Central Taiwan is home to the Thao, Bunun and Sediq indigenous peoples. The Thao are most distinguished by their faith, in which families respect departed ancestors by placing their belongings in an ulalaluwan (ancestral worship basket) at home.
The traditional calendar of the Bunun people is defined by the plants cycle of millet, their staple food. The tribe is best known for its beautiful eight-part polyphonic singing, called Pasibutbut, as well as the Ear-shooting Ceremony (Malahtangia) in April to May.
The Sediq are a people with a strong sense of tribal identity and community traditionally fostered by the tribal organization, ceremonies, shared responsibility, and hunting. The main Sediq ceremonies relate to the planting and harvesting of millet, a staple of the tribe.
Add: Yiyong St., Riyue Village, Yuchi Township, Nantou County
This is the most popular lakeside walking route at Sun Moon Lake. The souvenir shop here specializes in high-quality traditional Thao handicrafts.
Add: Next to Ita Thao Pier, Dehua St., Riyue Village, Yuchi Township, Nantou County
Administered by the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Excecutive Yuan this market was jointly built by the Thao and is entirely operated by members of the tribe. The market also presents daily performances of Thao song and dance.
Lalu is an ancient ancestral place of the Thao, known as the "floating island of the pearl lake." The islet was submerged under water after the 921 Earthquake and has since been rebuilt.
Boat tours and rowboat rental services are available from the four public piers at Sun Moon Lake. There are two boat tour routes: Sun Moon Lake to Lalu and Chaowu to Ita Thao. Each takes about two hours.
Add: Across from Ren'ai Elementary School (No. 5, Shannong Lane, Ren'ai Township, Nantou County)
Mona Rudao was the leader of the Wushe Incident, a rebellion against the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan. Unwilling to surrender to the Japanese, he took his life at Lushan. His remains are buried at this monument erected in his honor.
Cherry Blossom Trail
Shuing (Chunyang) is also known as "Cherry Blossom Village" due to the many cherry trees planted here during the Japanese occupation period. In addition to its seasonal blooms, this tranquil community is also known for its high mountain tea, vegetables and weaving.
Dongpu Suspension Bridge
This is Taiwan's highest and longest suspension bridge. At the head of the bridge is a wall relief with a Bunun warrior design. The span is colorfully illuminated at night and has the nickname of "Harp Bridge."
Hot Spring Street in Dongpu
Hot spring hotels and spas are clustered along this street, which was rebuilt as a stone promenade with a strong Japanese flavor after its destruction in the 921 Earthquake. A hot spring festival is held here annually in November and December.
This waterfall earns its name from the colorful spectrum of light in the water during the hours of about noon to 2 p.m.
Yuantou Hot Springs
Add: Caihong Waterfall Trail
Located in Dongpu, this outdoor hot spring area has stone pools fed with hot and cold spring water, the former emerging from the rock at 43 degrees centigrade.