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Welcome to Sun Moon Tours - Private with English driver/guide
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A:Lukang, Pakua Mountain ( Big Buddha) and Sanyi Woodcarving village.
Wen Wu Temple (Sun Moon Lake).......
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Chung Tai Monastery Garden(Puli)................
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Here is a testimonial from some my VIP guests:
Mike and Jordana’s Taiwan Adventure Tour
My boyfriend Mike and I had been living in Taipei for a little over a year before we embarked on our journey with Green Island Adventures. We had moved to the renegade province shortly after our college graduation, looking for excitement and adventure. But full-time professional jobs and the demands of daily life had prevented us from venturing further than Taipei County. Knowing we’d be leaving Taiwan by mid-autumn to return to the United States, we were eager to get out and see what the rest of the country had to offer. That is when we booked our tour with Eddie, who turned out to be one of the warmest and most accommodating tour guides we’ve ever had.
Our seven-day private tour began with a scenic drive along Taiwan’s east coast to Taroko Gorge. The beauty of Taroko Gorge lends itself well to being the subject of many a Taiwanese oil painting, and seeing it up close—at our own pace—was a real treat. We spent the night in Hualien, where we perused the jade market, famous for its rainbow jade. But Eddie advised us to wait on making a purchase, taking us to a shop a few blocks away that specializes in rainbow jade and supplies the jade market. Good advice it was indeed! The selection was fantastic and the prices unbeatable and the quality was good. With it, we were able to set aside some savings for other uses. While most tour guides may get commission for taking guests to certain shops, Eddie simply passes along the perks to his guests.
The next morning we continued our coastal drive, stopping to sample some of the most delicious rice and sweetest, freshest pineapple in the world before arriving at the Museum of Prehistory in Taidong. A few hours later, we were boarding a small airplane for a ten-minute hop from Taidong to Green Island. Eddie rented us a couple scooters, gave us a lesson on how to drive them, and then we set off around the island. Among our favorite sites were the water buffalo lazily bathing just meters from the quiet road. That evening, we scootered off to Green Island’s natural saltwater hot springs which, despite the quietude of the rest of the island, was alive with locals happily splashing and lounging in the many pools.
No trip to Green Island is complete without scuba diving, so the very next morning we awoke early for a beach-entry diving experience. Home to the world’s oldest known coral reef, the diving was truly phenomenal—tropical fish of every color swarmed us as we fed them with the bread our dive guides had brought along. The other nice thing was that diving did not preclude us from flying back to Taiwan island as it would most flights, for the flight simply did not go to a high enough altitude for their to be decompression concern.
Back on the “mainland”, we headed over the mountains, through aboriginal villages, to Kenting. Checking into a Balinese style hotel, we had stepped foot inside a tropical paradise comparable to what one might expect to see on the Travel Channel. Every detail, from the exquisite balconied hotel room to the exotic courtyard gardens, was imported directly from Bali. After checking out Kenting’s bustling night market, we spent a quiet evening enjoying this lush retreat.
Besides surfing and sun, Kenting is notable for its world-class aquarium. One can easily spend the whole day viewing the whale sharks, sunken ship exhibit, and my personal favorite, the penguins. Species of marine life both native to Taiwan and from afar can be found there, and whether you’re a young couple, a family with children, or retirees, there is absolutely something for everyone to enjoy.
After two luxurious evenings in Kenting, we began our ascent into Alishan, or Mt. Ali. Mike and I are tea connoisseurs, so we had a special request to see a tea farm on this mountain famous for its oolong. Like a genie, Eddie granted our wish and took us into the high mountains, stopping at a little place with a whole lot going on inside. After sampling the three kinds of tea produced at this award-winning farm, we toured the facility which was bumbling with workers processing the tea. A group had just come down from picking fresh tea leaves from the mountain, and we were invited to help spread the tea out on tarps to dry.
Many cups of oolong later, we continued up the mountain to the Alishan visitors’ center. The air was cool and crisp, perfect for light hiking before lunch. Lucky for us, it just so happened that the mayor of Alishan was dining in the same restaurant we had wandered into, and before long were enjoying the hospitality of some of Taiwan’s finest. With full stomachs, we bid goodbye to our new friends and headed back down the other side of the mountain. On the way down, we passed a number of interesting sites, including a pair of rhesus monkeys and mountain roads that had collapsed in the 9/21 earthquake.
We reached Sun Moon Lake by sunset, and after enjoying the breathtaking view from our hotel balcony, we headed down to the hotel spa to enjoy the water massage jets. In the morning, we took a boat tour around Sun Moon Lake, making frequent stops around this jade-colored lake to explore hilltop temples and little villages. Eddie picked us up after our boat ride to take us to Wenwu Temple, a beautiful—and recently renovated, thanks to the 9/21 earthquake—temple overlooking the lake. The original temple was submerged when the Japanese built a dam during their occupation, so one can only hope that one day scuba diving trips will be offered!
Our next stop was to the majestic Zen Buddhists monastery in Puli. We were fortunate to be approached by a German nun, who gave the two of us a guided tour of the grand structure. The monastery is surrounded by well-kept gardens, featuring a large gong which visitors are encouraged to, well, gong. Though Buddhists we’re not, the feelings of tranquility and peace we experienced when visiting the monastery uplifted our spirits and we left with a positive energy.
Feeling rejuvenated, we made our way to the Puli winery, another casualty of the 9/21 earthquake. Rebuilt and reborn, the winery’s museum takes you through hundreds of clay jars where liquors are distilled from various grains, fruits, and other organics. This is one museum that is a must-see for Chinglish aficionados! The downstairs level houses numerous shops selling liquors and foods made from liquor, but we didn’t have time to stop and sample. We were off to go paragliding!
Now, I had been paragliding before, but Mike had not, so today was his day to hit the winds. And the winds were not picking up, but thanks to the expertise of Yuri, our paragliding instructor, the two were finally airborne. Onlookers applauded as the two swept past the mountain, a feat which was nearly impossible for tandem gliders that day. Half an hour later, they landed in a rice paddy, muddy but laughing.
We lodged the night in Taichung, heading out to nearby Lukang the next day. As modern as Taipei may be, Lukang is the polar opposite, with traditional Chinese streets and an old temple untouched by Taiwan’s turbulent geological activity. This is the place to come to purchase traditional Chinese clothing, shoes, and painted fans. Eddie took us to a lovely traditional tea house where we could have sat drinking tea all day had we not had plans to go to Sanyi, a woodcarving village. The trip to Sanyi was well worth it—the smell of sandalwood, camphor, and other fragrant woods permeated the town. Slotted tea trays, highly lacquered pots, and elaborately carved statues are the specialty of this town, with over a hundred shops lining Sanyi’s main street.
That ended our tour, and just in time as a typhoon was blowing into town. We took the high speed rail back to Taipei, and despite the howling winds and torrential rain outside, the ride remained smooth and dry.
While Taiwan’s impressive landscape makes for a fantastic adventure tour, the real gem at Green Island Adventures is the tour guide, Eddie. Hailing from South Africa and with his business based in Taichung, Eddie is an extremely knowledgeable guide who is willing to go to great lengths to ensure his guests are nothing but 100% satisfied. Furthermore, he is probably the most sincere, most compassionate person I have ever met. So when you book a tour with Eddie, you’re not just booking an unforgettable experience around Taiwan—you’re booking a trip with a guy who could easily become a friend for life.
View Jordana & Mike"s slideshow
All our trips/tours are Gay friendly and we welcome disabled persons to travel Taiwan with us.
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