Top 3 things to do in Sun Moon Lake Travel taiwan

Sun Moon Lake│ Travel Taiwan

Sun Moon Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Taiwan, is nestled in the picturesque region of Nantou, at the heart of the island. This stunning natural wonder has become a hotspot for sustainable travelers, drawing in nearly 3 million tourists every year. Its undeniable allure is underscored by its ranking in CNN’s list of the top 10 most beautiful cycling routes in the world.

The appeal of Sun Moon Lake extends beyond its breathtaking vistas and cycling opportunities. It is also one of the most family-friendly travel destinations in Taiwan. The infrastructure around the lake has been carefully developed to cater to the needs of travelers of all ages, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an inclusive and accessible experience.

One of the standout features of Sun Moon Lake is the well-paved, safe, and clean pathways that crisscross the region. These pathways are not only perfect for cyclists but are also stroller-friendly, making it convenient for families with young children. Additionally, the area is wheel-chair friendly, ensuring that travelers with mobility challenges can explore the beauty of the lake without any hindrance.

The accessibility of Sun Moon Lake makes it a versatile destination for travelers of different backgrounds and abilities. Whether you’re planning a family trip with little ones in tow, or you have special mobility requirements, Sun Moon Lake offers an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. It’s a testament to Taiwan’s commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism, creating an experience that leaves a positive impact on both the environment and the people who visit.

Sustainable Practices at Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake has implemented several sustainable practices to preserve its natural beauty and protect the environment. Keep in mind that there might have been further developments and initiatives since then. Some of the sustainable practices that were being implemented include:

Eco-Friendly Transportation:

Sun Moon Lake encourages the use of electric buses and boats, reducing air pollution and noise. Electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly and help maintain air quality in the area.

Waste Management:

Efforts have been made to implement effective waste management practices, including recycling and reducing single-use plastics, to keep the lake and its surroundings clean and litter-free.

Conservation and Reforestation:

There were ongoing efforts to conserve and restore the natural habitat around Sun Moon Lake. Reforestation initiatives aimed to maintain the lush greenery and protect the ecosystem.

Water Quality Monitoring:

Regular water quality monitoring helps preserve the lake’s pristine condition. This practice is crucial for maintaining the health of the lake’s ecosystem.

Tourist Education:

Educational programs and initiatives were in place to raise awareness among tourists and encourage responsible behavior while visiting the area. Visitors were informed about eco-friendly practices and how to minimize their environmental impact.

Cultural Preservation:

Efforts were made to protect the indigenous culture and heritage of the region, ensuring that it is respected and preserved in the face of tourism development.

Community Involvement:

Local communities were often involved in decision-making processes and implementing sustainable practices, ensuring that the benefits of tourism are shared with the local population.

It’s important to check the latest updates and initiatives on sustainability in Sun Moon Lake, as these practices may have evolved or expanded in the years following my last visit. Sustainable tourism is a continuous process, and destinations often adapt and improve their practices over time to meet environmental and community needs.

Related article: Are We There Yet? Travelling More Responsibly With Your Children

Getting to Sun Moon Lake

Getting to Sun Moon Lake from Taipei Main Station requires some planning as there are no direct train connections. Here are three options to consider:

1. Direct Bus from Taipei to Sun Moon Lake:

You can opt for a direct bus from Taipei to Sun Moon Lake. This journey typically takes around 5 to 6 hours.

2. Train to Taichung, Then Bus to Sun Moon Lake:

Another choice is to take a train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung Train Station, which usually takes around 2.5 hours. From Taichung, transfer to a bus heading to Sun Moon Lake, which adds an additional 1.5 hours to your travel time, making it a total of 4 hours.

3. High-Speed Rail (HSR) to Taichung, Then Bus to Sun Moon Lake:

If you’re looking for a faster option, consider taking the high-speed rail (HSR) from Taipei HSR Station to Taichung HSR Station, which takes approximately 1 hour. From Taichung HSR Station, you can transfer to a bus that will take you to Sun Moon Lake, which usually takes about 1.25 hours. This option offers a quicker total travel time of around 2.25 hours.

