Monday, July 9, 2018

[Taiwan] Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 Sights and Eats Part 1

First maiden visit to Sun Moon Lake and it was a great decision to get the hotel with lakeview.  The area of our stay was at Ita Thao (伊達邵). Stayed for one night at Hu Yue Lakeview B&B and the per night cost was about $172 per room. The size of the room was huge and pretty comfortable.

view from room
living room

The room came with complimentary boat ride (2 tickets) as well as breakfast for the next morning. As our time at Sun Moon Lake was rather limited, we decided on the last boat ride (no-disembarkation round trip) from Ita Tao pier to Shuishe and back.

boat tickets
We went down to Ita Thao pier (伊達邵碼頭) soon after check-in, in order to catch the boat. But since the ticket did not indicate the boat company nor number, we were unsure of which boat was ours. Am guessing that it is any boat as long as the captain is around. Just ask around. The captain asked if we would like to get any of those famed grandma's tea eggs and he could order it ahead of time so that we could get some of those without having to leave the boat. Didn't take up his offer as we were too stuffed and wanted to save stomach space for dinner.

boats awaiting
captain's view
reaching the end of half the trip (this was the place for grandma's tea leaves egg)

The boat puttered along the lake gently and the captain would introduce some nuggets of information in Mandarin. He would also point out some of the spots along the way but most of the time, I couldn't catch where he was indicating to.

The boat stops for about 5 minutes while the rest of the passengers who would like to roam the other side, were free to disembark. For us who would like to return to Ita Thao pier, need to take the same boat back as this was the last ride for the day.

captain having his smoke break
sun is setting, time to head back
lighthouse with 3 lights
The round trip boat ride was done within 45 minutes. We were in time for some snacks before dinner!

to measure the lake water level
panoramic view of Ita Thao Pier
have you heard about the legend of the white deer?

We scouted around the area near our B&B to see what we could find. Most eateries were not open and the area has few visitors during our time of visit.

alley near our hotel
snack time!

We spotted a shop selling xiao long bao (小笼包) and decided to give it a try. Friends ordered a lu rou fan (卤肉贩) and chilled bamboo shoots too. It was the season for bamboo shoots during the May period.

boiled and chilled bamboo shoots
It was novel, eating the boiled chilled bamboo shoots. The shopkeeper showed us how to peel off the outer layers and just eat the inner shoots with mayonaise. Who would've thought simple chilled bamboo shoots matched so well with mayo? Yums!

braised pork rice 卤肉贩
pork dumplings 小笼包
sour spicy soup with dumplings 酸辣汤

The xiao long bao was nice and served piping hot. The sour spicy soup wasn't really spicy but it has the right tanginess. The shopkeeper advised us to add a tiny bit of the chili oil on the table to lift up the flavours. We did and it was like super hot! Just one tiny bit will have your tongue burning but it was a good burn. Goes off after a short while.

Was really amazed by how we could do dinner after this snack. There were 5 of us and we ordered enough for at least 3 pax full meal. That meant, our stomach was supposed to be half-full.

Dinner venue was at Lu Si An 鹿司岸餐坊 which one had to make reservation first. We didn't pre-reserve but we did drop by to inform the restaurant staff. She suggested we come early for dinner as the other slots are all reserved.


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