Beautiful experience and worth the trip in spite of the 3/12 hours travel fromTaipei, seeing the place with blooming cherry blossoms, riding in the boat, comfortable vehicle and simple but delicious lunch with Gordon our driver-guide who speaks English.
Sun Moon Lake is around two to three hours away from Taipei by car. Probably faster taking the train.
The lake is big and calm with hiking and biking trials around it. Great for taking it easy and if you're not on a tight schedule. Some interesting shops and food items in town. There's also a huge temple that overlooks the lake. Try to catch sundown at the top of the temple.
There's also a nearby museum with distinctive modern architecture that also looks out into the lake.
The ride to the lake was longer than I expected about 3 hr drive and we had a personal tour guide with just our party of 3. That was unexpected but it was nice and personable. The tour guide spoke English and was good to us, keeping us in line with our schedule and ensuring we get the most of our trip. The boat tour to the island was quite crowd and not everyone had seats. The tea eggs were good, and so was the ice creams that melted very quickly. The view was breathtaking and surreal. We did not enjoy it as much until we are back home looking at the beautiful pictures.
A nice break during a hot summer, the lake area was cool and breezy, the hike around the lake is easy to do and not strenuous. The drive from Taipei is long, so although I recommend the tour, I would have enjoyed spending another day at the lake in order to see and do a bit more, such as a bicycle ride.