Sunday, February 05, 2012

Sun Moon Lake and Aboriginal Culture Village


Our morning at the cabins began with breakfast at the restaurant on the New Era Art Resort & Spa grounds. The breakfast buffet spread was vegetarian friendly. I took a look around to plan for my attack.


Margarine in a can? Sketchy…



I picked up a few sandwiches, pickled veggies, some sort of salami-like protein, and mantou.

My drink of choice was the warm milk tea. It tasted like it was made from powder, but I loved it nonetheless. Mom and Dad warned me to slow down and just have a little. But milk tea! Despite their warning, I definitely downed around five bowls of this stuff.

There was also hot soy milk too.


Some of us finished breakfast early, so to kill some time, I took a walk around the premises. There was an art building/museum close by. Sculptures lined the pathway. I noticed that someone had carved human and animal faces into the stones; owls, rabbits, pigs, turtles, etc. There were probably hundreds of these carved stones. There must be a story behind these.


The pathway was beautifully made with stones. I found it a bit difficult to walk down the path because the dew and rain had made the stones slippery. Someone could easily sprain an ankle there.


Once everyone was finished breakfast, we hopped into the cars and drove to see Sun Moon Lake. When we pulled into the parking lot, there were people trying to sell ferry tickets – in the parking lot! That’s called competition. We went to buy ferry tickets and quickly made our way onto the ferry.  This sign was by the dock after we crossed the lake in a ferry.

As we walked down the Taiwanese flag-lined dock*, I spotted a large group of people above the stairs. Tourists were gathered at the small building near the entrance. They all seemed to be pushing and shoving to buy some sort of snack.
*Nice hair!


Turns out people were trying to buy tea eggs. Taiwanese people love tea eggs. They love it so much that corner stores usually have some simmering in a slow cooker.


We walked around the island and I spotted the giant vat of tea eggs. It was so large that you could’ve bathed in it! That’s a lot of shiitake mushrooms simmering with the eggs. It explains why the area smelled to good. I wonder how many eggs were in here.

After a few flights of stairs, I heard some loud voices to the side. What was everyone taking a picture of? I wondered. Tourists from China were taking photos in front of a rock. It must’ve been a famous landmark or something, so I wanted to take a photo of it. But I didn’t want to take a photo in front of it, instead, I just wanted to photograph it by itself. Sounds easy, huh? Not here.


The tourists were quick to walk in, pose, snap a photo or two, and then leave. Patience was key. People got impatient got fed up with people taking too many photos. Instead of taking one or two shots, a few couples went in together, took a couple shot, took solo shots and then swapped with the cameraman. The gentleman getting his picture taken, yes the one scowling with his arms crossed, was pissed. He got into a screaming match while he was still in line.  The tension between the two gentlemen was so high that I thought fists would start flying. But no… not this time anyway.


I got my shot eventually.



There were plenty of things to see on the island.


We had spare time before our ferry was scheduled to pull into the dock, so we just hung around. Around the island, there were bamboo trees and even papaya trees. These are larger than the ones I saw at Guilin.


There was a snail and an ant racing up a tree. Quite amusing.


One ferry had a Spade Pirate flag from One Piece. Sweet!


The ferry pulled into the docks and we walked onboard. It began to rain soon after we left the island. The breeze that swept across the island made it cold. It was comforting to have sips of the chrysanthemum honey tea.


We found a pre-lunch snack nearby in the form of this stall.


There were sausages heating up but that was just a distraction.


The deep fried mushrooms were amazing – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t like mushrooms very much. Each fried mushroom was coated with some sort of seasoning (I'm sure it included MSG). They were so juicy when you bite into them. Everyone was snacking on these. We bought over 4 servings, which we inhaled too quickly. Mom and Dad told us that we should be careful with street food in foreign countries, as they munched on them.

"You never know, the water they could've used could be dirty or contaminated."



There was a restaurant a few doors down. Lunch began with bottles of plum tea and barley tea.







The pork knuckles were super tender. I enjoyed the gelatinous texture. I don’t remember anything else.

After lunch, we drove to visit the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. From what I saw, the place was separated into two areas. The aboriginal villages were near the top of the mountain, and the other area was a One Piece theme park. Although the weather was a bit gloomy, we took the cable car and separated ways.


We killed a few hours walking around and then met up again at the cable car back. I saw these washroom signs along the way. What's with the thing under the people? I don't get it.


We ended the evening back at our cabins. On our way back, we dropped by a 7 Eleven and loaded up on some snacks and drinks. Winter melon (white gourd) tea for me! I've been in love with this stuff since I first tasted Taiwanese beef noodle soup in Toronto. I also bought a bowl of instant noodles. It had real meat. Lucy will hopefully explain them in another post. A few us of made a visit to the pool before we went to bed.

Sun Moon Lake and the Aboriginal Culture Village

Sick in Taiwan

More links from the Tea in Asia 2011 trip:


  1. I'll have to backtrack and read your series. Love all the photos and stories!

  2. Thanks Shirley! I hope you'll enjoy reading about my adventures in Asia.


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