Taitung Private Tour Day 1 Part 2: Wandering Through Chishang’s Paddy Fields 台东包车游第一天-池上田园好风光

Following the morning tour in Beinan Township, we proceeded to Chishang Township, about an hour’s drive (about 46 km) north of Shanli village. Best known as the hometown of rice, Chishang is 1 of the popular tourist attractions of Huadong Valley. The agricultural township produces the most renowned quality of rice in Taiwan, & Chishang lunchboxes, also called bento, are famous throughout the country. Of course we had to try it for lunch that day!

游走完卑南乡之后,我们继续往北,约一小时后的路程(46公里)抵达池上。池上乡是花东纵谷里的热门旅游景点之一,除了能欣赏到壮丽的纵谷景观,素来也以“米的故乡”著称。这个以农产业为主的乡是台湾最优质的稻米的原产地,所以,来到池上,当然不能错过品尝池上便当的良机。抵达池上的第一“任务”就是享用赫赫有名的池上便当!

Enroute to Chishang, Mr Wang asked which bento shop we would wish to have lunch at as there are quite a few well known brands in the township. Amongst the numerous brands, Woo Ricebox & Chuan Mei Hang Bento Restaurant are the most highly raved about. I tried Woo Ricebox at Ocean Financial Centre when it opened its first outlet in Singapore at Ocean Financial Centre a few years back, & was rather disappointed. While I wasn’t sure if it was because the taste would differ a lot from the real Chishang bento in Taitung, Mr Wang told me Woo is more known to tourists, as it has branches spread all over Taiwan. On the other hand, Chuan Mei Hang Bento Restaurant could only be found in Chishang. So, the choice was clear, we picked Chuan Mei Hang as our lunch venue for the day. 🙂

在车上时,汪先生已提前先问我们想尝哪个品牌的便当,因为池上乡的便当选择不计其数。在众多品牌中,以悟饕池上饭包和全美行池上铁路月台便当最有名。新加坡几年前在中央商业区开了第一家悟饕池上饭包,我也试过,但记得非但没被它迷倒,反而很失望。虽然我不晓得新加坡版本是否与台东版本差很多,但汪先生说悟饕因为分行遍布台湾各地,是较多游客到访的便当餐馆。但是,全美行就只此一家,就在台东县池上乡。所以,选择很简单,当然是到全美行享用午餐便当啦!

全美行池上铁路月台便当

Chuan Mei Hang Bento Restaurant is located on the right side of the street directly in front of Chishang Railway Station. The reputable bento restaurant has a history of over 30 years, & is the same rice box brand sold at Chishang Station platform. Actually I thought the shop has been around longer because it looked quite rundown haha. The wood furnishings in the shop evoked a very traditional Japanese feeling too. Not many seats in the long & narrow shop, but it had 2 storeys, though level 2 was closed when we arrived at about 1.30 pm. I guess it wasn’t the peak lunch hour so they closed off level 2, but there were still several tables occupied at that time.

全美行池上铁路月台便当就坐落在池上车站前方道路的右手边。这家备受喜爱的便当餐厅在地营业30多年,也是池上火车站月台所兜售的便当品牌。店铺看起来好像很旧,我还以为他们不止营业30多年呢,哈哈。整间餐厅的木制陈设很日式。店面看起来不是很大,但有两层楼。不过,因为我们抵达餐厅已大概1点半左右,可能已过了午餐繁忙时间,2楼并没有开放让食客上去。1楼的座位几乎全部坐满食客。

领餐需自助~全美行的招牌便当

Everything here was self-service. First, we ordered our desired bento at the counter near the entrance & made payment on the spot. Thereafter, we had to go to the collection counter at the back of the restaurant to collect our Signature Bento (80 TWD, ~S$3.70) & the disposable cultery with the payment coupon. We could also help ourselves to the big pot of soup next to the collection counter. After the meal, customers were supposed to clear the table & throw rubbish in the designated bins.

