Taiwan Trip Day 3: Yilan > Sanyi/Miaoli

Day 3 of Taiwan family trip starts with a hearty breakfast at our minsu. Once again, simple fare but with a touch of warmness.

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Driver picked us up for another full day tour after we checked out of the minsu.

First stop:

Miaoli Lavender Garden / Lavender Cottage (薰衣草森林)

Not much lavender was blooming when we were there. But there are some cute installations and green background for photo taking.

If your kids like to do collect “stamps” or “chops”, there are many “stamping-collecting” places all over taiwan. So bring along a little notebook for them to stamp on. Smile

There is also a restaurant but we were planning to head elsewhere for lunch and thus didn’t eat there. Food looks good though.

Went for a quick walk up the “hill”, took photos and went straight for lavender ice-cream! haha… Think the kids were only here for the ice-cream!

You need a car to get here as it is located within the mountains. Decent enough for first timer; otherwise unlikely to re-visit again.

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Entrance fee can be offset with purchases too.

Website: http://www.lavendercottage.com.tw/

Miaoli Storyland

This is NOT a playground. Actually I am not sure if this is the diner’s name except the exterior of the shop has this signage!

It is an obscure and nostalgic eatery in Miaoli which specialises in Hakka food. Apparently, they are quite well known and goes back many years in history.

As my father-in-law (and that makes my husband and sons) is a Khek (dialect group), I wanted to look for Hakka food so he can try them. Our driver brought us here and it was a good recommendation!

We would not have come here on our own as it doesn’t even look like an eatery from it’s name and facade.

It was tough to order as I wanted to try everything! hahaha! We ended up with some of the recommended specialities and some vegetarian dishes as my mum is a vegetarian.

The photos do not do justice to the taste of the food; they taste better than their presentations.

Most of the dishes are good and authentic – the cold chicken was really good! There were plates of muah chee as appetizers and red bean ice lollies as desserts! I am drooling while writing this post!

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Sheng Hsing Train Station (勝興車站)

After lunch and after consultation with the driver, we decided to go to the nearest next stop which will be on the way to our accommodation in Miaoli.

This train station in Sanyi is located within the mountains and on an up slope. It is a defunct old station which has since been converted to a tourist place together with the Sanyi old town which comprises of tea shops (Lei Cha) and miscellaneous souvenirs.

There is supposed to be a 1km underground tunnel which visitors can walk in but unfortunately, the area was closed when we were there.

As most of my photos were deleted, will recommend this blog and this info site for more details.

We ended up taking some photos of railway tracks and shopping in the old town.

Won’t recommend this place unless you like train tracks or want to do some touristy shopping enroute to your final destination.

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宜蘭–薰衣草森林–山度窯烤麵包(要幾天前先預約)-大湖草莓園–勝興車站–龍騰斷橋—苗栗通宵好望角民宿

Yilan–miaoli Lavender Garden–shandu –strawberry farm–ShanXin train station–LongTung bridge–Overnight at Miaoli.

Green Ark

We decided to come here for dinner as it’s on the way to our accommodation for the night at Miaoli. It was a big place with 2 restaurants nested above a gentle slope. Apparently, this is a venue popular for wedding photos and weddings! But we probably came at a wrong season. There were little to look around and it too freezing cold to be outdoors for long.

We literary make a beeline for the restaurant and camped indoors next to the real fireplace.  Food was decent western fare though a little more expensive; but expected for restaurant standards. Restaurant has a wooden and cosy look; lovely for couple dates. Smile

There was a little shop further up from the main entrance where you can buy cutesy souvenirs. I stayed there for a teeny winny bit longer just to warm myself next to the fire place! haha.

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I reckon this place will be better for a summer/spring visit so one can view the flora and funa; winter is way to cold to enjoy the place properly. There is an entrance fee which can be redeem with purchases as usual.

Website: http://greenark.com.tw/home.asp

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And that concluded our day while we check into our next minsu – in Miaoli – in time to take cover for the extremely cold draft/weather passing by for the night. The minsu lady did warn me to bring more clothing specially for that day and supplied us with thermal blankets, but it was still very very cold. More on that in the next post.

Read more on our Taiwan trip:

Day 1: Taipei (Taoyuan) > Yilan

Day 2: Yilan (Happiness 20 Farm > Crayon Art Factory > Traditional Art Center > Luodong Night Market)

Day 3: Yilan > Miaoli

Day 4: Miaoli (Hao Wang Jiao Minsu > Picking of seasonal fruits)

Day 4: Miaoli (Flying Cow Ranch)

Day 5: Miaoli > Taichung (Xinshe Sea of Flowers > Master of Mushroom > Go-Kart > Carton King > La Vida Hotel > Feng Chia night market)

Day 6: Taichung > Taipei

Day 7 & 8: Taipei

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Xi En’s (simple) wish at the Lavender Cottage

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