Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful scenic area in Taiwan and a popular tourist destination. Besides the lakeside scenery, one can also enjoy boat rides, Taiwanese street food, gift shops, temples, a gondola, aborigine theme park, and more. It is for sure a must-see destination for anyone coming to vacation in Taiwan.
We have visited Sun Moon Lake a total of 6 times over 7 years, using 3 different cameras and 3 cell phone cameras, in luckily mostly good weather. In the blog below I will stitch together all of these trips in a way that hopefully makes sense. It may not be the most ultimate guide ever but it has most of the major sites in it.
Sun Moon Lake (aka Zintun in local Thao language) is the largest natural lake in Taiwan and home of the aboriginal Thao tribe. According to legend, a white deer led the tribe to the lake, and is now trapped in a marble stone on Lalu Island, which is sacred ground to them.
The name "Sun Moon Lake" comes from the different colors of the water in the lake, some of it being murky and on other parts of the lake, clear. Another account says that the name comes from parts of the lake being round like the sun, and other parts of the lake being curved like the moon.
The first hydroelectric plant was built on the lake in 1919 by the Japanese, which was later taken over by the ROC government. The hydroelectric power is part of a system of hdro power plants running from Wushe to Sun Moon Lake down to Shuili Township, and includes at least 8 plants.
Sun Moon Lake Scenic area was created in 2000. The lake attracts visitors from around the world from year round for its beauty and surrounding sights, and is also known for the annual Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival which thousands of people attend each year.
How to Get There:
Bus: There are buses (Ubus/Kbus/etc) that leave all day from Taichung Station.
By Car: Take National Highway 6 from Taichung up to Puli, and then follow the signs on highway 21 down to Sun Moon Lake. You can also take a car/scooter up highway 21 up from Shuili Township further south.
Boat: You can circle the lake via three spots: Shuise Pier, Xuanguang Pier, and Ita Thao Pier.
Scenic Area Entrance: Free
Parking: Around 100 NT per day for cars
Boat Ride: 300 NT per person
Gondola Ride (Ropeway): 300 NT per person
Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village: 850 NT per person
Scenic Area: 24/7
Boat Ride: roughly 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM every day
Gondola Ride: 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM every day
Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village: 9:30 AM- 5 PM every day
Map: Please see below:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.