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Taichung is a wonderful weekend destination, and the city itself is full of interesting things to see and do. However, it’s also a fantastic base for some day trips to the surrounding countryside, where you can see everything from the country’s largest body of inland water to a wonderfully quirky mock European castle.
Dakeng Hiking Trails are famous for scenic hiking just outside the city. There are 10 trails and all are well maintained and extremely popular. Trails numbered 6-10 are the easiest and also the busiest, and you may have to deal with large crowds on weekends and holidays. The hikes aren’t too difficult, and there are some nice wooden pathways and handrails, many of which are very popular with photographers. Getting to Dakeng is simple enough; the area is served by public transport. Take bus 21 or 31 from the Taichung First Plaza getting off at Dakeng Stop. Alternatively, you can drive (there’s ample parking) or take a taxi for the day.
A European-style castle in the mountains of central Taiwan—why wouldn’t you check this place out? Surrounded by lush gardens and a lake, the castle is everything you could hope for. It’s often chosen as the backdrop for wedding and family photography. Getting there isn’t quite so easy. Public transport involves several changes and a bit of walking, so most visitors either drive or take a taxi to the castle.
Located in the town of Houli just a short drive outside Taichung City, Zhongshe Flower Market is a huge flower garden covering six hectares. It’s a popular tourist attraction where many visitors go to take photos by the windmill or in the sea of flowers. As with Xinshe Castle, the best way to get to this attraction is to drive yourself or hire a taxi for a half-day. If this is not an option, then take the train to Houli Station, then it’s a short taxi ride to the market.
Once a small fishing village in the Qingshui District of Taichung, Wuqi Fisherman’s Wharf is now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can buy seafood fresh off the boat, enjoy some great street food snacks, or dine at one of the many seafood restaurants. To get to the wharf, take a train to Qingshui Station then share a taxi to the wharf. Public buses require several changes and take quite some time.