My day 4 in Taiwan, for my earlier postings, check out Taiwan . Got up early to catch the High Speed Rail (HSR) at Taipei Rail Station to Taichung. The journey from Taipei to Taichung (Taiwan Central) took less than an hour. Took a taxi to Sun Moon Lake – The Lalu, the hotel I put up at for two nights.
The taxi driver told me about the earthquake that happened in 1999 and the destruction it caused. Not only did it destroyed the buildings but also sliced the mountains. Initially I thought the slicing was man-made. (Check out the photo below.) Damage caused by the earthquake included 2,415 deaths, 29 missing, 11,305 severely wounded, with 51,711 buildings completely destroyed and 53,768 buildings severely damaged. Most of the buildings including The Lalu are newly built after the earthquake.
日月潭涵碧楼 The Lalu
Checked in at 日月潭涵碧楼 The Lalu, a beautiful hotel with an amazing view of the Sun Moon Lake. This hotel was highly recommended by my ex-colleague, rates per night stay is high but I decided to pamper myself since I saved on hotel stay in Taipei using my SPG points and my air ticket using my KrisFlyer miles. No regrets on the splurge, it was worth it.
The Lalu, designed by the award-winning Australia architect Kerry Hill, is a masterclass in Zen-inspired minimalism, giving views of the lake from every corner of its three wings. I stayed in a one-bedroom suite that comes with a big balcony and a separate living area.
Brief on 日月潭 Sun Moon Lake
In ancient times, the area surrounding Sun Moon Lake was known as “Shuishalian”, meaning “where water and sand meet”. Located near the town of Yuchi, at the foot of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range, Sun Moon Lake is centred between the island’s overlapping high mountains to the east and its plains to the west. Stands at an elevation of 748 meters, this lake is famous for its clear, sparkling blue water set against a picturesque mountain backdrop. This is the largest lake in Taiwan. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name.
The small island you find in the pictures below is the Lalu Island 拉魯島 surrounded by Sun Moon Lake.
After checking in, I took the ferry to tour the lake and different parts of town. Had beef noodle for lunch before I continued with the tour.
玄光寺 Syuanguang Temple
I stopped by at Syuanguang Temple that was built in 1955 on the shore, at the dividing line between Sun Lake and Moon Lake, to honour the Buddhist monk Syuan Zang. This is the monk who made great contributions to the propagation of Buddhism in China by traveling to India and bringing back the Buddhist scripture. The temple was originally constructed to house a relic of Syuan Zang that was brought from Japan. The relic was moved to Syuan Zang Temple after it was built in 1965.
Then stopped for tea at a lovely cafe before heading back.
More pictures of the Sun Moon Lake taken from different viewpoint.
Thank you for stopping by