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Lakeside beauty

epicure 1 March 2011
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For busy Taiwanese professionals and even foreign visitors, Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County inspires all rest, relaxation and romance, with its natural beauty and man-made comforts.

Officially recognised as one of Taiwan’s 13 national scenic areas, Sun Moon Lake in Yuchi, Nantou, with all its mystical beauty is not without its legends. A Taiwanese folk tale shares how the topography of the lake came to be, whereby the western side became a crescent moon and the eastern round like the sun. Both the sun and the moon were stolen from the sky by two dragons that played with them in a lake.

The people on earth suffered without either in the sky until a heroic couple named Dajian Ge and Shuishe Jie sacrificed their lives to return the sun and the moon to their rightful places. Whereas nearly everything else returned to the way things were, the lake like the couple was left irrevocably changed by the sun and the moon. And that is how the lake arrived at its name.

Perhaps it is due to the beneficence of the mythic couple that has cast a general sense of well-being and tranquility in the air one when around this natural wonder, setting it as the perfect backdrop for a love story. Not so coincidentally, several revitalisation projects since the 1990s have incorporated this theme of love with the Matchmaker Pavilion set on Lalu Island and the construction of luxury lakeside hotels. Today, there are few places in Taiwan more fit for respite and romance than Sun Moon Lake.

Excerpt from the March issue of epicure.

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