Sun Moon Lake is the largest body of water in Taiwan and it is renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. It is located in the mountains of Nantou at the geographic center of Taiwan island. The inspiration for the name of the lake comes from the beauty of the area. While the east side of the lake is round, depicting the Sun, the west side is like a crescent Moon, long and narrow. The weather is pleasant year-round, and temples and pagodas dot the surrounding countryside. For outstanding views, the locals recommend the Head to Chi-En Pagoda, or “Pagoda of Filial Virtue.” Chiang Kai-shek, for whom Sun Moon Lake was a cherished vacation sport, erected the monument in honor of his mother. In the spring season, the place becomes even more magical, since the trail leading up to the pagoda ignites with fireflies. For some fun activities, there is a pedestrian-bike path which hugs the lake’s perimeter, and besides that, the cruises depart daily from its shores. If they wish for a more leisurely exploration, the visitors can rent a rowboat and explore the lake sights. There is also a cable car that takes visitors to the Formosa Aboriginal Culture Village. The only time swimmers are allowed in the lake is during the Mid Autumn Festival. It is named the Swimming Carnival of Sun Moon Lake, and it is a 3km race. This event joins together tens of thousands of swimmers, who become a part of the event and festivities.