The buzz surrounding this island is spread by the increasing number of loyal fans who go there time and again, swearing for its charm and offerings. Of course, the glamourous Taiwan pop culture alone provides incentives for some to fly there, but that aside, whether it’s shopping, eating, or submerging oneself in nature, beautiful Taiwan has the versatility to appeal to a wide range of travelers, from the young to the young at heart. Having something for everyone is what makes this island so delightful and popular; here we present the top must-dos in Taiwan, taking you from its famous night markets to its much sought-after hot springs.
Visit the Taroko Gorge
Also known as Marble Gorge, this natural wonder is situated in the Taroko National Park amidst other sites like the Tunnel of Nine Turns and a series of oriental bridges. Boasting spectacular sights, this gorge is a must-visit for all visitors to Taiwan; no other man-made landscape can tell the history of the island quite like it can, with its 200 million years of presence. Be captivated by the wild, unspoiled beauty of its rocky coastal cliffs, subtropical forested canyons, and towering subalpine coniferous forests. It also contains several caves, cliffs, and hiking trails, making it an ideal location to explore and discover.
Eat at Shilin Night Market, Taipei
No trip to Taiwan is complete without a trip to one of its night markets, a crucial part of Taiwanese culture. Widely claimed as the largest and most well-known night market in Taiwan, it has a staggering amount of vendors which showcase the Taiwanese love for food and is in no way inferior to other forms of nightlife. Prepare to get caught up in the energy of this market as you watch locals engage in conversation late into the night and consume all sorts of different street bites with relish. Sink your teeth into many of Taiwan’s tantalizing signature eats like their fried buns, oyster omelet, Green tea shaved snow with red beans and the ever-popular bubble tea. Oh, and there are no limits on the number of times you go back there, so be prepared to indulge!
Relax in a Hot SpringHot Spring – Bei Tou Taipei
Definitely a unique characteristic, Taiwan’s geographical location has resulted in a unique environment that produces naturally heated springs with glassy clear water, most of which is safe for consumption. The most popular hot spring is the Beitou Hot Spring, which contains sulphuric springs with different colors according to their acidity. Highly sedative and relaxing to sore muscles and joints, they provide a safe haven away from daily stress and one emerges from them refreshed and rejuvenated, with radiant skin. Being located in the midst of nature and scenic spots also make this a wholesome and entirely enjoyable experience.
Visit the temples in Tainan
If not for religious purposes, one will be dazzled by the temples in Tainan (City of Temples), some 300 of them. Confucius temple is one of the most popular attractions there, and rightfully so; it is Taiwan’s oldest Confucian shrine, and pays tribute to the philosopher’s influence in Taiwanese culture. Acting as a guardian over the preservation of ancient Confucian ceremonies, you can watch the daily ceremonies and understand the values behind the Taiwanese heritage. You can also appreciate the intricacy of the architecture, different in every temple and carved exquisitely in painstaking detail. The combination of rich, vivid illustrations and lovely, rustic roof tiles of various tints make them a standout attraction from the rest of Taiwan’s commercial buildings.
The National Museum of Taiwan visits the National Palace Museum
Declared one of the top four finest museums in the world alongside the Louvre, this monumental site is the pride of Taiwan. It holds a staggering number of 700,000 artifacts, the majority of which belong to the private collection of Chinese emperors. The value they command is anybody’s guess, and since the majority of them cannot be displayed at once, they rotate the displays once every three months. The Chihshan Garden is also worth a look as it provides a fine example of the Song Dynasty landscaping.