No. 24, Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake

Planning my trip to Taiwan and especially headed to Taichung, the whole trip was built around visiting the Sun Moon Lake, I feel that it is a must see, especially for a trip to Taiwan and I have to do it since I will probably not be back anymore. Taichung is known as a gateway exploring Taiwan mountainous interior, including nature areas like Sun Moon Lake, in the central mountain area of the country. This is Taiwan largest lake, where the east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name of the place. I had book a taxi to take us around the region throughout my stay in Taichung and one of the days we visited Sun Moon Lake and the surrounding. I will just like to briefly share a little on my day trip to 日月潭! 

Sun Moon Lake is located in the Nantou county roughly slightly more than 1hr via driving from Taichung and even longer with public transport. While taking a bus there is the cheapest to do so, it might be rather affordable to just book a cab to take you around for the day, especially if you are travelling in group. I choose to do this and found a taxi driver to book him for the day. Since we are in a group of 3 and with a cab, we can cover more places. It is also extremely fussless since we were pick up at the hotel and sent back there. We could also take the chance to rest in the car while shuttling around places. The air conditioning was also awesome after a walk under the sun. All for a price of 3500 TWD or about 150 SGD. If anyone is interested, the driver I got was Mr. Xie. His number is +886 937216180.

With the main highlight being Sun Moon Lake, we also visited a couple of other places around the lake as well. Here are some of the places you have to check out while in the area. Our very first stop was the Wenwu Temple located on the hills and just next to the lake. This lakeside temple was actually very quaint and grand. Located on the side, above the lake, the surrounding also boost amazing views of the Sun Moon Lake. The environment was really nice and spectacular views.

Here, you can also spot a flight of steep stairway called Years Of Steps made up of 366 steps, with each step representing one day of the year. A date is carved on each of the steps, along with names of internationally famous people born on the corresponding date. Check out some of the pictures that I have taken here.

Another perks of hiring a driver is to cut down on the amount of waiting time that you need for public transportation when shuttling between places of attractions. If you realised, bus are infrequent, and if you miss one, it might be a long wait. You can’t simply walk to the next place as well. The driver is also a good travel guide, constantly telling us information and history. After that we head to Shuishe Pier area, another main area in the Sun Moon Lake. This is more of a small town on the banks of the Lake, together with Ita Thao, this is the two main establishment in the area. Here, you can get a river cruise as well. It was about a 15 to 20 mins drive.

Given that it was about noon and pouring when we arrived. We stop for lunch at Shuishe area. The driver recommended a restaurant. The area is famous for those home run restaurant that serves up traditional taiwan Formosan style cooking. Very little preparation and rural basic serving. Prized on the freshness of the ingredients instead. These are known as aboriginal cooking! The President Fish and Steamed Chicken are a local favourite here!

After that we have a little walk around the area, sadly this place is mostly touts offering the cruise around the lake which I am not interested in or food stalls. You can never go hungry here. We stop for some awesome ten ren tea nearby and also soaking in the views of the lake. Right before leaving Shuishe, while waiting for the driver to pick us up, we walk towards the end of the road and found this awesome place for pictures. It is like a hiking trail and of a higher elevation. The views of the lake are perfect here.

After that we took a long drive to the other side of the lake, here is Yi Da. I find Yi Da more interesting and also a much larger place to explore in comparison to Shuishe. I especially love the wharf area and the jetty, the views are amazing, you get the water and the green mountains beside it. It is lovely. When I was here, the weather was just amazing at that moment. Even the clouds seems to be so near to the ground. There are numerous stalls and eateries in the area too! It is simply calming over the lake, I also love that this area feels less crowded than Shuishe!

Right before we end of the day, we still managed to stop by a Shao Xing Wine Museum in Puli on the way back to Taichung. I have visited tons of winery and brewery but this was rather interesting as it is the first time that I actually visited a chinese wine place. I even had a shot of some chinese wine, which I would say is better left for the cooking aspect! It was a nice experience and free to visit. Seeing those historical vats sure seems unreal since they are usually in dramas and tv!

It was nice to have finally been to the Sun Moon Lake and it was a great day out even though it was pouring here and there. Perhaps the cooler weather is nice too. Next up, I will share about my stay in Taichung!

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