Monday, November 9, 2015

Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) Special - Biking [Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 7 “Ride your life” - Nov. 8, 2015]
Ferry boat ride, sunrise watching, hiking, cable car ride, food trip. What else can you do in Sun Moon Lake? Biking is the best answer. From my first documented biking in Taiwan Day 697&698 (T'was the Night with YouBike) to my nightly biking practice in the Academia Sinica campus I have developed a modest skill in this sport. I have always dreamed of doing a “Tour de Taipei” by visiting the famous places in Taipei while riding a bike but I never thought of having a “Tour de Sun Moon Lake”. 

To start the biking adventure, Kiran and I went to the Sun Moon Lake Giant Bike Rental Shop at the basement of the Shuishe Visitor Information Center. We didn't just went there to rent a bike. I left my precious tripod there yesterday in Taiwan Day 798. We inquired about the bike rental and I didn't notice that I opened my tripod and placed it on the floor. I got so excited with the different bikes displayed inside the shop. After confirming our plan for Taiwan Day 799, I left the bike station holding only my paper bag full of souvenirs without remembering my non-living travel pal. If only my tripod could talk it would have shouted “Luo-Mu Jieeeeeeeeeee!”.

Although I became reunited with my tripod it will be a burden during the biking activity so I left my things inside the air-conditioned Giant bike station under the care of its kind staff. I was given a bike suitable for me but I really wanted to ride the electric bike. I didn't pass the height requirement and my legs couldn’t reach the pedals of the electric bike. haha! It would had been easier for me to bike uphill if I have rode that bike. We also met a guy from Poland who planned to bike around the lake. He presented his passport while me and Kiran presented our ARC.

The NTD 2000 bike

How much does it cost to rent a bike? It depends on what kind of bike you want. The most basic rent costs NTD 200 for the first hour and then NTD 200/hour for the succeeding hours. A professional bike would cost NTD 2000 for the first hour and then NTD 200/hour for the succeeding hours. There was a promo for foreigners since it was the biking and music fireworks festival season in Sun Moon Lake. Just present your passport and you will get a free two hour ride of the bike, accident insurance, one bottle of water and a souvenir tumbler. We presented our ARC since our passport numbers were written there. 

With everything ready, I started my cycling adventure. I biked the beautiful Xiangshan biking lane from Shuishe Pier until I reached a unique concrete building. I have reached the Xiangshan Visitor Center and it was full of people. There would be a musical concert at night and a fireworks display so people were already saving their spots. It was hot outside and entering inside the tourist center relieved the people of the hot weather. I presented my souvenir my card inside the tourist center and they exchanged it with a free tumbler. Yehey!

I continued my cycling at the Yuetan Bike Path. It has a wooden path portion with no barriers at its edges making it dangerous for bikers. I walked and just pulled my bike for my safety. Fellow bikers also did the same thing. The place was picturesque and I stopped to take myself a photo. Yi..Er..San!

I made a U-turn upon reaching a steep inclined plane with a set stairs. This must be the end of Leisure Bikeway Route that the staff from Giant told me. I biked the 5 kilometer Yuetan Bikeway again, passed the Xiangshan Visitor and traversed the 3 kilometer Xiangshan Bikeway. Whoah! I made it! I returned the bike at the rental shop and gathered my bags and tripod. I just finished exploring the Moon lake part of the Sun Moon Lake. The Sun lake was my next target and it shined brightly for the epic finale of my Sun Moon Lake Special. (To be continued...)

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" 

Maple Series

"Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei). Catch it every Wednesday at 8:00 pm (Taiwan/Philippine time)

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