The visitors centre claims that the route around Sun Moon Lake is in the top ten rides in the world. It is certainly a spectacular ride and has many different elements. From riding through bustling towns then into dense jungle and then through fertile farm land and past impressive temples. Most of the time you have the emerald blue lake to look at when look to the side. The path is also varied, ranging from highway and quiet windy road to many types of cycle paths.
Also half the lake has a steep cliff around it so the road is forced hundreds of metres above the lake,which leads to some impressive climbs/views and hairpin downhills. At one point the road can’t stay on the side of the lake because it is too steep, so a tunnel has been built through the side of the mountain.
Going through the tunnel is like going through a portal to another world. Instead of a lake and dense forrest you are now riding through a small rural village surrounded by market gardens. The area is like a punch bowl, flat in the middle, but surrounded by mountains.
To get back to the lake requires another climb, which is thankfully cut short by another pair of tunnels that punch though the side of the mountain. You are then transported back to the lake world and met with a massive post modern visitors centre. From here you are met with amazing views, purpose built bike paths and viewing structures. To finish the circuit, it is a short ride back to our accommodation.
One of the rare times Patrick is willing to pose for a photo.
Taken from the Xuanzang Temple. The highest point the circuit goes.
The tunnels beckon for a new world back to the Sun Moon Lake.
View from the Xiangshan Visitor Center.
Observation deck that disconcertingly wobbles.
Check out my ride on Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/920442495/