Day 1 at Taiwan was exciting. We awake, looking forward to the first destination that we had planned…Lavender Cottage (新社熏衣草花园). This was a great place to travel with family and loved ones.
|While on the way|
The journey to 新社熏衣草花园 was a long one for us since we traveled for about 2 hours (140km) from Benz Hotel (夜宿中壢) but while we were tired upon arrival, the beautiful scenery in Lavender Cottage quickly drew us into this vacation.
Upon arrival, we have to pay NT100 (we got a discount of NT100. Normal rate is NT200) for entrance fee. The entrance fee includes a NT100 voucher which could be used to purchase food or souvenir in Lavender Cottage.
|Our entrance ticket|
The surrounding was beautiful and it’s decorated with a lot of creativity in it…with some vintage design as well as some cute and adorable teddy bear. The garden was refreshing and upon entrance, we already find ourselves busy taking snapshots. (My regret for this trip is not to get a great camera for the vacation. If you’re planning to go Taiwan, I suggest you get a good camera for it, a DSLR with 1 or 2 lens perhaps?) Nevertheless, my Lumia 1520 did a sufficient job in taking good memories for me to carry with as well as to blog.
Here are some of the snapshots at the entrance:
|Lovely welcome at the entrance|
|A simple description of the Garden|
|My family busy taking snapshots|
|Right before the entrance, where we pay the entrance fee|
Along the way up, we also see a lot of nice beautiful decorations and lovely flowers that help to cheer one up. I loved the smell of the fragrance and how the garden was designed.
A very good spot to take photos with loved ones...
Introducing the teddy bear...
|Details on the teddy|
My baby and I both love the teddy...
If you love bicycle, you can also take photo with it here...beautiful view and scenery as well...
IF YOU ARE HUNGRY, THERE IS FOOD...
We went to one of the coffee shop, Forest Coffee House (森林咖啡馆) to have our lunch. The food served were average. I wouldn’t recommend coming here purposely for the food but it definitely helped to fill our hunger after a long travel in the morning.
You will have to order it at a counter that is not in the same place as where you would be seated...it's not far away. No credit card though, at least at the time when I go.
Here are some of the snapshot of the coffee house:
|Here is where you make your order|
Like I said, the food is average...nothing much to shout about...but we did take photos of it.
While the food is only average, I love the idea of a coffee place to enjoy the tea and chill in the cool and nice weather.
There is a second coffee shop, Purple Top Coffee House (紫丘咖啡馆) further up the hill, but it gives me the feeling that the second coffee shop focus more on dessert and ice-cream. Anyway, we did not try the food here but I didn’t see much people here so I guess the first coffee shop was probably better.
After our lunch in the Forest Coffee House (森林咖啡馆), we went to a place called 香草市集 near the coffee house. There are some stalls here where you could purchase souvenirs. We didn’t purchase our souvenir here since there is another shop that sell the same souvenir on the way out and also accept credit card.
(I find the staffs there to be quite friendly and helpful but it’s too Mandarin oriented. I couldn’t communicate with the staff there because I couldn’t speak in Mandarin and their English was quite limited. I’m lucky to have YenLeng to help with the translation).
HAPPINESS POST BOX (幸福信箱)
Next to the 香草市集, there is a Happiness Post Box (幸福信箱).
There are 5 Happiness Post Box there: Lover, Happy Individual, Close Friend, Family, and Hope.
|Lover, Happy Individual, Close Friend, Family, Hope|
The atmosphere was very good and gives a good feel factor in our quest there. These happiness box seems like a foolish thing to do but it reminds me the importance of take life slower, enjoying and embracing the important people in life.
BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AND STAMPING CULTURE
We continued to go to the garden. The flowers were beautiful and the fragrance of lavender was refreshing.
There is a culture in most of the tourist attraction. There is a stamp for us to mark our stop at the different destinations. It was fun but tiring as well because one have to look for the post box to get the stamp.
|YenLeng happy with the stamping culture|
This is a house that we went in and see some funny drawings and decorations. Very good for people who love to take photos...
Fragrance Flower Maze (香草迷宫)
As we go further up, we found this place: Fragrance Flower Maze (香草迷宫)
There were these post boxes where you can push and smell the fragrance of the different flowers. Inside the Maze, there was a lot of beautiful and funny drawings and lovely design, making it a very comfy home. (I find it weird they name it a Maze since the road was pretty straightforward….more like a comfy home with a lot of vintage and lovely design)…another great place for one to take snapshots.
The tour definitely gave us a great environment to relax and take photos.
JOURNEY TO THE TOP - MAKE A WISH TREE
After that, we make our way to the top, the Make A Wish Tree, (许愿树) where we could make our wish there.
Before we go up, we have to get the piece of paper provided in the Purple Top Coffee House (紫丘咖啡馆). Along the way, we passed by a lot of newly planted lavender.
|Newly planted lavender|
Halfway through the top, we saw a hut with a wooden chair…here, we could look down and see how beautiful the entire place is. It was breathtaking….it just helped one to come to senses and take a look at nature.
I don't think these photos do justice to the feeling at that moment...it's a place that I wouldn't mind going again, just for the scenery and view.
SECRET BEFORE MAKING YOUR WISH
There is a secret that one must learn before making a wish at the Make A Wish Tree, (许愿树).
Upon reaching to the top, you have to ring the bell first before tying your wish on the tree. Apparently, if you do that, your wish will come true.
How I wish this is true…hahaha!
|my siblings and girlfriend together ringing the bell|
|I rang the bell as well|
|Here is wishing everyone's dream come true|
|My bro tied his wish on the tree|
|You can see how people tie their wishes here|
|Tree of Wish|
On the way down, we stopped by at the Wooden Horse. (森林旋转木马).
|On our way down|
We managed to take some photos here as well. If you wanna play the Merry Go Round Horse, you have to pay NT50 for it.
Well, this place definitely is a great start to our Taiwan vacation. I enjoyed the scenery so much, the weather was awesome and the walk was good.
This is definitely one of the place that should be in your checklist when you make your trip to Taiwan.