It should come as no surprise that the island known as Ilha Formosa or The Beautiful Island is nothing short of a photographer’s dream, but the incredible natural scenery isn’t all the intriguing island of Taiwan has to offer. From amazing temples to impressive architectural landmarks such as Taipei 101, here are twenty things to add to your Taiwan bucket list.
Go surfing in Fulong
While Taiwan is not quite a go-to surfing destination like Bali or Hawaii, there are still some great spots around the island that boast waves all year round. One such spot is Fulong beach which is also a popular destination for day-trippers from Taipei keen to spend some time on the sand. As it is on the Northeast coast, Fulong gets some great swells throughout the year but in particular from May to October, just pay attention to the weather as this also coincides with typhoon season.Fulong Beach, Gongliao District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake is a man-made lake that is the largest body of water in Taiwan. It is a popular tourist destination all year round year with many taking the boat trips around the lake from village to village. A great way to see the surrounding countryside is to rent a bike at Shueishe and ride the paths to Xiangshan Visitor Center. The scenery is stunning and the visitor center is an incredible piece of architecture.
Eternal Spring Shrine was built to commemorate the workers who died during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway, and its stunning location makes it one of the most popular attractions in the national park. The waterfall that flows from the shrine into the river below offers tourists the chance of a spectacular holiday snap.Eternal Spring Shrine, Taroko National Park, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan
Not something that many would expect to find just outside of Taipei but it’s just a short bus ride to Wanli where local paragliding clubs take tourists up for tandem rides around the bay. Kitted out with a GoPro, thrill seekers can record their trip to prove to the folks back home that they really did it.Mustang Paragliding ClubWanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Yangmingshan National Park is set in a dormant volcano which means that the many of the hotels in the area are blessed with an endless supply of hot spring water. Take the MRT to Beitou and choose a hotel in which to stay the night or spend just a few hours and let the thermal waters ease away your aches and pains.Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan
Taiwan is home to some beautiful beaches, but it is Kenting that many locals head for when they want to enjoy golden sands and a tropical climate. There are hotels and guest houses aplenty, and there’s a real holiday island feel about the many villages along the coast.Kenting National Park, Pingtung County, Taiwan
While most visitors to Taipei Zoo form an orderly queue to see the Pandas and their cubs, the Taiwan Black Bear is often forgotten. One of the island’s most identifiable indigenous animals, the Formosan Black Bear is an endangered species, and so its place in the zoo is essential as preservationists hope to one day replenish its numbers in the wild.Taipei Zoo, 30 Xinguang Road Section 2, Wenshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan
It’s becoming a popular drink all over the world now with shops serving it popping up as far afield as London, but for a true taste of Pearl Milk Tea, it has to be tried here in Taiwan. Invented in a tea shop in Taichung in the 80s, there are now pearl milk tea shops everywhere, and it would be silly not to try it at least once!
Everyone loves a good sing song but it Taiwan they take it to a whole new level. There’s no need to worry about bothering others with your renditions of the latest pop tunes as in the local Karaoke Television (KTV) clubs you get a private soundproofed room that even has its own bathroom. Fancy something to eat or drink? Pick up the phone, and the wait staff will bring it right in.
Visit the old gold mines
The old gold mining town of Jiufen is a great place to take a step back in time. Not only do tourists get to see the beautiful countryside and learn all about the mines at the museum, but the town itself is like a time capsule. The famous old street is well worth a visit, but it’s probably best to avoid weekends as it gets very busy.Jiufen Old Street, Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan