Day 14 – Sun Moon Lake

On April 24, 2012 by admin

We awoke at Guanziling at 630am, timing it to go downstairs to the breakfast at 7am then right into the hot springs when it opened at 730 for a morning soak.  It was perfect yet again.  The outside pools are great, but the inside ones are the traditional naked style where you can lay back and relax.  Unfortunately we only had a half an hour to use the hot tubs then had to catch the 830 bus down to Chiayi.

The bus was pretty well right on time, like usual.  It was a slow local style bus though, and stopped at a seniors home so the stops were long.  We didn’t worry too much though since we weren’t sure of how we’d get to Taichung then Sun Moon Lake yet anyways.  Arriving at Chiayi Station, the tourist information centre advised us to just get a limited express train up to Taichung, it would take an hour and 10 minutes.  We caught this 20 minutes later.

In Taichung the info centre advised us to catch the Sun Moon Lake tourist bus from a nearby bus stop about a block away.  While waiting at the bus stop some guys kept pushing us to take a taxi at $1000, we refused.  They said we were at the right stop and the bus would be there at 1153, or 1208, or the last one 1253.  This was at 1115.  We waited there til 1215, no bus.  Plenty of other buses roared by, just not this bus.  Asking the guy he said next one 1253 then, I almost lost it as he used this as another way to get me in a taxi.  No way, I hate tourist vultures like this guy.  Stormed back to the info centre to tell them that that bus isnt around and is there another we can take, she walked us back to the same stop and we waited a bit until the bus finally came at 1230.

That bus took about an hour 20mins to Sun Moon Lake.  The first impression of the village was it was a gongshow, tourists everywhere, buses roaring up the streets, vendors barking.  You see such a different side of Taiwan by bike, and you have the freedom to dictate your route, your timing, and what you see.  As convenient, cheap, and efficient as Taiwans public transit is, seeing it by bike is the only way to go.  We shopped for hotels for awhile, with most being way too expensive facing the lake, and the rest having no windows at all.  In the end we stayed at the Apollo Resort Hotel for $1980 and collapsed in the bed tired from the busy day of transit, 2nd in a row like that.

Sun Moon Lake at night 


Once re energized we strolled around the village a bit and some of the lakeside before checking out a nice lakeside cafe in the base of our hotel that served up a butter chicken lasagna of all things!  Our first plan for today had been to arrive by 1 or 2pm and have time to rent bikes and lap the lakes 30k perimeter road that is supposed to be nice.  Unfortunately with arriving late and not getting into the hotel until just after 3 we couldnt do the bike today.  At night the lakeside is lit up nicely though and was a good time for a walk before stopping into the Sun Moon Lake Restaurant for some really good food and a big Taiwan beer.




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