Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan – Day 7(b)

President's fish
The most popular fish served at lakeside restaurants is the “President’s fish”. This fish, is actually the aruzay, was given the unofficial moniker after late President Chiang Kai-shek, who often vacationed in a private villa near the lake, praised its tender meat and fresh taste

bubble tea
The only bubble tea I had the chance to try and it was heavenly. It was ganmai green tea with pearls, the rice was added as a topping and really crunchy!

the island in the centre

This little island located in the middle of the lake is considered to be the home of the Thao ancestral spirits. Floating docks and fields surround the island in the shape of the Eight Diagrams.

Sun Moon Lake

round lake bus
The ferry does drop you off to the major spots but there are some places you need to go around by foot or the round lake bus. We took the lazy method.

wen wu temple

The architecture of the temple has the palace style of northern China. It is of a large and imposing structure, with three separate halls. On the second floor of the front hall is a shrine devoted to the First Ancestor Kaiji and the God of Literature; the central hall is devoted to Guan Gong, the God of War, and the warrior-god Yue Fei; the rear hall is dedicated to Confucius. This is the only Confucius Temple in Taiwan that keeps its central door open. Temple officials say that they do this because the temple is on the bank of Sun Moon Lake and has many tourists, so they keep the door open for the convenience of the visitors. The bronze statue of a seated Confucius makes this also the only Confucius temple in Taiwan that contains an image of the sage. In addition to Confucius, there are also statues of his disciples, Mencius and Zihsih. These three images originally came from Mainland China.

Sun Moon Lake

1 of the jokes I heard from the guides on the ferry was, many Taiwanese students came to pray to Confucius hoping that they will do well in their studies but their other subjects did improve except English. The reason is Confucius did not study English in the past so cannot help the students 😛

wen wu temple
The temple looks really new as they were just restored a few years ago due to the 921 earthquake.


The two vermillion stone lions on the two sides of the front plaza. They were donated by Wu Huo-shih, the late chairman of the Shin Kong Life Insurance Company, whose name meant “fire lion.”

Sun Moon Lake

Writing your wishes on the chimes.

different needs
I thought this photos looked interesting. Same spot, different desired. 1 desired to be blessed and the other desired to capture the beauty of the moment.

year stairs

Before the round-the-lake road was built, the only way to get to Wunwu Temple was to take a boat to the pier below the temple and climb up a very steep flight of steps. In early days, these steps were called the “stairway to Heaven.” Completion of the road made it far easier for travelers to reach the temple, and the steps below the temple were gradually forgotten.

The administration recently renovated the steps. There are now 366 steps covering the 150-meter distance, symbolizing the 366 days in a year (including an extra day in leap year). At the step that represents the first day of each month, there is now a platform where people can stop and rest. Information related to the 24 solar periods is also carved into the steps, so that visitors can learn something about China’s traditional folk culture as they slowly ascend the steps. The steps are now known as the “Year of Steps at Wunwu Temple”

There are also wind chimes along the steps, which are used by visitors to ask for blessings. Their function is somewhat like that of a wishing well. Visitors first go to Wunwu Temple and buy wind chimes for their specific animal of the Chinese zodiac, and then have the chimes passed through incense smoke by temple workers. Then the visitors write their names and the contents of their wishes, and go to the top of the Year of Steps to ring the chimes, and finally go down the steps and hang the chimes beside those steps that represent their birthdays, symbolizing the completion of their efforts.

Sun Moon Lake

1.5 hour hike
The start of the 1.5 hours hike back to the B&B as we walked down the entire flight of the 366 steps to realise there is no through road. So we had to walk back up 183 steps back up to the main road where we could hike our way back. Not easy for my mum. *cringe*

It was cooling and relaxing to take a stroll back

pier in twilight
Caught some twilight even though it was really cloudy

shopping street
Basically there is nothing much to do after dark at sun moon lake so the shopping street was filled with tourists…..and shops and restaurants are just filled up with people.

We had a quick and simple dinner before we adjourned back into the room for more Taiwanese soap dramas 😛


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