全美行采取自助制度。首先,我们到靠近大门的柜台点餐及付款。之后,凭餐券到在后端的领餐区领取我们的招牌便当(台币80元),并自取汤匙、筷子和例汤。用餐完毕必须自行清理,把碗筷、饭盒等扔进垃圾桶里。

Chishang rice is very similar to the Japanese rice loved by many people. Each grain of rice seemed to be bigger than the Thai Jasmine rice we are used to in Singapore. The Signature Bento was packed in a wooden box full of goodies, including braised egg, radish, ginger slice, cabbage, sausage, fried fish, char siew, roasted meat and bonito flakes. The bento was very yummy so I finished it in no time. Really worth a try if you are in Chishang!

池上米饭与深受许多人喜爱的日本米饭口感相似。感觉上,每颗米粒好像比新加坡人熟悉的泰国香米稍微大一点。装在木盒的招牌便当用料丰富,共有叉烧、烧肉、香肠和卜肉等四种,加上5种配菜如卤蛋、胡萝卜、姜片、卷心菜,还有香酥爽口的在地柴鱼酥。便当很美味丰富,现在回想起那顿午餐突然觉得肚子好饿,😄。到池上一定要去全美行品尝一次!

After a satisfying lunch, I stepped out of the restaurant for a breather while waiting for friend to finish hers. Saw the unique structure of Chishang Railway Station, really very Jap-like… We could really see the great influence the Japanese brought to the country through 50 years of Japanese occupation.

饱餐一顿后,乘着朋友还没吃好,我踏出店外透口气,看到独特木制设计的池上车站。感觉整个乡散发着浓郁的日本气息嘞。看来,台湾被日本统治50年的影响甚远啊。

Chishang Railway Station 池上车站

Time for a workout after a filling meal ya? We were brought to Mr Brown Avenue, just an 8-min drive from Chuan Mei Hang, where we could experience a fun bike ride through vast paddy fields. At first, when Mr Wang told us we could ride along the avenue & enjoy the beautiful paddy field scenery, we were like “what? we can’t cycle…” But he assured us that 4-wheel electric bikes are available for rent too so both of us could share a ride together.

吃得饱饱的,该是去做点运动消耗些脂肪的时间了。下一站就是离全美行短短8分钟车程的伯朗大道。这条大道是池上非常有名的旅游景点,游客可以骑自行车漫游宽阔的稻田。当汪先生告诉我们来这要里一定要骑自行车才能享受田园好风光时,我们顿时愣住了,因为我们不会骑脚踏车。:( 幸亏他叫我们别担心,因为可以骑双人电动自行车,是4个轮的,😄。

Mr Brown Avenue – motor vehicles not allowed to enter

Mr Brown Avenue came about after the place was featured in a Mr Brown Coffee TV commercial in 1997. Many people were intrigued by the beauty of the road amidst widespread paddy fields in the town & called the township office to enquire about the exact location. Now, this road has become a tourist hotspot. In fact I can safely say this was the only attraction in Taitung where we saw so many visitors. Haha

一条田园小路因1997年的一支伯朗咖啡的广告在这里拍摄而引起大家的注意。许多人被这片广大翠绿的稻田,沒有电线杆的阻碍的美景吸引,而纷纷致电池上乡事务所询问确切地址。伯朗大道就这样诞生了,并称为深受欢迎的旅游景点。如果说它是唯一我在台东看到这么多人的地方也不为过,哈哈。。。

The iconic Mr Brown Avenue photo spot 伯朗大道的打卡点

I wasn’t kidding. The throngs of people we saw here, while still considered manageable compared to other parts of Taiwan, made it an uphill task to take photo of this iconic photo spot without anyone blocking your view, as you can see from my photo above. -_- Queues were formed in front of the photo spot, & as usual, there were people trying to cut queue (especially those from 1 of the Asian economic powerhouses that also speaks Mandarin). We also met a few big tour groups who were quite rowdy, which somehow disturbed the tranquility that this picturesque place should have.

真的不是开玩笑的。虽然这里的人潮比起台北或台湾其他地方还有过之而无不及,但想要拍下完全没人阻挡的照片,还是相当困难的。你看我以上的照片就大概能猜到了吧。在这个热门打卡点,还需要排队,当然也会有一些人插队(尤其是从某个亚洲经济强国来的旅客)。-_- 这次到伯朗大道,还遇到不少大旅行团到访,感觉他们的嬉闹似乎破坏了这片稻田该有的宁静。

Before getting into Mr Brown Avenue, we rented a 2-pax electric 4-wheel bike from 1 of the bicycle shops nearby, which costed 500 TWD/bike (~S$23.30) for about 2 hours. The bicycle shop staff showed us how to handle the bike & kept assuring us that it’d be safe because its maximum speed was only 20km/hour. So we started our bike trip after finally taken some photos at the iconic photo spot in above pic.

在正式进入伯朗大道前,我们已在临近的自行车店租了一辆双人四轮电动自行车(台北500元,2小时为限)。工作人员很有耐心地教导我们如何使用电动车,并一直强调车速很慢,最多只能达一小时20公里,所以可以安心行驶。就这样,我们在打卡点拍完照之后就开始我们的自行车之旅了。:)

5 rules for visitors to Chishang: 1. Please do not destroy the beauty of the paddy fields; 2. Please walk or ride a bike, & stay safe by looking out for vehicles; 3. Do not meddle with anything in the farmland & look out for farm vehicles; 4. Please be a well-mannered traveller & respect that people are living here; 5. Please do not litter anywhere during your visit.

We took quite a while before we could familiarise ourselves with how to ride the bike smoothly, & the owner had to come & guide us again haha. But I eventually got the hang of it & grew to love the feeling of riding through the huge paddy fields. Think my friend sort of gave up & passed the wheel to me solely since I seemed to enjoy it more than her. 😛 Here are some of the picturesque photos taken during our awesome bike trip in the rain.

起初,感觉自行车不怎么容易使用,工作人员可能看我们骑得太慢吧,赶紧过来教导我们如何操作。终于,我开始上手了,感觉越来越过瘾。本来我们是轮流骑的,但朋友好像不是很有兴趣,所以我索性就一路骑到底了。😄以下是沿途下着雨的优美迷蒙风景。

Everyone looked so carefree 游客轻松惬意,踩着脚车游览下着雨的伯朗大道

No cables to obstruct the magnificent view! 没有电缆的阻碍,真棒!

Sitting under the famous “Takeshi Kaneshiro Tree”, & in the background is a 4-pax electric 4-wheel bike, similar to what we had 这就是鼎鼎大名的”金城武树”,后面是四人电动自行车,跟我们骑的差不多

As seen in photo above, that’s the famous “Takeshi Kaneshiro Tree” that appeared in the 2013 Eva Air commercial. The commercial made Mr Brown Avenue even more popular as increasing number of tourists came to seek for this unique tree in Chishang’s boundaryless field. The bench & teapot were placed there so that visitors would be able to find the tree, & also could act as props to reignite the scene in the commercial. 😉 It was somewhere in the middle of the avenue, & we took about 25 min to arrive at the spot, with some stops along the way to take photos. The tree was hit by typhoon in 2014, hence you may have spotted the poles on the left of the tree to support it from collapsing.

以上照片里的大树就是著名的“金城武树”,因长荣航空2013的广告而声名大噪。这棵茄苳树因为金城武在树下拍摄奉茶片段而吸引许多追星族及游客到访。现在,为了让访客重温广告里的经典片段,有关当局还特地摆放长凳和茶壶,也可以更快地找到在伯朗大道上这棵明星树。我们从打卡点到这里,一路停停走走,花了大概25分钟才看到大树。由于2014的麦徳姆台风侵袭,金城武树因而倒下。所幸经树医诊断后判断可以复原,所以你可以看到树的左边靠几只枝干支撑,以防倒下。

Couldn’t get enough of the awesome scenery 宽广的田园风景,怎么都看不腻

Too bad we sorta lost our bearings in the huge farmland, & I don’t think I took photos of the “Road to Heaven” although we did ride along the narrow path that looked heavenly. We even had to call the bicycle shop for help as we couldn’t find the way back, so that someone could come & guide us back to the correct path haha. But it was a really fun experience despite the wet weather & crowd!

