Friday, June 26, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Nantou 南投 - Puli King Garden 埔里元首馆

Photo By: Elin Chow
Address: No 219, Section 4, Zhongshan Rd, Puli Township, Nantou Country 545, Taiwan 南投县埔里镇中山路四段219号

We woke up early this morning, packed up and checked out of Fengjia Inn 逢甲 Inn in Taichung. Our destination for the day was to visit the Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 before embarking on the long journey to Cingjing 清境. On our way to Sun Moon Lake, we stopped by Puli King Garden 埔里元首馆 for a quick rest break.

Operating Hours

The operating hours for Puli King Garden is as below:

Operating Hours
Weekdays
9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Weekends
9.00 am – 5.30 pm

Basically, this place is just like a convenience store, restaurant, gift shops and rest & stop area put together in one building designed with a castle-like exterior. 

There is nothing much to do or see except walk around, take some photos or do some souvenirs shopping. Well, since there are not much for me to write about, I shall let the photos do most of the talking. I hope you all will enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.

The toilet is definitely a must see! So, make sure you visit the toilet before you leave this place.


With ample of seating area and ultra clean public bathrooms, this is an ideal rest stop for a quick coffee and a meal break before continuing on your journey



There are plenty of good photo opportunities for family and friends in Puli King Garden.






Spending 15 minutes or so should be enough unless you plan to eat and shop for some souvenirs.


In my opinion, Puli King Garden is not a must-visit attraction. But you might want to drop by if you are in the vicinity. Furthermore, there is no admission fee, so you have absolutely nothing to lose when you visit this attraction.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Taichung 台中 - Dakeng Lovers Bridge 大坑情人桥

Photo By: Elin Chow
Address: Section 1, Xiangshun East Rd, Beitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 406 台中市北屯区祥顺东路一段兴景贤路交叉口

Leaving Summit Castle Resort 新社古堡庄园, we moved on and headed off to check out the well-known Dakeng Lovers Bridge 大坑情人桥 (also known as Pink Valentine Bridge 粉红情人桥) in Taichung City 台中. 

Our last stop of the day was supposed to be Summit Castle Resort, but since we finished our itinerary earlier than expected, Mr Tsai, our driver cum tour guide, actually offered to drive us to Dakeng Lovers Bridge. The bridge is known to be one of the recent new attraction in Dakeng scenic area 大坑风景区.

Of course we were more than happy to check out this new attraction around Dakeng area in Taichung. However, since it was not initially on our itinerary, we really did not have any idea what to expect. 


The entire bridge is painted in pink, which gave off a very calm, gentle and romantic feel. The glass walkway was a great aspect of the bridge, but I believe it might get a little slippery when it rains. So be careful if you are visiting on a raining day. 

During the day. the Dakeng Lovers Bridge looks just like a simple pedestrian walkway. However, the bridge is said to be amazingly beautiful especially at night when all the neon lights have lit up on it, which created a romantic atmosphere for any romance. Many couples and photographers would flock here every night just to enjoy and capture the beauty of the bridge.


Unfortunately, we could not wait and stay until it was late enough to see the bridge lit up in colors. 


This is a great place to relax and take a romantic walk with your other half.



The glass floor also provides a fantastic reflection of the lovely bridge. 



At the other end of the bridge, Mr Tsai was patiently waiting for us. It took us probably less than 10 minutes to walk across the bridge, at a comfortable pace.

Overall, it was great and beautiful experience. I would recommend anyone to visit the Dakeng Lovers Bridge if you have spare time in Taichung. But make sure you visit when the bridge lit up at night time.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Taichung 台中 - Summit Resort 新社古堡庄园

Photo By: Elin Chow
Address: No. 65, Xiezhong Street, Xinshe Township, Taichung City, Taiwan 台中市新社区协成里协中街65号

Leaving Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林, we moved on to Summit Resort 新社古堡庄园 (also known as Xinshe Castle or Summit Castle Resort).

Summit Resort 新社古堡庄园

Situated high up in the mountains in Xinshe, Taichung City 新社台中, you will an unique castle in European style with a large garden, lake and waterfall. Although the castle is reminiscent of an ancient Eurporean castle, it was not built and left behind by the Europeans. So, the castle was definitely not a century old. 

Its origin was left ambiguous, even on its website. No one seems to know who built the castle or why was it built. Perhaps, someone just decided that it will be a great idea to build a castle high up in the mountains. 

Please note that there are no accommodation in the attraction even though it is called a resort. 

