Getting to Cingjing Farm from Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, or Taipei

Cover image of guide for how to get to Cingjing Farm showing the farm, windmill, and skywalk

Cingjing Farm in Nantou county is one of the most popular leisure farms and mountain resorts in Taiwan, right up there with Alishan in Chiayi county.

While writing my guide to Cingjing Farm, I found that there was so much transportation information that I should make a separate Cingjing Farm transportation guide. So here it is!

Below you’ll find the most current information for getting from Taichung to Cingjing Farm, which is the most common way to go.

You’ll also find out how to get there from Taipei or Sun Moon Lake and why you can’t currently drive from Cingjing Farm to Hualien.

I’ll also cover how to get from Cingjing Farm to Hehuanshan by car or by bus – see my Hehuanshan guide if you’re planning to visit there as well.

By Tour

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

Many people opt to take tours to Cingjing Farm. Not only do these save you a lot of planning time but also they are cheaper than hiring a driver.

Here’s my most recommended day tour from Taichung to Cingjing Farm.

There are also day tours which combine Cingjing and Hehuanshan, Cingjing and Sun Moon Lake, or Cingjing and Gaomei Wetlands. But these tours will give you less time at Cingjing Farm.

Some visitors go to to Cingjing Farm on their own, but then take an evening stargazing tour or morning sunrise tour to Hehuanshan.

By Private Transfer

A white toyota car parked on the white stripes on the side of a highway with metal railing behind it and misty mountaintops in background
Stop anywhere you want when you’ve got a private driver!

Driving from Taichung to Cingjing is about one hour faster than taking the bus (1.5 hours instead of 2.5 hours).

What’s more, when you get there, the region is mountainous and it could be a very long, uphill walk from your hotel to the farm. For these reasons, maybe visitors choose to drive (see next section).

If you don’t have an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) or you just don’t want to drive, you can charter a car with driver for the day. This method is the most flexible because it will allow you to make any stops you want on the way there and back.

It makes the most sense to start in Taichung. That’s because taking the train (see my train tickets guide) or especially High Speed Rail from Taipei to Taichung is faster than driving. Taichung is also closer to Cingjing, so you can get there faster than starting your day in Taipei.

If you’re staying overnight at Cingjing, then you can book a shared or private transfers from Taichung to Cingjing Farm, and the same thing to go back the next day.

If you’re going from Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing Farm, there’s also a shared or private transfers from Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing Farm.

If you want to hire the same driver for multiple days, that is going to cost you more because you’ll be paying for the driver’s accommodation. See my recommended private drivers in Taiwan.

By Driving

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

If you have an IDP and you’re comfortable driving on winding mountain roads, I totally recommend driving to Cingjing Farm and Hehuanshan. I rented my car here – read all about my experience renting and driving a car in Taiwan.

Driving gives you total flexibility and is cheaper than hiring a driver. The drive to Cingjing and especially Hehuanshan is stunning. There are many small stops and lookout points you may want to to stop at on the way.

You can even drive up to Cingjing Farm and Hehuanshan by scooter. Just dress very warm and bring a rain poncho just in case. Some rental shops provide one.

You can rent a scooter here, but you will need to show an IDP, and some shops will additionally require that it has an A stamp on it (motorcycle endorsement, meaning you are licensed to drive a motorcycle in your home country).

Taichung to Cingjing

The store front of a car rental agency
Shop where I rented a car at Taichung HSR station

I started my car rental at Taichung HSR Station (see my THSR guide and book discount HSR tickets from Taipei to Taichung here). The office was a five-minute walk from the station. I booked it here on Klook, and the local agency they paired me with was Chih Hang Car Rentals (直航租車).

I recommend starting at the HSR station because the station is outside of the city, so you won’t have to drive through any big city areas to get to Cingjing.

The drive from Taichung to Puli (a transportation hub for Sun Moon Lake and Cingjing Farm) is an expressway so it’s super flat and easy.

A Taiwanese chef in white chef uniform and tall white chef hat making some chocolates on a dark counter
A stop at Nina Chocolate Dream Castle

In Puli, I made a small detour to visit Nina Chocolate Dream Castle (buy tickets here). I’d always been curious about this bizarre castle-slash-chocolate factory.

On previous trips, I’ve also visiting places in and around Puli like Paper Dome, Hohocha Tea, Antique Assam Tea Farm, Chung Tai Chan Monastery (the world’s tallest Buddhist monastery, with impressive museum inside), and Caidie Waterfall (short hike).

You could consider stopping at any of these places on your way to Cingjing Farm. But please note that none of these places are directly on the way, so visiting any of them will be a detour and will add extra time to your journey.

A very tall, modern Buddhist monastery with golden dome and spire at top
Chung Tai Chan Monastery in Puli

The drive from Puli to Cinging Farm becomes much more winding. Like any high mountain roads in Taiwan, there are a lot of switchbacks with 180-degree turns. Just take it slowly and be extra careful if you encounter the region’s signature fogs.

Closer to Cingjing, you could make longer detours to Lushan Hot Spring area (盧山溫泉) or Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area (奧萬大國家森林遊樂區), which is especially famous for fall foliage in November to December (you can also visit Aowanda by tour).

Arriving at Cingjing, most hotels there have space for parking. Some hotels are quite a ways from the farm, not to mention the roads are steep, so you may also want to drive to the farm after checking in.

Two cars parked under a small covered parking lot, with a hotel balcony above them, and a steep sidewalk up to the hotel entrance on the right side
Small parking lot at my hotel

The most convenient parking lots for the farm are here at the northern entrance and here at the middle entrance, where the Cingjing Food Court is also located. On weekends, national holidays, cherry blossoms season (February), or summer, these parking lots tend to be very full.

At the southern end of the Cingjing area, there is also a parking lot here beside some fast food places and 7-11, here for another 7-11 and Swiss Garden, and here for Carton King and a few small restaurants. But you wouldn’t want to park at any of these ones for visiting the farm, unless you don’t mind a 30-minute uphill walk to the farm’s entrance.

Having a car is also nice if you’d like to drive to this excellent (and authentic) Yunnan restaurant in Bowang Village, which is about two kilometers north of Cingjing Farm. This was the best meal I had in Cingjing area.

Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing

There is nothing in particular you need to know about driving from Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing Farm. Just follow the directions on GoogleMaps and it will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The drive from Sun Moon Lake to Puli is easy. You will be driving right past some small attractions that I mentioned before, namely Antique Assam Farm, Hohocha Tea, Paper Dome, and Nina Chocolate Dream Factory, so it would be very easy to stop at any of those.

From Puli to Cingjing, see my description of the drive above.

Cingjing to Hehuanshan

A super winding high mountain road going up a hill, with trees in foreground and misty mountains in distance
Winding road up to Hehuanshan

Past Cingjing Farm, the 45-minute drive to Hehuanshan area is especially beautiful. It is also especially winding. I particularly enjoyed this drive.

I cover this drive, including all the lookout points, in more detail in my Hehuanshan guide. One of these lookout points will be at Wuling Pass, the highest pass in Taiwan (3275 m).

Note that Hehuanshan is one of the easiest and most famous places to see snow in Taiwan. Snow sometimes falls there in January or February, but it’s never guaranteed.

Also read about my stay at Songsyue Lodge, the only hotel at Hehuanshan.

A mountain vista with a small road on right leading to a lodge and more mountains behind
Songsyue Lodge at Hehuanshan with snow

If there is snow, then the highway will become packed with cars (everyone wants to see it!) It can become so busy that there may be police controls, and vehicles may be required to have special chains on their tires to prevent slipping.

After Hehuanshan, normally you would be able to connect to Highway 8 for driving east to Taroko Gorge and Hualien on the east coast. However, this route is currently closed for an estimated one year due to the April 2024 Hualien Earthquake.

A white car parked on the side of a road with mountain view behind
My car was always posing so nicely for me.

Make sure to check the news about the latest highway closures here (click small arrow beside each highway for details). It is updated on the first day of every month. I also interpret these announcements and provide maps showing where the closures are in my Taiwan Travel Planning group. Just search my most recent posts about Taroko Gorge.

Another route some people drive after Hehuanshan is through a remote mountainous corner of Taichung including Lishan, then connect to Highway 7甲 for traveling to Wuling Farm (famous for flower viewing), Taipingshan, and end up in Yilan county. You can also check the Taroko NP link above for updates about that road, but it has no issues at the time I write this.

Also check the driving times carefully, as these are very slow and winding high mountain roads. Driving on them for even a few hours can feel very tiring and it’s easy to get carsick. Also, driving at night or during/after heavy rain is not safe.

By Bus

Getting to Cingjing Farm by bus is relatively easy. There are no direct buses from Taipei to Cingjing Farm. You’ll need to get to Taichung yourself first. From Taipei, the fastest way is to take the HSR (book tickets / read my HSR guide). It’s twice as fast as the regular train (1 hr instead of 2 hrs), plus your bus ride to Cingjing will be 20 minutes shorter.

You can also travel from Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing by bus, with one bus transfer at Puli bus station.

Using Cingjing Pass for the Bus

An unfolded travel pass which says Qingjing Pass 2023 and has various coupons and descriptions on it in English and Mandarin
Cingjing Farm Pass

If you buy a Cingjing Pass, that will include your bus ride from Taichung to Cinging (one way only) or Puli to Cingjing (also one way only). It will not include the return ride.

Click here to read how the Cingjing Pass works and where to buy it. If you don’t get the pass, just swipe EasyCard to ride the bus. You can’t reserve seats for the bus and everyone needs to wait in the same line.

Taichung to Cingjing Bus

Two tables showing the bus times from Taichung to Qingjing Farm and Qingjing Farm back to Taichung
Taichung to Cingjing Farm Bus Schedule

Coming by bus, it will be a 2.5 hour ride from Taichung to Cingjing Farm (or 20 minutes shorter from Taichung HSR station). You may have to change to a different bus at Puli (they will let you know). The above bus schedule is also here.

