Day 3 saw us starting the day early as we begin our ascend to Cingjing, but not before visiting one final attraction of Taichung. We headed to the Carton King flagship store, a favorite among Singaporeans, to see what the fuss is about. Even though there was a restaurant onsite, we were still required to pay an admission fee. Initially skeptical, thinking that this was likely more hype than anything else, we walked in not quite sure what to expect.
The scene before us kinda blew our mind away. The first thing we saw was a zoo featuring animals made entirely out of cardboard. We felt compelled to give each animal a shot on its own which led to us spending an inordinate amount of time at this first segment of the attraction. And this was perhaps a good thing, because after encountering the zoo, everything else paled in comparison even though they were impressive in their own right.
After visiting the Carton King flagship store, we went on our way. Our next stop was 元首馆, which is really a pit stop. There were some rather over-the-top deco for tourists to pose for photos and many attractively packaged and seductively priced souvenirs set to lure the tourist dollar. It was pretty fun to take a brief look at the place though I would suggest giving it a miss if you do not need a break from the drive or a visit to the washroom.
Finally, we went on our way… not yet to Cingjing 清境. Next on our itinerary is Sun Moon Lake 日月潭. This would actually be my second visit to the lake, though it felt more like a first; the reason being, the last time I was in the area, I spent rather little time exploring the vicinity. Most of my time was spent strolling around the lake and taking photos of the lake.
This time round, I took a ferry that brought me to two other spots that gave me a different view and experience of both the lake and the neighbourhood, which gave me a more complete appreciation of Sun Moon Lake. This visit reminded me of the serenity of Sun Moon Lake that I experienced during my first visit; it also revealed to me the life around the lake as hawkers tout their wares, doing their best to make a decent living. The complexity of the web of life somehow comes to mind as I take in the sights and sounds of the locals who have built their lives and a tourist industry around the serenity of the lake.
We ended our exploration of Sun Moon Lake and its vicinity around 3 pm and began to make our ascend toward Cingjing 清境. By the time we arrived, it was dark and rainy, which led to our decision to cheer our exhausted selves with a little homely treat.