Sunday, 27 May 2007

26th May – Sun Moon Lake

Managed to get the right train this time and got chatting to a student that was on an exchange program from Canada. Her parents were originally from Hong Kong and she had been here for a year. It was interesting as she told us about many cultural differences she had come across and what her life was like here.
We arrived in Taichung at lunch time so before racing for the bus to the lake we grabbed a MacDonald’s which was the quickest we could see near the station. We managed to find the most rickety bus for the hour and forty minute ride to Shuishe Village on the lakeside where we were going to stay. Fortunately we all had our iPods to drown out the lovely? music and rattles on the bus. When we arrived it was my turn to go hotel hunting, so with guidebook in hand off I went to look for a bargain. Before I had gotten to my first place a little old lady with very bad false teeth dragged me inside her hotel and asked if I needed a room. At least that’s what I think she said as it was all in Chinese! There was a younger woman inside though who spoke some English and showed me to one of the nicest rooms we’ve had so far. It was more like a suite with the first room having a double and a single bed and the second room with a double bed, TV in each room and a bathroom between. All for the grand total of 2000 NT a night which is about £30!! But the best thing by far was when I asked her if she knew of a laundry where we could get some washing done, she took me up to the 4th floor and showed me a washing machine that she said I was free to use. Now when you have had a washing machine available to use whenever the mood takes you there is no way to appreciate how wonderful this was. To be able to do my own washing without having to think of weight and cost and whether and how it would come back was wonderful. I will never take having my own washing machine for granted again!! Actually there are quite a lot of thing we will not take for granted anymore.
After resting in our room for a bit we decided to explore a bit and get something to eat. It was quite a nice little village with a pedestrian only (supposedly) cobbled street. It is now quite a popular tourist spot for the Taiwanese people but is also home to the Thao aboriginal tribe. There wasn’t much in the way of choice in restaurants so we decided to be brave and have some local food. If we thought we were getting stared at before it was nothing to when we walked into the restaurant. Definitely no chicken fried rice on the menu here!! In fact when we started to look at the menu we didn’t know whether to laugh or be shocked. We could have eaten a whole zoo. The heading at the top of the menu page was ‘edible wildlife’!! I chose the mushroom soup and Nick went for the beef with the girls opting for some fried rice. I think the general consensus was disgusting! The soup was actually really nice but the beef was awful and the vegetable fried rice we asked for just had a few pieces of sweet corn thrown in and was horribly greasy. We eat what we could and made a quick getaway putting it all down to experience. and was horribly greasy. We eat what we could and made a quick getaway putting it all down to experience.

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