可惜我们在广阔的田园迷路了,也忘了拍下著名的“天堂路”的照片。虽然我们有惬意地在令人心旷神怡的小径上骑自行车。当时刚好四处无人、无车,仿佛置身世外桃源。后来,看时间不早了,我们都不知道身在何处,只好快点打电话到脚车出租店求助了哈哈。纵使天不作美,游客又多,这次以骑自行车的方式探访池上田园风光还是很好玩!希望下次还有机会到伯朗大道玩。

Next, Mr Wang also drove us to the nearby Dapo Pond, located to the east of Chishang. Formed as a result of fault activity in the township, the water comes from an underground stream situated at the tip of Sinwulyu River’s alluvial fan. The township’s name, which means “above the pond” in Chinese is a reference to Dapo Pond. Too bad, it was too foggy that day due to the non-stop rain, the view at Dapo Pond was nothing fantastic to shout about…

接着,我们前往位于池上乡东侧的大坡池,就在伯朗大道附近。大坡池是因池上断层活动而形成的断层池,水源則来自新武呂溪冲积扇末端的伏流。“池上”这一地名就是源自大坡池,早年池上便当里的鱼虾,也是来自大坡池。但那天的天气太灰暗了,原本会看到美丽倒影的池也显得死气沉沉,太可惜了。

Dapo Pond on a rainy day 在梅雨季拍的大坡池照

Next, it was time for some afternoon snacks at Da Chi Soy Bean Skin Shop. As its name suggests, they only sell soy products, & only 4 items available. Strictly speaking, there are only 3 types of soy products, namely, soy bean skin, soy bean curd & soya milk (which has 2 versions – low sugar & no sugar). Established for about 50 years, Da Chi has proven that you don’t need many items to attract customers. Even if you specialise & only have a limited menu, customers will stream in if the food is good. The shop was filled with customers even on a rainy weekday late afternoon.

然后,又到了享用茶点的时候了。汪先生带我们到五十年的老字号 – 大池豆皮店去品尝美味的豆类食品。这家店只售卖3种产品,即豆浆、豆花及豆包。豆浆有低糖和无糖选择。来到大池豆皮店,你可以亲眼见证,店家只要专心把拿手食品做好,无需多种选择,也能吸引食客到来品尝。我们到访的那天已是下午4点多,又下着雨,但食客还是好多。

大池豆皮店

We were lucky that the shop was open that day, as there is no fixed schedule as to when it would be open or closed. To order your food & drinks, get into the shop where you could see numerous lines of soy bean skin hanging high on the production line. There are some staff who would be busy stir-frying the soy bean skin ordered by customers. It was a busy day as I waited patiently in line for my turn to lay my hands on a cup of soy bean (low sugar) drink (30 TWD, ~S$1.40) & a plate of freshly stir-fried soy bean skin (65 TWD, ~S$3) (as per photo above). The 4-piece stir-fried soy bean skin tasted really crispy on the outside, yet soft on the inside.

幸亏我们没有扑个空,因为店家没有特定的休息日,所以能吃到它的豆制产品,算是一种福气吧?哈哈。要点餐,需要进去挂满金黄色豆皮的老店铺里。这里,你可以看到店家忙着煎豆皮,煮豆浆。顾客源源不绝,我也只好耐心等待。

All products at Da Chi are prepared using non-genetically modified soy beans, so customers can consume the fragrant soy bean products at ease. If you love soy bean products, you would love the rich soy taste here. NB: Use the chilli paste in moderation, it was quite salty for us.

我们共享一份香煎豆包(台北65元)和一杯微糖的豆浆(台北30元)。大池豆皮店只采用非基因改造的黄豆,让食客可以安心享用美食。如果你无豆不欢,店家制作的豆类食品散发的浓郁豆香,一定能讨你的欢心。香煎豆包外酥内软,搭配少许的辣椒酱更能体味。不过,记得不要沾太多,因为酱料有点偏咸。

The rainy afternoon at Chishang thus ended as we finished the snacks at Da Chi Soy Bean Skin Shop. I definitely enjoyed wandering through the paddy fields with the electric bike, as well as the delicious food we had here. The weather may not have been perfect, & the township was more touristy & crowded compared to the earlier places we had been to so far. Nonetheless, it is a place that I would gladly return if I visit Taitung again!

就这样,我们结束了在池上乡轻松惬意的旅游。骑自行车享受田园好风光,还有品尝池上的在地美食,让我们的短暂池上游留下许多美好的回忆。尽管天不作美,池上乡的游客也很多,但这并没有对我们造成太大的困扰。下次到台东游玩,我想再去池上游!

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