Travel Secret #332
By Siddharth Birla

A three-and-a-half-hour drive from Taipei, the Sun Moon Lake draws in more than six million visitors every year, making it Taiwan’s most famous tourist attraction.

“This is where Chiang Kai-Shek dreamed of one day retaking mainland China,” our guide recounts as we gape at the two huge lakes. The sky is overcast, giving the scene a somewhat surreal feel. I am told that on clear days, the radiant blue water rimmed with picturesque mountains creates a full-size version of a romantic landscape painting.

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Two small resort towns, Shueishe and Ita Thao have sprung up on either side of the Lake, and you can explore both in about 20 minutes flat. The visitor’s guide tells me that the local authorities have put a limit to hotel development here, saving it from commercialisation.

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Shopping for artefacts and sailing in the choppy waters of Sun Moon Lake are the most tourist-y things to do here. But if you are not a fan of sailing, take a leisurely stroll down the scenic Shueishe Lakeside Trail. The view of the dense forest with the sound of water lapping against the shore will ease your stresses away.

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