Nomadic Matt: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Better

Taiwan Travel Guide

Last Updated: August 23, 2023

The towering skyline of Taipei, Taiwan featuring Taipei 101

Taiwan is one of the most underrated budget destinations in Asia. It offers a beautiful — and super affordable — mix of east and west, blending the culture and cuisines of mainland China , Japan , and Hong Kong . And all with a fraction of the crowds.

I don’t think enough people visit Taiwan. I spent time here as an English teacher and have revisited the country since. There is a lot to do there: hiking the mountains, eating at night markets, drinking at tea houses, lounging on beaches, and enjoying the country’s amazing nightlife. No matter your interests, Taiwan won’t disappoint — especially if you’re a foodie. The food here is some of the best in the region!

This travel guide to Taiwan can help you plan your trip, save money, and make the most of your visit to this underrated island!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
  • How to Stay Safe
  • Best Places to Book Your Trip
  • Related Blogs on Taiwan

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Taiwan

The towering skyline of Taipei, Taiwan featuring Taipei 101 during the sunset

1. Visit Jiufen

Jiufen is one of Taiwan’s most popular tourist destinations. Founded during the Qing dynasty, Jiufen boomed as a gold mining town in the 1890s. Here, you can find all kinds of historic tea houses built into the hillside. The center of the city and its historic streets and buildings are all preserved and look as they did 100 years ago. Try the snacks on offer, visit one of the many tea houses, and do some hiking if you have time. It’s a pretty easy day trip from Taipei but you should aim to come early to beat the crowds. If your itinerary allows for it, consider spending a night here so you can experience it without the daytripper crowds.

2. Soak in the Hot Springs

Especially fun to visit in winter, the Beitou Hot Springs are just 30 minutes from downtown Taipei and you can get there on the MRT (you need to go to Xinbeitou station). There are lots of resorts, spas, and inns in the area which, with a vast array of wildlife and fauna, really feel like you’ve traveled much further afield. Visit the Hot Springs Museum, the Xinbeitou Historic Station, and Thermal Valley (a sulfurous lake nearby that has walking trails) while you’re here. There are also some really cool temples here, including the tiny wooden Puji Temple.

3. Explore Taroko National Park

Located southeast of Taipei, this national park offers visitors a chance to hike through beautiful mountainous terrain and gorges. It spans almost 250,000 acres and is one of only nine national parks in Taiwan. With loads of cliffs and waterfalls to explore, it’s a really stunning place to visit. Head to the Zhuilu Suspension Bridge for some amazing views and to the Eternal Spring Shrine or to the Changing Temple for a bit of culture and history. Some suggested walking trails include Shakadang, Changchun, Swallow Grotto, and Lushui-Heliu. Entrance to the park is free.

4. Visit Taipei 101

Formerly known as Taipei World Trade Center, this was the tallest building in the world from when it opened in 2004 until 2010 (when the Burj Khalifa took its place). Standing 508-meters (1,667-feet) tall, it towers over Taipei. There is an observation platform on the 89th floor (at 382-meters high). You can also go up to the 91st floor for an outdoor platform. If you’re needing some retail therapy (and can fit anything else in your bags), there’s a shopping mall at the bottom.

5. Explore the night markets

Taipei is home to dozens of night markets. Shulin Night Market, Raohe Night Market, Tonghua Night Market, Snake Alley, and Ningxia Night Market are all worth spending some time exploring but there are over 30 to choose from in Taipei alone. The food at these markets is the best (and cheapest) in the city. So much so that a few have even been given Michelin Bib Gourmands!

Other Things to See and Do in Taiwan

1. visit taipei.

Taipei is the epicenter of the country. Here there are sprawling food markets, a wild nightlife, spacious parks, and all kinds of interesting and quirky museums. Plus, the nearby mountains are full of easy and accessible hikes. Be sure to take a free walking tour, visit the National Palace Museum, see some temples (especially Confucius Temple and Bao-an Temple), and visit the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. I can’t sing the praises of this city highly enough (I lived here when I taught English). For even more on the city, here’s my full list of things to do in Taipei!

2. Go island hopping

The Pescadores Islands (known locally as Penghu) is an archipelago off the west coast between Taiwan and China. There are 90 islands in the region, perfect for exploring on a day trip. You can take a boat tour that visits several islands in the region, allowing you to snorkel, see sea turtles, and wander through traditional aboriginal villages and explore temples galore. Expect to pay around 1,500 TWD for a one-day multi-island tour.

3. See Tianhou Temple

Located in Taipei, this is one of the oldest temples in the city. Tianhou (also known as Mazu Temple, after the deity Mazu, goddess of the sea) was built in 1746 and is one of three major temples in Taiwan from the Qing period. It’s a beautiful Taoist temple filled with mythological creatures, incense, lucky goldfish, and people paying respect to the gods. Admission is free.

4. Hit the beach

The beaches of Kenting on the southern tip of the island are the best place to enjoy the summer weather. White Sand Bay is the most popular beach and a great place to swim, snorkel, and soak up the sun. Other beaches worth checking out are Fulong Beach, South Bay, Dawan Beach, Laomei Beach, and Little Bali Bay.

5. See the Lantern Festival

The famous Taiwan Lantern Festival is held every February/March and involves releasing hundreds of paper lanterns into the sky. There’s also a huge parade with floats, most of which relate to the year’s animal (from the Chinese zodiac). Thousands of people gather to watch and take part. To ensure the environment is protected, make sure you use a biodegradable eco-friendly lantern.

6. Hike Jade Mountain

Jade Mountain (also known as Yushan), the highest peak in Taiwan and East Asia with its peak at almost 4,000 meters above sea level, is a popular hike. If you don’t hike, there’s a special train that takes you to the peak before dawn (150 TWD). Most people do the hike over a couple of days, however, you can do it in a single day if you wake up super early and hike but that will mean over 10 hours of hiking. You’ll also need permits in advance so talk to your hotel or hostel staff as they can help you arrange those.

7. Tour Fo Guang Shan Monastery

This Zen monastery in Kaohsiung is a massive complex with eight towering pagodas that flank the monastery’s Big Buddha (which, at 36-meters tall, is the highest seated bronze Buddha in the world). Built in 1967 and spanning over 74 acres, the complex has a spacious outdoor walkway lined by manicured gardens as well as the huge pagodas. There are also over 14,000 statues of the Buddha here. Admission is free (donations are welcome) and there’s a delicious vegetarian restaurant inside with a huge buffet.

8. Visit the National Palace Museum

This museum, located in Taipei, has a collection of over 70,000 artifacts from Imperial China. Most of the collection was brought to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War (1929–1947). In addition to their permanent exhibits, there are also rotating exhibits throughout the year as well as a section for children. There are free daily tours in English as well as a detailed audio guide if you’d rather explore yourself. Admission is 350 TWD.

9. See the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Officially known as Liberty Square, this national monument was built in 1976 in honor of Chiang Kai-shek, former president of the Republic of China. He ruled mainland China from 1928 to 1949, and then in Taiwan from 1949 until his death in 1975. The memorial also houses a library and a museum that documents Chiang Kai-shek’s life and career. Tours in English are available daily but must be booked in advance. Admission is free.

10. Take a cooking class

Taiwan is a foodie’s dream and I always overindulge while I’m here. Noodle soups, incredible rice dishes, amazing buns, dumplings, and scallion pancakes are just some of the tasty local offerings. While cooking classes here are a little pricey, I think they are worth it if you really want to learn about the food. The cooking skills (and recipes) make a great souvenir to take home too. Expect to pay around 2,000 TWD for a class.

11. Go hiking

Taipei has plenty of hiking trails just outside town that are easily accessible. There are easy, moderate, and challenging trails, as well as both short and full-day hikes. Some suggested trails to check out are Xiangshan (easy, 45minutes), Bitoujiao (moderate, 2-3 hours), Jinmianshan (easy, 1.5 hours), Huang Didian (hard, 5 hours), and Pingxi Crag (moderate, 2-3 hours).

12. Visit Orchid Island

Located 64 kilometers (40 miles) off the southeastern coast, this lush, volcanic island offers hiking, swimming, diving, and amazing hot springs. There are also underground houses here, built to avoid the numerous typhoons that ravage the region. The island is home to only 5,000 people too. Visit the Lanyu Flying Fish Cultural Museum to learn about local culture. Flights from Taipei take just over an hour and cost around 4,500 TWD.

13. Hike Wuling Peak

For more hiking, head to Wuling Peak on Hehuan Mountain. Located in Central Taiwan, it stands 3,275 meters (10,744 feet) above sea level and makes for a good day trip for anyone looking to spend more time outdoors. The peak here is so high you can actually look down into a sea of clouds below. A round-trip hike takes around 2-3 hours. Be sure to bring a raincoat as well as water and sunscreen.

14. Explore the Northern Coastline

Head to the coast to see the otherworldly lunar-like landscapes at Yehliu Geopark. There are all kinds of unique rock formations here, including one that looks like Queen Elizabeth (which took over 4,000 years to form). It’s a popular tourist attraction so try to get here early to beat the crowds. Admission is 120 TWD.

15. Visit Tainan

This is Taiwan’s oldest urban area, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1624. Located in the south near Kaohsiung, Tainan was the capital of Taiwan from 1683-1887. There are all kinds of temples to visit here (don’t miss the Confucius Temple), several night markets, a historic old town, and a massive department store reminiscent of the Ginza district in Tokyo. There is also a nearby mangrove and wildlife reserve (it’s part of Taijiang National Park) just 30 minutes away by car.

16. Explore Taichung

Taichung is located in west-central Taiwan and is the second-largest city in the country. Spend some time walking the Parkway (a corridor of greenery perfect for walking and exploring), visit the Feng Chia Night Market, see the botanical garden, and explore the massive National Museum of Natural Science. If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the Taichung Folklore Park which is home to several traditional Taiwanese homes and buildings that showcase the country’s history.

Taiwan Travel Costs

The famous and massiveChiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan

Accommodation – Hostels dorms with 6-8-bed cost between 300-700 TWD per night. A private room costs anything from 1,000-3,000 TWD. Every place has free Wi-Fi and most hostels have self-catering facilities and include free breakfast.

Budget hotels start at 950 TWD for a small room with a double bed. Most rooms have AC but free breakfast is rarely included.

Airbnb is available around the country with private rooms starting at 650 TWD per night, though they average at least triple that. For an entire home or apartment, expect to pay at least 1,000 TWD (though prices average triple that). Book early to find the best deals.

Wild camping is generally prohibited but there are lots of campgrounds around the country. Expect to pay at least 300 TWD for a basic plot without electricity.

Food – Taiwanese cuisine is a mix of influences, from Chinese, Japanese (owing to the Japanese occupation), and Western traditions. Seafood is a huge staple, with squid, crab, and shellfish being especially popular. Braised pork, oyster omelets, fish balls, and stinky tofu are just some of the many dishes you can find around the country.

Food at the outdoor markets costs around 35-100 TWD depending on what you get. An order of dumplings costs around 100 TWD. Noodle soup or a basic rice dish costs around 70 TWD.

A meal at a simple sit-down restaurant serving local cuisine costs around 120 TWD.

Western food costs between 100-400 TWD. Burgers (often made with pork rather than beef) are on the lower end while pizza is on the higher end.

Fast food is pretty popular here. MosBurger (the best fast food joint in the country) costs around 165 TWD for a combo meal. Sushi, one of the most popular food options, costs 300–450 TWD for a meal. (Plates at the conveyor belt places are around 30 TWD each.

A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant costs 500 TWD. A beer or a latte/cappuccino costs around 80 TWD while a bottle of water costs 21 TWD.

For a week’s worth of groceries including staples like rice, seasonal produce, and seafood, expect to pay 2,000-2,500 TWD.

Backpacking Taiwan Suggested Budgets

On a backpacker budget of 1,050 TWD per day, you can stay in a hostel dorm, eat some street food, cook some meals, limit your drinking, do free walking tours, and take public transportation to get around.

On a mid-range budget of 2,700 TWD per day, you can stay in an Airbnb, enjoy some Western food, drink more, take the bus between cities, and do more paid activities like museum visits and cooking classes.

