Sun Moon Lake: A serene escape in Taiwan (Quick Travel Guide)

by Viola
sun moon lake

Sun Moon Lake is the Largest body of water in Taiwan. It’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for both locals and travelers. I recently visited SML on my two weeks tour of Taiwan. In this post, I share a quick Sun Moon Lake travel guide for anyone who is thinking about visiting this gem in central Taiwan!


*Psst this post contains affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase.


How to get in

The best way to get to Sun Moon Lake is by bus as there are no trains that goes there directly. From Taichung, get on the Nan-tou bus (南投客運) at Taichung Kan-Cheng Station (干城站). You can purchase the ticket on the day at the ticketing booth but it may be wise to book ahead of time. The ticket cost 200 NTD one way and the ride to Sun Moon Lake is about 90 minutes.

If you are coming from Taipei, you can take the GuoGuang Bus (國光客運) that runs four times daily from Taipei West Station.

The buses will drop people off at the Shuieshe visitor centre, which is on the north side of the lake. Be careful to check where your hotel is as the lake is huge. If your accommodation is on the south side of the river, you may have to take a taxi or get on a local bus (which stops running after 5:30 p.m)


What to do in Sun Moon Lake

Hike along the walking trails

There are many easy trails along the river for you to take nice strolls. Take in the fresh air and beautiful view as you walk along. If you get tired, you can sit on one of the benches and relax a little.

sun moon lake



Alternatively, biking along the banks is very popular here. You can see many bike rental shops. There are even tandem bikes! I really wanted to get on one of those but my boyfriend was not too down. Are tandem bikes lame or cool? Whatcha think? Let me know in the comments!


Go paddle boarding

I tried paddle boarding for the first time in SML and it was so fun! You can choose to do it either during early morning for sunrise or late afternoon for sunset. Either option is beautiful. We did the sunset option and it was super peaceful to be standing on the still water…Except for my boyfriend who fell in the water about 99 times. I definitely got a good laugh. Tall people and their balance issues lol.


Get on a boat

Just another way to see the lake. If you are a boat person, there are no shortage of boat tour options at Sun Moon Lake.

Sun Moon Lake


Visit Wenwu Temple文武廟

Wenwu Temple honours the Civil Saint of Confucius, and the Military Saint of Guangong and more. Located on the north side of Sun Moon Lake, it’s totally huge. It has long been a center of faith for the locals. The ground is full of intricate and fascinating details!

Sun Moon Lake



What to eat in Sun Moon Lake

To be honest, you won’t find the best food in Taiwan at Sun Moon Lake. On our first day, we tried our luck searching on our own for food and was not too satisfied with what we found. After asking our B&B host, he told us that the best restaurant in town is called “Chuang Yi Xiao Chi” 创意小吃, located right across the street from our accommodation! (more on where that was below). So after a disappointing lunch, we took the advice and headed to this restaurant, hoping for a good dinner. And….Yes it was a winner! The food was quite tasty (not amazing but pretty good. I’m quite picky lol).

sun moon lake


Try the local specialty “President Fish”/Aruzay fish. Aruzay breeds extensively in the water at Sun Moon Lake. It got named President Fish after the former president Chiang Kai-Shek visited SML and greatly enjoyed the fish dish he was presented. You can find this dish in almost any restaurant. 

sun moon lake president fish


Braised pork feet is also a very popular dish. If you’ve never had pork feet before, you are missing out! So juicy and melts in your mouth when cooked just right. 创意小吃 nailed this one I must say!

sun moon lake



Where to stay in Sun Moon Lake

Wu Ju Su B&B 吾居宿精品旅店

Just a short walk away from Shuieshe Visitor Centre, Wu Ju Su is a very homey B&B ran by a local family. Their rooms are themed and cutely decorated. The owners are very helpful and friendly when it comes to any questions. They also provide free breakfast coupons for visitors to Mos Burger near by. And as mentioned, it’s right across the street from “the best restaurant in town”, according to our adorable host at least :P.

sun moon lake wu ju su b&b


Going to Taiwan soon? Plan your trip in 4 easy steps

Book A Flight: Find the cheapest flights on Skyscanner, my go-to search engine. 
Find A Hotel: Score affordable accommodation on Booking.comReceive $16 off your first booking with my link here
Buy insurance: You never know what may happen on the road. Protect your trip & gear with World Nomad, the best travel insurance company ever. Get a quote here.

Read up on the best advice: Love a good old fashion guide book. Suggested reading: Lonely Planet: Taiwan Travel Guide


Bon voyage!




Read these Taiwan posts next!

7 Cute Cafes and Restaurants in Taiwan You’d Want to Instagram

Two Weeks Taiwan Itinerary

Taipei Taiwan Travel Guide

Exploring Jiufen: What to Do and Eat

Taichung: The Most Underrated City in Taiwan

Sun Moon Lake: A Serene Escape in Taiwan

Alishan: Best Sunrise and Hiking Spot in Taiwan

What to do in Tainan: A Quick Travel Guide


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Rowena November 30, 2018 - 11:10 pm

Hi there! Thanks for sharing your reviews! I will be going to SML in March next year & will be doing the stand up paddle boarding too. May I know how do we get about to the paddle boarding location once we arrive SML? My bf & I are planning to do that during sunrise at 5.40am and we will be coming straight from Taichung via taxi. Does Taichung even have taxi services at odd hours in the morning? Because we do not want to stay in SML and prefer to travel from Taichung instead. Appreciate your kind advise or feedback! 😊😊😊

Viola December 1, 2018 - 4:12 pm

Hi Rowena!

Taichung does have taxi early in the morning. However, I recommend arranging with your hotel before hand so you have a taxi ready to go at your departure time. For our paddle boarding trip, we were picked up from our hotel in SML so I am unsure where you can go for paddle boarding directly. You can ask this hotel we stayed at. https://www.booking.com/hotel/tw/wu-ju-su-jing-pin-lu-dian.html?aid=1452419&no_rooms=1&group_adults=1 They were the one who helped us arrange our paddle boarding instructor 🙂


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