Day 3: Taroko Gorge – He Huan Shan – Sun Moon Lake – Alishan

This year, Christmas day was pretty different. We got up really early and loaded up on the local breakfast before setting off for a really long drive which will cut across the country to bring us to our next destination in Alishan.

When we were researching on options, there was either the take-the-train-back-to-Taipei-and-then-to-Chia Yi option, or to drive across. We chose the more scenic option, and we were richly rewarded by the kind weather!

It was a day which had some fog. Just enough to make the views dreamy, and not too much to obscure the beauty.

This was what we saw at a restroom stop:

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Next along the way, we came across a reportedly 3,000-year old ancient tree!

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Along the highway en-route to He Huan Shan, we were attracted by the moving clouds and stopped by the road to take this in:

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Words do fail us. We just kept saying WOW, over and over again. It is almost like a surreal glimpse of heaven on earth.

We could not resist again so here we go:

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IMG_7157We were transformed into kungfu road warriors.

As Rihang drove us further up into the mountains, we emerged from the sea of clouds and were greeted by a totally unencumbered blue sky on top of He Huan Mountains:

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Like a postcard! From way up at altitude 3,000m…

The wind was howling and we tried to do a short ascent:

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Sitting up there among the rocks, I watched the cars and wished I can continue to always be surrounded by such beauty! But too bad, we live in Singapore where there are few nature spots and no mountains nor four seasons.

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As we moved on, we were greeted by yet another random view along the highway which was just spectacular:

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My, my, my. Soon it was lunch and we were brought to a local eatery where we overlooked tea plantations and ate chicken roasted by lychee wood. Absolutely delightful:

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We gobbled up the food and local organic vegetables which taste totally different and fresh from our usual vegetables and enjoyed the cartoon-ish look of the tea rows:

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We continued the drive and we passed by Sun Moon Lake on the way to Alishan area. Maybe it was largely because the weather had turned foggy; we didn’t find the place as destination-worthy as the other sights that we took in during the trip. It was a large circular lake and I am sure it is very beautiful on a good day. But not for us on this trip!

Towards the end, all we could see was fog and we were very grateful to Rihang for doing this dangerous drive up the mountains where we could not see a metre ahead even with strong fog lights!

We finally arrived at our destination, which was a very quaint B&B called “Walk Cloud B&B” or 漫步云端民宿. It is a literal translation from its poetic Chinese name and we absolutely fell in love with this place. We entered our wood cabin and it had a surprising apt Christmasy feeling to end our Christmas day on the roads.

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Whee!!!

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