Li Yu Lake ???
The next day, we visited the chili noodle place again, and had a quick walk around town before taking a day trip out to Li Yu Lake (or known as Carp Lake) by bus from the bus terminal. Make sure to check out where the bus leaves from – we made an unnecessary detour back to the train station because we thought the bus leaves from there – the bus interchange was actually near our hostel!
Li Yu Lake is a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains all around. Check out my panoramic view that I badly stitched together. Beautiful scenic spot.
We took a paddle boat (ours was a red dragon!) out to the middle of the lake to enjoy the scenery. Also got yelled at from shore for climbing around the boat without the lifejackets. After that P, C and me rented motorized scooters and took a leisurely ride around the lake while J and K went swimming in the lake. The lake isn’t very big, so it didn’t take long to circle – maybe about an hour? We stopped here and there to take pix and just enjoy the general calmness. There are hiking paths leading off from the main path, so you could probably enjoy nature up close if you wanted to.
Also, we had interesting food here. The others ventured to try the smelly tou fu ??? (no way I was even going near that) and we all tried the Huo Tiao Xia ???, or “live jumping prawns”. This is one level up from sashimi – they serve the little prawns (about half a finger length on average) which they fish from the lake in a little paper container. They’re covered in some sauce and still jumping around, and you just grab your chopsticks and dig in. I don’t even like my steak rare, but I ventured one small prawn rather hesitantly. The sauce was a tad spicy so not quite my thing. K said she could feel the prawn twitching in her mouth… eeks. but definitely an experience.
Taiwanese also have this awesome drink blend where they mix fruits with this vitagen/yakult-like drink they call Duo-Duo ??Awesome stuff, i sampled strawberry duo-duo concoctions all over Taiwan since then, but this one was by far the best that I recall!
After our little ride and swim respectively, we waited AGES for the bus on the way back. We probably should have checked the timing at the bus station first – it was almost dark by the time we reached back!
Dinner was a pretty simple affair where we headed out to a pasta place we spied earlier and had a major gorge-fest. God that was one filling meal! at our hostel, we had a new roommate, this lone chinese guy. Poor dude must have been a little overwhelmed by us, oops – that’s the downside of travelling on your own! We had an early night because the next day we would take a day trip out to Taroko Gorge early in the morning, organized by our hostel. Yippee!