Sun Moon Lake

Friday 23 December. Free day. Jimmy, our guide, suggests to take us to see Sun Moon Lake, a couple of hours bus ride away, high in the foothills: see the picture at the top of this blog. I had hoped to take our own picture to replace this one but the cloud was down.

Nevertheless, the mist itself created a slightly spooky atmosphere as we walked for an hour or so along some of the boarded walkway that goes right round the lake.

Pier through the mist

There we found some unusual flowers, first of many on this trip.

Unusual flowers No.1

Unusual flowers No.2

The boats to the other end of the lake were not running, so we took a bus instead to the point where a cable car takes visitors up to the Formosan Aboriginal People’s Village. Two reasons why we didn’t take it: 1. the mist 2. it’s a kids’ theme park rather than an ethnic museum as we had hoped.

Instead we walked round the boardwalk to the shopping area, where traditional craftwork is sold by the local aboriginal people, in amongst the usual tourist stalls. 

Frances, with Jimmy our guide and translator

 At this end of the lake several rafts are moored. Some have a simple dwelling and a working area, others are planted with grass and other vegetation as a habitat for the fish to reproduce and grow.

Houses on rafts, complete with gardens

The area has many banana trees, some single, many large fields full. Once a hand of bananas develops it’s covered in a bright blue bag to protect it from being eaten by the birds. The one in the next image had a big hand of bananas and, still, its large and lovely flower right at the bottom.

A hand of bananas and its flower

 An ancient style of fishing is still practised here, involving large nets operated from precarious rafts:

Tradtional fishing raft

 There is a style for decorating buildings to depict traditional scenes:

A decorative fascia depicting a stage in firemaking

 Just as we were about to return to our starting point, we passed this unusual vessel:

Chinese style boat

 As you can see, the mist had cleared somewhat, though not enough to see a sunset over the surrounding mountains (sunsets are, we were told, awesome sometimes). We look forward to seeing the place in a more amenable sunlit state some time, but even today, we could see what a magical place this is. Highly recommended.
Categories: Geography | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Sun Moon Lake

  1. Dear Martin and Frances, Having seen Sun Moon lake, maybe Earley Lake could have a few additions, like a floating pagoda-style boat, where Canada geese could nest. I’m glad you’re getting time to see some of the country on your free days. The flowers do look interesting. And tonight, Christmas Eve, I guess you’ll do your first performance up a mountain. I hope it goes well.
    All best, Elizabeth.

  2. suefrombcs

    Dear Martin and Frances

    Found your blog via google and am thrilled to see your pics of you enjoying your big Christmas adventure. What a strange way to have Christmas lunch, in a scooter park! It’s certainly different.
    Thought you’d like to know your first plant pic is identifiable from our RHS plant encyclopedia – it’s a Lantana camara (genus: verbenaceae) with lots of varieties. The book says the leaves can iritate the skin. The second plant is familiar as I photographed a specimen in the Palm house at Wisley a few years ago but failed to capture the name tag. ITV channels here are showing an ad for Swiss holidays and the soundtrack is an alphorn, playing one of your traditional tunes, Frances.
    Hope the sightseeing continues to be fun and your performances go down well.

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