On a “luxury” budget of 5,600 TWD per day, you can stay in a hotel, rent a car or take the train between cities, take guided tours to the islands, go diving, eat out at any restaurant you want, and visit as many attractions as you want. This is just the ground floor for luxury though. The sky is the limit!

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages — some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in TWD.

Taiwan Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Taiwan is an affordable country so you don’t need to worry about breaking the bank here. As long as you stick to local cuisine and limit your drinking, it’s hard to spend a lot of money. Here are a few tips to keep your spending in check:

  • Skip the high-speed trains – The high-speed trains in Taiwan are super convenient but expensive. Stick to the slower local trains, which are about 50% cheaper than the HSR.
  • Eat at the food markets – The food in Taiwan is world-class and the best food is at the night markets that dot all the cities.
  • Avoid Western food – Western food is twice the price of Taiwanese food. It’s also not amazing so stick to the local cuisine to save money.
  • Take free walking tours – Taipei, Jiufen, Tainan, and Kaohsiung all have free walking tours from companies like Like It Formosa . They’re my favorite walking tour company in Taiwan. Their tours are fun, informative, and free. Just remember to tip your guide at the end.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle – The tap water here needs to be boiled before drinking so bring a bottle with a filter to ensure you have safe drinking water. LifeStraw makes a reusable bottle with a built-in filter to you can be sure you water is safe and clean.

Where to Stay in Taiwan

Taiwan has plenty of fun and affordable hostels. Here are my suggested places to stay:

  • Formosa 101 (Taipei)
  • Star Hostel (Taipei)
  • T-Life Hostel (Taichung)
  • Fuqi Hostel-Heping (Tainan)

How to Get Around Taiwan

A narrow alley lined with scooters and shops in busy Taiwan

Public transportation – All of the major cities have public transportation that is fast, safe, and reliable. Fares start at 15 TWD and go up depending on how far you travel. Taipei and Kaohsiung both have metro systems with tickets costing between 20-65 TWD. A single-day pass in Taipei costs 150 TWD, while a day pass in Kaohsiung costs 180 TWD.

Bus – The bus is the cheapest way to get around Taiwan. Intercity coach buses are available to all major cities around Taiwan, including Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. They are comfortable, modern, safe, and have air conditioning (too much, usually, so bring a sweater). The two main intercity bus companies are Ubus and Kuo-Kuang Bus. For fares and timetable information, visit

A bus from Taipei to Kaohsiung takes around five hours and costs 600-1,000 TWD while the three-hour trip from Taipei to Taichung costs as little as 90 TWD.

Train – The high-speed trains (HSR) in Taiwan are super convenient, however, they only go down the west side of the island and are very expensive. For example, a ticket from Taipei to Kaohsiung costs around 1,500 TWD.

The “local” trains are much more affordable, often 50% cheaper. The trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung on a local train costs just 845 TWD. It’s also just 515-800 TWD from Taipei to Tainan and 675-800 TWD from Taipei to Taichung via the local train.

The HSR line doesn’t pass through city centers, so you either need to take a bus or train from the HSR station, which also costs more time and money.

Flying – Domestic flights are relatively affordable, however, they are much more expensive than the bus or train. The two-hour flight from Taipei to Kaohsiung costs more than 4,000 TWD.

Flights to neighboring Hong Kong start at 3,600 TWD and take five hours (they can be as much as 6,500 TWD so it’s best if you’re flexible with your dates) while flights to Singapore take five hours and cost around 3,500 TWD.

Car Rental – Driving here is safe, however, car rentals here are expensive, usually costing at least 1,500 TWD per day. You need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to rent a vehicle here. For the best car rental prices, use Discover Cars .

When to Go to Taiwan

July and August are the hottest months in the country and the most popular time to visit. Temperatures often hit 35°C (95°F) and prices are a little higher as well. It’s a great time to visit if you want to hit the beach.

The shoulder months of May-June and September-October offer the best balance of crowds, weather, and price. It’s still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors and do some hiking without getting rained out.

Winters in Taiwan are a little rainy but still warm, with daily highs around 18–20°C (65-68°F). Prices are a bit lower and it’s the perfect time to visit the relaxing (and relatively empty) hot springs. Expect big crowds in Taipei in December-January for the Chinese New Year.

How to Stay Safe in Taiwan

Taiwan is very safe, consistently ranking well on the Global Peace Index as one of the safest destinations in the world. Crimes against tourists are super rare. Overall, you are unlikely to encounter any problems in Taiwan and I never felt unsafe in the country. There are no scams here, everyone is super nice, and crime is super rare. It’s a great place to visit. My friends who live here also never have problems.

Solo female travelers should feel safe here for all those reasons. However, the standard precautions you take anywhere apply here too (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.). There are numerous solo female travel blogs that can provide more specific tips.

Earthquakes are common in the region so make sure you’re familiar with your accommodation’s emergency exits. Between July and November, typhoons can occur so make sure you stay up to date on the latest weather — especially if you’re near the coast or out hiking.

110 is the emergency number for police while 119 is the emergency number for fire and ambulance.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Taiwan Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!

Taiwan Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on China travel and continue planning your trip:

The 23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong

The 23 Best Things to Do in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Itinerary: What to Do in 4 (or More) Days

Hong Kong Itinerary: What to Do in 4 (or More) Days

My Favorite Restaurants in Hong Kong

My Favorite Restaurants in Hong Kong

What Hitchhiking Solo as a Female in China Taught Me

What Hitchhiking Solo as a Female in China Taught Me

7 Lessons Learned from 3 Months in China

7 Lessons Learned from 3 Months in China

How to Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway

How to Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway

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  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs

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  • 20 Must Visit Attractions In...

36 Must-Visit Attractions in Taiwan

The incredible majesty of Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is just one of Taiwans many bounties

Visitors to Taiwan are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do and places of incredible natural beauty to visit on the island – with so many attractions, it’s hard to figure out what to see. Let us do the hard work for you, with our list of the most beautiful tourist spots in Taiwan.

1. taipei 101.

Taipei city at night

2. National Palace Museum

3. taroko gorge.

Park, Shrine


4. Alishan Scenic Mountain Area

Natural Feature

5. Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan

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Maokong Gondola in Taipei, Taiwan

7. Dragon and Tiger Pagodas

Buddhist Temple

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

8. Shilin Night Market

9. yangmingshan geysers, 10. longshan temple.

Longshan Temple, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan

11. Rainbow Village

12. chiang kai-shek memorial hall.

Memorial, Building, Park


13. Kenting Street

14. fo guang shan buddha museum, 15. fort zeelandia, 16. the rocks of yehliu geopark.

Gigantic rock formation, Yehliu Geopark, Taiwan

17. The Taiwan Black Bear

18. jiufen gold mines.

Historical Landmark, Museum

Jiufen, Taiwan

19. Enjoy a wild hot spring

Swimming Pool

Yushan National Park

Another of the most beautiful national parks in Taiwan , Yushan National Park is the setting for the country’s tallest mountain along with several other picturesque peaks such as Sanqingshan.

Maolin National Scenic Area

South of Kaohsiung lies the region known as Maolin National Scenic Area. This is where you’ll find Purple Butterfly Valley, the wintering home for a million Euploeini butterflies. An incredible sight to behold if you’re lucky enough to arrive at the right time of the year.

Miramar ferris wheel

Located in the Miramar Entertainment Park, the Miramar ferris wheel dominates the local skyline. And with very few tall buildings to obstruct the scenery, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

One of Taiwan’s most popular weekend trips is a trip to the archipelago of Penghu. This sandy tropical paradise has plenty of beaches scattered throughout its islands and is a must for seafood lovers.

tourist visiting taiwan

Chimei Museum

This private museum was established by the Chimei corporation in 1992 but moved to its current location in 2014 and contains a large collection of Western art, musical instruments, and weapons. Its design is heavily influenced by European architecture, making it one of a kind in Taiwan.

Fulong beach

While Taiwan is not quite a go-to surfing destination like Bali or Hawaii, there are still some great spots around the island that boast waves all year round. One such spot is Fulong beach which is also a popular destination for day-trippers from Taipei keen to spend some time on the sand. As it is on the Northeast coast, Fulong gets some great swells throughout the year but in particular from May to October, just pay attention to the weather as this also coincides with typhoon season.

Xinmending shopping district

One of the coolest neighborhoods in Taipei, Ximending is known as the place to be for the younger generation. But that doesn’t mean tourists can’t also enjoy the scores of shops selling everything from hats to anime figures. A great place to grab an alternative kind of souvenir.

Everyone loves a good sing song but it Taiwan they take it to a whole new level. There’s no need to worry about bothering others with your renditions of the latest pop tunes as in the local Karaoke Television (KTV) clubs you get a private soundproofed room that even has its own bathroom. Fancy something to eat or drink? Pick up the phone, and the wait staff will bring it right in.

Attend a cultural festival

The people of Taiwan love a good celebration, and as a result have a pretty impressive calendar of festivities throughout the year. In spring you have Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival , Baosheng Cultural Festival and the Bunun Tribe’s Ear Shooting Festival. Come summer it’s all about Taiwan International Balloon Festival , Fulong Sand Sculpting Festival, Dragon Boat Festival and Keelung mid-summer Ghost Festival . In autumn you have Sun Moon Lake Swimming Carnival , Yunlin International Puppets Arts Festival and National Yimin Festival, while winter welcomes iconic lantern festivals, Christmasland and the Lunar New Year. Read our guide to the best festivals in Taiwan and plan your trip accordingly.

tourist visiting taiwan

Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms

While Japan is often the go-to tourist spot for cherry blossoms , not many people realize that Taiwan is actually a great place to witness the yearly blossoming. The island is full of cherry blossom trees and you need only go to a local park to find yourself surrounded by these beautiful trees. But perhaps one of the best locations to take in the blossoms is Sun Moon Lake . Here there are hundreds of the trees throughout the area making for some incredible photo ops. March and April are usually the best time of year to see the trees in full bloom.

The Most Unusual Things to do in Taiwan

Go zorbing in kenting.

There are many ways to descend a hill, but one of the most unusual has to be in what can only be described as an inflatable hamster ball. Zorbing down hills in Kenting is a thing – and it’s huge fun if you don’t suffer from motion sickness.

Play with some sheep

OK, while visiting a farm may not initially seem unusual, Qing Jing Farm in Nantou is a little different. Here you can wander around the farm (which is located in stunning surroundings, by the way) and play with the sheep. They are free to roam the mountainside, and you are free to accompany them, stroke them and maybe take a selfie with them!

Eat some penis-shaped goodies

Phallic images and symbols are quite prevalent throughout the island, but it’s the penis waffle that has really captured the imagination of a nation. Head to any night market, and the chances are that someone somewhere is selling a penis waffle and more often than not there will be a queue of locals waiting to take some very NSFW photos with them. Taiwanese people certainly know how to have fun.

Buy betel nuts from a scantily-clad lady

It’s the only place in the world where you will see ladies dressed in skimpy clothing selling betel nuts on the side of the road. The betel nut girls of Taiwan are a bit of a contentious issue, as some politicians feel that they are shameful, while most of the general population consider them a harmless custom. You’ll have to head out of Taipei City to see them though, as they are not allowed to sell within the capital city’s limits.

Go paragliding in Wanli

Not something that many would expect to find just outside of Taipei but it’s just a short bus ride to Wanli where local paragliding clubs take tourists up for tandem rides around the bay. Kitted out with a GoPro, thrill seekers can record their trip to prove to the folks back home that they really did it.

Visit a haunted prison

Green Island’s Bagua Building was once home to political prisoners, and it’s said that during the White Terror period between 1949 and 1987 many of these prisoners died in most unpleasant ways. Locals say their spirits haunt the buildings and tourists jump at the opportunity to visit the abandoned buildings at night.

Have a sleepover in an aquarium

The National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium have come up with a novel way to allow visitors to enjoy the fish after the building has shut down. They allow a limited number of guests to sleep in various sections of the aquarium each night. Imagine waking up to the sight of a shark swimming overhead. Pretty magical.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

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All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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The Most Interesting and Historic Landmarks in Taiwan

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Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog

The Perfect Taiwan Itinerary And Complete Taiwan Travel Guide

By: Author Lotte

Posted on Last updated: March 5, 2024

Categories Taiwan

Did you know Taiwan has the largest number and density of high mountains in the world? While this island may be small in size, it has much to offer!

