Chiayi is the gateway to Alishan Mountain, one of the biggest tourist attractions in Taiwan. One of the other biggest Central Taiwan attractions is Sun Moon Lake. And while there is a direct route between Alishan and Sun Moon Lake via bus, the route from Chiayi to Sun Moon Lake is a bit more complicated.
Take the train from Chiayi to Ershui. If you want to get out at Ershui for some hiking, you can easily do a fun hike along the Fongbo trails in about two or three hours and get back on the train. There is a regular train leaving from Chiayi to Ershui approximately every hour.
Take the train from Ershui to Shuili. Shuili looks very beautiful and might also be worth exploring. This train (the single-track Jiji rail line) only runs about every two hours, so check online before leaving to ensure you don’t waste anytime.
Take a bus from Shuili to Sun Moon Lake. The bus station is located outside the Shuili train station, about a block down the road. You can inquire about the schedule at the station. Then the bus stop is actually in front of a 7-11 across from the bus station. You can see the 7-11 from the steps of the station. These buses run regularly.
Note: The shuttle bus and the shuttle boats around Sun Moon Lake only run until about 5 PM. If you arrive in Sun Moon Lake after, it will cost you about 500 NTD to take a taxi.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Sun Moon Lake, I can recommend Chen Chan Guesthouse. Many of the rooms are a quaint Japanese style and the hotel is located in Ita Thao, which is a quieter, more picturesque option than the main port of Shuishe. And the price is reasonable for broke travelers.
Were these tips helpful? Or do you know anyone going to Taiwan who could use this info? Feel free to pass this post along to anyone who might need it.