Taiwan is a fantastic country with rich history, friendly locals, amazing street food and beautiful landscape. Most visitors usually only go to Taipei, and it is a shame because there are many other cities that are worth visiting.
Taichung, for instance, is a wonderful holiday destination. For a start, it is only an hour away from Taoyuen International Airport. From there, you can easily make day trips to other places like Kaohsiung, Tainan and Changhua. The main draw for tourists is Feng Chia Night Market – one of the biggest, if not the biggest, night markets in Taiwan. There are many things to see, do and eat in Taichung. The next time you plan a trip to Taiwan, you have to include Taichung in your itinerary.
Here is a travel guide on the things to do in Taichung.
Miyaharu (Gong Yuan Yan Ke)
Housed in a former eye hospital, Miyaharu is opened by Dawncake – an established store in Taichung that sells pineapple tarts and other pastries packaged in nice boxes – and it has become so popular that it is listed on most travel guides to Taichung. Miyaharu is worth visiting – even if it was just to see the shop’s interior – and to buy some gifts for friends and relatives.
No 20 Zhongshan Road
Zhong District, Taichung
Tel: 04 2227 1927
The original bubble tea from Chun Shui Tang
Chun Shui Tang Teahouse, believed to be the inventor of bubble tea, is also a must-try in Taichung. Besides having a wide range of tea-based beverages, they also serve affordable and tasty traditional Taiwanese snacks such as pig’s blood, beef noodles, and braised pork rice.
30 Siwei St, Taichung
+886 4 22297991
Taichung Calligraphy Greenway is a parkway in the heart of the city which connects National Museum of Natural Science, Civil Square, Wuquan Parkway, and the LiChuan Canal. It is very liberating to take a stroll along the pavements and to simply just enjoy the greenery.
Feng Chia Night Market
Taichung’s Feng Chia Night Market is one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan. To put it simply: No one visits Taichung without going to Feng Chia. You can find the most innovative snacks here, and in fact, Feng Chia is the testing ground for most modern street food. After they are proven to be popular, they are then spread to the other night markets in Taiwan.
Coffee Appreciation Class
If you have time, drop by ‘Coffee Area’ for a coffee appreciation class. The owner is very friendly and knowledgable about coffee. A typical class (450NT/pax, minimum 4 guests) takes around 2 hours and you can learn about the basics of roasting and coffee tasting.
165 Cunzhong Street
Tel: 04 2376 1273
Fantasy Story is an area made up of several blocks of old shophouses converted into cute cafes, slick boutiques, stylish furniture shops and cool lifestyle stores. Every shop has its own character and you can easily spend a day there. Fantasy Shop No. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8 are located on 13 Meicun Road Section 1 Lane 117.
Sweet Woods – Fantasy Shop No. 7 dedicated to dining – is about five minutes walk away on 136 Xiangshang North Road. Over there, you can have tea at Wilsons English Afternoon Tea Cafe, ice cream at Bianca, and desserts from Pause Bonheur.
Visit themed restaurants
There are plenty of themed restaurants in Taichung, but if you like a romantic princessy place, you must go to Princess Annie’s Garden Restaurant at Xinshe town.
No.223 Zhongxing Street
Xinshe District, Taichung City
Tel: 04-2593 1567
Daily: 9am – 8pm
Rollin Farm (Ruo Yin Nong Chang)
Rollin Farm is a peaceful and serene spot to get away from the city for a quiet retreat. Getting there from Taichung takes slightly under two hours by car, but when you arrive, you will discover that it is worth the journey.
The rooms at the min su (homestay) are not only well-furnished, but they also come with a stunning view overlooking the mountains. If you have no plans for an overnight stay, a day trip to this scenic part of Taichung is almost as wondrous.
No 1 XueShan Road, Heping District, Taichung City
Tel: 04 2597 1218
Head to Second Market – one of the more popular traditional markets in Taichung – for breakfast. There, you can find famous local snacks such as meatballs, fried radish cake, and wanton soup.
Sanmin Road, Central District, Taichung City
Getting to Taipei from Singapore: TransAsia Airways has daily flights – an early morning departure from Changi Airport and an evening return from Taoyuan Airport.
Tips for exploring Taichung: Qiito.com is an online travel organiser and accommodation hosting website which recommends places of interest in Taiwan.
Full Disclosure & Fine Print: I travelled to Taichung as a guest of Taiwan Tourism Board, Qiito.com and TransAsia Airways. No monetary benefits were received, only air tickets, hotel accommodation and transport were sponsored.