Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Taiwan day 2 - Sun Moon Lake

The next morning, we packed up and left Taipei for Taichung! Getting there was rather fast and easy with the HSR (high speed rail), conveniently located at Taipei Main Station too. Tickets weren’t cheap though. They cost NT765 (SGD33) each, one-way! >.< We managed to board the express train, which took us there in slightly less than an hour.

From there, we caught the next bus directly to Sun Moon Lake. Pretty thankful that we didn’t have to wait very long. We had lucky timing! And we bought the round trip+boat ride package (NT660, SGD28.70) so there was a little discount there. Lol. Anyway, the journey into SML was quite long; about 2 hours, with a few stops along the way. So we slept. ^^ 

The main ‘bus terminal’ at SML is at the Shueishe Visitor Centre. We didn’t get to explore the mall inside but I saw Carton King. Wish we had gone there. =(

Our hotel/民宿 for the night was Mei Jen House (NT1700, SGD74). We booked 2 rooms this time! It gave me a homely treehouse feel, with mushrooms outside and tree trunks inside. And teddy bears everywhere! The owner was very nice and helpful too. She even drew maps for us and introduced the activities and good food around the area. The downside was the lack of a lift. The rooms were nice and quite clean. Not exactly hotel standard but it had the basic necessities. 

Headed out for lunch at one of the ‘restaurants’ recommended by the owner. Took the cheapest set (NT500, SGD22). It didn’t look very appetizing TBH, but surprisingly tasted nice! 

Then we began our boat ride! For NT300 (SGD13) per pax, we could ride the boat for as long and as many times as we wanted. The round trip started from Shueishe, then Syuanguang Temple, Ita Thao, and back to Shueishe again.

Alighted at Syuanguang Temple for the famous 阿婆 tea leaf eggs. I had 2! They were so nice and soft and fragrant. I really think majority of the visitors alight here for the eggs lol. Only NT10 (SGD0.45) each!

Did some climbing of stairs to the temple at the top. Remember during my last trip I mentioned the various landmarks surrounding SML? ST is one of them. It houses the relics of Tang Sanzang. The scenery from up above was beautiful. You could see the whole of Lalu Island. Too bad my camera’s zoom isn’t good enough. =\ 

Our next stop was at Ita Thao. I had read that Ita Thao is like a small village by itself and there was an old street to spend some time at. So I was rather excited about this part. However, when the boat docked, we looked up to see the hotel that we had stayed at during the last trip. -_- A little disappointing cos I don’t remember there was anything interesting in the area back then. But it was a little better this time. Perhaps because it was daytime and the shops were open. Got my first and only grilled stinky tofu this trip, and some pork meat. Which reminds me. I ate so much meat this trip! >.<

Let sleeping dogs lie ;)
Lingered around before returning to Shueishe. And nua-ed in the room till dinnertime. Lol. Actually the itinerary sounds quite relaxed but dunno why I feel so drained from the trip. Anyway, dinner was at another one of the owner's recommendations.

After dinner, we continued walking down and we realized that, WE HAD ATE AT THE WRONG PLACE! Lol. The recommended one was slightly further down. Oh wells, at least my noodles were yummy. Walked around some more and spotted some cute figurines along the way. By the way, it was freezing cold. -_-

 And retired for the night. =)

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