A Travel Guide to Cingjing Farm, Taiwan’s High Mountain Leisure Farm

Sheep grazing on the fields at Cingjing Farm in Nantou County, Taiwan

Cingjing Farm (清境農場 or Qingjing Nongchang, see official site) is a tourist farm at 1750 meters (5724 feet) in Nantou county, Taiwan.

The farm is known for its military history, foggy mountain vistas, flower viewing, fresh air, starry nights, European-style farm and guesthouses, and animal shows. Cingjing Farm is also a good base for visiting the even more impressive Hehuanshan, famous for its sunrises. Along with Alishan, Cingjing is one of the most famous mountain resorts in Taiwan.

In this article, I’m going to cover all the practical information about visiting Cingjing Farm, including its layout, some travel tips, when to visit, best tours, how to get there, the Cingjing Pass, where to stay, the different farm areas, other things to do at Cingjing, best hikes and sunset viewpoints, and what to eat there.

You can also read my more personal story about visiting and why I didn’t love Cingjing Farm here.

Cingjing Farm Introduction

A sign of a Taiwanese military veteran welcoming guests into a hotel
The farm is run by a KMT veterans association (image inside Cingjing Gusthouse)

After Chiang Kai-Shek’s nationalist army lost the Chinese Civil War in 1949, some 2 million Chinese fled to Taiwan.

Many were placed in military dependents’ villages around the island. Soldiers from Yunnan province, including members of the Dai ethnic minority (傣族, also called Paiyu tribe) were placed at what is now Cingjing Farm.

Tables displaying various vegetables and fruits for sale
High mountain produce grown and sold around Cingjing

Their descendants still live there today, especially in Bowang Village (博望村) which is just a few kilometers north of the farm. They grow tea, cabbage, and other high mountain crops. Thus, one of the highlights of visiting is the chance to taste their food (see the “Where to Eat at Cingjing” section at the end).

These settled soldiers established Cingjing Farm, and today it is still run by the Veterans Affairs Council of the Republic of China (國軍退除役官兵輔導委員會). You can learn about the area’s history in the small museum inside the farm’s official accommodation, Cingjing Guesthouse (but don’t bother staying here).

Looking down a valley with tea fields on the sides, farm houses, and mountains beyond
Beautiful scenery and farms around Cingjin

The farm skyrocketed in popularity when Highway 14A (14甲), was built across the country, after another highway was destroyed in the 921 earthquake.

From Taichung and Puli, the highway passes Cingjing and Hehuanshan before connecting to Highway 8 (the Central Cross Island Highway), which continues to Taroko Gorge in Hualien (currently closed for an estimated one year due to the April 2024 Hualien Earthquake.

Animals you can see on the farm include Corriedale lamb, Hereford cow, Aberdeen Angus cow, Barbado Sheep, Arab Horse, and ponies. Fruits grown there include kiwi, pears, plums, and peaches, plus there are cherry blossoms in mid to late-February.

Two sheep grazing on a hill. One has a red stripe on its back and ear tag.
Sheep in Cingjing Farm

In Chinese, there are many nicknames for Cingjing, including “Roof of Taiwan” (台灣屋脊). From Cingjing area, you can see several peaks of the Central Mountain Range, including Hehuanshan, Nenggao, and Qilai Mountain.

You’ll find that the mountain scenery gets more spectacular if you travel past Cingjing Farm to Hehuanshan area.

Read about other places to visit in Taiwan which I personally prefer.

Cingjing Farm Visiting Tips

A super winding high mountain road going up a hill, with trees in foreground and misty mountains in distance
Super winding roads in Cingjing/Hehuanshan region

Here are some tips to improve your Cingjing experience.

