To watch the sunrise, we woke up early and left at about 5.30 am. It was dark and cold in the morning and we had to bring our hoods over our heads. As we walked along the Maolan trail, we met a few people along the way, usually elderly folks who are up early for their morning exercise too. There were 2 stray dogs who followed us most of the way up the mountain.
As we walked, we felt warmer and was able to enjoy the walk more. It was great to feel the gentle morning breeze brush against our faces. The sky started to brighten up slightly as we near our destination, a viewing gallery near the meteorological station. It was a little steep and challeging towards the top, but we made it! There was another group of people who just arrived too. They had trekked up from the other side of the mountain and mainly locals.
Enjoyed the sun slowly rising from one side. Had 2 packets of biscuits which we shared and munched on. The group left rather soon, possibly gotta wash up and rush to work, while we lingered on a little. As we left, we met a tour group arriving. The walk back was comparably more relaxing, downhill all the way.
Arriving at LV, we were ushered in for our breakfast. Was a little tired after the trekking, thus we decided to rest for a while instead of going for our boat trip right away. The timing of the boat trip is every hour, so no hurry. Chatted with Wayne's younger son, Ricky. A very intelligent and confident boy. A very responsible young host. =) Did not manage to take a photo with the entire family though...
After breakfast, went up to our rooms to rest for a while. Captured this shot of the outdoor area behind the house (from our room). That will be a great place to hangout in the summer. =)
First stop was Lalu Island, in the middle of SML A large part of it was destroyed during the 1999 earthquake and wooden platforms now surrounds the remaining of it. 5 minutes here was more than enough.
Second stop, there was a temple which we obviously did not visit. The attraction here for us was the "Ah-ma tea egg", highly-recommended by all the tour guides. Selling thousands of eggs a day is no exaggeration! However, after trying it, we do not find it that amazing. Eu Yan Sang's ones can better it anytime! =)
Third stop was at the Thao Village. Nothing much here as well, just many roadside stalls selling traditional items and food. Bought some tea bags and sweets here. Near the pier, there was a group of folks in traditional gear who will start singing whenever a boat of tourists arrives. Their main source of income: selling their albums.
At the second and third stop, tourists can choose to stay at the places as long as they wish, and the next boat will arrive every half an hour. We've got to recognise the boat of our operator and go up the boat based on the stamp on our hands.
After that, we went out for lunch. Not wanting to do more trekking or stay at SML, we decided to move to the nearby town of Puli. Took a Nantou bus from Shuishe. It's about half an hour from SML to Puli. Walked and shopped quite a bit here. Most of my shopping was done at the local bookshop... =) Bought a big bag of cut-guava and a big bottle of orange juice from a fruit-seller too. It's the season for guava and it's everywhere in Taipei too.
The winner of the recent election and his team was also out in full force thanking the voters and the entourage was in their vehicles driving from one street to another. There was even fire crackers and fireworks. Interesting!
We scoured the area for good eating places but found none and had to settle for KFC near the bus station. The chicken pieces felt a bit dry without the chilli sauce though. Took the bus back to SML at 8pm.