mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 3 (Part 2)

Continuing on from Part 2 of my Day 3 at Sun Moon Lake!

You can read all my previous posts on my Taiwan trip here:

After a satisfying lunch at the famous local restaurant, Sun Moon Lake Restaurant that was located next to Doris Home (see what we had for lunch HERE), we were finally off to get our first glimpse of Sun Moon Lake – literally.

The fastest way to Sun Moon Lake is to walk through this oTop souvenir shop a few shops down Sun Moon Lake Restaurant. Yes, a little and extremely useful tip that Greg mentioned in his overview when we first met earlier on that morning!

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The moment you step out of the oTop souvenir store, you’ll be greeted with the sight of the famed lake.

Sun Moon Lake

More shots taken at the pier while we were waiting for our ferry ride using our discounted tickets that we bought from Doris Home earlier on. Mostly you see the ferries, boats and mountains – and a huge gaggle of tourists mainly from the Mainland.

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A singing performance put together by one of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan,the Puyuma, and I thought that the guy sings really well – should have donated but we didn’t as we thought there would be more of such performances.

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The famous Sun Moon Lake rock with the words 日月潭 inscripted onto it. Was a horror trying to get a photo of it so if you get your chance, QUICKLY SNAP photos before the horde of tourists descend on it and you can be expected to wait up to 10 minutes to get a clear shot.

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This was our ferry by the way. Basically we just showed our tickets to some of the friendly Taiwanese people and they told us to find the people wearing the blue shirts. After that, we were able to board the boat once it arrived. Fortunately, all the passengers on board this particular boat are local Taiwanese with us being the only exception, lol.

By the way if you were wondering, a round trip ticket will allow you unlimited access to the 3 piers at Sun Moon Lake – Shueishe, Itachao & Syuanguang. Do note that the ticket that we bought from Doris Home is a round trip, but some ferries sell a single journey ticket only and it allows the passenger to stop at ONLY one pier.

You can choose to sit indoors or outdoors but eh, I think it’s so much better to sit outside instead!

A couple of shots taken on board the ferry.

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The pier we just left was Shueishe Pier and our next stop was  Syuanguang pier. The initial plan was to buy the famous tea eggs from Ah Ma Mushroom Tea Eggs from Xuanzang Temple. However, as the temple was quite a distance from the pier and the next boat in 40 minutes, we decided to skip it due to the lack of time (and luckily we did too!).

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The cute Taiwanese toddler next to us. Super chubby and drooled alot HAHAHA!

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More views of the lake on the boat ride. Nothing much really, just loads of mountains/hills, the lake and the piers across it.

It took us about 15 minutes before we reached our next stop, Ita Thao. This makes it about 25 minutes since we started the boat ride from Shueishe Pier. And again, more shots taken around Ita Thao.

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It was about a 15 – 20 minutes walk from the pier to the ropeway station (cable car) and along the way, we decided to check out some of the food stalls at the nearby streets for some snacks.

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There are quite a variety of aboriginal fare sold at Ita Thao and other local food but since we had lunch already and were prepared to try out teddy bear set at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, we decided to just snap photos 😦

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I was super tempted by this super huge fried mushroom pau (80 TWD if I’m not wrong) that I spotted at one of the stalls. The crispy exterior was fantastic while the interior was stuffed full with cabbage and mushrooms. I should have said no to the chilli because it was a tad too spicy for me – but still, it was nice to try something really different.

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Hehe, was throwing the rubbish away when I spotted this adorable dustbin! Oh and owls hold a special meaning at Sun Moon Lake as there is this local folklore if I’m not wrong. So don’t be too surprised to find plenty of owl-themed souvenirs during your trip at Sun Moon Lake!(:

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Initially we thought that there was only 1 food street, but along the way, we spotted quite a few of them. However, not all the stores were open as it was a weekday – I would assume that more stores would be opened over the weekend, but this means it will be really crowded though ~_~

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We also passed by this resort-restaurant called Sun Moon Lake Full House Resort which is apparently quite famous considering that it was awarded one michelin star.

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To find our way to the ropeway station was pretty okay, we just followed the signs and followed them. Just a note again – please wear proper walking shoes because you will walk quite a distance to the ropeway and even in formosan aboriginal culture village.

