Surrounded by magnificent mountains and rivers, Nantou has much more to offer than its natural beauty. If you're travelling with your family, don't miss the breathtaking blossoming of 500,000 hydrangeas at Sun Link Sea. Embark on an adventure to Xitou Monster Village, take in the amazing view of the maples at Aowanda or enjoy a spot of bathing at Lushan Hot Spring.

    If you're looking for something different, go fishing at Qilintan while admiring the magnificent lake and mountain scenery. If you're an avid birdwatcher, Fonghuanggu Bird and Ecology Park is a great place to visit. Why not go for a cruise at Sun Moon Lake Pier and appreciate this beautiful lake from a different vantage point? The 921 Earthquake left a deep mark on Nantou. If you want to learn more about this disaster and witness the power of nature, Chelungpu Fault Preservation Park is well worth a visit.

    1

    Hydrangea blooms at Sun Link Sea

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    With its showy clusters of small flowers, the hydrangea is an incredibly beautiful plant. If you're a flower enthusiast, Sun Link Sea Forest and Nature Resort is a destination not to be missed. Located in Zhushan Township, Nantou, at an altitude of 5,249 ft (1,600 metres), the resort is home to up to 500,000 hydrangeas that bloom from June to August every year. The Log Cabin, Flower Center (medicinal botanical garden) and Songlong Tribe (near Songlong Waterfall) areas are all lined with these magnificent flowers.

    It would take at least two days to explore the beauty of the hydrangeas and other scenery in the resort on foot, so if you're here on a family trip and want to see as much as possible without tiring everyone out, it's recommended that you take the shuttle bus.

    Location: No. 6, Xishan Rd., Zhushan Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 557010

    Open: Resort: daily from 7 am to 9 pm

    2

    Xitou Monster Village adventure

    Xitou Monster Village is located at the entrance of Xitou Forest Recreation Park in Nantou. Its Japanese-style buildings are a nod to the friendship between a Japanese and a Taiwanese man that inspired its development. You'll see all kinds of peculiar monster statues everywhere and crowds of tourists flocking around taking pictures. On the street, you'll find villagers walking around dressed in Japanese clothing.

    At night, the red lanterns over the street make this place seem even more mysterious. If your kids are fascinated by monsters, they're sure to love it here. In the village, there's a gift shop that sells a variety of souvenirs and local specialities catering to all tastes. If you're in the area, be sure to include this destination in your itinerary for a great family day out.

    Location: No. 2-3, Xingchan Rd., Lugu Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 558002

    Open: Outdoor space: 24/7. Shops daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    3

    Jiji-Checheng railway tour

    • History
    • Photo

    The trains on the Jiji Line were used to transport agricultural products, timber and passengers before being transformed into colourful tourist trains that are hugely popular with visitors. With a total length of 18.45 miles (29.7 km), the Jiji Line is the longest branch line in Taiwan. Start your journey at Ershui Station, and look out for the banana trees, sugar cane, fruit trees and forest scenery that line the route.

    Located south of Mingtan Reservoir, Checheng Village is the terminal station of the Jiji Line. Reconstructed in Japanese style after the 921 Earthquake, this elegant wooden building is a popular scenic spot. Even if you're not a railway buff, you'll find this destination great for a family trip. So, hop on a train and admire the view on the journey to Checheng Station, where you can take group photos to remember your time together.

    Location: No. 2, Minquan Lane, Shuili Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 553004

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 6 pm

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    4

    Tea-tasting in Zhushan & Lugu

    Owing to the unique terrain, the bamboo forests and tea farms of Zhushan and the tea farms of Lugu form the shape of the yin-yang symbol. This serene landscape shaped by man and nature is referred to as Taiji Land of Splendour. Some of the tea farms are located in valleys, while others sit high on the mountainside or on rugged ground. Find yourself a good vantage point and see how the tea plants grow in circles resembling a yin-yang symbol.

    If you're on a family day out, stop off at a tea farm, where you can acquire some tea-picking, drying and brewing skills, and learn to respect the work that goes into every delicious cup of tea. So, come visit Zhushan, Lugu and Taiji Land of Splendour, learn all about tea and sample a few before buying some to take home with you. A tea-tasting adventure in the beautiful home of Taiwanese tea awaits you.

    Location: Southwest of Nantou County, Taiwan

    Open: Hours vary by business

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    5

    Maple appreciation at Wushe Aowanda

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    In the Atayal language, "Ao" means "going deep". Aowanda therefore literally means "going deep into Wanda". Aowanda Forest Recreation Area sits in Ren’ai Township on the west side of the Central Mountain Range. This area is 3,937 to 8,530 ft (1,200 to 2,600 metres) above sea level and is managed by the Forest Recreation Division of the Forestry Bureau. It'll probably take you half a day to fully explore this large area, but it's well worth your time. The breathtaking scenery here makes this attraction a great destination for a family outing. Breathe in some refreshing air as you head to the birdwatching platform to listen to the beautiful birdsong.

