On our 5th day of the tour, we made a visit to Zhuoye Cottage Farm, which is in Sanyi Township of Miaoli. As we approached Zhuoye Cottage Farm, it was nothing but a shabby hut from the outside. When we walked past the entrance, a rustic and relaxing cottage revealed itself. But first, we headed to the restaurant for lunch. Everything was written in Mandarin character near the entrance.
The restaurant was a log cabin and was a tad bit too crowded to move around. But afraid not as the package that we had was a steamboat package. Except for the ice-cream and choice of sauce that we had to take from the common table, the main food was served on our table. Apart from the variety of vegetable and tofu, there were also small serving of additional dishes including black glutinous rice and seafood wrap, which were equally delicious. The restaurant is open for non-guests.
We were then brought to explore the Zhuoye Cottage. The setting of Zhuoye Cottage looked like a refurbished and cosy farming village with slab wood furniture adding to the rustic look. There are about 9 villas and each has a unique character depending on its locality. Some have the idyllic pond view or garden view. We had the opportunity to enter some of the villas. However, as it was not planned, the villas had yet to be cleaned by housekeeping. For the purpose of giving you the idea, I would share some of the pictures:-
Within the compound of Zhuoye Cottage, lies an Indigo Dyeing House where the guests may participate in a traditional natural dyeing workshop. Traditional natural dyeing had been practiced by the indigenous tribe in Taiwan. However, the tradition has disappeared for wants of practice. The basic technique for the natural dyeing is to pick the plants or leaves, chop and boil them for hours, if not days.
For the workshop, we were guided through the process starting from receiving our piece of clothes which we had to tie or twist to come out with a design. Of course, the end product is an element of surprise. You will only know how it would turn up to be after the clothes have been dyed.
Don’t forget to try the indigo ice cream from the cozy coffee shop in front of the Indigo Dying House.
Within Zhuoye Cottage area, there is also a souvenir shop where you can buy a range of premium indigo dye clothes.