Taiwan has a vibrant and unique culture and heritage, so it’s no surprise that it has many cultural attractions. From museums and temples to festivals and street parades, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
This section will look at some of the best cultural attractions in Taiwan. Then, we’ll detail the different things you can see and do, from traditional festivals to modern exhibitions:
National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum is located in Wenshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan and is considered one of the world’s most important and largest museums. Consisting of over 700,000 artifacts that date back over 5000 years, this museum showcases some of the most treasured Chinese imperial artifacts dating back to pre-modern times.
Aside from the endless collection of priceless artwork, educational exhibits, and historical information on display, visitors have a chance to experience traditional Chinese culture firsthand. The museum has a bustling gift shop with exciting souvenirs, but what attracts most people are their acclaimed classic archaeological masterpieces such as bronze wares and jades.
The National Palace Museum offers public and private guided visits for guests who want an in-depth tour of some of the museum’s most important pieces or an interactive educational experience for school groups or private groups. Visitors can also enjoy classic Chinese tea experiences or explore exciting exhibitions throughout the year. It is close to numerous cafes and eateries offering excellent local cuisine, and there’s plenty to enjoy at this amazing cultural attraction in Taipei City!
Confucius Temple is located in Taipei and is one of the most famous historical sites in Taiwan. This temple is used to pay respect to Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher, teacher, and statesman who laid down the foundations for much of Chinese thinking that still influences the culture today.
A temple is an essential place for locals and a tourist attraction, with people from all walks of life gathering to visit and show their reverence for Confucius. The Confucius Temple consists of three main halls, each with a different purpose – a great hall, a munificence hall, and a sacrifice hall.
In the great hall is a golden statue of Confucius featuring him sitting on his throne surrounded by his disciples. The munificence hall holds statues of 72 philosophers and worthies who made significant contributions to their fields in history. In contrast, the sacrifice hall contains several drum towers where Buddhist prayers are performed daily for those visiting and paying homage. Additionally, distinctive roof decorations give the structure its unique identity.
Aside from its religious significance, the Confucius Temple is a crucial destination for traditional art performances, such as lantern festivals and new year celebrations showcasing folk music embedded with Taiwanese culture.
Longshan Temple is one of the must-visit attractions for those looking to gain an insight into Taiwan’s culture and history. Named after nearby Mount Longshan, this famous temple was constructed in 1738 to honor Guanyin – the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. It is a testament to Taiwan’s fascinating cultural heritage and varied religious traditions.
This renowned temple is adorned with elaborate decorations – from its grand entrance gate to its sparkling golden spires, chandeliers, and statues. The main hall houses three altars dedicated to Guan Yin, Kuan Tai (the god of War), and the Heavenly Emperor. Filled with incense smoke and the chanting of sutras, the serene atmosphere within this high-ceilinged building will leave visitors in awe. At the same time, they take in remarkable porcelain scenes depicting stories from Chinese mythology along with stunning sculptures.
Meanwhile, wandering outside can admire towering trees, rock gardens, lotus ponds surrounded by lacy pavilions, and ancient temples in this vast complex. In addition to daily prayers, Longshan Temple hosts many special events throughout the year, such as Buddha’s birthday or Ghost Month, followed by traditional ceremonies like presenting offerings and performing dances or operas against an ethereal soundtrack by monks playing musical instruments.
After experiencing all that Longshan Temple has to offer, it’s no wonder it has become one of Taiwan’s most iconic cultural attractions!
Taiwan is an island in East Asia and is best known for its many natural attractions. Taiwan is home to many incredible national parks and nature reserves with various wildlife and other natural wonders. From the lush jungles and rivers of Taroko National Park to the stunning beaches of Kenting National Park, Taiwan has many attractions sure to delight any nature lover.
Let’s explore some of Taiwan’s best natural attractions:
Taroko Gorge is an 18.8-mile-long (30.3 kilometers) canyon in Hualien, Taiwan, one of the island’s most popular natural attractions. It features tall, lush green cliffs, majestic waterfalls cascading over steep rocks, winding roads, and historic temples and shrines built into the cliffs, which are accessible by foot and via small cable cars across the river.
The gorge was formerly known as Liwu or ‘mighty rudder.’ Today it is a significant tourist attraction boasting breathtaking views and many hiking trails. These trails take visitors to remote villages, swimming spots, waterfalls, caves, and incredible geological formations taking in diverse habitats from dry alpine forests to subtropical rainforest jungle vegetation found along its shores. Taroko’s limestone layers contain sensitive fossil remains that date back hundreds of millions of years when this area was beneath a warm shallow sea; these fossils provide essential clues to evolutionary processes that shaped this region’s rich biodiversity.
