What to do in Taiwan?

My friend recently asked me what one can do in Taiwan, as a tourist. Below is what I 
spontaneously recommended (for a 1-2-3 weeks visit). If you are a student, or have some card looking like a student ID, or driver license, bring it where ever u go, since student discounts often are offered (some people even manage to rent scooters by showing a library card!?!).
I also advice you to rent a car, for this you need a international driver license (Taiwanese companies became more strict since 2011 with car rentals for some reason), and then you can drive around the island. it´s about 1200:ish kilometers in total.
The price level differ at the north compare to the south and east (taipei is most expensive) of the island, but cheapest hostels are around 300-500NTD per night, and hotels are probably around 500-1000NTD.
Else remember that Buses, Trains and High Speed Rail, Scooter and Car are ways to travel on the west part of Taiwan. Car and Scooter and Train are usable on the East part. In the mountain area, cars and scooters are needed. (If you don´t choose to cycle).

Johan´s traveling suggestions in Taiwan (for people whos staying for some week) are: 


Taipei & "Taipei New City"


National Palace Museum:

Why? All the treasures from the forbidden city in Beijing is taken here…mostly jade and some old pottery. They have 12 exhibitions that they switch every 6 month...so it takes some years to see all of them...The museum is in Taipei City, but still some 40 minutes by MRT and bus from Taipei main station.

More info at: 






Longshan Night Market “Snake alley”


Why? Its one of the oldest and coolest night markets (most of them look the same all over Taiwan, but this one is a little special) (other night markets that’s “famous” in Taipei are “Shilin” night market and “Guting” night market. (the MRT station has the same names as the markets))

Info: Take MRT (it’s the name of the metro), to Longshan station (one station from Taipei main station), and ask how to go, its about 2-3 minutes from the station. The Taiwanese movie Monga, which deals with some mafia gang members was partly made here. You can also try some Snake and Turtle here.



More info at: 





Taipei 101

Why? Its one of the highest buildings in the world (508 meters high)
Info: Take the MRT to the Taipei 101 station (it´s on the east part of the city)…
It use to be the highest building in the world, however a little bit over rated… look further down how to better experience Taipei 101 (in the hikes). But it has the worlds fastest elevator… They also have some hiking trails near here (walk south from Taipei 101, until you reach the jungle, one famous trail is “the 4 beasts” starting with the “elephant mountain”. More info about these hikes are found on Google.



More info at:



#6 in Tallest buildings in the world 2015 at:



#9 in free standing structures 2015 at:




Maokong Gongola

Why? A nice place to visit, up in the mountains, not far from Taipei zoo, its famous for the tea houses and its great view over Taipei city…It is also a spot to relax at any of the tea houses, or go for a hike. If you are brave and want somthing extra you may take the special cabin that has a glass floor.

Info: (take the MRT (Neihu line towards the end station Taipei Zoo, and you will find the gondola station, you can use the MRT-card or MRT-badge to enter).





More info at:







Taipei Zoo

Why? Only a few zoos in the world has pandas. I think Taipei zoo is one of the biggest in Asia (or so I heard). The names of the pandas are in Chinese something like "Re-unite" and has been a political discussion, since China claims preservation fees for all the worlds pandas, except the ones in China (and then they didn´t ask for the fee from Taiwan, which was considered provocative).

Info: The brown Neihu line (south bound) takes you all the way to the zoo.



More info at: 







Yangming Mountain

Why? Taiwanese people loves mountains, and this is the highest near Taipei. It also has a lot of hot springs and hotspring activities. Yangming shan also has wild hot springs. The most popular season to go here is during early spring "cherry blossom" season. Just remember that Taiwanese locals like to go here during weekends, Thus its super looooong queues, I recommend people to take scooter, bike or bus here, especially if you want to go on holidays and Saturday/Sundays.

Info: Take MRT (red line north) to Beitou station, from there you take bus (you can ask at the station).




