Taiwan is a favourite holiday destination in Asia for many reasons. Besides indulging in endless amounts of sweet and savoury street snacks, there are also many places of interests to visit.
You can also experience a little more of the Taiwanese culture by taking a trip down to the more rural areas of the country, such as Hualien—known for their beautiful mountainous areas and landscapes.
Whether it’s your first time visiting the land of night markets, or even if you have already been there multiple times, Taiwan will always retain its charm and city life that will leave you wanting more. Here’s a condensed 6D5N itinerary of our trips, where we explored beyond Taipei and the 22 things to see, do and eat in Taiwan.
DAY ONE IN TAICHUNG
#1 GET THE FAMOUS TAIWAN MILK TEA
3.15pm: You’ve seen them sell out rapidly on Singapore’s 7-11 shelves but in Taiwan, these bottles of milk tea are constantly available in vast quantities. The drink comes in various flavours, such as Café Au Lait, Matcha Latte, Sumiyaki and more. The best part? They’re at least two times cheaper than what you’ll find here in Singapore.
Besides that, the convenience stores stock up on amazing amounts of microwaveable food, chips, pastries and more that make for great midnight snack stashes.
#2 VISIT FENGJIA NIGHT MARKET
7.30pm: The experience here was (and always will be) crazy, to say the least. The crowd—especially during dinner hour—was unbelievable. We had to squeeze through the people-packed streets, but the street food such as the huge takoyaki, sweet potato puffs and taro chips made it all worth it. You could easily spend hours walking up and down the street and trying everything!
Fengjia Road, Xitun District
Taichung City 407
Daily: 4pm – 2am
DAY TWO IN HUALIEN
#3 CHECK INTO PAPAYA RIVER B&B
This B&B is tucked away in a serene, quiet spot in Hualien. It doubles up as an alpaca farm and is also home to two dogs and a cat. These domesticated pets are friendly, so you can even pet them if you like!
The host themselves also offer guide services, and they brought us around Hualien while we were there. Plus point: the incredible landscape around the B&B makes for amazing pictures.
No. 176 Guanghua 8th Street
Hualien County 97357
DAY THREE IN HUALIEN
#4 FEED THE ALPACAS
9.30am: If you’re staying at the B&B, you can wake up bright and early and request to feed these alpacas—for free! Start your morning right by getting upclose and personal with these fluffy creatures!
#5 STROLL AROUND NATIONAL DONG HWA UNIVERSITY
10.45am: Just a 20-minute ride from The Papaya River B&B, the school is open to the public, and boasts beautiful scenic views that are perfect for pictures.
University Road Section1
Shoufeng Township, 974
#6 TAKE IN THE SCENIC VIEWS AT LIN TIAN SHAN FORESTRY PARK
1pm: You can’t find any mountains in Singapore, but Hualien is littered with them. The forestry park is relatively quiet, and provides you with an opportunity to trek through the trees. Entry is free!
No. 20, Linsen Road, Fenglin Township
Hualien County 975
#7 TREK AROUND LIYU LAKE
2.30pm: This lake is a must-visit when you’re in Hualien. It is quiet, peaceful, and looks over the beautiful mountainside. There’s a footpath that stretches across 2.4km leading you from one end of the lake to the other, and you can either walk that length or rent bikes.
It’s the perfect place to take in the fresh air and take in the nature surrounding you.
Huantan North Road, Shoufeng Township
Hualien County 974
#8 HAVE DINNER AT EAST GATE NIGHT MARKET
7.30pm: This night market is the most popular one in Hualien, simply because it is huge, and even has little game stores for you to try out. Some of the food we tried included cheese omelettes, grilled squid, and even a kebab wrap!
No. 50, Zhongshan Road
Hualien Country 970
Daily: 6pm – 12am
DAY FOUR IN XIMENDING, TAIPEI
#9 TAKE THE TAIWAN METRO
12pm: The Taiwan Metro is a quick and fuss-free way to get around Taipei and beyond! Similar to the trains we have here in Singapore, their cabins are also clean!
#10 VISIT SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL HALL
1.30pm: What is a trip to Taiwan without making a pit stop at the iconic Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall? Paying tribute to Dr Sun Yat-sen, who is affectionately named as China’s founding father, this is where you can learn more about his revolutionary career.
No. 505, Section 4
Ren’ai Road, Xinyi District
Taipei City, Taiwan
Daily: 9am – 6pm
Nearest Station: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
#11 SOAK IN A HOT SPRING AT BEI TOU
3pm: Relax your muscles and enjoy a thermal hot spring bath at Bei Tou, a popular tourist destination in Taipei. Just a stone’s throw away from Xinbeitou station, the area has a mix of both public and private baths featuring mineral-rich water. Do note that it is recommended for you to book the private baths before heading over.
