Sun Moon Lake was a real treat. We completely enjoyed our time there and are looking forward to returning sometime next year to explore a bit more. The area has so much to offer and we only saw a tiny portion of this wonderful part of Taiwan. Originally, we had planned to spend the night in Puli, but after spending a wonderful night in the mountains the night before, we made a snap decision to return to Ching Jing.
We left Puli around 4:30 and started the two hour drive back. The sun set quickly and the air grew colder as we climbed higher. We stopped at a local B&B just before Ching Jing to see if they had any rooms and were invited in for a cup of tea to warm up. I am still utterly beguiled by the hospitality of the Taiwanese. It is seldom indeed to travel through a country and constantly receive warm wishes and kind invitations from strangers. The B&B was beautiful but we opted to move on as the bed was really small. John’s legs would have hung over by about a foot and a half! We felt sad that we weren’t staying, but our kind hosts sent us on our way with smiles and reassurances that we would find the perfect place to rest for the night.
It was after six pm by the time we arrived in Ching Jing again. We systematically stopped at each B&B on the way and would have gladly stayed at any of them, despite the exorbitant cost of rooms. Unfortunately, during the day, the entire area had been flooded with tourists from all over Taiwan. Most places had no vacancy and we were getting a little concerned again that we might not find a decent place to spend the night.
Chun Jing Hillview Villa. An incredible view with luxurious accomodations. Sorry guys. I can’t claim credit for these photos. They’re from the Chun Jing Villa website. Phone 049-2802058
Despite the lateness of the hour, we decided to stop at the extravagant looking Chun Jing Hillview Villa, just to price the rooms for our next visit. Upon seeing the opulent facilities, I was ready to lay down our money right then and there. I really wanted to stay here. The idea of soaking in a hot spring bath was practically making me salivate, but John wanted to return to the place we had stayed at the night before. Unfortunately, when we returned to our happy little B&B, they were full up.
So, I got my wish. I decided to treat John to the lavish settings and gave up my Chinese New Year red envelope money from work to pay for the night. We went back to Chun Jing Hillview Villas and asked to see their rooms. They were happy to see us and offered us a discount but we still paid a small fortune to stay there. I considered it money well spent as it’s the first hot bath I’ve been able to indulge in over the last year.
The rooms were huge with a four poster canopied bed, sitting room and indoor or outdoor jacuzzi bath. We opted for the opulent garden rooftop deluxe with the outdoor jacuzzi for two. We immediately unloaded and ran a nice hot bath. John ran to the local 7-11 and picked up some Heinekens and we sat in our hot tub that night looking out over the mountains and watching the locals light firecrackers before our very eyes. It was gorgeous!
Our beautiful little jacuzzi overlooked some pretty amazing moutain scenery.
Unfortunately, our mood was ruined by the rather large and boisterous Taiwanese family next door who all came out to gawk at us in the hot tub. The music and karaoke started right after we went to bed around midnight. A few hours later, we finally had to call the front desk to complain about the noise. We were surprised when no one answered. John ended up going next foor and asking them to turn off the karoake machine and they obliged, but the screaming and singing continued until well past three am. We barely got any sleep. Plus, for a luxury resort, it felt like we were sleeping on a slab of concrete. We didn’t feel that it was worth what we paid but if prices are more reasonable throughout the rest of the year, we might consider returning if they upgrade the beds! It was most uncomfortable and we were both pretty cranky when we woke up the next morning. However, we were on our way to Toroko Gorge and as I mentioned before, mountain air has a way of reviving even the dullest spirit.