You know that you’re reaching when you walk along this really long bridge/walkway – fortunately the weather was pretty cooling during February so we didn’t sweat too much. Can’t imagine if it was in summer *shudders*

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Finally, we made our way to the ropeway station. It was also here that we got a better glimpse of the cherry blossoms in Taiwan. They tend to bloom a little later at Taichung/SML/Cingjing (on our next stop the next day) and I was glad I had the opportunity to view them!

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To get to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village 九族文化村, you will have to take the ropeway aka cable car as seen here.

You can obtain cheaper tickets at Doris Home, but as mentioned previously, they were having this cherry blossom festival so we weren’t able to do so for this round.

We paid a discounted rate (due to the event) of 450 TWD per person for both the ropeway and entrance tickets to the Aboriginal Village which came with a few vouchers to use as seen below.

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If you were wondering, the distance between S.M.L Ropeway Station to F.A.C.V Ropeway Station is 1877.1M and the ride is about 15 ~ 20 minutes. Other elevation profile is as below:

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The queue seems long, but it moves really fast so don’t worry about it!(:

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Also, the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village tends to host different theme events every now and then. Previously it was a One Piece theme but while we were there – it was a teddy bear theme instead and this event will last till 20 April.

Even the ropeway isn’t spared from the teddy bear theme! Can you spot something inside the cable car below?

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Yes, there’s a gigantic teddy bear inside each cable car! Super cute right?! And thus begins our journey towards the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village with our new teddy friend 😀

Yes, it’s quite a distance to reach the end point – 20 minutes remember? XD Don’t worry though, you feel really safe and the cable car barely feels like it’s moving! 😀

The descent was scary though – looking at it that is. It’s like, you’re heading down but you don’t really feel it :S

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Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村)

By the time we reached the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, it was almost 4pm. So just for your information – plan ahead because it does take a couple of hours to reach the FACV from Shueishe Wharf and they close pretty early at 5pm.

  • Hours of operation :
  • Weekdays / 09:30-17:00  Holidays / 09:00- 17:30
    We are open every day of the year. Operation hours may be extended during cherry blossom festival in February.
  • Address: No. 45, Jintian Lane, Dalin Village, Yuchih Township, Nantou County 555, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
     ˇTEL: 049-2895361
     ˇFax: 049-2896233
     ˇWebsite: www.nine.com.tw

And yes, the operation hours were extended till 8pm during the cherry blossom festival so we were fortunate to get more time as compared to the usual(:

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If you were wondering about this attraction, here’s the basic guise:

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village presently comprises three main theme areas: Aboriginal Village Park; Amusement Isle; and European Garden. The entire Village covers 62 hectares (1,550 acres) and is chock full of sights and attractions to satisfy the whole family.

So essentially, it’s a theme park x cultural village park, pretty unique right? And yes, it’s a pretty big place and you can probably spend hours here, so do try to plan your time properly – remember, the usual closing time is at 5pm!

Click HERE to see the map in English

Image Credits: HERE

Mm, we didn’t have much time here so just had a quick tour around the place as we wanted to catch the show + the last train ride!

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Oh and I saw these sakura themed bento boxes sold here but due to time constraints and the fact that I wanted to eat my teddy bear special set – I gave it a miss ;/ I shouldn’t have done it actually..you’ll see why later – lol.

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As mentioned earlier, you’ll see plenty of owl related things all around Sun Moon Lake(:

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Heading down first, we checked out some parts of the The Indian Totem Poles area and had a bit of fun there, lol.

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We spotted this mountain deity (?) and prayed abit.

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This is the Naruwan Theatre where you can catch aborigines performances at certain timings.

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The Blowpipe Archery area was one area that the bf enjoyed the most, lol.

It’s essentially a blow pipe game and you stand to win these prizes. Of course, you have to pay but I can’t recall the exact price – 100 TWD for 5 or 10 shots I think.

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Oh good Lord, I sucked badly at it. HAHAHAHA!

The one on the left was my result after 10 failures while the bf actually managed to hit the target. Yes, definitely harder than it looks! He wanted to continue on playing but I pressed on so that we could cover more areas!

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Directly outside is this fertility area and you can see uh, this very prominent fertility statue on the right.

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Moving on to the Formosan Aborigines Square if I’m not wrong. You can pick up souvenirs and snacks here.

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The Ritual Theatre is here, where performances are also held at selected timings.

