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Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), a largely mountainous island nation in East Asia, formerly known as Formosa. As a semi-tropical island in East Asia, Taiwan is one of the world’s most exciting and rapidly changing regions. Like many other places in Asia, it is densely populated and highly developed in terms of economics, technology and transport. Its people are highly educated and well traveled. Nonetheless, exotic cultures thrive throughout the island, and breathtakingly unspoiled scenery can be found in its mountainous interior. Thanks to its blend of Chinese tradition and modern influences – not to mention its fabulous ecological treasures and exceptionally friendly people – it’s won a place in the hearts of many outsiders.
Top Places to go in Taiwan
With the iconic Taipei 101, bustling nightlife and night markets and delicious food that might be new to you, Taipei, capital city of Taiwan has definitely more to offer with their lush forest mountains and bicycle pathways for cyclists. Ranging from gorging on Taiwanese food at a night market to marvelling at Taiwanese cultural heritage at a folk temple, the variety of interesting things to do in Taipei is endless.
Top things to do includes climbing up Elephant Mountain for the best breathtaking view of Taipei. Pay tribute and visit to Chiang Kai- Shek memorial which was built to celebrate the life and success of this Taiwan’s former president. San Ying Waterfront visitors will find huge installations, including plates and spoons from the Land of Giants placed in the spot that is imbued with artistic ambience. Taiwan's history of occupation and international influences is evidenced at Fort San Domingo and if you would like to see the world’s largest collection of Chinese art with Buddhist artifacts and the more unusual artworks visit National Palace Museum.
If you have an extra day, Packists recommends to take a day trip to the small and scenic village of Wulai offers quite a few things to keep visitors busy. It is best known for its wonderful food stalls and many hot spring hotels. But there is also a mini train that takes visitors to an aboriginal village where there is a cable car to see Wulai waterfall.
The attractiveness of Taichung originates in its abundant ecosystems, the ancient glamour of history, and incredible arts and literature. Only an hour away from Taoyuen International Airport one of the main draw for tourists to Taichung is Feng Chia Night Market which is one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan.
With lush rolling green hills,visiting Treak Dakeng is a must and is it has different levels of difficulty so everyone is welcome. If you are into arts do visit National Taichung Theatre and watch a musical performances.For local treats don't forget to drop by Miyaharu (Gong Yuan Yan Ke) which used to be a former eye hospital however now it is famous for its pineapple tarts and other pastries packaged in nice boxes. You would not want to miss the spectacular interior as well! With 800 separate plant species housed within 12 ecologically specific gardens under one roof, it is no surprise why people come to the Botanical Gardens to escape the steel beams of the city every once in awhile.
Packists recommends to have a visit to Caihongchun Village (Rainbow Village) as well as you will be amazed with the colourful paintings on the walls of the buildings. All of the artworks are completed by Mr Huang who lives in the village. If you are lucky - you may be able to catch him in action!
Located northeast of Taiwan, Yilan is surrounded by mountains facing the Pacific Ocean which is perfect for nature lovers and for those who wants to take a break from the city.An hour away by train from Taipei, it is the perfect trip for a day trip or weekend trip.
Top things to do in Yilan includes visiting Lanyang Museum for its architectural and amazing exhibitions to learn about the local history and culture. Visiting Jiaosi Hot Springs is a must as well as the bath complex is built in the middle of a beautiful garden, surrounded by large trees and ponds. A great place to relax in Yilan would have to be Wufengchi Waterfall where it is a nice short walk to see the nature.
Packist interesting tip is to visit the Rabbit Pencil Factory which was the first manufacture the ball point pen!As Taiwanese students grew up using Rabbit pencils, you will be able to immerse yourself in the production of pencils.
Considered one the most underrated cities in Taiwan, Kaohsiung is a huge port city in southern Taiwan. being a planned city, expect wide roads, modern public transport and bicyle lanes. Beneath the cover of this sleepy seaside city lies a treasure trove of undiscovered gems.
Top things to do in Kaohsiung includes visiting The Dome of Light which is the brainchild of italian artist, Nariccicus Quagliata who had the pieces of coloured glass panels shipped all the way from Germany. Walking under the 30 meter diameter installation, you will definitely be amazed by his huge masterpiece. Tourists favourite hot spot would have to be the Lotus Pond for it's uniquely designed structure and the intricate paintings on the wall. If you are keen on visiting a historical building, you would not want to miss the former British consulate building located on a hill. Taiwan markets is a must and so get yourself to Xinjuejiang night markets for non-stop shopping. If you live and breathe for art, you will definitely want to be on the street at The Pier 2 Art District
If you have an extra day in Kaohsiung, Packist recommends to take a day trip by ferry to Cijin.A beautiful island south of the mainland, visit Matsu Temple, Kaohsiung’s oldest shrine and the lighthouse, from where you get amazing views.
Seated along the Pacific Ocean, Hualien has many attractions to see and things to do. 3 hours by train from Taipei, Hualien has a rich landscape in history and mineral resources. A pleasant and quiet escape from the capital city, Hualien has managed to find a balance between preservation of nature and tourist development.
Top things to do in Hualien includes Tarako Gorge, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Asia where you are able to view the marble cliffs and more than 30 tunnels. In Taroko National Park, see one of the most photographed site in the world, Eternal Spring Shrine where a temple sits on the waterfall. Along the way to Taroko National Park, you will encounter a beautiful scenery along the Suhua Highway - Qingshui Cliff, a collection of coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Along Zhongshan Road, the busiest road in Hualien City you will be able to do a food hunt for the best food in Hualien.
If you have an extra day, Packist recommend to visit Shin Kong Chao Feng Ranch and Resort which is more than a 500 hectare ranch and resort with an onsite onsen, a dairy farm with 500 cows, fruit orchards, lots of gardens and even a zoo!
Top Travel Tips for Taiwan from Packist