Visiting Taiwan: Enjoy the Serenity of the Sun Moon Lake

First View of Sun Moon Lake from the Bus

Heading to Sun Moon Lake from Taichung

From Taichung, it is easy to get to Sun Moon Lake, our second destination in Taiwan. There are direct buses to Sun Moon Lake from the Taichung High Speed Rail (HSR) and Train Station. For us, we took one from the HSR station. We purchased the return ticket which costs TWD340 as of November 2012. Note that there are no seat numbers and you need to queue for the bus before the departure time in order to secure a seat.

The bus stops at the Shuishe Tourist Visitor Centre where we purchased a whole day pass for the shuttle bus which goes around the Sun Moon Lake. It costs only TWD80 and with the pass you can hop on and off at the various stops. For those who are physically fit, you can also choose to rent bicycles to tour the area. You can also purchase tickets for boat rides around the lake and stop at the many piers.

Calm and Serene Sun Moon Lake

Take the Cable Car or Ropeway Ride at Sun Moon Lake

From Shuishe, we took the shuttle bus to Ita Thao village where we checked into our guesthouse. As we were hungry, we had a sumptuous lunch at Ita Thao itself. You will find many restaurants here offering the same deal of TWD 500 for 3 dishes plus one soup. Hence, we ordered this and had no regrets as all the dishes were delicious particularly the crispy fried fish. After a filling lunch, we then hopped onto the shuttle bus for the cable car station. We purchased the tickets as a package with our room, and it costs about TWD200 per person. The cable car provides visitors with a good view of Sun Moon Lake and the surrounding mountains. We had two different views as on the way up the weather was still clear and sunny, but when heading down, it was raining and misty. A totally different feel!

Stairs near Wenwu Temple

Interesting Visit to Wenwu Temple

From the cable car station, we boarded the bus again and stopped at Wenwu Temple. Across the temple, there is a flight of stairs which lead down to the lake shore. You will notice that the steps are engraved with the 366 dates of the year. Along the stairs, there are many wind chimes hanging too. The steps from the top start from December so if you are born in January, be prepared for a long hike up after going all the way down to the shore. It is not an easy climb!

As it had started to rain, we decided to make Shuishe town our last stop. We chilled out at the only Starbucks in town and waited while the rain stopped. Then, we explored the town and admired the scenery at the pier. While we were there, there was also a couple taking their wedding photos.

View from the High Speed Rail Platform

Back to Taichung

Before the shuttle bus stopped its run, we boarded it again from the visitor centre to get to Ita Thao. Early next morning, we boarded the bus again from Shuishe to get to the Taichung HSR station. It was just a short trip to Sun Moon Lake but we had fun and a relaxing time. While waiting at the HSR station, you can have a meal there or pack a meal if you are rushing for your train ride. Besides food, there are also many interesting shops there including a branch of Carton King. Do take a look at this unique shop if you have the time.

At Carton King Outlet at Taichung High Speed Rail Station

Payment counter made entirely of cardboard.
Payment counter made entirely of cardboard.

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