Assalamu’alaikum & Marhaba!
I finally got around to posting more from our Taiwan trip. If you missed the first post of our first two days of Taiwan, click here.
Taiwan Day 3
Taroko Gorge, Taroko National Park
We started off the day bright and early with a quick stop at 7/11 to pick up our meal for the day, large hand roll sushis in the perfect packing for trips. At first our driver kept taking us to these “photo” spots, lookout points, though we instructed him beforehand that we wanted him to take us to the best trails for day hikes.
After a bit of forcefulness, he finally conceded and sought to look out for them. That made our trip to the Taroko Gorge much more interesting than the boring lookout points he took us to. Every view worth seeing is usually after a good hike. The hikes were fairly easy and doable with the kids. Layaan did a lot of walking, too. These are my favorite types of hikes. They are not too strenuous, so you can really enjoy yourself, appreciate nature, and relax.
Taroko National Park
When we were getting closer to the exit of the park, we noticed people climbing a ridiculous amount of stairs to get to these viewpoints at the tops of the hills. We had to stop to take in the view of at least one. So we mustered up whatever energy we had left to climb these staircases. The view was worth it, even though it was a bit crowded. Since everyone was off for the holidays, the park was packed.
En Route to Ren’ai
After leaving the park, we were stuck in awful traffic for hours. It was the worst experience, ever. Our driver had warned us that we were staying in a very popular area for Taiwanese and that we would be hitting a ton of traffic. We never imagined a standstill such as this. At least the kids made the most of it.
Taiwan Day 2
Chingjing Farm, Ren’ai
This farm is highly rated on TripAdvisor and many reviewers say it is a must-do. Definitely overrated! It did not take much time, I do not even think we were there for more than an hour. It is a really small farm. The sheep area is tiny. We got there early, but as we were leaving it was turning into a “people” zoo. It took a lot of convincing to get Layaan to ride the pony, even though she had done it just a few months earlier quite willingly and happily. She finally cracked a smile once she was comfortably on the pony.
I think it was a little overwhelming because of the amount of people and the way they lined up the ponies to ride. It just felt tight and packed. We really ended up wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible. The view on the way out was quite beautiful of the famous rolling hills of Taiwan. Maybe for Taiwan, it is an experience, but if you have visited farms in the US or any part of the world where you have large animal farms, this can be skipped.
Sun Moon Lake
Our last stop for the day was Sun Moon Lake in the afternoon, the largest body of water in Taiwan. It is a major tourist attraction. One part of the lake is supposed to look like the sun, and the other like the moon. Small boats transport you to different parts of the lake with various tourist attractions. It is a nice peaceful area. The best part of it was the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway, or cable car. From it, we were able to get a beautiful view of the lake and surrounding greenery. There is a also a major theme park in the area, the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. We decided to skip that in order to spend more time in nature.
Check out the next post in the series, Taiwan: Part 3!