TAIWAN (Republic of China) is currently one of the hottest tourist destination in East Asia. Formerly known as Formosa it is located some 180 kms from mainland China to the west and with neighboring countries Japan to the Northeast and the Philippines to the South by only a couple of hundred kms more.
It’s one of the Philippines’ closest neighbor at only 1,200 kms or just an hour and 45 mins away from Manila by plane, just like driving through EDSA from end to end on a normal day. And because of that, it’s one of the country that’s most visited by Filipino tourists apart from Hong Kong and Singapore.
So what is it with Taiwan that keeps Filipinos coming back?
According to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, TAIPEI 101 remains to be one of the most popular tourist destination in the country among Filipinos and other tourists.
Taipei 101 was accomplished in 2004 at the height of 509.2 meters. At that time, it was crowned the tallest building in the world and now the 8th. Visitors usually takes the superfast elevator from the 5th floor to the observatory deck on the 87th in just 37 seconds. The best spot to enjoy the city view from atop.
Taipei 101 is not the only place that’s worth visiting in Taiwan, here are 40 destinations to look forward to on your next Taiwan vacation. But first here’s a quick look at the map of Taiwan:
1. Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
To commemorate former Taiwan president Chiang Kai-Shek, this architecture is built referring to the rooftop of Beijing Temple of Heaven and the shape of Pyramid. National theater and National Concert Hall with ancient Chinese palace style design sit on the sides. The grand front square and the changing of the guards at 9am and 5pm makes it a must-visit location.
2. Yangmingshan National Park
The park is the only natural place in Taiwan that possesses dormant volcanoes, sulfur fumaroles, and hot springs. It contains not only a number of geological phenomena but also several kinds of flowers and plants.
3. Dadaicheng Wharf
Foreign companies used to open their business here. It is then developed into a city park with bike paths along the river and further inland is the Dihua Street which projects the good old Taiwanese atmosphere.
4. Helping Island Park
The island, north to Keelung Port, has long been eroded under constant wind blow and waves. See splendid geological phenomena in Yeliu and enjoy swimming in a well-planned outdoor seawater pool.
The once popular cinema street within the area back in the 30s have gone down but thanks to the completion of the MRT system, the area is transformed into a fashion center for young people.
6. Songshan Cultural and Creative park
One of Taipei’s largest creative arts spaces, this complex sits on the grounds of a former tobacco factory established by the Japanese. After several renovation, it is finally developed into a large public park with exhibition halls, art shows, and conference spaces.
Jiufen was once a major gold mining town and is now a popular spot for tourists to experience a taste of history. Jiufen is Mandarin for “nine pieces” that is taken from a legend that whenever one family goes grocery shopping, they would buy nine portions for other eight families.
8. Yeliu GeoPark
Located at the North Coast, Yeliu is a cape part of Datun Mountain that stretches into the sea. The terrain is shaped into many unique geological phenomena. The famous Queen’s Head and Candlestick Rock can be seen here.
9. Window on China Theme Park
The first amusement park in Taiwan to demonstrate world-class landmarks in miniature. You can see a total of 130 models from Taiwan Presidential Office Building, Forbidden City, Osaka Castle, Tower of Pisa, Statue of Liberty and even the Sphinx.
10. Leofoo Village Theme Park
Leofoo is a family-friendly amusement park in Hsinchu that consists of 5 zones: Magic Water Fountain, Wild West, Arabian Kingdom, South Pacific and African Safari.
11. Nanzhuang Old Street
Nanzhuang is best known for its Osmanthus products. Osmanthus Alley serves regional delicacies such as Hakka Vege Rice Bun, Shell Ginger Dumpling, Ice Osmanthus Rice Balls, Osmanthus Plum, Hakka Leicha, Braised Dry Tofu, and famous Hakka Style Dishes. Other locations includes Nanzhuang Old Post Office, Yongchang Temple, Old Muqi and Nanzhuang Theater.
12. Old Mountain Line Bicycle Path
The Railway Mountain Line from Sanyi to Houli, built in Japanese colonial period, was eventually shut down in 1998. It is now being reutilized as a Railbike – an activity that allows riders to pedal along railroad tracks.
13. Rainbow Village
The old village of Taichung, is the canvas for veteran painter Huang Yong-fu. Started from his own residence and walls of neighborhood, Mr. Huang’s paintings with bright colors strokes and interesting characters quickly drew public’s attention.
14. Shalu Dream Street
Near Providence University, the place is deliberately designed with steel rolling door paintings and installation arts and is a hot check-in spot on IG and FB. It is voted as one of the top thriving attractions in Taichung.
15. National Taichung Theater
A public performance space designed by Japanese well-known architect Toyo Ito. The modern design is based on “Culvert” concept. With curved walls, holes and tubes, yet not a single poles or beams in the entire building.
16. Monster Village
In Xitou, the Monster Village is a forest park of interactive experience based on the Japanese manga “GeGeGe no Kitaro”
17. Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village
A grand theme park that features aboriginal culture, a gondola and other recreational activities.
18. Sun Moon lake
Sun Moon Lake is in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range. The Sun Moon Lake Ropeway cable car offers views of the mountains and water.
