Last November, we went to Taiwan for two weeks and we did a road trip around the island and it was fabulous ! The weather, the people.. and the food, oh the food…. it was just amazing ! We landed in Taipei and we started to drive clockwise around the island. Previous parts can be found here : Taiwan
That morning I was very excited to drive towards this iconic place, Sun Moon Lake. It’s not that well known from European people I think, but it’s very famous in the Chinese culture and a lot of people go there for their honeymoon. When we got up, the weather was gorgeous and we could see all the nice plantations around the guesthouse we couldn’t see last night because it was really dark outside when we arrived.
We took the car for a short drive towards the lake and the views on the way were gorgeous again.
We had a brief stop near another tea plantation and saw an orchid factory. We asked the guy if we could have a look inside and he agreed. That was quite nice to be able to see it !
There are a lot of shrines in Taiwan and they are always very colourful.
A bit further away, we stopped for a quickly lunch in a local place. I’m glad Le was there because they couldn’t speak English :D It was delicious and so cheap, was less than a £1.
After a bit of driving, we finally arrived at Sun Moon Lake, the largest lake in Taiwan, home to the aboriginal Thao tribe. One part of the lake looks like a moon and the other obviously looks like the sun, hence the name. For the first day, we decided to visit the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, an amusement park with an aboriginal culture theme.
There are three distinct parts in the park: one where you can do rides, one European garden and also another part that is more informative where you can learn about traditional tribal lifestyle. They have created 9 different villages for each main tribe of Taiwan and it was so interesting ! We went for that part first because it was the main reason we were going there anyway. We didn’t have time to visit the garden and we were not really interested by the rides.
There are music shows, craft demonstrations, dance and the performers always invite the audience to participate and it’s a lot of fun. We went for one of this show and at one point, the guy asked something to the audience, people were raising their hands.. I thought he asked if we wanted a gift or something.. so I raised my hand as well. But actually, he asked if anyone has his/her birthday today. Since I raised my hand, and since I was the only white people there, they obviously had to pick me up. I couldn’t understand a word and Le was laughing very far away in the audience, and they were struggling with the few words of English they knew. I was a bit too big for their costume but I managed to fit into something. It was amazing and good fun.
After that, we took the cable car and had a wonderful view over the lake. We had mango ice cream before driving back to the main area of Sun Moon Lake just on time for sunset.
We had our last stop at Wenwu Temple on the North bank of the Lake, one of the biggest temples around.