  • The drive from Taichung to Cingjing is quite winding. If you or your kids get carsick easily, make sure to bring car sickness medicine (暈車藥), which is cheap and available at any pharmacy in Taiwan.
  • Choose your hotel carefully, because some are quite far from the farm. You may have to walk up a steep road or driveway to reach the hotel.
  • There are two entrances to Cingjing Farm, the middle one with food court (here) and upper one (here). There’s also an abandoned southern entrance, so don’t use that one.
A sheep grazing on a green lawn, with walking path, fence, and some people walking behind it
A sheep in the farm
  • Some hotels lie in the hills south (downhill) from Cingjing Farm. Two 7-11s, some restaurants, Swiss Garden, Carton King, and Cingjing Guesthouse are also to the south.
  • Other guesthouses lie north (above) Cinging Farm, anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 hour walk away.
  • If you prefer not to walk so far, choose a hotel that is close to the northern entrance of Cingjing Farm, like this one or this one.
  • If you choose one of the hotels south of the farm like where I stayed, it will be a long uphill walk from those hotels to the farm. Some of the hotels will drive you to the farm.
A white pedestrian walkway with a farm on a hill behind it
Cingjing Skywalk with the farm above it
  • Cinging Skywalk is a pedestrian walkway connecting the lower, middle, and upper areas of the farm. It’s separate from the farm. The farm is on the west side of the highway but the skywalk is mostly on the east side of the highway. The walkway has a small entrance fee.
  • If you’re only visiting as a day trip, get off the bus or get dropped off at the top/northern entrance of the farm. Then finish/take the bus from the central (main) entrance, where there is also a food court.
  • Dress warm for Cingjing. Due to the altitude, it is several degrees colder up there compared to lowland areas of Taiwan. Most hotels have heaters or heated blankets in winter.
A white and red windmill with sheep around it and foggy sky
Typical foggy weather at Cingjing
  • Cingjing is famous for cloudy/foggy weather, so you might not see great mountain views. The weather was very poor when I visited (all photos in this article with blue sky are stock photos).
  • Many hotels offer dinner (usually hot pot) and breakfast.
  • If you’re planning to visit Hehuanshan also, there are only 3 buses per day from Cingjing to Hehuanshan. There’s only one hotel there (Songsyue Lodge) and it’s hard to book. This Hehuanshan sunrise tour from Cingjing is a convenient way to visit.

When to Visit

A mountain slope with dry brown grass and one sheep, with fenced path behind it and cherry blossoms in the left foreground
Cherry blossoms and dry grass in winter

Each season of the year comes with some different highlights at Cingjing Farm.

In winter, the grass is mostly yellow, but visitors will be rewarded with cherry blossoms, tulips, and plum blossoms. Mid- to late-February is the peak blooming time, but you can expect bigger crowds.

The weather can be quite cool, with an average 15°C in the daytime and 6-8°C at night. Clear skies are more common in winter.

You won’t see snow at Cingjing Farm. For that, you’ll need to travel higher to Hehuanshan, and even there it only snows sometimes in January and February. When it does snow, the highway from Cingjing to Hehuanshan becomes very crowded and cars may be required to have special chains on their tires.

Some sheep grazing on a green pasture with a windmill on a hill behind
Greener pastures in other seasons

In late Spring, the pastures come alive with green grass and baby cows & sheep are born. In March, you can see apple, peach, and pear blossoms, as well as tealeaves ready to be harvested in the area. In May, watch for chrysanthemums.

Summer is the best time to see the sheep shearing shows and butterflies. The farms pear’s and peaches also ripen at this time, while the pastures are at their greenest.

Cingjing is a lovely respite from lower areas of Taiwan at this time, as the weather is cooler at this altitude. The average summer daytime temperature is around 20 to 25°C (15°C at night).

A bush of pink and white flowers
Flowers I spotted in October

In autumn, pears/apples/kiwis are harvested in September/October/November, followed by winter teas.

You can also see some maple tree foliage in Shoushan Park (the lowest and least visited area of the farm) and Swiss Garden in November to December.

Best Cingjing Tours

A collage of three photos, showing mountain with snow, lake with boats, and turbines on the coast with sunset
Combine your visit with a tour to Hehuanshan, Sun Moon Lake, or Gaomei Wetlands

Because Cingjing Farm is a little difficult to reach and explore by public transportation, due to its mountainous landscape, many visitors choose to take a tour there.

I recommend this Qingjing Farm day tour from Taichung if you want to have the most time at the farm.

If you want to also visit Hehuanshan on the same day, take this Cingjing Farm and Hehuanshan tour. It means you will have less time at Cingjing Farm, but I think it’s worth it, because Hehuanshan’s scenery is more impressive than Cingjing Farm’s.

Many people will go to Cingjing Farm on their own but take this Hehuanshan Stargazing Tour or Sunrise tour after spending one night there.

If you want to visit Sun Moon Lake also on the same day, here’s a Sun Moon Lake and Cingjing Farm day tour, but your time at both places will be limited. It’s better to spend a full day at Sun Moon Lake if you can.

And if you want to include Gaomei Wetlands, here’s a Gaomei and Cingjing tour. The tour with finish with a beautiful sunset at the coastal wetlands.

For a fully customized tour, get in touch with one of my recommended Taiwan tour providers.

Getting to Cingjing Farm

Nick Kembel wearing black and pink cap, black long sleeved shirt, taking selfie while leaning on the hood of a white car, with mountain vista in the background
I drove to Cingjing and Hehuanshan

There is so much information for this topic that I’ve written a separate guide: How to Get to Cingjing Farm from Taipei, Taichung, or Sun Moon Lake.

