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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sun Moon Lake 日月潭, Taiwan's gem

And about how I proposed to my wife

Sun Moon Lake, 2011

The Sun Moon Lake (in Chinese 日月潭, pronounced as "Řì·üè·tán") is the second biggest lake in the country (after Tsengwen reservoir 曾文水庫). At the same time it's one of the most beautiful scenic spots of Taiwan, popular with local and foreign tourists. My wife (at that time still girlfriend) and I had the pleasure to visit it during our Central Taiwan trip. And that was also the place, where I proposed to her, so it bears a special meaning for us.

Our trip to Sun Moon Lake has begun on Sunday morning, when we took the bus from Shueili (we stayed overnight there) directly to the lake's resort area. It took us about 45min to reach there. Let me show you some of my photos:

The road to Sun Moon Lake from Shueili is very winding and steep.

This is the part full of hotels and shops. We were dropped off at the information center.

When we got all the info from the kind staff, we decided to walk to the lake.


We only walked around this small peninsula (show bigger map).

We didn't have a lot of time that day, because we were headed further to Puli, Nantou City and Taichung. We only walked around a very small area, but we still had fun. And it was so hot that day, I think it wouldn't be wise to attempt a long march around the lake. This is where we went:

The big parking lot is full of buses, that carried tourist from China to this famous lake.

Boats.

We walked on a narrow path along the shores of the lake and took lots of photos.

I liked the nearly emerald color of the lake.

We soon reached this spot, which has a very good overview of the lake.

The view on the small Lalu island and the famous Ci En Pagoda.

My cute wifey posing in front of the lake.

A lovely pavilion, one of the many in the area.

I loved the view. The Sun Moon Lake is definitely a place I will return to in the future.

We walked further and observed the area.

A posh yacht like many other in the area.

And that's a boat in old Chinese design. Not sure what to think about it.

And then we reached one of the spots with the best view: The Chiang Kai-shek pavilion.

We first enjoyed the beautiful view, the former president's favorite one.

And that was the time where I suddenly had the idea to propose to my wife (then girlfriend). I knew that our wedding day is very close and I knew that I need to formally propose, because Taiwanese girls are very romantic (and my wife is a "typical Taiwanese girl" in this regard). However, when we came to the pavilion, there were many people. A family was resting there and talking a lot. I tried to buy time and kept observing the lake and taking photos, but the family just wouldn't leave. So my girlfriend wanted to walk further, but I decided to pretend I was tired and that my legs hurt and asked her to stay here a little longer. She was ok with that and soon the family left. But we were alone only for a brief moment, because new people arrived and started to take photos. I was like "Damn", won't this place ever be empty? And after 2 minutes they finally left and we were alone. I took her by the hand and asked her to stand up and told her I have something important to say to her. I became a little nervous and started to shake, when I uttered how I loved her and how much she meant to me. I then went down on my knees and asked her, if she wants to marry me. She was totally surprised, but happy. Of course she said yes and I was released. We then sat down in the shadow of the pavilion and slowly people started to surround us. We were both shaking and smiling widely. My girlfriend was very happy and I was very released. It was truly a moment to remember. And although I'm not an admirer of Chiang Kai-shek, I can say that he now is somehow connected with our love story. Whether that's a good or bad thing, future will tell. Nevertheless, it will be remembered as the place, where I made history.

The Chiang Kai-shek Pavilion, when we left it.

We soon arrived back at the commercial center of the Sun Moon Lake.

And what a delight it was to take photo of tourists from China walking under the ROC flag. I'd give a fortune to find out what was on their minds in that very moment.

Soon after we returned to the bus station and headed up to Puli. And that shall be a story for another post. We had a great meal there and the town had a certain indefinable charm.

Nantou County Map
Click on the map for Google Map.

The Sun Moon Lake marked the first half of our Central Taiwan adventure. Later that day we went to Puli and further to Caotun and Nantou City and then in the evening to Taichung, to visit the famous Fengjia Night Market, which turned out to be a disaster. All that in my following posts on my second blog. Stay tuned.

