Not far from Ita Thao, on the other side of Sun Moon Lake, is the Cih-en Pagoda. You can see it in the distance right before the hike up to its location. President Chiang Kai-Shek built it in 1971 in memory of his mother.
Even the lamp posts in the area have the sun and moon symbols.
From the bottom, it is approximately a 700 meters (1/2 mile) walk to the pagoda on the Cih-en Pagoda Trail. It is a fairly easy hike on a paved road with greenery all around.
Depending on your pace, within 20 minutes, you will reach the 9-story pagoda plus 3 stories at the base.
There are no elevators, so you will have to take the staircase up 12-stories. Close to the top is a net in case of falls.
Also at the top is a bell visitors can ring for good fortunate. During our visit, a number of people struck the bell too hard and it became quite annoying. Remember to strike it gently to save the eardrums of those visitors still inside the pagoda!
A view from the top to the base of the pagoda.
A view of Sun Moon Lake from the top of the pagoda's lookout.