Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sun Moon Lake Boat Ride

Trip to Sun Mon Lake in 2012 is really a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. I get to see more of the lake via boat ride compared to my 2009 trip. The scenery of every corners of the lake varies and there is some spots hidden in the remote area and not so easily spotted if you din take the boat. 
Sun Moon Lake – Where the Sun meets the Moon on the Lake
Before I talk more on my boat ride experience, some background about why this place is one of the Taiwan famous tourist spot: 

Sun Moon Lake is also known as "Honeymoon Lake", "Lovers Lake" or "Heart of Taiwan". Taiwanese always says "One has not been to Taiwan, if one has not been to Sun Moon Lake". This lake got its name from the unique terrains that look like sun on one side and crescent moon on the other. Crowned as one of the Eight Wonders of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is also the most famous source of hydroelectric power; offering key tourist themes - “high mountain and lake”, “indigenous culture”, and ”nature ecology,” the Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area attracts more than six million visits each year.

There are several ways to tour around Sun Moon Lake:
1) Bus tour : Checkout here for more info about the bus schedules and price.
2) Cable cars: Checkout here for more info about the cable cars and price.
3) Bicycling: Checkout here for bike rental shop.
4) Taxi: Checkout here for taxi info. 
5) Boat: Checkout here for boat ride info and pricing, and also the remaining of my blog post for my boat ride experience.

There are 3 piers where you can take the boat ride from:
1. Shueishe Wharf (水社碼頭)
2. Itashao Wharf (伊達邵碼頭) (This is where I took my boat ride from, which is from the main Thao-tribe settlement)
3. Xuanguang Wharf (玄光碼頭)

Boats leave every 10 minutes from 9am to 5pm, and the whole trip tour takes around 1.5 hours. Tickets can be bought at wharfs or in your hotel. 

Opening Hours: 09:00~17:00
Entrance Fee: NTD100 (one way ticket), NTD300 (whole trip ticket)
Ita Thao Village pier – This is the main Thao-tribe settlement
Ita Thao Visitor Centre - you can purchase tickets here
Sun Moon Lake: Ita Thao Wharf
Our boat that day. Spot mummy and daddy? :-)
Daddy, Mummy and Jen in the boat deck now
The weather is freaking hot during my visit that time, so initially we go "jom" the places inside. However, sitting inside the boat deck..you can't enjoy much of the scenery outside and take nice shots.
So here we are..move to the outer back boat deck
Then Jen and myself went cam whoring at different areas in the boat..lolo
Jen and me cam whoring
The wind is so strong..I worried my hat blew off. Dun wear such hat ya when taking boat ride..
Some of the sights I captured during the boat ride:
Not sure what building is this..probably a hotel? I guess this hotel should be freaking expensive since you can have the best view of the Sun Moon Lake
Aboriginal ways of fishing - lights are used to attract the fish and then raise the net to catch the fish
Spot Cien Pagoda up the hill?
One interesting sights during the boat ride is the tiny island called Lalu Island, which Sun Moon Lake surrounds it. I think you can't have any closer view of this island except via boat tour.
Lalu Island of Sun Moon Lake
This lake was damaged by the 921 earthquake. After the earthquake, the islet did not allowed people except Thao tribe to walk on it. 

A short video of Lalu Island which I have captured
  video

Lastly, checkout this video by Marc Edwards about Alishan, Sun Moon Lake and Tsou Tribe:



How to get to Sun Moon Lake from Taipei? 
The information below is extracted from asia-travelguide website:
Estimate travel time: 2-4 hours
1) Train from Taipei to Taichung, Transfer Sun Moon Lake
  • Take the HSR Train from Taipei Main Station. 
  • Buy the tickets to Taichung Station - The journey is 45 minutes via Express Service at 1000NT (Business Class) or 700NT for (Economy Class).(Business Class Includes Free Coffee and Peanuts, spacious leg room and dim lights) 
  • Transfer Taxi from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake 40 minutes – 1 hour taxi ride for 1500NT 
  • Or Transfer Bus from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake 120 minutes bus ride for 200NT per person, one way
 2) Direct Bus from Taipei Main Train Station to Sun Moon Lake Visitor Center at 10am, 2pm and 3pm (timings subject to change). 4 hours bus ride at $460NT per person one way

To return back to Taipei, simply ask the hotel to call a taxi for you at a fixed rate to Taichung station. Or go to the Sun Moon Lake Visitor Center to take a transfer bus to Taichung station or direct bus to Taipei. 

After the boat ride, you can checkout my post here about my visit to Mao Wang Ye Residence if you alight at Ita Thao Village pier.

* And also, do check here for the summary of my whole 2012 Taiwan trip itinerary.

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