More info at:




Partly related blog post:





Why? Taiwan has 14 aboriginal tribes, most of them lives in the south and east part of Taiwan, but here in the mountain south of Taipei there are a lot of aboriginal traces. “Wulai” (originally "Urai") means “hot spring” in the Atayal language. They have plenty of hot springs in this area, some are public others you rent a room, and you can even swim for free in the hot river (if you walk pass the little village. You can also try aboriginal food, and take some hikes here. Free foot bath in the city center. In general Beitou hot springs are a little cheaper, however the Wulai hot springs are carbonated hot springs, while Beitou is sulphur, so for people who don´t like the "egg smell", come to Wulai´s hot spring.

Info: Take MRT south to Xindian, ask for the bus to Wulai, it should be “green 3”, but might have changed.



More info at: 








Pingxi and Shifen

Why? A place up in the jungle/mountains, famous for its flying lanterns. Easiest to get here is by Train (north) from Taipei, tickets can be bought at Taipei main station. And ask them how to go. They have a connection train to Pingxi, which is very small and cute., or take taxi, or bus is to go here. Personally I went by scooter most of the time. However it can be tricky to rent a scooter in Taipei without a driver licence (in the south and eastern parts of Taiwan it´s easier).. Near Pingxi Taiwan´s largest waterfall can be found in Shifen. However they charge you money to see the waterfall, and thus I think it is over rated, most people I know turn at the entrance.Hiking-wise they have some really nice hikes here, just ask some locals and they will show you some 1-2 hour trails.

More info at:








Most waterfalls in taiwan listed:



Juifen & Gold museum

Why? Seen the anime movie Spirited away? It was inspired by Juifen, which makes you feel like in an Italian coastal village, try the local food and enjoy the tea bar. If you continue some kilometers south along the road, you can visit old Japanese village that was big during the gold rush some 50 years ago. They also have a hike to “tea pot mountain”, you can see signs near the museum (the museum has the largest gold bar in the world, which you can touch, security is not that important in Taiwan). They also have plenty or trails in the area. Teapot mountain is close to the gold museum, just follow the trail signs that are found nearby.

Info: Bus from Taipei, or train with connection bus.



More info at:










Why? Ximen is the “times square” of Taipei. I love the gay street which is one of the few spots where you can sit outside in Taipei. "Ximen" means West gate" in Chinese, and its actually possible to see a monument of a "gate" both south and north of the MRT station. 

Info: Take MRT to Ximen station (blue bannan line). The gay street is behind the red building near exit 6.





More info at: 








Lin Family Garden

In the south western parts of Taipei, near Banqiao, there is a hidden garden which design and architecture reminds a lot of the ancient Chinese houses. Almost like the Hutongs in Beijing, but here its more peaceful and more focus on quality of the real estate. Just walk around and feel the Asian spirits dancing around. Perhaps also enjoy a tea from a local tea store.
The easiest way to go here it to take MRT from Taipei Main station, and leave one MRT station after Banqiao, then walk west. Both Google maps and the links below has further information about the address.

More info at:









Fulong beach

Why? If you like the beach, you should go here. Just take the train (you can even use your MRT card of badge) north towards Yilan/Hualien etc  (in Taipei there are more or less only 1 north bound and 1 south bound line). The stations name is Fulong, and just ask how to go to the ocean, it’s a 5-10 minutes walk. They also have nice festivals here occasionally.

More info at: 









Caoling Trail

Why? Some people say it’s the easiest hiking trail near Taipei, and its an 2-3 hour walk (maybe). You go to Fulong station (just as above) and ask your way, of follow the signs). Most hiking trails are found online if you Google.

Info: its mostly roads initially, bring some food etc, it becomes a nice picnic. The trail ends further south, near another train station. Which will take you back to Taipei.




More info at: 









Waiao Surfing

Why? Yes Taiwanese people surf! From Taipei you take the train north, towards Yilan/Hualian etc. And leave at the station Waiao. Locals say that the best surfing is in the morning, but I arrived many times after lunch, for some hours surf.  At the train station, walk to the coastline, along the path south. After some 2 kilometers you will see the surf shops. They speak English and u can rent board and clothes for like 500NTD, they will also offer you food chairs etc, at the beach and sometimes free teaching course. For advanced surfers I would recommend to surf down in Taidong or Green island. Waiao is partly protected by Turtle Island, and thus the waves are more suitable for beginners. And its a perfect 1 day trip from the north western part or Taiwan.

