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Taiwan Day 5 – Taichung (Mar 3)

March 3, 2013

Before I had even left for Taiwan, Ma had made it a point to remind me daily to try and make time to visit Sun Moon Lake for the “spectacular views and fresh air”. Elevated 748 metres above sea level, it is after all, the only natural big lake in Taiwan. Finally, on today’s agenda, we headed there.

Breakfast at the hotel

Eliz G. having a hearty breakfast at Forte Orange Hotel, Taichung.

A round trip to Sun Moon Lake will only set you NT$340 poorer. Catching the bus, on the other hand, is a whole other challenge. It’ll take one and a half hours to two hours to get you there from Taichung, depending on weather and traffic conditions. Nap!

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After a quick dash to purchase tickets, we boarded the bus to Sun Moon Lake!

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Here’s our round trip tickets, that look an awful lot like receipts.

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At Sun Moon Lake’s Shuishe Visitor Centre, one and a half hours later.

Visit the Shuishe Visitor Centre to get information on activities you can do when at the lake itself – and of course, don’t forget to ask when’s the last bus home. For us, that was at 7.10.

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Eliz G. asks the lady at the information counter all we wanted to know.

It was while speaking to the lady at the counter when we learned about the Sun Moon Lake Pass, which grants access to buses that bring you to the various attractions round the lake, cable cars that ride high above the treetops, and ferries sailing across the gorgeous lake itself.

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Here’s our Sun Moon Lake Pass.

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Boarding the bus was a breeze after that.

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Tickets get torn off our passes as they get used.

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Sun Moon Lake seems to be crazy about One Piece. You’ll soon find out just how crazy.

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Too bad it was off season, but here’s a (wilting) cherry blossom we found. I’ve never seen one before today.

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Me at the cable cars place!

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A modern looking cable car station housing loads of cable cars.

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They simply drift into the mountaintops.

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Let’s get into a cable car!

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For your convenience, here’s things not to do.

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I couldn’t have been more excited! The last time I rode a cable car, it was from Mount Faber to Sentosa, which was when I was, er, I don’t know, five?

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It was a foggy day though, and the clouds quickly descended upon us. And the best part about the whole thing was that it was so silent you could hear a pin drop.

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We could barely see the cable cars in front and behind us.

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Here’s where the cable car stopped! I’m actually not too sure where this is.

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Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe.

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Here’s a little hut we saw. I think it was part of the Formosa Aboriginal Centre, but that’s entirely from memory and I have no idea if I’m right.

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Like I said! Crazy about One Piece. You’ll find merchandise like this everywhere.

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Well back into the cable car we go!

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The ride comes to an end.

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On the walk back to the busstop, we came across this intricately woven spiderweb. I’ve never seen anything like it so I was practically jumping for joy. I’d be jumping for something other reason entirely had the spider emerged.

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A short walk away is Butterfly Park!

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Here’s the trail leading to the park itself.

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We didn’t enter it really, but it looked pretty buggy from the outside. Which is creepy.

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This, believe it or not, is the net house’s roof.

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And we board the bus again.

Location Map

Itashao is a nice place to do shopping, though most of the things you’d find are touristy items like a giant toy bow, which Eliz G. bought for NT$200. You also could get a decent tea egg though.

Location Map

Tourists crowd the streets of Ita Thao.

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Just some of the merchandise you can get here.

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Be sure to visit Mao Wan Yeh’s tea shop, because you’d not only get to look at ancestral pictures, if you’re lucky, you’ll also get a free cup of tea. (A tiny bag of it costs NT$1,500). SO TREASURE YOUR TEA.

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Here’s my cupful of thousand dollar tea. (Which Eliz G. bought for her granny. Aww!)

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Tea eggs ready for the eating.

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Ferry time!

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Here’s the harbour and the ferries behind us.

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It’s so foggy that we practically couldn’t see a thing.

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Here’s me after our ride!

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Finally we took a walk back to the visitor centre station.

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