Saturday, July 5, 2014

Taiwan June 2014 Day 2, Part 1: Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) + Plaza Hotel @ Tai Chung

Hello! I'm back for another post on my Taiwan trip. Going strong on it! *fighting* 


So after bidding goodbye to our wonderful hosts from Starry Minsu, we boarded the e-go bus that the Minsu owners have helped to arrange for us the night before. That was really of great help as our transportation from Cing Jing to Sun Moon Lake was very much settled by them. It costed about NT450 and takes about 70 mins to arrive from Cing Jing. 

Probably one of the most famous rock in the World because everyone wants to snap a photo with it. LOL! #touristmoment 

But don't be worry! You'll locate a rock like this at every pier! 

Pier? Now have I lost you. Haha. 

Ok, let me explain. 

Sun Moon Lake has the largest body of water in Taiwan. As the east side of the kale resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. 

The lake is connected by three piers, Shueishe 水社码头, Syuangguang 玄光寺 and Yidashao 伊達邵. So you can either drive/cycle/ferry across each pier. For us, we definitely choose a boat ride! :D 

Each pier have their own attractions by the way, so we can drop down at each pier to take a walk before catching the next ferry to the other piers. That's all because you'll get unlimited ferry ride after payment! :) Just NT300 for the ferry company that we went (there are a lot of different ferry companies there but I think prices should be comparable). 

Anyhow, the e-go bus would drop you off at Shuishe Village, where shuishe pier is. The village is where all the eateries, souvenir shops, minsu and tourist centre can be found. 

We didn't really have the time to explore the village, we merely deposited our luggages with the ferry company and headed to the pier immediately to catch our ferry to Syuangguang pier 玄光寺. 


Built in1955, the parietal-bone relic of Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang (Journey to the West), along
 with a golden statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha were enshrined here.

Hmm.. I must say I'm not much of a temple person. Haha. Just 'see see loh' :P 

I got the boy to be my photographer instead. Heh. In the end, I prefer the candid shots that he took. #facepalm 

I thought the biggest attraction at Syuangguang pier for me is to try the famous Grandma's Tea Eggs (金盆阿婆香菇茶叶蛋). Don't worry that you wouldn't be able to locate it as it will always be flooded with human traffic. ^^

Verdict? Quite disappointing I would say. The tea eggs weren't at all fragrance. In fact, they tasted like a normal braised egg. :/ 

Grandma's tea eggs checked. We moved on to the third and final pier, Yidashao 伊達邵. 

As mentioned, Sun Moon Lake is the home to the Thao Tribe,  Yidashao pier reflects a lot about this tribe. Once known as Dehua Village, the Thao settlement’s streets are now lined with food and more food. Basically, this is my favourite pier and you should know why. :P 

If you're looking for good tea as a gift, Sun Moon Lake would be a good place for you. Due to their strategical geographic location, the tea leaves here are purer and thus tasted much better than anywhere else in Taiwan. In fact, many of the teas elsewhere in Taiwan were sourced from Sun Moon Lake. So why not get your tea from the original ground? For instance, ah sha mu red tea is a must try at Sun Moon Lake! 

Can't remember the exact name of this, but it's a chicken wing stuffed with glutinous rice and spring onions. SO GOOD!!! 

Here you go. :D 

I would love another bite of this!!! T.T

Very funky owner here. ^^

A bbq pork skewer. 

If you don't know, Taiwanese takes pride in their pork. This is not your usual pork, the meat comes from black pigs, which tasted much juicier than any other breeds. 

One does not visit Taiwan without having their famous Taiwan sausages! 

Here's 大肠包小肠! 

Finally sunk my teeth into this after hearing so much over and over again by so many people! <3 

Taiwan sausage wrapped by a layer of glutinous rice. Yes, I'm definitely buying this concept. YUMS!

The owner (also from Thao Tribe), told us that we cannot leave the place without trying this dish, which I can't remember the name. :P

A dish of thinly sliced pork belly (black pig) stirred fried with onions and leeks. The owner told us that no oil was used in the cooking as the pork belly naturally would release the fat content as it is being stir fried. 

Eh.. got to say it didn't really hit our tastebuds? As the dish was really oily (despite no oil being used) and fatty (too much fats from the pork belly). We had to get an ice cream next to wash down the greasy aftertaste. LOL! #justanexcusetogeticecream 

It would be a pity if we didn't take lots of photos with such a beautiful scene! I wouldn't forgive myself. Heh. 

Such a beautiful place. Glad that the Sun was shining really brightly for us! Although too strong that the boy got a sunburn. But better than it rains la. 

We initially wanted to take the cable car at Yidashao 伊達邵, to visit thFormosa Aboriginal Culture Village. It's a theme park actually, but I did my research and heard from many that there isn't much up there. So we decided to just skip it and head to Tai Chung right after this. If you have the time, you might want to check this village out! You can take a cable car up from Yidashao pier. It's quite a view too! ^^

Anyway, we took a bus from Sun Moon Lake to Tai Chung. The bus is from Nantou Bus Service, just beside the Tourist Centre. Can't remember the price, but no worries because it's inexpensive and you'll reach Tai Chung (we are heading to Tai Chung Train Station) after a 90mins ride. 

Bye bye Sun Moon Lake~ Till then. :)


Most people will usually choose their accommodation around Feng Jia Night Market 逢甲夜市, because it's near food of course and also because it's cheaper. However, the boy and I were catching a really early train towards HuaLien on the 4th day of our trip. So we decided to choose a hotel that is nearer the train station. :)  

So Plaza Hotel it is for our 2D2N stay at Tai Chung~ 

Plaza Hotel is a really small hotel, in fact we wouldn't locate it at first because it's a really small and thin building. Well, judging from the simply lobby you could tell too, right? 

Our really simple room. 

Because the boy and I figured that we will spending most of our time outside, we decided to go for the simplest, otherwise cheapest suite. 

It isn't that bad ya? All the basics were there, just that there is no window for this room. But doesn't matter la, because by the time we come back to our room it was always pitch dark and all we want to do was to SLEEP! 

We find it just cosy for the two of us. ^^ Btw this is 'exquisite double (no window). We got it for about $145 for 2 nights. :) 

Complimentary hotel breakfast too! 

But I got to say, the food area is really damn small. So don't expect much. 

A simple corner for your bread and some salad. 

While the other side is some simple Chinese food including congee and side dishes. Nothing fanciful. 

Good in a way to save the calories for sinful food at the night market. :P

Basically a summary of what to expect for breakfast. 

We didn't really see a lot of tourists in this hotel, in fact we see more of businessman and woman. So we figured that this hotel could be more popular among the businessman/woman who needs to travel to Tai Chung for work. Which makes more sense to us. 

Anyway, we were really pleased with the hotel service! As mentioned, the boy and I had to catch a really early train to HuaLien, in fact it was 5.30am in the morning. Yes no joke. That means that we will have to check out really early and wouldn't be able to enjoy their complimentary hotel breakfast.

So guess what? 

The kitchen crew kindly prepared 2 portions of salads and sandwiches for us to takeaway when we checked out! In fact they have to do it at the very last minute because we informed them very last minute too. :')

Anyhow, this is really World Class service! *thumbs up* 

Thank you to Plaza Hotel for the wonderful service and letting us feel the '热情' of Taiwanese. ^^


1 comment:

  1. You mentioned that you had to take 530am train to Hualien but why did you book a 2D2N stay?