Taichung (pronounced Taijong) is a great city full of amazing places to discover. There are a lot of things to do in Taichung, from culture to nature, you’re in for a great trip!
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Best things to do in Taichung:
1 – Visit the rainbow village
The rainbow village is one of Taichung most famous attractions. Although located a bit far from the center, the village is easily reached via public transportation. The village is actually a dozen houses brightly painted from roofs to floors. There is a cafe and a souvenir shop there. The entrance is free.
2 – Take a stroll in Taichung Park
More than a century old, Taichung Park is a nice place to go for a walk. Keep your eyes open for birds and squirrels. It gets pretty crowded during weekends and holidays. There are several recreational areas including a playground, tennis courts, some sports equipment, and a pavilion.
3 – Day-trip to Sun Moon Lake
The famous Sun Moon Lake makes a perfect day-trip from Taichung. Most of the shore is really developed but in some parts, you can find some peace and quiet. You can rent a bike and follow the bike-way. Unfortunately, It doesn’t go all the way, but you can get back on the road if you really want to circle the lake.
You can also take a cruise on the lake, there are several operators offering the trip, it usually is the same offer. The price is usually NTD300, but if you arrive late in the afternoon you’ll get a discount (I paid NTD90). Coming from Taichung, you can park your car in Shuishe and take the boat from there or rent a bicycle.
Around the lake are several nice temples, such as Longfeng, Xuanguang, Xuanzang and Wenwu Temples. There’s also a peacock garden and a cable car taking you to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village.
4 – Hang out with dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural Science
Opened in 1986, the National Museum of Natural Science is the largest educational center in Taiwan and is the most-complete science museum. It’s also one of the most visited museums in Taiwan.
The museum is home to 50 permanent exhibit areas about astronomy, space science, paleontology, ecology, gems and minerals, human cultures, tropical plants, and geology. In addition, there are several rotating exhibitions.
Closed on Mondays, open from 9 am to 5 pm. The entrance fee for the science center is free and NTD100 for the galleries. Official website.
5 – Explore the wetlands
One of the best things to do in Taichung, the Gaomei wetland offers amazing landscapes and unique views. The best time to go is for sunset when the sun reflects on the water. More than 120 bird species can be found there. There’s a pathway going through the wetland but you can also walk in the water in most parts, it’s not really deep, just a bit muddy. The eco-system there is really rich, the land is a mix of sand and soil, and is home to many small animals such as crabs and fishes.
Be careful the boardwalk is often closed at high tide. There’s no entrance fee. Official website.
6 – Take a scenic bike ride through Hou-Feng Bike-way
This scenic bike-way is about 4.5 km long and will take you through historical and natural beauties. The bike-way was built along the old Mountain Railway Line. You’ll cross the old iron bridge over the Dajia River then go through the old railway tunnel. You’ll also see many scenic areas and beautiful landscapes.
To get there, take the train to Fengyuan station, you can rent a bike from there, then ride to Guofeng road, where the bikeway starts.
7- Go back in time at Wufeng Lin Family House and garden
This historical site is an architectural treasure. The Wufeng Lin family house was built in 1851 and is divided into 3 parts: Upper House, Lower House, and Laiyuan (garden). The Lin family played an important role throughout history and their house is one of the best-preserved compounds in Taiwan.
The garden was built between 1888 and 1893, it is considered the best garden in Northern Taiwan and is the only garden in the country to have received the title of Historical Site. It is built in the Qing Dynasty style and inspired by Chinese traditional gardens.
The company running the house organizes group guided tours (in Chinese) and private tours (in English and Japanese). Part of the house is still inhabited so not accessible to visitors.
Opened from 9 am to 5 pm, closed on the first Monday of the month. Entrance fee: NTD 80. Official website.
8 – Grab a bite at Feng-Chia Night Market
One of Taichung most famous and most busy night market, Feng Shia night market is a good place to try local food and immerse in Taiwanese culture. Close to the university, this area is mostly frequented by youngsters and is really dynamic with a lot of small shops and cafés.
9 – Enjoy the view and the Sunday market at Dakeng trail n°10
Dakeng scenic area is made of 10 trails from easy to hard. Number 1 through 5 are the most difficult ones and also harder to reach. Trails 6 to 10 are quite easy treks and are easily reached by public transportation. You’ll get a super nice view over the city and the surrounding mountains. It’s nice to have nature so close to the city.
At the beginning of trail 9 and 10, you’ll find a market on Sundays. Local farmers come and sell their products.
You can reach trails 9 and 10 with any bus stopping at Taipower Dongshan Service. Trails 6, 7 and 8 are reachable through the trail 9 and 10.
10 – Dajia Jenn Lann Temple
More than 200 years old, the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple is dedicated to Matsu, goddess of the sea. Matsu is one of Taiwan’s most important deities and this temple is one of the major Matsu Temples you’ll find in the country. It’s an important place of pilgrimage, especially in March, during the inspection tour, an important religious ritual.
Inside the temple look for the violet jade Matsu and the golden Matsu.
11 – Enjoy the hipster/bohemian vibe at Tung Hai Arts Street
Tung Hai Arts Street is a hub for artists and hipsters. The street and its surroundings are full of street art, artsy cafés, and antique shops. Art galleries and thrift shops are also common. It’s a good place to shop handcrafted or vintage products.
Lune X Mauvis is a small shop selling jewelry made of brass, crystals, and stones. Ban Ban De Jia is great for decoration objects and Fiber Art Studio specializes in art made of fibers. Check out also Orange Cat Café, a café full of cats.
12 – Admire the architectural prowess at the National Taichung Theatre
Built by the world-renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito, the National Taichung Theater was dubbed the “most difficult house to accomplish”. Based on the concept of the sound cave, Toyo Ito broke the traditional codes by building an opera house almost entirely made of curved walls. The building is an experience in itself, from the lights to the sound everything was built around the effect it would have on the spectators.
The theater organizes guided tours, you’ll have to book in advance. Official website.
13 – Relax at Guguan Hot Spring
All over Taiwan, you’ll find hot springs, Taichung is no exception to the rule. Guguan Hot Spring is a pleasant place, perfect for relaxing. Surrounded by high mountains and in the middle of nature, the hot spring is believed to be good for fertility, especially if you want to have a boy. There are several areas so it’s never too crowded, still, it’s best to avoid weekends.
There are several other things you can do around Guguan, such as trekking through the Shaolai walking trail, visiting the Cultural Museum of Hot Springs or going to Shaolai or Guguan suspension bridges.
14 – Try the local delicacies
Taichung is where the bubble tea originated. It all started when Liu Han-Chieh, the founder of Chun Shui Tang Teahouse, came back from Japan and introduced cold tea to Taiwan after seeing coffee served cold. In 1988, during a business meeting, his product development manager, Ms. Lin Hsiu Hui, decided to mix her tapioca pudding with her tea. It became an instant hit and spread all over eastern Asia. A trip to Taichung is not complete without drinking a bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang Teahouse.
Taichung is also famous for its Sun Cakes, a multi-layers pastry filled with maltose syrup. Another local dish is the thick noodles food. The noodles, thicker than usual, are mixed with fried garlic, shrimps, leeks, and dried radish.
Taichung also produces high-quality taro and makes a lot of different desert with it. You can try taro shortbread or shaved ice with taro balls.
What about you? Have you been to Taichung? What were your favorite places?
Related articles to help you plan your trip to Taiwan:
- Taiwan – Everything you need to know before going
- Best things to do in Tainan and around
- Kenting complete travel guide
- Best day trips from Kaohsiung
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