Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Taiwan Translated: Day 6 and 7 at Sun Moon Lake

Day 6 greeted us gloomily, with a drizzle and mist.  There was only one word to summarize it:

It was snowing up in the mountains, and the road to Sun Moon Lake (Riyue Tan) was supposedly snowed in, and we were told that we needed to get tire chains if we wanted to get there.

So after lunch (from a stall that had all their yummy treasures stewing away hidden in metal pots), we dutifully got those chains (the man who was selling them actually hangs around the side of the road and installs them on the spot, in the freezing weather!).  After grinding through the snowy section, poor hubby had to go out of the warm car and spent quite a long time trying to get the chains off, while I was glad to stay in the warm car with a sleeping baby J!

We stop by the store at Skyson Farm, which sells all manner of goodies made using cow and goat's milk, from sweets and biscuits, to shower foams and shampoos.  Since baby J gets reflux with dairy products, I thought that goat's milk might still be ok, and we happily chomp into these yummy biscuits that are filled with a creamy centre made of goat's milk (try it natural, or for those who don't like the goat-y taste, opt for the peach flavoured ones).  (The boy ended up with reflux again later, so I guess dairy extends to goats too... SIGH!)  The store also sells a range of other Taiwanese goodies like sour plum jellies and various wines, honey and drinks.

We manage to reach Itashao (Yidashao) village around dinner time and opted for a hot-pot dinner at one of the restaurants, since most of the street stalls were closed by then.

The hotel we were staying in, the Full House Resort Hotel (Fuhaoqun Dujia Minsu) really was different from the usual run of the mill hotel.  The lobby and restaurant was filled with all sorts of curios and decorations, and our room was no different... We had difficulty finding the trash can as it was hidden in a wicker basket the shape of an elephant!

The next day was spent exploring the lake by boat.  The lake is the largest freshwater body in Taiwan, and is a popular honeymoon destination, and its easy to see why!  We stop by an island to buy tea eggs (these are stewed with mushrooms, so they taste slightly different from the usual ones), and upon asking if it was ok for me to take a picture of the eggs, the auntie selling them immediately posed for me (it looked like she was very used to these things!):

We then spend the rest of the day walking around Shuishe Village.  We have the recommended Assam noodles for lunch, along with a dish of flowers (Bantien hua) fried with leeks, and spied the popular "President fish" in tanks in one of the restaurants (Its a type of carp, and was given its name as Chiang Kai-shek took a liking to them.  However, its supposed to be pretty bony, so we didn't order it!).

The lake and its surrounding villages are really pretty, where there were floating platforms of flowers...

Poinsettas out in full display...

And the splishsplash of water on the sides of the moored boats really makes feel one at peace as you wander around the docks...

To add to all there was to see, we had a boatman who had a squirrel as a pet, and the little fellow spent his time hiding in his owner's pocket!  (Update: A fellow Zoology classmate pointed out that this was a suger glider rather than a squirrel.  Whoops, sorry!)

The hubby had wanted to sit the cable car (they call it the Ropeway), and we rushed all the way down only to find out that they had closed, and would not be open the next morning as it was supposed to be the day of their official grand opening! However, the sunset view from the station made up for the missed cable car ride...

Then it was back to Itashao for dinner.  I had wanted to buy baby J an aboriginal Shao suit, so we spent some time shopping for dinner and hunting for the suit (Shuishe, although considered the main village, has only one shop selling these suits, while Itashao has more than ten shops displaying these colourful suits!).   We were pleasantly surprised because the vendor selling us our fried prawn fritters insisted on treating us to some fruit drink, and refused to take our money when we paid for it.  That's just one of the many examples of how nice the Taiwanese are!


  1. Haha... yes it was absolutely adorable, especially how it would obediently jump into its owner's pocket when he called it!



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