Monday, October 09, 2006

Camping at Sun Moon Lake

On Sunday we met up with relatives to camp at Sun Moon Lake. Camping in Taiwan is not like camping in the Old Country....

Our first stop was dropping my in-laws off at their swank little hotel, studded with antiques and graced with a verdant eating area.

The inside of the hotel.

At mid-morning the lake was alive with pleasure boaters and tourist craft.

Meanwhile my brother-in-law Peter treated us to a wonderful lunch at the hotel. Here are Maria, an exchange student staying with Peter's brother, Peter's brother, and my mother and father-in-law. Maria proved to be excellent company, lively, inquisitive, opinionated, and funny. She is going to a local high school through Rotary International, and will be in Taiwan for a year to polish her rapidly improving Chinese.

Salmon on prickly pears, with passion fruit juice. Each dish was fruit-themed. The durian packed with salted fish roe was a definite bust, but the rest of it was delicious.

Grandmother and grandson begin the difficult job of unpacking and setting up camp.

I won't say that the campground was crowded and cramped. Let's just say that when the guy three tents down rolled over at night, he kicked me in the side.

My son lays out the tent. Advertized for as big enough for eight, we decided they must have field tested it on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. We got three children and two adults in it, comfortably. Similarly, the 4 person tent slept 1 adult and two kids, and the "10 person meal" we had considered ordering was ample for two Americans, if one had his stomach stapled.

Another view of the campground. The location was excellent, a three minute walk from the hamlet of De Hwa.

I was taking a picture of these sailboats whizzing silently across the water, when sudden drama ensued.

This "rescue" craft approached them across the water.

Without warning it whipped around and rammed the sailboat! No clue why, I watched, stunned by such blatant stupidity.

Laughing, the boat driver zoomed away, leaving a dazed boater and limp sails from the prop wash. Note the ROC police insignia on the side there....

The other sailor stood up and started shouting indignantly at the "rescue" boat. He was greeted with a so-what? heh-heh-heh. I guess boat drivers will be boat drivers....

Meanwhile boats sped to and fro across the lake...

The crowding was not really a problem, but the campground's main drawback was the toilet, whose odor could blight grass. We caught whiffs of it all day long...

Maria read the newspaper and took notes. Scary.

Dan-dan at play.

Naturally I had to get some night is De Hwa village at night.

I returned to find the kids playing with sparklers.

Time for bed...

The next morning I bounced out of bed at six.

A pale moon looked down on Sun Moon Lake.

My son and I headed into De Hwa to look for newspapers while the campers began to stir from their tents.

My son on the wooden pathway into town.

Looking across the water at our campground.

Here a farmer harvests....what? Inquiring minds want to know what they grow here.

A houseboat.

De Hwa was still asleep. Here's the big hotel in town, the Zhe Yuan.

My father in law, out exercising on the balcony as we walked by, gave us a wave.

In town, nothing was open. No 7-11. No English newspaper. With no paper and no internet, my son and I were in serious withdrawal.

A breakfast place readies its Chinese and "Western" breakfast.

I know why the caged boar stinks.

Hibiscus for you, Dad.

I love the super macro.

Not many bugs stopped to pose for me, but I did catch this butterfly and ant exchanging greetings.

The kids play a complicated version of tag.

My niece, Hongyu.

Maria shoots back.

My wife looking pensive over early morning coffee.

Playing The Wind Blows. Maria, who is as polite and well-behaved a teenager as one could wish for, joined in to practice her Chinese.

A good time was had by all..... If you happen to find this campground, be sure to get a site FAR from the toilet, which has a good 25 meter range. The location next to De Hwa and across from the Youth Activity Center is quite convenient.


Anonymous said...

I camp at there when i was at your son age.

The Moon must Big and beautiful at night..... after drinking 2 much can saw 2 moon at the same time.

Anonymous said...

The farmer is harvesting "ginger flowers", nice smell plants. I've never saw a farm like this in Taiwan before! Amazing!

BTW, your photos are very interesting. It's a new experience to look at Taiwan from a western friend's eyes.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Oh my I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw Taiwan. It really is a Dream land! I really dont see what the whole fuss is about everything in america being made in taiwan, the place is beautiful and I love taiwan! I wish to be there right now!!!


Anonymous said...

I was just wondering if you knew about camping gear. Do they rent any at Sun moon lake. I just moved here recently and have none, but would really like to make it there to camp this weekend, even I though I know it is supposed to be busy?
Thanks for any help, great pictures.

Unknown said...

Is it possible to rent a tent at any campsite at sun moon lake?

Michael Turton said...

No idea, sorry.