During the Covid 19 pandemic, Taiwan has been lucky to avoid lock-down due to great government procedures and policies. In Taiwan we can still go out, but safe social distancing is still required, after all this is a global pandemic and we do not know when the next COVID-19 case will be detected. Obviously the best place to social distance is at home, but to help you have fun in Taiwan while at the same time keep safe social distance, we have made a list of the top 15 sites in Taiwan that are usually free of other people.
Of course the list of social distancing locations in Taiwan is limited, with two thirds of the island filled with mountainous area. Below is a full list of all the tourist sites we have blogged about in Taiwan for your reference.
Let's get started with the top 15 social distancing locations! This listicle is not going to read itself.
1. Maolin Scenic Area 茂林風景區
Maolin District of Kaohsiung City is my favorite place in Taiwan. It is full of small mountain villages that lie on mountain slopes, including Maolin Village, Wanshan Village, and Duona Village. Near these villages are multiple waterfalls, streams, hot springs, and great views. Popular activities include swimming, hot spring bathing, river tracing, camping, and hiking. It's a great place to get away from it all, and there are hardly ever any crowds...(read more)
2. Tianliao Moon World 田寮月世界
Out in the foothills of former Kaohsiung County are tropical badlands, hills of easily eroding material that makes the landscape look so unique that you must think that it's on the moon.It's definitely a strange landscape especially for Taiwan, and is worth a visit especially if you want to get some unique photos. You can also see some nearby mud hot springs. Due to its relative remoteness, it receives very little visitors most days...(read more)
3. Taixi 台西
You've heard of Taipei (Tainorth 臺北) Taichung (Taimiddle 臺中) Taitung (Taieast 臺東) and Tainan (Taisouth 臺南), but what about Taixi (Taiwest 臺西)? It exists. It's a small coastal township in Yunlin County, with the main industry there being oyster harvesting. There isn't much to see here besides oyster farms and wetlands, but I still recommend going there at least once for bucket list checking purposes....(read more)
4. Jade Mountain (Yushan) 玉山
Climbing Jade Mountain, the highest peak in East Asia, is a major travel destination for people from all over the world. However the daily numbers are limited (90 people per day), so you are sure to not run in to too many other people. It takes some fitness to climb and requires 1-2 days. As much as people like to play down how hard it is, the last 2.4 K, 550 meter climb at 3000+ meters （1.5 mile, 2000 foot climb at 10,000 feet) are a tough test for anyone...(read more)
5. 99 Peaks Forest Trail 九九峰森林步道
The 99 Peaks Trail (aka Jiujiufeng Forest Trail or 九十九峰) in Caotun Township of Nantou County is one of the most unique and beautiful places in Taiwan. It features extremely steep grassy hills that look like they are from a cartoon. This is due to the easily eroding sediment that they are made out of. Taiwan's torrential rains and earthquakes have sped up the erosion on these hills, making them especially steep and pointy, and creating what looks like 99 peaks on the horizon. From the trail one clearly see the jagged 99 peaks as well as beautiful views of Caotun and Nantou. Every time I have gone, I have never seen another soul, so it seems like a great social distancing destination to me...(read more)
6. Zhuolan Grand Canyon 卓蘭大峽谷
Zhuolan Grand Canyon (aka Zhuolan Gorge) is actually a short river canyon near Zhuolan Township of Miaoli County. The canyon is only a few years old, caused by land uplift during the large 921 earthquake that struck Taiwan. It is a bit off the beaten path (which means you won'y likely see anyone else there) but has incredible views of this new nature made wonder...(read more)
7. Chishang 池上
Are you a fan of rice fields, biandang, and rice in general? Chishang is the place for you! As the unofficial rice capital of Taiwan, its unspoiled views of rice fields with a backdrop of the eastern rift valley is one of the most unique and unspoiled scenic areas in Taiwan, and you can easily avoid other people here...(read more)
8. Little Yehliu Geopark (Xiaoyeliu) 小野柳地質公園
Little Yehliu (aka Xiaoyeliu) Geopark is a unique geological area on the coast of Taitung City. It bears the same name as Yeliu Geopark (famous for the Queen's Head Rock), because the rocks look similar to its more famous namesake. However Little Yehliu is much smaller as the name suggests, its rock formations less spectacular, and there are way less visitors. Despite this, it is still a beautiful and unique stretch of coastline...(read more)
9. Zhuilu Old Trail 錐麓古道
Zhuilu Old Trail (aka Jhueilu/Zhuilu Old Road) is known as "the best day hike in Taiwan" and has a trail on "the No. 1 cliff in east Asia." It is for sure one of the most beautiful and exciting hiking trails in Taiwan. It features a vertical cliff section with amazing views 500 meters above the world's deepest marble gorge Taroko Gorge. Only 96 people are allowed on the trail per day, and only 156 on weekdays, and you have to get up early in the morning to be let in...(read more).
10. Nanao Old Trail 南澳古道
Nanao Old Trail (aka Nanao Historic Trail or Nanao Old Raod) is a historic hiking trail in Yilan County, Taiwan. It was once a major route for the Ayatal aboriginal tribe, and was improved by during the Japanese colonial era. Now you can hike only a small section of the original trail, but you can still see beautiful mountainous scenes, rivers, and wildlife, as well as appreciate the history here. It is also very remote and you will definitely not find crowds of people here...(read more)
11. Huangdidian Trail 皇帝殿登山步道
The Huangdidian Trail (aka Huangdi Temple Trail) is a magnificent mountain hike in Shiding District of New Taipei. The trail features ladder climbs, rope climbs, and rock climbs with the aid of ropes, and the top has a vertical drop on either side. There are also great views of Taipei and the surrounding area. Even though it may be the most famous hike in Shiding, you will likely still find yourself alone there even on weekends...(read more)
12. Pudu Changsheng Bridge 普渡長生橋
Pudu Changsheng Bridge is known as the most beautiful bridge in northern Taiwan. It is an old stone bridge that was built in 1953 to connect two small villages in the mountains of Shiding District. Now it is a popular spot for hikers and photographers. Due to its remoteness, not many people know about it much less visit it...(read more)
13. Huiyao Waterfall 灰窯瀑布
Huiyao Waterfall is a large waterfall and swimming hole near Wanggu Station on the Pingxi Railway, on a tributary of the Keelung River in Pingxi District of New Taipei. It's large cliffs are popular for jumping and has a large deep pool that is safe to swim in. It's lack of accessibility has made it a quiet location, and normally you will have the place to yourself...(read more)
14. Hobe Fort 滬尾砲台
Hobe Fort (Aka Huwei Fort) is a Qing Dynasty era fortress in Tamsui, New Taipei that once has massive guns that protected the waterways nearby. The fort is included in a historical monument ticket that allows you to see other historical buildings in the area. It is also one of the best preserved historical fortresses in Taiwan. However, it is not as popular as the nearby For San Domingo, so usually you will have the place to yourself...(read more)
15. Nangang Tea Mountain 南港茶園區
Ever heard of this place? Didn't think so. As one of the most secret and unknown tourist attractions in Taipei City, Nangang Tea Mountain is a large mountain area that offers pleasant hikes, great views, historical buildings, no crowds, and most of all tea. It is one of only two mountain tea growing areas in Taipei City, the other being the much more popular Maokong...(read more).
Thanks for reading. There are many more places to social distance in Taiwan, you just need to find them. Or, just visit any tourist destination on a rainy weekday and you are sure to have the place pretty much to yourself. You should also note that to keep with social distancing you should go visit these places with your own vehicle.
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.