Sun Moon Lake - Day 2

Trip Start Jan 18, 2013
Trip End Jan 27, 2013

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Flag of Taiwan  , Taiwan,
Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Having lost half a day getting to Sun Moon Lake yesterday and not being able to bike to the perimeter, today was going to be a very tight schedule. 

Using the bus schedules from the tourist office I had everything timed to the minute and hopefully I'd be able to pull it all off.

The first morning bus back around the lake was at 9.45. 
This would get me to the Wenwu Temple at 9.54. 
Then I had about twenty minutes to explore before getting back on the next bus at 10.21. 
This would get me to the bus terminal on the north side of the lake at 10.30
Now I had over an hour to explore the north side before the bus to Puli at 11.25
It would arrive at Puli at 12.00 in time to for me to take a cab to the Monastery for my 1pm reservation. 

So it was going to be a very tight schedule of running around.  


The hotel owners were very helpful even though they couldnt speak english. They made sure I knew where the bus stop was and what time it would arrive and let me leave my luggage with them while I went for one last look at the lake and some morning photos

The bus arrived at 9.45 and he charged me $30 TWD ($1) to Wenwu Temple. I'm not sure if he understood I was getting off or if he charged me the full fare back to the bus terminal 

Wenwu Temple was quite elaborate and grand when I arrived. I remember passing it yesterday on the bus and was hoping to come back and not miss such an interesting place like a Royal Palace


I had about 15-20 mins to explore and get back to the bus stop and was like I had a meter running. I had my luggage with me this time which made it more difficult as I had to strap my large bag to my shoulders making me quite hot climbing stairs in the morning heat. 


The temple was quite impressive and it would have been nice to explore if not so rushed and with a large bag strapped to my back. 

After coming in thru the giant main gate there was an outer temple which led to inner temples


Behind the main building there were staircases leading to a raised walkway at the rear. The staircase and walkway were decorated with many stone carvings showing many illustrations of different scenes.   


After climbing all the stairs with the bag strapped to my back the rear terrace was just a viewing platform from which to look over the temple complex and roofs. You could see distant views of Sun Moon Lake in the background. 


It was a rush clambering back down the stairs and taking some last shots as I had to head back out. 



Back at the bus stop I had a few minutes to spare as I waited for the 10.21 bus. I could see the sacred Lalu Island as well as the distant Cien Pagoda I had visited yesterday


Taking the bus back to the north side of the lake I reached the bus terminal at 10.30. Bus fare was $27 TWD (.90 cents) this time, which seemed a bit high since it cost $30 TWD to come 3/4 way to reach the temple and it had cost me $32 TWD yesterday to go all the way to the village on the south side.

I only had $22 TWD (.70 cents) in change and drivers do not give change back but the driver said it was ok so I just used all my remaining coins. 

Now I had until 11.25 to explore the north side before my bus to the next town Puli at 11.25. 


Longfeng Temple is about a km away from the bus terminal which wasnt too bad as I could just pull my bag on wheels and just walk fast. 

Again it was a stunning temple beautifully decorated




The entire outer courtyard had hanging red lanterns and made a good backdrop against the blue sky and lake. 

Inside the shrines were made from carved dark wood




I now had to rush a km back to the bus terminal and head around the base of the lake to find The Chapel of Christ. This had been built by the founder of Taiwan Chiang Kai-Shek for his private use. 

There was a long staircase to climb up so I left my bag partway up this time rather than hike all the way up and down. 


The interior was a bit bland considering this was meant to be the Presidential Chapel but did have some nice views back of the lake. 


I then made it back to the bus terminal with time to spare for the 11.25 Puli bus so managed to pull off the olympic feat of lugging my baggage all around and visiting all the places I needed to in record time. 

Sun Moon Lake needs a full day at minimum to explore starting from the morning. I had only started in the afternoon yesterday. Alternately you should stay overnight and spend two days exploring.   



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