TAICHUNG (臺中) – I am back here after a successful overnight trip to Sun Moon Lake, where we were able to climb Shuisheshan, about which I already wrote in Hiking matters #170. The next day, we took easier trails around the lake – particularly the Cinglong Mountain Trail and and the Cihen Pagoda Hiking Trail, which can be combined for a nice temple hike.
The highest point reached is the summit of Mt. Erlong (954 MASL), on which the Cihen Pagoda stands (46 meters high). In sum, at the 9th floor of the Cihen Pagoda, one stands 1000 meters above sea level, afforded with a breathtaking view of Sun Moon Lake and the surrounding mountain slopes.
The Pagoda grounds are covered with white stones, which create the appearance of winter even though it is late spring in Taiwan. At the 9th floor of the pagoda, we would see the entirety of Sun Moon Lake. Additionally, there is a large brass bell which visitors can ring for good fortune.
From the Pagoda, it is a 2.5 kilometer walk to Xuanzang Temple, which takes the trekker closer to the lake. Lalu Island – which takes the shape of the sun and moon juxtaposed, hence the name of the lake, is seen up close, and it can even be visited via a ferry. In all, the temple trails were a nice way to further appreciate the scenery of the Sun Moon Lake, and was a worthy Day 2 of our trip. Happily we headed back to Taichung, and now we’re back here, readying for more adventures in the days ahead!
TREKKING IN TAIWAN (SPRING 2011)
Hiking matters #171: Sun Moon Lake Mt. Qinglong Mt. Erlong
Hiking matters #173: Hehuanshan East Peak