As though Sun Moon Lake was not pretty enough, former Taiwanese president Chiang Kai-shek ordered the construction of several temples, parks and tourism facilities around the picturesque lake. One of the parks is Peacock Park, founded in 1968. Until today, admission to this simple yet unique park is free. Provincial Minister Huang Jie and General He Ying-qin were personally responsible in carrying out the late president’s order. Inside the park are 200 peacocks, other precious birds, and butterflies. Within the park is a Butterfly Museum where people are given the chance to know more about butterflies (local and foreign species) and enjoy watching them fluttering around. The museum provides detailed explanations on the lives and ecology of butterflies.
The other bird species in the park are mountain chicken, Formosan blue magpie, the long-tailed pheasant, gold-tailed pheasant, and black coot, among others.
Peacock Park is located at the eastern side of Wenwu Temple, which is one of the main attractions around Sun Moon Lake. Peacock Park is not considered a major Sun Moon Lake attraction, sadly, but it’s worth a visit, especially by tourists who are fond of viewing animals and birds. The best time to visit is in spring or summer when hundreds of male peacocks display their beautiful tail feathers to signal the start of the mating season. Yet, many still come in other months just to see this well-known bird and hear its distinct call.
Besides Peacock Park, a number of reserves and parks are scattered all over Nantou County. This part of Taiwan is popular for its abundant landscape that is teeming with all sorts of natural attractions. Hikers and mountaineers from several parts of the globe come to Nantou specifically to scale its peaks. The most popular is Hehuan Mountain (or Hehuanshan), overlooking Sun Moon Lake. Other popular peaks are Jiujiu Peak, Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area and Bagua Mountain National Scenic Area. Visitors to Nantou also engage in entertaining and educational visits to a number of aboriginal villages, the most frequently visited of which is Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village, again near the world renowned lake. Other parks are Ita Thao Cultural Village (or Barawbaw), Taroko National Park, Atayal Resort New Era Art Resort and Spa, and Songboling Forest Park. The capital city is Nantou City, one of the smallest cites in Taiwan.
Since Sun Moon Lake is the most important landmark in Nantou, it is easy not difficult to locate the nearby Peacock Park. When driving, simply take Freeway 1 and exit at Nantou Interchange; take County Highway 136 to Provincial Highway 74 and exit at Kuaiguan Interchange; take Freeway 3 and turn to Freeway 6 at Wufeng System Interchange; exit at the Ailan Interchange and take Provincial Highway 14 to Provincial Highway 21.
When taking public transport, ride the train and get off at the Taichung Station. Hop on a Nantou bus that goes directly to Sun Moon Lake stop. Another way is from the Taipei Railway Station. Take the Guoguang bus that also goes to Sun Moon Lake stop. Admission to Peacock Park is free.