I tried in vain to wake up earlier next day to capture the sunrise at the roof of Sun Moon Lake Teachers Hostel. While I didn’t exactly catch the sunrise moments, the marvellous weather that morning was my consolation prize. So even though it’s rather chilling on the rooftop, I stayed on to marvel at the crystal clear lake. The charming and reflective water just kept beckoning at me – the Mirror of Sun Moon Lake is so damn beautiful! Wouldn’t you agree?
Mesmerized by what I saw, I asked my uncle whether it’s possible to spend a little more time at Sun Moon Lake and he suggested a hike up to Ci En Pagoda (慈恩塔) after check out. That got me all excited as the Pagoda’s high vantage point means that the view will just be spectacular.
Ci En Pagoda at Sun Moon Lake
We alighted at the carpark next to Ci En Pagoda hiking trail northern entrance and raring to go. The information board indicated that the entire trail is 700 meters, which is very manageable. Moreover, the trail is actually a paved road with nice surrounding greenery.
Based on the timestamp of my photos, it took me just 10 minutes to complete the hike.
Ci En Pagoda was built in 1971 by the late Taiwanese President Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his mother. One interesting fact is the 46 meters tall Pagoda sits on a mountaintop with an elevation of 954 meters, which means the tip of Pagoda is exactly 1000 meters. Did the late President actually plan for that?
Upon reaching the top of Ci En Pagoda, I just go wow and wow, finally get to see the awesome turquoise water!! The mirror-like calm water and range of mountain setting are amazingly picturesque. The Pagoda offers a 360 degree of magnificent view of Sun Moon Lake, it’s just so freaking beautiful.
Since there aren’t many people around, I asked my younger cousins to create something with the sand for me to take a picture from the top. And this was their creation LOL.
Before leaving the Pagoda, I gently rang the bell and prayed.
While walking back to the carpark, I saw an elderly couple heading towards the Pagoda. The lady looked to have difficulties walking but her companion helped her in every step of the way. I offered help but they declined politely. The husband then told me a little about his wife’s illness and though she has difficulty walking, she wanted to complete the trail and see Ci En Pagoda before her condition worsen. They bade farewell to me with a smile and continue…I almost teared up…
Life can be so unpredictable, told myself after that to visit places which I want to go whenever I can, sooner than later.