Saturday, May 03, 2014

Sun Moon Lake Ropeway (日月潭纜車) - A Must-Go @ Taiwan [Yuchih Township]

On the ferry ride towards Itashao from Shuishe pier, one of the buildings that would have caught your attention would be the station of the heavily advertised sun moon lake ropeway.

Its location, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, was actually easily accessible via a side route from Itashao town. And that's the route we took after dumping our luggage at the hotel in I Ta Thao (the aboriginal name of Itashao)! 

Ita Thao Lakeside Trail - with a length of 900 meters, there was honestly no need to hurry along this scenic trail even though i was painfully aware that my schedule was super tight that day. On the other end of the cable was a humongous theme park that i was so looking forward to but the only problem was that the ropeway closes at 4.30pm, leaving us with only roughly four hours to explore.

Nonetheless, the relaxing sight of calm turquoise water coupled with the laid back atmosphere helped by a temperature that hovered less than twenty degrees (in Celsius) kind of forced me to slow down my footsteps.

I wasn't complaining as there could be so many things we would have missed out in our haste to do something (this is relevant in our day to day life as well; neglect for family when we are just too involved in our work is one classic example). Have you spotted the hairy caterpillar yet?

To truly enjoy sun moon lake, especially for those who want to explore the different trails, temples etc, i would strongly recommend a stay of at least two nights. 

If budget is an issue, maybe you can consider staying in any of the camping sites. There was one located right beside the ropeway! I tried searching for more information on this specific camping ground but the website ( appeared to be unavailable.

Opened to much fanfare in year 2009, this cable system travelled across a path of 1,877.15 meters that involved climbing a 43-degree elevated gradient to cross two peaks of Mount Buji! 

Okay, not really a big deal for me since the basic purposes of cable cars are to bring you over hills and mountains, cut short the journey taken from one end to another and provide a bird's eye view of the surroundings. 

Without further ado, let's continue our journey by purchasing the tickets first! Now, there are basically two types of tickets; the sun moon lake ropeway (single / round trip) and the combined formosan aboriginal culture village with ropeway (round trip).  

Time permits? Just go for the combined tickets! You only need to top up NT$480 for each person and this would give you access to the aboriginal village which is in fact a theme park by itself! I don't know what happen but there was a promotion when i visited; i only paid NT$580 each for the combined tickets (which included discounted coupons that could be used in the village)! 

04 April was Taiwan's Children's Day; a national holiday yet it didn't take us long before we stepped into the cable car! Heng ah as i heard the queue to enter the ropeway can drag for hours on some public holidays! The staff was also very accommodating if you prefer not to share the cabin with strangers!

Why did we bring a bear to the cable car?! Nope, it wasn't us! There was a classic teddy bear exhibition in the aboriginal village and this was part of the publicity campaign; a large bear was placed in every cable car! So cute right?! 

View was stunning although it was still too cloudy to take a decent picture that would have taken your breath away. Being physically there was a totally different story of course (truthfully, pictures can only do so much).

Those health freaks i know can consider taking the mountain trail. I bet it would be an invigorating experience that would guarantee to result in a few days of leg sore.

Reaching the "smile valley" which was 786 meters wide! Its name came about because the suspended ropeway formed a curve across the valley; representing a smile. So, there's nothing even remotely historical about its origin! 

Each cable car was given a coat of paint representing the primary colours; red, yellow and blue. However, they also symbolise the red sun, yellow moon and blue lake! Notice how they all link up to be the word sun moon lake! To complicate the colours even more, red also means happiness, yellow for enjoyment and blue for ecology!

Why ecology? Maybe it has something to do with the vast greenery surrounding both sides of the ropeway although ecology didn't quite gel with the two 'emotional' representation of red and yellow. 

Unlike most cable car systems that have numerous stations / stop, Sun Moon Lake Ropeway serves only two stops; the ropeway station where we embarked, and the formosan aboriginal culture village. 

I shall talk about the village in a separate post as there were over sixty pictures! As you could probably see from the above photograph, there was another cable car system but that was for use only within the cultural village.

Please be assured that the "village" is going to be way more modern than the above and not as boring as you would have expected. In fact, i thought a name-change is required to increase the number of foreign visitors; it is definitely more than just a "village".

Had to take this picture as i am the fire safety coordinator in my workplace! The placement of this fire extinguisher would have failed the fire safety inspection in Singapore which requires unblock access to firefighting equipment! Tsk tsk tsk! 

Fast forward to a few hours later - we were back at the station for our return ride back to Itashao. I am so going to arrange for a two-night stay the next time i visit Sun Moon Lake; with the second day reserved purely for the formosan aboriginal culture village.

One cable car can seat eight persons; with the big bear taking up more than the space of a regular person, please note that during this period, every car can only seat seven persons. 

I am just going to show one last picture; Alex was marvelling at the beauty of this place by the shore where little islands made up a really unique pattern on the lake. According to my checks, the place is called 大竹湖 (Dajhuhu) and it is known for a short 80-meter path leading to Sun Moon fountain; a pool of bumbling water. Interestingly, it was man-made and came from an underground pipe! 


Website for More Information

For an overview of my 9 Days, 8 Nights Taiwan Trip [Cingjing (清境) - Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) - Taichung (臺中) - Taipei (臺 北)], click HERE.


  1. how much time it takes to visit the park?

    1. At least one whole day especially if you intend to visit the cultural village and also play the rides in the theme park!

  2. Liliya7:59 AM

    How long is the one way cable car ride?

  3. Are many sides of the Sun Moon Lake? I am only interested on riding the cable car. By the way, what will be the best route if I am coming from Taichung? Thank you.

  4. There are a few piers and that would give you a different look of Sun Moon Lake. However, you can just take the bus which loops the lake. Haha. To travel from Taichung, you have the option of either a taxi or the bus.

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  5. Anonymous9:24 PM

    Hi, may I ask if there are easier way for elderly person to go around Formosan Aboriginal Village? My husband has a hip injury so he cannot walk farther than 5 minutes. We're visiting Taiwan end of Feb. 2019 and this is one of our etinerary. Hope to hear your suggestions having been to this place before. Thank you.

    1. Hi! I am sorry to have taken this late as your trip would have ended by the time i replied. I sure hope you managed to get an answer from other sources and enjoy the taiwan trip!