Monday, January 1, 2018

Cycling Taiwan 2017 Day 7: Formosan Aboriginal Village Sun Moon Lake

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Cycling Taiwan 2017 Day 7: Formosan Aboriginal Village Sun Moon Lake
Taiwan Day 7: Friday, 20th October - Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, Sun Moon Lake
This is part of cycling tour around Taiwan, of our visit to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village at Sun Moon Lake (日月潭):
Shuishe Pier (水社碼頭)>Wenwu Temple (文武廟)>Chun-hua Restaurant (尚好小吃部)>Xuanzang Temple (玄奘寺)>Yuchi Township (魚池鄉>Crescent Bay Monuement (南投)>Scenic Observation Deck Scenic (向山懸臂式觀景台)>Shuishe Dam (水社壩)>Shuishe Pier.
Cycling Distance - N/A.     Level: N/A
Cycling Time : N/A
Time Taken : N/A

This is page 6 of a 19-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D6 Sun Moon           |          Go to Other Days          |          Go to D8 Tainan >

Route Recommendations :
1. Weather
    The weather at Sun Moon Lake was partly cloudy and temperatures averaged at 29°C during the day and 23°C at night. Wind speed was moderate, averaging at 16kph with gusts up to 25kph.
    It is always prudent to check the weather for the next day so as to know what to expect and be prepared for it. Useful weather forecast sites for the Taiwan are the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau and AccuWeather. For more detailed weather, including cloud cover and wind speed, use Weatherspark and Ventusky.

2. Places of Interest
- Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (GPS: 23.86532, 120.94818) at Sun Moon Lake (日月潭).
- Cable car ride on the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway (日月潭纜車) starting from the lower station, Riyuetanlan Station (GPS: 23.85227, 120.93483)

3. Food
- Breakfast: inclusive breakfast set at hotel.
- Morning Tea: Taiwanese sausages and other street food from road-side stalls near the Ita Thao Visitor Center (伊達邵遊客中心) (GPS: 23.8489, 120.92946).
- Lunch: Bamboo sticky rice with desserts at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (GPS: 23.86532, 120.94818).
- Dinner: Chinese dishes with white rice at restaurant near hotel.

4. Accommodations
Tan Hui Modern Hotel (GPS: ) at 3,000NTD for 6 pax room per night for two nights.
Address: 112, Mingsheng Street, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 555. 
Tel: +8864-9285-55560.

5. Communicating with Each Other
   When travelling in a group it's important to be able to communicate with each other, especially if one got lost from the rest.
    At Taipei Taoyuan Airport Terminal One, just after exiting the into the arrival hall, there are several booths on the left selling pre-paid phone SIM cards. We got pre-paid 4G prepaid SIM cards from Chung Hwa as they had good coverage even in remote areas. These cost NTD1,000 for a 30-day plan that includes unlimited data and NTD$430 credit for texts or calls. These can also be booked on line.
    Those without sim card could try using free Wifi that are sometimes available at the airport, some bigger train stations or hotels; do note that these free wifi may not be stable and registration could be required.

6. Communicating with Locals
    Most Taiwanese (台湾人) speaks Mandarin (官话) and Hokkien (福建話), and very few speak English. So it would be good to have a person in the team who can converse in Mandarin or Hokkien.
    When communicating with locals is a problem, this could be partly overcome by using translation apps like Google Translate. Do install this app into your phone and before you leave on your tour do some basic translation as it will be saved onto a list of recent translations.
    Look out for the tourist information booths at airports, railway stations or bus stations, the guides manning the booths speak good English and do give good tips on where to visit, directions, train and bus schedules.

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PRELUDE

The previous day we had arrived at Sun Moon Lake from Taichung. Our cycling legs were itchy and as soon as we checked in we went for a lovely ride around the lake. Today we take a break from cycling and become regular tourists and will ride somethings other than our bicycles.


TOUR DAY


We woke up to a beautiful scenery. One of a turquoise blue lake with misty mountain at the background. With a bright sky, it's going to be a lovely day. Boats were parked at the pier, beckoning us to come on board. Why not?


So, today we will take a cycling break and act like normal tourists and go for a tour to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村) situated across the lake. From our hotel we bought the tour tickets costing NTD750 per pax, with a slight discount given. We were given two tickest, one of NTD350 for a return boat ride across the lake, and the other of NTD400 entry to the village which included the ride up and down the Sun Moon Lake Rope-way (日月潭纜車) cable car to reach the village, which is nestled up in the hills.
I received a "royal welcome" from Anne as I entered the boat pier. With a bow, she welcomed me like a returning tribal king.... okay, we were just play acting, but with my dark features I do look like a local.



There were many boats here, some were quite big. Siah here showing our boat which was of respectable size.


And off we went, with a roar of the boat's engine we left Shuishe Pier behind and headed for Yi Da Shao Wharf, it's a just a short 20-minute ride away.


The Rope-way station is a short walk away from the pier via the Yidashao Lakeside Trail .... but along the way there are temptations, those of the foodie type. Many street stalls line the road selling interesting street food like shrimps with peanuts, etc. What was more surprising was that some of the stalls were manned by Indonesians ladies who were most happy to converse with us in Bahasa Indonesia.


A bird's eye panoramic view of the lake as we ride up the cable car.


 A lady in a beautiful tribal costume greeted us, "Welcome to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village!"


The village is a theme park of sorts, with different sections - a nice park with cherry tress that blossom beautifully during spring time; a section with mock-up houses of the different aboriginal tribes of Taiwan giving their tribe details and history; a section with artistically done sculptures by renown tribal artists. There's even a fun-fair section with dynamic rides for the younger ones.


At one of the ponds, throw in some fish food and the hungry carps will come to feed swirling like and eddy to form a colorful picture.


Here's a photo from the Tribal Village section, one which I find rather interesting and a bit grotesque. It shows head-hunters with chopped off heads! Sitting in the middle is the chief with a headdress similar to those American Indian ones.


The place is filled with many colorful art work like these psychedelic colored owls....


... and these mini totems of a tribal couple sitting on owls.


At another garden section were more serious artwork, this one is in bronze statue by Yu Teng-Chun called "Hunting".


And there are stone statues too. This one is titled "Drinking Together" done by Kepekepe in 2008. Together with the title, a descriptive text gives a very informative write up about the culture and legends of the tribe.
This one says, "The linked cup is a wine vessel unique to the Pawan tribe used during special festivals and wedding celebrations. Drinking through linked cups is intended to demonstrate harmony and infinity. The linked cups can consist of one, two or up to three cups."


One can admire the art or have fun posing with them...


... or the with the many totem poles that dots the place.
(... for more on the artwork, click here)


SHOW TIME!!!
The villagers presented a show with dances and songs emulating those done by their ancestors. Their costumes were very colorful...


... or intriguingly simple loin cloth.


And the dance movements elegant.


There's even a tale of love at the lakeside!


Finished we took our ride back to the other side of the lake, passing by this Chinese Fishing Net boat. This net reminded me of the giant ones I saw at Kerala, and the picturesque ones at Thale Noi, Thailand.


We ended the day with a lovely dinner in town. I especially like this Claypot fish caramelized with soy sauce.

晚安!
(That's "Wǎn'ān", Good Night in Mandarin)

(For more photos of the Day 7, Click Here)
This is page 6 of a 19-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to D6 Sun Moon           |          Go to Other Days          |          Go to D8 Tainan >

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