From beautiful beaches to modern skyscrapers and from colorful street art to delicious cuisine, Taiwan has it all.

This Taiwan itinerary will guide you around the highlights of this green island that used to be called ‘Ilha Formosa' (meaning ‘ beautiful island ‘ in Portuguese). A fitting name as Taiwan is absolutely gorgeous!

Taiwan itinerary

Taiwan Itinerary - empty road in Kenting

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

Itinerary for Taiwan and Taiwan travel map

In the map below you can find our Taiwan itinerary, at the end of the post you can download this map.

Taiwan itinerary map

Click here for the interactive map

The ultimate Taiwan itinerary

  • Day 1-3: Kaohsiung
  • Day 4-6: Kenting National Park
  • Day 7-9:  Tainan
  • Day 10-11:  Taichung
  • Day 12-13: Sun Moon Lake
  • Day 14-19:  Taipei (part I)
  • Day 20-23: Hualien and the Taroko Gorge
  • Day 24-29:  Taipei (part II)

The Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall in Taipei

Important things to know when planning a trip to Taiwan

Taiwan is a great destination year-round, however, Spring (March-April) and Autumn (October-November) are the most popular times to visit. From mid-May until September, monsoon season causes a lot of rain, especially on the East Coast. We visited in May and while we did experience some rain, the weather was good on most days. However, we did adjust our travel plans because of the (terrible) weather forecast, and instead of traveling the entire length of Taiwan's East Coast (in the pouring rain), we opted to spend more time in Taipei (where it was still sunny). During Summer (June until August) Taiwan is hot and humid with temperatures rising above 30 degrees Celsius. Winter is low season in Taiwan, though it usually doesn't get that cold (around 10 degrees).

The official currency in Taiwan is the  New Taiwan dollar  ( NT $) .   Here  you can find the current exchange rates, at the time of writing €1 is approximately 34NT$ and $1 approximately 30NT$.

Dry beef noodle Kaohsiung

Plan your Taiwan trip like a pro with these tools: ? Pick up an EasyCard for cashless payments and to use public transport. ? Book discounted tickets for Taiwan's high-speed rail. ? Stay connected with a  Taiwan Wifi router . ? Plan your journey with the  T aiwan Lonely Planet . ?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda . ? Book the best tours via Klook or Get Your Guide . ?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing .

Taiwan travel tips

In general traveling around Taiwan is very easy. This beautiful small country is safe and well-organized and, as I already mentioned, the people are super friendly.

Nevertheless, here are some travel tips to make your Taiwan trip even easier (and cheaper!).

Bicycles in Kaohsiung city Taiwan

Buy an EasyCard

I recommend that as soon as you arrive in Taiwan, you pick up an EasyCard .

You can use this pass all over Taiwan to pay for transport (MRT, bicycles, buses, trains, ferries, etc.). The Easy Card gives you a discount on transport fares and saves you the hassle of having to pay with coins.

You can top up your credit in 7-11 and Family Mart (you can also pay with your EasyCard in these shops and several others).

Pick up a Wifi router at the airport

During our trip to Taiwan, we used a portable Wifi router with unlimited data to stay online.

We could connect all our devices (and we have a lot ) and had excellent reception everywhere in Taiwan (except in the tunnels on the East coast). Click here to book your Wifi router .

You can pick up the router upon arrival at Taoyuan international airport or Kaohsiung airport and use it throughout your Taiwan trip.

You can simply return the device to the service counter where you picked it up, or use a 24-hour drop-off box available at the airports mentioned above if you happen to have to catch a flight outside of business hours.

Be prepared to use Google Translate a lot

While the people in Taiwan are very friendly and always willing to help, I was surprised to learn that many Taiwanese don't speak English. At all.

They will still try to help you through and Google Translate makes it a lot easier. You can download the app for free in the App Store or the Play Store .

Qingshui Cliffs Taiwan East Coast

Our Taiwan trip: facts and figures

  • I traveled with my husband; our trip started in Kaohsiung and ended in Taipei. Our Taiwan trip itinerary was  29 days in   total.
  • We traveled around Taiwan by public transport (train, bus, and MRT). In Kenting National Park and Hualien, we rented a scooter. In Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung, and Taipei we used the public bicycle rental systems, bus, and MRT to get around.
  • During our trip around Taiwan, we spent approximately   2065 NT / €63 / $69 per day as a couple. If you want to know more about the costs of our Taiwan trip , check my budget breakdown .
  • I have written detailed guides for most places we visited in Taiwan, in these guides you can find detailed information about our day-to-day activities, transportation, and detailed information about our accommodation . You can find the links to those posts in the itinerary below.

Where to find great budget accommodation in Taiwan

tourist visiting taiwan

In the table below you can find our Taiwan accommodation. I’ve also written a separate post about the places we stayed in Taiwan with more details about these places.

Note: Prices for these hotels depend on the time of year and how far in advance you book. Therefore, the prices mentioned above are a rough indication of the price per night to help you compare the different options. Use ‘click here' to see the latest prices on Agoda and Booking and book ahead to get the best deal.

* Unfortunately, the Airbnbs we stayed at in Kaohsiung and Taipei are no longer available due to Covid-19. I've done my utmost to find a suitable alternative (see table) .

How to spend a month in Taiwan

Ideally, if you have a month in Taiwan as we did, you'd make a full circle around the island. You can either start and end your trip in Taipei or in Kaohsiung, as these are the largest hubs for international flights.

As I mentioned above, unfortunately, we didn't get to finish our Taiwan loop because monsoon season started and the East Coast was soaking wet.

Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun during the additional time we spend in Taipei and I don't regret making this decision. Below you can find our day by day one month Taiwan trip.

If you have less time available to explore Taiwan, don't worry, I've got you covered. Further on in the post, I also suggest shorter options (5, 7, and 10 days, plus 2 and 3 weeks) for your Taiwan travel itinerary.

Day 1 – 3: Kaohsiung

Love River Kaohsiung Taiwan

Kaohsiung isn't a well-known city, at least I had never heard of it before traveling to Taiwan. Of course, that could also just be me being ignorant…

Anyway, Kaohsiung is the third-largest city in Taiwan and this is where we started our trip. Kaohsiung is an important harbor city but also has many interesting sights.

My recommended activities for Kaohsiung are:

  • Cycle the bicycle trail along the Love River . Worthwhile stops are the Kaohsiung 228 Peace Memorial Park, Zhongdou Wetlands Park, Botanical Garden, and the Lotus Pond.
  • Cycle around the Lotus Pond. Another great bicycle trail goes around the Lotus Pond, on the south side of the lake you can find the colorful Tiger and Dragon Pagodas.
  • Visit Qijin Island . This small island is only a 5-minute ferry ride from the mainland. Here you can explore the Cijin Coast Park, admire the view from the Cihou Lighthouse and visit the Maritime Museum.

Book your Kaohsiung accommodation: 85 Good Time Hotel

Click here to read about more things to do in Kaohsiung .

Day 4 – 6: Kenting National Park

Beach in Kenting National Park

From busy Kaohsiung, we traveled to the green Kenting National Park, in the South of Taiwan.

Fun fact: did you know there are 9 National Parks in Taiwan ?

Kenting National Park is beautiful, the beaches are pristine and the empty roads through lush green jungle make it the perfect place for a scooter road trip.

Some of the best places to visit in Kenting are:

  • Maobitou Park : a great spot to admire the beautiful ocean views and impressive rock formations.
  • Hengchun night market: try out lots of typical Taiwanese dishes and snacks and wash them down with a boba (bubble tea).
  • Kenting town: take an hour or so to explore the town, but leave plenty of time to relax on a pretty Kenting beach, with white sand and stunning blue water.

Book your Kenting accommodation: Light Blue Bed & Breakfast

Click here to read about more things to do in Kenting .

Day 7 – 9: Tainan

Colorful temple in Tainan, Taiwan

Our next destination was Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan and one with a Dutch history which made it extra interesting for us (being from the Netherlands and all).

Back in 1624, the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or United East India Company in English) built Fort Zeelandia in Tainan and used the city as their ruling and trading base.

Besides the Dutch Fort, there are many beautiful temples in Tainan. In fact, there are more Buddhist and Taoist temples in Tainan than in any other Taiwanese city! The top spots in Tainan you should visit are:

  • Koxinga’s Shrine : an impressive shrine dating from 1663. Also, take a stroll around the stylish garden in front of the complex.
  • Fort Zeelandia: this fort was built by the Dutch in the early 17th century and used as a trading outpost. It's a great place to learn about (part of) the tumultuous history of Taiwan.
  • National Museum of Taiwan History : another excellent place to learn about Taiwanese history and its many invaders throughout the decades (the Portuguese, the Dutch, the Chinese, and the Japanese).

Book your Tainan accommodation: Tie Dao Hotel

Click here to read about more things to do in Tainan .

Day 10 – 11: Taichung

Skyline Taichung

Unfortunately, it was raining during the majority of our time in Taichung. We made the most of it though and went to the movies, ate wood-fired oven pizza, and hung out in cute cafes.

However, if the weather is a bit nicer, you can easily spend three days here as there are many things to do in this interesting city! Highlights in (and around) Taichung are:

  • Rainbow Village : a short distance from Taichung city center you can find what is perhaps the most colorful village in the world. Painted by Huang Yong-Fu in a desperate attempt to preserve his home that was about to be torn down by the government, this artsy village has now become one of Taiwan’s most famous attractions!
  • Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House : the birthplace of Taiwan's famous boba, aka bubble tea. Here you can take a bubble tea-making class and learn how to create these delicious and highly addictive concoctions yourself.
  • Taichung Second Market : an authentic wet market with 100 years of history. Here you can eat local dishes created from secret family recipes handed down for generations!

Book your Taichung accommodation: Modern Inn

Click here to read about more things to do in Taichung .

Day 12 – 13: Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan on a cloudy day

Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan and a very popular place to visit. It sure is a gorgeous place, unfortunately, the rain that found us in Taichung followed us to Sun Moon Lake.

We had planned to do lots of outdoor activities, like cycling around the lake and hiking up Mt. Shuishe.

Instead, we spent most of our time in the Starbucks in Shuishe Village, running outside whenever the rain stopped for a brief moment to take pictures of the still beautiful-looking lake.

Nevertheless, there are tons of things to do at Sun Moon Lake when the weather is nice:

  • Follow (part of) the Yuetan Bike Path : a 29 kilometers bike route that goes around Sun Moon Lake. You can also opt for a shorter section of approximately 12 kilometers.
  • Ride the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway‭: from the Ropeway, you can enjoy the best views over the lake and forested mountains.
  • Visit the Wenwu Temple and Ci En Pagoda : these beautiful constructions‭ are highly worth a visit, and both can be reached with the  Round-The-Lake-Bus .

Book your Sun Moon Lake accommodation: Itathao Motel

? Discount : if you're planning a trip to Sun Moon Lake,  check out the Sun Moon Lake ropeway combo pass , which includes the ropeway, bike rental, and a boat trip over the lake.

Day 14 – 19: Taipei (part I)

Taipei skyline at dusk

I loved Taipei! I'm not usually one for big cities for a long period of time, but I really enjoyed our time in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. We spent 12 days there in total and still didn't run out of things to do.

What I loved most about Taipei is how easy it was to get away from the busy part of town and find some peace and quiet.

There is so much nature just a subway ride away from the center! For example, we hiked a mountain trail in the Maokong area and didn't come across anyone else.

I've written an extensive post about Taipei and a blog about day trips from Taipei , but to sum up, here are some of the main Taipei highlights to add to your Taipei itinerary.

Admire the view from the iconic Taipei 101

Go up to the observation deck on the 91st floor for marvelous birds-eye views of Taipei city ( purchase a fast-track ticket here ).

Explore the National Palace Museum

National Palace Museum Taipei Taiwan

This huge museum houses one of the world's largest collections of ancient Chinese artifacts and is highly worth a visit. Click here to buy your ticket online .

Hike the Elephant Mountain trail

A steep but short walk to the top of Elephant Mountain (a 183-meter high hill) offering beautiful views over Taipei and the aforementioned Taipei 101.

Visit Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

The Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is a huge and impressive building. Try to time your visit to coincide with the changing of the guards (every hour on the hour from 10 am to 4 pm).