Here I will just summarize the information quickly. From Taipei, take the TRA train (2 hours, book tickets here, see my train ticket booking guide) to Taichung Station or HSR (1 hour, book tickets here, see my HSR ticket booking guide) to Taichung HSR station.

Then take a private transfer (1.5 hours) or this bus (2.5 hours, might have to change buses in Puli). Be careful where you get off, as there are many stops in Cingjing and it could be a very long, uphill walk between them. I’ve describe all the stops in my Cingjing transportation article (see link above).

If you have an IDP, I recommend driving from Taichung to Cingjing and Hehuanshan. I rented a car here.

The Cingjing Farm Pass

An unfolded travel pass which says Qingjing Pass 2023 and has various coupons and descriptions on it in English and Mandarin
A Cingjing Farm pass for sale at the Nantou kiosk in Taichung HSR station

The Cingjing Pass (清境套票) can save you a little money. The pass is only available at the Nantou bus ticket window at Taichung Gancheng station or the Nantou kiosk at B1 of Taichung HSR station (just before you go outside to the bus platforms). A Puli–Cingjing pass is also available at Puli bus station (see my guide to Puli).

The main Cingjing Pass costs TWD 600 and includes: One-way Taichung to Cingjing bus (normal price 478), Cingjing Farm entrance (200), and one ride on the Cingjing Farm Shuttle Bus (26, see my Cingjing transportation guide for info). In total that would cost you TWD 704, or 678 if you don’t ride the shuttle bus, so you are saving 104 to 78 TWD.

At Puli bus station, you can also buy a Puli-Cingjing pass for TWD 240. It includes the one-way bus from Puli to Cingjing (normal price 250) and one ride on the Cingjing Shuttle Bus (26). In total that would cost you 276, so you only save TWD 36 or 10 TWD if you don’t ride the shuttle bus.

Both passes also includes a coupon for 40% off (weekdays) or 15% off (weekends and summer, not valid for long weekends or Chinese New Year) at Cingjing Guesthouse. Although I don’t recommend Cingjing Guesthouse because it is old and mostly big tour groups of elderly people stay there, if you are planning to stay there, the pass would become much more valuable.

It’s important to note that the return bus ride is not included in any of these passes. Also note that the pass doesn’t give you any priority for bus seats. You still have to wait in line like those who are swiping EasyCard to board the bus.

Qingjing Farm Orientation

A mountain slope covered in grass, with some fences, and highway winding through it on left side
The farm area is quite large

Cinging Farm area is very large and spread out. It’s important to understand the farm layout and choose your hotel carefully, especially if you’re coming by bus. It could be a very long (and uphill!) walk from your hotel to the farm. The farm itself is big and requires lots of walking, too.

Many hotels (including the official Cingjing Guesthouse) are located along the highway or in the hills south of the farm, so you will pass those first when coming up from Taichung.

A few old and overrated attractions like Swiss Garden and Carton King, as well as 7-11 and several restaurants, are also located to the south of the farm.

A long winding pedestrian elevated walkway above grassy hills
Qingjing Skywalk from the lower to the middle area of the farm (the farm is on the hill at the top)

If you stay in the area south of the farm like I did, you’ll need to walk 15 to 30 minutes just to reach the start of Qingjing Skywalk, a long walking platform which connects the different entrances to Cingjin Farm, so you don’t have to walk along the highway.

Then you’ll need to walk another 20 minutes up the Skywalk just to reach the middle (main) entrance to Qingjing Farm. There’s a large food court at this entrance before you go in.

Some sheep on a grass covered slope with walking path visible at the top
Green Green Grassland is the most famous area of Cingjing

The main area of Cingjing Farm is between the middle and upper (northern) entrances. This area is usually Green Green Grassland (青青草原).

If you choose an accommodation north of the farm, or further up the highway toward Hehuanshan, you may have to walk anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes (downhill) from your hotel to the northern entrance of the farm, and the same (but uphill) to go back to your hotel. Some hotels provide free transfers.

Where to Stay in Cingjing Farm

It’s important to choose your Cingjing accommodation carefully because it could be a very long walk from the farm.

As I mentioned above, most guesthouses are either south or north of the farm.

South of the Farm

Two chairs and a small round table on a wooden patio with view of mountains covered in clouds beyond
View from my guesthouse balcony

I really enjoyed staying at Iris Farmhouse 清境繽紛農場 (see on Booking / Agoda) in the beautiful hilly region south of Cingjing Farm. There were even some beautiful tea plantations and flower farms around my hotel.

