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Hello! I'm currently updating my solo trip again to Taiwan!

Do look forward more travel blogs from me this year as I will be travelling more for work! Follow me on ig for all my instant updates!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

[Backpack TW] Part 2 - Chishang

DAY2
Route info: Yilan City > Taitung's Chishang
(宜蘭 頭城 > 宜蘭 市區 > 台東 池上)

1. Yilan City > Taitung's Chishang
 Yilan to Chishang, NT$470, travel time 2hrs 23mins
www.railway.gov.tw/en/
Long ride to Chishang as I skipped Hualien for this backpack trip. Thus, explained my stopover at Yilan City.

I walked to my hostel, and this time round googlemap led me to the wrong place. As I recalled I booked a place close to the train station but googlemap made me walk like 20mins. In the end, I called the owner and he gave me instructions to walk to his hostel. I was expecting the owner to be there, but it was his sister. So she wasn't very sure which room I should be and etc, thus she led me to the wrong room, but I manage to take a photo of the pretty room before I got invited out.

This was the backpacker's room. The upper deck was really very high! So glad nobody was staying on the upper deck that night if not I would get worried for the person every time she climbs.
莊稼熟了民宿; booked through email, 50% deposit through paypal, NT$700/night
No. 251, Zhongshan Road, 池上鄉
http://www.farming-hostal.tw/
I have to compliment, their bed was very comfortable, the best bed I had through out my whole 19 days. Slightly higher price than the other hostels around Chishang, you can get cheap ones at NT$400, but their environment and facilities did not disappoint me. Worth it!

The owner's sister gave me a bicycle rental discount voucher, but the bicycle owner wasn't there when I wanted to book, so I decided to go for lunch.

 Went to this famous Chishang bento shop
 

As it was after the lunch hour peak, only the first level was available for dine in. But it was full. So the uncle pity that I'm having my lunch alone, he opened up the second level only for me, and chose the best view seat for me.
 

The bento packaging looks very retro, rather interesting!
 
全美行池上便当, NT$80, No. 1, Zhongzheng Road, Chishang Township, Taitung County, Taiwan 95862
089235114.tranews.com
OMG, this was super nice! The best bento I ever had and I do not mind taking long hours train just to have this goodess. This bento included Bonito Flakes which was heavenly~ There were a few varieties of meat and they were equally good. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Rented a bicycle at 金瓜民宿, which was a few shops away from my hostel, and the boss charged me NT$150 for a day.
金瓜民宿 單車出租, 1-2shops away from 莊稼熟了民宿, 09188883692
http://0918883692.mmweb.tw/
After some briefing on the attractions by the boss, I am ready to cycle around Chishang! First stop, Dapo Pond 大坡池步道!

Took a rest on the wooden pavements, and I'm ready to cycle to Bolang Avenue (“Brown Avenue”) 伯朗大道, where famous star Takeshi Kaneshiro 金城武 sat under the tree for the Mr. Brown Coffee commercial.

Pretty paddy fields while I cycled. As I stopped to take a selfie, there was a lady that was also cycling offered to take a photo for me with the paddy fields, and I shall name her Ms C. So we chatted and cycled together, and became friends. Unbelievable. So warning ahead, you will get to see my face in most of the photos as she was so enthusiastic to take photos for me that I don't have the chance to take scenery photos. (just pretend I'm not in the photos)
^^The white frame that you can pose whatever posture you like with the paddy fields

^^The famous Takeshi Kaneshiro's Tree 金城武樹

^^Heaven Road 天堂路; at the top of the slope you will be able to see the pretty road bends

^^Polaroid for memory; although the colors were not vibrate due to the gloomy weather

^^My newly found Taiwanese friend, Ms C

We carried on cycling to some spots around Bolang Avenue...
 
^^浮圳上的大觀樓 Some balcony where you can have a great view of the paddy fields

 
^^ 大水車 Watermill

Ms C tried her best to explain to me the geographical location of Chishang, but it was so confusing for me; in summary Chishang is located between 2 mountain ranges. On its west is the Central Mountain Range (中央山脈), and on its east is the Haian Range (海岸山脈). So whenever you snap a photo in Chishang, chances of getting a mountain range as your background is rather high.

As Ms C did not intend to stay overnight at Chishang, so we returned our bicycles, and we had an early dinner together at another famous Chishang Bento shop. It was like a museum, so a great place to take photos!

And it has a convenience store which sells alot of oldies snacks

Ms C was so nice to treat me dinner! Her explanation was, “我不知道幾時才會與你再見面”, she does not know when will she see me again. Really sweet of her (':

I ordered the original bento and she ordered pork cutlet bento. This bento was nice too, but I prefer the another shop bento cause there was Bonito Flakes~~~
Wu Tao Chishang Lunch Box Cultural History Museum 池上飯包博物館
http://www.wu-tau.com/
Accompanied Ms C to the train station and headed back to the bicycle rental shop as I promised the boss that I will be back after dinner. He told me I was the first Singaporean that rented his bicycle, as it was a newly opened bicycle shop, so he was super welcoming.

Initially he wanted to rent me his electric bike for free so that I can go Chihshang Farmers' Association ( 池上農會農特產品拓售中心) to stroll along the flower field. But I do not have motorcycle license... so he came out with another suggestion which was to personally drive me there. At first I was abit reluctant, as you know in school they taught us never accept a ride from a stranger, but he was so enthusiastic so I decided to step out of my comfort zone.

Ended up it was so late that the association was closed for the day.
Chihshang Farmers' Association 池上農會農特產品拓售中心
http://csfa.org.tw
Disclaimer: I do not promote randomly taking free car rides from strangers. Please do a self gauge before accepting the ride, especially females traveling alone!

But I really appreciate his thoughts of driving me there and leaving his shop openly unattended. And we had alot of small talks along the way and he drove me back to his shop, we continued to chat for hours. From travel tips to politics to his own personal life-story. Really such a friendly and cute boss, which taught me alot of valuable stuffs.

If you're intending to go Chishang to cycle, please locate him and tell him his first Singaporean customer introduced you to rent his bicycle!
金瓜民宿 單車出租, 1-2shops away from 莊稼熟了民宿, 09188883692
http://0918883692.mmweb.tw/
 
^^Had a selfie shot with him when I saw him the next morning!

Had a rest at the comfy bed and met my first hostel stay's room-mate, who was a hongkonger, and she was a solo backpacker too! She gave me some Taitung tips and we had a small chat about traveling philosophy and etc.

And did my "homework" for the next day's itinerary using the resources that the bicycle boss gave me; yes I don't plan my itinerary for my backpack trip until the very last minute.

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