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Sun Moon Lake

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Sun Moon Lake

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Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake (National Scenic Area) (日月潭 (國家風景區); rìyuètán) [1]) is in Nantou County of Taiwan.


Nestled at 760 meters, this lake is famous for its clear, sparkling blue water set against a picturesque mountain backdrop. This is the largest lake in Taiwan and a traditional spot for newlywed couples to take their honeymoon. It has also been a center of aboriginal life for thousands of years, with aborignal people involved in its tourist industry since the 1930s.

Get in

No trains go directly to Sun Moon Lake; the closest major station is Taichung, from where you will need to take a bus or taxi. Some direct buses are available from Taichung or Taipei, but often it is more convenient to take a bus from Taichung to Puli, then transfer buses for the half hour ride to Sun Moon Lake.

  • Bus From Taipei

1. Green Transit Bus (Feng Jung Bus)   Running daily from Taipei MRT ZhongXiao FuXing Station (Taipei East Area, near SOGO department store, no 274, Fuxing east rd, ) and Sun Moon Lake. For timetable and other details, please contact + 886 2 27522988 (Taipei), or + 886 49 2990407 (Puli)

2. GuoGuang Bus (國光客運, formerly TaiChi Bus)   Four buses run daily from Taipei West Station (near Taipei Train Station) to Sun Moon Lake. +866 2 23119893 (Taipei), or + 886 49 2990407 (Puli)

  • Bus From Taichung

 Nan-Tou Bus (南投客運) Running daily from Taichung Kan-Cheng Station (干城站) at Shuangshi Road (雙十路, near the railway station), High Speed Rail Taichung Station, Puli to Sun Moon Lake for NT$200 one way. For timetable and other details, please contact +886 49 2984031 (Puli)

Renyou Bus (仁友客運) has less frequent departures from Liouchuan East Road (柳川東路) near the railway station for NT$200 one-way and NT$350 for a return ticket.

GuoGuang buses from Taipei stop over in Chaoma station in Taichung.

  • Departing from Sun Moon Lake

There is a company with hourly bus service that stops directly at the Taichung high speed rail station - great if you're in a hurry to get back to Taipei. Tickets for this and most other buses are sold at the Sun Moon Lake Visitor's Center in Yuchich.

The last bus to Puli departs at 7:30pm, from where you can transit to a bus to Taichung.

Those in a hurry can also take a taxi from either Sun Moon Lake or Puli to Taizhong. Cost is around NT$1500 from Puli or NT$2000 from Sun Moon Lake.

When to Visit

Tourists descend on Sun Moon Lake over the weekends, and hotel room rates zoom up on Friday and Saturday nights. Visit during a weekday if you want to avoid crowds and get the best deals.

During the Mid-Autumn Festival, Sun Moon Lake is the site of a massive swim -- more than ten thousand swimmers plunge into the lake to swim 3KM across. Join the fun if you wish.

Get around

You can get around by bus, car, scooter, bike or boat. A loop road more or less circles around the lake, more or less, although you'll need to get off the road to view the lake. The most direct way from one side of the lake to another is by boat.


  • Wenwu Temple (文武廟) - The biggest temple on the Northern bank of the lake.
  • Ita Thao (伊達邵)- The village of the Thao Aborigines, and also called Dehua village (德化社).
  • Lalu Island (拉魯島) - In the middle of the lake. Lalu (lit. "Lake Island") is the name the Thao tribe, the original inhabitants of the area, gave to this sacred land, though it was changed to Guanghua (光華 or "Glorious China") during Chiang Kai-shek's rule of Taiwan. After 1999's September 21st earthquake the Taiwanese government, attempting to show greater respect and political awareness towards the Thao, reverted the island's name back to its original Lalu.
  • Ci-en Pagoda (慈恩塔) - The Chinese style pagoda is 46 meters tall. It was built by the Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his mother. It was completed in 1971 and sits on the hill southeast of the lake.


  • Take a boat tour around the lake. Most tours are a couple hours long and visit the above locations. Cost is about NT$300 per person.
  • Paddle a rowboat. Strong rowers can get to the island in the middle of the lake. Rent boat and lifejackets from the piers at Yuchuch for NT$200 per hour, plus NT$200 security deposit.


Aboriginal Handicrafts - mostly made out of wood or bamboo - are sold. In the Ita Thao village, many shops are aboriginal owned.


  • Jin Men Ah Ma Cha Ye Dan (金门阿么茶叶蛋) - Famous tea braised egg available at Xuan Guang Si pier.
  • Shaw tribe traditional food - Available at Shui She Pier.



  • Min Ren Hotel, No 138 Chungshan Rd, Shueishe (Just across the road from the Shueishe Visitor Center (or bus stop)), (049)2855338. The place is basic, and there's no lake view, but the beds are comfortable and every room has its own bathroom, AC and TV. NT$1000 for twin or double room (NT$1200 during weekends/holidays), breakfast not included.

Mid Range

★★"Tanxiang Resort Hotel Sun Moon Lake (日月潭 潭香時尚精緻渡假酒店)"[ The website:]Address: No.130, Zhongshan Rd., Yuchi Shiang, Nantou County 555, Taiwan (R.O.C.)【Room reservations】Chinese Service:+886-49-2856429/Fax: +886-49-2856430,English Service:[email protected] ★Situated near Sun Moon Lake, Tanxiang Resort offers modern rooms with free Wi-Fi and a 32-inch flat-screen TV. It is within a 1-minute walk from Sun Moon Lake Bus Station, Shuishe Visitor Centre and Shuishe Pier. ★Simply furnished rooms at Tanxiang Resort Hotel Sun Moon Lake feature wooden flooring and come with a 32-inch flat-screen TV, tea/coffee maker and private bathroom with shower. Local dining options are available in the area. Taoyuan International Airport is a 2-hour drive away. ★Guest services include bicycle rental, room service and a 24-hour front desk.★★

  • Sun Moon Lake Hotel (水沙連大飯店), 5 Mingsheng St, Yuchih Township, Tel:+886 49 2855 855, [2]. Rooms with lake view, dinner and breakfast included ( limited choice buffet at night, taiwanese style breakfast).
  • Harbor Resort Hotel Yuchich Township, Tel +886 49 2855 143, [3] 42 room hotel, on lake, with restaurant and sauna. Rooms are decent and location is good.
  • Sun Moon Lake Teacher's Hostel[4] This is a very nice hostel, intended for credentialed teachers. Non teachers can also book rooms on a space available basis. Well located in Yuchuch. Rooms start at NT$2200 midweek.


  • Del Lago Hotel (大淶閣大飯店), 101, Jhongshan Rd, Yuchih Township, Tel:+886 49 2856 688, [5]
  • The Lalu Hotel (涵碧樓), 142 Jungshing Road, Yuchih Township, Tel:+886 49 2856 888, [6], a five star hotel in Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area.
  • Fleur de Chine Hotel (雲品酒店), 23 Zhong Zheng Road, Yuchih Township, Tel:+886 49 285 5500, [7], a luxury five star resort situated at the picturesque Northern Peninsula of the Sun Moon Lake.

Get Out

The Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village[8] is a full out amusement park with rides and shows, all with an aboriginal theme. You can see elaborate cultural shows and enjoy the thrill rides. Located just north of the lake itself. Allow a full day to visit.

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