Iris is a small, super friendly, family-run guesthouse. I had a mountain view from my balcony and it was in a super quiet, rural area. I also loved the small bathtub in my room (rare in Taiwan), and they have heated blankets in winter. Breakfast was included and hot pot dinner was available for extra.

However, this guesthouse is a 10-minute walk from the nearest bus stop (Cingjing Guesthouse stop), 20 minutes just to reach the bottom entrance of Cingjing Skywalk, and 30 to 45 minutes total to reach the main entrance of Cingjing Farm. Much of this walk is slightly uphill.

By hotel did not provide transportation, so only stay here if you don’t mind the walk or have a car.

Outside wall of a castle or English manor-style hotel, with fancy fountains and statues at the bottom
The Old England

Here are some other hotels I recommend in this area:

  • The Old England (see on Booking / Agoda): This is one of the most famous hotels in the area because it looks like a castle and offers a high-end European accommodation experience. You’ll see it beside the highway as you’re driving in to Cingjing area. They also have afternoon tea. It’s quite far from Cingjing Farm but they offer a shuttle.
  • EOS Resort (see on Booking / Agoda): I walked past this beautiful guesthouse on the way to mine and felt jealous. It looks like an old-time European manor and is surrounded by stunning scenery, including tea farms and cherry blossoms (in February).
  • Cingjing Guesthouse (see on Klook / Official Site): This is the farm’s official accommodation (清境農場國民賓館), but it’s quite old and mostly used by big tour groups and elderly travelers nowadays. It’s conveniently located near 7-Eleven, Swiss Garden, Carton King, and many restaurants. There’s a small museum inside about the area’s history. Personally, I feel there are so many better options.
The side of a large yellow hotel with white balconies and some trees in front of it
Cingjing Guesthouse (official farm accommodation)

North of the Farm

There are also many guesthouses north of Cingjing Farm. If you don’t want to walk too far, then staying near the north entrance is the most convenient option for visiting the farm. The walking time will be much shorter than if you stay in the south area.

However, some accommodations are very far to the north. They will feel more remote and less touristy, but your walking time to/from the farm could be quite far as well.

  • Bokelai (see on Booking / Agoda): Some members of my Taiwan Travel Planning group have highly recommended this simple guesthouse very close to the top entrance to Cingjing Farm. It’s supposedly very friendly and has mountain views.
  • The Cotsworld Villa (see on Booking / Agoda): Another very beautiful European style place with amazing views and less than 10 minutes walk from northern entrance of Cingjing Farm.
  • Abin Minshuku (see on Booking / Agoda): Great place for families, with slides in the rooms and beautiful views. Friendly owner that will give you a ride if you need it. 20-minute walk from Cingjing Farm northern entrance.

Visiting the Farm

Facade of a white theme park castle with sheep on it
Sheep Castle at the northern entrance to the farm

Although some people come just to enjoy the mountain scenery and stay in their guesthouse, Cingjing Farm (清境農場, also spelled Qingjing Farm) is of course the main attraction, and the whole area is named after it. Entrance costs TWD 200 for adults, 100 for seniors and kids age 6-12, and 20 for under 6.

The farm consists of four areas, from top to bottom: Green Green Grassland (the sheep area, this name is sometimes used for the whole farm), South Business Circle (the middle entrance and food court area), Guanshan Pasture (horse area), and Shoushan Park (least visited and practically abandoned).

When you first enter the farm, make sure to stamp your hand. This stamp will allow you to move between the different areas of the farm. You need to do the stamp yourself.

All four areas lie to the west of Highway 14, but your mountain views from the farm will mostly be looking to the east.

Area 1: Green Green Grassland

Looking down some green rolling hills at a stage with many people sitting around it
Green Green Grassland’s focal point is the sheep shearing stage

Green Green Grassland (清境農場青青草原) is the upper area of Cingjing Farm. You can access it from the Upper Entrance, where you’ll enter through the white Sheep Castle (綿羊城堡). There’s a parking lot and some food stalls there.

This is the most popular area of Cingjing Farm and the most recommended one if you are short on time or just visiting as a day trip.

Looking down a hill covered with spectators and a sheep pen at the bottom with sheep in it
Crowds at the sheep show

As the name suggests, Green Green Grassland features rolling grassy fields with lots of sheep.

The main highlight here is the New Zealand-style 30-minute sheep shearing show (9:30 and 14:30 on weekends, holidays, and every day in July/August). This takes place in the sheep show amphitheater (清境農場綿羊秀場地) and is included in your entrance ticket. There’s no performance on weekdays unless it’s a national holiday or summer.

