After a couple failed attempts to drive our scooters to Sun Moon Lake, last weekend, we finally made it!
Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan, and it's only about an hour and a half from Taichung by car. We were taking our scooters though, which meant the highway was off limits.
If you know where you're going, it takes about 2 hours to get there by scooter; if you don't know where you're going, it takes three attempts and a total of 6 hours to find it! (what's that saying... life's a journey, not a destination)
The drive up to the lake goes through some beautiful mountain roads with great views (that I was hardly able to capture with my standard digital camera)
The mountain vistas were as plentiful as they were beautiful and after spending so much time driving along this quiet mountain road, I began to get images in my head of an untouched mountain lake - as quiet and as peaceful as our drive had been.
I pictured something like a larger version of Bear Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park:
But my illusions were shattered when we arrived at Sun Moon Lake and the first thing we saw, after the gas station, was this:
I had no idea that there is actually a full blown town up there!
Despite the people and the development, Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful mountain lake / recreation area with tons of things to do and see - temples, memorials, walking paths - certainly enough to fill a full day or two with activities and sight-seeing. Here are some pictures of the lake:
After walking around for a bit we stumbled upon a HUGE temple and took some time to look around.
We spent about a half hour at the temple when it began to rain... so after 2 hours of driving to the lake and 2 hours of checking the place out... we began our journey back home.
Fortunately, other than a light sprinkle at the beginning of our ride, we had great weather the entire trip and were driving home just as the sun was setting over the mountains, which gave us some great views.
We'll definitely have to take another trip out there when we have some more time to check things out - but next time, I think we'll take the bus!