Taiwan Travel Guides
A couple of water parks, the zoo in Taipei and a decent selection of public parks comprise Taiwan’s urban entertainment for children. There area also a fair number of beaches scattered around the island and in the mountainous interior there are ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Formosa Wonder World
Taipei’s largest and most popular water park is the ideal spot to cool off from the summer heat. With five different water slides, a river to float on and lots of places to eat, Wonder World is a favourite with kids. Just next door is a small amusement park if you need even more entertainment. The park is located on Ba Li Xiang road in Taipei.
Taipei City Zoo
Since its move to the fringe of the city in the hilly area of Mu Zha, Taipei’s zoo has become a pleasant retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its well-designed habitats and layout make it fun to wander around and observe new additions such as the polar bears and koalas. The zoo is located on Hsin Kuang road in Taipei.
This massive public park in the capital is a great place to bring kids if you need a break from the concrete of Taipei. Its location along the Xin Dian River, surrounded by lots of trees, helps to keep it cool in the sweltering summer. Swimming pools, basketball courts, a skating rink and a pleasant trail along the river provide plenty of recreation options. The park is located on Shui Yuan road in Taipei. Phone: +886 2 2303 2451.
Don’t think that Taiwan is just another Chinese province. This island has its own unique cultural fusion which can be seen in both its aboriginal tribes and its modern cosmopolitan population which has adopted many global trends. Taipei’s museums are world class, but make a visit to any of the hundreds of traditional Chinese temples and you’ll see where Taiwanese roots truly lie. An exotic blend of Taoism and Buddhism is still a part of most people’s daily lives in this progressive and intriguing nation.
Chung Tai Chan Temple
Not just an ancient temple, this centre of Buddhist culture, arts and academic research is one of the most significant of its kind in the world. Located outside of Puli, Chung Tai Chan is a huge temple which sits atop a 60 acre lotus hill, offering inspiring scenes both inside and outside the structure. The master of this temple is often credited with reviving Zen Buddhism in Taiwan, and the temple offers a peaceful glimpse into the working world of this religion.
National Museum of History
The primary aim of this comprehensive national museum is to educate people about Chinese history and art. The grand old building houses some real treasures from the mainland, including priceless pieces of ancient jade, porcelain and bronze. Important exhibitions of Chinese art are regularly held here, so visitors can be sure of seeing something important and interesting. The museum is located on Nan Hai road in Taipei.
Peitou Folk Art Museum
Originally an officer’s club during the Japanese occupation of the early 1900s, this complex has been transformed into a wonderful tribute to the traditional aboriginal arts, crafts and culture of Taiwan’s first inhabitants. There are six rooms in the museum displaying clothing, toys, artwork and other traditional items from the Peitou tribe, which is one of the island’s most prominent. Around the museum is a lovely Japanese-style garden. The museum is situated in Peitou district, in Taipei. Phone: +886 2 2891 2318.
Shihlin Night Market
Taipei’s most vibrant, busy and fascinating outdoor market is right in the heart of downtown Taipei and a must-see for anyone visiting the capital. The nation’s largest and oldest market bursts into life as the sun goes down. Small shops sell everything under the sun, while food stalls offer some of the city’s tastiest treats. A great way to spend a night is exploring the cramped market of Shihlin on Chung Shan North road.
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
There’s a lot to see at Taipei’s main public square in the heart of the city. Spacious grounds are bordered by grand buildings which house art galleries, historical museums and host cultural events. No cars are allowed in this compound, and residents of Taipei come out every day to walk, practice tai chi or rollerblade around the pavement. Don’t miss the daily changing of the guards, which is a model of military precision. The hall is located on Renai road, Taipei.
Wulai Aboriginal Village
The beautiful mountain village of Wulai is home to the Tai Ya aboriginal tribe. They have turned their traditional village into a tourist destination where visitors can experience tribal life that has been protected from modern development. An excellent little museum displays their textiles, arts and crafts, complementing the contingent of helpful locals who are happy to explain their heritage. This area is also home to some great hot springs for soaking and the famous 80 metre Wulai Waterfall, making Wulai a perfect daytrip excursion.
Dining & Shopping
Taiwanese cuisine has its roots in the established dishes and cooking styles of the Chinese mainland, and adequate representations of all of China’s regional dishes can be found in restaurants across the island. However, many restaurants have taken the creative initiative and fused regional mainland styles with local tastes to make a cuisine unique to Taiwan. This is especially true in Taipei, where fusion cafés are in abundance.Visit this website for photographs and further information about Taiwanese Food In Taiwan
The Taiwanese have a special love for seafood and eggs, so expect to see myriad variations on these two things across the island. Most of Taiwan’s cities are known for a particular dish, so it’s worth finding out what the specialties are in each town you visit. Taichung is renowned for its sun cakes, while Ilan is famous for the sticky rice snack known as mochi.