During the show (Mandarin only), you’ll watch the dogs herd the sheep around and see one of them get rather aggressively sheared (I personally felt they were treating the animals well). It attracts big crowds.

A shepherd and sheepdog on left and herd of sheep on the right on a grassy hill
Watching the shepherd and sheep dog round up the sheep

You’ll also find a small sheep museum called Sheep Story House (綿羊故事館), vending machines with animal food, and a delicious ice cream shop called Matcha Prince (see the food section at the end for picture).

There are walkways to several pavilions in this area, like Great Wall Trail (長城步道) to Hanyan Pavilion (含煙亭) and Lancui Pavilion (攬萃亭), as well as Dijiu Pavilion (地久亭) and Tianchang Pavilion (天長亭).

Area 2: South Business Circle

A covered food hawker area with pink and purple canopies above
Cingjing Food Court

The South Business Circle (草原南南端商圈) is mainly just a food court and connecting area between the Upper (Green Green Grassland) and Lower (Guanshan Pasture) areas of Cingjing Farm.

You’ll find another parking lot, a covered food court (清境農場美食廣場), and the Middle (Main) Cingjing Farm Entrance.

A food stall with menu items like board meat listed in Chinese
Boar meat and other local specialties

You can access the food court without actually entering/paying for the farm. See the “where to eat at Qingjing Farm” section at the end of the article for all the foods I recommended here.

Just past the food court, there are two ticket entrances. Go right for Green Green Grassland.

For Guanshan Pasture, follow the food stalls down a hall to the left behind the food court to reach its entrance.

Area 3: Guanshan Pasture

Looking through a white heart-shaped statue at a windmill on a hill in the distance
Windmill at Guanshan Pasture

The main lower area of Cingjing Farm is called Guanshan Pasture (觀山牧區).

To get there from the upper area (Green Green Grassland), you’ll need to exit at the bottom, pass through the South Business Circle/Food Court area, follow the aisle of vendors, and then re-enter (showing the stamp on your hand).

Guanshan Pasture is essentially the horse area of Cingjing Farm. After you pass a European-style windmill, you’ll reach a small shop and pony-riding pen called Guanshanyi Station 觀山驛站 (location here).

A mostly empty pony pen with one horse inside and a guy riding another horse
Pony riding area

Pony rides cost 200 (larger) or 150 (smaller) for one loop or 4500 for one hour. You can also feed them carrots for TWD 50.

Further along, the trail leads to the Horse Performance Theater 清境農場馬術秀場 (location here). Note that there are two trails, so you need to take the upper/higher one to find the horse theater, while the pony riding is on the lower trail.

Equestrian performances, in which the riders do wild acrobatics on the horses, take place every day at 10:45 AM and 3:45 PM (30 minutes, included in entrance ticket).

A man laying sideways on a horse as it rides around in front of rows of spectators
Daily equestrian show (清境農場馬術秀 by johnroyer is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Area 4: Shoushan Park

A statue of Chiang Kai Skek standing on a tall pedestal with trees on either side
Chiang Kai-shek Statue

Very few visitors make it to the southernmost section of Cingjing Farm, called Shoushan Park (壽山園). This is not a park but a forest with maple and ginko trees, so don’t miss it if you’re visiting in fall (November to December).

This part of the farm actually feels abandoned, but for that reason I kind of liked it. Even though I was there on a busy day, I didn’t see any other people in this area.

After the equestrian area, if you continue along the same trail, you’ll reach this area, but there won’t really be much to see besides the trees. Watch for a sign pointing to the right to a trail to the Chiang Kai Shek Statue (蔣公銅像).

The trail is a little overgrown (watch for snakes – some are poisonous) It leads up some stairs to an old statue of the former KMT leader. Keep in mind that Cingjing Farm was settled by KMT soldiers, and CKS was their leader.

Looking down a wooden staircase with green railings and trees hanging over it on the left side
The 487-step trail leads down from the lower entrance of Cingjing back to the highway

From the amount of leaves and sticks I saw on the staircase to the statue, I could tell that very few people make it up here! After the statue at the top, the stairs continue down the other side, leading to the southern/lower entrance to Cingjing Farm.

This entrance gate seems totally abandoned. Although I was able to exit here, don’t try to enter Cingjing Farm here, as you won’t be able to turn the gate to enter. There’s a sign down at the highway about this, but in Mandarin only.

After going through this exit, I walked down the 487-Step Trail (步步高升) which, as the same suggests, has 487 wooden steps going down to here, the bottom entrance of Cingjing Skywalk by the highway.

