Is it worth it?

If you use all of your vouchers, then you save NT$545. Not too bad!!

However, here are a few things to consider.

If you are going to Sun Moon Lake on a day trip, you probably won't need to take the boats and bus around the lake. You will probably choose only one or the other. And if you plan to ride a bike or rent a scooter to drive around the lake, you may not use either.

But even if you don't use one or both of of the bus/boat vouchers, you still save some money. And if you visit for two days, it is very useful, because you can take the boats one day, and buses the other day. Finally, you might choose to take a boat from Shuishe to Xuanguang only, or to Xuanguang and Ita Thao, but then bus back, so that you can see other spots like Ci En Pagoda and Wenwu Temple, which are not accessible by boat.

Do you really plan to enter the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village? If you don't, then this pass isn't worth the money.

We went to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, and we didn't think it was worth the money (see my full article on Sun Moon Lake for the reasons). If you only care about the views from the Ropeway but don't want to enter the theme park, then choose the $730 pass.

Why do they include a one-way ticket to Xiangshan Visitor's Center? This is a pretty cool building on the western side of Sun Moon Lake, but it's far away from all the other Sun Moon Lake sights on the eastern side of the lake, so only make the trip out there if you are really interested in this building and some views from the less touristy side of the lake. Otherwise, you probably won't use this voucher. And if you do use it, you have to pay $25 more to get back to Shuishe.

If you are traveling to Sun Moon Lake with kids, they don't need a pass. Under 6 are free for everything, but 6-11 are mostly half price for everything (but only get a small discount for the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway).  

If you are planning to visit the Xitou Forest Recreation Area (including Xitou Monster Village), this bus only pass includes the bus from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake, Sun Moon Lake to Xitou, and Xitou back to Taichung, and it seems like you go can in either direction (Sun Moon Lake first or Xitou first).

The entrance to Xitou Nature Education Area is included (though we went up there for the Monster Village, which is free to visit). So altogether, this pass can save you NT$232. But if you don't user the Xitou Education Area voucher, which costs NT$200, you only save $32.  


If you are going to Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan, you can save some money by getting the Sun Moon Lake Pass, or "Sun Moon Lake Package", which has many different options, including connections with Alishan and the Xitou Monster Village.

I'm writing this article because the government website and Nantou bus website explaining the passes are not very clear. There are some points that are confusing and don't make sense. Also, I want to help you decide if buying the Sun Moon Lake pass is worth it for you.

If you want to avoid the transportation and ticket hassle, you can consider joining a Sun Moon Lake tour.

Sun Moon Lake Pass: Is it Worth the Money?

NT$1100 Sun Moon Lake Pass

Oct 23, 2018 by Nick Kembel

Find out everything you need to know for visiting Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan #sunmoonlake #taiwan

Hey, I'm Nick!

I first left home with a backpack in 2001, and I've been living in Taiwan for the last 10 years. I am especially drawn to religious centers, spiritual sights, and natural attractions.

I started this website to share the things I learn on the road and to inspire YOU to travel MORE!

See my full bio, read my book, or check out my photos!

Nick Kembel

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I never travel without a good guidebook. These are my favorite. E-book version available!

This is the complete pass. Some people are confused because the Nantou bus website says that you get “1 one-way bus ticket Taichung to Sun Moon Lake, 1 one-way ticket from Taichung to Puli, and 1 one-way ticket from Puli to Sun Moon Lake.”


So what it means is that you get a return ticket from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake. On the way there (or back) you have the choice of stopping in Puli. It should say “Sun Moon Lake to Taichung” for one of them.

For “Puli”, you have the choice of stopping at one of the following, which are all actually between Puli and Sun Moon Lake, not in central Puli city: National Chi Nan University, Paper Dome, Dayan, or Antique Assam Tea Farm. The two stops I would consider are Paper Dome, a church made out of paper, and Antique Assam Tea Farm, where you can learn about and buy Sun Moon Lake's famous black teas.

If you stop at one of these places between Puli and Sun Moon Lake, you can just get back on the next bus, so make sure you check the bus times.

So here's what you get with the pass:

I hope this information was using in answer your question, "Should I get a Sun Moon Lake Pass?" Please see my other pages on Sun Moon Lake for planning your trip!

Gorgeous Sun Moon Lake

You can buy all the passes from the iBon machine in any 7-11, the Nantou bus window at Gancheng Train Station in Taichung, or the Taichung HSR station (1F exit 5). You can get a discounted Taipei to Taichung HSR ticket on Klook. It is also possible to arrange a private car from Taipei or Taichung to Sun Moon Lake.    