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From here, you will be able to check out the ‘villages’ of the major tribes in Taiwan, namely, The Paiwan, The Tao, The Ami, The Rukai, The Puyuma, The Bunun around this area. Further down is The Thao, The Tsou, The Atayal, The Seediq & The Saisiat. Would suggest you refer to the map HEREfor reference. By the way, you can also opt to take the ropeway/cable car at the entrance in the first place – but eh, walking is more fun!

We checked out the Paiwan, Tao & Rukai tribe area first and it was pretty interesting to see how these tribes used to live and their way of life. Lol, if you’re up for it, you can even deck yourself out in the different tribe’s aboriginal costume by renting it.

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While we were checking out the Pestle Music Theater, I spotted something that I was looking out for! While we were checking out the Pestle Music Theater, I spotted something that I was looking out for!

My delicious bamboo rice! Sorry, we were eating this on the way to the train station so didn’t take photos of the interior. But it was really good, though removing the rice from the bamboo was difficult!

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Passed by the stone carving forest and Cherry Blossom Pond. We were coming back later for the night show so it was okay.

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Skipped The Atayal / The Seediq (there’s an archery area there actually) / The Saisiat and headed through a ‘short cut’ towards the Caribbean Splash.

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Not sure where this is, but it’s a huge field of cherry blossom trees. Now if only we were here during their full bloom..it would have been gorgeous! And yeah, we followed the locals here instead of taking the normal road.

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We cut through to the Aladdin Pavilion which is like an indoor amusement park.

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Wanted to take the Royal Train here, but ack, we were running late for the other train ><

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This is the Amusement Isle area, plenty of rides nearby  such as Gold Mine Adventure, UFO, Mayan Adventure. Again, even though the rides operated later than usual, we didn’t take any of the rides ><

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It was indeed a long walk to get to the European Palace Garden but we were finally here!

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And here’s the train I was talking about – the Miniature Train at the Garden Station that goes 1 round around the garden! That particular train was the last one for the day and LUCKILY (again), we managed to hop on it just in time(:

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Just some photos taken on our miniature train ride.

Oh and the train brings you to the back of The Ritz Palace, a place you can’t reach by walking. Really beautiful!

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The special cherry blossom bear souvenir that I was tempted to get, but didn’t at the Garden Station after the ride.

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And we were whittling our time away at the Gardens, admiring the view while waiting for the show time to start.

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And lol, I changed camera after that to my trusty NEX-3N that I only use for night shots as my Note 3’s camera gets crappy at night!043-DSC01669046-DSC01672044-DSC01670047-DSC01673049-DSC01675050-DSC01676

Since we still had some time, I wanted to have the teddy bear set for dinner – however I had this sinking feeling that it was already closed. But still, off we went to locate it walking on the path of the cherry blossom trees.

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We had to ask the information counter and they directed us to the Mayan area.

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And then, I saw it at the Mayan Restaurant.

*sobs* and it was closed! I had already planned ahead what to eat in advance so I was pretty disappointed…

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Headed to the Teddy Bear Magic Forest nearby to check out the place, and it was just super cute!

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Me being mean to Mr Teddy cos I was mad that I didn’t get to eat my teddy bear set HAHAHA!

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And then, we chanced upon the teddy bear exhibition area! So just sharing photos of our quick tour around the place.

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Oh and lol, I realized that we went though the whole thing the wrong way round! We were supposed to enter from here -> teddy bear magic forest -> end up at the Mayan Restaurant for the teddy bear meal! x_x

Anyway, here’s the entrance – lol.

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By the time we were done, it was probably about 6.40pm or so? Yeah, it gets dark pretty easily in Taiwan during February! We took the movement of cherry blossom path to get back to the Cherry Blossom Pond and the path was absolutely gorgeous at night as the trees were lit up beautifully!

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Aboriginal Cherry Blossom Festival

The main reason why I wanted to visit the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village was because I saw this blog post on Mymodernmet.com and I was instantly captivated by the incredible sight.

Above photos credit: MyModernMet

Meanwhile, the photos taken below were taken by yours truly – the not so professional ones. HAHA! But it was a captivating sight and they had a light show every 15 minutes. Of course, I video-ed it down and uploaded it on Youtube for your viewing pleasure(:

Taiwan Aboriginal Cherry Blossom Festival Show

Shots taken during the show – beautiful yeah? So worth it to come here to view it(:

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And now, heading back to Shueishe Wharf. Usually the last bus leaves at 5.30pm but by then, it was 7pm or so already hence, Greg had told us to call / hail for a cab outside instead.

