Taiwan was a big surprise for us! More for Anet because Tom already traveled to Taiwan a few years ago. Tom literally fought this destination. Anet thought that it would be just another Asian country that resembles China and nothing would surprise us here. But the opposite was true! I’m really glad that Tom didn’t give up and every time when we planned where to go next, he voted for Taiwan 😀
TOP 10 tourist attractions in Taiwan
Taiwan won our hearts mainly due to its natural beauty and diversity. Of course, there is much more to visit, but we would like to highlight the places that we liked the most during our road trip. If you are interested in what other places we visited, take a look at the route of our road trip and destinations here 🙂
1. Capital city Taipei
Taipei is the cultural and economic center of Taiwan. You will need at least two days to discover it because there is so many nice places. In the article Taipei 2 day itineary you can read more about all the interesting places that are worth visiting. But if we should highlight something, it is definitely the skyscraper Taipei 101, which was the tallest building in the world until 2010. Next are Chiang Kai Shek National Monument, Elephant mountain, Lungshan Buddhist temple or local night markets 🙂
2. Yehliu geopark
You will find unique geological formations in this geopark that reminded us a lot the shape of one mushroom (Mural): D But everyone will definitely find something in these shapes :D. The iconic shape, of which the city of Yehliu is so proud that it has it in its emblem, is the so-called Queen’s head (right photo). Can you see her there? 😀
3. Qingshui Cliff and black sand beach
Qingshui Cliff is a popular tourist destination on the way to Taroko National Park. But we were even more amazed by black sand beach which was located not far from it. If you wonder why has the beach black color, it’s because of the presence of a volcano. For more information, take a look at our article Taiwan road trip – Let’s go
4. Taroko National Park
Taroko is the most popular and most visited tourist national park in Taiwan. There are several nice hiking trails, Buddhist temples or Wenshan natural hot springs. However, the most popular trail is limited and you must register for it at least two weeks in advance at the National Park websites. So watch out! Other amazing things to do are Swallow Grotto Yanzikou Trail and Shakadang Trail. Both paths were easy and relatively short. Symbol of National park Changchun Shrine (waterfall flowing through the shrine) or. You can read more information about our visit in the article Taiwan roadtrip – Let’s go.
5. Kenting National park and the Southernmost point of Taiwan
On the direction From Taitung to Kenting, make a stop at Longpan Park, which offers stunning sea views. In Kenting area, we recommend visiting the Taiwan Southernmost Point, or the Eluanbi lighthouse and the adjacent park. But we didn’t go there because the entrance fee was paid here (60 TWD). If you have time and swimming mood, then visit White Sand Bay beach. The water there was turquoise blue and the waves were perfect for body surfing! You can read more about our south journey south in the article Taiwan roadtrip – day 4 and 5
6. Kaohsiung City
One of the biggest surprises for us in Taiwan was Kaohsiung. There are beautiful Buddhist temples and a pleasant atmosphere. Must visi attractions are Buddhist Monastery Fo Guang Shan, Lotus lake together with Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. If you want to experience something Special, we recommend watching the sunrise at Lotus Lake. It was charming and we were completely alone there. More information about our visit to Kaohsiung can be found here and here
7. Natural hot springs
Taiwan is a paradise of hot springs, due to its location and volcanic activity. Taiwan is even ranked among the world’s top 15 hot spring sites! For us, it was one of the most favorite activities on the island, as we were there in the winter and needed to warm up properly 😀 You can either visit natural springs (for example Lisong hot spring) or you can stay in a resort that offers hot baths and other treatments (Beitou hot spring resort, Zhaori hot spring). We visited 3 natural springs in total , one legally (Lisong hot spring) and two illegally Wenshan and Ba Yan Ye Xi Hot Spring). We met many local people in banned hot springs so we think that it’s more like going there at your own risk.
8. Laomei Green Reefs and the northernmost point of Taiwan ne
Proper timing is extremely important for visit of Loaomei green reef. You must come here during low tide other otherwise you won’t see much. We ourselves had to visit this place twice, but it paid off. During the sunrise, beautiful green cliffs appeared to us, which looked like some green tentacles. If you are here, you can take a short walk to the northernmost point of Taiwan, where is located the Fuguijiao lighthouse. More information about our visit can be found here
9. Swimming with turtles on the Lambai or Guishan islands
According to the photos on the internet, an amazing experience and an unfulfilled dream for us. We were in Taiwan in February, when temperatures ranged between 10-18 degrees. In these conditions, we really didn’t want to go to swim in cold water. But if any of you have experienced it, please write us your impressions in the comments. We are really curious about it 🙂
10. Yangmingshan National Park
A unique opportunity to find yourself a short distance from the active volcano from which steam comes up. You can also see totally boiling water in the pond due to its volcanic activity. Just drive to Xiaoyoukeng! We also recommend climbing to the highest point of Mt. Qixing and enjoy the views of the surroundings. The national park has also various flower gardens, hot springs and nice hiking trails. You can read more information about our visit here
Best time of year to visit Taiwan
First of all, we must say that we do not recommend February to those who do not like cold or rain. Temperatures in the mountains dropped to zero and we hardly managed to swim in cold sea water. On the other side, the advantage was a lower number of tourists, we also did not sweat during the hikinh and hot springs always warmed up pleasantly. Another reason why visit Taiwan in winter is definitely watching the New Year firework, which is shooted from Taipei 101. During February, it is also possible to visit the cherry orchards and see the blooming cherry trees 🙂
In March, it is still possible to catch blooming cherry trees and temperatures are around 20 degrees. On the other side, the typhoon season comes in May and it is necessary to take your umbrella or raincoat with you!
Summers are hot and humid in Taiwan (temperatures around 30 degrees). It is peak of tourist season for Taiwanese because most of them have holidays. But a visit in the summer has one advantage! The waterfalls are full of water 🙂 We visited 2 waterfalls in February only a small “trickle” flowed from them.
Autumn is a very popular time for tourists. Temperatures are very pleasant and precipitation is minimal. So if you are looking for the perfect time to visit Taiwan, it is from September to November!
How to travel around Taiwanu
In our opinion, The best and easiest way is to rent a car and drive the around the whole island, because each part of the island is different and has a lot to offer. In addition, if you travel as low-cost as we do, it is possible to sleep in a car and take a bath in hot springs or in some camp. It was one of the greatest experiences for us! All tips and information about car rental and Taiwanese roads can be found in the article Taiwan road trip – where to rent a car
Language barrier in Taiwan
Yes, it is true that the Taiwanese people, especially outside the capital, do not speak good English or they are too shy to speak. The ideal solution is to buy a Taiwanese SIM card, install a Google translator and communicate with using technical conveniences. Taiwanese are very nice and willing to help, so there is nothing to fear 🙂