Weekend in Sun Moon Lake – Taiwan

We took the train this morning to Taitung City, then a bus to Sun Moon lake. This was the view on the way.

After a week in Taipei we set off to explore more of Taiwan, heading south to Sun Moon Lake. This involved a train ride to Taichung, followed by a confusing walk then a bus trip to the lake.

The journey started badly, as they sometimes do if you make assumptions in foreign countries. Somehow I got it into my head that it was standard to use an Easycard (the local tap and go transit card) for intercity travel. While it was technically possible, it did not grant you a seat and we were consigned to the non airconditioned walkway for the near 3 hour trip.

At the marina there is a friendly Macaw outside one of the resort hotels.

From the train station in Taichung city to get to the correct bus to Sun Moon lake is not staightforward. Considering it is a well know international tourist destination I found this a little strange. We found ourselves asking for alot of directions, and backup directions, often from taxi drivers who often asked us where we were going and offered to take us all the way to the lake, for many times the cost of the bus.

We finally found the correct stop and purchased a Sun Moon Lake pass which for NT$720 (about $30AUD) gave us a return bus trip, a ferry trip around the lake and a return ride on the rope way.

After a cool drink (did I mention it was boiling hot that day), we were on the bus for the scenic trip to Sun Moon Lake.

We arrived in the late afternoon and after a rest we explored the small town, finding a nice local restaurant that was reasonably priced. The next morning we got up early and made our way to the wharf.

We got a package to Sun Moon Lake which included a boat and gondola ride. We first took the boat to the temple.
Our first stop was a small temple at the top of a large flight of steps, which gave a great view of Sun Moon Lake.

We exchanged our Sun Moon Lake passes for a ferry pass and boarded for our first destination, which was the scenic Xuanguang Temple. The walk up the hill was a little steep, but once there the view was worth it.

The second stop was to Yidashao Pier, a vibrant tourist area surrounded by interesting attractions such as a butterfly farm and the ropeway to the local aboriginal village. We spent most of our time in the surrounding streets, sampling the different types of Thao foods from the street vendors, then took a ride on the ropeway.

Sun Moon Lake Skyrail

We took the sky rail over the mountain to the Aboriginal Village. As you can see it gave a great view of the lake.

We spent two nights in Sun Moon Lake as a stopover on the way to Kaohsiung and found the area to be very scenic and relaxing. The local Ita Thao food was delicious, especially the street food in the Ita Thao village area.

After our short stay we took the bus back to Taichung, which for some reason stopped right at the station on the return leg. We purchased tickets for our ride further south, this time making sure we got seats!

Ita Thao Traditional Meal

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

One Response

  1. Tracy Robertson January 27, 2017

Leave a Reply