After you buy the Sun Moon Lake pass, you have to use it within 15 days. There is no reservation for seats on the bus. You just line up and wait. When you get on the bus, give the driver the voucher you want to use (#1 to Sun Moon lake, or #2 to Puli then Sun Moon lake). If you are planning to stop in Puli, you should tell the driver which stop you want.

Arriving at Shuishe (Sun Moon Lake), a person will be waiting there to trade your boat voucher for a boat ticket. Then you can go to the Shuishe pier for the boat, go rent your bike, or take a bus around the lake (departing from the same spot, just go to the other side of the road).

When you take the boat, you don't need to budget much time for Xuanguang Wharf. There's a wharf, a famous tea egg stall, some paths, and a temple. You might consider taking a bus from there to Ci En Pagoda, which is not too far away.

You will probably spend more time at Ita Shao, where there is a bigger wharf, a village with lots of shops and food stalls, a great night market, the Thao Aboriginal Performance Center, and the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway is a 15-minute walk away. Ita Shao is also my favorite place to stay on Sun Moon Lake. See my Sun Moon Lake Guide  for my favorite hotels in Ita Thao.

The Sun Moon Lake Pass or
Should I get the Sun Moon Lake Pass? This guide will help you decide.

NT$730 Sun Moon Lake Pass

This pass is exactly the same as the above pass, except it doesn't include entrance to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Center. You still get tickets to take a ride up and down on the Sun Moon Ropeway and enjoy the views of Sun Moon Lake.

Since I personally don't think Formosan Aboriginal Village is worth the money, I think this is the best choice. But you only save about $365 if you use all the vouchers. And if you don't use the boat voucher? You only save $65. So you need to think about which vouchers you will really use.  

NT$400 Sun Moon Lake Pass

This choice is also the same as above, but doesn't include the bus to and from Taichung and the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Park ticket. Choose this one if you don't need to take the bus to/from Taichung and don't care about the theme park.

You will save $305 is you use all the vouchers, but you basically don't save anything if you don't take a boat ride.  

NT$620 Sun Moon Lake Bike Pass

Here's an interesting choice. You get the return bus ticket from Taichung, round lake bus and one-way bus to Xiangshan, boat tickets, and a 1, 2, or 3-hour bike rental (depending on the quality of bike: Giant, Merida, or Suong-Meeng). The rental stations are in Shuishe, plus one Merida station in Xiangshan.

There's no Sun Moon Lake Ropeway ticket or Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. If y  

I can't confirm this, but I think you need to pay an extra NT$100 to take a bike on a boat. It would kind of be a waste of your bike rental time anyways. If you know the answer, please leave a comment at the end!

An ID card is required for bike rental. If you don't need the bus tickets, or want to have your bike for longer and take it on the boats, you can consider this bike and eco-friendly boat pass or bike, boat, and Sun Moon Lake Ropeway pass on Klook, both of which are great deals.

$450 Sun Moon Lake to Alishan Pass

If you are planning to visit Alishan after Sun Moon Lake, this bus pass only includes the bus ticket from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake and Sun Moon Lake to Alishan, saving you about NT$73 in total. It doesn't seem like you can do Alishan first, and it also doesn't include your ticket from Alishan to wherever you go next (see more info on Alishan transportation in my getting to Alishan article.  

This pass also includes a “Shopping Discount Coupon” but no details are provided about what that means.

Consider visiting Alishan after Sun Moon Lake with the Sun Moon Lake Alishan Pass

Alishan National Forest Recreation Area

$630 Sun Moon Lake to Xitou Pass

How to Buy and Use Sun Moon Lake Passes

Sun Moon Lake boat ride, included in most Sun Moon Lake passes


1. Taichung to Sun Moon Lake (or Sun Moon lake to Taichung) bus ticket.

2. Sun Moon Lake to Taichung or Taichung to Sun Moon Lake ticket with optional one-time stop in Puli.

3. Sun Moon Lake boat ticket, which includes rides from Shuishe to Xuanguang, Xuanguang to Ita Thao, and Ita Thao back to Shuishe.

4. Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village ticket, including a return trip on the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway from near Ita Thao, to get to there.

5. 'Round-the-lake' full day bus voucher. The bus doesn't actually go all the way around the lake. It starts in Shuishe, then goes to the major sites like Wenwu Temple, Nine Frogs Stack, Sun Moon Lake Ropeway, Ita Thao, Ci En Pagoda, and Xuanguang Temple/Wharf. It goes about half way around the lake.

6. One-way bus ticket from Shuishe to Xiangshan Visitor's Center on the Western side of the lake. You have to pay for the way back. (Why?)


Original Price








Consider visiting the Xitou Monster Village after Sun Moon Lake with the Sun Moon Lake Xitou Pass

Xitou Monster Village