19. Paper Dome
Built by Japanese Architect as a temporary place to go to service when the Church collapsed during the Great Hanshin earthquake – it is literally made of papers.
20. Guangxing Paper Mill
The paper mills at Puli Town offers tours and DIY experiences which aims to preserve and promote the paper culture in the country.
21. Chung Hsing Cultural and Creative Park
This park is the former Yilan Chung Hsing Paper Factory. It now features the industrial relics of the town and some historical architectures.
22. National Center for Traditional Arts
A recreated traditional Taiwanese block, the cultural park consists of three halls, three streets and three buildings. Bringing back traditional handcraft and folk activities in actual scene demonstration, the Park turns back time to the ancient Yilan for visitors to experience the many aspects of classic art and culture.
23. Wai’ ao Beach
Located north side of Wushi Port, from the flat, clean, sandy Wai’ ao beach you can clearly see Guishan Island afar. Walk along the seashore, take a sip of coffee while listening to the waves or watching surfers and paragliders.
24. Guishan Island (Turtle Island)
10km east of Yilan, Guishan Island is an island of volcano rising from the seafloor. It got its name “Turtle Island” because it is shaped like a turtle. Wushi Port is the only access to go to the island. Between April and October, visitors might get to encounter some dolphins and whales while cruising.
25. Kavalan Whisky Distillery
Kavalan is the first Taiwanese Whiskey distillery, situated in Yuanshan, Yilan. Get to experience the process of whiskey production and taste the full-bodied Taiwanese whiskey.
26. Taroko National Park
Named after the local Truku aboriginal tribe, Taroko National park is one of Taiwan’s most beautiful sights. Created by the continuous rising of the mountains combined with the erosive power of the Liwu River, Taroko Gorge with its tall almost flat walls are a true marvel to view.
27. Hualien Cultural and Creative Industries Park
Formerly the Hualian Distillery, the park consists of 26 old factories and warehouses which were converted into spaces for exhibition, performances, dining, and local specialty select shops.
28. Farglory Ocean park
Located on the coast line, south Hualian City, the park faces ocean with mountains in the background, features dolphin and sea lion shows, mermaid-manatees, thrilling water rides, bumper boats and aerialist performances.
29. Chulu Ranch
The largest slope ranch in Taiwan. With the background of East Rift Valley, the view makes one were as if in Europe. Chulu is also well-known for its dairy products.
30. Sanxiantai (Terrace of the Three Immortals)
Sanxiantai consists of offshore isle and coral-reef coast. It is Taitung’s most famous attraction especially during the first sunlight of the New Year.
31. Qigu Salt Mountain/Taiwan Salt Museum
The 6-story high salt pile is a prominent landmark in Qigu. Taiwan Salt Museum preserves precious salt related cultural relics.
32. Guanziling Hot Spring
Guanziling was one of the four major hot springs in Taiwan during the Japanese era. It is also known as a “Black Hot Spring” or “Mud Hot Spring” because of the unique black components of silt and minerals in the ground rock formation.
33. Cengwen Reservoir
The largest reservoir in Taiwan. Visitors can take land trips or cruises to explore the rarely seen beauty inside the reservoir. You may also get a chance to feed the boars inside the reservoir.
34. Chimei Museum
A western art based museum in Taiwan with the most number of private collections. Apart from the art pieces, its architecture is also a crowd drawer. Infused with classical styles of Rome and Greece.
35. Ten-Drum Cultural Creative Group
The 22 abandoned Cheluquian Sugar Factory warehouses were taken over by ten Drum for redevelopment and features Taiwan specialty drum music.
36. Love River
One of the main river in Kaohsiung, the down-stream of love river is now a riverbank park great for a light stroll in the city. Ride the Love Boat at day time for a view of the port area. In the evening, take a seat at a riverbank coffee square, get surrounded by neon lights and the charming Kaohsiung atmosphere.
37. Kaohsiung Rose Basilica
Reconstructed in 1928, the Basilica is the largest cathedral in Taiwan. The cathedral is a blend of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles, creating an image of firmness and elevation up to the air.
38. Pier-2 Art Center
In 2005, Cultural Bureau began a series of space renovation project, turning old warehouses into a base of creativity that showcases art performance and cultural creation. The utilization has turned Pier-2 Art Center into a must-visit attraction in Kaohsiung.
39. Qijin Scenery Area
A long strip of sandbank outside the Kaohsiung Port. It is a nice location for sunset watching and summer water activities. To go to Qijin, take ferry at Gushan Ferry station. Visit the Qijin Tianhou Temple, Seashore Park, Shell Museum and of course, the beach.
40. Kenting National Park
Known for white sand beaches, coral reefs and caves. Kenting Town is the park’s main resort and is home to restaurants, street-food stalls, bars and nightlife. The Frog Rock outcrop and the jagged, 318m Dajianshan peak overlook the resort.
The Taiwan Tourism Information Center Manila office is open Mondays to Fridays from 9:30am to 6:00pm. Here is the address:
Tower 1, 8th Floor, Highstreet South Corporate Plaza, 9th Avenue, corner 26th St, BGC, Taguig, Philppines.
(063) 925 788 7039