26 June 2016

How to Get from Taichung to Cingjing

If you are like me and have not been to Switzerland, Cingjing is probably the closest experience. Located in Nantou County, Cingjing is a scenic forested mountainous area drawing tourists from afar for its famous Green Green Grassland and Small Swiss Garden.

As there is no high speed rail services to Nantou, many tourists would take the high speed rail to Taichung and then transfer to a bus to get to Cingjing. For those who don't mind to pay more for a hassle-free and comfortable ride, you can also go to Cingjing from Taichung by taxi.

Bus from Taichung to Cingjing

From my research, Nantou Bus Company 南投客運 seems to be the most cost efficient bus service provider from Taichung City to Cingjing Farm. The journey passes through Puli town, where attractions include Paper Dome and Feeling 18℃ Chocolate Factory.

Travel Time:

The bus journey from Taichung to Cingjing Farm is about 2 hours.

Bus Fare:

A one-way ticket costs TWD 251.

If you intend to take a round trip on the same day or within 15 days, you may want to purchase the Cingjing Farm Pass at the bus counter for TWD 600. This pass includes an admission ticket to Green Green Grassland where you can watch sheep grazing on grassy hills and be treated to animal rides. You would also be given a discount coupon to stay at Cingjing Guest House, with a one-way bus ticket to the guest house.

Both the one-way ticket and the Cingjing Farm Pass can be purchased at Taichung Gancheng Bus Station and Taichung HSR Station. See the next section for details.

Where to Board the Bus in Taichung:

Click on the map for a larger image

If you are staying nearer to Taichung Railway Station (TRA) 臺中火車站 or Taichung Park, you should proceed to Taichung Gancheng Bus Station 臺中干城站. It is about 10 minutes walk from the railway station (see map above)

If you are staying within or nearer to Taichung Wuri district, you should board the bus at Taichung High Speed Rail Station (HSR) 臺中高鐵站. Do note that unlike in Taipei where the HSR and TRA stations are located next to one another, Taichung HSR Station is not anywhere near to Taichung Railway Station. Instead it is located closer to Xinwuri and Wuri Railway Stations.

Bus Schedule:

The following bus schedule shows the departure timings in both directions. The top table shows the travel from Taichung City to Cingjing Farm, while the bottom table shows how to return from Cingjing Farm to Taichung City. 

The grey timings are for a seamless bus travel. If you pick the white timings, you would be required to transfer bus at Puli Station.

The pink timings are the additional time slots that are available only on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Click on the bus schedule for a larger image

Taxi from Taichung to Cingjing

Travel Time:

The cab journey from Taichung to Cingjing is about 1 hour 40 minutes.

Taxi Fare from Taichung to Cingjing:

Click on the taxi fare for a larger image

According to TaxiAutoFare.com, a cab ride from Taichung City to Cingjing costs around TWD 1,246 to TWD 1,479 depending on traffic conditions.

Various friends and I were quoted TWD 2,000 for a direct cab ride to Cingjing Farm. If you intend to make multiple stops and visit nearby places like Puli town, Hehuanshan, Carton King, Old England, etc, it may cost you from TWD 3,000 for a 8-hour taxi charter.

Private Car Tour from Taichung to Cingjing

We engaged the tour services of RoundTaiwanRound in July 2012 for TWD 5,000. The fees included the charges for gasoline, parking fee, private driver, driver's meals, and passenger insurance. 

The following itinerary was proposed by RoundTaiwanRound through email. And I've added more information in brackets, and crossed a few items to reflect that we did not made it to Carton King due to time constraints nor see the sea of clouds or sunset due to foggy weather. 

Overall we enjoy our time in Hehuanshan and Cingjing very much. And Grant from RoundTaiwanRound made it more memorable capturing our couple shots with his professional photography skills, and his friend explaining each destination to us.

09:00 pick up (from hotel near Taichung Railway Station)
11:00 Carton King and Little Swiss Garden at Cingjing
12:30 lunch at Cingjing (pay on our own)
13:30 Green Green Grasslands at Cingjing
15:30 Wuling at Hehuanshan
16:00 Hehuanshan Main Peak at Hehuanshan
17:00 sea of clouds & sunset at Hehuanshan
19:30 drop off (at Fengjia Night Market in Taichung)