If you are planning to explore Taiwan the next holiday, be sure to get thorough information and insight into the place. You can enjoy more experience and fun if you have learned a thing or two about the country in general and some of its popular cities in specific. So, what should you know about Taiwan?
The Beauty of Taiwan
When we are talking about Taiwan, we are talking about a semi-tropical island that is changing rapidly in the past few years. Located in East Asia, Taiwan has a dense population. It is also highly developed in transportation, economics, and technology.
In the past, people often thought of Taiwan as the main destination for business people only. But there is more to meet the eyes. And its modern influence is well mixed with the Chinese tradition, delivering a very nice ambiance for travelers. Taiwan is easily reached – only 1 hour from Hong Kong. It takes only 4 hours from Singapore and 15 hours from London. It is a small island with a rich cultural heritage.
Popular Cities in Taiwan
There are several popular cities that you can visit and explore in Taiwan. There are some interesting options that you can explore.
Taipei is the capital city that has a unique atmosphere. It is modern with a rich heritage of their history and culture. The people are very proud of their history and culture, and you can see those influences everywhere. You will enjoy your exploration around the city while visiting the night market or trying the street foods. It is a busy and crowded city, but if you are into the modern lifestyle, then Taipei would be a perfect choice.
Another popular city is the Kaohsiung which is the second biggest city in Taiwan. Just like Taipei, the vibe is modern and trendy. The place is characterized by beautiful and natural parks, nice beaches, and cozy cafes. In this city, you can balance your exploration where you can enjoy natural views as well as going to urban attractions. You can go to Yushan National Park or Tuntex Sky Tower.
Chiayi is another popular city that is small but beautiful. When compared to the other 2, this one is quieter. However, it doesn’t mean that you will lack many attractions while coming to this city. You can explore Chiayi Botanical Garden or go to the Wenhua Road night market to grab a bite. The local specialty includes meat that is soaked in a savory sauce and turkey rice. Feel free to go to Alishan National Scenic Area to enjoy traditional villages, waterfalls, and also tea plantation.
Another one is Tainan, which is Taiwan’s ex-capital city. You can find the most traditional influences from the past. If you want to learn about history, Tainan would be the perfect place to explore. One of the most popular attractions is the Confucian Temple. It is also a perfect place to try the local dishes, such as danzai noodles.
Tourist Attractions in Taiwan
Taiwan has various interesting spots. Whether you are into natural exploration or you want to enjoy the historical and cultural elements, be sure that Taiwan has the best spots for you.
Yang Ming Shan National Park
The park is located between the naturally gorgeous forest and mountain – perfect to help you enjoy the fresh air. This place is perfect to visit during autumn and spring so you can see the beautiful leaf falls and the colorful flowers.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
This memorial hall is vast and wide and it is pretty entertaining. The architecture is beautiful and you can also take pictures of the monument. Feel free to explore the place around and take as many pictures as possible.
Who says that you can’t come to any educational institution during your travel? Taiwan University is one of the oldest universities in the country. The traditional architecture remains intact and it is still well-preserved. You can take pictures there.
Cultural Attractions in Taiwan
As it was mentioned before, Taiwan has a rich cultural value and elements. The cultural elements are mostly influenced by the long history of the nation. And there are some interesting places to explore.
National Palace Museum
The place is home to many collections of Chinese artworks and artifacts. Some of them have dated back to 10,000 years ago – some even to Neolithic times. The collections are worth seeing and worth learning. You can visit the museum with your kids so you can enjoy special bonding times together.
Jiufen Old Street
Also known as Chiufen in Ruifang, this old street is filled with traditional Chinese inns and teahouses. One of the signature styles is red lanterns rows in front of those inns and teahouses. The area is hilly with thick traditional architecture and vibe. You can easily find various food stalls selling yummy and tasty traditional treats.
Pier-2 Art Center
The signature style is old warehouses that are converted to artsy boutiques and exhibition halls. The art exhibition is interesting and there are many displays to see. You should come to this location.
Huashan 1914 Creative Park
This location is packed with stores and cafes for the youngsters. You can easily find bars there. This is a popular destination among the youth so don’t be too surprised if it is always packed with youngsters during weekends.
Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall
One of the things to like about this spot is it is free of charge nature. Not only you can see the famous Taipei 101 building, but you can also see the changing of the guards’ ceremony.
Religious Attractions in Taiwan
Religious freedom is well supported and encouraged in Taiwan. You can find several attraction spots in Taiwan.
The Catholic Church of the Lotus in Puxin
Also known as the Holy Name of Jesus, the church is open all day and all hours. Booking is only needed when you want to visit the artifact display room. This is the first Catholic church in (central) Taiwan, established by Dominican Order missionary priests.
Lungshan Temple for Buddhist
You can see hundreds of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist statues there. The construction is also unique, combining traditional four-building courtyard with the unique palace architecture. The temple has front, main, and rear hall with left and right-wing. The walls are adorned by vivid creatures’ paintings.
Tuba Tribe Church for Christians
The church is located in the Dawo area (in Taoyuan City) and it is considered important by Atayal people. The construction combines Christian-based design and indigenous culture. The signature style of the building is the entrance. It is believed that it symbolized the key to heaven.
