow Wow moment but it was a good feast for the eyes. In addition, we came across the first of the many LOVE signage found during this trip.

An hour was spend at this place. We did not cover the whole garden as you would probably need double the time to enjoy and soak in the surroundings. 

Attractions : Small Swiss Garden 清境農場

Swiss Garden
It's off to another park after Tashee. Given that it is winter and darkness comes at 5pm, we have limited daylight to enjoy the sights. The next destination is Small Swiss Garden - 清境農場 located in Chingjing.


Touted as Little Switzerland for its cool climate and views, this place is also known as Paradise in the midst. It is not a very big attraction and you probably just need an hour there.


As for activities, the boys were busy feeding the birds and ducks with feeds that are bought within the garden.

Bird whisperers
There is another love sign spotted in the gardens...

Spot the love
Can't find it? Here is a bigger picture.

Love Part 2
The Swiss garden itself was spectacular on its own. However it does have lot of nice photo opportunity spots

Say cheese!
When night falls , the whole gardens is lit up by led lights. If you think the light up at Orchard Road during Christmas is beautiful, you would love the atmosphere at the Swiss Garden.

Swiss garden light up.
Do make a stop at Carton King, where everything on sale is made of carton!
Carton King
After the Swiss garden, it is time for a meal at a restaurant located 2044 m above sea level.


The food provided as part of the trip was mostly Taiwanese fare. The dishes throughout this tour have a slight variety but one item remains the main staple food... cabbage.

Chopsticks

Accomodation : Ming Ging Farm

Ming Ging farm
After dinner, it is time to check into a hotel. We stayed at Ming Ging farm that had a different theme and decor for each rooms.

Ming Ging farm
This is by far the nicest hotel we had stayed. It is also one with no lift so we had to lug our luggage up 3 stories!

Night time
The Swiss element remains within the hotel.

Husky dogs
Husky dogs and views of mountains from the room does give you a feel of the Swiss alps. We did not plan for a trip to Switzerland, but it does feel refreshing to be in Little Switzerland.


Stay tune as we continue our Taiwan adventures!

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