Taiwan – Transportation in Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake

Taxis are very limited in Sun Moon Lake area; so limited that I didn’t even see any during my two nights stay. Having said this, I don’t think that affected my mobility even though we didn’t have a car and were traveling in a big group (4 adults, 2 children and 2 seniors). There are basically 4 main transportation modes in the area; the first and probably most obvious one is to self drive. This has always been my preferred mode of transportation for my holidays. However for this trip, we relied solely on public transportation and it had served us well. Sun Moon Lake was no exception.

On our first day, we arrived late and thus we spent the night walking around the vicinity of the hotel. On the second day, our plan was to spend the whole day at Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village (九族文化村), which is located on the opposite side of the lake. In this case, it’s faster and easier to take the cruise across the lake from our hotel (碼頭休閒飯店水社码头) to Ita Thao (伊達邵). There are four piers that you can board the ferry – Shuishe Pier (水社碼頭), Ita Thao Pier (伊達紹碼頭), Xuanguang Pier (玄光碼頭) and Chaowu Pier (朝霧碼頭). For some reasons, I don’t recall the ferry stopping by Chaowu Pier and you may want to confirm on this if you are planning to use this Pier. Ticketing booths are available at the piers.

Shuishe Pier (水社碼頭)

Xuanguang Pier (玄光碼頭)

Ita Thao Pier (伊達邵)

The ferry

On the third day, we decided to take the round-the-lake bus to visit the various attractions around the lake. Though it’s not as convenient as self-driving, I actually quite enjoyed it. Firstly, I don’t have to worry about parking. Secondly, the buses are quite frequent (see the time table below) and with proper planning, I could visit most of the key attractions in half a day. You can either buy a full day pass at NT$80 or use the easycard for single trip payment; either way, it’s convenient and affordable.

Round-the-lake bus

Round-the-lake bus schedule FROM Visitor Centre (Highlighted ones are for weekends and holidays only)

Round-the-lake bus schedule TO Visitor Centre (Highlighted ones are for weekends and holidays only)

Map of Sun Moon Lake

If you are adventurous enough, you can also try to the fourth method of transportation – cycling. Since I didn’t do this, I can’t share any personal experience. But just to set the expectations right, the route around the lake is not going to be easy. I saw some cyclists on the undulating terrain and some parts of the roads were actually quite dangerous as the bicycles and motor vehicles had to share the common narrow road. Whichever mode of transportation you choose, please be safe. 😉

Useful Information – General:


  • Round-the-lake bus (NT$21 per stop or NT$80 per day)
  • Sun Moon Lake ferry (NT$300 per trip)

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