Friday, April 12, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 4 - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) | Sun Rise | Cycling

4 December 2018

Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), located in the mountains of Nantou, is Taiwan's largest natural lake. Divided by Lalu Island, it got its name as the eastern side of the lake resembles the sun while the west side looks like the crescent moon. There are so many activities you can do in Sun Moon Lake and we managed to cover our top 7 activities all in ONE day!

1) Sun rise at Sun Moon Lake
2) Cycling around Sun Moon Lake
3) Boat tour (Shuishe, Ita Thao, Xuanguang Temple)
4) Ci-En Pagoda
5) Ita Thao Food Street
6) Sun Moon Lake Ropeway
7) Sunset at Wenwu Temple


6:10am - Staying overnight at Sun Moon Lake is a must as we wanted to watch the beautiful sun rising above the mountains against the turquoise blue lake. We woke up early in the morning and walked to secure a spot by the lake. According to the locals, this is one of the spot where you can see the sunrise. 

Sleepy heads but we love the cold weather!

Even though I am not exactly sure where the sun will be rising from, we stayed on and continued to search for the shimmering glow in the sky. I must say it is a very scenic and peaceful lake view with the thin veil of mist at the distance mountains and the amazing clouds formation in the clear blue sky. 

After waiting for near to 1 hour, we were starting to ponder if we stood at the wrong location or if we have missed the time. Just as we were about to make our way back to our accommodation for  breakfast, we spotted rainbow and the sun peaking out from the mountains! 

7am - The sun continues to rise and we can see the golden reflections in the waters

A beautiful sun rise to start our day trip in Sun Moon Lake


Cycling in Sun Moon Lake is our top activity to do on our list. Rated as one of the most beautiful cycling trails in the world by CNNGo Travel, you will not regret setting at least 2-3 hours aside to take on the most breath-taking cycling routes. 

8:30am - After having a sumptuous breakfast at Blue Sky Bay B&B, we received bicycle rental discount vouchers from our host since we are stay-in guests. The vouchers can be used at the bicycle rental shop located just next to the B&B which makes it so convenient for us to set off early for our morning ride! We spent NT1000 to rent 4 bicycles which entitles us to cycle for the entire day! That is less than SGD12 per bike! 

You may like to check what are the cycling routes at Sun Moon Lake to pre-plan the bike paths you would like to take on. For our family, we chose the Shuishe to Xiangshan visitor center cycling route as the 3.4km ride (1 way) covers most of the scenic spots that we would love to see.

8:40am - Cycling at Sun Moon Lake is a pleasure. We enjoyed the fresh air and cooling weather. Not forgetting the tranquil and astonishing scenery along the way.

I really love the mixture of lush greenery and orange hue as we paddled our way through. Every section is a perfect picture spot for us to stop and enjoy its serenity. 

The calm deep blue waters of Sun Moon Lake

9:17am - It took us about 40 mins to cycle from Shuishe to Xiangshan Visitor Center leisurely while the estimated time was 30 minutes. We took a slightly longer time because we made a few stops to take pictures and admire the scenery.

We cycled on a little further to Xiangshan Overlook Platform where visitors get closer to the lake and have a panorama view of Sun Moon Lake, Lalu Island, Ci-En Pagoda and Shuishe Village.

We cycled back to Xiangshan Visitor Center (向山遊客中心) for our coffee/tea break. The unique architecture consists of two curved buildings. Surrounded by green lawn and water, the open designed area is a wonderful place where to enjoy the beautiful view of Sun Moon Lake and a cup of coffee at the same time!

Say Hello to 喔熊 OhBear - Taiwan's Tourism Mascot. Keep a look out for him when you are travelling around Taiwan.

A perfect resting spot to check out the souvenir shop and cafe.

We ordered ice-coffee, ice tea and black coffee. 

10am - Riding back from Xiangshan Visitor Center to Shuishe and stopping by at times for photo-taking.

Golden autumn leaves! 

10:30am - Our ride back to Shuishe was faster and we took only 30 minutes. It was a pity we were not able to spend more time to explore the other sections of the bike paths due to time constraint. Nevertheless, it was a therapeutic and fulfilling ride.

Click on our video as we take you on a ride from Shuishe to Xiangshan Outlook Platform

More of Day 4 on our next post.

More photos @ BPDGTravels Facebook page

Check out our 2 Weeks Taiwan Itinerary Family Trip here

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