Info: Train north, leave at Waiao station, walk south along the coast for some kilometers.


More info at: 









Shiding 20cm ridge

Why? Interesting cliffs and jungle some 30 minutes from Taipei. Its a perfect 1 day hike, when you actually can spot the top of Taipei 101 in the horizon. Some peaks on this trail has temples. It is a good chance that you meet other Taiwanese hikers, who probably can give you some recommendations for other nice hikes.

Info: Take MRT south to Muzha station, and transfer to bus 666, leave at Shiding (or Shiting) station, pass the village and look for stairs and a sign for the trail. You will return to the same spot after the trail is done.



More info at:




Shiding oldstreet:


Also lonely planet explains how to reach this trail.



Why? Nice market and walk, tea bars and hang out, where Taipei meets the ocean.  Perfect to be around sunset. It also has on of the oldest houses in Taiwan from 1623, build by the Spanish people.

Info: Take red line north to the end station (Tamsui) and you will find the place directly. It takes 40-50 minutes by MRT, just be aware. Usually the last MRT leaves the end station around midnight!



More info at: 









ShiDa night market

Why? Its actually more like a student block, but the night market and the restaurant here are nice. Check my blog post below, for some restaurants that many people say "are famous" (which in Taiwan means are good?!?!)

You take the MRT to Technology building station, and ask for “Shida road”, from there you walk north, and ask people where the night market is.




More info at: 






Guting Riverside park

Why? Actually not that special for a tourist. But for people who lived in Taipei for 5 years and are sick of scooters, scooters, scooters…Guting riverside part is a nice escape. From Guting MRT station you walk south, until you reach the river. Only accessible by walking or biking. You can use the public bike system, if u register. It’s a nice tour to enjoy the sun set, they also have some tea bars. This park is also perfect if you just want to go for a run in the city without inhaling fumes from the scooters.

More info at:








Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Why? Just makes you feel like you are in the “Republic of China”. Chiang Kai-Shek was a friend of Chinas chairman Mao, but they later on got enemies, and Chiang Kai-Shek escaped to Taiwan, (with treasures form the forbidden city), his plan was that when the communist regime collapsed, Taiwan and China would reunite. However this hasn’t been the case. And in 1970 united nations kicked Taiwan out, and as new generation Taiwanese kids grow up they are not keen to join a communist China, when they can have democracy (however Chiang Kai-Shek is not that popular in these days, people prefer to call Sen Yat Sen the father of Taiwan, who formed the country already in 1911 (from when they start to count their years). This also split the country in 2 parts, “China friendly” (blue political party) and “less China friendly” (green party). Whatever you do, don’t talk to much about the political situation with Taiwanese people, especially if there is more than one person nearby, since they might start to argue.

Info: take the MRT to the station “Chiang Kai-She Memorial Hall Station” (its south of Taipei main station)

Hostels in Taipei:

I think the cheapest ones can be found on hostels.com, like Happy family hostel and Elephant hostel But also my friends hostel is “Three little birds Taipei” is found at:



More info at:








Sanxia Trail

On the road 7 connection in southern Taipei, a place called Sanxia is places just where the mountain starts.Its a perfect place for 1 day hikes. An easy way to get there is by scooter or bike (it is like 20-30km south of Taipei city, taking road 3 south), when it connects with Road 7 a convenient store, take left and continue another 2-3 km for this hike, else continue further (many hikes are marked with signs at the trail entrances). If you want a wild hot spring, you need to continue anohter 40-50 kilometers (Sileng hot spring, which is pretty cool)..

They have several trails in the area, this one is probably the closest from Taipei, and has easy parts.If you don´t want to go this far south, one can find many other trails along road 3 between Tucheng and Sanxia.



