photo slideshow

004_zps2398d2ee

Friday, 15 November 2013

Hualu Flower Farm - Taiwan Leisure Farming with Air Asia 花露休闲农场 - 与亚航去旅行!

As mentioned in my previous post, I recently went on a trip around Taiwan with Air Asia and the Taiwan Leisure Farms Development Association.
Many thanks for a memorable trip!
Leaving Kota Kinabalu at 6.10am (yes that means we were at the airport at 4.30am zzz) with the rest of the media (bloggers Ana Jonessy & Sherrie Pui, Chun Tak from Asia Times, Karen from and Shirley from United Daily News), we breezed through the check-in and boarding process like VIPs under the care of Ka Mei and Joanne of Air Asia (also known as our babysitters haha). Having checked us in online the day before, we were given Red Carpet treatment and skipped the queue to drop our bags and get through to immigration. At the gate, we got to skip the queue again and board first! Haha.. I also got my favourite seat - window only please people!
The up-side of flying so early - you get to witness the breathtaking sunrise against Mount Kinabalu!
Now I have to clarify before I start: I had some bad luck throughout September, which finally came to a climax the 2nd night in Taiwan - my micro SD card became undetectable, causing me to lose every photo I'd taken at and before Xian Hu Leisure Farm. 2 wonderful people have fortunately come to my rescue, so all photo credits on this blog are to Ana and Chun Tak! Much love you guys for saving my skin!

Upon arrival at the Tao Yuan airport, we were warmly welcomed by our tour guides for the trip - Shinny and Jicky - then boarded a huge tour bus: Our 2nd home for the 5 days and 4 nights! (Seriously, we spent more time on this bus than anywhere else; but for a good reason - we were travelling all over Taiwan!)

We'd had breakfast on the plane, but we were all peckish as soon as we touched down. Our stomachs would have to wait though - It was a 2 hour journey to our first destination: Hualu Flower Leisure Farm!
Ticket Counter
Hualu is located in Miaoli (苗栗), and we were greeted by the sight of nature the moment we pulled into the driveway of Hualu. In awe as we walked down towards the restaurant, we forgot about our growling stomachs as cameras came out and photos were taken.
Just sit down, relax, watch the falling leaves while listening to the fresh breeze...
Take a walk down the road less travelled; leave your worries behind!
Sit and watch fish swim peacefully to the calming sound of flowing water
Everything at Hualu is made as eco-friendly as possible
Before we reached our grub-tub, we were asked to take a look at the men's room. Yes, even the girls! Why? Well, wouldnt you like to see such a sight?
Which one would you choose to do your business in? ;p
Our tummies crying in despair, we finally reached the restaurant where food was served immediately - all 10 dishes ala Chinese dining style! We separated into two table: One for the tour agencies, and one for media - the ones who feed their cameras before their stomachs!
Shall we start with a spot of tea? Easy on the eyes, easy on the throat!
养生蔬果裸虾 Organic Vegetable and Fruit Salad with juicy Prawns
甘蔗草茶山鸡 Pheasant Roasted in Sugar Cane Tea Leaves
迷迭香宫保双味 Kung Pao Pork Belly
鲜炖莳蔬猪排 Pork Chop with Freshly Steamed Broccoli
细香葱鲜鱼蒸 Freshly Steamed Fish
脆皮鱼柳 Crispy Battered Fish
金沙杏鲍菇 Abalone Mushroom Stir-fried with Salted Egg
季节炒莳蔬 Stir-fried Seasonal Vegetables
竹叶一品炊 Stir-fried Bamboo Leaves
 And no Chinese meal is complete without the nutritious soup!
酸白菜鱼头汤 Sour Vegetable Fish Head Soup
Ana, being vegan, had her own special set of food throughout the trip:
素食罗汉斋 Vegan set lunch
*Our group package lunch costs NT4000 for a group of 10
**For a set lunch like Ana's, it only costs NT380 - 680 depending on what tickles your fancy!

After pleasing our bellies, it was time to please our eyes - we were taken on a tour of the farm, starting with the guest house.

The guest house aka the Essential Oil Castle
Window details - those are little bird statues!
The lobby
It's here where the guest rooms are - 3 different types of suites decorated with rich, earthly colours and twisted branches, and an essential oil-filled jacuzzi overlooking nature's very best. With prices ranging from NT$4280 - 9800 a night, you definitely get what you pay for!
王后房 Queen's Room
桐心房Heart Room
香氛房 Fragrance Room
 *Room photos taken off Hualu's official website

We also got to learn a bit about the different plants and their uses, in a session that won me a very useful prize: I got an au-naturale gel that stops any insect bites from itching - my long term enemy the mosquito in particular!
Mystery-shrouded Lake
We had a full explanation on all 4 plants - I actually took videos of the lady explaining, but those are lost too.. =(
We got to feel and smell the essential oils made by Hualu, and also learnt how to differentiate between natural and synthetic oils - If you still get a strong smell after 30 minutes of application, it's probably been "modified" =/
To end the tour, we visited the little shop where guests can purchase products ranging from these cute owl statues...
...to pure essential oils...
...to handmade soap...
...to potted plants!
It was a great experience to have Hualu Flower Farm as our first destination, and it really got us geared up for the rest of the trip. If you're looking to stop and smell the roses on your next trip of relaxation, Hualu should definitely be at the top of your list!
Goodies! The 3 different types of handmade flower soap, and the au naturel mosquito gel I won!
Hualu Flower Leisure Farm 花露休闲农场
Address: No. 43-3 Xiping, Xiping Vil, Zhuolan Township, Miaoli County
              苗栗县卓兰镇西平里西平43之3号
Tel: +886-4-25891589
Fax: +886-4-25897048
Email: flowers.chen@msa.hinet.net
Website: http://www.flowerhome.com.tw/
No trip is complete without a group photo - and yes, the sun was blazing!
Til next time,
Calista xx

4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place.... I want to go..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha it was! There are so many leisure farms in Taiwan, we can go next time! =D

      Delete
  2. Looks like a beautiful place.. I want to go.

    ReplyDelete
  3. They always have the best bathrooms! I want.

    ReplyDelete