Whether you’re arriving from the South, North, or Central Taiwan, using GPS navigation can help you easily navigate the region to reach Sun Moon Lake. Additionally, some hotels in the area provide convenient pick-up and drop-off services from and to Taichung HSR Station, making your journey even more hassle-free. For more detailed information and to plan your trip effectively, it’s advisable to visit the Official website for the latest updates and guidance.

Best Time to Visit Sun Moon Lake?

Sun Moon Lake is a year-round attraction that draws visitors from far and wide. However, it’s best to avoid the summer months due to the monsoon season, as the high heat and humidity can make it uncomfortable to spend extended periods outdoors.

The more favorable time to visit is from November to March when the humidity levels drop, creating a pleasant atmosphere. This period also offers the advantage of clearer skies, allowing the mountains surrounding the lake to stand out in all their glory.

Top 3 things to do in Sun Moon Lake Travel taiwan

Things to Do in Sun Moon Lake

1. Stroll Along the Lake

Sun Moon Lake is renowned for being one of the top 10 most beautiful cycling routes in the world, but you can also enjoy a leisurely walk along the lake’s picturesque shores. Exploring the lesser-known, non-touristy areas around the lake can be a delightful experience. Many travelers prefer taking early morning walks, especially with children, after a hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee.

2. Ropeway

A ride on the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway offers a dual delight. Firstly, it treats you to a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of Sun Moon Lake, and secondly, it serves as a means to reach the Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village. Keep in mind that the operating hours may vary between weekdays and weekends, so it’s advisable to check in advance for the latest information.

3. Ferry Ride

Exploring Sun Moon Lake by ferry is one of the most popular activities for visitors. Several ferry companies operate from the main pier, with boats departing approximately every 10 minutes. Most ferries are well-maintained and comfortable, providing a pleasant journey. Many ticket packages include access to three piers: Shueshi, Itashao, and Syuanguang, allowing you to disembark and reboard at your leisure without additional fees. For first-time visitors, it’s recommended to disembark at these piers and savor delicious local cuisine at each station. However, be prepared for crowds, as Sun Moon Lake attracts visitors year-round.

4. Hiking

For nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers, the surrounding area offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through lush forests and scenic viewpoints. Exploring these trails allows you to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the region. Whether you’re a casual hiker or a seasoned trekker, there are options for all levels of hikers to enjoy the serene landscapes of Sun Moon Lake.

Annual Events in Sun Moon Lake

Swimming Carnival

The renowned Sun Moon Lake swimming carnival takes place annually around the Mid-Autumn Festival. This event has earned recognition among the Top 50 Open Water Swims in Asia and the World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims. It draws over 20,000 swimmers from both Taiwan and abroad, all eager to take on the challenge of swimming 3000 meters across the lake. The competition is open to anyone over the age of ten who is healthy and capable of swimming long distances.

Marathon

The Sun Moon Lake marathon is a much-anticipated annual event. The racecourse winds through lush greenery and towering trees alongside the tranquil, turquoise waters of the lake, making it one of the most pleasant running tracks in the world.

The marathon is well-organized, with ample provisions like energy drinks, water, salt, sugar, chocolates, and various fruits stationed at several points along the route. The last 5 kilometers feature a challenging elevation, and the organizers even offer refreshing ice creams before the uphill stretch. Overall, the marathon offers a delightful experience and is well worth participating in at least once.

Cherry Blossom Festival

The annual Sun Moon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is a highlight of Taiwan’s cherry blossom season. Taking place from February to March, this festival showcases a breathtaking display of over 5000 cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

Recommended spots to enjoy the cherry blossoms include:

    • Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village
    • National Chi Nan University
    • Ita Thao Lakeside Trail
    • Ci En Pagoda Trail
    • Jinlongshan Trail
    • Shiangcha Lane and Youshui Lane in Yuchi Township
    • Guangfu Lane in Xinyi Township

Dragon Boat Festival

The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated with enthusiasm at Sun Moon Lake. It typically falls in June and features exciting dragon boat races. Teams from various regions compete, and the vibrant spectacle, combined with the lake’s natural beauty, makes it a thrilling event to witness.