    From Aowanda Suspension Bridge you get a commanding view of the pine forest area, maple forest area and the Wanda North and South Rivers converging underneath. The Recreation Area is known for its Formosan sweetgum and bald cypress. No matter what time of year you come to Aowanda, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms, bird and firefly watching activities, waterfalls and skywalk.

    Location: No. 153, Da'an Rd., Qin'ai Village, Ren'ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 546010

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 5 pm. (Recreation Area and accommodation services closed on New Year’s Eve)

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    Cingjing to Lushan Hot Spring tour

    Lushan Hot Spring, located in Ren'ai Township, Nantou County, is a famous alkaline sodium bicarbonate spring in Central Taiwan. In this popular hot spring scenic spot, you'll get to see what are considered to be some of the best springs in the world. The temperature of the spring changes with the seasons. The abundant spring water is clear, tasteless and drinkable; you can even boil or use it for showering.

    This well-known attraction draws many hot-spring lovers and families here for a relaxing bath. Since the temperature of the spring water is as high as 87 degrees Celsius (189 degrees Fahrenheit), you'll see many people cooking instant noodles and boiling eggs in the water. In addition to hot springs, the Lushan area is known for its maple and cherry blossom trees. If hunger strikes after your soak, head to one of the restaurants nearby, order some delicious food and enjoy the perfect end to your bathing adventure with your family.

    Location: Ren'ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan

    Open: Hours vary by business

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    7

    Qilintan fishing fun

    • Adventure

    Formerly known as "Dashuiku", Qilintan is a small permanent lake at the foot of Dong Ding Mountain. Known as one of the eight great scenic spots in Nantou, the lake is surrounded by mountains and hills on three sides. You'll see tea plants and areca palms on the terraced fields, and the fish in the lake make it a great fishing spot.

    Take a 22-minute walk along the Huantan Trail and enjoy the view of misty Qilintan in the mornings and evenings. Admire the serene beauty of the lake and mountains as you fish, and inhale the enticing scent of the tea plants and areca nut flowers. Fishing at Qilintan is always a delight, so pack your fishing tackle and spend some memorable time with your family, surrounded by the breathtaking views.

    Location: Kubian Lane, Yonglong Village, Lugu Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 558001

    Open: 24/7

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    8

    Birdwatching at Fonghuanggu Bird and Ecology Park

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    Situated in Nantou County and close to the foothills of Mount Fenghuang, Fonghuanggu Bird and Ecology Park spans an area of 74 acres (30 ha) and breeds more than 100 species of rare and exotic birds from Taiwan and around the world. Apart from being great place to learn more about birds, it's also a paradise for birdwatchers.

    In addition to birds and animals, the park is also home to diverse species of plants, insects, butterflies, fish, shrimp and many more. It's an exciting and educational destination for a family adventure. The park hosts interactive experiences on a regular basis. Kids will love the chance to experience how birds fly through virtual reality (VR).

    Location: No. 1-9, Renyi Rd., Lugu Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 558001

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on New Year's Eve)

    9

    Trip to Chelungpu Fault Preservation Park

    • Families
    • History

    Located in Zhushan, Nantou, Chelungpu Fault Preservation Park preserves the seismic fault, fold and fault trench formation of this rare geological landscape. The park has many attractions to discover, including a virtual reality (VR) experience, dance machines, multimedia interaction and 3D theatre – all designed to make learning about Earth science fun. The park also has exhibits featuring the rare Psittacosaurus fossil, the magnificent Exfoliated Sheets of Chelungpu Fault Trench, an introduction to the formation of Taiwan Island and a number of interactive installations. Bring your family here for a visit and delve into the mysteries behind the geology of Taiwan.

    In front of the park, you'll be greeted by a huge electricity pylon. This is the main power supply for the Zhushan area and the only pylon in the world that also serves an educational purpose. When planning your trip to Nantou, don't forget to include this destination in your itinerary and spend some quality family time together.

    Location: No. 345, Sec. 2, Jishan Rd., Zhushan Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 557014

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    10

    Sun Moon Lake pier cruise

    • Photo

    Sun Moon Lake is nestled in the mountains between the foothills and the plains. Turn your dreams into reality by taking a boat ride while marvelling at nature's beauty. There are four piers at Sun Moon Lake: Shuishe Pier, Ita Thao Pier, Chaowu Pier and Xuanguang Pier. Of the four, Shuishe Pier is the most popular starting point for boat trips. Behind the pier, you'll find Shuishe Visitor Centre, restaurants, cafes and shops that cater to all tastes.

    If you fancy a cruise, head to Ita Thao Pier. Behind this pier, you can roam on Ita Thao Old Street and sample huge Thao guabao, black tea spring rolls, millet mochi, wild boar sausage, grilled wild boar skewers, Assam dried tofu sandwich and cabbage and mushroom buns, washed down with a cup of Assam black tea. Next, head to Chaowu Pier, a perfect spot for watching the sun rise. The best way to finish your tour is with a visit to Xuanguang Temple at Xuanguang Pier, where you'll have a bird's eye view of the entire lake.

    Location: Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan

    Open: Sailings from 9 am to 5 pm

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    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

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