Numerous hiking and biking trails thread through and around the forested shoreline of Sun Moon Lake, where hotels, restaurants, temples and shrines vie with each other for the best views of the mountains.
Tiny Lalu Island, in the centre of the lake, holds a solitary shrine belonging to the Shao aboriginal people whose traditional land this is. The lake’s name derives from the fact its eastern shore resembles a sun, while its western edge is believed to look like a moon.
Overlooking the lake is a particularly luxurious hotel, The Lalu, which was built over the vestiges of a holiday home used at various times by the Japanese Crown Prince and President Chiang Kai-shek. Materials from the original structure have been ingeniously incorporated into its modern replacement, which offers sleek water-facing suites with huge picture windows and more exclusive courtyard pool villas.