10 Must-Visit Taiwan Destinations Aside from Taipei 101

Taiwan is becoming a popular travel destination for Filipinos. Although we need a visa to enter Taiwan, the visa application is somewhat relaxed so it has become easier for us to explore Taiwan.

In my experience, since I have a used Japan visa, I just had to fill up a form and print it out. Voila! I had a multiple-entry travel authorization certificate just like that. To know more about this kind of application, go to the TECO website.

If you are not qualified to get the travel authorization certificate, you may need to wait longer, around a week to get a visa. So, make sure to plan ahead. Still, there are high hopes that soon we may enter Taiwan visa-free.

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Earlier in June, we spent five days in Taiwan, traveling around Taipei and nearby areas of Hualien and Taichung. I have been to Taiwan a couple of time before so it was nice that this time around, our trip was more immersive and we had the opportunity to go outside of Taipei. Although Taipei 101 is a must-see when in this country, here are 10 other places you can check out if the iconic skyscraper is too mainstream for you.

Taipei City

10. Yangminshan National Park

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Located in the northern part of Taipei, the Yangminshan National Park offers numerous mini-parks, trails, flower gardens, and hot springs. In the Yangming Park, which was our first stop when we went to this national park, we saw the iconic flower clock. It is a huge clock made of flowers and best seen when the flowers are in full bloom.

We walked around Yangming Park and we saw a small waterfall.

Our next stop in the national park is Zhuzihu. This place is known as a farming village that is home to the park’s calla lilies. The village is tucked in the mountain, which serves as a sweet escape from the city.

Our last stop is Xiaoyoukeng. This geological park is popular for mountain-side sulfur gas exhaust or fumaroles. Since this park is high up the mountain, you can expect to be chilly here. (Watch below our Facebook Live Video in Xiaoyoukeng.)

There are other places that you can visit in the Yangmingshan National Park such as the Qingtiangang Trail (popular for its lava terrace), Menghuan Pond (a dreamy winter wonderland). and Lengshuikeng (hot spring that is popular as a rest stop for visitors).

9. Tamsui Lover’s Bridge

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Located in the Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf, the Tamsui Lover’s Bridge light up in different colors at night, much like the Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba, Japan. This bridge connects to a bay walk, which is a perfect place to hangout and has an amazing view of a romantic sunset in Taiwan.

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The fisherman’s wharf has recently become popular among the young crowd due to the rise of party boats in the area.

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We had our Northern Taiwan Tour via private car courtesy of KKDay.

8. Shilin Night Market

Torched!

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Might be a bit mainstream already but a food trip in Shilin Night Market is a must when traveling in Taiwan.

This night market is probably the biggest and the most popular in Taiwan. It is famous for its massive selection of Taiwanese food fare from stinky tofu to torched wagyu beef cutlets.

So, if you are a foodie traveling in Taiwan, you should not skip the Shilin Night Market. You’d definitely find many food gems in this place

Hualien County

Hualien County is a scenic and less populated county on the east coast of Taiwan. It is a 3-hour train ride from Taipei.

7. Qingshui Cliff

Located in Hualien County, in the east coast of Taiwan, Qingshui Cliff gives an amazing view of Taiwan’s Pacific coast. Standing here, the cliff paints a picturesque mosaic of the sky and the sea. Due to this, it has become one of Eight Wonders of Taiwan.

6. Taroko Gorge

Deep in the Jungle – Taroko Gorge ???? . . . . #AirAsiainTaipei #ChasingWonders #kkdayph #travelwithkkday @airasiafilipino @kkdayph

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Also called the Taroko Gorge National Park, it is a popular canyon in Taiwan. If you are fond of hiking, this place is a must-visit. It offers number trails from well-prepared paths to paths less traveled. However, if you want to explore outside of the paved paths, you will need to get permission from the park administration.

Traveling around the national park will require driving on a highway with hairpin turns, much like our Halsema Highway going up Sagada. Driving around the park is like a jolt of adrenaline in your system.

5. Changchun Shrine

Also known the Eternal Spring Shrine, this beautiful temple is located on top of a natural spring with water gushing out of the rocks, coming out like a waterfall. This shrine is at the east entrance of the Taroko National Park.

4. Shakadang Trail

Shakadang Trail is also known as “Mysterious Valley Trail” and was renamed to “Shakadang Trail” in 2001. This trail is built along the river cliff so travelers can easily observe both the rock folds and plant ecosystem beside in the river valley. After 4.5km you will arrive at 3D Cabin –phonetic sound Sanjianwu, which is the favorite of visitors.. After the first curve there is a deep pool with clear water that has enchanted many visitors. In May, it is the season when Tung tree flowers bloom, making the trail a pleasant flower hallway with flowers filling the air like snow flakes. #taiwan #traveltaiwan #AirAsiainTaipei #ChasingWonders #kkdayph #travelwithkkday #EverydayWeekend #Flytpack #FlytpackTravels #FlytpackHelps #travelblogger #travel #travelblog #MDC_Photography_PH @OutdoorProductsPH @airasiafilipino @kkdayph @flytpack

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For people who enjoy an easy hike, the Shakadang Trail in the Taroko National Park is just perfect. It is a 90-minute flat trail by the mountainside with crystal-clear turquoise water below, or as our tour guide would say, a “regular after meal walk”. LOL.

Our Hualien County tour guide, Ophelia, courtesy of KKDay (private car courtesy of KKday as well). Our tour around Taroko National Park would not have been amazing if not for her.

Taichung City

Taichung City is a commercial district on the west side of Taiwan. It is an hour train ride from Taipei via the High-Speed Railway (HSR).

3. Sun Moon Lake

The Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s biggest lake. It is a high mountain lake located in the mountains of Nantou. This name of this picturesque lake was from its beautiful appearance, “the east side of the lake is round, like the sun, while the west side is long and narrow, like a crescent moon.”

Biking around the Sun Moon Lake is a popular activity among tourists. There is a dedicated biking trail for you to take and have a closer look of this scenic lake.

2. Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village

Accessed through a gondola ride via the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway, the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is a quaint amusement park. It has Taiwan’s first suspended roller coaster and tallest free-fall ride.

Unfortunately, the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway was closed for maintenance when we visited so this is a reason to go back. Also, to be sure, plan ahead your trip to know about the ropeway’s maintenance.

1. Alishan National Scenic Area

The Alishan National Scenic Area is one of the most amazing places you can visit in Taiwan. It is located in Chiayi, a couple of hours drive from downtown Taichung.

The place is iconic for its local tea and its vintage train system (that still works!).

The vibe at the Alishan National Scenic Area is comparable to our country’s Baguio or Sagada. The weather can be chilly there. Also, if you are going for a day trip only, it is best to leave from Alishan early because the road going down the mountain can be very foggy with almost zero visibility.

Also, if you are a tea fan like me, buy Alishan’s local tea. It was kind’a life-changing for me because of the light sans the bitter after taste. LOL.

Special thanks to AirAsia Philippines and KKDay Philippines for making this trip possible. Thanks also to Outdoor Products Philippines for the sturdy backpacks!

Want to save on your Taiwan airfare?

AirAsia Philippines has a promo to Taipei next week!

Booking Period: July 17 – 30, 2017

Travel Period: July 17 – Dec 15, 2017

All-in-fare from as low as Php 1,599!






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