I was born and raised in Taiwan and lived here for many many years. Until four months ago I moved to Berlin. Here I met a lot of people and saw a lot of different things. It’s let me start to recall my memories in Taiwan.
Some of my colleagues will visit Taiwan soon, and I think it will be a great chance to write down all my favorite things about Taiwan.
(BTW my English writing skill is terrible, but it’s an excellent chance for me to practice so I’ll try my best)
And before we start, if you want to listen to some music song in Taiwanese. I love this song sung by an Aboriginal singer.
Here’s some advice for your trip to Taiwan:
Let’s start from Taiwan’s map, I’ll sperate Taiwan to 4 parts West-side (North, Central, South) and East-side, North-side include our capital “Taipei” second big city “Taichung” in the central of Taiwan and third city “Kaohsiung” in south。Most cities’ center in west side is very crowd. So I prefer the East-side，also we have some super lovely islands nearby (highly recommend!). And if you want to visite sun moon lake or a-li mountain, it will be in the central of Taiwan.
BTW I put all my favorite spot and restaurant on my map! For your reference! (Yellow-spot worth to visit; Blue-restaurant, street food, dessert, coffee…… )
Transportation will be in part 2, so after you go through all these cities, you can decide which one you want to visit and how you’re going to visit.
Here’re some cities I’ll include in this article :
Central- Taichung (Sun moon lake and a-li mountain)
South(Island)- Xiao Liuqiu
East (Island)- Green island & Lan yu
Most people’s first stop will be Taipei (BTW the main international airport is in Taoyuan the city next to Taipei. You can visite Taipei by Taoyuan MRT in 30~50 mins) I lived Taipei for over two years. Let’s talk about its cons: It’s very crowded and so hard to find a parking space. If you want to go to some famous restaurant at the weekend, you’ll need to book it a weeks ago. But it still has some pros: the subway is super convenience、crazy clean、never delay (Sorry~BVG) ，we’re not allowed to eat or drink on the MRT, but we do have toilets in each station you don’t have to buy the ticket to use it. Taipei also has a lot of different art galleries、museum and exciting place to visit. And Here’re some places I recommend:
Again I marked all the spots you can visit in yellow on my map.
(within Taipei area you can visit by MRT）
1.Dihua Street （Da Dao Cheng)
Japan has ruled Taiwan for 50 years during that time this area is the central place to do business because it close to the port (also recommend to walk to the port in the evening), because the history we still have a lot of spices or groceries stores here, and you will have a chance to feels the old Taiwan. Also from here, you can walk to Dadaocheng Wharf to take a ferry to Tamsui Old Street（The another tourist spot. It’s a little bit too crowded for me, but the sunset is quite good)
2. Night market
There’s a lot of different night market in Taiwan always the best choice for dinner. In various cities, we have different night markets. Most of them open every single day. My favorite night market in Taipei is “Ningxia Night Market” （Ningxia Night Market 寧夏夜市 — 10 Best Taiwanese Street Food At This Food Heaven)I use to live around here (gain some weights LOL). It’s not a super big night market, but it’s pretty local, and the food is delicious also close to Taipei main station. The night market in Taiwan is very crowded. If you are with your family, you can choose to take out the food you want and have it in the hotel.
As a Taiwanese, I don’t particularly have a preference for temples. But most tourist will visit “Longshan Temple” for your reference.
(Near Taipei but will take 1~2 hr by bus or car)
Jiufen is one of my favorite place in Taipei. It uses to be a gold mining mountain town. It is said that Miyazaki Hayao’s movie “Spirited Away” ’s inspiration is from here. The first time I visited here was around 6 pm and from the bus window, it looks like in the movie. Most stores here only open during the weekend because it’s a famous tourist spot again it’s super crowded, but you don’t need to follow the main street. Try small fork you may see a different side of Jiufen. And you can also find a tea restaurant to enjoy the tea and view.
It’s the closest beach near Taipei and also close to Tamsui Old Street. It’s a small cozy place, just beach, coffee shop, and some restaurant. I’m a crazy beach lover; it’s always a beautiful place to let me escape the busy city life.
video- Laomei Green Reef
As I said, most cities in Taiwan feels the same for me. But if you want to visit “Sun Moon Lake” you can take the high-speed railway (THSR)or Taiwan railway from Taipei to Taichung and transfer to Sun Moon Lake by bus. If you also want to visit Mountain Ali there’s a tourist bus (Unfortunately, the bus company doesn’t have an English version website.) can take you from sun moon lake to Mountain Ali. From Mountain Ali, you will also need to take a train or bus back to the city ( THSR Chiayi Station)
One of my favorite west city in Taiwan most of the time, it’s not too crowded, and it also keeps a lot of old Taiwan’s feeling. It’s the first city in Taiwan, so it has architectures form Japan, Dutch (17th century we have been ruled by Dutch and Spanish). Btw the food here is super delicious. I love to ride a bike or take a walk to enjoy a cozy afternoon in Tainan, and they’re also very famous by their night market (they have different night mark each day of the whole week! )
(Instead of the famous tourist spot Kenting. I’ll recommend Xiao Liuqiu)
Xiao Liuqiu (小琉球）
It’s a small island near Pingtung and a not that famous tourist spot that why I love it a lot! It’s not too crowd, and you can still enjoy the beach. Also, you can enjoy snorkeling and other activities at a reasonable price. And they have over 400 sea turtle which means there’s no way you won’t miss them (I’m a sea turtle lover :)) to visit Xiao Liuqiu you can start from THSR Kaohsiung Station and take a taxi to 東琉線船運服務中心 (Dong gang port)and take a ferry (30 mins) to Xiao Liuqiu.
I will leave my favorite east side to part 2.