Obvious you’d only want to go this far if you were returning to your hotel in the area south of Cingjing Farm like I was. If not, you should return to the central area of Cingjing Farm for exiting the farm instead.

Other Things to Do at Cingjing Farm

Besides the farm itself, there are a few other attractions in the area.

Cingjing Skywalk

Some people walking on a white, elevated pedestrian walking platform with vast mountain scenery in the distance
Cingjing Skywalk

Cingjing Skywalk(清境高空觀景步道) is mainly a way to walk between the lower, middle, and upper areas of Cingjing Farm without actually entering the farm or walking along the highway. However, since the skywalk offers some stunning views, it can also be considered an attraction itself.

In total, the Skywalk is 1600 meters in length, so I don’t really suggest that you walk the whole thing (it’s quite far!) Instead, use this for its functional purpose of getting from area to another if you need to – the nice views are just a bonus.

Most of the skywalk is on the right (east) side of the highway, while Cingjing Farm is mostly on the left (west) side of the highway.

Dark clouds above mountains, viewed from a viewing platform with white railing
It was a little cloudy on the day I visited…

If you’re staying in a hotel to the south of Cingjing Farm and then walking to the farm, it will make sense to access Cingjing Skywalk at the bottom entrance here on the west side of the highway.

Then you will walk it to the middle entrance here on the east side of the highway, where you can exit the skywalk, cross the highway, and find the food court and main entrance of Cingjing Farm.

If you’re staying north of Cingjing Farm, then you might enter the farm’s northern entrance, visit the farm, and exit the farm from the middle entrance. Then you could walk the skywalk from its middle entrance back up to the upper entrance here for returning to your hotel.

The skywalk is open from 8 to 5, with no entry past 4:30. Entrance is TWD 50/30/free for adults/kids 6-12/under 6 for the day. No pets, smoking, or drones.

Carton King

A caslte built of paper with red slide above it
Paper-themed Carton King

Carton King is a small paper-themed restaurant between Swiss Garden and the bottom of Cingjing Skywalk and Cingjing Farm.

Although many families include this on their itinerary, I found it really isn’t special. There are only a few paper statues, one slide, and a small train for kids. The whole thing looks old.

The Carton King theme park in Taichung city is much better. It has more/better statues, more slides, larger gift shop, more displays, and a better restaurant. It’s just too bad that the one in Taichung city is not easy to get to.

Swiss Garden

Some 7-11 mascot statues standing on a cement pad with tent-like bars around them
A waste of money and time. Avoid!

I can honestly say that Swiss Garden (清境農場小瑞士花園) is the crappiest attraction I have ever paid money for in Taiwan. It is essentially a dirty pond with cement walking trail and a few pavilions around it, and some 7-11 mascot statues.

Don’t waste your money (TWD 150!) on this. I think this goes back to the 1980s when European style anything was considered exotic in Taiwan (much like Cingjing Farm itself). But it has not been maintained or improved since then.

Some reviews say that is has cool lights at night. Well, I tried, and it absolutely sucked. There are some cherry blossoms and maple foliage in the right seasons, so that might be the only reason your should even consider paying money for this.

If you buy a night ticket you can also use to enter again the next day. It’s open 9 AM to 9 PM. It has a 7-Eleven, small Cona’s chocolate shop, a few souvenir and snack shops, and parking lot at the entrance.

Nina Nina Chocolate Workshop

The exterior of a cute chocolate shop that looks like a gingerbread house with colorful chocolate decorations
Cute little chocolate shop

If you happen to be staying in one of the guesthouses in the hills south of Cingjing Farm like I did, there is a small and remote branch of Cona Chocolate here, called Nina Nina Chocolate Worksop (創始店Cona’s 妮娜巧克力). It is connected to a hotel called Florence Resort Villa.

This is a just a very tiny but cute café that also sells some of their colorful flavored chocolates. If you aren’t staying close to it, don’t bother visiting. You can also buy the same chocolates at the small Cona shop connected to the 7-11 at Swiss Garden (see last entry).

For the full Cona experience, it’s best to visit Nina Chocolate Dream Castle here in Puli (buy tickets online) on the way to/from Cingjing.

Best Hikes at Cingjing Farm

Just visiting Cingjing Farm and walking to/from your guesthouse will probably involve lots of walking, including Cingjing Skywalk.

But if that’s not enough for you, there are 8 “classic hikes” (八大步道) in the Cingjing Area, including 5 free ones outside the farm and 3 inside it.

However, despite the fancy name, I found that none of these hikes are really great and I wouldn’t even call them hikes. They are more like walks along small car roads on tourist paths inside the farm. They also lack good signage.

