On Day 3, our first stop of the day was Shengxing Station, also in Sanyi Township, Miaoli County. In fact, this Taiwan tourist attraction is just 7 minutes’ drive to the west from Zhou Ye Cottage.
What makes Shengxing so popular is because it was built in 1908, which means it is 111 years old to date. It was part of the famous Taiwan Rail Mountain Line, constructed by the Japanese to transport camphor wood out of the mountainous area. This rail mountain line ceased its service in 1998 after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed the tracks.
Did you know that when it was in operation, the train serviced nine mountains with a peak altitude of 405 metres, over a distance of 15.9 km? Also, the Shengxing Station is an architectural marvel, built without nails. It was refurbished in 2003.
Today, Shengxing Station serves as a great photography backdrop for shutterbugs.
International household name of Brand’s
The next stop was Brand’s Health Museum, on the reclaimed land of Lukang, about an hour’s drive southwest towards the coast.
This Lukang industrial area has a number of factories that are open to visitors for educational tours; Brand’s Health Museum being only one of them. Undoubtedly, Brand’s is the most acknowledged trademark as it is a global household name in concoctions for wellness.
Whether one consumes Brand’s products or not, a visit to this museum is an eye-opening tour as it gives a lowdown on how its signature product, the Brand’s essence of chicken is prepared from scratch.
It was a splendid experience at Brand’s Health Museum. As a Brand’s consumer myself, the visit gave me an opportunity to try out all Brand’s products, and purchase them, especially those that are unavailable in our own local market.
First in Asia
This one-of-a-kind museum, the first ribbon museum in Asia, is a neighbour of Brand’s. It houses a collection of fifty thousand types of ribbons, thirty thousand patterns of printed ribbon, twenty thousand patterns of woven ribbon, as well as a hundred types of ribbon yarns.
Similar to many of the factories located at Lukang industrial area, Ribbon Museum organises workshops that allow visitors to get hands-on experiences with their products. In the case of Ribbon Museum, activities here include ribbon weaving using machines, as well as learning ribbon-tying techniques.
Next on our list of destinations within this vicinity was Taiwan Glass Gallery. To me, the highlights here are Golden Tunnel, Underwater World, and the glass Mazu temple, believed to be the only such structure in the world, made entirely with sheets of glass, except its pillars.
If you have been to the Museum of Illusions, either in Kuala Lumpur or another world city, you would be able to spot similarities with some of the attractions within Taiwan Glass Gallery. Have fun with the mind-bending illusions with glass!
In Changhua County where Lukang is located, one of the best experiences is oyster harvesting. Because of its geographical location by the coast, oysters and other seafood feature prominently in the everyday diet of the locals.
If you sign up for an oyster harvesting package, you will be taken on a bullock cart or motorised cart to the shore of the Taiwan Strait during low tide, for a hands-on experience in harvesting oysters. All work and no eat makes Jack a hangry (hungry + angry) boy. Therefore, don’t you worry, guests are welcome to savour the freshest oysters grilled over charcoal fire, on-site!
Lukang’s historic district walking tour
Despite having fine sand all over your skin after going out into the Taiwan Strait for oyster harvesting, with a full belly of oysters and clams, it’s time to walk off the calories by going on a tour of Lukang historic district on foot.
Lukang in Changhua County is the second oldest town in Taiwan. Thus, it is famous for its culture and heritage that have been well-preserved through the generations, especially at its historic district, where red brick buildings with traditional Taiwanese architecture still stand firmly.
With Lungshan Temple as starting point, stroll over to the narrowest of narrow Mo Ru Lane, before going into the depths of the historic section of town. Besides its architecture, the local food is a major attraction as well, from the century-old flavours of Cheng Yu Chen (since 1887) to fried oyster omelette and large intestines rice vermicelli.
Bring out your inner child
Wow, hadn’t it been a long day already? It was time to check in for the night at the nostalgic inn called Child Story, just a short distance away from the historic district. Child Story reminds you of your childhood, and brings out the inner child in you with an array of vintage toys and memorabilia from the 1950s as decorations.
It amuses me that just like in Malaysia, Taiwanese people are also beginning to appreciate the bygone years by offering time-tunnel themed hotels, e.g., Child Story, and cafés that take one back in time.
1) Shengxing Station (勝興車站)
2) Brand’s Health Museum
3) Ribbon Museum (緞帶王觀光工廠)
4) Taiwan Glass Gallery & Glass Mazu Temple
5) Oyster harvesting
6) Lukang historic district walking tour
7) Child Story (童年往事莊園民宿)
Read next post: 6D/5N Taiwan Small Town Ramble: Day 4
This trip was arranged by one of Ipoh’s top travel agencies, Golden Century Tour & Travel.
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