Things to do in Taiwan
Taiwan’s long and narrow island spans the tropic and subtropics, making Taiwan extremely rich in natural resources and scenery. In addition to the natural scenery, Taiwan is one of the regions with the best continuation and inheritance of Chinese traditional culture. Various conventional Chinese temples and worship activities are scattered all over the island.
At the same time, when traveling in Taiwan, you should not miss night markets in cities and all kinds of snacks.
Things to do in Taiwan #1: Appreciate Chinese royal national treasures at the Taipei National Palace Museum
The Taipei National Palace Museum is one of the three major museums in China. At the end of the Chinese Civil War, the Kuomintang “government” moved to Taiwan and, at the same time, selected some of the national treasures of the Forbidden City that were packed initially to avoid the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and shipped them to Taiwan and collected them here. The museum houses nearly 700,000 cultural relics, most of which were collected by the Chinese royal family in the past. The age of this collection almost covers the uninterrupted history of the entire Chinese culture for more than 5,000 years, which is unique in the history of world civilization.
Things to do in Taiwan #2: Experience delicious food and humanity in night markets
Taiwan street food and night market culture are unique globally, with diverse types, and are the most representative food culture in Taiwanese life. The number and scale of night markets here are beyond your imagination, and some night markets even span several blocks. Every city has its specialty dining and a selection of food from all over Taiwan. Through the night market, tourists can learn about local specialties and feel the local customs and culture.
Things to do in Taiwan #3: Walking on Dadaocheng
This ancient neighborhood next to the wharf used to be the most prosperous and splendid area in Taipei, where businessmen and humanities gathered. The multi-storied western-style buildings are now old, but there is still a lot of traffic in front of the courtyard. The old shop here is still in operation as in previous years, and it is still the place where old Taipei people buy dry goods, cloth, and old-fashioned snacks.
Things to do in Taiwan #4: Look for the old Japanese architecture from the colonial period
The urban planning of Taipei City has already set the tone during the Japanese colonial period. There are many Japanese-style buildings and historic old houses hidden in the alleys of Taipei. Whether used as a restaurant, café, museum, or public library, the nostalgic atmosphere makes people feel like they are in Kyoto, Japan, which are unique travel memories.
#5: Stroll along the riverbank at the exotic Tamsui
Located at the mouth of the Tamsui River, Tamsui is the area with the highest density of historic sites in Grand Taipei. The intense exotic atmosphere is the highlight of this area. Tamsui has been colonized by Spain and the Netherlands. In the late Qing Dynasty, the “Tianjin Treaty” made it a trading port. After that, the British consulate was stationed in Tamsui. Later, a Canadian missionary George Leslie Mackay preached and promoted Western-style education and medicine. The complex history has left a unique charm for Tamsui.
#6: Roaming Jinguashi Mining Site and Jiufen
Jinguashis and Jioufen were once prosperous due to the influx of gold mining people and then faded with the decline of the gold mining industry. During the Japanese colonial period, a large amount of gold was exported from Taiwan to Japan. In the 1930s, with the rising price of gold, the “Asian Golden Capital” was prosperous and brilliant. After World War II, the output of gold mines fell sharply, and the gold mining industry entered the vicissitudes of history. The famous attraction in Jinguashih is the Gold Museum. Jioufen is known because of the fantasy mountain city in the work “Spirited Away” by Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki. With the ruins of Japanese shrines, cascading mountain towns, villages, and beautiful landscapes, visitors can explore the winding alleys of Jioufen and appreciate the beauty of Jioufen from different angles.
