The destination today is to go up the “Sun Moon Lake Rope Way“, which is a cable car over the hills and bush (jungle) on the opposite side of the lake to Shueshe village from our hotel. Getting to the rope-way necessitated taking a ferry across the lake, our hotel had half price all day passes for 150 NT (around $A6) for the ferry. The ferry stops at a “Syunguang Temple” before sailing around the bays passed the very small light-house to Ito Thao village.
From the ferry landing in Ito Thao you can see the rope-way, across the bay to the left as you arrive on the floating wharf. To get to the rope-way is a fifteen minute walk around the shores of the lake. While taking this walk we found a butterfly park, an open area bushy area on the side of a hill that planted to attract various types of butterfly. This is worth a look, even if you are not a lepidopteran, its worth it to just get out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist routes and take a gentle stroll.
While purchasing our tickets for the Rope Way at the bottom of the cable car run we saw you could also get tickets for the “Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village” which we imagined as a small set of displays on original Taiwan Aboriginal culture and worth a couple of hours look around. Oh and in case you are wondering the Rope Way is in fact a world-class cable car system. Rope Way did originally make me think it was something a little less adequate.
The rope was quiet in comparison to the weekend days, I imagine this would have been extremely busy. The trip up and over a ridge takes only about 10 minutes and as you would expect the views of the lake are spectacular.
At the end of the rope way are the gates to the Culture Village, with an impressive structure and viewing platform down a strange valley that looked like almost a large town at the bottom of the hill. Once through the entry gates there is another cable car called “Skyline” off to the right and in front what looks like just roadways heading down the hill. We didn’t know what the “Skyline” was so we walked down the hill. The mock-up of old aboriginal villages are extremely detailed and fantastic. hey take you through nine different village types one for each of aboriginal tribal villages have live displays, diorama replicate buildings of each different style of building. We spent nearly three house looking through these buildings and a museum on Aboriginal culture. The similarities to the Maori culture in New Zealand were obvious, this brought home what a vast catchment the Austronesian migrations covered.
Around two in the afternoon we sat at a table by a stall exhausted and eat things on a stick , the map showed the same distance again to the bottom and the walk up to where we came from looked daunting. The last “Rope Way” car down to the terminal at Yidashao was in two hours. The walk back to the top though exhausting only took about 20 minutes. It’s at this point I decided to look at what the Skyway did and where it went. It was free and went to the bottom of the park.
Surprise Surprise as we went down we realised this was a huge theme park and had all the fun of the fair was at the bottom, roller-coaster of all shapes and sizes, rides of every type and lots of people and tour buses. Maybe we will come back one day and see the rest.