Neiwan, Taiwan Part I

For our Taiwan Trip Summary, please click here.
bring me to the railroad  track – lyrics, captain jack

I’ve decided to continue blogging about Taiwan somehow. We’ll be writing about places off the beaten track such as Neiwan, Yingge & Sansia. It’s nice to visit the less-travelled parts of Taiwan sometimes. We’ll start with a Neiwan, a quaint little Hakka village.

As a Hakka, CityGal is pretty excited to visit Neiwan, a Hakka community in Hsinchu County encircled by hills and run through Youlo Stream. Getting to NeiWan is somewhat a gruelling experience. We took train to Hsinchu, transferred to a bus heading to ZhuDong station before riding a train along the beautiful neiwan branch line to the lovely town.

The Neiwan Branch line is among the three infamous train branches in Taiwan other than the Jiji line and Pingxi line which we took. It is also the reason why I insisted in taking the long way even though part of  the Neiwan Branch Line has suspended operation from February 28, 2007 for three and a half years. We still enjoy our journey from Zhudong to Neiwan nonetheless.

Logistic Information
1. Take the High Speed Rail to Hsinchu Station → Continue by bus or taxi
2. Take the Taiwan Railway to Hsinchu Station → Take the Hsinchu Bus (Neiwan Line) to Zhudong station and take the train to Neiwan station.

Note: High Speed Rail service between Hsinchu and Zhudong is temporarily suspended due to construction. For connections between Hsinchu and Zhudong please take the Hsinchu Bus. The Zhudong-Neiwan section of the High Speed Rail is operating normally.
We spotted a hearing impaired man selling bread at the Hsinchu station.
He hugged me as a gesture of thanks. It’s really heart warming.

It was dark by the time we reached Neiwan. We chose to dine at a small little Hakka restaurant in the village.

This is a small place, simple, laid back, great for a hot lunch or dinner. I like how they recycled the old furnitures to be part of the restaurant. Our table was an old sewing machine, how cute!
How could we missed out Lei Cha (擂茶), the famous pounded tea of the Hakka origins. It consists of a mix of tea leaves and herbs that are ground or pounded together with various roasted nuts, seeds, and grains.
Taiwanese consume Lei Cha as a sweet drink, as opposed of the savory version in Malaysia.
The lady owner mixed all the ingredients into a deep bowl, and began pounding until the mixture became a powder form. Hot water is then added to the paste, and she poured it onto a small tea cup.
It was really good and refreshing! The taste was nutty, green and quenching.
The food that we had resemble some wholesome, home cooked meal. According to the lady owner, these are the real Hakka food. The food may not be using the finest ingredients, but we had a great time enjoying the food.





We checked into our B&B (min su) Star Light after the dinner.
At NT1600 (RM 160) per night, the room is clean, neat and simple.



We woke up the next morning and continue to explore Neiwan town. Sadly enough, we missed the shuttle bus to the nearby Lavender Cottage!! We have to strike it off from our itinerary because the filming crew is waiting for us at Taipei later in the evening. The Lavender Farm is a beautiful lavender farm with vibrant shades of purple. There’s also a restaurant that serves all kinds of lavender delicacies over there. *cry*

For those who are interested to get to Lavender Farm:
Weekends & Holidays: take the shuttle bus from the parking lot next to Neiwan Theatre
Weekdays: Make a phone reservation by calling 0932-109534 , Mr Tian.


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