On our first day in Taiwan, we went straight to Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County.
Upon arrival at Taipei Taoyuan Airport and passing through immigration, you turn left and take the ‘walkalator’ to the basement. There you’ll see a Hi-Life convenience store on your right and a hallway to the left. You will also see a sign pointing you to the bus tickets counter.
Beside the counter for Kou Kang buses (bound for Taipei) is the counter for Ubus. Buy the ticket for the Taoyuan HSR station. It’s route 705 and costs NTD 30.
At the HSR station, you can buy your ticket or claim your pre-purchased ticket.
TIP: It’s good to avail of the HSR’s early bird rates. If you’re lucky, you can get a discount of as much 30%. To buy tickets online, you just have to go to this site. And if asked for an identification number, just input your passport number.
Ride the train up to the Taichung HSR station.
Make your way to Exit 5 of the station. It’s found on the basement. And, in the corner of Exit 5 is the Nantou Bus ticket counter. Here, you can buy your passes, round-trip tickets, or one-way tickets to the Sun Moon Lake. A one-way ticket to Sun Moon Lake costs NTD 189. Note that there are bus schedules that pass by the town of Puli and there is one that goes straight to Sun Moon Lake. If time isn’t of the essence, you can just take any bus. This is the schedule of their operations.
Enjoy the view as you go through the central mountains of Taiwan. You will be dropped off at Shuishe Visitor Center. If you are not based in this area, you can either take the round-the-lake bus or a ferry to you home pier.