If you want to explore beyond the city life and get enchanted by some more fascinating places in Taiwan you have come to the right place. Even though I was in the country for just over a week, I managed to make the most of my time and wander to other cities and towns from Taipei.
You are never out of options when it comes to choosing a place for a quick day trip from Taipei, and with endless places to pick from some of the ones which I highly recommend are:-
Jioufen – Get mesmerised by this mountainous town of Taiwan, little alleyways and breathtaking views from this charming town will make you fall in love with Jioufen. There are plenty of things to do around or you can take it easy and just stroll around the old town. This place is a mere 35-40km away from Taipei but it feels like a completely different world altogether.
Yehliu Geopark – This place is famous among the locals and tourists as you can find unusual rock formations here. Some of the rocks are even giving names like Queen’s Head, Ginger Rocks, and Princesses Head. Once you are done looking around you can even head to the Yehliu Ocean world, it’s pretty fascinating. It doesn’t take more than an hour to get here from Taipei, and you can either drive or take a bus which will drop you near to the entrance of the park.
Taichung – Another city of Taiwan which is quite popular is Taichung, its bustling food scene is what makes me attracted towards this city. Apart from its food, there are plenty of markets and the popular Rainbow village to check out, you won’t be disappointed here. In the city centre, you can make your way towards the pretty Taichung Park, Shenji 368 New Village which gets really busy due to its popularity, the National Taichung Theatre as this is a brilliantly made opera house here, and Feng Chia Night Market for some retail therapy.
Taichung is an interesting city and if you plan does spend a night here you can even visit the ever so magical Sun Moon Lake which is just an hour drive from here. If you have young kids they would be fascinated by the animals at the National Museum of Natural Science or if you like to see the spiritual side of this town make a visit to Confucius Temple.
Taking a car would be ideal but it takes anywhere around 2hours but if you like to travel by train that surely does cut down the travel time a lot more.
Yangmingshan National Park – Take in the flora and fauna at this magical National park which is just a 25min drive away from Taipei. There are plenty of hiking trails, scenic views, hot springs, and wildlife. Don’t forget to see Xiaoyoukeng where you can witness the sulphur deposits too and another interesting point is Datun Nature Park where you can see an exhibit of early human life. For a breathtaking view of the city check out Qingtiangang, the view is marvellous from here.
Shifen Waterfall – Be hypnotised by one of the best waterfalls in Taiwan, this is absolutely beautiful and you won’t regret taking a trip to Shifen. This place is just an hour away from Taipei and not only do you get to witness the waterfall but also get a chance to take part in the Sky Lantern ceremony. Write down your wishes on the sky lantern and fly it away, the locals believe in this and it’s a great way to be a part of their culture.
Taroko National Park – Without being bias if I have to pick one place in Taiwan which won my heart it has to be Taroko National Park. A drive from Taipei is wonderful as you can admire the Liwu river, and the magnificent mountains and marble canyons. A stay at one of the cabins at the National park is recommended as it will be a fabulous experience to enjoy Taiwan at its best.
Keelung – With the ease of travelling from Taipei you will never run out of options for quick trips out of the city and one such place is the port city Keelung. With great seafood, dazzling night-markets, parks and harbourfront you will be in for a real treat. Some places to consider here are Keelung Maritime Plaza, Wangyou Valley, and Keelung Peace Island.
Wulai – Get succumbed into the culture of Taiwan by visiting this pretty little settlement of Wulai which is just an hour away from Taipei. Try the food at the old street, visit the Wulai Atayal Museum, or take a dip in the hot springs here. Another interesting thing to do here is taking a cable car ride to see the waterfall. Wulai is not only beautiful but also gives you insight into the Taiwanese culture.
With these varied destinations to choose from, I am sure your trip to Taiwan will be one memorable experience.