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.   
This was one of its souvenir and cafe shops. Water
lilies, lotuses, and ponds were the major visible 
elements in this park. 
Because of the ponds and plants, this park offered a 
desirable environment for different kinds of 
animals to live.   
This was ceiling of the famous Paper
Dome
which was donated by the
Japanese
 after the major distraction
of the 921
earthquake in 1999. The
entire dome
was made of paper. The
dome was
 covered by the metal
material to avoid the
 weathering
situation. 
Sixty two percent of the Taomi village 
was destroyed by the earthquake. The 
reconstruction of the village after the 
disaster was very difficult with financial
issues. The villagers, some branches of 
the government and universities tried to
find better solutions together to change
and improve the situation. Finally, they
decided to corporate and follow the ways
of the natural environment which was a
new concept and the trend for promoting
an Eco friendly lifestyles. Today, the village
offered a great ecological environment
for school field trips and people who were
 interested in learning the ecology.   
The heavy rain turned into drizzling
when we arrived at the park. We were
lucky to enjoy the scenery.  
Some early blooming flowers were destroyed
by the rain. Some were just awaiting for 

the right time to show its beauty to its 
audiences, just like this lotus bud.  
Catching the ripples and ignoring the three beauties
We were enjoying this moment to have a cup of coffee
with our good friends and the freshness of the nature.  
It was time to head to our next destination with final
glimpses of the park.
This was our friend's minivan. They felt ashame for
their mess inside the vehicle. Well, I though it doesn't
matter as long as it served its purpose.   
     Next stop was to taste the most famous and gourmet chocolate store in Puli Township which location was a little out of the way from Sun Moon Lake to the freeway 6. But we still could get on the freeway from another entrance ramp to Freeway 6 in Puli. 
     The most touching story about the 18 C Chocolate Factory was the owner kept his commitment which was to keep the store open and make the best chocolates for their customers with his son who died at the age of 23. His commitment motivated him to improve the ways to make gourmet chocolate for his customers. Today his customers were worldwide like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan etc. At the same time, he continued donating his fortune to charities and helping the needed families because he knew his fortunes were from the people and he should share some of his fortunes with the needy which was also one of his son's wills for helping the people in need. 
My husband and I have visited this shop several  
times when we drove to the east coast or took friends 
to visit this areas. The store has expand its size 
over time. This was its seating area next to its own 
parking lot. These pictures about the store were taken 
at different visits.   
The store consisted of three areas of chocolate express
lanes, the Italian gelato area, and the chocolate display 

and the selection area which required customers to take 
a ticket to enter the display area. It allowed 6-8 people
in the store at the same time in order to control the
room temperature for keep the correct temperature

 in making  excellent quality chocolates.    
Seating area
My ticket number was 125. I didn't
have to wait too long because of the

rainy day. Thank for the rain. 
The store offered free unlimited coffee for its customers 
while they were waiting for their number. It was very 
thoughtful for the store to consider its customers. 
This map displayed the countries or regions which
produced cocoa in the world. 
This was another store that the owner owned. It makes 
18 layer cakes. It offered free tasting in the store and 
liked the taste of the cake. Once in a while I would buy 
some to take home to enjoy when I was relaxing at home 
listening to good musics with a cup of coffee or tea.  
After the store got famous and attracted people to visit
 it, it also brought some business opportunities to other 
vendors in the area to sell their products nearby.
One of the owner's original ideas of opening his store
in a rural town was to help and improve the local
economic situation for the residents there. His wish
came true. He employed some young people and also
brought some business opportunities to the locals
to sell their agricultural products or different products.
Not only his business was very successful but also he
promoted the local economic and improved others'
lifestyles. I thought it was a good business pattern.  
Time to say good bye to our friends and took a final 
photo together

Links:
                       http://www.taomi.org.tw/main.php
18 C Chocolate Factory: http://www.feeling18c.com/index.php

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