Planning a trip to Cingjing Farm and wondering what to do? Here’s a detailed guide to help you discover all of Cingjing’s best bits!
Sitting at an elevation of nearly 1750m, Cingjing (also spelled Qingjing) is a beautiful little mountaintop town located in Ren’ai Township, Nantou, Taiwan. It’s famous for being home to Cingjing Farm and the highest skywalk in Taiwan, its cool European-inspired architecture, and proximity to Hehuanshan – one of Taiwan’s highest peaks offering unbelievable alpine scenery.
Even though Cingjing is a relatively small place, it’s home to some incredible experiences that you won’t find anywhere else in Taiwan! While most visitors head to Cingjing Farm on a day trip from Taichung to see flocks of sheep grazing in the Green Green Grasslands, there is so much more to do in Qingjing!
To help you plan the perfect Qingjing itinerary, I’ve included absolutely everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful slice of Nantou County, Taiwan, as well as the very best things to do in this guide!
Ready? Grab a cuppa, and let’s go!
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Qingjing Itinerary Pre-Travel Tips
Before you head out to Cingjing, here are a few tips to help you plan a stress-free trip.
- While it’s possible to access Qingjing from several places in Taiwan, Taichung City is the main gateway to the area. Read my super detailed guide on how to get to Cingjing. I’ve included loads of handy tips and all the info you need to get there, whether you’re coming from Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, or Taipei.
- If you’re only visiting Qingjing Farm for the day, book a day tour from Taichung for a stress-free experience.
- Cingjing is a popular tourist spot in Taiwan, so it’s best to book accommodation well in advance. Search the best hotels and guesthouses here on Agoda (or see my top picks below).
- Try to visit during the week because it gets quite crowded over weekends and the holidays.
- Make sure to pack comfortable shoes because you’ll be doing much walking!
When to Visit Cingjing Farm
Cingjing is a great destination to visit year-round. However, since Cingjing is a mountainous area, the weather can be much colder and more unpredictable than elsewhere in Taiwan. Therefore it’s a good idea to pack something warm and an umbrella no matter which season you visit.
Let’s have a quick look at what to expect in each season.
Spring (March-May): Spring is a great time to visit Cingjing. And, with a bit of planning (and luck), you’ll find some of the best cherry blossom viewing in Taiwan here. On most days, you can expect pleasant temperatures with highs ranging between 19 -21°C. However, the evenings can still be quite chilly, so it’s important to pack something warm.
Summer (Jun-Aug): Thanks to its height, Cingjing is considerably cooler than other places in Taiwan. It’s also the best time to see the Green Green Grasslands at its very best and the perfect time to do stargazing at Hehuanshan. Generally, expect average low temperatures of around 15°C and highs of 24 °C.
Autumn (Sept-Nov): If you’re looking to do some autumn leaf-peeping, Cingjing is a great place to do just that! Autumn can be quite cold so remember to check the weather before your trip.
Winter (Dec-Feb): Winter can be ridiculously cold in Cingjing, especially in the early mornings and evenings. However, it’s a great time to soak in one of the nearby hot springs. Hehuanshan is also one of the few places where you can see snow in Taiwan! Expect average temperatures to range between 6-15°C during the day, while dipping well below zero at night. January is the coldest month.
Where to Stay in Cingjing
Cingjing has heaps of accommodation options to match all kinds of budgets and traveling styles – from the super-luxe Old England Manor to cheap and cheerful minsus and beautiful Cingjing farm stays. However, since the hotels and guesthouses are quite spread out, most of them aren’t close to the best attractions in Cingjing.
Unless you have your own set of wheels, I highly recommend booking accommodation as close as possible to Cingjing Farm. That way, you’ll be close to all the action and within walking distance to restaurants and convenience stores. What’s more, you won’t waste time waiting for the bus or have to tackle a very grueling walk uphill!
Here are my recommendations for the best Cingjing hotels:
- Budget: Chingjing Abin Minshuku is a cool minsu located 1km from Cingjing Farm. The newly renovated guesthouse features clean, modern rooms with a private balcony where you can take in the dreamy views. Check rates and availability here.
- Mid-Range: The Cotswolds Villa is a beautiful 3-star hotel less than 500m from the Cingjing Upper Gate. It features clean, spacious rooms with large windows overlooking the mountains and forests. The best part? The bus stop is right in front of the guesthouse! Check rates or availability here.