Also visit the nearby Gate of Great Centrality and Perfect Uprightness, National Concert Hall, and the National Theater.

Eat your way around Shilin Night Market 

Shilin Night Market is one of the best night markets in Taiwan, and also one of the largest in the country. Sample some famous street food dishes such as stinky tofu, fried buns, bubble tea, and oyster omelet.

There are so many food stalls you'll inevitably find yourself coming back a second night to try out more typical Taiwanese foods and snacks.

Take a day trip to Maokong

This is a pretty little village on the outskirts of Taipei that can be reached via the Maokong gondola ( buy your online ticket here ) or bus.

There are several great hiking trails around the village, which is known for the cultivation of high-quality tea.

Book your Taipei accommodation: Comma Boutique Hotel

Click here to read about more things to do in Taipei .

Day 20 – 23: Hualien and the Taroko Gorge

Qingshui Cliffs Taiwan

The East coast was my favorite part of Taiwan and I have only seen a small section! There are steep cliffs, a stunning blue ocean, marble mountains, and a green jungle.

It's much less populated than the rest of Taiwan, only 4% of the Taiwanese live on the East Coast. We spent 3 days in Hualien and used this relaxed city as a base to explore the famous Taroko Gorge and the area south of Hualien.

Some of the best things to do around Hualien are:

  • Qinshui Cliffs : the combination of the steep cliffs and the vivid blue color of the ocean is a spectacular sight.
  • Taroko Gorge: one of the most popular places to visit in Taiwan and rightly so, it's a beautiful place. There are hiking trails, waterfalls, rope bridges, and amazing views wherever you look. Click here to book a day trip from Taipei or take a Taroko tour from Hualien city .
  • East Coast National Scenic Area : we rented a scooter and went for an adventurous drive along the coast and mountainous area south of Hualien.

Book your Hualien accommodation: Honey B Trip B&B

Click here to read about more things to do in Hualien .

Day 24-29: Taipei (part II)

View from Elephant Hill Taipei

Because of the approaching typhoon season, it was already very rainy on the East Coast. Therefore we did not continue south to Taitung ( cycling Taiwan’s east coast is a very popular option) but went back to Taipei instead.

In Taipei, we had mostly sunny days for the remainder of our trip and there was a lot more to do in and around Taipei so this was the best option for us.

But I sure would love to see more of the East coast of Taiwan!

Alternative Taiwan itineraries (5, 7, and 10 days + 2 and 3 weeks)

Taiwan itinerary 5 days.

If you just have 5 days to travel around Taiwan, don't worry! While you cannot see everything the island has to offer, you can get a taste and feel of the country.

This is how I would spend a Taiwan 5 day itinerary:

  • Day 1-2: Taipei
  • Day 3: make a day trip from Taipei (such as Beitou, Tamsui, Wulai, Maokong , or Yehliu Geopark )
  • Day 4: travel to Sun Moon Lake
  • Day 5: explore Sun Moon Lake and return to Taipei

Da'an Forest Park Taipei

Taiwan itinerary 7 days

For a 7-day Taiwan itinerary, I'd suggest the following:

  • Day 3: make a day trip from Taipei (such as Beitou, Tamsui, Wulai, Maokong or Thousand Island Lake and the Shiding tea township )
  • Day 5: explore Sun Moon Lake and travel to Taichung ( book HSR tickets with a discount here )
  • Day 6: Taichung
  • Day 7: Taichung and return to Taipei

With this Taiwan 1 week itinerary, you will get to explore the buzzing capital as well as Taiwan's second-largest city, Taichung, and one of Taiwan's absolute highlights: the beautiful Sun Moon Lake.

Sun Moon Lake Taiwan

Taiwan itinerary 10 days

This 10 day Taiwan itinerary not only includes the two major cities of Taiwan (Taipei and Taichung), but also the two most beautiful natural sights: Taroko Gorge on the East Coast and Sun Moon Lake in the middle of the Island.

  • Day 3: make a day trip from Taipei (such as Beitou, Tamsui, Wulai, or Maokong )
  • Day 4: travel to Hualien
  • Day 5: visit Taroko Gorge
  • Day 6: travel to Sun Moon Lake
  • Day 7: Sun Moon Lake
  • Day 8-9: Taichung
  • Day 10: Return to Taipei

For days 4-10 of this Taiwan 10 day itinerary, it's easiest to rent a car as this will allow you to explore Taroko Gorge independently.

It's also the easiest way to travel from the East Coast to the West coast. If you opt to travel via public transportation, the best way to travel from Hualien to Sun Moon Lake is via Taipei.

Blue ocean near Taroko Gorge and Hualien

Taiwan 2 week itinerary

If you have 2 weeks in Taiwan, I'd recommend traveling either from North to South or vice versa. Your 2 week Taiwan itinerary could look like this:

  • Day 1-3: Taipei
  • Day 4-5: Sun Moon Lake
  • Day 6-7: Taichung
  • Day 8-9: Tainan
  • Day 10-11: Kenting National Park
  • Day 12-14: Kaohsiung

This 2 week Taiwan itinerary is especially suitable for people looking to travel in one direction instead of a loop.

Evening light on Maobitou Park in Kenting Taiwan

Taiwan 3 week itinerary

If you don't mind a fast-paced itinerary, you could make a complete loop around Taiwain in three weeks. For this 3 week Taiwan itinerary, I'd suggest the following route:

  • Day 6-8: Taichung
  • Day 9-10: Tainan
  • Day 11-13: Kaohsiung
  • Day 14-15: Kenting National Park
  • Day 16-17: Taitung
  • Day 18-20: Hualien and Taroko Gorge
  • Day 21: Return to Taipei

You will be traveling a lot with this 3-week itinerary for Taiwan and I'd recommend avoiding monsoon season (which is especially bad on the East Coast).

This itinerary for 3 weeks in Taiwan will show you very different sides of Taiwan. You'll explore several interesting cities, spend enough time at the most beautiful lake in Taiwan and also visit two National Parks (Taroko and Kenting).

Gaomei Wetlands Taichung

Planning a trip to Taiwan: in conclusion

I had a great time in Taiwan and hope this post will help you plan your trip to this wonderful little island.

You can download the map and table with the transport information below. If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me a message !

This post was updated in November 2022.

Complete guide to plan the perfect Taiwan trip: itinerary (5, 7 and 10 days + 2, 3 and 4 weeks) with highlights plotted on a map so it’s easy for you to find them. Detailed information how to get from A to B in Taiwan and useful travel tips how to make the most of your trip to Taiwan. Including Kaohsiung, Kenting National Park, Tainan, Taichung, Sun Moon Lake, Taipei and Hualien (Taroko Gorge). #Taiwan #Asia


Tuesday 7th of September 2021

Hello, Lotte! Thank you for thsi great blog! Taiwan is such a fascinating place to visit, and I love the Itinerary you gave. It makes an almost two-week trip to Taiwan packed and great!

Monday 4th of October 2021

Thanks for your kind words about my Taiwan itinerary:-) It's such a great country, too bad it's been closed since Covid... Anyway, enjoy your time in Amsterdam (I saw you went on a canal boat trip on your IG).

Monday 18th of January 2021

Thanks so much for sharing such an amazing post of your experience in Taiwan! I've always wanted to visit this country, and your post helped me add even more to my Taiwan must-visit list.

Sunday 24th of January 2021

Thank you for reading my Taiwan post and great to hear it's inspired you (even more) to visit this amazing island. I really loved our time there and would love to go back to explore more (and eat more delicious food...) One day!

Sunday 3rd of January 2021

Thank you so much for all this information. I truly appreciate it! I have been Virtual traveling since C19 and once this pandemic is contained and global green light turns on, Ilike to take my boys (husband and son) to Taiwan. Stay safe and god bless. Thank you

Sunday 10th of January 2021

Hi May Twu,

Thank you for reading my post and most welcome! For now, virtual travel is what will have to do... Hopefully, things will improve in 2021 with vaccine campaigns starting up. I hope you can visit Taiwan in the near future!

Stay safe and thanks again! Lotte

Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Hi. Thanks for the very informative itinerary!

May I know which month did you went to Taiwan? Thanks.

You are welcome! We went to Taiwan in May and left at the start of June. Have a nice trip:-)

Thursday 22nd of February 2018

Thank your for post, it's very useful! Taiwan looks really amazing.

Saturday 24th of February 2018

Thank you, Taiwan is amazing indeed:-)

The Wandering Quinn Travel Blog

18 Best Places to Visit in Taiwan in 2024! Taiwan Tourist Spots!

Categories Asia , Taiwan

Taiwan may be a small island but it is full of incredible places to visit in Taiwan! Taiwan Tourist Spots include  cultural-historic cities , port cities,   modern cities , National Parks and Islands , Taiwan really has it all!

Best of all, it’s easy to travel around Taiwan by train and bus and thanks to the size of Taiwan island, it’s possible to see a lot of Taiwan in 1 week or 2 weeks . Although if you have 1 month in Taiwan to spare, I’d say to go for it as you won’t regret visiting Taiwan!

Best Places to Visit in Taiwan

Related Posts:  2 Week Taiwan Itinerary!  / 1 Week Taiwan Itinerary! / How Much I Spent in Taiwan!

Best Places to Visit in Taiwan


I’ve been to Taiwan twice. I love the country so much! I have written lots of posts to help you visit Taiwan, start with my 8 Helpful Tips For Planning a Trip to Taiwan from Start to Finish and the Best Places to Visit in Taiwan !

TAIWAN SIM CARD The best way to stay connected in Taiwan is to buy this EasyCard & Sim Card package deal in advance . You’ll need an EasyCard to get around on transport in Taiwan anyway and at the same time you can get a Taiwan Sim Card with 4G and pick them up at Taipei Taoyuan Airport when you land!


The Metro within cities in Taiwan is really great, easy to use and so safe. You’ll need an EasyCard which you top up with credit to use the metro and buses. To get around Taiwan, I loved travelling by train . As a tourist, we can’t use the direct Taiwan train booking system. Instead you can go to a train station a few days before and purchase your ticket, or book online in advance using 12GO Asia !

Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and in all honesty, although Taiwan has so much to offer as you’ll see below, spending just 2-3 days in Taipei will give you a really good insight into what Taiwan is like and if you happen to decide to spend longer in Taipei, like 5 days in Taipei, you’ll have plenty of things to do in Taipei as it’s the biggest out of the Taiwan Tourist Spots!

I think Taipei is one of the most underrated cities in Asia and one of the best places to visit in Taiwan !

Related Post:  12 Taipei Travel Tips and Things To Know about Taipei!

I love Taipei because it’s a really easy city to get around. There are plenty of Taipei attractions and things to do in Taipei to keep you busy but because it’s not a super popular city and apart from the Taipei 101, which you must visit, there are no other super iconic places which make sightseeing in Taipei pretty relaxed.

If you’re interested in what to do in Taipei you can sightsee at places like the Taipei 101 and Chiang Kai-Shek Monument Hall which is probably the second most iconic place in Taipei . But you can also visit the themed cafes of Taipei like a toilet restaurant and the Friends cafe. Hit up a night market in Taipei like Shilin Night Market and Raohe Night Market which Taiwan is very famous for, and go hiking up Elephant Mountain.

Aside from the must-see places in Taipei , other reasons I love Taipei is because the Taipei Metro (MRT) is incredibly efficient and easy to use, it’s a safe city, the people in Taipei are lovely and there’s so much accommodation making it the best welcome to Taiwan that you can have!

Recommended days to spend in Taipei: 2-5 days.

best places to visit in Taiwan, taipei city and taipei 101 in distance

Day Trips from Taipei

What’s really great about Taipei is how many places to visit near Taipei there are! Here are some of the most popular day trips from Taipei and places near Taipei that can be visited in just a few hours and are also best places to visit in Taiwan :

To learn about the Japanese colonisation to modern-day Taiwan and eat some amazing street food, visiting Juifen from Taipei is a good idea as it’s one of the biggest Taiwan tourist spots.

Explore the Northeast Coast of Taipei and stroll through Jiufen Village. Learn about Taiwan’s mining history and enjoy a scenic tour along the Northeast Coast.

