Taichung (by Taiwan Tourist Shuttle) → Shuishe (by Round-the-Lake Bus) → Wenwu Temple, Songbolun and Dazhuhu Trails (by Round-the-Lake Bus) → Sun Moon Lake Cable Car → Ita Thao Lakeside Trail → Ita Thao Pier (Lake Tour by Yacht) → Dinner and Lodging at Shuishe
Shuishe → Xiangshang Bikeway → Shuishe Dam → Xiangshang Visitor Center → Return Home
Built in 1938 and rebuilt in 1969, the Wenwu Temple is built in the Chinese Northern Dynasty Palace style, both grand and magnificent. The Temple has three halls, devoted to the Founding Deity, Wenchang Dijun (The God of Culture and Literature), Holy Ruler Deity Guan (God of War), and Yue Fei (a General from Song Dynasty). The Dachen Hall in the rear is dedicated to Confucius among others. Deities from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taosim are all housed together.
The garden behind the temple is hidden in a green and luxuriant forest. When viewed from above, the bright yellow glass tiles of the Wenwu Temple contrasts with the luscious green of the mountains to bring out its magnificence. On a clear day, one can see Sun Moon Lake from the temple.
Songbolun and Dazuhu Trails:
The Songbolun Hiking Trail runs in all directions. The variations in the paths make it feel like a maze. At the entrance are stones carved with leaves. The path goes through the Chiang Kai-Shek memorial square and turns into the salt transport trail, lined on both sides by towering trees, making it feel like a walk in the forest. The Songbolun Trail was where the Thao ancestors landed and the route which they took to and from Puli village to collect land taxes. It is also an important venue where the ancestral and spirits ritual for the Chief Yuen. The trail served as an important salt transport path when the Sun Moon Lake hadn’t yet filled up with water. The Dazuhu Trail is the shortest natural trail at Sun Moon Lake, measuring 180m long. The aloe that grows around the trail provide a vital area where fish and shrimps of the lake can inhabit and reproduce, while serving as a habitat for birds such as herons and night herons.
Sun Moon Lake Cable Car:
The Cable Car connecting the Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village and Ita Thao by Sun Moon Lake spans 1.87km, and takes about 7 minutes. Seeing the Sun Moon Lake from above is as stunning as it gets.
Ita Thao Lakeside Trail:
The trail borders the mountains and the water amidst beautiful scenery and leads directly to the Sun Moon Lake Cable Car station. After passing through Provincial Highway 21A is the butterfly trails. Nectar plants favored by butterflies are planted along the trail serve as the stage for graceful dance performances by the butterflies.
Ita Thao Pier:
The wooden pier, the pavilion on the water, and the serene lake form a graceful picture. The pavilion is most suited for enjoying the breeze and the view of the lake. Ita Thao and Shuishe are the two main piers on Sun Moon Lake. They face each other, with the lake in between.
The Xiangshang Bikeway is situated between the Shuishe and Xiangshang visitor center, with 400m of it running over the water. It is the first bikeway that runs over the water at Sun Moon Lake and offers a beautiful open view. Points of interest such as Ci’en Pagoda and Lalu Island can be seen in the distance. The Shuishe Dam and the Yue Lao Shrine in the Longfeng Temple are just along the way.
The view from the wooden boardwalk along the shore is one of the glimmer of the water, the glimpses of the mountain through the mist, and the glitter of the reflection of the starry night sky upon the lake. It is a view that makes one relaxed and content.
Xiangshang Visitor Center:
Designed by famous Japanese architect, Dan Norihiko, the half-building-half-landscape design serves as a stage for dialogue between man and nature. Enjoy local Taiwanese coffee and the famous “director tea egg” or tea jelly in the coffee shop next to the visitor center, accompanied by the beautiful view of the lake and mountains.