#7: Join in the excitement of the top event to worship Mazu
Mazu is the most important deity for the Taiwanese. Every year in March and April, the most prestigious religious event, “Mazu around the border,” will be held in Taiwan. People will escort “Mazu” from Lan Palace in Dajia Town, Taichong, through Taichong, Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi four counties, and finally return to Dajia Town. There are grand ceremonies on the departure and return of “Mazu,” and various commemorative activities and folk performances along the way
#8: Take a railway branch line
The “Mountain line” and “Ocean line” of the Taiwan Railway can take you to appreciate the beauty of Taiwan’s mountains and coasts, respectively. If you are traveling from the southern part of Taiwan to the northern region, you can take the branch line to small towns or the mountains to find the old days of Taiwan. The Pingxi Line can take you to experience the joy of the “Sky Lantern Festival.” Jiji Line could take you to charming old towns one by one. You can take a walk around the town or rent a bicycle to explore rural at the central of Taiwan. In addition, the forest train line in Alishan is also highly recommended. From 30 meters to 2216 meters above sea level, you could experience the changes in tropical, subtropical, and temperate vegetation along the way.
#9: Enjoy the beauty of Sun Moon Lake
As the largest lake in Taiwan, the scenery of the lakes and mountains of Sun Moon Lake is still heartwarming, especially from the Hanbi Tower overlooking the lake. The view is beautiful. In addition to visiting the lake, you can also enjoy the scenery in the mountains along the trail, ride a bicycle to visit the nearby village or find a secluded café for a daze. Also, don’t forget to try the local Assam tea.
#10: Relax travel fatigue in volcanic hot springs
Taiwan is rich in volcanoes and geothermal resources, thus forming various hot springs. “Hot springs” is a very sophisticated knowledge in Taiwan, and it is also a long-standing way of life. Needless to say, Beitou Hot Springs and Yangmingshan Hot Springs in Taipei, Wenshan Hot Springs in Taroko allow you to experience the fun of Yexi Hot Springs, Chihpen Hot Springs, and Yilan Jiaoxi Hot Springs are known as “Beauty Soups.” The mud hot springs in Guanziling near Tainan and the seawater hot springs in Green Island will make you more addicted.
#11: Feel the religious beliefs of the locals
It’s incredible how many temples there are in Taiwan. Among these temples, more than 500 Mazu Temples (Heavenly Queen Temples) represent the beliefs of all Taiwanese. You can enter any temple to admire the art of cutting and sticking on the roof and cornices and the giant door god on the red-painted gate, and you can also feel the local people’s awe and dependence on the gods in the dense incense.
#12: Bike tours, riding along the eat ocean coast
There are many reasons why people love Provincial Highway 11, an east coast highway. For example, the texture of the earth on Shitiping; the Dreaming Space of Niushan Huting, the secret paths under Bridge 11 and Bridge 12, totems of minorities, the freshest lobsters, and the sea urchins by the sea, or just the Pacific winds. A cyclist’s dream is to ride southward along the Provincial Highway 11, cross the steep Suhua Highway, and rush from the beautiful Qixingtan beach to Taitung. You will meet the most beautiful scenery and charming people on the East Coast.
#13: Fall in love with the B&B
The styles of Taiwan B&B range from nostalgic and classical to modern and surreal, each with its characteristics. The geographical location ranges from urban areas and mountains to the seaside, each with its advantages. In short, there must be a suitable one for you. The same is the enthusiasm and thoughtfulness of the host.
#14: Travel through Taroko
No matter what method you use, two feet, two wheels, or four wheels, crossing the Taroko Gorge is very cool. Climbing from the Pacific coastline to the highest highway in Taiwan with an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, along the way, you will see strange gorges, rocks, cutting cliffs, mountain streams, and the sea. Also, about half of Taiwan’s flora and fauna can be found here.
#15: Exploring the southernmost part of Taiwan
Kenting National Park is located on the Hengchun Peninsula, the southernmost tip of Taiwan. This is where Richard Parker, the tiger in ” Life of Pi,” walked into the jungle without looking back. It is also a Taiwanese holiday destination and the ultimate destination for water sports lovers. The Pacific Ocean borders the Hengchun Peninsula to the east, the Bashi Strait to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the west. There are rolling hills on both sides of the coast. You even could find grassland and sand here. The diverse topography also breeds a rich ecosystem. Sika deer haunt the hillsides at dusk; land crabs traverse the road during the breeding season, and more than 300 species of birds soar here. The most popular aquarium in Taiwan is also located here.
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