Nantou Travel Guide
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Nantou Travel Guide

Nantou County, located at the center of Taiwan Island, is the only inland county on the island. It is also the second largest county of the island with an area of 1,585 square miles (4,106 square kilometers), and a “Mountain County” with 83% of its territory covered by mountains.

Nantou is a land full of picturesque scenery. The tops of the mountains are shrouded in mist while flocks and herds browse on the mountain feet. Looking from a distance, the lakes and mountains add radiance and beauty to each other. If you like cultural sites, you will surely find a lot of things to do in Nantou, too. A visit to the old Jiji Railway Station tells you parting stories of common people and godlike temples shows you exquisite Buddha statues and cleanse your heart.

 

Top Attractions and Tour Routes

Nantou is very large and points of interest are scattered throughout different areas. Therefore, you are recommended to start your travel from these places:
 
Chung Tai Museum
Chung Tai Museum

 Starting from Puri:
The beautiful Sun Moon Lake, “Small Switzerland” Chingjing Farm, Mt. Hohuan where you can appreciate the most attractive snowscape and sea of clouds, Chung Tai Chan Monastery, the oddest architecture on the island and Chung Tai Museum, famous for buddhism relics are all located around Puri. To get to Puri, you can take the bus at Taipei Western Passenger Station or Gancheng Bus Stop near Taichung Railway Station. Then you can take the local bus to these scenic spots.

 Starting from Shuili:
Jade Mountain is the highest peak in Taiwan. To get there, you should first take the bus near Taichung Railway Station or take the small train from Changhua or Taichung to Shuili. Next, you can take the bus to the mountain.

 Starting from Nantou City or Caotun Township:
Monster Village, located at Sitou, is a lovely place where you will find monster decorations in every corner. You can take the bus from Nantou City or Caotun Township to Sitou. There are also buses from Nantou City or Caotun Township to Puri and Shuili, these are used as transfer hubs by many independent travelers.

There is no airport in the county. You can fly to Taichung Ching Chuang Kang Airport if there is a flight connection from your place, and then take the bus to Taichung Railway Station. From here you can find buses to Nantou City and Caotun Township, as well as Puri and Shuili. One can also take a train to reach Taichung Railway Station from other places on Taiwan Island.

 Traveling along Jiji Rail Line
Jiji Rail Line is one of the three branches of the Taiwan Rail Line, mainly serving passengers and visitors to Nantou County. The most featured stations include Jiji Station, Shuili Station and Checheng Station. Scenery along the way is very amazing so it is also called “Sightseeing Rail Line”. One can take a train to Taichung or Changhua first, then change to the colorful small train running along this line.

 Jiji Station is one of the oldest railway stations in Taiwan built in typical Japanese style with wood. At the front square, there is an old style steam locomotive.

 Shuili Station is the closest one to the Sun and Moon Lake. After getting off there, you can take a free shuttle bus to the lake. If you miss the free bus, there are passenger buses too with duration of about 30 minutes and ticket price of TWD 50.

 Checheng Station is one end of the rail line. Around the station, there are Checheng Old Street and Checheng Wood Museum to visit. Passengers getting off there can also take a bus to the Sun and Moon Lake. Ticket price is TWD 60 and duration is about 35 minutes.

Visitors are recommended to buy a one-day ticket for the Jiji Line, by which you can get on and off the train freely during that day allowing you to have a thorough visit. A one-day ticket costs TWD 78.

 See more about Taiwan Train

 

Best Time to Visit

You can come here at any time because the temperature is moderate all year round but the best season is from December to April. From December to February are when plums are in bloom, many activities such as prune dinners and plum season performances are held in Sinyi. From December to March, tulips are blooming in the county and from March to April, peonies will draw your attention. Puri is abound in flowers, so the flower carnival is held here.
 

Nantou Night Market
 

Dining

Nantou has rich products like bamboo shoots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, bananas, and prunes. The most popular local snacks such as meatballs, shaohsing wine lollies, Taiwanese style popsicles and pastas will satisfy your appetite. Jiji, Puli Third, Pier Sandal, Jiji, Yuchi, Zhushan, and Pulichang Holiday Tourism Night Markets are all good places to eat these delicious foods. The restaurants including Oyster Legend, I Pin Hsiang Beef Dumplings and Ajia Meatballs also attract numerous people. Moreover, you can have a taste of the President Fish at Sun Moon Lake.

 

Shopping

The county abounds in many kinds of teas such as Assam Black Tea and Dongding Oolong Tea, prunes, shaohsing wine, and chocolates. Among them flowers, prunes, teas, and bamboo are the most abundant agricultural products. They are all the best gifts for your friends. Tianyuh Mai Zhuang at Jiji Township is the best place to buy prunes. You can also go to Green Lake Crafts Shop at Yuchih Township to buy some delicate local crafts as souvenirs. What’s more, a mall named Sunny Hillsat Nantou City has many brand shops and gift shops.