Sun Moon Lake is a lake in Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan. It is the largest body of water in Taiwan. The area around the lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake surrounds a tiny island called Lalu. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name.
Sun Moon Lake is located 748 m (2,454 ft) above sea level. It is 27 m (89 ft) deep and has a surface area of approximately 7.93 km2 (3.06 sq mi). The area surrounding the lake has many trails for hiking.
While swimming in Sun Moon Lake is usually not permitted, there is an annual 3-km race called the Swimming Carnival of Sun Moon Lake held around the Mid-Autumn Festival each year. The Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival was launched in 1983 and is listed among Top 50 Open Water Swims in Asia and Top 100 Open Water Swims of the World. Everyone over 10 years old and with ability to swim long distances can join, regardless of nationality. In recent years the participants have numbered in the tens of thousands. Other festivities held at the same time include fireworks, laser shows, and concerts.
The lake and its surrounding countryside have been designated one of thirteen national scenic areas in Taiwan. Wen Wu Temple was built after rising water levels from building a dam forced several smaller temples to be removed. Tzu-En Pagoda was caused to be built by late President Chiang Kai-shek in 1971 in memory of his mother. Other temples of note include Jianjing Temple, Syuentzang Temple and Syuanguang Temple.