Entrance Fee 

The entrance fee to the Summit Resort are as below:

Entrance Fees
Adult Ticket
Above 12 years old
250 TWD
Concessionary Ticket
Children aged 7 to 12 years old
Elderly aged 65 years old & above
Disabled
150 TWD
Free Entry
Children aged 6 years old & below


There are two types of ticket available for the public - 250 TWD for adult and 150 TWD for children, elderly or people with disabilities (inclusive of 100 TWD voucher) which can be used to offset any purchase in the attraction later. Please note that children below 6 are allowed to enter for free. 

However, for those who are interested in shooting your pre-wedding photographs at the Summit Resort, you will be required to pay a little more.  The cost of entrance will be as below:

Entrance Fees
(For Wedding Photography)
Per Entry 
3,500 TWD

The entrance fee of 3,500 TWD only allow free entry for up to 6 persons (also comes with free drinks for 6 persons). Any additional pax will be charged according to the normal rate. 

Operating Hours

The operating hours for Summit Resort is as below:

Operating Hours
Monday - Friday
9.00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday & Sunday
8.00 am – 6.00 pm


Upon stepping into the attraction, we were immediately greeted by European-style castle, flower garden and a lake. 

There are plenty of seating area for visitors to gather, relax and enjoy the scenery.

The glamorous European castle-like architecture gracefully overlooks a stunning huge lake and is surrounded by lush greenery. It was a truly awe-inspiring sight.




There are plenty of colorful Koi fish swimming around in the lake, all hungrily gaping for food.


We walked down a wooden bridge where we managed to get a 360 degree panoramic view of the surroundings.


Of course, this was also a great spot for us to snap some tourist photos.


Turn left and cross another wooden bridge across the lake that lead to the castle.


We came upon an outdoor cafe beside the lake. However, the cafe was not opened on the day we visited.

Even so, this is a great place for us to relax and rest our sore and tired feet after a long day of walking. 


Walk further in and climb up at few flight of stairs to the castle.

On the top of the stairs, you will get to enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the lake.

There was also a small flower garden in the attraction. Walk among the beautiful 
flowers and take a deep breath of fresh air. Listen to the birds chirping and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.

At first look, the exterior facade of the castle was impressive. I believe the majestic splendor of the external facade would impressed most of the visitors arriving at the castle. But if you look carefully, you will realized that it was actually not as impressive as you have initially thought.  


Even so, we were still excited to pose for photos in front of the castle, just like any other locals and tourists visiting the attraction would do. 


This is also a perfect place for your outdoor wedding photo shoot due to its picturesque landscape.

Walking around the garden also makes one feels like being in a medieval European Castle. 

There is nothing much to do except walk around, enjoy the scenery and snap some pictures. Most of the restaurants and souvenir shops were not opened when we visited, which makes the entire place looks pretty much like a dead town.


However, even with ample sunlight, I think most of the photos did not turn out as well as expected.


We spent about an hour or so exploring and snapping tons of photos around the Resort. It was just more than enough time to see everything in the attraction. 



In fact, the attraction actually feels like a tourist trap to us. I have no idea why Summit Resort is so heavily advertised as one of the most popular tourist attraction in Taichung. Personally, I really feel that this should not be a must-visit or must-see attraction in Taichung.


Even so, we were still glad that the entire place was not crowded with tourists since we visited on a normal weekday.


There was also a man-made multi-layer waterfall in the attraction. Walked down several flight of stairs and continue on a wooden boardwalk to enjoy a closer view of the waterfall. 





The waterfall makes a great backdrop for photo-taking.



Once you are done with the waterfall, we crossed over a stone bridge that led us back to the entrance.


The stone bridge led to a full view of the waterfall. From the bridge, the waterfall looks more spectacular than what we had thought.


We stood there silently, admiring the view. Of course, not forgetting to snap some quick photos.


At the end of the bridge, we came across the only restaurant that was opened in the attraction during the time when we visited. Seeing that there were no other place for us to utilize our coupons, we decided use them in this restaurant.


Since Summit Resort is a tourist attraction, the menu is relatively pricey with limited selection. So, we decided to get some cool drinks for ourselves. However, unlike Lavender Cottage, the coupons cannot be combined to offset our entire purchase. We were told that only one coupon can be used per purchase. Thus, we ended up having to fork out extra money just to get ourselves some drinks. 

Overall, our experience at Summit Resort was pleasant, but not awesome. The entrance ticket was expensive and in our opinion,  not worth the price at all. In fact, the Summit Resort was the most expensive fee-paying attraction we have visited that day.

The Summit Resort was a rather dull place without anything interesting. I would suggested anyone to give this attraction a miss if you are on a tight itinerary and only visit when you have extra time to spare.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!