Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) is the largest lake in Taiwan, also home to the smallest aboriginal tribe in Taiwan, Thao people (邵族). Locate right in the middle of Taiwan, Nantou is the only landlocked county. Nantou offers some of the best travel experiences you can get in Taiwan. Other than Sun Moon Lake, Hehuanshan (合歡山) and Cingjing Farm (清境農場) are also well-known tourist spots in Nantou.
A loop road circles the lake. There are option of bus, rented car, scooter or bicycle to travel around. The most direct way from one tourist spot to another is by boat. If you stay around Sun Moon Lake, you can easily get a complimentary ticket.
My first stop was the biggest temple on the Northern bank of the lake, Wenwu Temple (文武廟). Wenwu Temple is devoted to God of Literature, God of War, warrior God and Confucius, hence the name WEN (knowledge) WU (martial) Temple.
Second stop is the ever so famous Mushroom Herbal Egg (金门阿么茶叶蛋) and Syuanguang Temple. From Syuanguang Temple, you can get a good view of Lalu Island and , where the priest of Thao tribe lived on. It is considered as Thao Tribe sacred land.
You can also find locals performing Taiwanese oldies at every tourist spot with their cultural costume.
My last stop was Ita Thao (伊達邵), also called Dehua Village (德化社), the village of the Thao Tribe. From this stop, you could talk a pleasant walk to cable car station for a ride overlooking the lake. This cable car takes you to Formosn Aboriginal Cultural Village (九族文化村), an amusement park with aboriginal theme. Definitely worth visiting if you’re travelling with kids.
Make sure you reserve a full day if you want to see everything. I spent 2 days by taking it real slow. And also! If you’re staying around the lake, most of the hotel provide free bike for you cycle around. For serious cycling round the lake (a total of 30km with few designated stops), there is a bike rental center at Shuishe Visitor Centre (水社遊客中心) that can provide your need.