Outskirts of Taichung (3): Lavender Cottage
Two ladies left their jobs in Taipei and Kaohsiung to pursue their dream of owning a lavender field, a quiet place for people to relax and enjoy nature. Lavender Cottage 薰衣草森林 is where their dreams came into fruition after years of hard work.
We came to Lavender Cottage after driving through a winding road up the mountain. Our itinerary was: Rainbow Village, Carton King, Lavender Cottage, Flower Market, Gao Mei Shi Di, and Fengjia Night Market.
Lavender Cottage is situated on a remote mountain in Taichung City. Imagine the big tour buses having to swerve and turn on the narrow road where only one car can pass through each time. Sounds dangerous already. Hence it’s not surprising that the place is not accessible by public bus.
It’s best you hire a taxi or private car driver or rent a car to reach Lavender Cottage.
If you are getting there on your own, do note that the cottage closes at 6:30PM daily. It opens at 10:30AM on weekdays and 10:00AM on weekend.
And yes, you have to pay for the entrance fee again. This time it’s NT100 (S$4.70) per person and like Carton King, you get to offset this amount with purchases inside Lavender Cottage. Oh, latest update on their website: ticket price has increased to NT150, while only giving you NT100 credit to spend. NT100 is definitely not enough to spend at Lavender Cottage.
As we entered Lavender Cottage, we first passed by a souvenir shop before a climb up the steep slope. On the way up, we spotted a button on the side, pressed it and “showered” ourselves in Lavender mist.
Refreshed, we continued up to this beautiful open concept restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor spots were scattered among the greenery. It seemed like a nice environment for lunch and hence we requested for one of the spots. However, the waiter dissuaded us, citing mosquitoes and insects. Perhaps it’s harder to serve us out in “far-flung” seating area.
Our driver brought us here for lunch, so that he could get a meal ticket from Lavender Cottage. We assumed this because we saw the drivers, including ours, getting a meal with a ticket. I suppose this “free meal” was priced into the food, because the menu is quite expensive.
We ordered the cheapest main dish to share, chicken with a tinge of lavender flavoring, and a cup of coffee for hubby. The dish was simple and quite nice, and the coffee was alright, but the meal was not worth the NT295 (S$13.70). We ordered just to fill our hungry stomach.
After our lunch, we continued to trudge uphill. On the way up, you can make a detour towards Vanilla House 香草 house, accommodation you can book to stay. Start your shopping at the pushcarts found along the way or at the souvenir shop at the accommodation place.
You can find a good selection of Lavender products such as fragrance bags, handmade soap, lotion, and essential oils. However, you will soon realise the shops located in different parts of Lavender Cottage sell similar stuff. If you are not a shopaholic, you can still make that small detour to view flowers other than Lavender.
We didn’t make that detour initially but went straight up to the ‘official’ highest point of Lavender Cottage. Technically, you can still follow a trail and trek up into the forest.
Because of my pregnant bump, we decided to just hang around at the lower end of the forest. We did not have time anyway. Here, we spotted many “floating” poetic Chinese words mounted in various spots. The words actually looked good in photos. So snap away!
After basking in the nature, pop by at the nearby cafe with serene surroundings. Instagrammable place. If not for the time limit given by our driver (as mentioned in my previous post), we would have chilled there while hubby enjoy his cup of coffee.
After roaming around in the nature, it’s time to head back down to the main character of this place – the Lavender field. We were there during off peak, and even so, it’s hard to take a photo of the field without anyone to photo-bomb you. So it was with great timing I got a perfect shot.
To be honest, we were disappointed when we first passed by the Lavender field. We had imagined it to be like those in Provence. But what greeted us was a small hill planted with rows of lavenders flowers. The Lavender seemed sparsely sprouted, probably not in full bloom too. It was a pretty sight, but underwhelming.
After taking photos of the Lavender field from different angles, it’s time to head back to the car. You will pass by a house like structure with lots of postboxes lining outside.
If you want to send a sweet gesture back home, you can purchase postcards here and have Lavender Cottage post it for you. If that’s not your thing, go have fun – pay to ride on the carousel or merry-go-round strangely planted in the midst of Lavender Cottage.
I didn’t really like Lavender Cottage, perhaps because we were rushing. Otherwise, it’s a nice place to chill and relax. Or perhaps because my initial expectations were high. Someone raved about this place to me and she loves all things lavender. Personally, I prefer the Lavender and flowers in our next stop, Flower Market.