Still, if you want to try them, here they are:

Cuihu Trail

A mountain top farm and houses, with a water visible far below on the left
Views of a Cuihu Water Reservoir at the end of this hike (stock photo – see how nice Cingjing area can look on a clear day!)

Cuihu Trail (翠湖步道 or Emerald Lake Trail) is Classic Hike #1. It is 2.3 km long, taking 2 hours return.

If you wall all the way to the end, you’ll get some impressive views of Cuihu (Emerald Lake) in the valley far below, which is actually part of Wushe Reservoir (霧社壩, also called Wan-Ta Water Reservoir 霧社水庫, Bihu Lake 碧湖, or Jade Lake).

The trail is actually just a narrow car road called Rongguang Lane (榮光巷) that goes to several hotels south of Cingjing Farm, including the hotel where I stayed. The road starts here beside Qingjing Guesthouse and ends here at the highway, with the best views towards the end.

Looking down at curving rows of tea plants with the roof of a castle-like hotel popping out from the trees below them
Tea plantation and this guesthouse at the start of this hike.

If you don’t want to walk all the way back (uphill), you can catch a bus at this stop near the end back to Cingjing Farm, but you’d have to time it well.

Note that the start of this trail provides access to the Tea Plantation Trail and Cingjing Sunset Trail. I didn’t do this whole trail when I visited because it was very cloudy, so I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the views at the end.

Cingjing Sunset Trail

Some misty mountain peaks with sunset
I didn’t get a great sunset due to too many clouds

Cingjing Sunset Trail (清境落日步道) is Classic Hike #2. To catch a good sunset in Cingjing Farm area, you can walk this 1000-meter (one-hour return from Qingjing Guesthouse) hike, including time to watch sunset.

This trail is also just a car road that splits off from Cuihu Trail – you’ll follow the latter for 10-15 minutes, then hang a right onto a small side road called 幼獅段 here.

However, after that, I got a little lost and never actually found any special platform to watch the sunset. There are a few signs along the way, but toward the end, there was nothing. A long row of farms seems to block all the possible vantage points.

Looking down at farmhouses in a valley and misty mountains in the distance
The spot I found had a spectacular view facing the sunset, but it was too cloudy that day.

In the end, I managed to find a sunset viewing spot right here, beside a small telecommunications tower, to watch the sunset. If you happen to find any better spot, let me know!

Sunset time varies throughout the year – it’s as early as 4:30 PM in winter or as late as 6:00 PM in summer.

Unfortunately there are few other sunset viewpoints at Cingjing Farm because most of the farm and accommodations face the wrong way. There’s no famous sunrise spot, either, but ask your hotel – your hotel’s balcony may have a decent view!

For the best sunrise, you really need to go to Hehuanshan by tour or try to get a booking at Songsyue Lodge.

Tea Plantation Trail

A sheep with short hair standing among some terraces of tea bushes
Random sheep in tea fields I saw on this trail

The Tea Plantation Trail (茶園步道, Classic Hike #3) is probably my favorite and most recommended one, even though it’s very short. It passes through a small tea farm and has nice views looking down the valley.

You’ll also take Cuihu Trail/Rongguan Lane to get there. The marked trailhead is a 7-minute walk south of Qingjing Guesthouse, and the trail itself is only 500 meters (15 minutes). It basically does a small loop and connects back to Cingjing Guesthouse at the bottom.

Qingjing Sakura Trail

Looking up a set of wooden stairs to a boardwalk trail
Simple boardwalk along the highway

Cingjing Sakura Trail (清境櫻花步道, Classic Hike #4) This 500-meter boardwalk trail (15-minutes, slightly uphill) goes parallel to the highway (on the left side), starting from Swiss Garden.

The main purpose of this boardwalk is so that you don’t have to walk on the highway when walking from Cingjing Guesthouse/Swiss Garden area to Carton King and Cingjing Skywalk.

Walk this trail in February to see several cherry blossom trees, but otherwise it’s really nothing special. Find it here.

Cryptomeria Trail

A narrow car roads with rows of tall trees on either side
Rows of cryptomeria trees

Cryptomeria Trail (柳杉步道, Classic Hike #5) This is a short and easy (800 meters, 15-minute return) trail with rows of cryptomeria trees lining the road.

It starts here just north of Swiss Garden. You actually only need to walk in a few minutes down the road to see the trees.

The other three Classic Hikes are inside the farm: 487 Step Trail (步步高升, #6), Guanshan Trail (觀山步道, #7), and Great Wall Trail (長城步道, #8). You don’t need to go out of your way to find them, as they are just regular tourist trails within the farm.