Taipei Grand Mosque
There are many mosques in Taiwan, but the Taipei Grand Mosque is one of the most popular ones. You won’t have to pay anything to visit the place. It worth taking pictures thanks to the beautiful architecture and interior design.
Night Market and the Culinary
The history of the night market dated back to the old history of Taiwan. It has been a part of their culture, including their culinary.
Raohe Night Market
It is not only the most popular night market in Taiwan but also the most crowded place in Taiwan. If you are looking for original and authentic local foods, then you are in the right place. You can try pepper buns, flame-torched beef, oyster omelet, and stinky tofu. You can take MRT to Songshan Station and take Green Line and Exit 5.
Shilin Night Market
This is the oldest night market in Taiwan, established in 1899. The atmosphere is and it has a unique carnival-like vibe. It has combinations of shopping stalls, games, and also foods. Be advised that the market can be quite crowded and packed. Feel free to try flame-torched beef, fried chicken soup, and the most unique one – penis waffle. You can also try the pig’s blood cake. Take the MRT to Jiantan Station in Red Line and Exit 1.
Tamsui Old Street
The place is more popular as a seaside town that is popular for the iron eggs and ah-gei. Try the tower ice cream – it is great for a hot day! The atmosphere is pleasant and the place itself is comfy. However, the place can be quite far from Taipei – it takes 40 minutes with the MRT to Tamsui Station.
Taichung’s Fengjia Night Market
The place is huge and wide, and there are plenty of options for the food. You should try the fried chicken chop, the sausage with sticky rice, and grilled abalone. Despite the great place, it is difficult to reach because it doesn’t have the MRT system. But you can always reach it by bus, taxi, or Uber.
Shopping Centrals and Spots
All travel destinations have their shopping destinations and Taiwan isn’t different. There are several places to visit.
Wu Fen Pu
This place is offering wholesale shopping experience if you want to get the best bargain. It is often said to be similar to Platinum Mall in Bangkok. You can even buy a shirt for $3.50 apiece! Go there on Tuesdays – or any other day except Mondays. They are usually busy restocking on Mondays. You can use the MRT to Songshan Station.
It is similar to Harajuku, which means that you can find the trendiest fashion items. The place is also packed with tasty culinary, such as Flour Rice Noodle. It is easy to reach because it is close to the MRT Xi Men Station.
East Metro Mall
This underground mall is huge wide, offering the latest and trendiest items without hurting your wallet. You can also enjoy the tasty foods because it has a lot of cafes and restaurants, like Cuiqu Coffee, Well Cafe, or Beef One Beef Noodles. The place is super easy to reach because it is located close to TWO MRT Stations: Zhongxiao Donghuan and Zhang xiao Fuxing.
Eslite Xinyi Store
If you are into books so much, then you would love spending time at Eslite Xinyi, the largest bookstore that opens 24 hours in Taiwan. It is also close to Taipei 101, a popular spot to see the sunset. The place is also close to Mu Chili Hotspot, 7TeaHouse, or Mucho Happiness that will refuel you before diving into those books. You can use the MRT and get off at Zhongxiao Dunhua Station.
Types of Public Transportation
Transportation in Taiwan is pretty good. You can use taxis, metro, bikes, or city buses to take you to many different places.
The bus is used to connect cities, such as Hualien, Chiayi, Taichung, Tainan, or Kaohsiung. The buses generally depart once every one hour. The fare depends on the destinations. For instance, the bus to Tainan costs NT$350 and it takes 5 hours. The bus to Chiayi is around NT$250 with 4.5 hours or the bus to Hualien is NT$400 for 5 hours trip.
It is the most efficient means of transportation to explore the city. It’s a good thing that 7 main transport hubs connect each spot to another. The fare is ranging, from NT$20 to NT$65 depending on the distance. If you want to spend the whole day traveling with Metro, you can buy the one-day ticket for NT$200.
Taiwan has 300 bus routes, making each spot easily accessible and reached. The bus is favorable because of the low fare –only NT$15 per trip. But make sure that you know each of the bus’ routes so you can hop on the right one – taking you to the right destination.
Taxi service is common although the fare is slightly higher when compared to other means of transportation. The starting rate is around NT$70 and there is around NT$5 surcharge for 250 meters.
Bicycle is one of the most popular means of transportation in Taiwan. It is pretty nice and convenient to use a bike to explore the city. You can rent the bike with the Easy Card. The cost is NT$10 for 30 minutes (in the first 4 hours). If you rent it for 4 to 8 hours, it takes NT$20 for30 minutes.
It is also a popular means of transportation besides the bicycle. There are many rental shops and you can gain access to them as long as you have the international driver’s license.
When we are talking about air transportation, there are three main airports in Taiwan. They are Taipei Songshan Airport, Taoyuan International Airport, and Kaohsiung International Airport. Taoyuan Airport is the most crucial airport in Taiwan. It connects Taiwan to major cities in the world, like Seoul, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore, London, and many more.
If you want to visit the cities in Taiwan (and the surrounding areas), then you should head to Taipei Songshan Airport. It mainly serves domestic and small planes in Taiwan.
Exploring Taiwan is a very exciting thing to do, as long as you manage everything correctly. You need to be prepared, including managing your flights. Go to airpaz.com to reserve your flights and choose Taiwanese air carriers like Tigerair Taiwan or Tway Air.