10 Noteworthy Places to Visit in Taiwan for the First-timers

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel

Taiwan is just a short plane ride away from Manila and yet it was never in my list of places to visit. When a temporary visa-free entry for Filipinos was offered, I started to become interested in visiting this country. My friend, Gail, and I decided to book a trip there when she saw a discounted fare from Eva Air.

I never regretted my decision to visit Taiwan. I even want to go back. There are still a lot of places in Taiwan that I want to explore.

Since I enjoyed my stay in Taiwan, I have listed the top 10 places we visited. We had 4 whole days to spend in Taiwan and we made sure we get to different interesting places. The list was written in random order.

1. National Palace Museum

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, national palace museum, artifacts

It is a vast complex.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, national palace museum

The museum houses three floors (and a basement) of artifacts.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, national palace museum, artifacts

These are just few of the interesting pieces I saw. I took photos of non-blue ceramics because they had interesting colors that caught my eye.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, national palace museum

This one is an intricate carving of an ivory ball said to be made from a single elephant tusk. That is a huge tusk so imagine how large the elephant was.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, national palace museum

“Suzhou Fakes” This work is a forgery but it was so good that it deserved special attention in this exhibit.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, national palace museum

2. Nanya Rock Formation

The northeast coast of Taiwan has interesting seascapes. The sea creates a coastline of sculptures.

 taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, nanya, nanya rock formation taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel

I also love how awesome the mountains are in Nanya.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, nanya, nanya rock formation

3. Cape Santiago Lighthouse

We went on a Monday. Too bad the lighthouse was closed. We spent our time in this area. It was beautiful here.

 taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, cape santiago lighthouse

We chanced upon an artist trying to set up his tools. We were waiting for him to start painting but it started to rain. We hope he was still able to complete his work despite the rain.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, cape santiago lighthouse

Bonus: We took a Klook tour. We spent time at the Waiao Tourist Center which overlooks the city of Yilan.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, waiao tourist center, yilan taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, waiao tourist center, yilan

This is my affiliate link to Klook:  Klook discount  You get a discount when you book through this link and I will get a reward, too.

4. Old Caoling Tunnel

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, old caoling tunnel

The tunnel was 2 kms long. My friend, Gail, was on a bike because she knows how and I don’t. This tunnel is now being used for biking.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, old caoling tunnel

This was the moment when knowing how to bike was essential. I walked a total of 4 kilometers alone.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, old caoling tunnel

Being alone in a cold, dark tunnel can feed scary thoughts into my imaginative brain. Good thing I met cycling people every several meters or so.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, old caoling tunnel

This is what we can see after exiting the tunnel.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, old caoling tunnel

There was another parallel tunnel for the trains.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, old caoling tunnel

5. Jiufen

Jiufen is a mountain town known for its intricate alleyways peppered with different shops. It is also the inspiration for the animated movie, “Spirited Away”.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, jiufen

I love the peanut ice cream in this shop.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, jiufen

It was raining when we went there which made navigating the alleys a little harder.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, jiufen

We found time to have tea and we had to go through some tunnel to find this tea place.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, jiufen

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, jiufen

6. Shifen

We went to this old street with a railway station.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, shifen

It is popular for flying sky lanterns. People wrote their wishes on the lantern and released it to the sky for good luck.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, shifen

These people were standing on a working rail track. A bell rings every time there was an incoming train and people would walk to the side for safety. Once the train passes, they would return to position and set up their lanterns again.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, shifen

7. Chiang Kai-shek Memorial

We went here in the morning of the day we left Taiwan.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, chiang kai-shek memorial

We just wanted to visit the place since we saw how different the MRT station was. It had gold markers all over the station so it was really special which really showed how  important a person Chiang Kai-shek really is in the history of Taiwan.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, chiang kai-shek memorial

We were lucky to have observed the changing of the guards.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, chiang kai shek

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, chiang kai shek

It was a fascinating ritual/routine which made me wonder if the monument of Jose Rizal in Luneta had similar routine. (At a very young age, I learned from my mother that the Jose Rizal monument in Luneta had real guards- not a statue but breathing, living human beings. I was dumbfounded learning that bit of information.)

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, chiang kai-shek

8. Yehliu Geopark

It was unfortunate that it was raining real hard when we went to Yehliu Geopark. The park had all these interesting rock formation. We were given a leaflet which would help us identify the different shapes of rocks. I guess our guide was correct when she said that this would be a good reason to come back.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel,yehliu

We found some ways to still get a few photos in this park.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, yehliu

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, yehliu

9. Zhong She Flower Garden

Since we missed the cherry blossom season in Taiwan, we were searching for any park with flowers. We saw awesome photos of this flower garden in Houli, a town in Taichung. Taichung is located in Central Taiwan which means we have to take a few train rides from Taipei. We found no package tours to Taichung so we had to D-I-Y our itinerary. I am thankful to Gail who was very efficient and reliable in researching for directions and navigating different train systems in Taiwan.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, houli, zhong she flower garden,

The flower garden was awesome. You may see me squinting at the sun but Gail and I enjoyed our time in the flower garden.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, houli, zhong she flower garden, taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, houli, zhong she flower garden, taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, houli, zhong she flower garden,

10. Rainbow Village

This is a colorful village masterfully done by a military veteran.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, rainbow village

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, rainbow village

We were lucky to meet him! Meet Huang Yung-fu, the artist behind the colorful Rainbow Village. The story goes that when the government planned to demolish and transfer the residents of this village to another location as the complex had become an eyesore, this military veteran picked up his brush and started painting its walls and floors with vibrant colors. The village has become a tourist attraction that the government had no choice but to leave them alone. Clever, eh?

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, rainbow village

Runner up on this list is the Longshan Temple. We spent a short time in this temple because we had a flight to catch.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, longshan temple

I know I did not mention Taipei 101 because Gail and I were both acrophobic so we did not visit the observatory. On our last night in Taipei, we realized that our Airbnb was actually near Taipei101. Look at us being touristy.

taiwan, travel, places to visit in taiwan, taiwan tourism, taiwan travel, taipei101

These are but a few of the noteworthy sites to visit in Taiwan. There are still a lot more I am interested to visit!

‘Til next time, Taiwan!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

15 Responses

Leave a Comment