Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sun Moon Lake

So I have not been doing a very good job of keeping up on my blog.. and A LOT has happened since my last Blog post. So I'm going to briefly write on the big points from these past few months.

This is Sun Moon Lake! It's the largest body of water in Taiwan. Surrounded by mountains, it's so beautiful! It's in Nantou County, which is in the middle of Taiwan. A Major Tourist attraction. We stayed in a hotel that over looked the lake (There's a picture of the view on the right above), and stayed there for two  nights. One room was for me, my two cousins, my brother and I; and the other room was for my older brother, parents, and grandmother. A bit of a tight squeeze, but we made do! :) In the morning, my parents, brother and I went for a bike ride around the lake. It's a pretty small lake compared to Lake Mendocino or Tahoe, but still gorgeous. And Clean! People aren't aloud to swim in it, but boats are aloud (Except for speed boats and such). Later in the day we went for a boat ride around the lake. (To the left is a picture of our tour boat). We visited different parts of the lake, including a Taoist temple on

the other side of the lake called the Xuanguang temple. We walked up many beautiful sets of stone stares on the mountain side from where our tour boat was tied out on the dock, to reach the temple. From the top we had a great view of the Lake (Picture of the view, under). Many tourist were also in this area, taken by different tour boats. But theu didn't just

come to visit the Xuanguang temple, but to also try some food that area is famous for. Tea Eggs! You can see a picture of them here to the right. They might look a little intimidating at first, that's how I felt; for I have never seen or tried anything like them before! But I promise you, they're delicious! Probably my favorite food in Taiwan, so far. They are boiled in
a certain kind of tea, thats how the brown lines form on the boiled egg. They are supposed to be good for the body; but that's what my host mom says for most of the things she wants me to try to eat :P. We visited a few other places around the lake, then went back to the Hotel to enjoy a buffet provided.  That night we walked along the lake to the Town Yuchi, where we got to listen to a Couple of Taiwanese Opera Singers! So cool! They were a Mother and Daughter Opera singer. The Daughter is quite famous, being in the German Opera! They performed many famous songs, one being 'Summertime'. 

The next day, we set off to visit the Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village. Very cool. It's Taiwan's largest outdoor Museum, showcasing nine Taiwan-Aboriginal villages. Each 'village' shows aspects of these village's cultures; by displaying their native clothing, housing, food, etc. Very Interesting! Taiwan's aboriginals are like Americas' Native Americans; the were the first people to populate Taiwan, before the Chinese, and before Portuguese or Japanese Occupation. To get to this park, we had to take a cable car over the mountains. So cool! This area is more like forest than the jungles you can see in other parts of the island, but it's still so different from North California's forests! So many different kinds of trees and shrubs, colorful birds flying about, not to mention they have Monkeys! Not so many populate the forest around Sun Moon Lake, but deeper in the mountain range there are a lot! Once we reached the Aboriginal Park, we walked around; it was beautiful. Surrounded by forest (As you can see in the photo above). As we walked through, we saw statues of aboriginals, many of deer. This is so because the 
legend of how sun moon lake was discovered is the Thao Native Hunters were chasing a white deer, and the deer led them to the location of the beautiful lake, which was full of fish. Here is one of the many statues I saw in the Aboriginal Cultural Village on the right. As we walked through the rest of the park, we saw many 'villagers' in costume, educating people on the nine different aboriginal cultures/villages. We passed one woman making blown-glass jewelry, similar to the jewelry style of the villages. After walking threw the entire Aboriginal Cultural Village, we reached the One Peice Memorial Log Theme Park! (Picture of it from the cable car's view, it's a bit hidden by the trees) It's based off of a kids cartoon, so it's more 

of a kid oriented place. But it was still fun! It was my two older brothers, my two cousins, and I that went (Picture of them on the side), while my parents and grandmother took a rest. We went on a few rides, and shopped around in the gift shops. It was my first big trip out of Dajia, so fun! It was awesome getting to see the central part of the island; and spending more time with my family. I got to know my cousins better, and have a good time with my bros (Since they're away at school during the week) and the rest of the family. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend :). 

- This is one trip we made to a different part of the island, we've made a lot more! I'll post more soon.