Top Things to Do around Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

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Top Things to Do around Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Surrounded by the jagged peaks of Taiwan's central mountain range, this uniquely-shaped lake is one of Taiwan's most famous scenic spots. A center for aboriginal culture set in the heart of nature, there's plenty of incredible things to do around Sun Moon Lake to warrant a visit.

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Top Things to Do around Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Wenwu Temple

Wenwu Temple Sun Moon Lake

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This impressive temple looms over the north side of the lake, full of stunning traditional Chinese architecture. Built in 1938, the temple consists of three different main halls, one dedicated to the God of Literature and God of Wealth, another to the God of War and the other to Confucius. The temple also offers one of the most impressive views of the lake, perched on a hill looking over the whole area below.

Hiking around Sun Moon Lake

Hiking in Sun Moon Lake

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Sun Moon Lake is perfect for those with a love for the great outdoors, there are plenty of hiking routes all around the lake. Maolanshan is a mountain slightly north of the lake, which offers some of the best scenery and vantage points to view the lake from above. Shuishe Nature Trail traverses the mountains to the east of the lake, providing some beautiful views out to the lake along the way.

Cycle around the Lake

Cycling around Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

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If the weather permits, there's no better way to explore the beautiful area around Sun Moon Lake than leisurely cycling around it. While it only takes a few hours to cycle around the whole lake, there's plenty of attractions along the route that make it well worth making a day out of it.

There are some dedicated bike paths around the lake, but most of the route is via main roads. The roads here are wide and leave plenty of space for those walking or cycling around the lake however.

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Sun Moon Lake Ropeway Cable Car

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While it's more of an amusement park than an actual aboriginal village, it's an interesting place to learn a little about Taiwanese aboriginal culture, with the area around the lake home to the Thao tribe. The park also has plenty of attractions and entertainment aimed at children, making it the perfect day out for those with little ones in toe.

One of the best things about the park however, is the journey itself. Located in a mountain valley next to the lake, access is via a cable car which traverses over the impressive sloping mountain scenery with views towards Sun Moon Lake along the way.

Sunrise at Jinlongshan

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Further north of Sun Moon Lake, JInlong Mountain or Golden Dragon Mountain might be only 820 meters in height, but the view at sunrise is one of the most famous on the island. This scenic spot is renowned for the stunning sea of clouds that often appears from below during the early hours of sunlight. From October to March every year, it's the most common time to see the sea of clouds at Jinlong Mountain, which looks especially stunning with the glare of the sun rising above.

Take a Boat Tour of the Lake

boats on Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

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Apart from just viewing the stunning scenery from the shoreside and mountain viewpoints, you can either take a ferry between the north and south side of the lake or hop on a boat tour of the lake. Boats leave regularly to tour the lake from the main piers of Shueishe Pier, Chaowu Pier and Ita Thao Pier.

Where is Sun Moon Lake?

Sun Moon Lake is located in Nantou County, in the Central Mountain Range that cuts through the heart of Taiwan.

How to Get to Sun Moon Lake

As one of Taiwan's most famous nature getaways, there's plenty of ways to get to Sun Moon Lake from different cities around Taiwan. The easiest way to reach Sun Moon Lake by public transport is from Taichung. Buses leave from next to Taichung Station in the center of the city and Taichung HSR Station, the high-speed rail station to the west of the city, taking passengers directly to the major towns around Sun Moon Lake.

There are also less frequent buses that leave from Taipei to Sun Moon Lake (about 4 hours journey time) and Alishan, the latter requires booking in advance.