Saturday, December 02, 2017

Cycle Taiwan Day 6 Taichung to Sun Moon Lake 日月潭

Good morning Taichung! The sky was looking good as viewed from my room.
Good bye Chance Hotel after hosting us for 2 nights.
A short distance to the Nantou Bus Terminal for a bus journey to Sun Moon Lake.
We decided to have our breakfast nearby the bus terminal at this shop "Ah Boon" GPS : 24.140130, 120.685490. The shop was packed with locals and it must be popular to garner such a good crowd.
A few of us took the front seats next to the serving counter and I had a good close up observation of Ah Boon's operation.
My braised minced pork rice with a hard tofu, egg and a bowl of soup. I enjoyed this breakfast very much.
The ladies were busy preparing food for their customers and hardly have time to collect payment.
The bus fare to Sun Moon Lake from Taichung was NTD190.00 for a distance of about 64km.
The bus was about to leave and we had to load the bicycles ourselves at the lower compartment. What a relief when everything was done in time and intact. 

The bus stopped right in front of the Information Centre at Sun Moon Lake where Anne & Jotaro went in to gather some information. Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan largest lake located in the mountains of Nantou at the geographic centre of Taiwan island. 
Tan Hui Hotel 名勝街 where we will be staying for 2 nights is near the bus terminal and Shuishe pier. We were early and could not check in yet so we just left our bags at the hotel reception and went on with our exploration of Sun Moon Lake.
The plan was to cycle round the entire lake covering the sun and the moon.
The name of the lake is inspired by the beauty of the area. The east side of the lake is round, like the sun, while the west side is long and narrow, like a crescent moon.
We went clockwise of the route and heading towards 12 o'clock position north eastward.
The first kilometre starting from the Shuishe Pier to Wenwu Temple.
Wenwu Temple is located at the perimeter of the Lake it has been rebuilt in 1969 into a bigger and attractive temple.
Chinese guardian lions in front of Wenwu Temple, one male and one female awaiting for you..
Year of Steps at Wenwu Temple
Before the round-the-lake road was built, the only way to get to Wenwu Temple was to take a boat to the pier below the temple and climb up a very steep flight of steps. They called it "stairway to Heaven."
There are now 366 steps covering the 150-meter distance, symbolizing the 366 days in a year (including an extra day in leap year). At the step that represents the first day of each month, there is now a platform where people can stop and rest. Information related to the 24 solar periods is also carved into the steps, so that visitors can learn something about China's traditional folk culture as they slowly ascend the steps.
At the main road on a quiet Thursday noon time.

 Upon arriving a small town near Yi Da Shao Wharf 伊達邵碼頭 we went in a restaurant and ordered a set lunch for 6 of us comprising of a deep fried shrimps, stir fried pork belly, steamed chicken meat, steamed fish and a clear soup.
Chun Hua Restaurant at Huanhu Road GPS : 23.847787, 120.932710
Xuanzang Temple with a story that after a thousand-plus year journey, a fragment of a famous Chinese monk’s skull ended up in this temple.

A platform at Xuan Guang viewing into Xuan Guang Wharf with a nice Chinese calligraphy of the the words "Sun Moon Lake   日月潭" on a stony feature.
Certain points of the bicycle path have been closed and we have to used the main road where we had the chance to experience the surrounding of the area such as betel nut cultivation.
After ariving at Nantou County Police Bureau
南投縣政府警察局集集分局頭社派出所 GPS : 23.833736, 120.896229 we started to encounter a severe uphill.
The uphill ride passing by Toushih Dam 頭社水庫.
The pain continued but it will be ending soon .... so be perseverance.
Once you reached this Nantou Crescent Bay 南投 月牙灣 (GPS : 23.844505, 120.901931) it's easy ride all the way. 
This Bicycle Path look pretty old already but never too late to visit it.
A tunnel linking the highway into the edge of the lake. No more severe climb and heavy traffic.
A detour to an Observation Deck  向山觀景台 at GPS : 23.854933, 120.905473
On the way out of the Observation deck we bumped into two local Brommies.
同心橋 Bridge at GPS : 23.853631, 120.901916 
A little bit further up the trail there is another interesting curving bridge GPS : 23.854645, 120.902073
Getting closer to the commercial centre of Sun Moon Lake as we could see tall buildings ahead.
Another set meal for dinner at Riyuetan Restaurant 日月潭餐廳 at the main road GPS : 23.865872, 120.912052
It's bed time and looking forward for tomorrow's itinerary to visit the Aboriginal Culture Village.
Day 6 - The day arrived at Sun Moon Lake and rode round the lake for 32km.

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