Why Sun moon lake (SML)
Sun Moon Lake is must visit place in Taichung. Why Taichung? This might be the question people ask, when they travel to Asia. There are many countries with the rich culture like Japan, endangered pandas in China. My answer is that in few years I realised, I am the big fan of nature. I want to take rest from hustle and bustle from the city life. Taiwan has two nature reserve places one is Taroko National Park and other is Sun moon lake. We didn’t have time to visit both as both places. They are in opposite direction and needed at least 1-week itinerary to visit each. We embarked SML from Tokyo.
Peach airline announced their LCC flight from Japan to Taiwan’s multiple cities. Now it became easy to access, under budget especially transport wise. You can take flight from Tokyo to Taipei (midnight flight from Narita) and will reach early morning. The basement of Taipei airport is a bus hub and here you can purchase, bus ticket for Taichung. There is no direct bus for SML from the airport. You can stay in Taichung for a day or two. This city offers many things from architecture to coffee space and rainbow village. Wait for our next post about Taichun. Sun moon lake have direct access from Taichung and you can take the bus either from High-speed train station or from Gancheng station. Nantou Bus Company have offices in each place and you can book your tour in advance too. The Same bus can be taken from while coming back.
Where to start
SML is famous destination among tourist as well as the domestic public. Most of the hotels in SML are on the bank of the lake or just walking distance from the lake. If you reach in afternoon like us, the best thing is to visit the fresh fruit market which I miss some time in Japan, and local cuisines. Our recommended cafe is on the backside of Shuishe village, where bus stop. Many cafes offer western food but the price is a bit higher than local cuisines like wanton noodles and seafood. You can rent the bicycle from your hotel reception and ride around the lake for a worth watching the sunset. The local area map is available in Shuishe Village tourism office. If you like to enjoy karaoke or massage then you have plenty of options here.
Morning walk trail
it’s always nice to start the day, close to nature there is a walking trail especially for joggers along the lake. You will see many people around the lake, it’s quite possible that people are waiting for sunrise view. It’s a freshwater lake and we also found that in earlier days Japanese used the water of this lake for electricity production and cultivation. If you are not the fan of walking then you can take 1-2 days bus pass for visiting lake from point to point hop and hop, meanwhile bus frequency is also good.
Second half of the day
For the remaining half of the day, you can take the boat ride, the boat has fix last leaving time (around 19:00) so make sure to ask the person in writing on paper to avoid missing your last boat. There is two dropping point, the first point is Xuanguang temple and what you expect here is local music, stage performances, colourful calligraphy on stone and top view of the lake from the temple. There were many people who were photographing themselves in front of red colour calligraphic stone even were waiting in the queue. For the food lovers, tea leaf eggs are waiting for you, details you can google, just remember the same lady is selling it for last 50 years.
End half of the day
If you are done with this pier get ready for your next pier Ita Thao and here you will be introduced with a food street, souvenir shops and local artists performing magic and dance, while you enjoy the dusky beauty of sun moon lake. What I enjoyed there is barbeque meat with different sauces, some were chilli while others were sweet-sour. In the front of the pier, you will see cable car ticket counter and tourist centre, you can take the cable car to visit Formosan Village and get the panoramic view of the lake from the top of the world.
Last boat back to hotel
We encountered with local artist painted in white colour and performing floating man illusion, check our youtube video for that If you have one-day circular loop pass, then you can go back by bus, which is ok even around 21:00 but if you want to go back by boat pass then keep asking last boat time.
We had our 3~4 days stop here and it was worth enjoying the peace of sun moon lake and escape from the hectic life of Tokyo. Keep connected to hear more from us.If you like more relaxing place, do not forget to read our post about some quiet and peaceful romance