Sun Moon Lake to Taipei

Back to the hustle and bustle of Taipei. I was reintroduced to the congestion of this place by having my 3.5 hour bus ride turn into a 5 hour ride because of the traffic coming into Taipei. But, the screens on the bus were showing King Kong, so that kept me interested. Sure, it had no sound and I had to get off the bus at the climactic Empire State Building scene, but it looked like a fun film.

Instead of braving another bike seat yesterday, I decided to head to Sun Moon Lake and do some walking in the area. It’s the highest and largest lake in Taiwan and the guidebooks rank it high among things to see here.

The azure waters didn’t disappoint. A light haze gave depth to the distant mountains while the noon-hour sun sparkled in the water. That same noon-hour sun beat down upon my hatless head and now I can feel its heat trying to escape back out through my short hair.

I wandered the small town by the lake and found a vegetarian restaurant where the owner spoke Spanish and Chinese, but no English. Too bad I hardly remember any Spanish. So, we fumbled through things and I think I eventually communicated that whatever she made would be fine as long as it was vegetarian. She came back with a nice bowl of rice in a broth with veggies and tofu and I was happy as a clam.

With my belly contentedly full, I hiked around part of the lake to Wenwu temple. Set up on a hill, this spot has a great view of the lake and is a nice example of some of the Chinese temple architecture. It’s also interesting because it blends styles from Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian temples. Not that I’m an expert on the subject, but that’s what the brochure told me.

I hustled back down the hill to the town so that I could catch an afternoon bus and not arrive in Taipei too late, but the traffic prevented my speedy return. I am, however, happy to be back in a place for a few days where I won’t have to seek out a new place to stay each night. Now, to figure out what to do with myself today!

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