Taroko gorge offers plenty of activities, from hiking and mountain biking to bungee jumping and rafting; it also offers hot springs for relaxation in between all your adventures!
There’s no shortage of attractions, including some of Taiwan’s most beautiful temples atop canyon walls alongside Changchun shrine dedicated to Japan Empress Kyanjo, who visited here during her 1995 stay in Taiwan; There’s even a suspension bridge across the gorge! In addition, Taroko National Park protects this unspoiled landscape making it an unforgettable experience no matter what your preferred activities are!
Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist attractions, located in the mountains of Nantou county in central Taiwan. Its serene lake, rolling hills, and crystal clear mountain air make it a natural wonder full of captivating landscapes and experiences.
Touring Sun Moon Lake can include attractions such as the wetlands walkway, Maentsaishan Trails for hiking or biking, Yi Tien Temple for cultural attractions, the Lalu – home to aboriginal culture and architecture, Wen Wu temple– considered one of Taiwan’s top spiritual destinations and much more.
Moreover, many activities can be enjoyed, including:
- Take a cable car around the lake to explore the magnificent views.
- Get on board a ferryboat ride that offers panoramas and transportation between two on-site locations.
- Seeing some wildlife at spots like Shueishe Visitors Center, where visitors may observe wild birds.
- Taking guided bike tours to gain insight into this majestic place’s countryside.
- Adventurers may also take afternoon raft rides along some of Sun Moon Lake’s small lakeside paths.
- Getting up close and personal with nature in one of many boat trips available amid the tranquil waters.
No matter what type of activity you select while visiting this incredible natural beauty and wonderment, you will indeed have an unforgettable experience!
Alishan National Scenic Area
Alishan National Scenic Area is a stunning nature reserve in central Taiwan. Spanning 1,316 square kilometers, the sprawling park features lush forests and two snow-capped mountain ranges. At the center of it is a dormant volcano standing tall over the breathtaking valleys, hillsides, and waterfalls.
One of the most popular attractions in Alishan is its many trails and trekkable landscapes. Visitors can take on multi-day hikes along routes tailored to all fitness levels, with each journey offering unique views and experiences along the way. In addition, there are many scenic paths for shorter hikes, such as Zhushan Trail and Chilai Mountain Forest Trail – perfect for when time is limited or if you want to take it easy.
No visit to Alishan would be complete without witnessing an awe-inspiring sunrise over one of its highest peaks. Taking an early morning train ride up to Zoungpu Station is one of the best ways to do this, as it’s situated just above sea level at more than 2,400 meters in elevation. As dawn breaks across the mountainside here, rays from the sun will cast their light upon foggy clouds drifting among fragrant fir trees – creating a spectacular 360-degree light show!
Other must-sees include soaring peaks such as Yushan (Jade Mountain) – Taiwan’s tallest mountain at 3,952 meters above sea level. Also, visit lakes like Tashan (Diamond Lake), hot springs, temples, and even sprawling tea plantations, where you can learn about this iconic Taiwanese beverage firsthand.
Taiwan is a beautiful and diverse island with plenty to do. For those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. From scenic hikes to incredible beaches, Taiwan has something for everyone.
Here, we will explore the best outdoor activities in Taiwan and why they are great attractions:
Taiwan’s exquisite natural scenery is home to some of the best hiking in Asia. With more than 3,100 kilometers of trails across the country, Taiwan offers something for everyone, from day hikes to multi-day treks. These trails bring you up close and personal with Taiwan’s impressive mountain peaks and dynamic terrain of stunning rocks, bridges, streams, and lakes, offering a unique adventure for travelers of all skill levels.
Hiking in Taiwan is an unforgettable experience, no matter what time of year or level of difficulty you choose. Do your research before setting out; this will ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are just some of the things to consider when choosing a hiking route:
- Terrain type (easy/hard)
- Distance & duration
- Altitude & elevation change
- Access to water sources
- Required equipment
You can also join guided hikes if you want company or local guides who know the area inside out and can provide useful advice on routes and safety precautions. There are plenty of hiking opportunities in Taiwan, so pick one and take off!
Cycling in Taiwan is a great way to explore the country’s natural wonders. From coastal cycling routes and mountain bike trails to leisurely rides along riverside paths, Taiwan offers plenty of opportunities for epic cycling adventures.
In some larger cities, the country has several dedicated cycling routes, trails, and designated bike lanes. Further inland, the mountains, and forests of central Taiwan provide picturesque landscapes perfect for mountain biking. Riders of all levels can find something suitable— whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just getting into the sport, there are plenty of trails to explore in Taiwan!
