The Sun Moon Lake, located in the middle of Taiwan, with an elevation of 748 meters above sea level, is the only natural big lake in Taiwan. The southern part of Lalu Island is shaped like a new moon, and the northern part is shaped like a sun; hence the name Sun Moon Lake.
The most famous sights around Sun Moon Lake are the Itashao, Lalu Island, the Xuanzang Temple, the Ci-en Pagoda, and the Wenwu Temple and so on. The natural forests bordering these roads are good places for bird watching. There are a lot of birds that live on the mid-elevation, such as the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Grap-throated Minivet, Formosan Yuhina, Gray Tree Pie, Bamboo Partridge, Chinese Bulbul, Muller's Barbet, and the Black Bulbul.
Colonies of Black-crowned Night herons and Egretta garzettas , and birds such as the common kingfisher and the Green-winged Teal can be seen at the Dazhuhu water reservation, situated around the water gate. Besides these birds, fish, insects and wild vegetables are flourishing in the region as well. These are all natural resources of the Sun Moon Lake region.
The Shao Clan is the earliest clan that lived in the Sun Moon Lake region. The Harvest Festival, Sowing Festival and their special handicraft fair every year, as well as their articles have helped to preserve the particular culture of the Sun Moon Lake region.
Xiangshang Visitor Center
The Xiangshang Visitor Center is both for tourism and administration use. The uniquely designed building has wood-patterned exteriors and wings that stretch like human arms embracing the earth. In addition, the two giant canopy structures, 34 meters long and 8 meters tall each, allow people to enjoy beautiful views of the Sun Moon Lake from the top.
Not only does Xiangshang Café offer lovely views of Sun-Moon Lake, it has a distinctive feature which is the internationally-renowned avant garde building designed by a Japanese architect; the nearby round-the-lake trail is complete and is certain to become a favorite scenic spot for cyclists; adding to its appeal are the building’s lights that by night create a totally different and breathtaking scene and style. Interior design was carried out after discussions with Norihiko Ddan and Associates and also with the assistance of Professor Zhang Zi-long of National Taiwan University of the Arts, the aim being to create a simple-but-fashionable café with a modern style, with main color of the building being white to match the building. The main bar combines glass and light elements, creating a pleasant visual effect. The shop area has an open layout and overturns the disorderly impression that shops often give, increasing the feeling of space and having a simple style. The seats are high-class with a pronounced design feel and the clever use of lights adds interest to the indoor space; as for the outdoor seats, the bright colors create a rich and lively visual effect. The “exterior beauty” of the café alone is captivating; getting to know its “inner beauty” is a really good reason to visit Xiangshang Cafe when you visit Sun Moon Lake.