If you’ve seen photos of an old street with street lanterns near Taipei, this is Shifen, definitely one of the most popular and best places to visit in Taiwan!

4. Yehliu Geopark

You’ll be mistaken for even being in Taiwan here! Here is my friends guide on h ow to get to Yehliu Geopark from Taipei !

It’s very possible to see Juifen, Shifen and Yehliu in one day on a day tour , in fact, this is the best way to do it so keep this day tour from Taipei in mind when planning your Taipei itinerary.

Join a group tour from Taipei to North Taiwan, where you’ll discover Yehliu Geopark’s rock formations, Jiufen’s mountain village, and launch sky lanterns in Pingxi.

5. Beitou Hot Springs

Closer to Taipei than you’d think, this slice of nature with actual hot springs is a good half-day trip from Taipei.

Explore the volcanic terrains of Yangmingshan National Park, visiting numerous historically and culturally important sites like the Beitou Hot Spring Museum.

6. Yangmingshan National Park

To go hiking in Taipei and for another one of the best places to visit in Taiwan , head to this National Park near Taipei!

best places to visit in Taiwan, ocean and rocks at Yehliu National Park

7. Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung is a port city in Southern Taiwan and if you don’t fly into Taipei you’ll probably fly into Kaohsiung or out of Kaohsiung as it has the second biggest airport in Taiwan. 

Kaohsiung’s tourism is increasing a lot, it used to be a city that tourists didn’t go to, but not anymore. This is now one of the  best places to visit in Taiwan!

Related Post: Best things to do in Kaohsiung & 2-3 Day Kaohsiung itinerary

For things to do in Kaohsiung, if you like temples, there are plenty of temples in Kaohsiung to visit, especially around Lotus Pond which used to have the perfect Feng Shui, plus there’s an incredibly huge and impressive Buddhist Monastery near Kaohsiung.

There are 3 brilliant night markets to visit, a unique and cool creativity park called Pier 2 , and you can catch a ferry over to Cijin Island which will make you feel like you’re on holiday!

Kaohsiung is easy to get around thanks to its MRT system and although many of the Kaohsiung attractions may seem far apart, by MRT they are all really easy to get to.

Recommended days to spend in Kaohsiung: 2-3 days.

best places to visit in Taiwan, dragon and tiger pagoda kaohsiung

To help you plan your trip around Taiwan, have a look at all of my Taiwan Blog Posts here!

8. Taichung

To be honest, Taichung is pretty hard work to visit but I have to include it in this list of best places to visit in Taiwan because the best reason to go to Taichung is for its day trips!

Related Posts: 1-3 Day Itinerary for Taichung &  How To Do a Day Trip from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake.

As a city, there are not many tourist attractions in Taichung and it’s hard to get around as everything is very spread out and there’s no metro system, not like in Taipei or Kaohsiung.

Things to do in Taichung include visiting the Rainbow Village which is really nice to visit although very small so it takes an hour max, and it takes about 30 minutes by taxi from Taichung city to the Rainbow Village or a lot longer by bus.

Taichung has a few night markets and Fengjia Night Market is the largest one in Taiwan, and that’s saying a lot so this is worth visiting.

Another thing Taichung is popular for is its fame for being the creator of Bubble Tea. Chun Shiu Tang on Siwei Street is the original Bubble Tea store in Taichung and a popular place to visit in Taichung. In all honesty, though, Chun Shiu Tang is a chain of Bubble Tea stores in Taiwan and the tea you’ll get in here will be the same and there’s nothing particularly special about the Chun Shiu Original Store in Taichung, and it gets busy!

Recommended days to spend in Taichung: 1 or 2-3 if you want to take day trips.

9. Sun Moon Lake

It’s really easy to get a bus from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake and do a day trip to Sun Moon Lake from Taichung.

At the bus stop, they sell Sun Moon Lake passes which include bus travel, a boat ticket, a ropeway ticket and they can include bike hire too. It takes 1.5-2 hours to travel from Taichung City to Sun Moon Lake and once you’re there you need about 4-5 hours to see the lake and head over to Ita Thao Village. Even though you don’t need long, based on my trip, its still one of the best places to visit in Taiwan and a big Taiwan tourist spot!

Related Post:  How To Do a Sun Moon Lake Day Trip from Taichung!

10. Dakeng Hiking Trails

From Taichung you can also get a bus to Dakeng Hiking Trails.

There are a number of hiking trails and they are numbered, note that some of them are harder than others and the Dakeng trails in Taichung can get very busy on weekends so it’s the best time to go hiking in Taichung is on a weekday if you can. The easier trails get particularly busier than the harder trails too.

best places to visit in Taiwan, Rainbow village in Taichung

11. Hualien  

Hualien is a city along the East Coast of Taiwan, the city itself doesn’t offer much in terms of Taiwan tourism but it is a great base to see more of Taiwan’s impressive East Coast from which one of the big attractions in Taiwan!

If you are confident in riding a scooter/moped, this is the best way to get out from Hualien and explore the coast. Places to visit near Hualien on Taiwan’s East Coast include Beibin Park,   Nanbin Park  and Four-Eight Highland .

In addition to this, for things to do in Hualien, I found the Hualien Night Market to be good so make sure you make time to eat there one evening.

If you don’t want to hire a scooter or a car, I found the bus system is a pretty good way of how to get around Hualien and I used the public bus to go to Taroko National Park .

Recommended days to spend in Taichung: 2-3 including Taroko National Park

best places to visit in Taiwan, Hualien night market

12. Taroko National Park

I visited Taroko National Park as a day trip from Hualien and it’s one of the best places to visit in Taiwan if you want to go hiking in Taiwan !

Related Post:  How to Do a Day Trip to Taroko National Park via Bus from Hualien!

To hike some of trails in Taroko National Park you need to get a permit which can be tricky to get, however it is possible to hike many of the trails in Taroko Park without a permit, including the famous Taroko Gorge , and there’s even a regular bus service throughout the park if walking isn’t for you or you want to walk and get the bus (which is what I did, you can read about this here).

The centre of Taiwan is full of nature and hiking in Taiwan is one of the popular things to do in Taiwan for tourists and for locals.  Taroko National Park is one of the most visited National Parks’s in Taiwan due to its ease so I think this should be on your Taiwan itinerary to show you another side of the Island to the big cities.

Tour Taroko Gorge, an Asian wonder, in a day from Taipei, guided by your personal driver. Experience striking attractions and scenic trails.

Note that Taroko, like all of Taiwan’s hiking trails and National Parks, gets very busy on weekends as lots of Taiwanese like to venture out hiking too so if you have the flexibility I’d recommend that the best time to visit Taroko National Park is during the week.

Recommended days to spend at Taroko National Park: 1 day.

best places to visit in Taiwan, river and rocks at Taroko Gorge

Tainan used to be the capital of Taiwan back in 1683–1887 but it’s still the cultural capital of Taiwan now and therefore a good place to visit in Taiwan. Although initially, the city seems pretty similar to Taichung in architecture once you reach the centre you’ll start to see the history.

Tainan has a big Dutch influence thanks to the Dutch occupying the South of Taiwan for a number of years and this can be best seen at Fort Provincia and Chihkan Tower which used to be a Dutch outpost and are popular things to do in Tainan. Shennong Street tucked between the many normal streets of Tainan is a pleasant surprise filled with little shops and restaurants and many Chinese lanterns. This may be the Taiwan you have been thinking of.

More things to do in Tainan include visiting  Anping where you can visit Fort Zeelandia and Anping Tree House for fairly unique places to see in Taiwan as no other city I’ve seen has these kinds of attractions. Finally, Tainan isn’t short of night markets and the most popular night market in Tainan is the Flower Night Market .

The only downside to Tainan, in my opinion, is its lack of metro like Taichung and the fact that Uber doesn’t currently work in Tainan so you have to use the buses (which can be tricky to work out in Taiwan I’ve found) or get a taxi by the meter so keep this in mind when planning your best places to visit in Taiwan!

Recommended days to spend in Tainan: 1-2 days.

best places to visit in Taiwan, Tainan Fort

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14. Taitung

Taitung is much less visited than other cities in Taiwan but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go and if you are not a ‘city person’, Taitung will be a good place to visit because you can hire a scooter and be in Taitung county seeing nature and more of the East Coast of Taiwan in a short amount of time.

One of the popular Taitung attractions is the aboriginal tribes and people, in Taitung you’ll be able to learn about them and taste some of the local aboriginal food, one of the big reasons it’s one of the best places to visit in Taiwan!

Recommended days to spend in Taitung: 1-2 days.

15. Kenting National Park

Kenting is in the very Southern tip of Taiwan and closest to Kaohsiung. Some blog posts recommend that you can visit Kenting National Park on a day trip from Kaohsiung but the bus takes a few hours so it will be a long day.

The best way to see Kenting is to hire a car or get the bus to Kenting from Kaohsiung and hire scooters but do be sure to look into the situation around driving licences. 

Kenting does look beautiful online with incredible white beaches and Kenting Town is full of restaurants and bars, but I heard from 2 different travellers that they didn’t enjoy it that much which is what made me decide not to go.

I don’t think Kenting is a good place for solo travellers to visit in Taiwan due to how to get around, but it does seem good for families or a group.

Recommended days to spend in Kenting National Park: 2-3 days.

16. Green Island

Taiwan is not just about the mainland, there are islands in Taiwan to visit too! Green Island Taiwan is a volcanic island located on the south-east coast of Taiwan and is accessible by boat from Taitung or by plane from Taipei or Taitung airports.

The best way to get around Green Island is by electric scooter, you can explore the island in just a few hours due to its size and explore the beaches on Green island, its local villages and its history at places like the Human Rights Memorial.

Recommended days to spend on Green Island: 2-3 days.

17. Penghu Islands

Located on the western side of Taiwan are the  Penghu Islands which are one of Taiwan’s best-kept secrets! The Penghu Islands are made up of 90 islands, although a number of these are uninhabited. Things to do in Penghu Island include surfing and windsurfing in its awesome waves. Penghu also has the world’s first submarine postbox you can dive or underwater helmet-walk to send a waterproof postcard.

Recommended days to spend in Penghu Islands: 2-3 days.

18. Keelung

Keelung is in the very North of Taiwan and is another Taiwanese port city. I docked here for a day on a cruise trip around Japan.

There are a few things to do in Keelung like visiting Temples , Chung Cheng Park , an abandoned building and it’s night market but in all honesty, there are not many tourist attractions in Keelung so if you are on a tight itinerary for Taiwan , I’d recommend leaving Keelung or going on a day trip from Taipei to Keelung as there are much better cities in Taiwan to visit.

Experience Keelung on foot with a local, savoring Taiwanese street food at the Night Market, featuring delicacies like herbal tea and curry noodles.

Recommended days to spend in Keelung: 0.5-1 day.

best places to visit in Taiwan, view of Keelung city

How to Get Around Taiwan?

Trains in taiwan.

Now you know the best places to visit in Taiwan, how easy is it to get around Taiwan?

It’s actually very easy! Taiwan is connected by train the whole way around the island . There are train lines that loop of the outer edge of the island. Trains in Taiwan are fairly inexpensive (not like Japan!), and for most train journeys in Taiwan, you can choose from the TRA which is a local train but is still very quick and comfy, or HSR which is the high-speed rail train. The high-speed trains in Taiwan are extremely fast and they do cost more than the TRA. However, due to the small size of Taiwan, all trains will take between 1-4 hours.

For tourists in Taiwan you can buy train packages like this which give you unlimited train travel in Taiwan for a certain amount of days:

3 Day Tourist Rail Pass for Taiwan’s High-Speed Trains.

5 Day Tourist Rail Pass for Taiwan’s Local and High-Speed Trains.

You can also buy train tickets online via Klook for Taiwan’s trains for example:

High-Speed Train from Taipei to Taichung.

High-Speed Train from Taipei to Tainan.

12GO Asia is another way you can book trains in Taiwan and check the running schedule. 12GO Asia is the biggest transport booking platform in Asia, so book your Taiwan train here !

Buses are another way to get around Taiwan and buses connect all of the major cities . For example, Taipei to Taichung is a popular bus route in Taiwan.

best places to visit in Taiwan, hello kitty pink train in taiwan


Here are my top Taiwan itinerary posts to help your plan your trip:

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  • How to Plan a Trip to Taiwan!


