Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sun moon lake: ita thao

Ita Thao, a village located on the southeastern corner of Sun Moon Lake, is inhabited by Thao aboriginals. The Legend of the Deer Hunt is the story that tells the tale of how the Thao Tribe came to be settled at the lake. It was said that long ago a group of Thao tribal men hiked over mountains and crossed rivers trying to hunt a white deer. Their chase led them to Sun Moon Lake and was impressed with the beauty of the land. They believed it was a gift from heaven and decided to relocate.

I only managed to glimpse a little of the village before having to leave. The first thing I did was grab something to eat and drink. The Round-the-Lake Bus stops right in front of the village. At first glance the village is disappointing. I was expecting the village to be all traditional and rustic but it was just another city.

fried bun stall
Seems like this place is very popular with all those pictures in the background. Never had a fried bun before so decided to try it.

fried bun
The bun had mushrooms, cabbage, and crystal noodles. I believe the bun contained no meat but was pretty delicious. Then waited in a long line to get some tea. The black tea or Ri Yue Tan Hong Cha is well known here and a must try. I asked why if it's black tea then why is it called red tea in Chinese and that is because the tea has a red color to it.

black tea
Follow the signs for the Zhulu Market where you can see some Traditional Thao Song and Dance performances. The most famous is the Pestle Dance where people use pestles of varying lengths to beat stone slabs on the ground to create music. Unfortunately they only did this dance at the last dance performance of the day at 6:20 pm. So wished I could see the Pestle Dance but all the public transportation stopped a little before 6. If I stayed to watch that performance, how would I have gotten home? At the end of the performance they will ask for audience members to go up on stage to learn and to perform one of the dances.

zhulu market
thao dancing
Tried something that looks very familiar to a gyro... Can't recall how it tastes like so it must not have been that outstanding.


While I was here I ran into one of my students with their parents. It was awkward since I don't speak Chinese and my kid was too shy and embarrassed to really talk to me. After that caught a boat ride back to the Shuishe Visitor Center.

ita thao pier
Grabbed dinner before heading back to Hsinchu. Dinner wasn't anything special. It started raining so just ran into any dining establishment that wasn't super expensive to fill my stomach.

beef curry with rice and a side of pig's blood
vegetables with some meat sauce
I actually recognized this and have eaten this vegetable before! Kind of like a green bok choy.

The Details
Traditional Thao Song and Dance Times
Weekday: 11:20 am, 2:20 pm, 6:20 pm
Sundays and Holidays: 10:20 am, 11:20 am, 2:20 pm, 4:20 pm, 6:20 pm
Each show lasts around 40 minutes

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