Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sun Moon Lake

My American grandparents visited Taiwan in the late 70’s, when my mom was a mission nurse in Chiayi. My grandmother fell in love with a lake high in the mountains called Sun Moon Lake. This morning we visited the clear blue waters of this mountain lake.

Sun Moon Lake is a man-made reservoir, a fact that is made apparent by its almost fluorescent blue color and pressure spout that sporadically shoots water several stories into the air. There are several Buddhist temples overlooking the lake, as well as more commercial establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. One of the most expensive hotels on Sun Moon Lake is the former retreat of Chiang Kai Shek. Almost all of the buildings around Sun Moon Lake have been or are being rebuilt since the earthquake in 1999.

One of our stops as we drove around the lake was a peacock pen. It started raining and all of the peacocks were shoed inside and we moved on. The rain quickly cleared up and we stopped at another spot for a snack of boiled eggs and a gelatin/tea/lemon drink.

I can see why my grandma liked this place so much. The mountains surrounding the lake make it feel like it is isolated from the rest of the world and the color of the water gives it a tropical vibe. Time seems to stand still at Sun Moon Lake.