Couldn’t resist taking 1 more last snapshot of the The Ritz Palace beautifully lit up at night(: From there, we headed out to the entrance and easily got a cab ride as there were a couple of drivers outside waiting to pick up passengers. Took us about 10 minutes and we were back in front of Doris Home.

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Next up on our itinerary was to have dinner at one of the restaurants nearby. However, we decided to do some light souvenir shopping first as we were afraid that the stalls were closing soon because it was around 7.30pm already!

Went to the nearby souvenir store and spotted loads of cute souvenirs, HAHAHA!

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I wanted to get some assam red tea for my mom and we wandered into this tea shop here. The aunty was really, really nice to us so we sat down to sample the tea. Unbeknownst to us – time flew while we chatted away sharing our life stories and it was almost 8.30pm when we left. By the way, she’s also the best friend of the owner of Doris Home(:

Hehe, the teas usually go for 700 TWD a canister, but after that – she gave me a huge discount and I got it for only 300 TWD. Unfortunately, I didn’t get her name, her name card nor did I take a photo of her and her shop – I’m super bummed because I thought I did! ><

Still, if you’re ever at Sun Moon Lake, do pop by her store(: It’s opposite this Ru Yi Syuan Baker’s House – a few steps away from Doris Home, you can’t miss it. The tea is fantastic btw(:

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Lol, time flew by and most of the restaurants were closed by then. So we had to settle for a 7-11 (or Seven as the locals call it) dinner. Tempted by the oden, but I didn’t!

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We kept seeing this mascot called Star everywhere and this is a postcard. I should have collected it from all the different cities we were at ><~

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Dinner aka loot for the night!

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Going back to Doris Home, we spotted GuoJiang and Nunu 😀

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Oh and oops, we also bought this honey cake from the other 7-11. Devoured it in the room as we were pretty hungry!

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We headed down to the common dining room to have dinner since I needed hot water anyway for my instant noodles. The bf’s curry rice was already pre-microwaved by the 7-11 staff so it was all good.

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Dinner for the night – Taiwanese instant noodles, Instant curry rice, onigiri and this banana custard dessert, so sinfully GOOD! 😀

Heh, and we ended off the night with the plate of pineapple that was prepared by our minsu owners as mentioned earlier on HERE!

That’s it for Day 3 (Part 2), but stay tuned for Day 4 when we head to Cingjing for a night stay!(:

Don’t forget to stay tuned to my blog / like my blog’s Facebook page / follow me @mitsuekion Twitter & Instagram for the latest updates!

Till later,
♥ mitsueki

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14 thoughts on “mitsueki Travels | 9D8N Taiwan February 2014 – Day 3 (Part 2)

  1. So nice. U must have enjoyed tremendously for this Taiwan trip. Do u also know that Taiwan has a nickname? It is pronounced as ‘Fan Shu Dao’ in Chinese, meaning sweet potato island. Dun u think the shape of Taiwan looks like a sweet potato? There is also a Chinese website called ‘Fan Shu Wang Zhan’ meaning sweet potato website talking about stuffs in Taiwan.

    • Yes I did! Pity it’s taking forever to finish the travelogue as I have so many photos 😦

      Oh and I didn’t know that Taiwan looks like a sweet potato A HAHHAHA! Okay will check out the website, thanks 😀

  2. Hihi…i love reading ur blog on ur taiwan trips…very interesting n full of pictures to admire. Btw can u give me the taichung contact that u have? Is he good? Charges reasonable? Do u know if he can whatsapp? Thanks!

  3. Hi,
    can i check with you if the ferry you took from sun moon lake travel all the island as stated for the round trip? if do what is the total duration? is it 25mins as you mentioned above? i will be taking the nantou bus to FAVC but will be ferrying back with a round trip ticket. so i would appreciate if i know the duration of the ferry trip.

    • hi kristein, unfortunately i am not sure how long a round trip will take as we took a 1 way trip to reach the cable car area. that alone took us 25 minutes to reach our destination (with 1 stop in between) so i would say 1 – 1.5hours would be the safest bet?

  4. Hi Mitsueki, do you know what time the last bus from FAVC heading back to Shueishe Wharf? If it is too late, will that be easy to hail the cab from FAVC, how much roughly is the cost? Thanks.

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