Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Taiwan Travelogue: Beautiful Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)

There is simply no end to Taiwan's scenic wonders and wandering away from the capital Taipei, we entered Nantou County, to explore a beautiful area which have earned a spot on Taiwan's 13 Most Scenic Areas; the naturally breathtaking Sun Moon Lake.

Sun Moon Lake, located in Yuchi, Nantou County, is the only natural and largest lake in the whole of Taiwan, and her beauty, with its large coverage and clear blue sparkling waters (emerald green during certain times of the day) has attracted many from near and far to experience the wonders of the lake.
The surface area of the lake covers an approximate of 7.93 km2 (3.06 sq mi), depth of 27 meters (89 ft) and at 748 meters (2,454 ft) elevation above sea level.

The astounding beauty of the lake has drawn tourism to the area over the years, alongside wedding photography locations and destination for newly weds to spend their honeymoon here.
I have heard so much of this lake since my childhood that it was indeed an exhilarating moment to finally be here to experience the beauty for myself, and I was clearly not disappointed, as I am personally a lake lover myself.

The width of the lake spans over the entire area, known as the Sun Moon Lake area surrounding the Lalu island, which can be reached via a bus from either Taipei or Taichung after alighting from the HSR. For more instructions on how to get here, you can refer to this link.

There are many options getting around the island, and upon arrival you will find many locals approaching you offering you a ferry ride which would take you around the lake and the scenes around the island.

Like most of Taiwan, the Sun Moon Lake area houses the aboriginal tribe of Thao.
In fact, it was the Thaos, being the native residents on this area which led to the discovery of this spectacular lake.

As legend goes, the Thaos were on a chase after a peculiar white deer; which was rather unique for its species over the mountains. The deer, panting to escape through the mountainous area and the tribe, hot in pursuit eventually came to the area of the lake. The sight of the lake took the tribal natives by surprise and they were astonished with the find which was not just a gorgeous lake but one that they found was abundant with fish; a blessing to their daily income and living.
The white deer, in turn was being honored in gratitude for the find, and a statue was made of marble as a tribute to the deer on the Lalu Island, which is an island in the middle of the lake and is regarded as a sacred place to the tribe.

The uniqueness of the lake lies in the distinct characteristics and the shape of the lakes which were defined by its sun-like shape on the east side, with a circular shape while the west side is shaped in the crescent style of a moon which led to the birth of its name, Sun Moon Lake.
The Thao tribe were the ones who gave the name based on the shape of the lake, which was rather unique. It would probably be a little hard to make out the shape of the lake from the shore, unless you have a panoramic view or an aerial view to be precise.

However, the views of the lake can be observed from various spots, and from each angle, the lake just looked as stunning as ever. Of course, that would depend on one's preference; if you are a lake lover, then like me, you will think nothing of sitting by the lake for hours and just looking out in the distance to enjoy the view.

Views of the Sun Moon Lake from different spots and times of the day

Sun Moon lake in the evening at dusk

Sun Moon Lake is indeed a romantic place, with its natural and breathtaking peaceful environment and the views are best to be enjoyed with loved ones, hand in hand accompanied by the cool breeze and the sounds of laughter against the backdrop of the clear waters, mountains and the fading/emergence of the sun rays~

To be continued with more of Sun Moon Lake's attractions...

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