October 11, 1961 – Formosa

Grand Hotel, Formosa – Cloudy

     As tired as I was from the day before I still had to get up early this morning so we could take a plane from Taipei to Taichung at 8:30am before making our way to Sun Moon Lake. 

      After a light, quick breakfast we were shuttled off to the airport to start our trip.  The flight was a good one and it didn’t really last very long.  At the Taichung air park we were greeted by Sally, our new guide for the remainder of our time in Formosa, and she took to restaurant for lunch since it was time to eat. 

Street Scene in Taichung, Formosa

Sally and I at Lunch Stop on Way to Sun Moon Lake

      Once lunch was finished we boarded a bus and started our trip to Sun Moon Lake.  The drive was a long one but the scenery interesting.  It was somewhat different than what we’d seen before during our trip.  Along the way we stopped several times to take pictures and it made it nice.  We saw the majority of the natives lived in homes made of straw mats with thin tile roofs that didn’t look very sturdy.  I took several pictures of a small boy leading a huge water buffalo and I wondered what would happen if the buffalo decided to run away.  The water buffalo must have been fairly docile or how could such a small boy control him.  We also saw several rice fields with men working in them and we stopped once to watch them do their harvest.  Sally told us they grow three crops of rice each year and then between rice crops they raise potatoes. 

Boy with Water Buffalo

Another Picture of Boy with Water Buffalo

View of Rice Field Seen on Trip

Rice Field and Workers

Another View of Rice Field Workers

     My mouth dropped open when we arrived at Sun Moon Lake because it was so beautiful.  The cool mountain resort appeared to be so restful and appealing and I was excited to see that the Evergreen Hotel sat right on the lake.  The hotel turned out to be the old presidential palace for Chiang Kai Chek and was truly fabulous.    Sally told us that the president still retained one wing of the hotel for himself.  After we checked in we went to our room to freshen up we found our room overlooked the lake and I was very pleased. 

Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake as Seen from Evergreen Hotel

Chiang Kai Cheks Summer Home at Sun Moon Lake

      We only had a short time to settle into our rooms before we left again on another tour to see a nearby aborigine village.  While it was interesting to see the people and the terrain, I felt like it had been staged for our benefit and it wasn’t the kind of thing I really wanted to see.  Others in our group felt the same way so our visit to the village didn’t last very long. 

Aborigine Village

Children at Aborigine Village

Another View of Children at Aborigine Village

Dancing Girls at Aborigine Village

Another View of Dancing Girls at Aborigine Village

One More View of Dancing Girls at Aborigine Village

     Once we returned to our hotel, Edith and I took a walk on the lake while it was still daylight so we could enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.  There were places for people to sit and enjoy the view of the lake and I liked that.  It felt good to sit quietly for awhile and enjoy the surroundings before it was time to eat dinner.

      At dinner we congregated in the dining room and I anticipated that it would be good food since everything at the hotel had been good so far.  Our meal turned out to be simple fair but very tasty.  After dinner, Edith and I went back down to the lake to sit for while longer on one of the seats.  I felt very fortunate that I was visiting this place at a time when I needed to regenerate myself.

      Once we were back in our room I took a bath and settled onto my bed.  I found that the bed was far more comfortable than the last hotel.

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