Living in Taipei part time does mean traveling, obviously. One of the biggest tourist attractions is Sun Moon Lake, a three hour car drive from Taipei. Renting a car is the first obstacle to overcome, but we’re Dutch, so he, who cares? Carplus is a nice little place, hidden next to a MRT station and very friendly, non-English speaking personnel. No need for a navigation system, we have google maps on our phone….. Off we go! Not so bad, driving in Taipei, nothing compared to the total chaos we were used to in Beijing Little rental place, little car…. Nice to know there are chop sticks to eat with in the fast restaurants on the way.
Getting into the vincinity of Sun Moon Lake, the weather started to get better and the traffic worse. Many, many busses full of Chinese tourists. Been there, done that. Parking was not too bad, we were lured into what we thought a not so expensive private parking spot, which turned out to be a seller of boat trips. Sure, why not??? Finding the pier and the boat was easy. Getting off was harder, there were hordes of tourists around us…. Not much to be seen, either.
The boat trip was made very entertaining by the captain: he was telling lots and lots of jokes. We had no clue what it was about, but everybody around us laughed. Apparently, very nice people……The little village had many places to eat, nothing recognizable. At some point we discovered Kung Pao Chicken. That was delicious. Too bad we dared not try some of the other food people prepared passionately.
Getting into the Gondola was tricky: we were just brought over the highest peak down to some Aboriginal Park trap. Too pricy for just sitting and seeing the lake from the carriage. Walking the trail was nice: cooperating weather, good coffee, some butterflies and honey sellers made our day! The traffic jam into Taipei was normal I was told later. The rain as well….:(