The Taiwanese love to eat, so even the smallest towns will have a good selection of excellent local restaurants. Baked goods are also popular, a boon to many Western travellers.
Taiwanese specialties include noodle soup with pieces of soft stewed beef, omelets made with oysters and chrysanthemum leaves, and aiya, a jelly which is made from fig seeds and served over crushed ice as a sweet desert. Budget meals can be found at side street noodle shops and market stalls, where the food is reliably delicious. Tipping is not expected in Taiwan, though most upscale restaurants and hotels will add a 10 per cent service charge to the bill.
Taiwan also grows some of Asia’s finest tea in its higher elevations. Check out the amazing Oolong teas from the mountains, and the dark tie guan-yin tea which is unique to the island. A wealth of traditional tea houses can be found all over Taiwan, especially in the mountainous regions, where visitors can sip tea right at the plantation where it’s grown. For a strange and modern adaptation of tea, check out pearl milk tea or bubble tea, the latter which was invented in Taiwan in the 1980s. This milky tea has balls of tapioca in it and is drunk through a huge straw.
The shopping options in Taiwan are not quite as diverse and exciting as its dining scene, but there is still plenty to choose from. Being a modern high-tech society, Taiwan is a great place to pick up the newest electronic gadgets, as well as contemporary fashions in urban hubs like Taipei. Massive, modern shopping malls are pervasive in the capital, but don’t overlook the traditional street markets, where the scene is much more engaging.
Taiwan is known for its night markets, which can be found in the centres of most large cities. Taipei is by far the best place to explore the night market scene in massive, legendary places such as Shihlin. Here visitors can find both new and old items, treasures and junk. The overwhelming tapestry of smells, sounds and sights is what make the night markets so fascinating and fun to explore. Bargaining is a way of life in the night markets, but most vendors only speak Chinese so be prepared for some creative communication.
Some of the more traditional crafts available in Taiwan include items made from bamboo, sea grass and stone. There are many wonderful things made from silk, such as lanterns, clothing and wall hangings. Visitors will find some great Chinese cultural souvenirs in the markets without having to go to the mainland.
Few travellers realise that Taiwan has some of the most stunning natural scenery in Asia. Its latitude and topography have blessed it with cool, refreshing mountains on the interior, dramatic coastal scenes in the north and balmy subtropical beaches along the southern tip. Take a hike, swim in the sea or soak your muscles in one of the many amazing natural hot springs.
Being an island, Taiwan has plenty of beaches. There are year-round subtropical beaches in the south; however, the island’s range in climate means there are only seasonal spots in the north. A quick train ride from Taipei will take you to Fu Lang, one of the island’s most popular beaches. Water sports, beach activities, equipment rentals and plenty of people make this a fun spot to see how the Taiwanese hit the beach. Kenting National Park in the south is the best bet for warm and sunny seaside conditions any time of the year.Visit this website for further information about Fulong Beach In Taipei Taiwan
Walking in the mountains is a major activity for the Taiwanese. Even in the hills scattered within Taipei you will see people on the trails every day, getting in touch with nature and keeping fit. There are some amazing mountain parks in Taiwan, and nearly all of them have established trail networks. Jade Mountain’s 3,952 metre summit is the highest peak in northeast Asia and a favourite for mountain climbers, while Ali Mountain offers cultural attractions to go with its forest walks.
Lying as it does along the Ring of Fire, Taiwan has numerous natural hot springs bubbling out of the earth. One of the most enjoyable outdoor excursions is to spend a relaxing day at a hot spring resort such as Green Garden or Ma Tsou. Both of these places have private tubs as well as segregated outdoor public pools. The Taiwanese staff are serious about the cleanliness and demeanor of their hot springs, so expect a wonderfully Asian experience wherever you soak.
The dramatic sheer slopes of Taiwan’s interior mountains make them ideal locations for the extreme sport of paragliding. Steady winds and perfect takeoff points have encouraged a booming scene for hang-gliders and paragliders of all levels. Luye Plateau in Taitung Province and Green Bay along the northern shore are two of the best and most scenic spots for this amazing sport.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving
There are a couple of good underwater spots in the south of Taiwan if you are a fan of snorkelling or diving. Just off the southeastern coast is Green Island’s extensive healthy coral gardens and great visibility. Kenting National Park is another good site where the water sport scene is the most developed in Taiwan. Some good coral and sea life can be enjoyed here as well.