Spent 4 full days in Taiwan. Arrived very early in the morning of August 31 catching a red eye flight of Cebu Pacific. Stayed at the Space Inn Xinyi until September 3. Red eye flight again to Manila on September 4 with a slight delay.
One of the premier destinations in northern Taiwan, Yehliu Geopark is home to a number of unique geological formations including the iconic “Queen’s Head” (女王頭), and is located along a cape stretching out from the town of Wanli. Entrance fee is 80NT.
📍Shifen Old Street
Both Pingxi (平溪) and Shifen (十分) are both towns rich in culture and history and provide a nice glimpse at Taiwan’s beautiful natural scenery. Events such as the Sky Lantern Festival draw visitors year round to create a Chinese Lantern (天燈) with a wish written on it to set into the sky, all for a modest NT$100-200.
📍Shifen Water fall
Shifen is well known for the Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布), a 20 meter tall waterfall that creates a rainbow as it splashes into the lake, widely regarded as the most scenic in all of Taiwan.
Feel spirited away in this decommissioned gold mining mountain town, originally built by the Japanese and now a maze of lanes and alleyways with rich history and culture.
Founded during the Qing Dynasty, this small town was a relatively isolated village until the discovery of gold during the Japanese occupation in 1893, quickly developing the town due to a gold rush. Many buildings in the town remain unchanged to this day, reflecting the Japanese influence on both architecture and culture on the island. During World War II, the town housed a Japanese prisoner of war camp where captured Allied Force soldiers (mainly British) were forced to work in the gold mines. After the war, gold mining activities declined, and the town today exists mainly as a tourist destination remembering and celebrating Taiwanese history and culture.
📍Shilin Night Market/dinner at Modern Toilet
The Shilin Night Market in Taipei is one of the largest, most popular night markets in Taiwan with regard to food, and also one of the most popular points of Taipei’s night life among visitors. Located in Taipei’s Shilin District, a mere 70 metres from MRT Jiantan Station between Dadong Rd, Danan Rd, Wenlin Rd, and Jihe Rd. The maze of alleyways is filled with a variety of local, traditional, and international merchandise that attract locals and foreigners alike.
📍Taichung Rainbow Village
The Rainbow Village (Chinese: 彩虹眷村; pinyin: Cǎihóng Juàncūn) is a street art in Nantun District, Taichung, Taiwan. It was created by former soldier, Huang Yung-Fu, who was born in Taishan county, Guangdong province in 1924. The eldest of four brothers and two sisters Huang’s artistic talents were revealed early on. He began painting houses in his settlement, now known as Rainbow village, to save them from demolition. Over the years his colourful artwork, which includes birds, animals and people, has spread over the remaining houses in the village, which once contained 1,200 homes (wikipedia)
📍Taichung Houli Flower farm
houli flower farm in Taichung. Be amazed by a wide variety of flowers from lavender, sunflowers, daisies, etc. the musical instruments strategically placed in the middle of fields makes this site truly instagram worthy.
📍dinner at Taipei City Mall
📍Taipei National Palace Museum
Originally founded within the walls of the Beijing Forbidden City in 1925, the present-day National Palace Museum moved to Taipei’s Shilin District following the Republic of China government relocation in 1949 with an official opening for the public in 1965. Over 600,000 of the most precious artefacts within the collection were moved to Taiwan to prevent their desecration during and after the Chinese Civil War. The museum is currently celebrating its 90TH Anniversary.
📍Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
The most prominent historical landmark in Taiwan, the CKS Memorial Hall was erected in honor and memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China, and was opened in 1980 as part of a national park and gathering area.
📍Longshan Temple of Manka
The most well known temple in Taiwan, the Mengjia Longshan Temple was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian as a gathering place for Chinese settlers. Located in the old village part of Taipei, Wanhua District, this temple has stood the test of time and lasted through several natural disasters and wars.
📍National Taiwan University (Ying De University)
national taiwan university made famous by Meteor Garden as Ying De University. Walk on the same school where Dao Ming ze, Hua ze lei, Xi Men, Mei Zuo and San Chai met.
