Taiwan is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but there are many secret natural wonders that foreigners like us that have lived here got years have yet to go. In this list, we will give the top 10 secret natural wonders that we have not been too. If these were easy to get to, we would have gone there already.
10. Jiqi (Chi Chi) Beach 機奇海濱游樂區
This beach is secluded in Eastern Taiwan. It might be easy to get to, that's why its last on the list. Located between Hualien and Taitung, it has some world class surfing, and you can also swim and paddle board here. The beach includes showers, and the sunsets are beautiful.
9. Taitung Moon World 利吉惡地
I knew there was a moon world in Kaohsiung but I was surprised to find its counterpart also existed in Taitung. Due to Taiwan’s heavy rainfall mixed with raised sediment, much of Taiwan is filled with eroding badlands like this. These formations are some of the most unique and picturesque in Taiwan. Photo cred:
8. Fish Road Old Trail 魚路古道
This trail is not far from Taipei in Yangming National Park. This trail features a grassy lava plateau, with grazing cattle: a very rare sight in Taiwan. Photo:
7. Qinshui Ying Old Trail 浸水營古道
This historic road dates from the Qing dynasty. Located in Pingtung County, it runs from Fangliao to Dawu, and is mountain bike accessible. I hear it is best traversed in winter to avoid heavy rains and landslides. Photo:
6. Jiji Green Tunnel 集集綠色隧道
This “tunnel” runs between Sun Moon Lake and the small town of Jiji in Nantou county. This road seems best cycled, as there are many views to be enjoyed, such as Sun Moon Lake, little villages, dams, and most of all: beautiful green forests.
5. 慄松溫泉 Lisong Hot Spring
This is known as perhaps Taiwan’s most beautiful natural hot spring. Getting there requires some river tracing, but that should make getting there all the more fun. Over the years people have dammed up the hot spring to make a nice pool to soak in. Photo:
4. Caoling Historic Trail 草嶺古道
This is a historic ocean-side highway that used to connect Yilan with the rest of northern Taiwan. It features cliffs, tunnels, and breathtaking views of the ocean. Parts of it are also accessible by bike.
3. Walami Trail 哇拉米古道
This is an old Japanese road originally built so that they could better control aborigines in Eastern Taiwan. Near Hualien, it is well known in hiking circles for its historic significance as well as the untouched natural beauty. It is also accessible via mountain bike. http://tour-hualien.hl.gov.tw/en/Attraction/Album.aspx?id=145&type=4#content
2. Jiaming Lake 嘉明湖
This is the second highest lake in Taiwan, and sits above the tree line. Located in Taitung County, it is not far from Jade Mountain National Park. This hike is a favorite for Taiwan locals to come and take photos. http://mapio.net/pic/p-6560618/
1. O’Holy Ridge 聖稜線
Revered by some to be best hike in Taiwan, this hike spans some of Taiwan’s highest peaks in the Sheipa Range. Much of this hike is on a razor thin ridge with thousands of feet of drop-off on either side. I hear the views are incredible.
If you have anything you feel should be added to this list, feel free to send us a comment. We hope to visit these places soon, but then again there's always a beauty in leaving something undone.
As Foreigners living in Taiwan, we have spent years living in and travelling in Taiwan, but there are some places so remote and secret that we haven’t had the chance to go there. Below is a list of the top places we know of that we want to go to, as well as the small bit of information we have that makes us want to visit there. (BTW none of these pictures are ours; we haven’t been to any of these places.)