If you're visiting Taiwan, don't skip the Sun Moon Lake, it's truly a gem. If you like nature, you will truly love the area. And there's so much to explore, you will need few days to see every beautiful spot there. I'm definitely planning to return in the future. Hope to see you there, too!

Jiji :Before [Central Taiwan 2011] Next: Puli>>

22 COMMENTS:

Nice pictures and nice story! It is such a beautiful place... I have been there twice, one day it was cast, misty and grey, and the other day it was blue skies and sunny and clear. I really loved the area.

What a nice story, and it looks like it was a beautiful setting for your proposal. I am glad you were able to find a few moments of privacy. Do you ever find it bothers you to be constantly surrounded by people? I love Asia, but don't think I could live there for this very reason. It is almost impossible to be by oneself. Thanks for sharing the story and the pictures!

@sinalunya: It's truly beautiful. Glad you had the chance to visit :)

@Kristie: Well, my small apartment is my hideout, where I can take a breather from all the hustle and bustle of the big city. Luckily we're on one of the upper floors and have a pretty decent view. That makes me feel good. But you make a good point. There are times, where I miss our house surrounded by forest in Slovenia.

Oh, I forgot to post a link to my pics, in case you'd like to check - http://www.flickr.com/photos/lluissala/4024672221/in/set-72157622236480113/

@sinalunya: Thanks for sharing. Your photos are beautiful.

Awww... Cute story. And the place is very pretty!!!

... I am crying now... the proposal moved meeeeeeeee!!!! HOW ROMANTIC!!! Well done! Lucky girl, she is, and lucky man you are!

taiwanese girls are very romantic?!!! hahaha so do malaysia girls!!! hahaha i gotta think a good one then!! lol

what a fun trip through lovely land. Your wife? you are lucky!



Warm Aloha from Waikiki


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@Daisy: Thank you :))

@Fufu: Oh, you know the world, you can pick a fantastic place :)

@Cloudia: Yes, my wife. Thank you. :)

Nino, you almost got me shaking here too (at the part of when you proposed)! It's wonderful that you revisited the place of memories with your girlfriend-wife and did a proper proposal, that's the way to go ;)

Don't worry, I usually only lock myself inside a day or two before an exam hehe :)

Nice story and a great place to propose - very impressive to do it on the spur of the moment, did you have a ring?

@Karen: Thank you, Karen. Happy to give a good impression to you. :)

@David: Nope, I didn't have the ring. It's a long story with rings. Let's just say we don't place so much importance in them :)

would love to hear the story from ye, personally, but we're both freakingly busy booo :(

so-romantikus, bro!!

What a beautiful place to propose to Lily!!! Great story too... sounds very similar to how my fiance proposed to me last September. He wanted to propose by this bridge but there were people who were just standing there and looking around... so we kept walking further and i kept asking if we're going home now b/c my legs were tired but in hindsight, i could tell he was trying to buy time and find an alternate spot to propose. haha! Oh and i found the pic on Facebook so here is my official congratulations... CONGRATULATIONS!!

Wow so romantically on your knees inside the Chiang Kai-shek pavilion which would be an unforgettable moment for both to cherish.

Great visuals to go with the story. Congratulations on your marriage, that's wonderful news...I've missed out on that little gem of knowledge.

The traditional Chinese house design boat is a curiosity, I agree.

Déjà vu? Thought I have seen this post or rather pix of you wearing a Jap T posing like Monkey God. Love SML do they still sell sugar cane in any of the stalls there?

@Ejann: Yeah, we're busy! I miss you~~

@Kym: Wow, your story is also very cute :) Happy for you, too.

@ZACL: Thank you :)

@Bananaz: Yes, still have sugar cane :) The lake is really beautiful.

wow!! the pictures are so beautiful :)

@Mystytheblu: Thank you.

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