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The first stop on my tour around Taiwan was Sun Moon Lake and Wen Wu Temple. It was the Year of the Monkey (my year!) and this was evidenced by all the monkeys at the temple.
I can’t remember if we did this first or last, I feel like last on our Sun Moon Lake day, but either way it was great.
We weren’t too rushed here and had plenty of time to walk around and see all the different areas of the temple.
It was the Year of the Monkey when I was there in 2016 so they had monkey decorations to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year.
Wen Wu Temple history
There were just two temples on the shores of Sun Moon Lake during Japanese occupation, Longfeng Temple in Shuishe Village and Yihua Hall in what is now Yitashao.
They both had to be removed as lake levels rose after hydroelectric power plants were built. The temple managers decided to combine the funds they received as compensation and build the Wen Wu Temple we know today.
The temple was built in the palace style of northern China with three different halls. This is the only Confucius Temple in Taiwan to keep it’s doors open (for the ease of it’s many visitors).
Where is Wen Wu Temple on Sun Moon Lake?
Wen Wu Temple is on the north shore of Sun Moon Lake, almost directly across from Cien Pagoda. It’s in the Yuchi Township of Nantou County in central Taiwan.
Wen Wu hiking trail
This isn’t necessary to do in order to see Wen Wu Temple but it’s something else you can do while there. And it seems they were recently renovated.
The trail is sometimes called “Year-of-Steps” or the Stairway to Heaven thanks to it’s precarious height.
This is a set of 366 steps, one for every day of the year. Each step has a date carved into it along with names of some famous people born on that date.
You’ll also find information related to traditional Chinese solar periods carved into the steps so you’ll learn all kinds of things on your walk up. Plus it’ll give you a good excuse to take a break. Gotta read this step real quick!
You’ll also find wind chimes along the steps, which are used by visitors to ask for blessings. First you go to Wen Wu Temple and buy wind chimes for your animal of the Chinese zodiac.
Then have the chimes passed through incense smoke by temple workers before writing your names and your wish wishes.
Then you climb to the top of the Year of Steps to ring the chimes and hang the chimes by the step that represents your birthday on your way down.
On the Sun Moon Lake website for this, it says, and I quote, “Do Not Enter Wenwu Temple Hiking Trail.” On the main page for the temple it doesn’t say this. Let me know if you know if it’s open or closed.
Wen Wu Temple entrance fee
There is no entrance fee for Wen Wu Temple on Sun Moon lake.
Wen Wu Temple opening hours
Wen Wu Temple doesn’t close, it’s open 24/7! After 8 PM you have to use the side entrance though.
Is Wen Wu Temple worth visiting?
Yes! I really liked it here. The temple is beautiful and there was so much to see. Plus the view of Sun Moon Lake is amazing. It’s an easy temple to visit if you’re seeing other things on Sun Moon Lake already.
What else is near Wen Wu Temple on Sun Moon Lake?
- Songbolun Section of the Sun Moon Lake Bikeway
- Songbolun hiking trail
- Round-the-lake route of Sun Moon Lake Bikeway
- Cien Pagoda
- Xiangshang Visitor Center
- Xuanguang Temple
- Xuanzang Temple
- The Paper Dome
Where to stay in Sun Moon Lake
Hotel Del Lago – This is where I stayed and it was really nice. It’s right on the shore of Sun Moon Lake, in the heat of Nantou. Some rooms even have balconies!
Sun Moon Lake Hotel – This one has breakfast included and is also right on the shore of Sun Moon Lake right in Nantou. There are lake and mountain views and a hot tub on site.
缽割貓點點 青旅 DianDian hostel – This is a cool looking hostel in the Puli Township area of Nantou near Sun Moon Lake. Pets are even welcome!
See Moon B&B – This is a cute B&B in the heart of Nantou on Sun Moon Lake that includes breakfast. It looks cute!
The Lalu, Sun Moon Lake – This one looks really nice and modern. It has beautiful lake views and even a spa on site!
Wen Wu Temple photos
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Have you been to Wen Wu Temple? What did you think of it? Do you want to go?