Monday, November 9, 2015

Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) Special - Wenwu Temple - Shuiwatou Trail frogs - Peacock Garden - Shuishe Pier [Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Finale “The Master's Sun" - Nov. 8, 2015]


Digicam, check! Tripod, check! Backpack, check! My travel paraphernalia were complete once again for the final hurrah of my Sun Moon Lake Special. Biking the Moon lake was just half of the experience one can have in touring around the serene alpine lake for one day. While my Travel Buddy Kiran was exerting great effort in cycling the Sun lake, I boarded the Taiwan Tour Bus to explore the “sunny side” of the lake. I sat on the bus like a king and with every stop that it made on the Sun Lake an imaginary red carpet was rolling on itself upon my arrival. The Sun lake knew that The “Master of Travel” has arrived.










Two gigantic red stone lion dogs welcomed me at Wenwu Temple. They stand like mighty guardians of the temple built in the Northern Palace Style. Majestic and grand, the Wenwu Temple was rebuilt after a strong earthquake in 1999. But even before it was rebuilt, it had already undergone various improvements starting from its origins as two separate temples. When the Japanese built a dam in Sun Moon Lake for a hydroelectric project, the water in lake rose forcing the relocation of the temples. Time passed by and the two temples were merged as one. Even Chiang Kai-Shek visited the temple many times during its transformation. Today, I stood here in front of this temple where great ceremonies had been made to pleased the gods.








Dragons with water and gas coming out of their mouth amazed me at back of the temple. If this is how they welcome me then I accept it. A set of stairs leads to a great view of the lake. It's autumn but the weather was like summer making Sun Moon Lake shimmer under the sun. It’s an illusion that can only turn into reality in the Sun lake. Golden wind chimes hang along the temple premises turning the place into a golden palace. The wind chimes extends outside of the temple where the Steps of the Year is located. Each day of the Year is represented by one step. People wrote their wishes on the chimes and hang it near the step corresponding to the day of their birth. 






golden pheasant


The famous Peacock Garden is very near to Wenwu Temple. Chiang-Kai Shek decided to have a fowl appreciation area to add another tourist attraction in Sun Moon Lake. The best time to visit the Peacock Garden is during spring and summer time where peacocks show off their beautiful feathers to attract partners during the mating season. I enjoyed looking at the birds especially the albino peacock and the golden pheasant. The white color of the albino peacock teased my imagination on how it will attract its mate despite of its white color while the golden pheasant looks like a legendary bird that can lay golden eggs. There is no entrance fee to enter the park and the place is accessible by public transportation through the Round-the-Lake Taiwan Tour Bus. 

Shuiwatou Trail






Various trails also surround the Sun lake and the Shuiwatou is one of them. It's a short trail but don't underestimate its beauty. Walk along its wooden path and discover on its end a set of stone frogs sitting on top of one another. They rise and disappear in Sun Moon Lake telling the visitors of the current sea level height of the lake. Due to the El Nino phenomenon, smaller frogs were already above the surface of Sun Moon Lake. If they were only real, they would have already jump in the water. I felt pity for them so I made a wish before I left the trail. I wished that a fairy arrives at Shuiwatou Trail and cast a magical spell upon them. They would turn into real frogs to swim in the lake at night but in the day they would return as stone sculptures to perform their duties as guardians of the Sun lake. 



I returned to Shuishe Pier to enjoy the last moments of my Sun Moon Lake Special. As I walked around I noticed metal decorations in the shape of a circular sun and crescent moon. Images formed again in my mind and I can't stop myself from thinking that the sun and moon are really a married couple. They are separated in space but connected by time and the love they had for each other formed the Sun Moon Lake. Nah! My imagination is really strong!



I boarded Bus 1833 at Shuishe Pier to reach Taipei and I felt sadness upon my arrival at the city. Sun Moon Lake was gone and I’m here again in a bustling city with the chilling winter wind blowing on my face. Nevertheless, I made great stories on my 3-day travel adventure in Nantou: “Journey to the Lake”, “The Invisible Line That the Dragon Wrote”, “Dark Knight”, “Rope, Rope and Away”, “Food from the Thao”, “Hello Jiji, Goodbye Tripod”, “Ride Your Life” and “The Master's Sun”. Not only the whole world will know but the universe as well that the moon embraces the sun with my stories. They are immortal adventures and they all happened in a place where I saw the “Moon Embracing the Sun”.

THE COMPLETE SUN MOON LAKE SERIES:
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 1 "Journey to the Lake"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 2 "The Invisible Line That the Dragon Wrote"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 3 "Dark Knight" 
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 4 "Rope, Rope and Away"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 5 "Food from the Thao"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 6 "Hello Jiji, Goodbye Tripod"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 7 "Ride your life"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Finale "The Master's Sun"
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