More info at:








Similar Sanxia hikes:





Kavalan Whisky Destillery

It is highly ranked and awarded with many prizes. It is even available at the Swedish Systembolaget. Kavalan Whisky. They have several kind of whisky, and have since some years offered guided tours and whisky courses at the factory in Yilan. Preferably visited when visiting Yilan city, which is said to be the most rainy place in Taiwan. 2015 Kavalan Solist Vinho Barrique a number of prizes including a gold awards from the Beverage Tasting Institute (World Whiskies Awards) (see links below).
More info at:


Yehliu Geopark

Just some hour from Taipei City, there is geological park just at the coast line at the very north of Taiwan, named Yehlui ( 野柳 ) (just along road 2). The "Queen's Head" (女王頭), is a very famous landmark in Taiwan (seen on the picture). It is a geological park where the rocks formed shapes that looks very interesting, and the most spectacular shape. While visiting the park, one can also take a ride to two of the northern most island of Taiwan. Heping island and Keelung island, the later one might be hard to get to, but ask at the harbour east of Keelung, they offer some random rides.


Turtle island

This island on the north east of Taiwan was a military area until 2001 something. After that it became a tourist island, however, the requirement for permit remains "never ask why" locals often say. You need to apply for a permit, and bring your passport. But this island near Yilan in the north of Taiwan has an “under water hot spring” (There are only 4 of these in the world! (that we know about)). Its also the only active volcano in Taiwan, even if it doesn’t look much as a volcano in the 1970:ies more than 600 people lived on the island, which had its own school and stores. Today its pretty empty.

More info at:







Middle of Taiwan


DaJia Mazu Temple (north of Taichung)

Famous for being the tampe for the “most powerful goddess” and that the temple owner is in the mafia (which most temple owners are in Taiwan). Fun to see is a  250 kilo large gold statue, and a white jade statue, in the basement, thus: the richest temple in Taiwan) (north of Taichung). And pay attention to that the door is always open, without guards and barely any cameras...but i guess a 250 kilo statue is easy to smash but hard to grab...

More info at: 







Overrated place for many reasons, but a nice forest recreation area and they also have nice aboriginal artefacts. Their hiking possibilities use to be good, where you more or less could cross some larger mountains to get to Nantou and a lake created by an earthquake, but they are closed due to landslides. Most Chinese people go here to see the view (sun rise), its pretty nice and sometimes cold (elevation over 2000 meters), you can also see Taiwan´s highest mountain Jade mountain" from the top if Alishan. They have some easy hikes nearby that are open.

More info at:







Sunmoon lake

The largest lake in Taiwan, made by the Japanese, also a little over rated, but still interesting to see a lake in Taiwan. They also have some theme park near by. It is popular to rent a bike and cycle around the lake or take a tour on the lake, they have plenty of boat rides. It is not OK to swim there, except during a race held in the summer. But they have some hiking trails in the area. Recommended is to watch the aboriginal activities, the tribe living here are rather small compare to other groups.

More info at: 









One of the oldest cities in Taiwan, near Taichung, it has a nice red brick path that you can walk ,and many nice houses in the old city. Many cities in Taiwan has "old roads" like this one, mostly made by red bricks. However this might be one of the oldest. And a unique history. Don't forget to check the "half well" and visit the temples in the area.

More info at:






Taiwan Times Village

What is Taiwan? History-wise, culture and retro-culture? This recently opened arena is a great way to explore the Taiwanese peoples own view of Taiwan´s recent History. Stands about comics, great entertainment, aboriginal artefacts and old train stations and police stations are possible to visit. Classic soft porn and actors walking around. Kind of touristic but that's why we are here...See more info about how to find the place and when its open below, (location wise its rather middle-southern parts of Taiwan, in Nantou).
More info at:





921 Earthquake Museum Of Taiwan (Nantou)

A huge earthquake happened some decade ago, and demolished many parts of Taiwan Most spectacular area due to this is the Nantou region, which a lake created from the earthquake, and a school that was totally destroyed. This school is now a museum, and is worth a visit, showing what causes earthquakes and how to build houses and skyscrapers that are earthquake safe.
More info at:


Hehuan mountain

The highest road in Taiwan, above 3000 meters was built for the military, however now its a public road. Where road 7 from north, 8 from east to west and road 14 from the south all meets. You need car or scooter preferably to get here. Taking road 7 from Yilan (in the north) or road 14 from Nantou (from the middle of Taiwan). It’s a nice view, where you (during sunny day) can see 200 km away. The highest toilet in Taiwan is said to be here. Amazing for people who barely seen mountains, nor seen snow. It is also a easy place to get to, compare to other mountains, and a great way to see the "real Taiwan" since Taiwan mainly is a mountain island.

