Wednesday, 19 December 2012

travel: Taiwan 2012 Day 5: Hehuanshan, Sun Moon Lake

Breakfast at Rose Provence fared better than the dinner we had last night. Choices were quite good, and they have a charming rustic oven to keep warm some bread rolls and portuguese tarts. Also, the fare that we paid was supposed to include afternoon tea; but as we were going to check out early, they gave us some cookies and coffee to go.

But what I love most about this place is the killer view we got when walking out of our balcony this  morning. The sky opened up, and it looked like we were in between and above clouds.

Some pictures taken when the sun was out of beautiful Rose Provence and surroundings:

After checking out of this B&B, our original destination was to soldier on to Sun Moon Lake area to visit Chung Tai Chan Monastery. But how could we pass up this perfect weather to go to Hehuanshan once again, as yesterday's weather was a disaster. James told us that apparently not long after we left Hehuanshan yesterday, it started to snow. So we decided to go back to do a bit of a hike to the peak (yeahh, bring it on!).
James took us to the hiking trail and we were not disappointed. It was still crisp and chilly - around 5-6 degrees - but at least the wind did not blow my head off. The sky was bright and the walking trail took around 1 1/2 - 2 hours round trip for us to finish. There were still traces of snow, making the scenery almost surreal.

James & 1/2heart

We even met a new four-legged friend along the way that kept following us from halfway to the peak of the mountain and afterwards until we reached James' car at the bottom of the walking trail.

view from the top

Snow all around at the peak:

picture courtesy of RoundTaiwanRound

our new four-legged friend.

After the refreshing hike, we went to Puli for lunch at a traditional eatery. Lunch was some noodles, braised pork rice, pork dish, tofu, wine egg (similar to tea egg, but it was also marinated with chinese wine), dumpling soup, and beansprouts.
The dishes style was similar to our first meal in Houtong Village - simple and delicious.

Total damage: TWD215. Cheap or what!

Then we visited 18 degrees chocolate shop for some chocolates and gelato for dessert. We chose 3 flavours (TWD120) for the gelato: Longan, Green Tea, and Chocolate. My favourite? Green tea.

After lunch, we headed to our next destination - Sun Moon Lake - and visited Cih-En Pagoda. Unfortunately it was foggy and raining. Otherwise, the view would be stunning. But I guess Hehuanshan view had made up more than what we wished for.

Then off to WenWu Temple, dedicated to the Gods of War: Guan Yu and Yue Fei, and also Gods of Literature: Confucius and one more whose name escaped me.
The temple is absolutely gorgeous with intricate details all over the place.

Today is our last day with James Huang from RoundTaiwanRound. Tomorrow we will continue our trip still with RTR, but with Grant. James has been very professional and knowledgeable. Rather than a guide, I think we have treated him as more of a newfound friend, and we wish he'd feel the same to us. Our trip would not be even half as enjoyable without him. The last stop for James with us was our hotel for the night.

Accommodation: Fleur de Chine
Room: Washiki Lake View Room
Cost: TWD10900 (includes dinner, breakfast, and wi-fi is available inside room)

This is the most expensive accommodation for our Taiwan trip. But damn, it is worth every penny. Everything about this place is beautiful and their service is impeccable. As soon as we walked in the front door, we were given some apple cider vinegar to warm us up and some chocolates.

the beautiful girl serving incoming guests some apple cider and chocolates

We exchanged a voucher given by the receptionist for some bath salt that smell heavenly

The Water World - their sauna and spa facility for guests is especially nice to unwind and relax after a long day. The spa inside guests's rooms also was fed water from their hotspring water source. But if you were going to stay here and used the Water World, it's best to bring a swimming cap with you as you are not allowed inside the pool without one.

Our room is no less impressive. It is japanese style decorated tastefully. Whilst we had dinner at their restaurant on level 2, the staff re-arranged the room to set our futon style bed.

The room fare includes some tea leaves for us to enjoy ourselves using the tea set already provided. They also gave us a few mochi.

The hotel provides some yukata for the guests to wear around the facility (yes you can wear the yukata to have dinner and to go to spa & water world. As long as within the vacinity of the hotel, you can strut around in them)

The inclusive dinner can be chosen between chinese style or western style. Although most guests opted for Western style as it is a buffet, we opted for their chinese style dinner, and it was totally yummy. So different from the dinner we had last night at Rose Provence... .

And because of the especially nice food, I think they deserve individual pictures...

Now it's time to turn in for the night, but not before my discovery today: me & 1/2heart lost weight. WTF! We have been eating like there's no tomorrow, but when we weighed ourselves in our room at Fleur de Chine, we found out that we lost 2 kgs each. So either: (a) the scale is broken, or (b) all those hiking and walking and hiking (yes, we did a lot) actually burnt more calories than what we managed to put in.


No comments:

Post a Comment