Sunday, January 3, 2016

Flying Cow Ranch (飛牛牧場) [Taiwan Day 854: The Cows Eat Grass and Fly - Jan. 2, 2016]


Happy New Year! The past year was a great time for my Taiwan Day Adventures. I have made over 70 travel adventures and I now have a 'global audience' through my blog. This 2016 expect bigger adventures in fantastic places that you will definitely love to visit. A new travel calendar begins on this Taiwan Day 854 and I chose the Flying Cow Ranch as my “opening salvo”. It was described as the most childish farm in Taiwan and we went there to experience the life in a ranch. There were a lot of cows but we did not expect them to fly!






Lam (Singaporean), Myrron (Filipino) and Divya (Indian) were my Travel Buddies and we boarded a train going to Tongxiao Station from Taipei Main Station at 6:30 am. It was a Tze-Chiang Limited Express train and the travel time from Taipei was 2 hours only. Taking a train to Tongxiao was the only way to reach Flying Cow Ranch but booking the train tickets was fast and easy. I just googled 'Taiwan TRA timetable' and clicked the website for the “Taiwan Railways Timetable Information System”. I then selected Taipei as the Area/Subline and Taipei Station as the origin and for the destination I chose Miaoli Area/Subline and Tongxiao Station . Payment of the tickets can be done online or paid personally at the nearest TRA station. I went to Nangang Station with the printed booking information to pay and claim the tickets days before the trip to Flying Cow Ranch.





behind the scene...















Flying Cow Ranch was still kilometers away from Tongxiao Station so we took a taxi to reach the tourist spot. The taxi fare would normally range from NTD 250 to 300 and the travel time was around 15 to 20 minutes. I was seating beside the driver and upon reaching the gate of Flying Cow Ranch my window was opened by the taxi driver and a staff handed me four entrance tickets worth NTD 220 each. We later exchanged the entrance tickets at the “Milk Supply” for a delicious bottle of milk.

We listened first to some instructions.



the long line of people wishing to feed a hungry baby cow








"Feeding the Cow" activity




What activities can be done in Flying Cow Ranch and do cows really “fly” in this farm? You can feed the animals and enjoy the scenery with their different ranch buildings and European style houses. Cows really don't fly but your imagination will make them float in the air as you feed them and extract milk from them. I joined the long line of visitors wishing to have an experience to feed a hungry baby cow with a bottle of milk. I was very happy when I finally had the chance to feed the young cow. 


Hand milking 101








"Milking the Cow" activity


But beware of some unexpected event!


“Milking the cow” was another fun activity one should never miss in Flying Cow Ranch. Two healthy cows were inside the red barn and the visitors lined up for their first “hand-milking experience”. I too didn't miss the opportunity to hold the nipples of the female cow. haha! They were very soft to touch and green in color. I pressed the nipple with my fingers and milk squirted out of it. I never had this chance when I was in the Philippines and the experience was unforgettable.



There is a souvenir shop near to the red barn selling various "Flying Cow Ranch" products.




They even sell ice cream made of cow's milk!


The "Duck Parade". Yehey!





A few minutes after I milked the cow was the highly entertaining “Duck Parade”. Fowls suddenly came out of a fence following the sound of a bell and as food was thrown into the ground. The audience enjoyed the show as the ducks walked like a disciplined army. There was even a point when the ducks flew to the audience with the children screaming with excitement. It was very fun to watch the “Duck Parade” and I never knew that simple ducks can be turned into a tourist attraction.





"Feeding the Sheep" activity










"Feeding the Goat" activity





Look! Goats are above your head.
the rabbit house



vegetables for NTD 10 only



"Feed the Rabbit" activity


There were also donkeys beside the rabbit house.

Other farm animals that can be seen in Flying Cow Ranch were the sheep, goat and rabbits. I bought grass for NTD 20 and fed a sheep as Divya took a video of me. I was also given a bottle of milk after paying NTD 50 and a hungry goat approached me and suck the milk bottle. Not far away from the goat fence was the rabbit house. It was full of children wanting to feed the rabbits with a leafy vegetables which costs only NTD 10. I was able to feed one of them but they seem to ignore me after giving them a stem! They already have lots of food inside their cage and they also take time to chew their food.

We ate our lunch first before we went to the butterfly garden. 

The food was expensive in this fast food restaurant!



rice burger



a 'calesa' at the Flying Cow Plaza





It was a long walk to the butterfly garden from the Flying Cow Plaza but the scenery was great.

the butterfly garden







The tractor-drawn 'bus' parked at the Flying Cow Plaza
The tractor-drawn 'bus' at the butterfly garden

A cabin just in front of the butterfly garden
There was a short hiking trail leading to the farm animals area from the butterfly garden.

Aside from the cute farm animals there was also a butterfly garden in Flying Cow Ranch. Three to four species of butterflies can be seen flying inside sipping nectar from the flowers. The white ones were a bit friendly to the visitors while the orange ones flew very fast making it difficult to have a nice photo of them. Flying Cow Ranch is a big place so if you got tired walking around just to see the butterfly garden you can ride a tractor-drawn vehicle and pay a certain amount.


Where are the DIY rooms? Just go downstairs and you will see the beautiful DIY buildings.


We have mistaken this building as the venue of the DIY activities. It was actually a lodge for overnight visitors.

The Fe-Fe DIY room is in this building.

Enter the door and you will be in the Sun-Sun DIY room.  The next room on the right will be the Ba-Do DIY room.





There were also DIY activities to enjoy at Flying Cow Ranch. You can try baking cookies, making your own ice cream, painting a cow coin box and many more. I tried the “Drawing the Cow” activity but the instructions were not clearly given but since I already had an experience in this kind of activity at the Sanyi Wood Duck Treasure Shop in Taiwan Day 680 (Into the Woods) I already knew what to do. I was given a set of brushes and paints of different colors. I painted my cow coin box with yellow color and then dried it using a hair dryer before applying another layer of color. A paper apron shielded my clothes from any paint that would spatter. 













If there was any disappointment with this trip was that my Travel Buddies and I were not able to participate in the “Ice-Cream Making” DIY activity. Myrron, Lam and Divya just watched me as I paint my ceramic cow coin box. Myrron and Lam soon left out of boredom but Divya stayed by my side watching me finish my “masterpiece”. After it was done, I took my cow coin box as my souvenir for this trip.




our taxi driver's calling card




We called our taxi driver and we arrived at Tongxiao Station before the train going to Taipei arrives at the platform. It was a fun travel adventure but one day was not enough to see the whole of Flying Cow Ranch and I promise to return with a bunch of Travel Buddies in summer. We will make ice cream, feed the animals and watch how the cow eats grass and fly.
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