Discovering Formosa : Day 3 – Nantou and Kaohsiung

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We were going further down south today, passing by the mountainous Nantou county on the way to Taiwan’s second largest city, Kaohsiung. Our first stop was the Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village, one of the many theme parks that are strewn around the country. This would not be a stop if I had a say in the itenerary but most 8 Day tours around Taiwan seem to fit one of these amusement parks into their round the island tour. Maybe it was meant to appease any kids who were bored with night markets, temples and mountains, but the average age in our group bordered somewhere between mid-life crisis and retirement. We even had an over 80 Grandma who gamely walked around with the rest of us.

On the plus side, the park was set amidst wonderful natural setting with mountains on all sides. Once we were in the park, we started by watching aboriginal dance and songs at the Naruwan Theatre. The second half was free and easy, though we were not so keen on the rides there. We were rounded up again just before lunch. Our next destination was Sun Moon Lake which was not too far off.

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Scantily clad all-male aboriginal dance troupe

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The ladies’ turn

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The most photographed couple in aboriginal costumes … and all they wanted was to sell CDs

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Cable car ride at Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village

After eating at a restaurant near the lake, we were brought to Wen Wu temple, a huge temple complex overlooking Sun Moon Lake. As much as I appreciated the architecture of the place, being given over an hour to roam around the temple was just too much, and this is from one who takes a lot of pictures. I would be happier if we had spent the rest of our time cruising around the lake but I guess technically they did no wrong (in their brochure) – a ‘Visit’ to the lake does not equate to a ‘Cruise’ on it.

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Wen-Wu Temple

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Inside the complex

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From the top … in the distant is Sun Moon Lake

Our next stop was Kaohsiung. We were promised a boat ride on the Love River but a check at the river front revealed that there were no services that night due to a Dragon Boat competition the next day. I guess we were just not meant to be on the water today. We were already hungry by then, so we were off from the word go when we reached LiuHo night market. This was not a very big market but the crowd there was huge that night. We helped ourselves to a bowl of Dan Cai Mian, buns and some tropical fruits before calling it a night.

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Love River

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We had noodles from this stall in LiuHo night market

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The rich variety of Taiwan fruits
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