Top 5 Nantou Attractions

Top 5 Nantou Attractions

All photos in this post were not shot by me, and are credited to their respective sources.

City: Nantou
State: Nantou County
Country: Taiwan / Republic of China

The mountainous range around Nantou in Taiwan / Republic of China make it a popular tourist destination, thanks to its ample natural flora and fauna. The only county without a coastline, the towns in Nantou are famed for 4 things starting with the letter 'W'; water, wine, women, and weather.

Here are the Top 5 Tourist Attractions to visit in Nantou, all of which hold important cultural or historical significance. All these are permanent locations which can be visited and viewed at any time throughout the year.

1. Sun Moon Lake

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Arguably the most well-known area in Nantou, Sun Moon Lake is so named because the east side of the lake resembles the sun in shape, while the west side of the lake resembles the moon in shape. The only natural big lake in Taiwan, the picturesque location has clear turquoise waters framed by a stunning mountainous backdrop. Popular things to do here include cycling, taking the shuttle boat around the lake, or riding the cable car to the Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village.

2. Yushan National Park
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Named after the highest peak of the mountain range within the area, the Yushan National Park in Nantou is a popular hiking, climbing, and scenic spot. Locals in Taiwan include climbing to the peak amongst their bucket list, and no wonder, as the scenic views are breathtaking. The rich flora and fauna here make for interesting hikes through mountain trails or forest walks, offering panoramic views of waterfalls, sunrises, sunsets, geological features, and views of the clouds. If the wilderness is not for you, it's still possible to enjoy the natural scenery in the area from nearby towns such as Xinyi.

3. Sun Link Sea Forest Recreation Area
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The Shanlinxi / Sun Link Sea Forest Recreation Area within Nantou is known for its scenic, tranquil forests, and 5 beautiful waterfalls, of which the picturesque 116-meter Qingyun Waterfall and the ferocious roaring Chinglong Waterfall are the most famous. A variety of flowers bloom all year round, while in autumn, the area takes on dazzling palettes of colour. Relaxing walks take you past several natural sights, including the unique geological Heaven And Earth Eyes, the 1,000 year old Ancient Taiwan Red Cypress Trees, the iconic 99 Suspension Bridge, and the river potholes of Shyrjing Ji.

4. Paper Dome
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Originally designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban for use as a temporary church, the Paper Dome was reconstructed in Nantou, Taiwan, as a permanent installation. From the columns to the benches, the place is a giant paper and cardboard structure, supported by a total of 58 cylindrical paper tubes, each 5 meters in height. The diameter per tube is 33 centimeters, with the thickness of the paper being 1.5 centimeters. Built in a nomadic style, the surfaces are protected by weather-proof translucent plastic. The surrounding landscaped gardens lend a natural and tranquil beauty to the place, while at night, the glowing lights exude an ethereal feel.

5. Houtanjing Sky Bridge
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As the longest ladder suspension bridge in Taiwan, at 204-meters long with 262 steps, the Houtanjing Sky Bridge offers stunning views overlooking the Changhua plains. Also known as the Nantou Sky Bridge, it is suspended 70 meters above the ground, and is beautifully lit by colourful LED lights at night. A viewing tower allows you to ascend to even greater height. Naturally, views are better on days with clear weather. Annually, a religious procession is held here, where devotees cross the bridge in a symbolic manner.