Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bonus Trip After Visiting Sun Moon Lake--Taomi Eco-Village vs 18 C Chocolate Factory

     After two days of boating, bicycle riding, and firefly watching, our friends didn't want to go back to Taipei even when it was raining hard. They wanted to spend more time in Sun Moon Lake surrounding areas. They didn't care about going back to Taipei late because it was only 2-3 hours drive.  Also it was very precious for them to take two days vacation escaping their jobs from Taipei.   
     We decided to visit Taomi Eco-Village and 18 C Chocolate Factory to satisfy their hunger for more sightseeing and also for their physical appetite. Both places were easy to reach since they were on the way back to freeway 6. 
This map was taken at the entree of the Paper Dome.
 The ecological village consisted a few different parts
in this area. We chose to visit the dome. The entree
ticket was NT$ 100 per person but we could take our 

ticket to exchange for same value of soft drinks, food, 
or other merchandise.   

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Different Ways Touring Sun Moon Lake --Riding A Bicycle

     Normally the rainy season in Taiwan runs from May to June. But this year it started early than before due to climate change. It effected our two days vacation in Sun Moon Lake. 
     I woke up early to check the weather in the morning. The wet ground reflected by the street lights on the ground and the clouds overhung in the sky. It seemed to be clearing up temporarily and then it would rain again. 
     I pushed our friends to start their bicycle trip without us since the rental shop was not opened until 9 am and the weather had cleared up for the ride. We gave them the direction how to ride around the lake which was very easy to follow.   
The view was from our room in the early morning. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Different Ways Touring Sun Moon Lake -- Boat Ride and Firefly Watching

     A couple of our friends who live in Taipei invited us to take a bicycle ride around Sun Moon Lake just four days prior to our departure day back to the States. They heard that the bicycle trail around Sun Moon Lake was rated as one of the 10 best bicycle trails in the world by CNNGO. They were very interested in riding  this trail and it was also a great opportunity for them to escape their routine life in Taipei and be with friends. So I planed this trip one month ahead of time booking one night at a bed and breakfast for four of us since it became a very popular destination for Chinese tourists. 
The view was taken from Meihe Garden looking at Cien Pagoda
and Xuanzang Temple

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Visiting the Fisherman's Wharf in Chenggong Township

     "All the fishing boats have returned to the harbor and well prepared for embracing the strike of the typhoon and now the wave is getting bigger...," said news corespondent. This kind of news was very common when a typhoon appeared to hit Taiwan. It was also time for me to learn about harbors' locations in cities or counties from typhoon news. Chenggong Harbor was one of the harbors that I had learned from the news.  
     This was the first time that my husband and I stopped in the fishing town of Chenggon on the East Coast taking a leisure travel day. When we arrived in the town, lunch time had past.We drove a few blocks and found the seafood restaurant which was indicated or recommended in our GPS system. When talking about eating in Taiwan, some western travelers, perhaps I should say my husband, can't understand Taiwanese eating philosophy, such as waiting in a long line just for gourmet food etc. 
     Almost each city or town has its special or famous food in Taiwan. The food became popular because the town or city is located in an agricultural center or a seafood market and the main sources of the food are directly from this area. Sellers emphasize the freshness and good quality of the food and special ingredients and taste of the food which attracts visitors to visit their stores.  
When we arrived at this restaurant, there were no 
costumers. We wondered if the store was still open 
after lunch time during weekdays. We walked in 
and saw the writings and photos on this wall which 
meant it was a popular and famous restaurant. It has
 hosted celebrities and other important people. They 
signed their name on the wall as witnesses to proof 
that food was good. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Koahpau-- Taiwanese Style Hamburger and Aboriginal Sausage

     Driving on Highway 14 and 8 from Nantou County through Mt. Hohuan and Taroko National Park to Hualien County seems to become one of our most travel routes in Taiwan. Hualien County is my husband most favorite county and his idea place to enjoy his retired life. To me or most people in Taiwan, it is a nice place for vacational retreats because it is not easy to access which makes the lifestyle slower than the west part of Taiwan.  
    There would always be a reason for my husband to visit Hualien County. This time was to visit an army base in Hualien which was to be opened to the public. Visiting an open house on a military base in Taiwan was alway interesting to him and he had a real passion for the military. So, we drove about 7 hours crossing the central mountain ranges to reach our destination.   
This time we didn't make a lot of stops during our trip.
The only one was Eternal Spring Shrine for practicing
with my canon EF100-400mm/f 4.5-5.6 telephoto len.