Sun Moon Lake
Located in the centre of Taiwan, 748 meters
above sea level, it is the only natural big
lake in Taiwan. The southern part of Kuang
Hua Island is shaped like a new moon, and
the northern part is shaped like a sun; hence
the name Sun Moon Lake. There are several
boat trips available.
Wen Wu Temple was built in 1938 and is actually 2 temples
- Lungfung Temple and Ihuatang. It was rebuilt
in 1969. Wen Wu is a large, imposing temple
on the northern shore of Sun Moon Lake. The
three large halls are dedicated to Kaiji,
the God of Literature, Guang Gong, the God
of Justice, and Confucius, the great teacher.
The integration of the southern and northern
styles of temple building, as well as the
beautiful stonework and materials used, set
this temple apart from many others in Taiwan.
To the left of the observation deck in front
of Wen Wu temple are the “Year of Steps”.
A flight of 366 stairs that represent the
days of the year (including leap year). These
stairs were the original entrance to the
temple and now lead down to the lake.
Xuan Zang Temple –Monk Xuan Zang was a Holy Monk in the
Tang dynasty. At the age of 26 (627 AD) he
travelled west in search of Buddha Dharma
arriving at the Nalanda Monastery in central
India 5 years later. After 17 years of studies
in Buddhist Sutras and Treaties he travelled
all over India to convert people in 138 kingdoms.
Aged 44, he returned to China and by the
age of 62, he had translated 75 books of
Buddhist Sutras and Treaties, consisting
of 1335 volumes and tens of millions of words.
Upon his death, the Emperor Kao Tsung was
deeply grieved and said "the country
had lost a national treasure" and closed
the Imperial Court for 3 days whilst the
whole nation mourned.
During the China-Japan War, the Japanese
took the Monk Xuan Zang's remains away
from Nanchin to the Tsen Temple of Saidama
Ken in Japan. In 1955, the Monk Xuan Zang's
remains were returned back to the Xuan Zguang
Temple then in 1965, they were moved to the
Xuan Zang Temple after it was rebuilt.
Cih-en Pagoda is located on the Sha Ba Lan Mountain it
was built by Chiang Kai-shek in memory of
his mother in 1971. The construction was
very difficult because the materials had
to be shipped over the lake and moved up
the mountain. The 46 metre high Cih-en Pagoda
is an octagonal building; the 3 stories at
the base are painted in white, while the
9 stories of the main body are painted in
golden red. The 700m trail up to the pagoda
is an easy climb.
Te Hua Village- Ita Thao is called Barawbaw in Thao language.
The Han people call it North Cave. It was
named Te Hua village after the restoration
of Taiwan. Barawbaw is the last residence
of the Thao people at Sun Moon Lake. Due
to the number of tourists, many Han people
moved here to go into trade making Ita Thao
the most populous area around the Sun Moon
Lake. There are stores, restaurants, and
hotels in the village. Also the Thao people
established the "Thao Cultural Village"
for tourists to appreciate the traditional
culture, songs, and dancing of the Thao tribe.
Puli Town is at the centre of Taiwan. With an elevation
between 380~700 meters, Puli is a basin surrounded
by rising & falling mountains, hills
and farmland. The most famous tourist spots
include the Puli Brewery with its special
Shaushing wine, Guangshing paper Manufactory,
and Chung Tai Chan Monastery.