Friday, October 20, 2017

Taiwan: Sun Moon Lake Travel Guide

Sun Moon Lake located in the Yuchi Township, Nantou Country is a lake in the foothill of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range. It is a vast lake which home to scenic places.

Looking through the top of the mountain gives a peaceful and calming view of the entire lake and the places besides it.

Sun Moon Lake 720

To explore the lake at the most economical means, I used a Sun Moon Lake Pass NTD720 which includes
a.     Taichung – Sun Moon Lake one way bus ticket
b.     Taichung – Puli one way bus ticket + Puli – Sun Moon Lake one way bus ticket (you can use this as Sun Moon Lake – Taichung one way bus ticket)
c.     Sun Moon Lake Ropeway round trip transfer
d.     Boat Voucher (Shuishe, Xuanguang Temple & Ita Thao)
e.     Round the Lake Bus one day pass Voucher
f.      Shuishe – Xiangshan Bus one way Voucher

There are other available pass that you can consider based on your schedule, please click here.

Where to get the Sun Moon Lake Pass:

1.     Nantou Bus Counter, HSR Taichung Station – 07:30 to 18:00
2.     Nantou Bus Counter, Gancheng Station, Taichung – 06:00 to 22:00
3.     Nantou Bus Counter, Puli Station – 06:20 to 22:00
4.     Nantou Bus Counter, Shuishe Station – 08:00 to 18:00
5.     Cingjing Travel Agency (Nantou Bus) – 08:30 to 17:30

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Taichung – Sun Moon Lake – Taichung
This will take you directly from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake. The travel time is about 2 hours and may have stops depending on the time of your bus. I bought my SML Pass at Gancheng Station, which is a 10-minute walk from my accommodation, Chance hotel.

In Sun Moon Lake, the bus stop and pick-up point is at Shuishe Station.
You can use your Taichung – Puli + Puli – Sun Moon Lake voucher as a Sun Moon Lake – Taichung Pass.

For more information, please click here.

Sun Moon Lake Round-the-Lake Accessible Bus
From its name, this shuttle will take you around the lake and stops on the following station: Shuishe, Wenwu Temple, Sun Moon Lake Ropeway, Ita Thao and Xuanguang Temple.

First departure:
09:00 (Shuishe to Xuanguang Temple)
06:40 (Shuishe to Ita Thao)

Last Departure:
18:00 (Xuanguang Temple to Shuishe/ Ita Thao to Shuishe)

For more information, please click here.

Sun Moon Lake Ropeway (Cable Car)

The cable car will take you for Sun Moon Lake Ropeway Station to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and vice-versa. To get here, you can walk from the Ita Thao Wharf to the Station or wait for the Round-the-Lake Shuttle and alight at the Station.

Operating hours:
Weekdays - 10:30 to 16:00
Holidays – 10:00 to 16:30

For more information, please click here.

Sun Moon Lake Accessible Yacht
Aside from land travel to explore Sun Moon Lake, you can also take advantage of the Yachts.

We had three Yachts pass which includes:
1.     Shuishe Warf to Xuanguang Temple Wharf
2.     Xuanguang Temple Warf to Ita Thao Wharf
3.     Ita Thao Warf to Shuishe Wharf

Other Places to Visit in Sun Moon Lake
The Sun Moon Lake is adequately full of places to explore and activities to try. Below are some of them.

2.     Xuanguang Temple
From the Xuanguang Temple Wharf, you will need to walk for about 10-15 minutes to reach this place.

3.     Xuanzang Temple
It is a temple overlooking the lake with intricate designs and façade. The benches on the right side will definitely give you the sense of peacefulness.

From the Xuanguang Temple, you will come across the Xuanzang Trail, which is an hour ascending to the peak. If you want the untiring option, you can ride the Round the Lake Shuttle and it will stop at this temple.

4.     Ci’en Pagoda
5.     Formosan Aboriginal Culture
6.     Ride Sun Moon Lake Ropeway
The cable car will take you to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

7.     You can explore the Lake through Bicycle.
There are accommodations in the area.

We spent one whole day at Sun Moon Lake but I guess it was not enough. There are more places to explore and experience. I suggest that you spend more days in the place and take advantage of the serene vibes that it offers.

This trip is Day 2 of my 4 days and 3 nights Taiwan Tour.
For complete itinerary and expenses, please click here.
For Taiwan Travel Guide, please click here.

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