Guess what? Prior to planning this trip, I’d never heard of Cingjing (清境, qing1 jing3) before. When I first heard it, I thought, hey such a nice name for a town/city, as the pronunciation is similar as to 清静 (qing1 jing4, which means peace and quietness). Another confession: up till now, I still have no idea when I was “in” Cingjing and when I was no longer in Cingjing.
Where, or what is Cingjing?
Cingjing is located in Nantou, in the central of Taiwan. According to Lonely Planet, Cingjing is farmland between Wushe and Hehuan Mountain (Joy Mountain), covering over 700 hectares of rolling meadows.
The plan was to drive (we hired a driver for the days) from Taichung up to Cingjing where we’ll stay for a night, and the next day, from Cingjing back to Taichung, towards Taipei. Our first program was to head up to Hehuan Mountain – its peak more than 3400m above sea level. It took slightly more than 2 hours for us to reach a high point of He Huan Mountain, from Taichung.
Cingjing in 21 photos – A little slice of heaven
Being high up in the mountains, naturally, the temperature in Cingjing will be significantly lower than Taichung. What I didn’t fully expect was really great scenery views. A trip to Cingjing was rejuvenating.
Sometimes, it snows at the peaks in Cingjing
I was getting carsick and feeling nauseated from the constant winding up the road and the high altitude, but all these went away when we stepped out of the car at He Huan mountain. I’d assumed it was drizzling, when in fact, it was snowing lightly! The snow became heavier afterwards, much to my delight ^^
It was the week after the famous wave of cold surge (January 2016) that had hit Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. We knew it will be cold at the top of the mountains, but none of us were expecting snow, not even my driver. I was ecstatic while fumbling to put on gloves and cap, checking everyone is wrapped up sufficiently, and excited to snap as many photos as I could in the cold!
Roads can become dangerous because of the snow
The roads will get slippery if cars were not prepared ahead. Visibility is reduced too, so go slow. According to my Taiwanese driver, the authorities will close the roads if the snow gets too heavy. My driver was monitoring the weather conditions and hustling us accordingly!
Amazing sceneries & super fresh air
Green Green Grasslands (青青草原)
There are various farms up at Cingjing, but the most famous one has got to be Green Green Grasslands (青青草原), because how do you not love a scene like this? It reminds me of Europe more than Asia.
On weekends, there are sheep-shearing and horse shows. It was a weekday for us, so we didn’t catch those performances.
The horses mainly stood almost motionless, heads dipped, waiting for tourists to take interest in a short ride on them for a small fee. It’s one of my dreams to ride a horse, but seeing how sad they looked, I changed my mind.
These horses in Cingjing belong to the ‘taller’ breed, much taller than the usual ones.
Cingjing is famous for their “seas of clouds” (云海)
Which will definitely take your breath away if you get to see them in good weather. I saw sights like these while we were driving up.
There are gardens and hotels named to remind you of Europe.
Small Swiss Garden
…. I’m sure it’s much prettier if the weather is more sunny.
Old England Hotel..
It’s really quite something to see the sun cast or withdraw its light on/from the mountains.
I woke up early to watch the sun rise over the mountains. As the sun rose and lit the world up, it too filled me with an inner warmth, gratitude and a sense of amazement.
When the sun sets.
Cingjing in Taiwan is indeed a little slice of heaven!