You can start planning your visit to one of Asia’s most under-the-radar vacation destinations, Taiwan. There are a million things to do and see — plus, it’s affordable. Among the top 10 activities that make the list for first-time visitors to Taiwan are the world-class food, free admission to cultural attractions, and exceptionally beautiful national parks.
Top 10 activities for Taiwan visitors
1. Food, markets, entertainment
Vibrant venues for delicious and authentic street food, night markets throughout Taiwan are also a cultural touchstone.
Dozens of open-air arcades are social gathering places that offer entertainment and music alongside a wide variety of affordable local food and drink as well as practical and inexpensive Taiwanese consumer goods and clothing. Oyster pancakes, stinky tofu, and boba milk tea are among the favourites at 30 night markets in the capital city of Taipei and more than 70 markets spread throughout the entire island.
2. Buddhist shrine, waterfall, temples
An elaborate Dragon Gate leads to Longshan Temple in Taipei, Taiwan’s oldest Buddhist shrine. Complete with a grand waterfall, this outstanding example of Qing Dynasty religious architecture attracts visitors offering fruit and delicacies to receive guidance from 100 gods of wisdom, health, business, love and matchmaking.
Every one of Taiwan’s 15,000 temples is free to visit. Tip: Don’t attempt to see them all, since seeing 41 temples per day would take an entire year!
3. Lantern festival
The Pingxi Sky Lantern festival is a do-not-miss traditional Taiwanese experience. Decorate and release your own paper lantern to send off dreams and wishes into a magical sky illuminated with hundreds of traditional blessings.
4. Butterfly Kingdom
Known as the “Butterfly Kingdom”, lanterns aren’t the only lovely objects in the skies above Taiwan’s lush landscape. Among the 430 butterfly species identified by scientists, 50 are only found in Taiwan.
A completely unique experience, visitors can observe thousands of brilliantly coloured butterflies fluttering in their natural habitat along the trail adjacent to Taipei’s National Palace Museum.
Elsewhere on the island, it’s an entire valley turns purple every winter when millions of butterflies in Maolin National Scenic Area prepare for their annual flight to the Dawushan Foothills.
5. Foreign language-related travel opportunities
Looking for foreign language-related travel opportunities? Mandarin Chinese is the world’s most widely spoken native language at 1.3 billion, or 16 percent of the world’s population.
Learn some Chinese or brush up on your rusty Mandarin in Taiwan. Even if your language skills are limited, you’ll return home with some new words and phrases that provide an opening to any conversation.
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6. Mountain ranges
Lush views everywhere, often to the sea, beat all expectations. Taiwan’s mountain ranges cover most of the length of the island, providing breathtaking scenery from more than 250 peaks above 10,000 feet.
7. National parks and national scenic areas
Taiwan’s nine national parks and 13 national scenic areas encompass diverse landscapes: coastlines, bays, lakes, hotsprings, valleys, gorges, mountains and dormant volcanoes.
Hundreds of trails for hiking and biking crisscross the island, from urban beltways to serene hot springs and from ancient forests to mountainous pathways.
8. High-Speed Rail and EasyCard
Travel 185 mph on Taiwan’s High-Speed Rail stretching 214 miles from Taipei to the southern city of Kaohsiung. The only thing you need to get around the island is one of the cute little Yoyo cards.
Officially known as an EasyCard, it’s a contactless smartcard that can be topped up for purchases, including train travel.
9. Extensive transportation system
Taiwan is easy to get around using its extensive transportation system of budget-friendly buses or state-of-the-art high-speed trains. Approximately 11 times smaller than California, Taiwan is an approachable vacation destination.
10. Visa-free tourism
East meets West in the heart of Asia — Taiwan’s borders are once again wide open to international visitors. Visa-free tourism has returned to the island and the overwhelmingly friendly Taiwanese people are warmly embracing renewed interest in their beautiful island home.
VacationTaiwan.com introduces the island’s iconic culture, nature, cuisine, and hospitable people to the world through a series of new travel videos filmed in collaboration with CBS. Go to VacationTaiwan.com for trip planning inspiration.
Ready to go to Taiwan? vacationtaiwan.com
About Taiwan Tourism Bureau
Taiwan Tourism Bureau is the official government agency responsible for domestic and international tourism policy development and execution. There are three North American tourism offices located in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
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– Globe Newswire, San Francisco
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