One Month in Taiwan
Collected by Matt Gibson , AFAR Local Expert
A month gives visitors ample time to visit Taiwan’s main attractions, and also to discover some of the island's lesser-known highlights. Everyone should see Taroko Gorge, the National Palace Museum, and Taiwan's old capital, Tainan. One month also allows for side trips to places like the cypress forests of Alishan, the rare mineral springs at Guanziling, and alluring Xiao Liuqiu island. For a unique adventure, visit the hauntingly beautiful Orchid Island during your month in Taiwan.
No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10853
Longshan is not Taipei's largest temple, but its unique beauty and proximity to the MRT have made it a very popular one. It's an awesome place to stop by at sunset when the after-work crowd comes to worship. The temple fills with people from all...
Alley 342, Lane 150, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
The base of Elephant Mountain is just a short walk from the base of Taipei 101 and offers one of the most accessible and stunning views of the city—except, perhaps, from the top of the tower itself. The hike up the mountain is steep, but can be...
Taipei 101, No. 7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Soaring more than 1,600 feet into the air, Taipei 101 is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and probably Taipei’s most iconic site. For a small fee, visitors can spend time on the observation deck—a large space that offers a 360-degree...
No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
When Chiang Kai-shek fled mainland China for Taiwan, he took with him many of the treasures that at one time were featured in Beijing’s Palace Museum. Among the items are relics and antiques reflecting 8,000 years of Chinese history. Today the...
Section 1, Jianguo South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Every weekend thousands descend on this normally boring stretch of Taipei for one of the most impressive markets in town: the Jianguo Flower Market. Vendors from around the city and region display amazing examples of flowers and plants, many of...
253, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Shimen District, 下員坑路33之6號
Located in the Guanyinshuan National Scenic Area in New Taipei, Taiwan's Yehlio Geopark showcases an otherworldly landscape that is not to be missed. It is the only place in the world where you can see the geological features present in this park,...
No. 18, Zhongbu Cross-island highway, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan 972
These beautiful hot springs are located several kilometres into the gorge. To get there you must drive or cycle to the parking lot and then walk down a long wooden staircase built into the cliffside. At the bottom you'll find a quaint...
Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 555
In 2012 CNN News named Sun Moon Lake on the world’s “10 Breathing Cycling Rides.” The lake is Taiwan’s largest alpine lake, and visitors have the opportunity to cycle around the 29-kilometer perimeter of the shimmering turquoise waters. You can...
Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area, Nantou County, Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan's largest fresh water lake. When I lived in Nantou County, central Taiwan, I would often ride my scooter to Sun Moon Lake for a bit of fresh air and reflection. One day I drove to the lake and traveled up a hill to the...
Yushan, Xinyi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 556
Often said to be the tallest mountain in East Asia, at 3952 m climbing Taiwan's Jade Mountain (or Yushan 玉山) is an epic undertaking, even for experienced hikers. The trip takes most hikers two days, although some people do manage to rush to the...
Alishan Township, Chiayi County, Taiwan 605
Alishan is likely the most famous, and most visited, mountain because of the incomparable tea grown there, its relatively easy access from major cities, and its association with the historic Taiwan Railroad. The best way to see Alishan is to hike...
732, Taiwan, Tainan City, Baihe District, 關仔嶺風景區
The flames on top of this pool of water are said to have been burning for more than 300 years, and were started by and earthquake that opened a fissure in the earth releasing natural gas into the bottom of the pool. The phenomenon is definitely...
704, Taiwan, Tainan City, North District, 台南市北區
Night markets are a quintessential Taiwan experience. Young couples, families, retirees, and swarms of teenagers descend upon these markets to graze, gossip, flirt, play, and graze some more. Lately, the ones in Taipei have been over-run by...
Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 929
929, Taiwan, Pingtung County, Liuqiu Township, 屏東縣琉球鄉
Black Dwarf Cave (also known as Black Ghost Cave) is located on Xiao Liuchiu's west coast. It's more of a walkway through a maze of precipitous lava rock formations than a tunnel into a cliff like one normally expects of a cave. The cave has a...
Liuqiu, Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 929
This west-facing beach may appear to be white sand at a glance, but your bare feet will quickly discover that it's made of corse shards of coral, so watch your step. Rough edges aside, this beach is seldom visited (some people may have been known...
No. 27-8, Wanli Road, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946
Asia’s first bike hotel, YOHO Bike Hotel in Shanhai, Kenting, Taiwan. The hotel is geared toward bikers, with 68 rooms featuring bike racks, an onsite Giant bike rental and tour agency, a bike maintenance area, a bikers lounge with a projection...
946, Taiwan, Pingtung County, Hengchun Township, 白砂路
My photo does not do this beach justice. Flanked by coral, Baisha (which means "white sand" in Chinese) Beach is possibly the most beautiful beach on the island. Just outside of Kenting, this beach is popular with visitors year-round. There are...
No. 2, Houwan Road, Checheng Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 944
Not far from Baisha Beach on a fairly remote stretch of coastline is one of Taiwan's finest attractions: the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (國立海洋生物博物館). Despite the odd local, this world-class aquarium is sure to impress. The...
No. 259之2, Hengdong Road, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946
The ChuHuo Eternal Flame (恆春出火) just outside of Hengchun in the far south of Taiwan is definitely worth a stop. Natural gas seeps up from the earth and ignites on this otherwise dead area of rock and sand ground. There are several areas of fire to...
No. 10, Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
The W Taipei showcases the city’s geography and cutting-edge technology. The lobby’s light installation reacts to human motion, and guest rooms feature dramatic skyline views. The W is also home to some of Taipei’s hottest nightspots, including...
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