Lantern Festival

The Lantern Festival in Sun Moon Lake is a magical and vibrant event. Taking place in February, it marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The lake is adorned with beautifully crafted lanterns that illuminate the surroundings, creating a captivating and surreal atmosphere.

These annual events at Sun Moon Lake provide a diverse range of experiences, from athletic challenges to cultural celebrations, and are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the local culture and natural beauty of the region.

Sun Moon Lake

Where to Stay in Sun Moon Lake?

The Fleur de Chine Hotel

Sun Moon Lake boasts a diverse array of accommodations, including hotels and Minsu guesthouses. On our various visits, we’ve had the opportunity to stay in different hotels.

Our initial choice was the Fleur de Chine Hotel, which left a lasting impression. From the moment of our arrival, we were welcomed by exceptionally friendly and helpful staff. Our room offered breathtaking views of the surroundings, making our stay truly memorable. The hotel’s buffet was a culinary delight, offering a wide range of delicious food options.

Fleur de Chine Hotel also boasts hot spring tubs, adding a touch of relaxation to our stay. Additionally, they provide a convenient shuttle bus service from Taichung HSR station, making the journey to Sun Moon Lake hassle-free. The hotel is also conveniently located near a bus stop that circles the lake, allowing for easy exploration of the area.

While I regret to say that I’ve lost a few important photos from our stay, I can confidently share that Fleur de Chine Hotel is recognized as one of the top 10 kid-friendly hotels in Taiwan. This makes it a highly recommended choice for families looking to enjoy a fantastic experience at Sun Moon Lake.

The Wen Wan Resort Sun Moon Lake

During our second visit to Sun Moon Lake, we chose The Wen Wan Resort as our place of stay. Situated atop a hill, the resort offers a serene escape from the bustling streets below. Notably, this resort was the preferred accommodation for Taiwan’s former president, Mr. Chiang Kai-Shek.

Our decision to stay at The Wen Wan Resort was influenced by its exceptional architectural design. The aim was to capture the essence of the breathtaking landscape and transform it into an unparalleled hospitality experience.

The Wen Wan Resort is renowned as one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in Taiwan. The property features an enticing hot spring swimming pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and a variety of restaurants. Guests have the option to include breakfast and dinner in their room package. The breakfast is presented buffet-style with a stunning view of the lake, while dinner is served on the top floor and offers private dining rooms for larger family groups.

While the restaurants offer a delightful dining experience, there is room for improvement in terms of taste and food refinement. It’s worth noting that dining at the resort can be on the pricier side, but a short walk into town reveals numerous restaurants with more budget-friendly and local alternatives.

Check-in Experience:

Upon arrival, visitors are greeted with a magnificent 45-meter-high ceiling in the lobby of The Wen Wan Resort. The lobby is spacious, well-illuminated, and provides several comfortable resting areas. During our check-in, we were warmly welcomed by the staff, who also took the time to explain the resort’s facilities and its rich historical background. Thanks to the relaxed atmosphere, we were swiftly escorted to our room.

Room & Facilities:

The primary allure of the hotel lies in its panoramic views of Sun Moon Lake. Hence, we opted for a family lake-view room. Each room is equipped with a hot spring tub, and that’s where we headed right after settling in. I had brought some shower toys and a floaty ring for my 6-month-old daughters, and we savored countless quality moments together against the backdrop of the breathtaking scenery. It was a truly enjoyable experience for all of us.

After a morning of exploring the natural surroundings, the in-room balcony proved to be the perfect place to unwind while our kids took their midday nap.

Hotel Surroundings:

The surroundings of The Wen Wan Resort are tranquil and ideal for family walks. A special parking garage elevator leads to the glass balcony, where kids can revel in running along the 60-meter-long glass-surfaced skywalk. The observation deck is free for hotel guests, offering a mesmerizing perspective of the area.

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