Board the bus here at Gancheng Station a few blocks north of Taichung train station. You can also get on it at this bus stop a few minutes later (closer to the train station) or at platform 3 at Taichung HSR station. Swipe your EasyCard to ride the bus.

The stop listed in table for Cingjing Farm (清境農場(國民賓館)) is next to Cingjing Guesthouse (the official farm accommodation). It’s at the southern/bottom end of Cingjing area, quite a walk south of the farm.

If you’re going to the farm, you’ll want to ride to the middle or upper entrance to the farm. If you’re going to your hotel, you’ll want to get off at the closest bus stop to your hotel. See my description and pin of all the useful bus stops in the next section below.

Bus Stops at Cingjing

A mountain slope covered in grass, with some fences, and highway winding through it on left side
Choose carefully where to get off the bus. The area is very large and roads are steep!

There are many different bus stops you could get off at, so it’s important to check where your hotel is and the closest stop. Here are some useful ones:

  • Qingjing Long Villa (here): For The Old England hotel (a famous landmark, hotel, and place for afternoon tea)
  • Qingjing Guesthouse (here): For Swiss Garden, Cingjing Guesthouse (the official accommodation), and for walking to many small guesthouses south of Qingjing Farm, including where I stayed. This is the stop listed for Qingjing Farm on the above bus schedule table.
  • Cingjing Farm Passenger Service Center (here): For Carton King Restaurant and the bottom of Cingjing Skywalk
  • Guanshan Pastoral (here): For the Middle (main) entrance to Cingjing Farm, Cingjing food court, and Middle Entrance to Cingjing Skywalk
  • Cingjing Grassland/Cingjing Caoyuan (here): For the Upper entrance to Cingjing Farm (I recommend starting here for day visitors) and a few hotels
  • Naluwan (here), Apple Orchard (here), Fujia Orchard (here), and Renzhuang (here): for more hotels north of Qingjing Farm

Sun Moon Lake to Cingjing Bus

From Sun Moon Lake, take any Taichung-bound bus from this bus stop in Shuishe village to Puli Bus Station (45 minutes) then hop on the above mentioned bus from Puli Bus Station to Cingjing (1 hour 15 minutes).

If you’re not staying in Shuishe village at Sun Moon Lake, for example you are staying in Ita Thao, you may have to first take the round-the-lake bus to Shuishe. On that bus’ schedule, “Sun Moon Lake” stop refers to Shuishe.

Cingjing Farm Shuttle Bus

A map of Cingjing Farm showing the shuttle bus route
Route of the weekend/holiday shuttle bus

Cingjing Farm operates a shuttle bus (see the schedule here) between the three entrances of the farm but only on weekends on holidays. This can save you 30 minutes to 1 hour of walking time on the Cingjing Skywalk.

The shuttle bus starts here at the bottom, stops at Carton King, Guanshan Pastor (middle entrance to the farm) and Green Green Grassland (top entrance to the farm).

The bus costs TWD 26/20 with cash (exact change only) or EasyCard, half price age 6-12, free under 6. Remember that if you got a Cingjing Farm Pass, it includes one ride on this shuttle bus.

Besides the shuttle bus, you can also hop on any Taichung/Puli to Cingjing buses passing through the area (see schedule link in last section).

Cingjing to Hehuanshan Bus

Cingjing is a suitable base for visiting Hehuanshan, one of the most beautiful and accessible high mountain areas in Taiwan. There’s only one hotel at Hehuanshan, Songsyue Lodge, and it’s hard to get a spot there.

By bus, Nantou bus 6658A goes only three times per day from Cingjing to Hehuanshan, departing at 8:20, 11:10, and 2:30, and coming back at 9:40, 12:30, and 3:50.

A bus time table for taking the bus from Cingjing Farm to Hehuanshan
Puli to Cingjing to Hehuanshan bus schedule

Above, the left table (in yellow) shows Puli Bus Station (埔里轉運站) to Cingjing Farm (國民賓館(公車接駁處)) to three stops at Hehuanshan (武嶺 Wuling Pass), (松雪樓 or Songsyue Lodge and Hehuanshan sunrise place), and (小風口 or Xiaofengkou near Hehuanshan Service Station).

Note that the the Cingjing Farm stop (國民賓館(公車接駁處) is a the bottom end of Cingjing Farm near Cingjing Guesthouse.

The green table on the right (Hehuanshan back to Cingjing and Puli) has one more added stop, 挪威森林(松崗), which is here, north of Cingjing Farm by some hotels.

You could also board the bus at any other bus stops I listed in the previous section along the highway going through Cingjing Farm. The bus will stop at all those small stops along the highway.

Just add a few minutes to the boarding time. You can also confirm those times with GoogleMaps directions. Always wait 5-10 minutes early, and wave your arms when the bus is coming so it will stop for you!

Leave a Comment