Lucky me, I have just come back from an incredible weekend trip to Taichung & Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan. Don’t panic, I’m still in Taiwan as I live in Taipei teaching English, and Corona is almost non-existent here. So, travel is the best thing to do to celebrate the Moon Festival.
We never spent more than a consecutive day in Taichung, so there was only so much we could get up to. But, in between checking in and out of our accomodation, and finding vegan spots to eat, we did a lot of wandering and discovering. I must admit, I’ve fallen in love with the chilled vibe of Taichung and kind of wish I had moved there instead of Taipei. It just seems more distinct. There’s also such a focus on sustainability and there are many vegan spots to eat. But, here are some of the places we did go to!
Rainbow village is somewhat west of Taipei, in between the High Speed Rail and the city, so it’s worth visiting at the start or the end of your trip. It has an amazing story of a solder who painted the area because he wanted to protect it from being demolished. And now, it’s a cute tourist attraction for the perfect Instagram shot. Great.
There’s nothing too much to see here as it’s a very small area, so we had a look, got our pictures like every other tourist there, grabbed a watermelon juice, and went on our merry way.
Botanical Garden in Taichung
For no more than 20NT a ticket, you can step into the Botanical Garden, which features an indoor waterfall and plenty of plants to gander at. Theres also a tank of fish to check out whilst having a snack there too. Again, it’s a cute little pit stop that I wouldn’t urge you to check out, but it is pretty peaceful spot if you fancy a change in scene.
Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is in the middle of nowhere. In Taiwan, this is only the best place to be because that means beautiful mounains, forest trails, and incredible things to see and do. After getting the bus up the mountain, we only had the day to do as much as we could. So, we visited temples, took several ferries across the lake, overlooked the mountains on the cable cars, and hiked a bit. It was beautiful.
There’s never enough time in the day, and we didn’t get chance to go kayaking, paddle boarding, or cycling on an electric two-person bike. There’s also an aboriginal village to explore, alongside a cultural park. I plan on going back very soon to do all of that! I guess my word of advise here is to spend more than just a day at the lake if you want to experience many of the things it has to offer.
Where to stay in Sun Moon Lake
Stay at the Owl hostel in Sun Moon Lake. Hans, who works at the front desk, was incredible at making us feel welcome and spoke perfect English. The beds offered amazing privacy as they were spacious pods with a lockable sliding door. The vibe was really cool and friendly too, with plenty of space to lounge out, either in the lobby or rooftop, or in this cool hang out space on one of the floors (see pic below!). We only stayed one night, but my friend swears its the best hostel he’s stayed in, and he hates hostels.
Next week comes another long weekend, which means more travel! Me and my friends will be heading to Kaohsiung City in Southern Taiwan. More pics coming soon 🙂 Happy Moon Festival!