Sun Moon Lake

A lot of locals and travel blogs recommended visiting Sun Moon Lake, one of the "8 Views of Taiwan" (according to the Taiwan government).  Since the forecast predicted 1 day without rain while we were in Taichung, we decided to give it a try.  

From Taichung, the only way to get to Sun Moon Lake is by bus (or private car/scooter).  We tried to catch the first bus of the day, but it passed our stop because it was completely full (despite it being a weekday).  We opted to walk to the bus stop at the start of the route (near the Kaohsiung main train station) to improve our chances of getting on, and managed to catch the next bus.  After a 2 hour bus ride, we finally arrived at the lake and found our way to Giant Bikes to rent some bikes for the day.

The bike ride around the lake is about 33 km with a mix of dedicated pathways and windy roads shared with cars.  The Giant staff recommended we go clock-wise around the lake so that we would be biking on the side of the road/path that is nearest to the lake.  

Our first stop was the Wenwu temple, which is the biggest temple on the lake.  Compared to the other temples around the lake, this one was the most worth visiting (in our opinion).  

Our next stop was at the village and wharf on the South side of the lake where we wandered the Ita Thao shopping district and sampled some local-made vinegar and snacks from one of the vendors. 

We made some quick stops at a couple more temples and the futuristing-looking Xingshang Visitor Center, before returning the bikes and taking the bus home.  

Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan and is known for its clear calm waters surrounded by mountains and forests.  Compared to the lakes and mountain scenery that we are accustomed to in Canada, this lake wasn't anything particularly new or unique for us (first world problems 😂), but we did still enjoy our relaxing cycling activity around the lake.