Many hostels offer bicycle rental services if you’re looking for an easy-paced ride around one of the islands’ cities. You can rent a bike for a day or longer, cycle through famous urban sights like the Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area in Central Taiwan, or follow along the coast on popular cycling routes such as Hehuan Mountain (合歡山) near Hualien City on the East coast of Taiwan.
Taiwan’s high-speed rail also makes it easy to explore different destinations like Alishan National Forest Park (阿里山國家公園). This beautiful park encompasses over 500 kilometers (310 miles) with countless ridges and dense forests, offering great mountain biking possibilities while enjoying unforgettable views of Taiwan’s lush countryside. So no matter your style or skill level, there are many ways to enjoy two-wheeled adventures while discovering this unique country!
Taiwan has long been known as a tourist destination attracting visitors from around the world with its beautiful scenery and exciting activities. With Taiwan’s landscape ranging from coastal plains to high mountains, the country is ideal for outdoor adventures. Among them are water sports, popular across all of Taiwan’s districts!
Water sports in Taiwan include various activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, surf rafting, and more. With crystal clear waters and many different sea creatures, scuba diving can be a fantastic experience. Inside the Taiwanese sea, waters lie varied coral reefs filled with diverse marine life waiting to be discovered. Those looking for slightly more action can try surf rafting, which combines elements of surfing and white-water rafting – a thrilling experience for any adventure enthusiast!
Snorkeling is a great way to observe aquatic life without diving underwater. Instead, it involves floating on top of the surface while wearing snorkeling gear, enabling you to observe nearby marine life at a close distance! Sailing is also great for enjoying your time in Taiwan due to its many marinas with windy conditions, perfect for sailing enthusiasts. Additionally, there’s sand-skiing on Yuchi Beach, where you get an adrenaline rush that gives you an unforgettable experience while admiring the sea views along the way!
Check out all these water sports activities available in Taiwan and pick one that fits your preference best!
Taiwan is an excellent destination for shopping with its many bustling night markets and stylish shopping districts. From traditional handicrafts, and fashion boutiques, to trendy local products, Taiwan has something for everyone. So whether you’re looking for cheap souvenirs, pick up the latest fashion items, or get a taste of traditional Taiwanese culture, there’s a shopping experience for you in Taiwan.
Shilin Night Market
Shilin Night Market is one of the most popular attractions in Taiwan. Located in the Shilin district of Taipei, this bustling nightlife destination is filled with food vendors, shops, and entertainment. Shoppers can find everything from clothes, accessories, and souvenirs to electronics and gadgets at bargain prices. It’s also a great spot to sample delicious Taiwanese dishes like bubble tea and popcorn chicken!
The market has indoor sections selling food, electronics, and clothing and outdoor areas that are busiest during the summer. It has been a vital settlement site since before World War II and remains a central hub for shopping in the city today. With its bright neon lights, vibrant atmosphere, and array of goods, it’s no wonder that Shilin Night Market attracts visitors worldwide!
Ximending Shopping District
Ximending Shopping District, located in the heart of Taipei, is a mecca for shopping and entertainment. With modern buildings and old streets side-by-side, there’s something for everyone in this ever-growing district. From independent boutiques to famous international brands, it’s easy to find what you need. There are also cinemas and live events, so there’s always something interesting to do.
About a ten-minute walk or two minutes by MRT, the Ximending shopping district is one of the most famous monuments in all of Taiwan: The Statue Of Liberty at Ximen Square. Visitors take photos of the statue and purchase souvenirs nearby. In addition to the conventional shops throughout Ximending, this area has many specialty stores that carry unique items not found anywhere else in the city.
Ximending Shopping District has plenty of delicious food options, from street stalls selling traditional snacks to high-end restaurants serving delicacies worthy of executive chefs! So whether you are looking for a conventional Taiwanese dinner or an international bite, you will find it here. Plus, Ximending transforms into an open-air party zone after dark – visitors can lose themselves in its vibrant nightlife until well past sunrise!
Raohe Night Market
Raohe Night Market is located in the northeast part of Taipei City and is one of Taiwan’s largest and most popular night markets. It has been around since 1735 and has become a major lure for visitors and locals alike. People come here to experience the unique atmosphere of the market as well as shop for everything from clothes to souvenirs.
Shopping at Raohe Night Market is like taking a trip through the past – with its narrow, colorful storefronts and bustling crowds, and the market feels timeless. The area near Raohe Street Bridge serves as the main entranceway into the market, where you can find plenty of traditional food stalls selling Taiwanese street food favorites like braised pork rice, beef noodles soup, oyster omelet, and bubble tea.