More info at:






Other mountains above 3000 meters

Officially there are about 100 peaks above 3000 meters in Taiwan, and you often need to apply for permit to enter the trail, you do this on the national park´s home page. You can, if you are a foreigners, apply at the spot (for non popular mountains) the popular ones are “Jade mountain” and “Snow mountain” (the highest and second highest ones). Ask Johan for more info.



More info at:









Southern Taiwan



Also, one of the oldest cities in Taiwan.  Houses from the Dutch occupation are worth a visit a.k.a. “the Dutch tree house”. They also have a salt mountain; u can find information about this at the local tourist bureau. And some Portuguese fortress. Many people consider Tainan as a nice city, personally I think it’s a little over rated. Taiwanese people appreciate the food here. Not far from the Dutch tree house and the Portugese Fortress you will find a special cafe that everyone always take me to called "Anping Bean Jelly", when visiting here (with the common argument "its famous). Tainan also has a famous university N.C.K.U, and in their campus they have a nice coffee ship sponsored by the TV company Chimei, that I can recommend. Their pineapple cake is very good.

More info at:









The second largest city in Taiwan, it has a nice atmosphere which barely makes it feel that big, and the roads are like in Manhattan, like a chess board, so its very easy to navigate. I would recommend you to take a evening walk along the Love river and enjoy the lights. Also near the wharf, they have some nice sub-culture art places and interesting tea bars near Pier 2. To get here from Taipei, the fastest way it by “High speed rail” (HSR). But bus and normal train is cheaper. Also pay a visit to the 85 building, which is the highest building in Kaohsiung, they have a nice sky bar. Also one can take the ferry to the island just outside Kaohsiung harbour, and try to local seafood (taste the same as at other places, but its still "local food".

More info at:






Art center Pier 2:





Party! Beach! The most famous tourist spot when it comes to beach in Taiwan, preferably take taxi from Kaohisung, or bus. They have wild parties here in April (spring scream), but the whole year around they offer nice night market, and places to chill at. I can recommend the mobile bar at the very south stand in the road in Kenting. A funny guy has it, and he also offers people challenges like cycling on his small bikes (see the Youtube clip below). If its full at the hostels, in Taiwan its OK to put up a tent at almost any elementary school, they also offer free toilets. Which makes city camping very useful.

More info at:




Bike clip:



Festival info:




Penghu island

Also known as Pescadores Islands?!, are a group of islands mostly connected with bridges between Taiwan and China. It was ranked as "#6 The world´s best secret island" by lonely planet (see link below). A little over rated, but famous for seafood and diving and some Dutch occupation houses. Boat from Tainan or fly from Taipei are the ways to go here. They have plenty of beaches.

More info at:








The great Buddha statue (Kaohsiung)


Taiwan has one of the largest Buddha statues in Asia (Which actually Myanmar, Thailand, Bhutan and China also claims to have?!?!)... This one is north on Kaohsiung, and even has one of the three teeth that is left from Buddha. Not far from this monastery there is a temple for the munks. I heard that its possible to mingle and sleep there, if you are nice. (There are several Big Buddha statues at other places in Taiwan to, one can be found in Hsinchu country, and one in Taizhong county).
More infor at:



A small island in the south of Taiwan, and the most Temple crowded island in the world. Long time ago the weather here was very unstable, so the fishermen never knew when they could reach Main land Taiwan, and thus became dependent on praying to the gods. It is easy to move around on the island. Boat from Pingdong (south of Kaohsiung or road 17) takes you here regularly. Its famous for a mushroom cliff (see the picture). You can easily rent scooter or bike when you are here.

