Aside from Taipei 101, the usual night markets, and the nightlife, there are so many other spots to discover out of Taipei! Here are a few areas you should see the next time you visit.
- Bitou Cape: One of the three capes in North Taiwan. It is popular for its sea cliffs shaped like mushrooms made up of marine fossils! You can enjoy a nice trek overlooking the sea. Though we went here via a chartered bus, you can also go here by commuting. Take the THSR (or the TRA) to Taipei Station, transfer to Kuo-kuang Bus (bound for Yilan and Luodong) to Bitou Cape stop.
- Nanya Rock Formation: Like the Bitou cape, it is also known for its sandstone rock formation and sea-eroded coral shore. You can go here via the THSR (or TRA) to Taipei Station, transfer to Kou-kuang Bus (toward Yilan Luodong) to Nanya stop.
- Jinguashi Golden Waterfall: This is located in the mining area of Jinguashi where you can see the water mixed with heavy metal elements resulting to a gold color. Personally, this is the least of my favorite areas as you can’t go near the waterfalls and it’s situated almost in the middle of the highway. We went here via chartered bus but you can go here as well via commute.
- Jiufen Village: This village was once known as the little Shanghai or little HongKong after the early families residing in the area found gold. The must see spot is the Jiufen Old street where you can find shops that sell local dishes and souvenirs! Don’t forget to admire the view from the top as well! You can reach the area via THSR Taipei Station (or TRA Taipei Station) → Taipei MRT Zhongxiao Fuxing Station → Keelung Bus (bound for Jinguashi) to Jiufen
- Rainbow Village: It used to be a veteran village built for the Kuomintang soldiers and their families after they retreated from Mainland China. When the village was about to be demolished by the government, one of the last village residents, Mr.Huang Yung-Fu decided to paint the remains with colorful drawings from the walls to its alleys. Soon it became a tourist spot and the government decided to preserve the area. The admission is free. You can go here via commute, car or by tour bus.
- Summit Resort: It is located in the mountains of Xinshe in Taichung city. It has a castle built in European style with a spacious garden, lake and waterfalls. Especially during the cooler months, you can spend a day here hanging out with friends and family. You can go here via car or tour bus. Our tour guide said not many Taiwanese people go here as the place doesn’t feel anything like Taiwan which makes sense for me. Though as a tourist I did have fun roaming around the area and taking photos especially because the season was between winter and spring.
If you want to save your energy and in the mood to mix a bit of tour and DIY then you can search some itineraries in KKDAY. You can find different type of tours from chartered buses, 1 day to half day tours, or you can just rent a car so you have total control of your itinerary! I enjoyed the tours we took with them for our Taiwan trip.
- Yangminshan National Park: It used to be called the Tsaoshan or Grass Mountain. You can explore the park made up of waterfalls, temples, and also flower markets.
- Tamsui: This area is known for its beautiful sunset, dining areas, and party boats. You can also find the Tamsui Old street for some shopping finds and the Shalun beach in the area.
- Taroko Gorge: This is famous for its marble cliffs together with its own tropical vegetation, clear blue streams, cave pathways, cliffs, and pagodas hidden in its forests. It is located in the East of Taiwan, in the Hualien county near the Pacific Ocean. Some of the famous spots in the area are the Qingshui Cliffs, Taroko Arch, Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Grotto, and the Qixingtan Beach. If you take this tour, do bring good food as there is no good restaurant in the stopover area as of now!
- Sun Moon Lake: This is Taiwan’s largest lake located in Nantou. It got its name because of its geographic formation where the east side of the lake is round like the sun while the west side is long and narrow like a moon. You can ride a bicycle, eat in the local shops, and run if you like. The whole area is good for recreational activities for solo and group travelers.
- Alishan Forest Railway: This is by far my favorite train station and I recommend that you visit during the cooler months. It is made up of 86km network of railways running up and through the mountain, making it the highest railway in Taiwan. You can enjoy the scenery when you trek down from the resort to the railway stopover and ride the train going down the bus stop!
We haven’t even visited the south of Taiwan! If you have other tips, feel free to comment below!
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