Sun Moon Lake

Photo © lucid

Travel Guide Asia Taiwan Sun Moon Lake

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Introduction

Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area (日月潭 (國家風景區); rìyuètán)) is in Nantou County of Taiwan. Nestled at 760 metres, this lake is famous for its clear, sparkling blue water set against a picturesque mountain backdrop. This is the largest lake in Taiwan and a traditional spot for newlywed couples to take their honeymoon. It has also been a center of aboriginal life for thousands of years, with aboriginal people involved in its tourist industry since the 1930s.

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Sights and Activities

  • Wenwu Temple (文武廟). The biggest temple on the Northern bank of the lake.
  • Ci-en Pagoda (Ci'entang / 慈恩塔). 9:00am-4:30pm. This Chinese style pagoda is a must and the best place to overview the lake. It's 46 meters tall and was built by the Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his mother. It was completed in 1971 and sits on the hill southeast of the lake.
  • Ita Thao (伊達邵). The village of the Thao Aborigines, and also called Dehua village (德化社).
  • Lalu Island (拉魯島). In the middle of the lake. Lalu (lit. "Lake Island") is the name the Thao tribe, the original inhabitants of the area, gave to this sacred land, though it was changed to Guanghua (光華 or "Glorious China") during Chiang Kai-shek's rule of Taiwan. After 1999's September 21 earthquake the Taiwanese government, attempting to show greater respect and political awareness towards the Thao, reverted the island's name back to its original Lalu.

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Getting There

By Train

No trains go directly to Sun Moon Lake; the closest major station is Taichung, from where you will need to take a bus or taxi.

By Bus

Some direct buses are available from Taichung or Taipei, but often it is more convenient to take a bus from Taichung to Puli, and transfer buses there for another the half hour ride to Sun Moon Lake. No buses travel directly from Hualien, though cars may be rented and driven through the picturesque Taroko Gorge with an international drivers license. The drive on the winding two-lane road takes approximately seven hours, although it is subject to frequent stops due to rockfalls.

From Puli, Bus 6289 goes every hour, passing by Chungwa Telecom and Puli Distillery/Brewery. NT$60 from Puli, cheaper with Easycard. Otherwise, NT$50 with any bus (coming from Taipei or Taichung) along the highway by Puli, if you missed the local one from Puli.

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Getting Around

You can get around by bus, car, scooter, bike or boat. A loop road more or less circles around the lake, although you'll need to get off the road to view the lake. The most direct way from one side of the lake to another is by boat.

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Eat

  • Jin Men Ah Ma Cha Ye Dan (金門阿嬤茶葉蛋) - Famous tea braised egg available at Xuan Guang Si pier.
  • Shaw tribe traditional food - Available at Shui She Pier.

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Sleep

  • Min Ren Hotel, No 138 Chungshan Rd, Shueishe (Just across the road from the Shueishe Visitor Center (or bus stop)), ☎ +886 49 2855338. The place is basic, and there's no lake view, but the beds are comfortable and every room has its own bathroom, AC and TV. NT$1,000 for twin or double room (NT$1,200 during weekends/holidays), breakfast not included.
  • Sun Moon Lake Hotel (水沙連大飯店), 5 Mingsheng St, ☎ +886 49 2855 855. Yuchih Township. Rooms with lake view, dinner and breakfast included (limited choice buffet at night, Taiwanese-style breakfast).
  • Harbor Resort Hotel, ☎ +886 49 2855 143. Yuchich Township, 42 room hotel, on lake, with restaurant and sauna. Rooms are decent and location is good.
  • Sun Moon Lake Teacher's Hostel. This is a very nice hostel, intended for credentialed teachers. Non teachers can also book rooms on a space available basis. Well located in Yuchuch. Rooms start at NT$2200 midweek.
  • Del Lago Hotel (大淶閣大飯店), 101, Jhongshan Rd, Yuchih Township, ☎ +886 49 2856 688.
  • The Lalu Hotel (涵碧樓), 142 Jungshing Road, Yuchih Township, ☎ +886 49 2856 888. A five star hotel in Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area.
  • Fleur de Chine Hotel (雲品酒店), 23 Zhong Zheng Road, Yuchih Township, ☎ +886 49 285 5500. A five-star resort situated on the Northern Peninsula of the Sun Moon Lake.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:17 on Mar 8, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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