Taiwan is the most friendly country in the world for foreigners, and one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Many have called it the best kept secret in Asia. Taiwan is not usually known as a travel destination, mainly because of PRC China that tries to downplay its existence, and the fact that the Taiwan Tourism Bureau does not do a very good job. We will try to make up for that with this blog.
When to go:
The best time to go they say is anytime!
There is always part of Taiwan that is great to visit at any given time of year.
However, most areas are most comfortable around May when it is not too hot and there are no northeasterly winds or typhoons.
The typhoon season lasts from around June to October. The tourist busy season is during summer break from June to August, during which time it can be hard to book a hostel or airplane ticket. Winter is the less crowded season, but the water will be colder, there will be constant wind (which could cancel transportation), and it will rain more often.
How to get there:
You can book cheap flights to Taiwan on Trip.com or CheapO Air. You can also search for cheap flights in Taiwan here and here.
You can also book discount tickets for domestic flights within Taiwan on KKday here.
There is a ferry boat between Kinmen and Xiamen, China. That is the only commercial way I know of to travel to Taiwan by boat.
There are many tours and activities available such as snorkeling, diving, SUPing, Surfing, Speed Boating, Glamping, River tracing, Paragliding, Kayaking, Canoeing, River Tracing, River Rafting, River Tubing, Pack Rafting, Whale Watching, ATV / 4-wheeling, Paintballing, Water Biking, Glamping, Cycling, Ziplining, Horse Riding, and many others, which you can book through Klook here or KKday here.
Looking for a hotel? We recommend booking through Agoda here, which provides the best quality selection of accommodation on the islands.
Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com are also good choices.
How to get around in Taiwan:
You can take a train ride around the entire island in about 8 hours. Book tickets via the normal train (TRA) on Klook here.
By Bus: Busses leave hourly from most major cities. You can book inter-city bus on Klook here.
You can rent a scooter on Klook or KKday. Scooter rental is about 300 NT per day. You can check out our scooter rental guide here.
You can also rent a car for about 1500 NT per day. You can rent a car on Qeeq here or Klook here. You can hire a driver or taxi, and you can charter a car here.
You can check out our car rental guide here.
You can also book Wifi and SIM cards for Taiwan on Gigago 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.
You can click here to receive $5 USD on your first Klook purchase.
Now we will get started with our list of places to visit. Please note this list is a work in progress.
Taiwan's Outer Islands 台灣的外島
Taiwan's outer islands are some of the most beautiful and scenic places in the whole country, and each of them can be considered a secret paradise. You can find the best beaches, snorkeling, and diving on these islands. You can also find rich and important historical sites here. Transportation may be difficult, but you will never regret visiting Taiwan's outer islands, and no trip to Taiwan should be complete without doing it.
Check out our full guide to Taiwan's outer islands here.
Taiwan's East Coast 台灣東海岸
Taiwan's East Coast has the most beautiful scenery in Taiwan. From the deepest marble gorge in the world to outer islands, mountains, rivers, and huge sea cliffs, there are unmissable natural wonders for you to explore. In addition, there are endless outdoor activities and water sports that you can take part in here.
Check out our full guide to Taiwan's East Coast here.
Taroko National Park 太魯閣國家公園
If you only have a few days in Taiwan and you want to go somewhere outside of Taipei, you should definitely go to Taroko National Park. On an island full of mountains, rain forests, beaches, and abounding natural beauty, Taroko might just take the top spot as the most beautiful scenic area in Taiwan.
You can check out our full guide to Taroko National Park here.
Yes, you should go to Kenting. Kenting has some of the best natural scenery in Taiwan, from beautiful white sand beaches that are warm year round to limestone mountains with hundreds of caves and waterfalls to explore. Although it may not be a world class beach resort destination yet, it should definitely be on your list on your trip to Taiwan.
See our full guide to Kenting here.
Alishan National Scenic Area is one of the most famous mountain areas in Taiwan (aka Mount Ali, or Ali Mountain). Formerly a timber harvesting area during the Japanese Era, it still has a working rail system for park visitors to ride around the mountain. The mountain villages, ancient forests, waterfalls, hiking destinations, and tea plantations have made it a popular destination for tourists. It is also a popular destination to see the sunrise over a sea of clouds. Overall, it is one of the most iconic and well known mountain destinations in Taiwan.