Nearest Station: Xinbeitou
#12 SHOP AT XIMENDING
6.30pm: With your bellies filled, you can now shop around the vast shopping district that is Ximending. If you’re a shoe-lover, you’re in luck—the area is home to a myriad of shoe stores like Nike, Adidas, and ABC Mart (this is a multi-label store with tons of amazing shoes). Besides that, there are tons of more souvenir shops selling Taiwanese snacks that you can bring home.
108, Taipei City
Nearest Station: Ximending
DAY FIVE IN TAIPEI
#13 TAKE A WALK AT DA’AN PARK
11am: Just a 15-minute ride from Ximending Station on the metro line, Da’an Park is apparently one of the ‘richer’ parts of Taiwan, but the scenery is no less beautiful. It is located right outside Da’an Park metro station. You can even have a morning run along the park!
Section 3, Xinyi Road, Da’an District
Taipei City 106
Nearest Station: Da’an Station
#14 GO SHOPPING AT ZHONGXIAO DUNHUA SHOPPING AREA
3pm: This is the Southern region of Taipei—within walking distance from Da’an Park—and is arguably the ‘hipster-haven’ of Taipei which is popular among Taiwanese youths.
You’ll find a huge range of stores with different styles to shop from. Look out for a huge Forever 21 outlet located right outside the train station.
Section 4, Zhongxiao E. Road, Da’an District
Taipei City 106
Daily: 11am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Zhongxiao Dunhua Station
#15 VISIT TAIPEI 101
7pm: A must-do for all Taiwan first-timers. But if you don’t fancy paying extravagant prices to go up the tower, try hanging around the vicinity around the building instead. It is equally as beautiful.
Xinyi District, Taipei City 110
Nearest Station: Taipei 101 Station
DAY SIX IN TAIPEI
#16 HAVE BREAKFAST AT AH CHUNG MIAN XIAN
10am: The store along Ximending is often populated with people standing around and eating their piping hot bowls of mian xian—which are thin flour noodles cooked in rich broth and topped off with pig intestines.
No. 8-1, Emei Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City
Mon to Fri: 10.30am – 10.30pm
Sat to Sun: 10.30am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Ximending
#17 BUY PINEAPPLE TARTS AT CHIA TE
3pm: Honestly, no Taiwan trip is complete without buying back some tasty treats from Chia Te. The only outlet in Taiwan is located in Nanjing where snaking queues outside the storefront is a common sight.
Be prepared to queue for about 20-30 minutes but fret not, for the wait will be worth it as their biscuits and pastries taste amazing. If you’re not sure what to get, try their Sun Cakes, Milk Cakes, and Pineapple Tarts.
No. 88, Section 5, Nanjing E Road, Songshan District
Taipei City 105
Daily: 8am – 9.30pm
Nearest Station: Nanjing Sanmin
6pm: This night market might just be one of the better ones in Taiwan, offering a huge selection of different kinds of food such as fried squid, baked cheese potatoes, and the famous Fuzhou Pepper Buns.
Roahe Street, Songshan District
Taipei City 105
Daily: 4pm – 12am
Nearest Station: Songshan
DAY SIX IN TAIPEI
9am: Bus services up to Jiufen are available from Taipei. You can either book a private bus, or go on a public one (which is cheaper). The ride takes about 3 hours.
Jiufen 224, Ruifang District, Taipei City
#20 TRY THE FAMOUS A-ZHU PEANUT ICE CREAM ROLLS
You’ve probably heard of these peanut ice cream rolls. After all, they’ve been flooding Instagram feeds for a long time now. These ice cream rolls are made of taro ice cream, topped with peanut shavings and wrapped in spring roll skin.
No. 45, Jishan Street, Ruifang District
#21 SNACK ON LAI AH PO YU YUAN
These are traditional handmade taro, sweet potato and green tea balls mixed with sweet soup, and can be eaten hot or cold. They cost just NT$40 (S$1.72) per bowl!
No. 143, Jishan Street, Ruifang District
#22 SPEND YOUR LOOSE CHANGE ON GRAB-CLAW MACHINES
Ximending has stores that house many different grab-claw machines, and they’re relatively easy to win too! If you have any extra loose change before you head home, you can try your luck at these machines and see whether you can bring home any adorable plushies or toys.
In fact, you’re likely to find shops dedicated to grab-claw machines at literally all the night markets scattered around the city.