The Sun Moon Lake national scenic area management office is in front of the Youth Activity Center entrance, and has set up a 0.8 hectare butterfly garden. The area is filled with over seventy species of flowering plants, and beside from seeing kaleidoscopes of butterflies during breeding season, you can see butterfly eggs, pupae or caterpillars if you look at the plants carefully. The best time to watch the butterflies is between ten in the morning and three in the afternoon during srping and summer, when there are the most sunlight. The area also has very rich ecology where numerous other fauna and flora can be seen.
Sun Moon Lake cable car station
Sun Moon Lake cable car is situated directly opposite the center entrance, and goes from Ida Thao village to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. The cable car is 1.87km, taking about 7 minutes, and provides a bird’s eye view of the Sun Moon Lake sceneries.
Ida Thao commercial circle
Ida Thao is originally known as De-hua tribe, and is one of the busiest area around Sun Moon Lake. You can enjoy local snacks and cuisine at the commercial circle, buy specialty souvenirs, or you can head to Zhulu marketplace to watch the Thau aboriginal dance performances.
Ida Thao lakeside trail
The trail begins next to Panshi campsite, and you can follow the trail along the lakeside to Ida Thao commercial circle. The trail is about 500m.
The Shuiwatou nature trail is situated between Dazhu Lake and the cable car station. You can enter the trail from the cable station, and is about 1.5km in length. It is well known for its rich frog ecology, and you can stroll along the lakeside and explore the nine frog pyramid statue.
Shuishe Great Mountain trail
Shueish Great Mountain is 2059m high, and is one of Taiwan’s little hundred mountains. You can climb the mountain from next to the Center’s restaurant or entrance two at Ida Thao. The return trip take approximately 8 hours. Please judge your own stamina and plan accordingly. You can also walk from the center to Ida Thao. The one-way trip takes approximately forty minutes.
Featured tour routes
【1 day routes】
Ida Thao pier → ferry to Sheishe pier → Meihe Park → Christ Church → Hanbi trail → ferry to Xuan Guang Temple pier → try Ah’ma tea leaf egg at Xuan Guang Temple pier → Ida Thao pier → lunch at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center → Sun Moon Lake cable car station (to Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village and back) → Wenwu Temple → Xiangshan visitor center → ride bicycle on the water bike path to Shuishe → return trip.
【2 days routes】
Shuishe pier (take the ferry pass Xuan Guang Temple and Ida Thao) → lunch at Ida Thao (Thao-style cuisine) → Sun Moon Lake cable car station (cable car ride) → Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village → Tutingzai→ Xuanzang Temple → lodging at Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center.Day 2:
Activity Center → Shuishe → Meihe Park → Christ Church → Hanbi trail → rent bicycle → Sun Moon Lake bike trail (passing Beidan Bay, Shuishe dam, Yongjie bridge, Tongxin bridge, Xiangshan, Yueya Bay)→ Xiangshan visitor center → TouSher Basin (basin wetland ecological observation)→ Checheng → railway museum → wood exhibition hall → DIY woodwork → have wooden barrel bentou → Shueili (Erping Mountain popsicles, Taiwanese meatball, plum products) → Jiji (bicycle ride to Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute, Wuchang Palace, military park, Mingsin academy of classical learning, Zhenguo Temple, Jiji weir) → return trip.