Check out our full guide to Alishan here, and our full guide to the Alishan Forest Railway here.
Sun Moon Lake 日月潭
Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful scenic area in Taiwan and a popular tourist destination. Besides the lakeside scenery, one can also enjoy boat rides, Taiwanese street food, gift shops, temples, a gondola, aborigine theme park, and more. It is for sure a must-see destination for anyone coming to vacation in Taiwan.
Read our full guide to Sun Moon Lake here.
Tamsui District of New Taipei is famous for it's delicious food and historical atmosphere. It is one of the most popular and well known areas in all of Taiwan. Some local delicacies here include A-gei, iron eggs, fried squid, and other seafood. Historical places near here include Fort San Domingo, Hobe Fort, Tamsui Old Street, Bali Old Street, and the Shihsanhang archaeological site. There is plenty here to see and do for almost every kind of traveler.
Check out our full guide to Tamsui here.
Wulai Waterfall is the highest waterfall in northern Taiwan. Here you can find a street with snacks and restaurants, and a gondola that leads to a second tier of the waterfall and an amusement park. In addition there are hikes, wildlife, and endless mountain scenery to explore.
Check out our guide to Wulai here.
Yangmingshan National Park 陽明山國家公園
Yangmingshan National Park is a mountainous area in Taipei and New Taipei, known for its volcanic activity, hiking trails, wildlife, waterfalls, hot springs, and sulfur vents. It is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Taipei.
Check out our full guide to Yangmingshan National Park here.
Pingxi Railway 平溪支線鐵路
The Pingxi Railway in New Taipei has some of the most popular attractions in Northern Taiwan. With a total of 7 stations (plus 2 if you count Ruifang and Houtong), there are endless places to explore, eat, hike, and enjoy Taiwan's history, culture, and natural beauty all in one place.
Check out our full blog to the Pingxi Railway here.
Taiwan's Northern Coast 台灣北海岸
Taiwan's northern coast is an amazing, beautiful area with unique geology and rocks, lots of sandy beaches, amazing mountain views and hikes, old streets, night markets, historical sites, and much more to discover. Don't not come here.
Check out our full guide to Taiwan's Northern Coast here.
Taipingshan (aka Taipingshan National Forest Recreational Area 太平山國家森林游樂區) is a magical mountain paradise in Datong Township of Yilan County in Taiwan. It has an old Japanese era logging railroad track which has mostly been abandoned, but part of it has been restored with a working train. In addition there are hot springs, Taiwan's largest alpine lake, hikes, wildlife, and endless mountain scenery to explore.
Check out our full guide to Taipingshan here.
Maolin District of Kaohsiung City is an amazing outdoor paradise and my favorite place in Taiwan. In this mountainous district of Kaohsiung, you can find waterfalls, streams, hot springs, butterflies, aboriginal culture, and great views, all by the roadside! Popular activities include swimming, hot spring bathing, river tracing, camping, and hiking.
Check out our full guide to Maolin here.
Keelung is a vibrant and interesting harbor town on the northernmost tip of Taiwan. It is full of historical treasures, delicious food, and amazing natural beauty. It should definitely be on your list on your next trip to Taipei.
Our guide to Keelung is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about Keelung on this tab here.
Taipei City 台北市
Taipei City is the capital of Taiwan and its most vibrant city. You will find amazing food, convenient public transportation, amazing historical sights, and beautiful mountain scenery here.
Our guide to Taipei is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about Taipei on this tab here.
New Taipei 新北市
New Taipei is the area surrounding Taipei City and Keelung, and includes one of Taiwan's most amazing coastlines and beautiful natural scenery including mountains, waterfalls, and hot springs. It also includes Taiwan's largest population.
Our guide to New Taipei is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about New Taipei on this tab here.
Yilan County 宜蘭縣
Yilan is a gem on Taiwan's northeast coast. It has rugged mountains, waterfalls, a flat coastal plain, a volcanic island, hot springs, and some of the best beaches in Taiwan. In addition you can find night markets, seafood markets, museums, and much more to explore here. It is definitely worth a stop on your next trip to Taiwan.
