Taoyuan is a largely rural and industrial county in northern Taiwan, known for having Taiwan's largest airport. But Taoyuan also has hidden treasures such as one of the best historical old streets in Taiwan, amazing seafood markets, and mountain areas to explore.
Brief Historical Background of Taoyuan:
Keelung was formed as sediment under the ocean millions of years ago and were then uplifted thanks to the collision of the Eurasian and Phillipine plates. The rocks have then been slowly eroded away by wind and water, creating odd shapes that you see today. You can see similar formations at Yehliu Geopark.
What is now Keelung was once part of Basay aborigine lands.
Keelung was first settled by the Spanish in 1626, as their first settlement in what became their rule of northern Taiwan until they were defeated by the Dutch and left Taiwan in 1642. On Heping Island they built Fort San Salvador (聖薩爾瓦多城), which was destroyed and abandoned by the Dutch in 1668. The ruins of the fort were not confirmed to be found on the island until excavations in 2019.
After the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, the island was renamed Sheliao Island (社寮島). After WWII, as part of the White Terror Movement, on March 8th, 1947 KMT soldiers kidnapped and shot some of about 30 civilians on the island that were suspected enemy conspirators, known as the Sheliao Incident "社寮事件." After this, the people on the island decided to change to island's name to "Peace Island" or Heping Island in Chinese, so that the KMT would stop harassing the local people and bring peace to the island.
Keelung is now a popular daytime and weekend destination for many Taiwanese.
Basic Taoyuan Travel Tips:
When should you go to Taoyuan?
In my opinion, the best weather in Taoyuan is from March-May, and October - November, when the temperatures stay around 26 degrees Celsius and there is not as much rain.
Summers are also nice, with the most sunny weather, but also hot and rainy.
Winters can be cold (but not below freezing) and usually wet.
Overall, there is no wrong answer as to what time of year you should visit Taoyuan. You will have a great time here at any time of year.
Hotels near Taoyuan:
High end: We have stayed at and recommend the Yuanshan Grand Hotel, once the tallest building in Taiwan and still the most grand (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, or Agoda here). We have also stayed at and recommend the Grand Hyatt (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), Marriot (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), Sheraton (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), Shangri-la (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), and Regent (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here), which are all very high quality hotels in the middle of Taipei City.
We also recommend Fullon Hotel which has locations in Tamsui and Fulong near the beach (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here).
Budget Hotels: We have stayed at and recommend and also Fu Chang Hotel in Ximending, which is within walking distance of Ximending shopping district (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, or Agoda here). We have also stayed at and recommend Hai Xia Your Home which is right in front of Fulong Beach (book on Booking.com here, Tripadvisor here, Agoda here, or Hotels.com here).
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Booking.com here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation in Taiwan.
Find out where to stay in our Taiwan hotels guide or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan here.
Tours near Taoyuan:
There are many tour itineraries that you can enjoy in Taoyuan that will take you to multiple destinations and arrange transportation. For more information, you can check out Tripadvisor here, KKday here or Klook here, which are both great tour websites that can connect you with the right tour and tour guide for you.
Here are some of the post popular tours of Taipei on Tripadvisor:
Attractions in Taoyuan:
There are many attractions that you can enjoy in Taoyuani such as Daxi Old Street, Hakka Tea Culture Center, Lala Mountain, Treemore Garden, MV Resort, Shimen Reservior, Dongyanshan, Tomita Garden Farm, Simbalion Art Studio, Taoyuan Jurassic Museum, Saw Seen Edo Style Theme Park, Yangmei Eco Farm, Jinge Tourist Factory, Mountain Foot Deer Farm, Yukids Island, Youth Experience Park, Xpark Aquarium, Window on World Theme Park, Capybara Ranch, Chiao Hu Wonderland, Blu Night Aquarium Hotel, Xinwu Green Tunnel, Xinxikou Suspension Bridge, Xiaowulai, Jiaobanshan, Sanmin Bat Cave, Caota Sand Dunes, Taiwu New Village and more on on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
Activities in Taoyuan:
Ice Skating, Rock Climbing, Mountain Climbing, Cycling, High Ropes, Ziplining, Archery, Vietnamese BBQ, Batting Cages, Glamping, Van Camping, Photo Shoot, Turkish Mosaic DIY, Thai Massage, Painting, Baking, Go Karting, Imax Theater, Japanese Style Buffet, Tourist Factory Experience, peach and fruit picking, Ring-making DIY, handmade popsicle DIY, and more on on Tripadvisor here, Klook here, or KKday here.
Just to let you know, if you book using the links above, we get some commission at no cost to you, and you can help support our blog. Some of the Klook links may not work if you are using an Ad blocker.
You can click here to receive $5 USD on your first Klook purchase.
How to get there:
The only way to get to Taiwan is via airplane. Planes leave daily from Taoyuan Airport.
