Have you ever planned to visit Taiwan? Not until now, right? And now that you are about to go there you are wondering: “Where do I find a list of things to do in Taiwan?” “I have no idea of what should I visit there.”
My friend, don’t worry anymore. We are about to dive exactly in what you need. Here is a list of things to do in Taiwan. Hold my hand and here we go!
1 – Taipei 101
In the middle of capital and largest city of Taiwan you will find the Taipei 101. Formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, the Taipei 101 is a 509.2 m high skyscraper. The building was classified as the world’s tallest in 2004 surpassing the Petronas Twin Towers. It remained as such until the opening of Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.
If you are a nature lover like me, you will find this amazing as well. In 2011, the building was awarded the LEED platinum certification, the highest award according the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Taipei 101 became the tallest and largest green building in the world. You can find more information on their amazing website.
2- Din Tai Fung
If you love food (we both know that the answer is yes), Din Tai Fung is the place for you to go during a mealtime. This restaurant, originally from Taiwan, is specialising in xiaolongbao (those delicious soup dumplings). Among all the things to do in Taiwan, eating here is the most delicious one, for sure.
The Din Tai Fung was already featured even in the New York Times . It also has branches in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, the United States.
For those who like history:
The founder of Din Tai Fung was a man called Bingyi Yang. Born in 1927 in China’s Shanxi Province, he moved to Taiwan as a young man in search of better prospects. His first job was as a deliveryman at a store called Heng Tai Fung, which sold cooking oil. Impressed with his hard work, the owner quickly put Bingyi in charge of the oil store’s accounts after just two years of service. But due to other business losses, the oil store was forced to shut down, leaving Bingyi unemployed.
Bingyi decided to start up his own oil shop on 1958 with wholesale oil purchased from Din Mei Oils. To show his appreciation to his first boss at Heng Tai Fung, he named his new store Din Tai Fung.
From their oficial Singaporean Website.
3 – Taroko Gorge
Stand up and stretch your legs! It’s time to walk in our list of things to do in Taiwan. I said that because now we are moving to the beautiful and green Taroko Gorge.
Taroko Gorge is an impressive 19-km-long canyon, situated near Taiwan’s east coast. The area of the gorge is also identified as Taroko Gorge National Park. The park has 144 species of birds and also over 30 large species of mammal. This includes deer, boar, and bear. They all can be found there.
Entry to the park is free but to some areas you will need an entry permit. This include some of the wilderness or into areas designated as Eco-protection areas or restricted mountain areas. Make sure you apply for the permits early (at least 1 week before) as some permits are limited by a small number per day. You can apply for the permits in the official website: http://www.taroko.gov.tw/English/
4 – The Waters of Kenting
The Island of Taiwan makes up over 99% of its territory. So, between all the things to do in Taiwan, we should include some water activities. Don’t you agree?
Located in southernmost of Taiwan, Kenting is a national park that derives a friendly weather all-year-round. It is one of the most popular Taiwan tourist destination. During your stay there you can enjoy Nanwan (South Bay). It is a fishing village that has a soft white sand beach and is also the longest bay with a plain slop along the coast. Nanwan provides an excellent place for water activities such as swimming, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and more.
If you are specially interested on scuba diving I have great news for you. Kenting’s coast has one of the most variety of corals in the world, with plenty of differents fish.
Of course the place have many other activities. You might want to check these tours to enjoy even more the place while you are there.
5 – National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum has a permanent collection of more than 696,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. It makes it one of the largest museums in the world. The collection encompasses over 10,000 years of Chinese history from the Neolithic age to the late Qing Dynasty. Most of the collection are high quality pieces collected by China’s ancient emperors.
One of the treasures of this museum is a jade cabbage. This artwork was part of the dowry of Concubine Jin in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The jade cabbage is carved from a single piece of jade that is half grey and half emerald green. The artist carved the leaves from the green part and used the grey part as the outside of the cabbage.
Don’t even think on missing the chance of appreciating one of the most visited museums in the world.
6 – Night Markets
Let’s start the second half of our list of things to do in Taiwan with the colorful Taiwanese Night Markets.
These markets are all around Taiwan. They feature a mixture of individual stalls hawking clothing, consumer goods, famous and unique taiwanese snacks and specialty drinks. Visitors can experiment the heat and noise in the atmosphere while fast-paced music is played over loudspeakers.
There are over one hundred night markets in Taiwan. Check this list of the best ones and choose the night market you are going to visit (or more than one, sure!).
7 – Mazu Festival
Taiwan is highly diversified in terms of religious belief. There you can find more than 20 different religions. For sure it would be related with at least one of the things to do in Taiwan in our list.
With more than 5 million participants spread over a massive nine-day, multi-city pilgrimage, few religious festivals can match the enormity of the Mazu International Festival in central Taiwan’s Taichung City.
Over 200,000 pilgrims or xiangke (“incense guests”) walk up to 12 hours per day for nine days. They walk carrying a statue of Mazu in a sedan chair. The journey covers 300 kilometers, much of it through mountainous and rugged terrain.
More than 100 temples and the coastal counties of Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi are visited on the route before it returns to Jenn Lann Temple.
If you have the chance of participate of the parades and watch the fireworks and performances that are done during this festival, don’t miss it!
8 – The People
Taiwanese people are considered one of the most friendly people in the world. So, if you are going to Taiwan soon, get ready to make some (or even a lot) of new friends.
The general impression of Taiwan among foreigners is that the island has friendly people, and specifically that the people of Taiwan are friendly, hard-working, and polite. This is what a recently released public opinion poll conducted by Shih Hsin University’s Institute for Public Opinion says. Respondents also characterize Taiwan society as family-oriented, competitive, and safe.
“People in Taiwan will treat you like family. They’ll love to invite you to their home to drink tea and eat something.”
Gianty Wang – Our Taiwanese Flexiroamer
9 – More Things to do in Taiwan
There’s no 9 items list that can fit all the amazing things to do in Taiwan. If you still didn’t make any Taiwanese friend to give you more tips about things to do in Taiwan, don’t worry. Here are some more things you might want to consider including in your itinerary while you are there:
- Eat as much food as you can (it really worth it);
- Make even more friends (I know I already mentioned it, but friends are never too much);
- Enjoy the high speed rail travel at around 293 km/h (182 mph);
- Go to the mountains (are so many of them there);
I guess that’s all for today. I wish you a happy trip to Taiwan. Come back with a lot of new stories and new tips of things to do in Taiwan.
Are you going to Taiwan? Roaming charges are still most notably the biggest hassle for overseas travelers. Fortunately there is a way to get rid of any roaming charges, make and receive unlimited calls from all over the world and even use local mobile number while you are overseas. Want to know more?