Taiwan isn’t the cheapest country but it’s not the most expensive either and can be travelled on a reasonable budget. Here’s my post on the cost of travel in Taiwan and how to travel Taiwan on a budget !

Car Hire in Taiwan

Hiring a car in Taiwan is very popular, the roads and driving in Taiwan is extremely good, not like many other Asian countries which foreigners can find hard to drive in. I met a few people who had hired a car in Taiwan so I recommend looking into this to give yourself total freedom.

When it comes to getting around Taiwan cities, as mentioned above, Taipei and Kaohsiung have the MRT metro which is easy and reliant to use. Other cities without a metro have a bus system, Uber also works in most places in Taiwan.

To get around on public transport in Taiwan you’ll need an EasyCard which can be used throughout the country.

If you are flying into Taoyuan Taipei Airport you can buy an EasyCard and Sim Card package deal at the airport to save you time and hassle!

easy card picture | how to get around taiwan

Best Time of Year to Visit Taiwan

I have visited Taiwan in March and early November which are both great times to visit Taiwan as the weather was good, not wet and not too hot.

In the summer months, Taiwan gets extremely hot and sweaty as well as bringing rainy season with it so summer in Taiwan is not a good time of year to travel to Taiwan. In winter in Taiwan, the country cools down, especially in Taipei in the North however it doesn’t get too cold.

The best months to visit Taiwan are during Spring and Autumn I say

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Friday 27th of December 2019

Dear Ellie, I just found your amazing blogs and vlogs! I will be going to Taiwan in April and I will be definitely sourcing from your precious articles. Also, you gave me lot of courage to travel solo since all my family is scared about it. I love your style of travelling. Thank you so much! I would have one question.. do you recommend any site for searching the train/ bus timetable? I will not rent a car and would like to round the island clockwise :) Have a great travels and thank you for inspiring! Simona (Prague)


Tuesday 7th of January 2020

Hello, this is so nice to hear and thank you for letting me know. Taiwan is so incredibly safe and the people are really nice so you will be fine. To be honest, I have always found it hard to find train times online, I don't think people book them online there. The best thing to do is to go to the station when you arrive and ask then and book a ticket for a few days time. It seems like everyone does it and I have never had a problem with trains or buses being fully booked in advance. :)

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Taiwan Travel Tips: 24 Essential Things To Know Before You Go

30 May 2020.

Exceptionally beautiful, well organised and unfailingly friendly, Taiwan is a wonderfully easy place to travel.

With spectacular hiking trails and fairytale forests, tastebud-tingling street eats and world-class tea, a rich culture and fascinating history, mindboggling mountains and remote natural hot springs, along with the warmest welcome I’ve ever encountered, my five weeks in Taiwan made for one of my favourite trips of 2019. 

From traveller safety and sticking to your budget to local food and avoiding the crowds, these are my top Taiwan travel tips to help you fall in love with this place just as much as I did. 

* This post includes affiliate links and any purchases made through these links will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. *

1  |  Download These Useful Apps For Your Trip

From breaking through the language barrier and deciphering streetside menus to figuring out the train network and finding the right hiking trails, these apps will make travelling in Taiwan a whole lot easier and can all be used offline.

Google Translate   |   Normally I just muddle way through any language difficulties with a few key phrases, an awkward smile and plenty of charades, but given many of us won’t be able to read the alphabet here, Google Translate is an absolute lifesaver. Make sure you download the Chinese dictionary before arriving and you’ll be able to use the instant translate option by hovering your phone over any sign or menu. It’s not always entirely accurate, but it’s better than nothing.

Google Maps Offline  |   You can download a map of the entire island of Taiwan offline which is incredibly useful for navigation and includes all train stations, bus stops, MRT routes, restaurants and attractions. Litter your map with stars to keep track of your top destinations.  

Maps.Me  |  While Google Maps is great for cities, Maps.Me is perfect for any hiking adventures. The island is a veritable maze of tiny tracks and many of them are captured on this app. It also often has the Chinese place names written in English characters which can be very useful. 

taipei streets. taiwan travel tips

2  |  You probably won’t need a visa to visit Taiwan

Unlike China which has a complicated visa application process, many nationalities are able to visit Taiwan visa free.

Citizens of Australia, Canada, the USA, the EU and the UK, among others, are able to visit for up to 90 days without a visa, while a number of other nations are eligible to visit visa-free for shorter periods of 14 to 30 days or apply for an e-visa.

Nationals from most countries in South America, Africa and Southern Asia will require a visa. See here for further information.

3  |  Taiwan Is Not Technically A Country

Officially, Taiwan is called the Republic of China and exists as a province of the People’s Republic of China (aka China), but it has many of the hallmarks of an independent nation, including a democratically elected President, military forces and a constitution.

In short, it’s a little complicated.

On the international stage, Taiwan is not widely recognised, in large part because this would severely disrupt any political relationship with China. Taiwan has been barred from having a seat at the UN and for major international events where China is also participating, it is either refused as an independent participant or allowed to participate under the name of ‘Chinese Taipei’, such as in the Olympic Games.

Today, the discussion around Taiwanese independence or unification is a polarising one with tensions escalating in recent months, though surveys show the majority of locals believe leaving things as they are is the best way forward. 

That said, to simplify things I have referred to Taiwan as a country throughout these guides.


4  |  outside of the cities, english is not widely spoken.

The language barrier was definitely something I was concerned about before arriving in Taiwan, especially as I wouldn’t be able to read the language either.

But I really needn’t have worried.

In general, English is not widely spoken, but virtually everyone I met was so wonderfully warm and welcoming that they would go out of their way to help you and if all else failed it was Google Translate to the rescue.

That said, at the very least learning a few basic phrases like ‘Nihao’ or ‘She She’ is always worthwhile .

5  |  You will feel welcomed

‘Welcome to Taiwan!’

This was a phrase I was greeted with countless times during my trip, often accompanied by open arms, a toothy grin, a handshake and the occasional selfie. 

As a blonde-haired, blue-eyed traveller, I never had any hope of blending in in these parts, but I certainly never expected to be welcomed with such genuine warmth at every step of the way.

There was that couple who walked me to the correct bus stop in Taipei when they saw I was visibly lost, the fellow hiker that spent hours chatting about her favourite trails to ensure I got to experience the best of the mountains, the passengers who jumped up without question to help me retrieve my heavy bags off the train and the many, many people who would stop me during the day just to say hello and wish me a pleasant trip. 

Perhaps sweetest of all though was on one of the rare occasions when I had hitched a ride through the mountains with a fellow traveller instead oh waiting several hours for the bus. The couple who had kindly taken us had reached their final destination at a busy viewpoint, but instead of just dropping us by the roadside to continue on our way, they ran around the car park asking every single person if they were heading in our direction. When that failed they stood on the roadside and flagged down each passing car until they found one that would take us.

Of all the things I loved about Taiwan, and there were many, the unwavering kindness in ways both big and small was what left me truly humbled and made the place an absolute joy to explore. This kind of hospitality is not something I’ll be forgetting in a hurry.

taipei streets. taiwan travel tips

6  |  It’s a reasonably affordable destination

Taiwan falls somewhere between expensive Japan and wallet-friendly South East Asia. 

For a five-week trip that mostly involved street food and hostels, along with the odd luxury like a couple of days of diving, a foot massage and a handful of hotel stays thrown in for good measure, my daily budget came out to €32.  

Prices for a hostel dorm bed generally start at around €10 but can be considerably higher in more remote areas like Green Island or Hehuanshan . Popular destinations like Alishan will also command higher rates, especially over weekends and during cherry blossom season. For private rooms, family-run homestays or small guesthouses usually present the best value rather than hotels.  

Street food and local dishes are slightly more expensive than elsewhere in Asia, but munching your way around a night market is unlikely to break the bank (and should not be missed!). 

Local long-distance transport is very reasonably priced and will get you virtually anywhere in the country, while the west coast’s High Speed Rail is a fast and efficient option for anyone not on a tight travel budget. 


7  |  avoid popular spots on weekends and holidays.

Locals and weekenders absolutely love getting out of the city to explore the countryside and with such astounding natural beauty at every turn, why wouldn’t you.

This does however mean that some of Taiwan’s most beloved spots can become exceptionally crowded on weekends and holidays which can detract somewhat what from their beauty so are best avoided during these periods if you can manage. 

Places that are easily accessible from Taipei, such as Taroko Gorge , Yangmingshan National Park , Jiufen and Shifen, generally receive the most visitors, but destinations that lie further afield and make for an excellent overnight trip ( Sun Moon Lake and Alishan , for example) can also become very busy with visitors. 

Of course, planning your trip around the day of the week isn’t always possible, but if you can, I’d suggest visiting during the week. If weekends are your only option, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance and make an early start when you arrive.

sun moon lake. taiwan travel tips

8  |  There are many ways to spell things in English

Translating complex Chinese characters phonetically into English words isn’t always straightforward and often leads to places having several different spellings.

The ‘Zh’ sound is one of the most confusing as it is widely used and can also be written using variations of ‘Sh’, ‘Ch’ or ‘J’ characters.

Just know that if it looks vaguely correct and seems to be in the right location, there’s a good chance it’s the same place.

Well, except for Taichung and Taitung, they’re completely different.

9  |  It’s a perfect destination for solo female travel

Travelling to a new destination as a solo female never fails to bring with it a host of questions.

Is it normal for women to be out alone? How conservatively do I need to dress? Is it safe to wander around at night?

Thankfully, I have never felt quite so safe in a place as I did in Taiwan. Everyone I encountered was nothing short of welcoming, extremely kind and respectful. No gawking stares. No catcalling. No creepy whispers as you walk by.

Though I always take the usual precautions when I travel, here I felt comfortable enough to loosen the reigns a little which was wonderfully refreshing and meant I could confidently explore cities alone at night, go hiking solo and even went as far as to hitchhike in the mountains rather than wait for a bus which is something I never normally do.

Taiwan is the highest-ranking nation in Asia and among the top in the world overall when it comes to gender equality and it really shows.

hehuanshan hiking taiwan. taiwan travel tips

10  |  You’ll Always Find A Bargain Online

For some of Taiwan’s most popular and iconic experiences, you’ll find some excellent deals online on anything from transport to dining out.

If it’s something you’re planning to do anyway, why wait needlessly in a queue or pay more than you need to!

Popular choices include early-bird discounts for the High Speed Rail , skip-the-line access to the Taipei 101 Observatory , pre-ordered meals at the incredibly popular Din Tai Fung , one of Taipei’s best restaurants, or discounted boba milk tea from the always busy Xing Fu Tang . 

For more great deals on transport, tours, foodie adventures and day trips, check here . 


11  |  it’s an incredible destination for hiking, just don’t forget your permit.

For avid hikers and lovers of the outdoors, Taiwan is an absolute dream destination.

From dramatic emerald hills that cascade toward the windswept sea, to dense bamboo forests that feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook, to high alpine peaks that reward you with unparalleled vistas, there’s really no better way to experience Taiwan than with a pair of dusty boots and the trail at your feet.

You’ll find a vast network of hiking trails that crisscross the island and make it incredibly easy to get off the beaten path, and while many are well-marked and free to access, there are a handful of more challenging tracks or those where numbers are restricted that do require you to have a permit.

Some are easy to secure just a few weeks in advance, whereas others involve a slightly complicated application process and need to be applied for months in advance. There are also occasionally two different permits required for a hike – a National Park Entry Permit and Mountain Entry Permit (sometimes called a Police Permit).

If you’re a keen hiker hoping to head into the mountains, I’d highly, highly recommend locking your plans in early so that you can acquire the appropriate paperwork on time and avoid being disappointed.

Popular hiking trails that will require a permit are the Zhuilu Old Trail in Taroko Gorge , Yushan, Taiwan’s highest peak, and Shei Pa National Park which is famous for its high ridge trail.

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12  |  get an easycard as soon as you arrive.

Do yourself a favour and pick up an EasyCard as soon as you arrive in Taiwan.

They’re available at the airport and convenience stores like 7-11 and Family Mart and can be used on public transport throughout the country, often giving a reduced fare.

Most importantly, it will also save you from having to rummage around for the correct change every time you need to jump on the metro or bus.