📍Taipei 101 Observatory
The tallest green building in the world! Isn’t that enough of a reason?
Taipei 101 is an engineering marvel and the first building of its kind in the world. Spanning 101 stories above the ground at 508 metres, the building was designed as a symbol of technology’s evolution fused with Asian tradition. The building features many pan-Chinese and Asian elements mixed with a postmodern style, and is designed to withstand typhoons and earthquakes common in Taiwan.
Want to take a trip to the top of Taipei 101? The Taipei 101 Observatory is open every day from 9AM to 10PM. it only takes 37 seconds to reach the 89th floor of this building.
We purchased our tickets ahead of time via Klook.
📍Xiangshan Elephant Mountain
For the best view of Taipei City, make a hike to the top of Elephant Mountain!
Also known as the Nangang District Hiking Trail and Xiangshan (象山), the hiking trail is located close to the Xinyi Shopping District and Taipei 101.
The best time to hike the mountain is during late afternoon, this way you can catch the sunset as well as a daytime view and stunning nighttime view of the city, however the trail can get relatively crowded during the weekend.
The largest zoo in Asia and home to Yuan Zai the panda, for animal lovers this is a must visit, easily accessible by public transit at the end of the MRT Brown Line.
The zoo was originally founded in 1914 by a Japanese citizen as a private zoological garden, and after the ROC relocation to Taiwan became a public zoo under the Taipei City government. Entrance is 60NT
– stayed at Space Inn Xinyi. very clean and affordable accommodation in Taiwan. about 5 minutes walk to Xinyi Anhe Metro station. You can get a good view of Taipei 101 on your way to the Metro station
– Don’t forget to purchase easy card at the airport. Card alone costs 100 and is reloadable. You could use it to ride Metro, bus and purchase food at selected stores. You can even use it to ride the Maokong gondola (cable car). You can top it up/reload it at 711 or the nearest Metro station.
– Taiwan has a very efficient and convenient public transportation. Every tourist site could be reached by train or bus. just don’t forget your easy card. outside of taipei, you could use the High Speed Rail (HSR) or TRA (taiwan railways administration).
– Metro taipei lines are color coded and are interconnected. it could be quite confusing for some to figure it out at first. have a picture of the Metro map so you won’t get lost and to determine which platform to go to. Metro closes at midnight and opens around 6am.you could also purchase all day passes.(http://m.metro.taipei/en/roadmap.asp). 1 day all-day pass would cost you 150NT
– We booked the first day tour via KKDay (https://m.kkday.com/en/product/2287) while the rest is DIY. The tour starts at 8:30am and takes about 8 hrs. excludes entrance fees so you have to pay it separately. Lunch also not included.
– Taichung could be reached via HSR (high speed rail) or TRA (taiwan railways administration) or by bus. TRA would take about an hour from Taipei main station while TRA would take about 2 1/2 hrs. HSR is travelling at a speed of approx 300 km per hr.
– free WIFi everywhere. just need to select which one works as there are many to choose from. suggest you create an iTaiwan account before going to Taiwan. (https://itaiwan.taiwan.net.tw/HowTo.aspx).
– official currency is New Taiwan dollar (NT). Make sure you exchange your Peso or USD at the airport or withdraw from the ATM.
– locals don’t speak english well.make sure you download a translator app or have the local translation of the places you want to visit handy in case you get lost and want to ask for directions or if you want to take a cab/taxi
– food is relatively cheap and transpo via bus and metro is very affordable. taxi could be a bit pricey.
– Don’t forget to try the famous bubble tea (milk tea). bubble tea shops are everywhere and price ranges from 40-60NT.
There are other scenic places to visit. You can check Guide to Taipei (https://guidetotaipei.com) for additional information. I got most of the information above here.
i didn’t expect much when i booked my ticket to taiwan but was pleasantly surprised by what the country has to offer. Will definitely go back to Taiwan soon. Xie Xie