Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Back from Sun Moon Lake

Just came back from doing a Tour Taiwan story on cycling around Sun Moon Lake. It was quite nice cycling around the lake. I didn't get to ride the whole thing the first afternoon when we were filming, but the next morning, I met with Tingfa, our fantastic guide and he took me for a full tour. Without stopping, we finished the nearly 30km up and down ride in about 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is what Sportstracker on my phone recorded, then sent to Google Earth:

Watching the sun come up over the lake brought back memories of rowing with the team and mountain biking with Carrie. But the nostalgia quickly faded once the bigger hills started coming at us and I got real busy pedaling and feeding just enough oxygen to my brain so I could keep going and not blackout.

After everything was in the can, we quickly headed back to Taipei to cut the film. We managed to finish all three language versions and still get off work on time. But boy, was I exhausted. That was yesterday. I don't know how I made it through today. I'm again so tired, I'm nauseous, have a huge headache, one really swollen eye and a sore right jaw that hurts when I open it. Ack. My body knows I'm off tomorrow. Sometimes I feels like off time is sick time. Time for bed. No running tomorrow. I'll get plenty of cycling the day after when we go to film in Dapeng Bay, Pingtung. We're doing a story on cycling around there too.

Views from the balcony of the room I stayed in:

Dinner that night:

Yes, that was in a 7-11. It was my first time having a convenience store dinner, and inside of a CVS too. The guys suggested it and I did not complain. The food may not be great, but at least I know there isn't bacteria in it that I'm not used to... However, despite all that work during the day, I could only finish the salad, oden and sesame pudding. The oinari-san and hanjuku tamago ended up being breakfast.

Here are the scripts for the short version of the story. I haven't gotten around to writing and cutting the long version yet.




[[stand-up: 來到日月潭 想觀光兼運動 騎鐵馬環湖剛剛好!]]


[[美國人 因為沿著河畔騎 所以感覺很好 路面也很平 我覺得是個很好的路線 也有上坡下坡 一點都不會無聊]]

[[日本人 很有趣的路程 但是因為車道比較多 所以如果可以有更多自行車道可能更好]]

[[觀光局副局長謝謂君: 我們的構想是 在明年底之前 我們會有一條水上的自行車道 會把整個日月潭的日行車道串在一起 大約33公里長]]

[[解說志工 許廷發 對於一些喜歡騎腳踏車的老手來說 30公里不會太短 對於一些新手來說30公里又不會太長 而且整個坡度 最陡的才只有3%而已 所以騎起來會很舒服]]

[[STAND-UP 真是沒有想像中的那麼簡單 還要爬坡 啊...]]



民視新聞 翁郁容 郭文海 南投報導

Cycling Sun Moon Lake

Cycling tourism in Taiwan has been picking up speed as more and more roads and trails are adjusted to be bicycle-friendly. There are five main destinations for cycling tourists in Taiwan, and Michella Jade Weng visited one of them - Sun Moon Lake.##

Nantou County's picturesque Sun Moon Lake is known as one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan. It’s enclosed by mountains on all sides and even has its own island in the middle.

Michella Jade Weng
And what better way to enjoy the scenery than by cycling around the lake!

There is a road and some bicycle paths that go around the lake and are about 30 kilometers in distance. Walking the entire way would take too long and driving would leave one feeling unsatisfied, so many tourists these days are choosing to take their bicycles and are enjoying the course's dynamic terrain.

American Cycling Blogger
You ride along the water, so it's a kind of a nice route. I thought the roads were nice, were smooth, they weren't broken up, it had good views. It was a good rolling kind of terrain. It was not boring at all.

Hsu Ting Fa
Volunteer Guide
For good bicyclists, it's not too short, and for new bicyclists, it's not too long, so everyone can ride here very well and can enjoy the ride here.

Challenging, yes. Not too difficult...that remains to be seen. You could always choose to cycle only a part of it or walk your bike up some of the steeper hills, but if you want to push yourself and go all the way without stopping, you better be fit or you're going to be sore like I was.

After taking in the stunning landscape, another unique way to enjoy Sun Moon Lake and a nice ending to any cycling holiday is to catch an evening performance by the indigenous Thao tribe.

Michella Jade Weng, Formosa TV, Nantou.


hannah said...

what kind of bike are you using? it looks like a foldable bike. how does it compare to a mountain bike on taiwan terrain? have been wanting to get a foldable bike but the smaller wheels are putting me off... haha.

翁郁容 Michella Jade Weng ミシェラ・オング said...

Hi Hannah,

I have a Birdy, it's a folding bicycle with front and rear suspensions. For a folding bike, I think it's great. Personally if I had space, I would get a real bike - better and faster ride.

tambre said...

Hi Michelle,
Is any part of the cycling route that is dirt road ? I noticed that yuor foldie is using slick tyres. I am contemplating to bring a foldie if I wnat to visit this place in Dec , else wait till my foldie MTB is ready by April. Is April a good month to tour ?


翁郁容 Michella Jade Weng ミシェラ・オング said...

Hi Henry,

It's mostly paved road, but when it rains, it can get muddy. It was drizzling when I went. I was jut fine on my slicks, but when it rains, I'd probably stop and put my bicycle away, whereas if you have a MTB with big stubby tires, you can probably keep going without any problems provided you don't mind riding in the rain. You can bring your own beloved foldie or rent a bicycle there. There's a huge Giant bike shop there that rents nice and really nice mountain and road bikes at reasonable prices. As for season, probably any time after February would be fine. I think it can get quite wet in the winter months.

As for time of the day, I recommend the break of dawn. Besides getting to watch the sun rise and the colors of the lake change from midnight blue to turquoise green in some places, you won't really have to deal with cars. During the day, especially on weekends and holidays, the place is packed with tourists and therefore cars, buses and motorcycles.

Hopefully this helps. :)

tambre said...

Hi Michelle,
Thank you very much for the valuable advice. Any reasonable hotel around the lake to recommend for stay ? Think it might be good to visit the Bicycle Fair in March and do a bike tour. Do you have shots of the the sceneries where I can look at ? Also contemplating in going to Cambodia.


翁郁容 Michella Jade Weng ミシェラ・オング said...

Hi Henry,

The bike show sounds fun. Never been to one, but I'd like to one day.

As for hotels around Sun Moon Lake, I'm not quite sure what is reasonable and what I would recommend. We've always stayed at budget places when we are working, and I would never stay at those places when I am there for leisure. One place I would like to try is Fleur de Chine. It is expensive, but manageable if I go with friends. There are some other nice hotels there, including Lalu and the one that just opened, whose name I can't remember... All I remember is that they charge USD1.000 a night. But I haven't been inside either of these places.



tambre said...

Hi Michella,
Firstly I apologise for having spelled your name incorrectly in previous post ! Did a google search on the hotel you mentioned, very nice but it's abit expensive. I think I should be able to google more on hotels in that region. I really got carried away by alot of photographs taken by you, and forget I can also searck Flickr on places that interest me. You're an extraordinary person with many talents ! Keep it up, I'll pop by to see the artistic photos you post. Now became your fan !


翁郁容 Michella Jade Weng ミシェラ・オング said...

Thanks, Henry! That's very encouraging!