More info at:








Eastern Taiwan


East Rift Valley

Rent a car or a scooter and drive on the East Rift valley,It is road 9, between Taidong and Hualian (the two cities on the isolated East coast that it connects), given that you chose not to drive the coastal road 11. On both roads there are plenty of things to see, but the rift valley is something special, like waterfalls, archaeological monuments, nice hikes (like the famous Walami trail (you need a permit, but if u come before 9 in the morning it is OK to apply on spot)), see the blog post below). It’s a 10km hike (one way) with a lot of historical meanings. They also offer rafting in the rivers arranged by the local aboriginal Amei tribe (near Ruishui), just ask at a random 7-11 or hostel and they should know. The valley also offers coffee plantation, milk farms, Aboriginal villages, monkey bridge, and some lakes. The local tourist information will give you detailed information about recent happenings.

More info at:




Walami trail (ranked as a top 10 trail in taiwan by some websites):






Green Island

An island 40 minutes by boat from Taidong, not that special but here you can enjoy the flying fish, and swim in the hot spring near the ocean. The place to meet by night is a 7-11 or Family mart convenient store. They have plenty or guiding tours, and some interesting temples. You should try flying fish and deer meat, and do some diving when you visit this place. it´s about 21-21km around the island. Many times it is included a scooter when renting a hotel/hostel.

More info at:







Orchid Island

The biggest island on the east of Taiwan (but not the largest of Taiwan´s islands, I think Matsu is 3-4 times bigger). To get here you need to take boat from Kaohsiung of fly from Taidong (6 flights per day, but many are cancelled). The island is ranked as the top 10 best diving in the world by New York Times. They also have many aboriginal villages, and old houses from the Japanese occupation. They have guiding tours to see owls. Several hikes, 2 easy to some lakes. I spent 2 days trying to find the path to the highest mountain (more than 500 meters high), but it was hard. I was here during low season (February). The boat on the picture is a common symbol for the aboriginal tribe that lives here. It is around 40-45km around the island, and the road that is, goes around it, with one shortcut in the south. "why do you never build houses in the middle of the island?" I once asked a local. "Why should we?" she replied.

More info at:









Taroko Gorge

A famous gorge on the east coast of Taiwan, near Hualian. Famous for its view, and hikes. The Japanese found this road with help for the Aboriginal Tairuge- tribe, in order to enable transportation of gods from the west coast to the east coast. The military built the roads, and rumour has it that many people died during this dangerous construction project. Today its one of the most spectacular scenic sites in Taiwan. You go here by train to Hualian, and either rent scooter or car/taxi. (from Hualian city go north on road 9, and take road 8 west (just follow the signs to “Taroko gorge”).

More info at:









My favourite city in Taiwan, they have a very calm atmosphere, many hot springs in the south (in Jiben) and a nice bike path with artists showing their art on the old railroad going around the city. You can come here easiest by train. 3 hours from Taipei with the new fast train (Puyuma). They also have many tourist areas like Badlands, Balloon festival terrace, several Aboriginal villages and art district, and hikes. Ask at the tourist information at the train station when arriving. If you are interested in history I can really recommend the Pre-historic museum in Taidong.

More info at:















All over Taiwan


All you can drink!


Many bars clubs and restaurants have free alcohol in Taiwan. Let me know where you can and I can recommend you some!



Beer bars


Visit my facebook page Taipei Brewing where I listed the addresses in Chinese (usable for google maps). Taiwan has atleast 20 microbreweries and restaurants, most of them are avalabile in Taipei, some in Taichung, Hsinchu and in Tainan

More info on Taipei Brewings facebook page at:





Additional links about Taiwan:
















Postat av: FH

Bra sammanställning

2015-03-02 @ 23:22:34
Postat av: Anders Frick

Långt och läsvärt!
Själv är jag inte lika utförlig i mina tips: http://www.backpacking.se/ReadArticle.asp?ArticleId=1285

2015-03-12 @ 13:31:41
URL: http://twitter.com/frick
Postat av: Bass


Article writing is also a fun, if you know afterward you can write otherwise it is difficult to write.

2017-07-18 @ 09:23:18
URL: http://www.0dayvinyls.org
Postat av: Instrumental

Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site.
I stumbledupon it ;) I may return yet again since I
book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change,
may you be rich and continue to guide others.

2017-07-22 @ 13:32:09
URL: http://www.0daymp3.net

Kommentera inlägget här:

Kom ihåg mig?

E-postadress: (publiceras ej)



RSS 2.0