Yesterday, New Years Eve day, I went to the largest natural lake in Taiwan called Sun Moon Lake. The previous teachers were still here and one of the mom's came out to travel with her daughter. So me, another new teacher, one of the old teachers, her mom, and one of the student's dad went to the lake. The dad, George, took us all over the lake. We took a boat tour, which we understand nothing that was said, obviously since it was in Mandarin. But it was so beautiful. Unfortunately, it was rainy and very foggy but it was still amazing. Taiwan has some great landscaping, once out of the cities.
In the center of the lake there is an island, called Lalu. It is a sacred island that people can on go on. There are floating gardens and walkways around the island for tourists.
There is something cool and interesting about the white deer, but I don't remember what it is. I'll find out eventually.
Mountains from the boat.
I absolutely loved the water. It was a gorgeous color, sort of an aqua. Not the green and brown that you see in the states.
Next we went up to a Buddhist temple that was located along the side of the lake. Above it was one of the tallest Pagoda's. The Pagoda, temple, island and the most expensive hotel in Taiwan ($600 USD a night) are all in a straight line. Inside the temple they have a way to tell your fortune. There are a bunch of sticks in a container and you pick them all up and shake them and drop them. Which ever one is the highest, you take it and that is your fortune. Each stick has characters on it and you find the fortune to match the characters. I have the paper, I just have no clue what it says!
At one of the Aboriginal towns along the river there was a ton of shopping and souvenir places. This is the main thing that stuck out to me.
We hiked up to the Pagoda, well really we just walked stairs but that is hiking in Taiwan. Once we got to the top, since it was so foggy, and the ground consisted of small white pebbles it looked like snow.
Unfortunately we could not go up into the Pagoda because of the earthquake in November, but it was still beautiful.
I am not sure the real purpose of this big drum, but it is fun to jump up and bang on it!