In this third segment of my Taiwan adventure with hotels.com, the team and I set forth on a 3-hour journey to Nantou County, spending 2 nights at The Crystal Resort Sun Moon Lake. It is my second trip to Sun Moon Lake, and I don’t think I will ever tire of this picturesque serene place. If time permits next year, I definitely want to re-do this Taipei-Taichung Itinerary with my dad, especially so that he can enjoy what Ri Yue Tan (“Sun Moon Lake” in Mandarin) has to offer. A bit of history on Sun Moon Lake: Besides being known for its scenic landscape, Sun Moon Lake is home to an ancient community of the Thao tribe, one of Taiwan’s many indigenous minorities!
With two nights allocated to Taichung for this trip, we had ample time to explore the sights and sounds located around the 3 major ferry points of Sun Moon Lake. If you are here alone or with your partner, I reckon a night’s stay at Sun Moon Lake will suffice – but give yourself plenty of time during the day to walk around! However, if you are a nature-lover, or are looking for a place to unwind, or if you are coming with family (especially with kids or grandparents), then 2 nights will be perfect!
How to get to Sun Moon Lake
If you are coming from Taipei City, take the Taiwan High-Speed Rail (HSR) from Taipei Station to Taichung Station, standard reserved seats will cost 700 TWD (~ $32 SGD) one way. Afterwhich, you can either arrange for a taxi to send you directly to your hotel at Sun Moon Lake for approximately 2000 TWD (~ $90 SGD) – this might be the better option if you are traveling in a group of 3 or 4 with plenty of luggage – or, you can catch a shuttle bus from Taichung Station, which will cost you 190 TWD (~ $9 SGD) one way, you view the shuttle bus timetable here.
I stayed at the Lake Room, which did not disappoint. It had the most perfect view of the lake, as you can probably tell from the pictures we took! Waking up to undisturbed tranquility every morning was just the best.
Handy phones are also provided in our rooms so you can have access to unlimited local and international calls (to certain countries), free internet access as well as speed dial to hotel services! With various services tailored to the specific region, you don’t have to worry about navigating a foreign/new county!
The Crystal Resort Sun Moon Lake sits on the bank of Taiwan’s largest body of water, and is a 5-minute walk to Ita Thao Pier, where you can join the lake tours. Ferry passes retail for NT$100 (~S$4) per person. The boats depart every half an hour (Operating hours may differ depending on the season), and travels in an anti-clockwise direction round the lake, stopping at each of the 3 main wharfs for 10 minutes, every 15 minutes.
On our final day, we took a walk along Ita Thao Lakeside Trail, admiring the mirror-like lake’s surroundings and taking in the soft sunlight. Don’t worry if you don’t have a map, just keep a lookout for signs along the way to direct you.
Feeling peckish after the walk, we visited the nearby food market just a street away from our hotel. The food market spans across Yiyong and Wenhua street and gets quite busy with tourists in the morning. Some of our favourite finds from the market include the quintessential Lu Rou Fan from 蒸開心 (Zhen Kai Xin), Elsie’s and Puay Fang’s choice of milk tea and pearls from 大甲芋頭牛奶 (Da Jia Yu Tou Nu Nai) and my preferred milk tea and pearls from 头目的店 (Tou Mu De Dian).
The Crystal Resort Sun Moon Lake’s seamless and hassle-free stay, coupled with Sun Moon Lake’s breathtaking landscape and quiet evenings made for a leisurely and unhurried 2-day “work vacation”. Don’t forget to book your stay at The Crystal Resort Sun Moon Lake via hotels.com to capitalize on its proximity to Sun Moon Lake’s attractions. Alternative, check out this list of hotels around the lake hotels.com has partnered with for exclusive discounts and deals!
Next up: Top 6 spots to visit in Taichung!