After a spending a week in Japan, Ke and I met up with a group of friends in Taiwan! For my second time in Taiwan, I decided to drag Ke and our friends all around the country. We spent the first few days in Taipei and then headed to Sun Moon Lake.
For things to do in Taipei, check out my post here. We only had a day at Sun Moon Lake but I wished I had planned for 2. Unless you are coming from Taichung, I would highly recommend staying at least 2 days here. There were a few things I would have loved to do but we didn’t have time.
How to Get There
From Taipei or Taichung
We took a car from Taipei since we had such a large group but if you don’t want to hire a driver or drive yourself, the easiest way would be to take the HSR from Taipei Main Station to Taichung.
From Taichung, you can take a taxi, about 1 hour for about $75-90 dollars. Some hotels also offer a shuttle service from Taichung. If neither of those are an option, you can take this bus from Taichung HSR or Railway station to Sun Moon Lake.
Sun Moon Lake is quite large and many of the different scenic spots are a 20-30 min drive from each other You could bike to all of the main attractions but its hilly and would take a few hours. There is also a bus that goes to all of the main attractions around the lake, the schedule is here. You can go to Shuishe Village to rent scooters as well if you have an international driver’s license.
Where to Stay
We used this day at Sun Moon Lake to relax and enjoy the scenery in between our Taipei and Tainan plans. I love hotels and wanted to find one of the best ones at Sun Moon Lake. We decided to stay at Fleur De Chine*, a mid to high range hotel. It included a buffet breakfast, a delicious 7 course dinner, a free shuttle from Taichung, and breathtaking views of the lake with natural hot spring baths in each room.
Here are all of my hotel recommendations:
- Low – mid range: The Crystal Resort Sun Moon Lake
- Mid – high range: Fleur De Chine
- High end: The Lalu
What to Do
Bike Around the Lake
As soon as we checked in, Ke and I rented bikes from our hotel and started riding around on the lake’s bike path. Many hotels offer bikes or you can hop on the bus and go to Shuishe Village to rent bikes or scooters like I mentioned before. We biked for about an hour, enjoying the scenery and stopping to take pics of the sunset.
Wen Wu Temple
The next morning Ke and I went to check out Wen Wu Temple. This temple was a short walk form our hotel and is also a stop on the Sun Moon Lake bus. We took the walking path by the lake and made our way up the Wenwu Steps, also called the Stairway to Heaven, all filled with prayers and wishes. The temple is beautiful and so are the views of the lake. The morning we went, it was foggy and super gorgeous.
Ci’en Pagoda was at the top of my list after reading about its beautiful views. It was a 30 minute drive from our hotel, followed by a 15 to 20 min hike up stairs. Once we reached the pagoda we were able to also climb to the top. The views were worth it! I was shocked at how empty this landmark was as well.
With more time…
Sadly with only a day we didn’t have time to boat around the lake, explore some of the local villages, or take the gondola. I think at least two days here would be ideal but even if you only have a day its still worth the visit!
I’m so happy we had the chance to visit Sun Moon Lake, it was a highlight on this 2nd trip to Taiwan. I’ve fallen in love with Taiwan and can’t wait to come back and explore more areas off the beaten path. I feel Sun Moon Lake lives up to the hype especially with beautiful weather, hot spring tubs, and great company =D