For the first weekend I spent back in Taiwan, my family and I went to one of the most famous tourist attractions in the country, Sun Moon Lake. Growing up, we always went on trips overseas, and because of that, I hardly got to experience Taiwan before I left to study abroad. I had gotten too used to the chilly weather in Melbourne and was surprised by how hot it was in the northern hemisphere in July.
We arrived at around noon and checked in at Fleur de Chine. The lobby was busy but it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I expected it to be. From what I’ve heard, tourist attractions in Taiwan (and most other countries) are supposed to be overflowing with Chinese Tourists, but that was hardly true for Sun Moon Lake on that particular weekend.
The view was worth the trip, and I thought I took good photos but my dad outshines me every time (All photos but the one with trees were taken by him!).
The buffet was full when we went for lunch, so we had a light meal in the lobby cafe. There was a big window that stretched quite a distance in the lobby to give us a nice view of the Lake. We had fried rice and black tea, and we didn’t have to wait long. I had high expectations for the tea since the area was said to produce nice tea, but it wasn’t outstanding.
I had to find something to do afterwards, so I headed to the basement and found a dart machine, a pool table, table-tennis, and a pretty decent gym. There were some TV-gaming consoles to keep the kids occupied, too.
There was also a hot spring; the man at the counter told me that tap on the bathtub in the rooms are supplied with hot spring water, so I could enjoy it in private as well.
I spent some time at the pool table and gym before going back to our room.
The room was large and had a great view of the lake, I saw some boat tours going on in the distance under the sun. We had a room just for tea, separated from the beds by a sliding door. I was very impressed by the bathing area, which had a showering area and even a spring-water-supplied tub that could easily hold two people.
I soaked in the miniature hot spring and felt the stress leave my shoulders.
A gentle storm set in as I left the tub and dried myself, I could hear thunder rumbling softly in the distance.
We had dinner at a buffet downstairs, and they had a great selection of food. They had a section where they made sashimi on request, and there was even beer on tap (unsupervised). My favorite was the steak, they offered three different salts to try. One of them was black and they called it ‘volcano-salt.’
There was a performance done by aboriginal people in the lobby at nine, they sang and danced, but most people in the crowd were reluctant to get up when they were invited to join the dances.
Their footwork and the coordination between the dancers was mesmerizing.
We got up at around eight and went for breakfast downstairs. They served a variety of traditional food, including my favorite – Gua Bao.
There was a footpath around the lake, so we spent half an hour walking along it. We barely made a quarter of the circumference because the sun was a bit much.
We managed to take some good photos though, thanks to the abundant natural light.
We sat for a while near a metal frame with the Chinese characters 日月潭 on the side before heading back to the hotel, and we saw a man running towards the frame with a poodle tucked under an arm.
He sat the dog down twice and took pictures of it, once beside the frame and once on the chair right in front of the frame. He then picked up the dog and ran back to his Porsche SUV parked across the road, and drove off.
We spent half our time walking back to the hotel guessing the story behind the man and his dog.
I’m happy that we went to Sun Moon Lake, I can finally take one place off the list of the places most tourists have been that I, a local, have not.