Where to Eat

Hand holding a bunk hunk of tofu stuffed with pickled veggies and peanut powder in a plastic bag on the left, and a paper bowl of bamboo soup on the right
Vegetarian tofu bao and bamboo soup

Now we come to a very important question: what to eat at Cingjing Farm.

The best place to eat at Cingjing Farm is the covered Cingjing Food Court (清境農場美食廣場) at the Middle (main) entrance to the farm, just before the ticket booths.

The food court is billed as a Yunnan-style food center (since the soldiers who founded the farm were from that part of China).

At first, the food didn’t strike me as Yunnanese, because many of the dishes served there can be found in many places in Taiwan. But someone has informed me that those dishes really are common in certain parts of Yunnan as well.

A hand holding up a section of hard bamboo cracked open and filled with rice
Bamboo tube filled with sticky rice

For example, a common item here is bamboo tubes filled with sticky rice (竹筒飯 or zhutongfang). These are very common in Taiwanese areas of Taiwan, but apparently Yunnan has them too. The ones at Cingjing come with meat or vegetarian (with little bits of tofu inside. Here’s how to ask for the vegetarian one.

Another dish sold from many stalls there is tofu burgers (豆腐堡 or doufu bao), which is a large hunk of stewed tofu stuffed with pickled vegetables and peanut powder (also vegetarian). I’ve also seen these tasty guys at Fenqihu and Chiayi city.

Yet another dish I enjoyed was the bamboo soup (筍子湯) sold from many stalls. Both tofu burgers and bamboo soup are supposedly common in Yunnan as well.

A grill with various sausages on sticks on display and covered with different sauces and toppings
Boar meat sausages stuffed with various things

Dishes I didn’t try because I mostly eat vegetarian are boar meat sausages (山豬肉香腸) and sesame oil chicken (麻油雞).

There are a few food stalls inside Green Green Grassland, including Matcha Prince (茶茶小王子), where I had a really tasty and photogenic matcha soft serve ice cream.

A hand holding up a waffled cone with soft serve ice cream, half white and half match green, with wooden menu board behind
Matcha ice cream from Matcha Prince

For more Yunnan food (including some dishes you won’t usually see in Taiwan), and if you have a car or driver, then I highly recommend that you drive up to Lu Mama’s Yunnan Restaurant (清境魯媽媽雲南擺夷料理) in Bowang Village, which is where the descendants of the original Yunnan soldiers still live today.

At this restaurant, I enjoyed authentic Yunnanese cold pea jelly cubes with spicy sour sauce (涼拌豌豆粉) and purple glutinous rice cakes (紫米粑粑), both vegetarian (need to specify for the pea jelly dish).

Two plates of food on a wooden table. One has green pea jelly cubes with sauce. Another has triangular purple sticky rice cakes. There's also a small dish with honey and sugar powder.
Actual Yunnan food at Lu Mama’s

For meat-eaters and adventurous types, you’ll have plenty more options, like fried bamboo worms (yes, real worms), pig scalp, twice cooked pork, and Yunnanese noodles. If you have a group, try the mountain cabbage, which Cingjing region is known for.

On the drive going north from the farm, you’ll also see several restaurants selling urb-baked chicken (甕仔雞).

Depending on where your hotel is, it may be easier to just eat your dinner and breakfast at the hotel.

At the bottom end of Cingjing Farm (the first area you’ll encounter when you’re driving up from Taichung), you will pass a large parking lot and collection of restaurants on the left called Mist Plaza (清境商場), just before Cingjing Guesthouse.

There you can find Starbucks, Mos Burger, 7-Eleven, Matcha Prince, and a small children’s games room (very basic).

A tray with 6 spherical and very colorful chocolates
Cona chocolates (from Nina Chocolate Factory in Puli)

Across the street from Mist Plaza and Cingjing Guesthouse, there’s another 7-Eleven at the entrance to Swiss Garden. There are a few souvenir shops connected to the 7-11, including one selling Cona chocolates.

A little further up the highway toward Qingjing Farm, there’s a small restaurant in Carton King (see the “Other Things to Do at Cingjing” section above).

In a parking lot in front of Carton King, there are some small noodle shops and fruit/vegetable stands.

There’s also a small aboriginal restaurant here that was highly recommended by one of my Taiwan Travel Planning group members.

1 thought on “A Travel Guide to Cingjing Farm, Taiwan’s High Mountain Leisure Farm”

  1. Very detailed sharing. But make me a bit confused when I read because there were so many information given, nevertheless very appreciated your sharing.

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