- Luxe: If you want to splurge on your visit to Cingjing, Taiwan and looking for a true fairytale setting, then The Old England Hotel is just the place for you. It’s one of the most famous mountain resorts in all of Taiwan, and features beautiful European architecture, exquisite rooms, and gorgeous views. Check rates or read reviews here.
Insider’s tip: Underfloor heating or heaters aren’t common in Taiwan, so it’s highly unlikely that your hotel in Cingjing will have these. Therefore, if you are visiting during winter, best to check with your hotel whether they have electric blankets as it gets really cold at this altitude!
How to get around Cingjing
If you don’t have a car, the only way to get around Cingjing is on foot or by bus. While it’s not a large area, it’s important to remember that the little town is set on a hilltop and walking long distances uphill or downhill might not be for everyone.
A few buses travel up and down the mountain, with the Nantou bus coming roughly every hour. Make sure you have Google Maps installed on your phone with your hotel’s address bookmarked, as there is little information available online in English. Oh, and don’t forget your Easy Card! That way, you can simply tap in and out on the bus without having to bother with coins.
Side note: Apparently, a shuttle bus travels between the northern and southern Cingjing Farm gates too. But, I couldn’t find any timetables online during my trip. The bus runs every 20-30 minutes between the two ticket gates and costs NT$20 per person.
Cingjing Farm Entrance Fee
If you didn’t buy a Cingjing Farm Pass (NT$600), when purchasing your bus ticket in Taichung (see more details in my getting to Cingjing guide), you’ll need to pay an entrance fee to access the farm.
The ticket is only valid for one day and costs NT$160 during weekdays and NT$200 weekends, special holidays, and winter or summer vacation. Don’t lose the ticket as you’ll need it to access the other areas!
Insider’s tip: Make sure to stamp your hand as soon as you enter the farm because, without it, you’d need to pay the entrance fee again. You’ll find several stamp booths near all entrances. Don’t worry, the staff will also point them out upon entry.
What to do in Cingjing
There’s a lot more to do in Qingjing than you might have thought. Besides strolling around the farm and enjoying the spectacular scenery, there are several cool hiking trails to follow, a peaceful garden filled with cute sculptures to peruse, and of course, Hehuanshan to explore. Here are the best places to visit in Cingjing.
Wander around Cingjing Farm
Qingjing Farm is such a cool place to visit, and not just to get a close-up look at herds of adorable sheep. The entire farm is incredibly beautiful, and the views are simply mind-blowing!
Qingjing Farm comprises three main areas – Green Green Grasslands, Great Nature Theater Ecological Area, and the Guanshan Pastoral Area. While most people start their visit at the southern gate of Green Green Grassland, I highly recommend kick-starting your visit at the northern entrance, which also happens to be the highest elevated point, and work your way down.
There are tons of sheep grazing on the pastures at Qingjing Farm, and you won’t need to venture far to find them. Along the way, you’ll even find vending machines where you can buy grass to feed them. While it might seem like a cool experience, you should know that the sheep are very greedy! I saw quite a few storming people once they opened the packets. If you’re brave enough, go for it! I certainly wasn’t! Just remember, you aren’t allowed to touch the sheep at all. A bag of feed costs NT$30.
If you’re visiting Qinging with kids, it might be fun to watch the daily sheep shearing show at the massive outdoor amphitheater. Weather permitting, there are two performances at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm during weekends and holidays (except Wednesdays).
The Horsemanship Show near the Guanshan Pasture is another cool activity for families. It showcases skilled riders and acrobats originally from Mongolia performing all kinds of tricks. Full disclosure, I didn’t stick around for either of these, as it’s not really my scene.
Qingjing Farm opening hours: 8 am – 5 pm
Snack your Way through the Hawker Market
Once you reach the southern gate, you’ll find a massive food market selling a fantastic selection of Taiwanese and Yunnan-inspired food and snacks.
Most people don’t know this, but after the Chinese Civil War ended in 1949, many Kuomintang soldiers were left in China’s Yunnan Province. Over the years, they integrated with the local Baiyi community. It was not until 1961 when a group of these soldiers and their families returned to Taiwan. Many chose to settle in Cingjing, and today, it is a great place to get acquainted with their age-old traditions, customs, and food.