Taoyuan Airport: Taoyuan is Taiwan's largest airport and typically has cheaper flights and more flight times to choose from. It's about an hour's journey from Taoyuan Airport to the center of Taipei. You can travel via MRT, HSR, bus, or taxi to get to Taipei.
You can get 30% off the Taoyuan Airport VIP lounge on KKday here.
How to get around in Taoyuan:
Taoyuan's transportation system is convenient and safe. There are many options you can consider to get around in Taipei below:
By Train: Gets you to the city center of all major cities in Taiwan. It is about 800NT to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. Roughly half the price of the HSR. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
By HSR: (High-Speed Rail) – Gets you quickly from north to south. Besides Taipei and Kaohsiung, most of the stations are far from city centers. It costs about 1500NT to get from Taipei to Kaohsiung. You can book tickets to the high-speed rail (HSR) on Klook here or KKDay here.
By MRT: (Mass Rapid Transit, Metro train, subway) – Easily gets you around Taipei and Kaohsiung. You can also book an MRT travel pass on Klook here.
By Bus: Long-range buses such as Ubus and King Bus are easier to understand and cheaper than the local train. They can take you to the city center of every city throughout Taiwan and to remote tourist destinations such as sun moon lake. You can book an inter-city bus on Klook here.
By Taxi: You can take short rides for about 150 NT, or hire a Taxi for a day for around 150 USD. You can charter a car on Klook here or KKday here.
By Car: If you are looking for car rentals, you can also search Qeeq here, Klook here, or KKday here. You can also check out our car rental guide here.
By Scooter: Looking for scooter rental in Taipei? Check out KKday here to search for options. You can also check out our scooter rental guide here.
By Bicycle: Cycling is the best way to enjoy Taiwan's landscapes if you have the time and energy. Looking for bicycle rentals in Taiwan? You can use Taiwan's many Youbike bike sharing stations, or search for rentals on KKday here, and search for tours on Klook here. You can also check out our Taiwan cycling guide here.
For more information, check out our Taiwan transportation guide here.
Tourist Site Map:
Check out our map below of tourist sites in Taiwan, which is constantly updated:
Let's get this list started!
Daxi Old Street 大溪老街
Daxi Old Street is one of the largest and busiest old streets in Taiwan, known for its dried tofu delicacies, and old Taiwan feel. Here one can enjoy delicious food, beautiful scenery, and buy nostalgic Taiwan related souvenirs. This may be the biggest and best old street in Taiwan, so you should definitely stop by here on your next trip to northern Taiwan.
Shimen Dam 石門水庫
Shimen Dam and reservoir are popular destinations in Taoyuan City of Taiwan. The dam is open to the public, and around the dam are many parks and trails to enjoy, as well as great scenery of the surrounding mountains and plains.
Cihu Lake (aka Cihu Mausoleum 慈湖陵寝, or Mausoleum of Late President Chiang) in Daxi District of Taoyuan is one of the most interesting parks in Taiwan. Much of the park is full of statues of a former dictator, Chiang Kai-shek. Also, Chiang Kai-shek's former residence and his mausoleum are on the site. It is definitely a unique place worth visiting.
Chiang Ching-kuo Memorial Building 蔣經國紀念館
Nearby one can also see the memorial for Chiang Kai-shek's son Chiang Jing-kuo, who was also president of the ROC.
Lalashan (Lala Mountain), 拉拉山
Lalashan is also a great place to visit with amazing scenery, aboriginal culture, and lots of peaches. It is definitely worth a visit on your next visit to Taipei.
You can book a tour to Lala Mountain on Klook here or KKday here.
You can book a ticket to Lala Mountain Forest Recreation Area on Klook here or KKday here.
Peaches 水蜜桃 (Shuǐmì táo)
Peaches in Taiwan are grown mainly in mountain areas such as Lalashan, and are not very common and usually not cheap. However, they taste just as good as peaches back home in the US.
How do you eat peaches?
First, wash the outside off with tap water to get rid of any pesticides.
You can then eat them whole or cut them into slices.
When is peach season in Taiwan?
June to September.
What are normal peach prices?
Usually 50-100 NT per catty.
Super cheap ones are less than 50 NT per catty.
Where are peaches grown?
Mostly in high mountain areas, such as Lalashan or Wuling Farm.
Zhuwei Fishing Harbor 竹圍漁港
Zhuwei Fishing Harbor is a recreational tourist harbor in Taoyuan, Taiwan. It includes a large seafood market and a long rainbow arch bridge across the harbor. If you love fresh seafood for a good price, you definitely need to come here.
Guanyin Caota Sand Dunes 觀音草漯沙丘
The Guanyin Caota Sand dunes are Taoyuan's version of the Sahara Desert. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery and coastline.
You can book a tour to the Caota Sand Dunes on KKday here.
This blog is a work in progress. For further blogs, please check out our category tab for Taoyuan here.
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.