Named as one of the Eight Wonders of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 located in Yuchi, Nantou County is the country’s largest freshwater lake nestled in a basin surrounded by picturesque mountains. Divided by the tiny Lalu Island, Sun Moon Lake got its name from the unique terrains that look like the sun on the diamond-shaped eastern side and crescent moon on the curved western end.
The lake’s scenic beauty has given rise to such names as “Pearl in the Mountains,” “Honeymoon Lake,” and “Lovers’ Lake.” It is also called the “Heart of Taiwan” for its role as a major hydropower generator. A very popular tourist destination, Sun Moon Lake welcomes more than six million visitors a year who come in awe of its beauty. A visit to the lake, combined with the Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village, usually takes an entire day. More adventurous visitors can also try the lake cycling trails which has been dubbed by CNN one of the most beautiful cycling trails in the world. During the Mid-Autumn Festival, the lake also hosts a mass swim event, with over 25,000 people swimming 3km across the lake (with all the huge fishes in it).
Top visitor spots in the area include:
- Ci’en Pagoda 慈恩塔
- Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village 九族文化村
- Grandma’s Tea Eggs 阿婆茶葉蛋
- Hanbi Peninsula 涵碧半島
- Ita Thao Village 伊達紹村
- Lalu Island 拉魯島
- Meihe Garden 梅荷園
- Qinglong Mountain Trail 青龍山步道
- Shuishe Village 水社村
- Wenwu Temple 文武廟
- Xiangshan Visitor Center 向山遊客服務中心
- Xuanguang Temple 玄光寺
- Xuanzang Temple 玄奘寺
More on Taiwan:
Taiwan – Blooming Delights and Cultural Richness in Daxi 大溪
Taiwan – Nature’s Wonders at Yehliu Geopark 野柳地質公園
Taiwan – Jiufen’s 九份 Golden Nostalgia
Taiwan – Urban Respite at Beitou Hot Springs 北投溫泉
Taiwan – Tamsui 淡水：Of Romantic Sunsets & Tantalizing Snacks
Taiwan – Jingguashi 金瓜石：Goldmine of Yesteryear
Taiwan – SHIFEN十分放天灯: Sending Wishes to the Sky
Sun Moon Lake
Address: Jhongshan Rd., Yuchih Township, Nantou County
Tel: +886 49 285 5668
General attractions’ opening times: 8:00AM to 6:00PM
Getting there http://www.sunmoonlake.gov.tw/English/TravelInfoEng/TrafficInfo.htm
There are many ways to get to Sun Moon Lake:
1. Take the High Speed Rail train to Taichung Station, then take the Nantou Bus or Renyou Bus to Sun Moon Lake stop. The bus stops at the Visitor Information Center in Shuishe Village. Hop on the bus at this same stop for the return trip to Taichung Station. You can also take a bus from Taichung to Puli, then transfer buses for a 30min ride to Sun Moon Lake.
– NanTou Bus (南投客運) Daily from Taichung Kan-Cheng Station (干城站) at Shuangshi Road (雙十路 near the railway station) Cost is about NT$200 one-way. Contact +886 49 2984031 (Puli) for timetable and other details.
– Renyou Bus (仁友客運) has less frequent departures from Liouchuan East Road (柳川東路) for NT$200 one-way and NT$350 for a return ticket.
2. From Taipei Railway Station, take the Green Transit Bus or GuoGuang Bus to Sun Moon Lake stop.
– Green Transit Bus (Feng Jung Bus): Runs daily from Taipei MRT ZhongXiao FuXing Station (No. 274, Fuxing East Rd, near SOGO department store) and Sun Moon Lake. Contact + 886 2 27522988 (Taipei) or + 886 49 2990407 (Puli) for timetable and other details.
– GuoGuang Bus (國光客運): Four buses run daily from Taipei West Station (directly accessible underground from Taipei Train Station) to Sun Moon Lake. +866 2 23119893 (Taipei), or + 886 49 2990407 (Puli).
3. Taiwan Tour Bus http://www.taiwantourbus.com.tw (English-language Sun Moon Lake trips by local tour agencies – dummy-proof)
Departing from Sun Moon Lake
There is a company with hourly bus service that stops directly at the Taichung high speed rail station. Tickets for this and most other buses are sold at the Sun Moon Lake Visitor’s Center. The last bus to Puli departs at 7:30pm, from where you can transit to a bus to Taichung. Buses are often very full at the end of the day, so prepare to stand or share a taxi with other travelers.
You can also take a taxi from Sun Moon Lake or Puli to Taichung. Cost is around NT$1500 from Puli and NT$2000 from Sun Moon Lake.
Getting around Sun Moon Lake: Lake Tour Bus Fare – one day pass NT$80
Ita Shao Village
Address：Ita Thao, Rih Yue Village, Yuchih Township, Nantou County 555, Taiwan
Address：No.63, Jhongshan Rd., Yuchih Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
Latitude and longitude：120.9149926、23.8668669
Tel：＋886 49 285 5122
Opening Timing：Open all day long（Use side entrance after 8:00PM)
Sun Moon Lake Ropeway Service
Opening hours: 10:30AM – 4:00PM during weekdays; 10:00 ~ 16:30 during holidays and weekends.
There is the return ticket to just take the cable car and view Sun Moon Lake (NT$300) and a package that included admission to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (NT$780). Get the package which is cheaper.
If you are looking to hire a driver, you can consider Mr Liu 刘先生. He’s a burly uncle who used to be a truck driver, and very honest. He charged us a very reasonable per day rate, brought us to all the places where the locals went, and none of those touristy crap. And we felt safe with him. You can give him a try if you wish. Mr Liu’s Mobile: (0)988-121-529