Check out our full guide to Yilan here.
Hualien is the largest county in Taiwan and is considered by many to be the most beautiful. It includes a breathtaking coastline along the Pacific Ocean, including cliffs thousands of meters high, marble gorges, fertile valleys, and a large section of Taiwan's central mountain range. Hualien is simply a must-stop location on your trip to Taiwan.
Check out our full guide to Hualien here.
Taitung has some of the most beautiful scenery in Taiwan, two amazing offshore islands, a striking coastline, deep mountains, and most of all it is bursting with unique aboriginal culture, with indigenous people making up over one-third of the population. It is an unmissable stop on your next trip to Taiwan. Here we have compiled our full guide to Taitung County.
Check out our full guide to Taitung here.
Pingtung is Taiwan's southernmost county, and includes Kenting and Xiaoliuqiu. But it also includes vast rural landscapes, and impressive mountains and waterfalls. It is definitely worth exploring.
Our guide to Pingtung is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about Keelung on this tab here.
People often don’t realize that Kaohsiung has a lot to offer to tourists. There are many amazing historical and natural sites to see, as well as amazing food, shopping, and interesting culture. Many of the places down south aren’t represented as well in English as other sites in Taipei, which is why we want to help everyone realize what a great place it is. I lived in Kaohsiung for three years and it was like living in paradise every day (I wish I still lived there).
See our full guide to Kaohsiung here.
Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital of Taiwan for over 200 years. It is also said to be the culinary capital of Taiwan, with many traditional Taiwanese snacks that originated here. Surrounded by historical sites, from the Dutch, Koxinga, and Qing Dynasty, it is a great place to enjoy Taiwan's interesting history and its delicious cuisine.
You can check out our full guide to Tainan here.
Chiayi is a mostly rural county in south-central Taiwan. Despite its relatively small population compared to other counties in Taiwan, it has some of the most beautiful scenery, delicious local food, and interesting history. Come for Alishan, and stay for everything else you find along the way.
Check out our full guide to Chiayi here.
Yunlin is a mostly rural county in central Taiwan, but is full of vibrant cultural and historic sites.
Our guide to Yunlin is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about Yunlin on this tab here.
For you expats or foreigners who have never left Taipei, Changhua is a large mostly rural county in central Taiwan. For years I myself never visited, because I didn't know what was there and had no reason to go. It turns out there are quite a few attractions here in this secret paradise.
Below I will list some of the best places in Changhua that I have visited. I will be sure to update this blog as I visit more places later.
Check out our full guide to Changua here.
Nantou lies at the heart of Taiwan and is it's only landlocked county. It is known for its rugged natural landscapes and mountains, and includes the highest mountain in East Asia. If you come to Taiwan you should definitely pass through this place and stop by at some of the sights we will mention below.
Check out our full guide to Nantou here.
Taichung is Taiwan's second most populous city, nestled in between the hills of central Taiwan. Here you can find all kinds of food options, as well as some amazing coastline, hikes, and high mountain scenery.
Our guide to Taichung is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about Taichung on this tab here.
For you expats or foreigners who have never left Taipei, Miaoli is a large rural county in central Taiwan. For years I myself never visited, because I didn't know what was there and had no reason to go. It turns out there are quite a few attractions here in this secret paradise.
Check out our full guide to Miaoli here.
Hsinchu is not only Taiwan's technological hub, but is also rich with historical sights, Hakka culture, and natural beauty. It has numerous old streets, preserved Japanese-era and Qing-era buildings, zoos, mountains, lakes, rivers, beaches, and much more to explore. It is definitely worth a stop on your next trip to Taiwan.
Check out our full guide to Hsinchu here.
Taoyuan is a populous and large county south of Taipei, home to lots of factories and rural land, but also some amazing coastline, interesting culture, delicious food, and beautiful scenery.
Our guide to Taoyuan is still under construction, but you can see our latest blogs about Taoyuan on this tab here.
You can discover endless tours and activities in Taiwan through Klook here or KKday here.
For more information about Taiwan, check out our FAQ section 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.