There is a place in Taiwan where lovers go. It has claimed to be the most romantic, most scenic spot in Taiwan, and it’s called Sun Moon Lake. Guess where my boyfriend wanted to go for his birthday! So off we went over the first weekend of 2013. You can go by either HSR or bus, and we chose the bus to avoid transferring down in Taichung. Sun Moon Lake is a lake in the middle of Taiwan, surrounded by mountains and next to Nantou, home of One Piece Theme Park and an aboriginal village!
We were excited to ditch a dreary, rainy week of Taipei weather for some warm sunshine and a brilliant blue sky when we arrived! We quickly figured out that our resort was on the other side of the lake, and our first view of the lake was from a 50NT ferry ride over it.
We checked in, and grabbed our bikes to start exploring only to discover that there wasn’t much to do around the area, just a little open town square and aboriginal-styled stands and shops selling guabao and sunglasses. We decided to park the bikes and take cable cars from the lakeside over to the theme park for the day. I have been to the One Piece Theme Park/Aboriginal Village before, and it was just as I remembered it-lovely, sunny, and uncrowded. There are only really like five good rides, but since there aren’t any lines you can go on them as many times as you like. Boyfriend and I jumped on to every ride, fearless, and laughed ourselves silly from the queasiness til we got soaked on the ‘Caribbean Splash’. The cable cars stopped running at 4:30pm so we headed back to the lake to catch the sunset.
THE NEXT DAY was adventure day-we were determined to bike around the lake. We had heard about a famous scenic bike trail, and so we set off early in the morning to conquer it. There is only one path around the lake, so you can’t get lost. If you know me at all, you know that biking is NOT my favorite outdoor activity. However, if all conditions are optimal (perfect weather, flat trail, good company and pretty views) I will go. For the first two hours or so of our bike ride, this was not the case. The view was pretty but it was all uphill on a twisty concrete road, and the end was no where in sight. However with the persistance and annoying encouragement from my fitness-crazed boyfriend we finally hit flat ground, and the legendary spectacular bike trail after all. We could NOT stop taking pictures-it was too gorgeous and so worth it.
We reached the opposite side of the lake where we took the ferry from, after about four hours. This part of the lake was a bit more lively-swarming with tourists actually-and we had lunch on the sun-shiny boardwalk. Thankfully, bikes were allowed onto the ferry for extra charge and we didn’t have to bike the rest of the way around the lake to get back to our stuff. We packed up, and strolled around enjoying the view a bit before heading back to Taipei.