10. Mangrove Green tunnel 紅樹林綠色隧道
This is a river with a tunnel made of trees in Tainan. Apparently there is a boat ride that you can take for 150 NT through it. It reminds me of the Louisiana bayou, and seems out of place in busy Taiwan. This is definitely a photogenic and magical looking place. Photo cred: http://blog.xuite.net/ks.ob1/twblog/139571994-%E5%85%A8%E5%9C%8B%E5%94%AF%E4%B8%80++%E7%B4%85%E6%A8%B9%E6%9E%97++%E6%B0%B4%E4%B8%8A%E7%B6%A0%E8%89%B2%E9%9A%A7%E9%81%93
9. Da Yi Temple 大義宮
This is a temple in the Penghu island chain. Its basement has a pool with a bunch of giant sea turtles swimming in it! There is probably some religious significance that goes along with this, but we just want to see those turtles. You are justified in thinking of us as pervaders of animal cruelty. We are sure there are tons of coins in those poor turtles stomach’s that need to be surgically removed. Photo cred: http://loloto.pixnet.net/blog/post/32644579-%E3%80%90%E6%BE%8E%E6%B9%96%E3%80%91%E7%AB%B9%E7%81%A3%E5%A4%A7%E7%BE%A9%E5%AE%AE%EF%BC%8E%E8%93%AE%E8%8A%B1%E7%8F%8A%E7%91%9A%E6%B4%9E%EF%BC%8E%E7%B6%A0%E8%A0%B5%E9%BE%9C%EF%BC%8E
8. 都蘭 Dulan
This is a small village in Eastern Taiwan. Apparently there is a secret local village beach (no picture), few visitors and lots of stuff to eat. Also, there is a unique physics-defying feature there: Water Running Up Hill水往上流. It’s probably just a stupid optical illusion, but it captures our interest nonetheless. Photo cred: https://www.eastcoast-nsa.gov.tw/zh-tw/Attractions/Detail/33
7. Nangan 南竿and Beigan北竿 islands
These two isolated islands are in Matsu county. On Beigan北竿, there are preserved Fujian villages, coastal scenery, peaceful beaches, and surely there are no crowds. Photo cred: https://solomo.xinmedia.com/photo/21829-matsu
On Nangan there is a military tunnel北海坑道, connected to the ocean in which you can kayak. A very special place indeed. Photo cred: https://www.google.com.tw/search?q=7.+%E5%8D%97%E7%AB%BF&newwindow=1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjmvruBkqbUAhWFgrwKHVVEDZsQ_AUICigB&biw=1440&bih=721#imgrc=eW68Io1AIv5r8M
6. Chi’mei island 七美鄉
This outer island next to Penghu has one of the most photogenic heart-shaped structures built into its beach. Although this was originally made to catch fish, it has become one of the staples of Taiwan tourist marketing. Too bad, like all the outer islands, it is not so easy to get to. Photo Cred: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%83%E7%BE%8E%E9%84%89_(%E8%87%BA%E7%81%A3)#/media/File:Fishpot.jpg
5. 60 Stone Mountain 六十石山
The is the first picture that I have ever seen of Eastern Taiwan. It is the sole reason I took my first trip there, even though I never went to the place the photo was taken, which I regret. I will definitely go there some day. Photo cred: http://share.irving.tw/talk/join.aspx?Seq=107
4. Turtle Island 龜山島
Why is this place called turtle island? Take a wild guess. This place has some great whale watching and snorkeling. I don’t know if you are allowed to sleep overnight there, which makes me want to sleep overnight there. Photo cred: https://www.tripzilla.com/photo-guishan-island-turtle-island-taiwan/19337
3. Guanziling 關子嶺
This is a place in Tainan county. It doesn’t just have hot springs, it has MUD hot springs，and it doesn’t just have mud hot springs, it has FIRE hot springs! What other reasons do you need to want to visit this place? Photo cred: http://guanzi.emmm.tw/
2. Chaori Hotspring 朝日溫泉
This hot spring is located on Green Island, an island off the coast of Taiwan (like many of these places). These aren’t just hot springs; these are natural seawater hot springs, one of only three such natural hot springs in the world! Enough said. Photo Cred: http://tour.taitung.gov.tw/)/Travel/ScenicSpot/372/%E7%B6%A0%E5%B3%B6%E6%9C%9D%E6%97%A5%E6%BA%AB%E6%B3%89
1. Jade Mountain 玉山
Okay, this is not a secret place; it’s probably the most popular hike for tourist in Taiwan. But it is relatively hard to get to. You have to have a local friend draw out of a raffle to get to hike this thing, weather permitting. If the weather gets bad the day of the hike, too bad. Wait until next year. We have been trying to climb this thing for years with no luck, and no time in our schedules. However after writing this we have learned that Foreigners don't have to take part in the raffle, so we might do it soon. But it is Taiwan’s ultimate hike and gives one the right to brag for a lifetime. Photo:
So you might have realized that most of these places are on the outer islands in Taiwan. That is because the outer islands are naturally secretive, hard to get to, and great vacation spots. We will be sure to update and expand this list in the future. If you have any secret Taiwan spots that you want to share with the rest of us, please comment below.
-Foreigners in Taiwan
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling 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.