Insider’s tip: After snacking your way through the market, make your way up the hill where you’ll see the entrance to the Great Nature Theater Ecological Area. It’s a lovely area scattered with windmills and loads of cool photo ops.
Stroll Along the Qingjing Skywalk
One of the best attractions in Cingjing is the stunning 1.68km sky bridge which also happens to be the highest elevated skywalk in Taiwan.
The pathway runs along Highway 14a and offers exquisite scenery of the Nantou mountains, Lushan hot spring Village, and Cingjing’s pastures with grazing sheep, cattle, and horses. It’s an easy stroll offering so many different vantage points that you’ll never be bored!
There are several entry points, but you can access the skywalk near Cingjing Castle if you entered at the northern gate. Alternatively, enter at the Green Green Grassland southern gate right in front of the hawker stands or at the Guanshan Pasture station near the 487-Steps Trail.
The Qingjing Skywalk ticket costs NT$50 per adult.
Relax at the Little Swiss Garden
Also dubbed Taiwan’s Switzerland, the Small Swiss Garden is a fantastic place for a gentle walkabout. The garden features a beautiful pond and neatly-kept gardens filled with everything from maple trees and cypresses to colorful flowers, cool LED installations, and quirky art.
There’s also a cute little coffee shop within the garden where you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. Afterward, be sure to pop by Cona’s Chocolates for some decadent sweet treats. Nearby, you’ll also find a Starbucks, Mos Burger, Carton King, and a couple of souvenir shops selling an array of local snacks and knick-knacks.
The entrance fee is NT$120. Remember to show your Cingjing Farm Pass or the chop on your hand, to access the garden at NT$90.
Opening hours: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Explore the Cingjing Hiking Trails
If you’re into hiking, you should definitely try out a few of the gorgeous hiking trails at Cingjing. While they differ in length and difficulty level, they all offer a unique experience and stunning scenery. Below are some of the most popular ones.
Guanshan Trail: Walking the Guanshan Trail is arguably one of the best things to do at Qingjing Farm. The trail offers incredible scenery no matter which way you turn. It is about 1.8km long and takes roughly 50 minutes to walk one-way.
The Sunset Trail: The 1km trail is a firm favorite among sunset chasers and offers incredible views over rolling tea plantations and a deep valley. The hike takes about 30 minutes one-way. The trailhead starts near the Small Swiss Garden.
The Sakura Trail: If you happen to visit during cherry blossom season in Taiwan, this is the perfect spot to view sakura. The hike is only about 500m long, and it shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to complete (one-way).
The Tea Plantation Trail: If you’ve visited some of Taiwan’s other famous tea farms like Fenqihu, Shizhao, or Alishan, you’ll already have a good idea of what to expect. The trailhead is located near Cingjing Farm Hotel and takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Join a Hehuanshan Sunrise Tour
A visit to Cingjing would simply not be complete without stopping by one of Taiwan’s highest mountains, Hehuanshan. With an altitude of 3412m, Hehuanshan (or Joy Mountain) forms part of the Taiwan Central Mountain Range, borders both Nantou and Hualien counties, and offers easy access to Taroko Gorge. What’s more, it’s also home to the highest accessible road in Taiwan!
It’s a great place to go hiking, catch an epic sunrise, watch the sea of clouds, or simply immerse yourself in nature. While it’s worth spending a few days at Hehuan Shan National Forest Recreation Area, one of the easiest ways to get acquainted with this beautiful area is by joining a sunrise tour.
Most tours last about 4 hours and stop at several iconic landmarks within the Hehuanshan National Park. Some of the most notable pitstops include the Dark Sky Park, where you’ll get to enjoy some epic stargazing and the famous Wuling Pass lookout deck, which sits at an elevation of 3275m. It’s a surreal experience and one that I highly recommend adding to your Cingjing Farm itinerary. PS: Visit during May or June for the best nightscape and stargazing!
Just a heads up: The tour kicks off at different times depending on which season you visit. I visited during winter, which thankfully meant my tour only started at 5:30 am. In summer, expect tours to begin much earlier, with some trips starting as early as 2:30 am.
Cingjing Farm in Conclusion
There you have it – absolutely everything you need to plan an epic Qingjing itinerary! Have you visited this dreamy mountaintop resort in Nantou, Taiwan yet? Feel free to share your tips, favorite places to stay, best things to do, and everything in between in the comments below!
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