Aside from food, there are plenty of shops vending clothes – from traditional Chinese garments to T-shirts sporting local pop culture designs. Other goods you can buy here include accessories like jewelry ornaments, household decor items, and even local pottery designs. So if you’re looking for souvenir presents or want some lovely keepsakes to take home after you visit Taiwan, this is one of the best places to visit in Taipei City!
Taiwan’s food scene is a delight for any foodie, with an abundance of delicious food. From the famous bubble milk tea to the popular night markets, Taiwan has an extensive range of traditional and modern cuisine to explore. From street food to Michelin-star restaurants, the country has something to offer everyone.
This article will explore some of the best food experiences Taiwan has to offer:
Taiwanese Street Food
Taiwan is an island known for its unique fascination with street food. Every night in cities and towns across the country, vendors line up their carts, selling delicacies and treats. In some parts of Taiwan, they even set up substantial night markets as far as your eyes can see. Most of the food at these markets is incredibly cheap and tasty, so be sure to try some of your favorites while you’re there. Some Taiwanese street foods may even surprise you!
Taiwanese street foods usually fall into two categories: snacks and main dishes. Snacks include fried treats like soybean cakes (dou sha bing) or sweet potato balls (lu chuan). The main dishes include stinky tofu (chou dou fu), oyster omelets (oh ah jian), and braised pork over rice (lu rou fan). You can also find fruity jellies like ginger or taro served either warm or cold on a skewer or in a bowl.
Many delicious sauces like Hoisin, sesame oil, mustard paste, pickled vegetables, and more accompany these dishes. Taiwanese street food is often eaten with chopsticks to make it easier to pick up small dishes from the wide variety of dishes at a market stall or night market. No matter what kind of food you fancy, Taiwan’s street vendors have you covered. So next time you travel to this beautiful island country, explore its culinary delights!
Taiwan boasts a rich and diverse food culture, with creative dishes drawing on influences from Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian cuisine that are unique to the island. Traditional Taiwanese dishes incorporate unusual ingredients like sticky rice, fermented tofu (stinky tofu), pork kidneys, and duck eggs, with many of them based on seafood. Here are some traditional dishes you should try when in Taiwan!
- Liang Mian: This soup is made from a thinly-sliced fish fillet cooked in a broth from chicken stock and pork bones. Squid balls, dried radish strips, bean sprouts, and tofu puffs are added for extra flavor.
- Bubble Tea: Also known as pearl milk tea or simply boba tea, this is a Taiwanese specialty beverage between tea and juice, which may have come about due to the influx of bubble teh stalls being set up in Taiwan during the 1990s. It’s made by shaking together brewed tea of your choice with milk or another sweetened liquid (often condensed milk) and chewy tapioca pearls of different flavors.
- Xiaolongbao: These steamed dumplings are among Taiwan’s most popular snacks; they wrap meat fillings inside a thin layer of dough seasoned with ginger powder and garlic bits, plus sorghum flour paste, giving the dough its typical purple hue. When steamed xiaolongbao, it develops an almost soup-like secretion that oozes out when bitten!
- Beef Noodle Soup With Pickled Mustard Greens: Another classic Taiwanese staple is a beef noodle soup made from braised beef simmered overnight in sourced spices such as star anise and five spice mix until it’s tender enough to fall apart into shreds. The broth is boiled until the aroma develops, then served with pickled mustard greens for their sharp, salty contrast to complement the sweetness of the beef!
One of the most exciting ways to experience Taiwanese culture is to visit one of the bustling local markets. Markets provide a great opportunity to learn about the food and staple popular in Taiwan. In addition, shopping at a local market can be an eye-opening experience. It’s incomparable to what you find in even the best-stocked supermarkets in other countries.
Suburban markets offer unique experiences and sights in Taiwan, as many come with a distinctive local flair. Markets vary widely, but they are all great places for visitors to explore and sample regional specialties from all over Taiwan. Some of these regional specialties include:
- Salty shrimp rolls (xian gan ma) from Taichung
- Turnip cake (luo bo gao) from Kaohsiung
- Soup dumplings (xiao long bao) from Shanghai
- Pork knuckle noodles (zu ji mian) from Nanjing
Other popular dishes include bubble teas, inventive flavors of wood-fired pizza buns (zhuhai shao bing) made with cheese or fruits, taro balls soup, and grilled squid balls with wasabi mayonnaise dipping sauce, among other specialties.
Whatever you decide to try when you go shopping at a Taiwanese market, always remember that bargaining is considered acceptable practice – it’s part of the fun! If you’re buying food in bulk, negotiate a price before you make your purchase – it could save you money!