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Taichung and stunning Sun Moon Lake

A visit to the lake is a must!

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Taichung is not well known for tourism but rather as a large city and a great base from which to visit the Sun Moon Lake. When I organised the trip I did not plan to do anything in particular in Taichung, but I had two evenings to walk around and get to know the place.

When I arrived in Taichung, I wasn't sure what to expect but I found what seems to be a very liveable and walkable city. It is mostly flat and has free public transport (buses) to get around. It's a very big city, so you can't walk everywhere, but it's easy to move around even when you don't speak a word of Chinese (as long as you have Google Maps). My highlights of Taichung were the Taichung Park, the walkways alongside the rivers and streams in the city, and an amazing and trendy dessert shop (called Miyahara) where I had an amazing ice cream. Although I was not looking to explore Taichung in depth, I felt that Taichung has a lot to offer and it seems like a very liveable city.

Taichung Park

Taichung Park


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Walkaways along the river in Taichung

Walkaways along the river in Taichung

For the Sun Moon Lake, I bought a day pass with a company called Nantou which runs the bus shuttle services to the lake from Taichung as well as the local buses around the lake. The day pass was a pretty good value for me as it included all transportation (bus to the lake, around the lake, boat shuttles across the lake, cable car, and a discount to hire bikes in the area). I planned a very intense day and managed to see all the main landmarks around the lake (usually people stay overnight). I must say my favourite activity around the lake was actually riding a bike around the well-built cycle paths (some parts over the water). The view points are excellent and it is such an enjoyable experience. I was lucky enough with the weather, so my time there was pretty amazing.

Cycle path on the water

Cycle path on the water


Cycling around the lake

Cycling around the lake


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The other points of interests around the lake included temples, hiking paths, aboriginal villages and of course the ropeway (cable car) where you can see the most stunning views of the lake. The best temple (and most famous) is called Wenwu. This probably will be a highlight in any tourist guide you read, but with reason. The views from the top are just outstanding and the temple is very interesting as well. From the villages, Ita Thao is by far the best, with great street food (a great place to try Gua Bao, the Taiwanese Burger). It has the most character, it's well connected by boat and close to the cable car. I think if I go back to the lake, I would probably stay there.

For me this lake was the highlight of my trip to Taiwan (and I love Taipei), and the best way to end it. Such great weather, scenery and an enjoyable day. Taiwan was above my expectations, and I am very keen on coming back to explore further this beautiful island.

Wenwu Temple

Wenwu Temple


View from Wenwu Temple

View from Wenwu Temple


Aerial View from Cable Car

Aerial View from Cable Car


Ita Thao Aboriginal Village

Ita Thao Aboriginal Village


Taiwanese Burger

Taiwanese Burger


Hike path to the pagoda

Hike path to the pagoda


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It's time now to go to back to Malaysia and meet up with Phil in Kuala Lumpur after his work trip to Cape Town. I'm looking forward to having a relaxing time after an amazing but intense week in Taiwan.

Omar

Posted by omarp 06:12 Archived in Taiwan

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