Nantou, like Miaoli, is both a city and a county. Though, the city doesn’t really have much to offer, it is quite prominent in Asia because of the presence of Sun Moon Lake. This lake is a very popular tourist attraction in Taiwan for travelers and visitors from mainland china and westerners. Nantou is the only landlocked county in Taiwan and it is located deep at the center of Taiwan. One feature of Nantou is that is it characterized by rolling hills and mountainous geography. Nantou has other famous destination which are; Xitou Forest, where you can give a view of the most gorgeous vegetation in Taiwan; and Puli, which is a town of about 90, 000 people and popular for its freshwater and wine factory.
The exquisite places that one must not miss in Nantou include:
1. Little Swiss Garden
Due to its Northern European atmosphere, the Little Swiss Garden sometimes referred to as “Paradise in the Mist” or “Taiwan’s Little Switzerland” features colorful flowers, red flowers, bald-cypresses and LED artificial sunflowers. One of the must do is to see the Cingjing cloudy mists which looks more like an impressive painting ay dawn. With close proximity to Carton King, MOS Burger and Starbucks, Little Swiss Garden is a place where most tourist stop by to relax and explore before heading out to the magnificent Cingjing or Hehuanshan.
2. Cingjing Veterans Farm
Located in Ren’ai Town in Nantou County, Cingjing Farm is a group of farms stretching at about 760 hectares. Sometimes called paradise in the fog due to the high altitude that forms humid fogs sometimes, Cingjing Farm is covered with green pastures and also considered a great spot for hiking. There is also a campsite located close to a lake, which offers a perfect spot for picnicking with family and group of friends as well as an excellent camping ground for a large number of people. One of the greatest attractions for European travelers in the Swiss Garden which offers great mountain views and also considered a perfect spot to enjoy spectacular scenery.
3. Ji Ji Train Station
Ji Ji Train Station is one of the popular spot for young couples and young families due to its stunning scenery. Built during the Japanese Colonial Era, Jiji Train Station is one of Taiwan’s oldest train stations used for transporting materials for the construction of a new power plant. Prior to the construction of the Jiji Train Station, locals have limited transport options as rail push trolleys and porters were mostly used. Ji Ji Train Station easily connects the town to other places in Taiwan. Ji Ji station is renowned for being the most photographed attractions in the town. Built of white, wooden walls, one of the best things to do is renting some transport available at affordable rate such as bicycles, tandems, scooters, miniature motorbikes, and much more. They are considered a convenient way of getting around. For a chance to enjoy the railway culture and magnificent scenery, take the Ji Ji line to the Ji Ji Station.
4. Sun Moon Lake
Renowned for being the largest lake in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is one of the most popular and most exquisite tourist destinations in Asia. Shaped like a round sun to the east and like a crescent moon to the west, hence the name Sun Moon Lake. Featuring lush mountains and calm, sparkling water, Sun Moon Lake is a place to experience serenity at its best. Offering a beautiful scenery, Sun Moon Lake is a breathtaking attraction which has an island in the center of the lake, known as Lalu, renowned for being a popular spot where couples tie the knots. Asides incredible mountain views, Sun Moon Lake is also home to 7 hiking trails, offers tons of outdoor activities and pleasant weather all year round.
5. Xitou Monster Village
Monster Village is an incredible vacation spot for families with kids as it offers plenty of fun things to do and see. Located at the entrance of Xitou Nature Education, this monster village has been a major attraction to thousands of tourists annually since it was renovated in 2011. Xitou Monster Village is a Japanese-inspired village which features a big red “Toril”, a traditional Japanese gate mostly found at the entrance of the Shinto Shrine. Here you will find beautiful Japanese monster statues, red lantern and creatures. The village boasts several stores selling local items such as souvenirs, snacks and monster bread.
6. Taiwan Historica
The Taiwan Historica, a relatively newly-built museum, is an elaborate library that houses a significant collection of literatures that are related to the history of Taiwan. For as many that have an interest in reading ancient texts, and can particularly read Chinese, there are lots of material that is available here. The available materials include archives from the era of Japanese rule and bureaucratic documents to the post-war period and beyond.
7. Batongguan Historic Trail
This trail was established by soldiers in the year 1875 during the Ching imperial rule. If you desire to enjoy a different sort of excavation trail all you need to do is ask your Nantou guide for a tour of the Batongguan Historic trail. Along the trail, you will find a good number of stone inscriptions that has the milestones of history in the area such as the “Wan Nian Heng Cyu” stone inscription made upon a gargantuan boulder, and when translated, reads, “The opening of the roads expedites trade and travel to the benefit of future generations”.
8. Hanbi Hiking Trail
This trail is the perfect option for travelers who want to see the Sun Moon Lake at their own leisurely pace. Travelers are taken through the pleasure of seeing the magnificent Lalu Island and the Cih-en pagoda rising majestically against the mountainous backdrop. With steps made of red bricks, this trail which is 1.5 kilometers long, offers guests the chance to catch the enchanting scenery of Lalu Island and a vast species of beautiful birds. This trail is not too challenging and takes about one hour to finish. In order to get the most of this beautiful place, it is highly recommended to come here before sunrise.
9. Have English tea at The Old England
You will definitely be dazed by the English tea served at the old English boutique hotel. This hotel is popular in Nantou and is established by a man so inflames with love for all things related to English that he spent a whopping $800 million to bring back a slice of England to central Taiwan. The elements used to furnish the hotel such as the sculptures, gardens, and furnishing reflect the old English charms that many have a taste of during their stay in Nantou.
10. Nantou County History Hall
There are some people who have a keen interest in the history of Taiwan.And for such people, Nantou County History Hall is the perfect place to be. This place houses the likes of the Nantou Pottery Exhibition Hall, Art Archive Hall and County History Reference Hall. Every interested traveler also has the opportunity of visiting the Wu-De Temple, an old structure that was originally built in the 1937. This historic temple was used as sparring ground for police personnel hone their kendo and judo skills during the height of the Japanese occupation.