The card itself is $100 (€3) and you can top up your balance as needed. Then, simply tap on and off for every trip.

If you’re someone who likes to plan ahead, you also can order your EasyCard in advance for collection at the airport here . When I bought mine in Taipei, it was cash only so buying it in advance means you can collect your card directly from the counter rather than searching for an ATM in your post-flight sleep-deprived state.

easy card. taiwan travel tips

13  |  Public Transport Is Excellent

Public transport in Taiwan is efficient and widespread making travelling across the country a breeze. 

In Taipei, the metro or MRT is frequent, cheap and easy to use, while the vast web of local trains and buses make a number of day trip destinations in northern Taiwan easily accessible. Within other major cities, buses will be your bread and butter of getting around.

For travel further afield, local trains ( TRA ) are cheaper, slower and more frequent than the high-speed trains and cover a much wider network in Taiwan, travelling up and down both sides of the country and often rewarding you with incredible scenery along the way, particularly on the mountainous east coast. Check fares and timetables here .

Travelling down the west coast only, the Taiwan High Speed Rail ( THSR ) runs between Taipei and Kaohsiung’s Zuoying Station in just 2 hours. Though they’re quite a bit more expensive than the slower local trains, they’re incredibly efficient for anyone short on time and offer generous discounts for multi-day tickets and early bird purchases (sometimes up to 35%). Check the timetable here or get a discount for advance bookings here .

Taiwan’s mountainous heart is the only place that is somewhat challenging to reach. For popular destinations, there are generally dedicated ‘tourist shuttles’ or long-distance buses though services are often infrequent and reliable timetables hard to find. Your guesthouse should be able to point you in the right direction.


14  |  take care when renting a scooter.

Travelling by scooter is a way of life for locals and a rite of passage for travellers in virtually all of Asia. But while many countries may turn a blind eye to unlicensed and inexperienced foreigners, Taiwan generally takes a stricter stance.

Officially, you are required to have either a motorbike license or an International Drivers License that covers motorbikes. A regular driver’s license isn’t good enough.

That said, there are exceptions and not every operator is stringent in following regulations, but after a series of tragic accidents involving tourists over the years, enforcing of the rules is becoming more common.

The good news is that you’ll virtually always find electric scooters available for rent alongside the usual petrol variety, and while these tend to be slightly more expensive and slower, they can be hired without an official license as well as being better for the environment.

taipei streets. taiwan travel tips. taiwan pictures.

15  |  Prices increase during weekends and flower season

Another darn good reason to avoid travel on the weekends is that as Friday and Saturday roll around, it’s not uncommon for accommodation prices to double, capitalising on the many of weekend tourists heading out to explore more of this beautiful island.

Destinations that become wrapped up in cherry blossom fever can also command far higher prices than usual during peak times.

If you’re on a tight budget, plan ahead and try to avoid key tourist areas during these times, or find accommodation that won’t hit you with a price hike.


16  |  there’s a great hostel scene.

As a budget traveller, you’ll have no issue finding affordable, high-quality hostels in every major city in Taiwan.

From modest and homely hideaways to trendy well-designed spaces, most hostels have embraced the capsule-style of bed with a light, power socket and shelf, and a roll down blind or curtain to offer an extra level of privacy.

Many hostels are also surprisingly roomy, with some even providing double dorm beds as the norm, making it far too easy to escape into your own little bubble at the end of a busy day, separate from the noisy packers and late-night light-turner-on-erers.

Search for your Taiwan accommodation here.

taiwan accommodation. taiwan travel tips

17  |  Don’t Miss The Night Markets

Tightly packed bodies jostle between food stalls, smoke billows into narrow laneways, large woks simmer away with century-old recipes and intoxicating aromas fill the air.

You can’t possibly visit Taiwan and not spend at least an evening or two absorbed in the clamour of its night markets. Aside from being a feast for the senses, they’re one of the best places to sample Taiwan’s street food and local delicacies. 

Taiwanese cuisine is very much a melting pot derived from various ethnicities with Japanese and Chinese flavours being prominent, alongside the influence of indigenous and Hakka communities. These were some of my favourite dishes.  

Beef Noodle Soup   |    Taiwan’s national dish, this hearty concoction of braised beef, noodles and a flavour-packed spiced broth is one not to miss.  

Dumplings   |   Steam ’em, fry ’em, stick ’em in a soup, there are a hundred different ways to enjoy the humble dumpling, all of them delicious and sure to put you into a blissful food coma many times during your trip. The standard filling contains pork, but there are numerous restaurants that offer veggie options as well.   

Scallion Pancakes   |    This was the very first thing I ate in Taiwan and I’m still craving one all these months later! A flaky, crispy roti-style flatbread woven with finely chopped green onions, this simple street snack can be found across Taiwan and is so damn good. You can choose your own fillings like cheese, smoked chicken or peppered beef, but my go-to was fried egg, Thai basil and spicy sauce. Yum!

Peanut Ice Cream Roll   |   A wafer-thin crepe filled with a generous sprinkle of shaved peanut brittle, vibrant fruity ice cream and garnish of fresh coriander (cilantro). The lot is bundled into a small burrito and is a textural sensation. Some stalls try to skip over the coriander bit, but in my humble opinion, this is where the real genius lies.        

Stinky Tofu   |    Ok, so this wasn’t exactly one of my favourites, but you kinda can’t leave Taiwan without giving it a go. While it’s an acquired taste and the stench can be… overwhelming – it’s certainly a dish that you’ll smell long before you see – it’s also one of Taiwan’s most beloved delicacies. The tofu is prepared in a brine of fermented milk, vegetables, meat and aromatics where it may sit for months before being served.

Taiwanese Hamburgers  |    A fluffy steamed bun stuffed with sticky pork belly and some greenery, these tasty handfuls will leaving you wanting just another bite. Though this is the typical version, many shops also offer veggie options with either mushroom, tofu or egg as the main filling.      

There are dozens of night markets scattered around Taiwan, so be sure to arrive with an empty belly, wander slowly and munch your way through all the things! 

taipei night markets. taiwan travel tips

18  |  Bring a set of reusable cutlery

Between the chaotic night markets, ancient hole-in-the-wall eateries and fantastic sit-down restaurants, dining out in Taiwan is an experience in itself.

Unfortunately, many places prioritise convenience over all else and will often only provide you with disposable single-use plastic cutlery, even if you’re eating in.

Instead of churning your way through what will literally be hundreds of unnecessary and completely avoidable pieces of plastic by the end of your trip, pack a set of reusable utensils in your day bag ready to be used at any occasion.

I carryied around a pair of chopsticks, a metal fork and a tablespoon in my handbag and used them on a daily basis. If you’re a lover of takeaway drinks, adding a thick reusable straw and/or a collapsible cup is also a good idea.


19  |  boba tea is life.

I had my first ever boba milk tea on my second day in Taipei and it was love at first sip.

So, naturally, I dove straight into making up for lost time. 

Though now popular across the world, this delectably creamy and deliciously refreshing drink originated in Taiwan and you can’t walk a block here without passing several tea shops. Some specialise in green tea and fruit infusions, some focus on flavoured tapioca pearls and others strictly serve up the milky varieties. 

They’re all well-loved, they’re all found everywhere and the only thing for it is to try them all for yourself. 

My favourite was the signature brown sugar boba milk tea from perennially popular Xing Fu Tang. The mix of luxuriously creamy tea and not-too-sweet sticky caramel tapioca balls had me craving one every single day.

taipei night markets. taiwan travel tips

20  |  It’s not the best for vegetarians, but you can make it work

Full disclosure, I’m not a vegetarian, but I do try to limit my meat consumption to just a couple of times a week. In Taiwan, however, that wasn’t always easy with night markets being particularly challenging.

All major cities have dedicated vegetarian restaurants, but in small towns and mountains villages you may need to plan ahead.

In case your body is crying out for a vitamin kick and a healthy dose of fresh produce which the cuisine decidedly lacks, be sure to stock up with everything you’ll need for hiking and road snacks in the city as supplies in the countryside are often limited.

21  |  You’ll probably end up eating at a convenience store (and that’s totally fine!)

With so many delicious street eats to choose from, it may sound a little nutty to dine in a 7-11, but chances are it will happen at least once during your trip.

I had read a lot about the ubiquitous convenience stores before arriving in Taiwan and had quietly scoffed thinking I would never actually eat there while I had one of the world’s best foodie destinations on my doorstep.

Turns out, these shops are actually pretty bloody, well, convenient, and I, like many, many other travellers ended up eating here on more than one occasion.

Of course, sampling local delicacies from unassuming hole-in-the-wall eateries is an experience you absolutely shouldn’t miss in Taiwan, but when you’re running late for the train, are craving a familiar dish (hello green curry!), or just need a cheap eat in an expensive tourist town, these stores can be a lifesaver.

They’re always an affordable and reliable choice and I also heard from several vegetarian travellers that in smaller towns where veggie restaurants were limited, these were often the best option.

sun moon lake. taiwan travel tips

22  |  Typhoon Season is June to October

Typhoons generally hit Taiwan between June and October when a deluge of rain is dumped across the country accompanied by strong winds.

Surprisingly, this is peak tourist season and one of the most popular times for travel across the region, but expect to be met by gloomy skies, frequent rainy days and hot, humid conditions.


23  |  when to go petal peeping.

Cherry blossom fever has become a global phenomenon in recent years and Taiwan is no exception. But along with these delicate white florals, the country also plays host to a number of other blooms that attract hoards of visitors to witness the landscapes erupting in a riot of colour.

With flower festivals in full swing, these tend to be the busiest time of year for certain regions so be sure to plan accordingly.

Cherry Blossoms  |   Springtime means cherry blossoms! In Yangmingshan National Park , blooms can arrive as early as February usually peaking by early March, while the higher altitude of Alishan means a later season between March and April. Other popular spots for cherry blossoms include Wuling Farm in the heart of the mountains and around Tianyuan Temple in New Taipei.

Rhododendrons  |  Next up on the flower enthusiast calendar is the rhododendron season where thousands of tiny florals unfurl across Taiwan’s landscapes and high mountains peaks. Taroko National Park and Hehuanshan are popular places to see the blooms with the peak viewing period lasting from April to June.

Daylilies  |   Arriving in late summer, golden daylilies blanket the lush plateau of Liushishishan or Sixty Stone Mountain that rises from the vast checkered plains of the East Rift Valley . Visit between August and September for the best of the blooms.

east rift valley. taiwan travel tips

24  |  The Best Time To Visit Taiwan

Between the monsoonal rains, cherry blossom fever and oppressive summer mugginess, it can be hard to determine when the best time to visit Taiwan actually is.

While summer is when tourism booms across the country, the searing heat, crowds and high chance of storms mean this isn’t an ideal time to plan your trip.

Anytime between late autumn and spring are far more pleasant when you’ll be welcomed with comfortable temperatures, fewer visitors and low season prices for accommodation and tours. The only downside is that some tour operators or transport routes to popular summer destinations may not be running at full capacity.

Avid hikers should prepare for chilly conditions in the mountains outside of summer, while flower enthusiasts should consider visiting in spring when much of Taiwan bursts into colour.

Taiwan Travel Tips: 24 Essential Things To Know Before You Go

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Spiritual Travels

The Best Time to Visit Taiwan: A Month-by-Month Guide

Dear reader: This article contains links to products and services that I may be compensated for, at no extra cost to you.

So you’ve got your sights set on Taiwan, and now you’re wondering what the best time to go to Taiwan is. Well, I’ve just spent the last several weeks typing up guides to visiting Taiwan in every season and month of the year, and all of that information is summarized right here on this page.

My recommendations come from 10+ years of living in , traveling around, and writing about the beautiful island nation that I consider my second home.

The short answer is that there is no single best time to travel to Taiwan. It’s hard to even narrow it down to a season or a few months, because each of them will appeal to people with different interests and different preferences when it comes to the weather. Every month of the year also comes with a variety of festivals and events to choose from .

If you’re just heading to the capital, I’ve also got this Taipei-specific post on when to visit Taipei City .

