what better way to start the day with an early morning leisure cruise around the picturesque sun moon lake?
some of the nearby buildings our tourguide mentioned were (i think) –
- the ci en pagoda (慈恩塔) that chiang kai shek (蔣介石) built to commemorate his mother
- wenwu temple (文武廟) dedicated to confucius (孔子) and guan gong (關公)
- xuanzang temple (玄奘寺) that houses the relics (舍利子) of xuanzang (玄奘), better known as tang sanzang (唐三藏)
there is a tiny island in the middle of sun moon lake which belongs to the shao tribe and isn’t open to public.
according to legend, the shao tribe once lived on alishan together with another tribe. one day while hunting, one of them spotted a white deer and gave chase. the deer jumped into the lake and disappeared. having discovered the sun moon lake area, the entire shao tribe moved over.
the tiny island is known as lalu island, where priestesses of the shao tribe performs annual rites and rituals. 2 apparently important totems on this island are the white marble deer and wooden/stone (whichever) owl.
zoom fail. lol. interesting right? i wish we had more of such stuff instead of wasting time at 101 and miramar. -_-
on the way down, we stopped at this ‘shop’ selling local products like lingzhi, royal jelly, honey, and the rare 鹿胎 (deer fetus). not cheap. 😦 shan’t elaborate on what SSD bought, even though he used up majority of our available cash. i bought a 6-month supply of royal jelly! please tell me i’m prettier the next time you see me so i can feel the heartpain is worth it. wanted to buy lingzhi for my grandparents but so expensive! and we don’t have enough cash left. probably gonna splurge on my next trip there. lol.
day 7’s lunch deserves a little more mention because the restaurant’s decoration is special! food first! i think from this trip, we all can see that i enjoy (and is probably better at) taking food photos much more than other kinds. 😀 this muah chee has a subtle milky taste. and the sweet potato rice. yummy!
a very ‘artistic’ shot taken by our tourguide. lol photographer phail.
the owner is an artist so the interior and exterior are tastefully done. the art pieces around are also available for sale.
on our way to the next destination, we stopped by the martyrs’ shrine (忠烈祠) to see the changing of guards. nothing fantastic imho; they probably simplified it as it was about to rain.
the next destination was pretty special. we were to attend a ‘talk’ by one of the lecturers/masters from the national palace museum. he’s supposedly a very famous master (on tv) but i totally have no idea who he is. oops! anyway, he mainly spoke to us about the pixiu (貔貅). it’s used in the olden days by royals for protection, health and wealth (or something like that). he said the common misconception people have is that you need a pair for it to work. on the contrary, pixius used for good are always male. the females ones are mainly used to guard royal tombs (not good).
his students then filed in and they helped us to 算命 just by our names and birthdates. i never used to believe in such stuff but she was amazingly accurate. the attributes she said of me were those that i’ve learnt about myself over the years. i’m supposedly lacking water so a black pixiu will be able to help me. super tempted to buy! but mad expensive. and not enough cash. *sad face*
gotta make do with a photograph of my pixiu. in which the photographer MAD FAIL! >_<
dinner was at ding tai fung (鼎泰豐) headquarters. and what’s DTF without xiao long baos (小籠包)? so yes, i ate pork again. piled lots and lots of ginger and vinegar on it to mask the pork smell. ewwww~ 😐 the 酸辣 soup was nice, the rest normal. we only had a plate of veggies, a bowl of fried rice, and a few other dumplings. is this even dinner? -_-
back to hotel and out we went. took the 捷運 again, this time to wufenpu (五分埔), a garment wholesale area. it’s like bugis street, just a whole lot bigger and more confusing. spent about an hour here. majority of the clothes are weird, but cheap! i managed to get 6 pieces, the cheapest of them only NT100 (~SGD4.35)!! i should probably go back during spring or summer. i have no use for winterwear. -_-
supper was at the nearby raohe street night market (饒河夜市). this was much easier to walk than shilin cos it’s basically just one street; go in on one side, u-turn and come out the other. confirm can see all the shops. lol.
my last fried 臭豆腐 of the trip. i’m missing it so so much now! also got another 綜合煎 and tried the famous ‘pepper biscuit’ (胡椒餅). i had no idea the ‘biscuit’ was pork-filled and since SSD was full (small-eater or not you tell me!?), i had to eat it. darn disgusting lor. so i, erm, didn’t finish it. :X
my loots! the mat is also NT100! and the box of masks from mybeautydiary. should have bought more cos they’re the thin transparent ones i like.
last night in taiwan!