The Best Cheap and Free Things to See and Do in Taichung

Birds take to the skies in Taichung Park
Birds take to the skies in Taichung Park | © 綾小路 葵 / Flickr
Ciaran McEneaney

Taichung is a vibrant city bustling with life, and just like any popular tourist destination there are plenty of things to do that won’t break the bank. For those travelers heading to Taichung on a budget, here are some of the best cheap and free things to do in the city.

1. Hou-Feng Bikeway

Bridge

YouBikes are very popular in Taichung now and there are plenty of stations dotted around the city. Pick up a bike and have a pleasant ride out along the Hou-Feng Bikeway. The bikeway is a 4.5 km (2.8 miles) route that takes you along an old railway line and over a bridge in Taichung’s Fengyuan District. It’s a lovely ride and quite popular among locals.

2. Taichung Park

Park

Taichung is a very busy city with plenty of traffic on the roads, so it’s vital to have a quiet spot in the city to get away from it all. Taichung Park, which was built in 1900, is the ideal solution. It has a lovely Japanese-style pavilion and there’s a serene lake where visitors can enjoy a quiet boat ride.

3. Gaomei Wetlands

Natural Feature

https://www.flickr.com/photos/corker888/15924012788
© 攝影家9號 / Flickr
The Gaomei Wetlands, located on the Dajia River estuary, are just a short bus ride from the city center. Here tourists and locals alike can walk along the wooden walkways and try to spot the many species of birds and animals that live here. The wetlands are also one of the best places in the city to enjoy the beautiful Taiwanese sunsets.

4. Feng-Chia Night Market

Market

Taiwan’s largest night market, Feng-Chia, has an incredible number of stalls. Even without spending any money, simply walking through the crowds and savouring the scents of street food is a satisfying experience. There are food stalls aplenty, clothing, gifts, and even some souvenirs. It’s typically one of the first stops on any tourist’s Taichung itinerary and it’s cheap to boot.

5. Chun Shui Tang

Bubble Tea Shop, Tea

https://www.facebook.com/ChunShui1983/photos/a.383666331159.170765.114415101159/10154662367461160/?type=3&theater
Courtesy of Chun Shui Tang
Taichung is the home of pearl milk tea and it’s said that Chun Shui Tang is where it all began. This traditional teahouse serves up a wonderful variety of teas that you can sit down to drink or have to go. Most people go for the original pearl milk tea, although there are also many other options to choose from.

6. Rainbow Village

Art Gallery

The incredible colours of Rainbow Village | © Steven R. Barringer / WikiCommons
© Steven R. Barringer / WikiCommons

Rainbow Village is a former veterans’ village that has been repainted with an endless series of murals and street art. The project was kicked off by a local who felt that his neighborhood needed a bit of color, and the results are simply breathtaking. Tourists flock to the neighborhood during the weekend so best to visit during the week for a bit of quiet and open space for photos.

7. Xinshe Sea of Flowers

Botanical Garden

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sachinese/3040417829/in/photolist-5CEWi4-mS6QrV-8RVAYt-aRTCRv-k1zXCt-mCuy9S-mCuMkw-8RYyAh-aRT9Mc-aRTBUT-aRTdAB-aRTzHT-aRTCck-aRSZYp-aRTmDX-aRTtsB-4cG8HC-aRTtbi-aRT4C6-4bzawV-aRTuoF-hRM3a4-aRTbFv-aRTaJp-aRTuZP-aRTETn-aRT5rB-aRTePF-4bzaqr-4bzdQx-aRTiLv-aRTsEg-aRTsst-aRT6GD-aRTgfa-aRTa7z-4bDcwC-aRTvBg-aRT3re-aRT2yV-aRTw6r-aRTv7Z-aRT7tt-aRTFM4-aRTj5t-aRTG3i-4bzbfc-aRToxg-aRTM9R-aRTJ8g
© sachinese / Flickr

Xinshe Sea of Flowers is the city’s botanical garden, a wide expanse that is covered in flowers. It is only a short bus ride outside the city and you only need half a day to see the whole thing, but for flower lovers and photographers, this place is a must. This is another attraction that is best visited on weekdays to avoid the crowds.

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