The Sun Moon Lake(日月潭; Rìyuè Tán) National Scenic Area is praised for its five major recreational systems, including the lake, Shueili River, Puli, Jhuoshuei River, and Jiji. The surrounding areas stretch to cover known tourist spots including Taumi, Checheng, Jiji, Shueisheda Mountain, Sangyong Falls, Mingtan Reservoir, and Shueili River.
Divided by Lalu Island, the Sun Moon Lake scenic area got its name from the unique terrain that looked like a sun on one side and a crescent moon on the other. Crowned as one of the Eight Wonders of Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is also the most famous source of hydroelectric power; offering key tourist themes – “high mountain and lake”, “indigenous culture”, and “nature ecology,” the Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area attracts more than six million visitors each year.
Sun Moon Lake is on the itinerary of every Chinese group tour to Taiwan, so expect hordes of tourists year-round. But do not be deterred by the crowds – at an altitude of 762m, this largest body of fresh water in Taiwan is one of the island’s most lovely natural vistas. While boating is popular, hiking and biking allow you to get off the beaten path while staying on the tourist trail.
Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan, and is comprised of the diamond-shaped Sun Lake and curved Moon Lake. The Thao people call it “zintun” which may have been the earliest name given to Sun Moon Lake. The earliest record of the name “Sun Moon Lake” was in the article, “Travels to Shueilishe”, written by Deng Chuan-an in 1821, which said, “I have no idea where the water comes from. It is about 10 li (half a kilometer) in length, and a third of that in width. The water is red and green, so it is named Sun Moon Lake.” After the Han people came to reclaim the Shueishalian land, Sun Moon Lake was given more names, such as Shueishe Large Lake, Shueili Lake, Shueilishe Lake, Shueishehaizih, Bamboo Lake, Dragon Lake and so on. In the late Cing Dynasty, the western missionaries came to Sun Moon Lake to share their faith with the Thao people. They named Sun Moon Lake “Dragon Lake”, “Lake Candidius”, “Nin-Isivatan Lake”, etc.
The island on Sun Moon Lake was the ancient settlement of the Thao people. They consider it to be the home of Pashala, their highest-ranking ancestral spirit. The island is called “Lalu Island” in the Thao language. During the Cing Dynasty, it was called Pearl Islet, Pearl Hill, etc. There is a saying that Cinglong (Green Dragon) Mountain (Kunbariz Mountain in the Thao language) and Lunlong (Mountain Dragon) Mountain (Titabu in the Thao Language) are facing to each other with Lalu Island in the middle; it creates the image of two dragons playing with a pearl, so it was called Pearl Island. During the Cing Dynasty, Westerners called it Pearl Island. In the Japanese occupation period, it was called Jade Island and “Island in the Water”. After the restoration from the Japanese, it was called Guanghua Island. After the 921 Earthquake of 1999, the Nantou County Government changed its name to Lalu Island out of respect for the Thao tribe.
Sun Moon Lake features the only full-range 3D tours (lake, sky and land) in Taiwan. The lake cycling trail has been recognized by CNNGO, CNN as one of the most beautiful cycling trails in the world. Top scenic spots in the lake area include Lalu island, Wenwu Temple, Cien Pagoda, Lalu Island, Syuentzang Temple, Xian Mountain, Yongjie Bridge, Tongxin Bridge, Christian Church, Meihe Garden, Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village and Snake Kiln, and the 14 lake trails are the top choices for sightseeing and leisure activities; specialty recreational locations in surrounding areas include (organized based on tour theme): Jiji and Checheng (Railway Nostalgic Trip); Dili and Sangyong (Indigenous Village Tour); Lugao and Seshui (Black Tea Pottery Tour) and Puli Taumi and Toushe Live Basin (Nature and Ecological Tour).
The central location of Sun Moon Lake also means that the bountiful tourism opportunities available in Nantou County are only a short drive away. The area draws tourists from all over the country and its unique attractions are increasingly a magnet for international visitors. Government has provided some one-day tour or two-day tour on the website, if you don’t know how to plan a trip for Sun Moon Lake, just take a look! Not only for the day view, the night scenery is also beautiful. Due to the low pollution, the sky at night is so clear that you can stargaze at night.
Sun Moon Lake
-Located in:Central Taiwan
-Features:Nature Landscapes, Scenic Spots
-Highly recommend to:Outdoors Enthusiasts
-Address:No.599, Zhongshan Rd., Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan