Taiwan’s Sun Moon Lake could be either in the Lake District or Austria: the scenery is so similar. We stayed at the Hotel del Lago, right on the lake shore with the passenger ferry terminal directly in front of us.
Our compact room had a ‘boutique’ feel because of the blonde wood and open- plan bathroom which could be closed off by sliding doors. The shower was a modern affair with a number of jets down the pipe.
If you want to be sociable, there’s a patio on the ground floor where you can indulge in a drink, ice-cream or afternoon tea. However, we’d paid for a lake-view room and so sat on our balcony in comfortable chairs overlooking the lake, enjoying the scenery and the boats which regularly leave for the villages around the lake.
Breakfast was excellent as was dinner. Although there were a number of Chinese-style set meals, they appeared huge so we opted for a simple, shared sliced beef in oyster sauce and salty pork fried rice and finished with a complementary choc-mint chip ice-cream.
Unlike many of the places we stayed in Taiwan, there are a few more western friendly restaurants and shops located near the hotel which are good to stroll around.
There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area. The drive around the 35km lake shore is spectacular and there are temples and pagodas to be visited. You can also walk or cycle round some of the shoreline and the hotel offers cycles to rent free of charge and organises a sunrise walk at 6am. We were rather lazy and experienced sunrise from our bed because of the floor to ceiling windows.
The hotel lobby has a huge tea shop where you can taste, and buy, local teas like Alishan, Oolong and Oriental Beauty. There’s also an outlet where I experienced bubble tea – a green tea with pearls of brown, jelly-like tapioca balls in the bottom which are sucked up through a very wide straw. An interesting experience!
Before being collected on our last day, we visited the restrooms next to the restaurant and found an absolutely stunning buffet waiting for a large group who we met on departing. It wasn’t the only reason we were sad to leave such a splendid location.