On day 3, we departed Alishan National Forest Recreation Area at noon for Sun Moon Lake 日月潭. The journey to Sun Moon Lake was more rugged & windy compared to when we went up Alishan. Fortunately we learnt our lesson & took anti-nauseous medication before the journey to prevent us from feeling nauseous and giddy hehe.
Sun Moon Lake, situated in Nantou County’s (南投县) Yuchi Township (鱼池) near the centre of Taiwan, is the island’s largest lake. This beautiful alpine lake is divided by tiny Lalu Island (拉鲁岛); the eastern part of the lake is round like the sun and the western side is shaped like a crescent moon, hence the name “Sun Moon Lake”.
Before the tour, I had heard some comments that Sun Moon Lake is overrated and it is not as scenic as it claims. So I was somewhat mentally prepared not to pin too high hopes.
We were given our cruise tickets by the driver, who told us that the cruise would take about 100 minutes and we should call him when we were done. Other than that, we didn’t really know what we were in for when he dropped us off at Shueishe Pier (水社码头) haha.
A full-priced adult ticket costs NTD300, but a Singaporean couple that we met, were lucky enough to have their minsu owner selling them the tickets at NTD80 each! When the ferry disembarked at Syuanguang Pier (玄光码头) about 10 min later, we were stunned, as we thought it was an usual cruise where we would be cruising around Sun Moon Lake for 1.5 hrs. Thus when we alighted at Syuanguang Pier, we thought we should make full use of the trip & follow the uphill trail all the way to Cinglong Temple (青龙寺). See my pictures along the way. 🙂
We walked for about 30 min yet couldn’t see the end of the trail at all, so we became quite worried as the last ferry out was 5.15pm and we didn’t know if we could make it back in time. So in the end we retreated back to the pier.:P
We managed to board the second last ferry out, and only at this point did we realise that there was another pier to go to! Gosh, so stupid of us not to check before boarding, hence wastimg so much time trying to sweat over that tedious trail at Syuanguang Pier. On the ferry, the guide pointed out Cinglong Temple to us. We were so glad we didn’t persevere on, as it was so “isolated” up in the hill! Look at the picture below.:P
After about 10 min, we reached Ita Thao pier (伊达邵码头). This area was once known as Dehua Village, it is the main Thao settlement. Traditional Thao performances and cultural exhibitions are offered here, as well as a shopping area full of Thao atmosphere. Too bad we only had about 20 min to have a quick tour here since the last ferry back was at 5.45pm.
There is a little street filled with cafes, eateries and food stalls here, as well as several cosy looking minsu. We bought Assam Black Tea and ice cream from a stall here, and wow, the tea and ice cream were both very fragrant! But no time to taste the rest of the street food… sigh… only managed to take a picture of the sun setting, for your viewing. 😉
Anyway, I think I agree with the comments I heard of Sun Moon Lake before the tour. Do not pin too high hopes for a wonderful scenic lake, especially if you have been to more magnificent lakes elsewhere! 😉