Nicknamed Mother Earth of Taiwan, this green, land-locked region is home to commanding mountains, clear rivers and tranquil lakes.
Nantou’s splendid scenery draws hikers and nature enthusiasts from around the world. This region is where you will find one of Taiwan’s most famous attractions, Sun Moon Lake, as well as some of the highest mountain peaks in the region.
Don’t miss visiting Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan’s largest and arguably most beautiful lake. It is named for its two uniquely shaped halves, one resembling a spherical sun, while the other looks like a crescent moon. For the best view of the lake, ride the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway up into the surrounding hills. Take a boat out onto the bright blue waters or explore the quiet nature trails nearby.
Head to the small town of Puli to see Chung Tai Chan Monastery, an extravagant monument with a 37-story tower at its center. At night, light beams illuminate the monastery against the night sky. Wander through the monastery’s remarkable interior, including the completely white Great Enlightenment Hall and the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas, which houses thousands of small copper Buddha statues.
Take a tour of the Puli Wine Museum & Factory and learn about Shaohsing wine, a traditional Chinese wine produced in Puli. You can even sample Shaohsing-flavored items, such as sausages and popsicles. Walk the gentle trails that branch out from Cingjing Farm, a lush expanse of meadows, tea bushes and fruit orchards.
Brave the dramatic Sky Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges on the island. This 600-foot (204-meter) bridge hangs 230 feet (70 meters) above a valley in the Houtanjing Recreation Area. Relax in the natural hot springs found in Lushan or Dongpu or explore the ceramics culture park in Shueili.
Nantou can be reached by train from Taichung. Many of the major attractions, such as Sun Moon Lake, are also connected to Taipei by bus. Weekends are the most popular time to visit Sun Moon Lake, so it’s best to visit during the week to avoid the biggest crowds.