Boats in the sheshui pier at sun moon lake
Boats in the sheshui pier at sun moon lake

Revealing Sun Moon Lake: Top Picks for Sightseeing

About Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake, the largest body of water in Nantou County, Taiwan, is renowned for its scenic beauty and cultural significance. The lake encompasses a small island known as Lalu, adding to its allure. The eastern side of the lake represents the sun, while the western side symbolizes the moon, creating a captivating contrast that draws visitors from near and far.

Looking for Accommodation at Sun Moon Lake?

Entrance to Mei Jen House
Entrance to Mei Jen House

Discover Mei Jen House, a charming accommodation nestled on Zhongshan Road at Sun Moon Lake. With its convenient location, guests enjoy easy access to the lake’s attractions and the Shueishe Visitor Center Bus Station. The rooms are impeccably clean and adorned with delightful wall art, promising a comfortable and inviting stay. Hospitality is top-notch, with the friendly and hospitable host ensuring guests feel welcome and well-cared for throughout their visit.

Display of teddy bears at Mei Jen House
Teddy bears at Mei Jen House
  1. Rent a bicycle to explore the area at your own pace.
  2. Take a ferry boat ride to enjoy the scenic views from the water.
  3. Utilize the Round-the-Lake bus service, ideally with a one-day pass for convenience. Click here for the timetable.

Explore the Attractions Near Sun Moon Lake:

Sheishui Pier

Boats docked at Sheshui Pier on Sun Moon Lake
Boats docked at Sheshui Pier on Sun Moon Lake

Sheishui Pier offers a picturesque setting at Sun Moon Lake, making it a popular attraction for visitors. On clear days, the pier provides a stunning vantage point to witness the sunrise over the lake, offering a breathtaking sight to behold. Additionally, Sheishui Pier serves as a convenient departure point for ferry boat rides to explore other parts of the lake, including Ita Thao Pier and Xuanguang Pier. Don’t miss the opportunity to soak in the beauty and tranquility of Sheishui Pier during your visit to Sun Moon Lake.

Drone shot at Sheishui Pier

Xuanzang Temple

Entrance gate of Xuanzang Temple
Entrance gate of Xuanzang Temple

Xuanzang Temple, situated in Yuchi Township, is a renowned Buddhist sanctuary with a rich history. Constructed in 1965, the temple serves as a memorial to Xuanzang, a revered monk who undertook a legendary seventeen-year overland pilgrimage to India during the Tang dynasty. Delve into the spiritual legacy and cultural significance of Xuanzang Temple as you discover its tranquil surroundings and ancient teachings.

The bell tower of Xuanzang Temple
The bell tower at Xuanzang temple
 Xuanzang Memorial Museum
Xuanzang Memorial Museum

Ita Thao Village

People visiting the Ita Thao Visitor Center
Ita Thao Visitor Center

Ita Thao is a close-knit community of Taiwanese aborigines residing near Sun Moon Lake. The name “Ita Thao” translates to “we are the people,” reflecting the cultural identity and unity of its residents. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and traditions of the Ita Thao tribe as you explore this unique cultural enclave nestled amidst the natural beauty of Sun Moon Lake.

People at Ita Thao Pier on Sun Moon Lake
Ita Thao Pier

Ita Thao Village offers an array of attractions for visitors to discover and enjoy. Highlights include the Visitor Center, Ita Thao Pier, lakeside trail, and the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway. From cultural experiences to scenic vistas, Ita Thao Village provides a diverse range of activities for travelers seeking adventure and exploration.

Woman cooking at a food stall in Ita Thao
Food Stall at Ita Thao

No trip to Ita Thao is complete without indulging in its culinary delights. From refreshing bubble tea drinks to savory barbecues and unique dishes like rice cooked inside bamboo and deer meat, there’s something to tantalize every palate. Embark on a food trip in Ita Thao to savor the flavors of traditional Taiwanese cuisine and make your visit truly memorable.

Visitors at Ita Thao Pier
Nathaniel at Ita Thao Pier

Wenwu Temple

Tourists at Wenwu Temple
Wenwu Temple

Wenwu Temple stands as the largest temple in the Sun Moon Lake area, steeped in history and cultural significance. Originally, there were two temples in the vicinity, but when the Japanese colonial government constructed a dam for hydroelectric purposes, the water level rose, leading to the relocation and rebuilding of the temples at their current site. Explore the majestic Wenwu Temple and uncover its rich heritage against the backdrop of Sun Moon Lake’s breathtaking scenery.

Dragon sculpture at Wenwu Temple
Dragon sculpture at Wenwu Temple
Visitors praying at Wenwu Temple
Visitors praying at Wenwu Temple

Wenwu Temple is comprised of three distinct halls, each dedicated to revered deities and figures. The first hall, situated on the second floor of the front hall, honors the First Ancestor Kaiji and the God of Literature. The central hall pays tribute to Guan Gong, the God of War, along with the warrior-God Yue Fei. Lastly, the rear hall is dedicated to the revered philosopher Confucius. Immerse yourself in the spiritual and architectural splendor of Wenwu Temple as you discover the significance of each hall.

Rear hall of Wenwu Temple
Rear hall of Wenwu Temple

At Wenwu Temple, intricate wall carvings often feature dragons, symbolizing power, prosperity, luck, and protection from evil. Delve into the rich symbolism of these mythical creatures as you explore the spiritual and cultural significance they hold within the temple’s architecture. Experience the awe-inspiring beauty and symbolism of Wenwu Temple’s dragon carvings during your visit to Sun Moon Lake.

Wenwu Temple seen from the rear
Wenwu Temple seen from the rear

Discover the rooftop platform at Wenwu Temple, offering panoramic vistas of Sun Moon Lake. This picturesque spot is perfect for capturing stunning photos to share on Instagram. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility of the surroundings as you take in breathtaking views from this iconic location. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Wenwu Temple and capture memorable moments against the backdrop of Sun Moon Lake.

The rear view of Wenwu Temple"
The rear view of Wenwu Temple”
Drone video above Wenwu Temple


Exploring Sun Moon Lake’s top picks for sightseeing unveils a delightful blend of natural beauty and cultural charm. From scenic viewpoints to historic temples, each stop offers a memorable experience that captures the essence of this stunning destination. So, pack your camera and sense of adventure, and get ready to create lasting memories at Sun Moon Lake!

Hey Travelers! Share your favorite spots at Sun Moon Lake in a comment.

Nathaniel Amoyen is co-founder of Joanathx. Full-time ex-pat worker at day and writer at night.

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4 Responses

  1. Casey says:

    OMG it looks gorgeous! I wish I could travel there.

  2. Kate says:

    I absolutely cannot wait to be able to visit there. Post covid dream:)

  3. Linda says:

    When I visited Taiwan for the first time, I heard about the Sun Moon Lake but wasn’t able to visit! Next time, I am planning to make this a stop, especially because of this beautiful Wenwu Temple!

  4. Once when I was in high school, a teacher told me that china had very similar weather to the New England region. And those photos, landscape and weather, remind me so much of Massachusetts. So badly want to visit! My husband is heading over there for work, but wont be able to explore!

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