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We hired a driver who picked us from TaiChung train station. So before this trip, I had thought that Taipei is all there is to Taiwan. Until a colleague enlightened me, and indeed, upon searches in TripAdvisor (best travel website ever!), seems like there’s a lot more that Taiwan offers.

So first stop, Carton King:

Entrance to Car

And Carton Tour Eiffel transported us to Europe….

Tour Eiffel in Taiwan

Quite picturesque really!

Carton Leaning Tower of Pisa

A prelude to the sheep we would see the next day….

Dutch sheep?

Lovely paper lights which are for sale…love the colours!

Colours for lights

Well, that’s about all there is to Carton King.

So next, we went for some yam balls at DongDong Yu Yuan. This was recommended by both the driver and my colleague. Who would ever guess yam balls would be so springy and chewy! We got both a hot soupy version and a icy cold one. πŸ˜›

Nice warm soupy bowl on a cold day

The cold version

Next we went to a couple of Mushroom farms.

Mushroom stools at the farm

Growing mushrooms

Mushrooms of different sizes for picking

The highlight of today’s trip is to Xinshe Old Castle. Reminds me of Europe, but of course! Really picturesque. Love the colour of the maple leaves! πŸ˜€

First structure we came upon entering

Feels a wee bit European, no?

Feels like autumn

reminds me of an aqueduct, albeit an incomplete one

My favourite location at the site, with lots of maple trees around:

Beautiful red maple leave against a blue sky makes a beautiful image

Sorry for the slightly over-exposed picture but its the only one we’ve got of the fountain overview.

Fountains display

We spent about 2-3 hours at this location. We shared a set lunch at the only restaurant available on site and well, the food wasn’t quite good. πŸ˜• Otherwise, it would have wrapped up a nice trip to XinShe Old Castle.

Next on the itinerary is the Lavender Cottage. As per the other attractions, there’s an entrance fee. This attraction, in my opinion, is mainly for dating couples to do sweet little nothings together. I mean, its cute but I wouldn’t come another time. Besides, I’ve seen the lavender I wanted to see in Provence. 😎

Postage area where one can place letters for delivery into the pigeon holes

A carousel amongst the trees

Make a wish area

This would be a lovely scene when the lavender blooms

Our ‘tour’ ended by 5.30pm and it was getting dark by the time we reached TaiChung. We headed first to our accommodation for the night; a Love Motel. Yes, you read right, a ‘love motel’. Apparently TaiChung is famous for its love motels and they came highly recommended by my colleague.

And wow, I was told Love Motels are very spacious in TaiChung but I didn’t quite expect them to be quite so huge. The size of the bathroom is about as big as my living room back home! Well, it might be that my living is actually that small. πŸ™„

Just a marbled bathroom

We went to the FengJia night market and did some shopping!! (No photos unfortunately). It was a pretty cold night and after we were satisfied with what we had, we headed back to rest for the next exciting day.