Wonderful Sun Moon Lake

There is a magical place in the middle of Taiwan where Sun and Moon meet. It is one of the places that you will not be able to miss if you Google “what to see in Taiwan”. And if you seek something wonderful you shouldn’t miss this.

The bus dropped us off in front of the Shuishe Visitor Center. For us it was a nice starting point, as we also booked room here and took the bus to Alishan next morning. After some communication problems at the hotel which we managed to overcome thanks to written notes in English the lady at the reception had, we decided it would be best if we rent bikes and just go all around the lake. There are many rentals and most of them have pretty similar prices, so we just picked one and paid around 10 EUR per person for a whole day (well, you have to return bikes until 6 pm).

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That seemed like a perfectly good plan, except the last half of the journey was mostly up the hill (and I am not the fittest one, so every little hill seems to me like climbing Mount Everest). I managed to get all around but with a lot of help in the form of pushing and many many stops. It would be a lot better if I took electric bike, but… I know now for the next time.

Back to pretty things. The lake is surrounded with the most beautiful lush greens, in some parts it seemed like you are in a jungle and there were some spots that you could easily mistake for the views of the exotic turquoise sea. There are also temples, pagodas, gardens and a bit further from the lake it is Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.

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We also stopped by Xiangshan Visitor Center, which is still under constructions. There you can find a café, souvenir shop and some nice views.

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Somewhere between those photos 2 very large snakes crossed our paths. It is kind of obvious that there would be animals with all the forest and greens around, but until we actually saw the first snake that didn’t really crossed around minds. So be careful, there are snakes, many different bugs and lots of birds.

Master Xuan Zang Memorial Hall is named after a monk who devoted his life to Buddhist teachings. He traveled to the West to find original scared texts and to translate them himself, because he was confused by all the different interpretations of Buddhism. In 1955 his relics were brought back to Taiwan and relocated to this temple when it was finished in 1965.

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After a long day there is nothing better than some food. Being in the center of everything was really helpful, because we didn’t feel like walking very far for some food. (We also had soups, but hunger was too great to take photos).

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Practical information:
  • We took a Taiwan Tourist Shuttle bus near Taichung Railway Station to Sun Moon Lake. I think we payed 195 NTD (around 5,5 EUR) per person one way.  You can pay with EasyCard or cash (but then you should have the exact amount).
  • We stayed in Sun Moon Lake Honeymoon Hotel (don’t let the name fool you, it is far from beautiful resort with pools or anything like that) and it wasn’t much but the lady was so kind and we communicated everything with few sentences in English she had written down on a paper, which was so cute.
  • If you go around the lake by bike, you should bring water and some snacks, because there are not that many places where you can buy something on your way around the lake. Make sure you are hydrated, especially if it is hot and you have to ride a bike.

Have you been to Sun Moon Lake? How did you like it?

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