Thursday, 20 December 2012

travel: Taiwan 2012 Day 6: Sun Moon Lake: Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village, Alishan

This morning we woke up in our room, and as always, we have been pretty lucky to wake up everyday to beautiful views just outside our window/balcony. Different places, different views, one is no less beautiful than the others.
Sun Moon Lake is truly a sight to behold in such great weather.

Breakfast at Fleur de Chine was a smorgasbord of culinary delights. Anything you could think of and fancy, was there. Braised pork, salty pork, tofu, porridge with more than 10 condiments, different kind of eggs - from plain boiled to salty duck eggs to thousand year egg to poached runny eggs; crazy selection of pastries and rolls (and not the crappy kinds either), salads, and drinks from water to juice to even yakult to get your digestion going.
Sydney 5 star hotels... why don't you come to Fleur de Chine in SML and see what 5 star is all about. *sigh*

After hearty and yummy breakfast, we met our guide from RoundTaiwanRound to look after us from today onwards - Grant Lee. Grant took us for a short stop at Peacock Garden - a small park dedicated to the colorful fowls and some pheasants. Majestic birds strutting around without worry... .

I am fabulous.

hello, blondie!

picture courtesy of RoundTaiwanRound

Then we spent most of our day at Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village (FACV). The bottom half of the park is dedicated to the normal fanfare rides of a theme park, though this place is no Disneyland. I guess hardcore theme park fan would be disappointed. There were a lot of One Piece related merchandise and rides, and their life-size figurines were everywhere.


I have to say though, my favourite part is the different displays of Taiwan Aboriginal tribe's houses, from Atayal to Tsao to Ami tribe. Their architecture and house structures are unique, traditional, and beautiful.

1/2heart tried his hands on archery... . (I sucked at it)

Not sure if the people performing in tribal attire there are actually of tribal descent/aboriginal, but this girl is beautiful.

We had lunch at one of the kiosk in the theme park, selling some traditional tribal dish - bamboo rice, edamame/bean in pods, sweet potato, and some steamed yam/taro mixed with mushroom in leaves. Although it looked interesting (cost TWD160), I could not say the same about the taste. Pretty ordinary.

After spending quite some time in FACV, we continued on a long drive - around 3.5 hours - to Alishan, where our next accommodation awaits.

B&B: Season Star
Room type: Moonlight Angel
Cost: TWD2890 (includes breakfast, afternoon tea, and wi-fi is available inside room)

It was already dark when we got here, so we could not see the small tea farm surrounding the accommodation building, but the B&B is charming and clean. Our room is also bright, simple, and clean, and when we walk out of the balcony, the stars are above us. Weather is great and there is not a single cloud obstructing us from viewing the stars.

The B&B host, Gordon (he speaks decent English, btw :)) recommended a local restaurant where we had our dinner - a local eatery specializing in tea infused chicken. It was the highlight dish of the night - crispy and fragrant. Apart from the chicken, we also ordered tofu with wasabi (very refreshing), and some vegetables consisting of snowpeas and mushrooms.

Total damage: TWD580

*also note, that most of the costs of meal I have posted are meal for 3 people, as we almost always eat with our guides, be it James or Grant. For me & 1/2heart, more people, the merrier, and more variety of food we could order, and they know what is good to order (or communicate with the restaurant owner to make sure we are fed yummy food). You could of course opt to not eat with your appointed guide when planning your budget and itinerary with RTR.

After dinner, we joined a tour - also recommended by Gordon - to view some fireflies. Grant joined us for the tour as hadn't seen winter fireflies before (though a few times for summer fireflies), and I am glad as his translation from the tour guide's lecture and trivia about the fireflies contributed so much to the experience.

The fireflies we viewed were of the winter variety, and are called errate/giant saw Snow Firefly. The name 'snow' as the fireflies look like falling snowflakes drifting slowly when they fly.
The winter fireflies live within the forest, unlike the summer variety that live amongst grass/bush, and only the males are able to fly and illuminate, so they are quite sporadic. We saw quite a few fireflies, but scattered throughout the forest path. If you wish to view fireflies flocking together blinking their bright butts in large numbers, then you should go in summer to view them. Grant and the tour guide showed me some pictures of the summer fireflies, and it made me want to go back to Taiwan in summer just to see them.

No comments:

Post a Comment