Essential resources for visiting Taiwan – Read my recommended Taiwan itinerary , guide to planning a Taiwan trip , top 55 things to do in Taiwan , and how to visit Taiwan with kids . – Join my Taiwan Travel Planning group on Facebook. – See my guides to Sun Moon Lake , Alishan Scenic Area , Taichung City , Yilan County , Jiufen Old Street , Hualien County , and Taroko Gorge . –  Sign up for Klook to enjoy sweet deals and discounts while traveling around Taiwan, and consider getting the Taipei Unlimited Fun Pass and Sun Moon Lake Pass .

Table of Contents

When Is High Season in Taiwan?

There is no distinct high, low, or shoulder season in Taiwan. Visitor numbers bounce up and down by the month, and you must consider when the locals are traveling around the most (Lunar New Year, weekends, summer) because everything can get really crowded at those times.

Summer gets more rain by volume, thanks in part to typhoons, while winter often brings chilly drizzle and spring has a mini rain season of its own. Summers can be brutally hot, but some love (or are just used to) that kind of heat. Traditional festivals and cultural events are spread throughout the year and can fall in different months each year because they are tied to the lunar calendar.

For all these reasons, it’s hard to really declare a best time to visit Taiwan, and I think that websites that do this are oversimplifying things. Therefore, I’m going to walk you through what each season and month of the year is like in Taiwan so that you can decide for yourself. At the end, I’ll reveal my personal favorite! Hopefully this helps you decide when to visit Taiwan.

When Is the Best Season to Visit Taiwan?

When deciding which season to visit Taiwan, start by considering what you want to do during your trip. Winter is best for hot springs and flower viewing, spring and autumn are great for hiking or cycling, while summer is best for beaches and water-based activities.

Rain can fall in virtually any season in Taiwan, so its always good to have some possible indoor activities lined up, such as taking one of the great cooking courses in Taiwan .

See my guide to the best Taiwan apps for my recommended weather app in Taiwan.

Heavy clouds in Taipei in winter; it's important to consider the weather when deciding when to visit Taiwan

Taiwan in Winter (December to March)

In Taipei City and the subtropical north of Taiwan, winters are chilly and damp. Hazy, overcast skies (from both clouds and air pollution) and drizzling rain are common. Taipei’s night markets are open every day of the year, helping you to keep warm with steamy foods in winter.

In the tropical south of Taiwan, winter is much drier, and temperatures are a few degrees warmer. In the far south, the sea is warm enough to swim in year round.

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy Taiwan’s vast array of thermal hot springs , such as Beitou , Wulai , Jiaoxi , and Wenshan . If you’re prepared to do some serious hiking or driving up into the high mountains, you can even see snow in Taiwan . You can still visit high mountain resorts like Alishan and Cingjing Farm in winter, but prepare for near freezing temperatures. You’ll want to avoid the offshore islands, which can be cold, windy, and many services are closed.

I put December as both a winter and autumn month, because the month is unpredictable and can show traits of both seasons.

The Lunar New Year comes in winter (late January to late February) but can make travel a little tough. The Lantern Festival , on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, is an event to remember. See my guide to surviving Chinese New Year in Taipei and other things to know about Lunar New Year in Taiwan .

Winter also offers the chance to see cherry blossoms in Taiwan .See here for my detailed guide to going to Taiwan in winter .

Taiwan in Spring (April to June)

From April until June, the weather across Taiwan seems to get hotter by the day, but remains pleasantly bearable compared to what’s to come in summer. A mini rain season called the Plum Rain or East Asian Monsoon brings a lot of rain and gray skies for most of May and sometimes early June. If you must visit at this time, see my guide to surviving rainy days in Taipei .

The warm weather makes spring a great time for visiting just about any corner of Taiwan, including the offshore islands, where the weather is fine but summer crowds have yet to arrive. It’s also a good time to visit the country’s many outdoor theme parks .

This is one of the least busy seasons of the year, so at least it won’t be too crowded.

See here for my detailed guide to going to Taiwan in spring .

A person paragliding over Wanli beach in Taiwan in summer

Taiwan in Summer (July to September)

If you want to face mother nature head on see what you’re made of, come to Taiwan in summer. Soaring temperatures combined with crushing humidity result in sauna-like conditions that people seem to love or hate (most locals hate it, myself included).

Summer is also typhoon season in Taiwan, with 3-4 major typhoons striking per year, often causing extensive damage and deaths. Historically, August and September have the highest number of typhoons. It is still safe to visit Taiwan during typhoon season, but you’ll need to follow some precautions if one does strike during your trip (see my articles on July, August, or September for more information).

One great thing about summer in Taiwan is the plethora of beaches, water-based activities, and summer-related festivals. If you enjoy tropical heat, you may love summer in Taiwan, but if you aren’t used to the climate, traveling around in it can be exhausting. High mountain resorts like Alishan offer the perfect escape from the lowland heat.

See here for my detailed guide to going to Taiwan in summer .

Taiwan in Autumn (October to December)

By late September, the intense heat finally gives way to pleasant, warm autumn days. By mid-November you’ll need a sweater or light jacket. True “winter” doesn’t usually hit until mid- to late-December.

Autumn is also the driest and season of the year. The mild and relatively clear weather makes it the perfect season for hiking or other outdoor activities. While it is possible to enjoy some autumn foliage in Taiwan, you will have to travel to some national parks or national scenic areas, which are not always super accessible or easy to get to on public transportation.

See here for my detailed guide to going to Taiwan in fall .

Read my guide to where to stay in Taipei or search for the best hotel deals in Taiwan .

When Is the Best Month to Visit Taiwan?

Taiwan can really vary by the month, and depending hugely on where you are in the country. I hope the below details help you to decide which month is the best to visit Taiwan for you!

January in Taiwan

January can be outright chilly in Taipei, with skies that seem to always gray. It’s the perfect time for visiting hot springs. The south of Taiwan is drier and a few degrees warmer than Taipei in January. In 2020, Lunar New Year fell on January 25, but on most years it comes in February.

Cherry blossoms first start blooming in some parts of the country around mid-January. See the locations here .

See here for my detailed guide to spending January in Taiwan and how to travel around Taiwan during Chinese New Year .

February in Taiwan

January’s damp, chilly weather continues throughout February. Lunar New Year most commonly falls in February (Feb. 12, 2021, Feb. 1, 2022). Lunar New Year is primarily a family-focused holiday, so much of the country shuts down for the roughly week-long holiday, all traveling can be tough with locals filling up the highways and hotels.

The Lantern Festival , on the 15th day of the Lunar new Year, along with several associated events and activities (including the wild Yanshui Fireworks Festival ), is much more interesting for visitors. This usually falls in February, but in some months can be in early March.

February and March and the best months to see cherry blossoms in Taiwan . See here for my detailed guide to spending February in Taiwan and how to travel around Taiwan during Chinese New Year .

Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, which happens in winter in Taiwan

March in Taiwan

In Taipei, the uninspiring weather often drags on into March, but usually starts warming up by the end of the month. Weather in the south can already be quite warm in March, but the offshore islands remain too windy or chilly for comfort.

Several types of flower, including cherry blossoms, bloom in March, with a particularly inspiring display at Tianyuan Temple in New Taipei City , one of the most impressive temples in Greater Taipei . March is likely the last month you’ll  think about seeking out hot springs in Taiwan.

See here for my detailed guide to spending March in Taiwan .

April in Taiwan

Spring has officially arrived in Taiwan, and this is kick started with some music festivals across the country, a tradition that started in Kenting National Park . Besides the free music festival on the beach there, find out more things to do in Kenting and see my recommended resorts and hotels in Kenting .

The warm weather and relatively dry weather (with plum rains and summer typhoons just around the corner) make April one of the most popular months of the year to visit Taiwan.

See here for my detailed guide to spending April in Taiwan .

May in Taiwan

Warm usually turns to hot in May, with ideal weather for visiting many corners of Taiwan. May is, in my opinion, the best month to visit offshore islands such as Green Island, Penghu , Xiaoliuqiu , or Orchid Island , before they get too hot and loaded with domestic tourists in summer.

The plum rains usually start falling in Taipei and northern Taiwan in May, which can result several days in a row of constant rain. The center and south of the country remain comparatively dry. See my suggested things to do in Taipei when it’s raining .

See here for my detailed guide to spending May in Taiwan .

Grassland on Orchid Island, Taiwan in May

June in Taiwan

June is usually the first month of the year when I feel too hot. The plum rains bring heavy rain to the south of the island in June, not to mention the near daily late-afternoon downpours that result after the heat and humidity build up in the daytime. Taipei gets hotter and hotter by the day.

Still, it’s not a bad month to visit Taiwan; you can enjoy summer-like conditions minus the crowds (and typhoons) of actual summer. It’s also one of the least busy months in terms of tourist numbers; people are either scared off by the rains or waiting for their time off in July. The Dragon Boat Festival is an event worth checking out.

See here for my detailed guide to spending June in Taiwan .

July in Taiwan

Taiwan is July is characterized by crushing heat, and humidity that makes it feel even more intense. It’s the hottest month of the year in Taiwan. Get our early (or in the evening to explore the night markets and nightlife), and try not to plan too much sightseeing for the daytime; you’ll just wear yourself out. Dress in thin, light clothing and stay hydrated.

Some ways to beat the heat include water parks, beaches (here are my favorite beaches near Taipei ), river tracing, and icy deserts. Also don’t miss the Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival and Taitung International Hot Air Balloon Festival .

The first typhoon of the year often arrives in July.

See here for my detailed guide to spending July in Taiwan .

August in Taiwan

July’s intense heat persists in August, and the month has a higher probability of typhoons. Still, many summer festivals and events take place, including Ghost Month, when locals believe the spirits of the deceased return to the earth and need to be appeased with offerings.

See here for my detailed guide to spending August in Taiwan .

Taitung Hot Air Balloon Festival in Luye, Taitung in summer

September in Taiwan

Summer heat and humidity continues well into September; some find it still too hot, while others love it. Along with August, September has the highest probability of typhoons. With everyone back to work or school, though, September is one of the least crowded months of the year, making travel easier and beaches practically empty.

The Mid-Autumn Festival (or “Moon Festival”) usually falls in September, but in 2020 it was on October 1. Locals celebrate by having family barbecues on the street in front of their homes and by eating moon cakes.

See here for my detailed guide to spending September in Taiwan .

October in Taiwan

October weather in Taiwan is warm, clear, and relatively dry, making it ideal for hiking, cycling, and general sightseeing. Double 10 Day, the National Day, is a national holiday celebrated with a ceremony at the Presidential Building in Taipei (don’t go out of your way for it).

Halloween isn’t much of a thing unless you’re teaching kindergarten kids in Taiwan, but it can be a wild weekend to dress up and hit the night clubs in Taipei.

See here for my detailed guide to spending October in Taiwan .

My friends sitting on the edge of cliff while hiking in Taiwan in October

November in Taiwan

The same thing happens every year; the weather remains lovely until around November 16, my birthday, when it suddenly becomes cold in Taipei. It’s easy to remember, because my birthday gathering often coincides with the first time of the year I have to wear long pants and a hoodie.

Still, like October, November tends to have mild and dry weather, so it is also a great time for hiking. Beach season is officially over in the north, though. You’ll also probably want to avoid the offshore islands from this month on, too.

See here for my detailed guide to spending November in Taiwan .

December in Taiwan

December can be a wild card in terms of weather. Often it feels like a continuation of autumn, and in recent years, we’ve even had strange bouts of unusually hot, shorts-and-T-shirt weather in December.

Christmas has sort of caught on in Taiwan, in terms of decorations, but the actual day is still a normal working day. Young people may exchange gifts or go out for a meal with friends, but it’s not a family event like in the West. Banqiao, a district of New Taipei City (where I happened to live for 5 years), puts on an over-the-top Christmas lights display; it’s worth battling the crowds just to see it once. An Asian Santa Claus even makes an appearance at some 5-star hotels in Taipei.

At some point in December it does usually start getting cold, though, and hundreds of thousands of people freeze their buns off while standing in the streets around Taipei 101 for the epic fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. Expect long lines and a steep cover charge to party anywhere that night.

See here for my detailed guide to spending December in Taiwan .

My Personal Favorite Season and Month in Taiwan

As someone who has lived in Taiwan for many years, I look forward to each season of the year for different reasons. I really love hot springs, and look forward to that aspect of winter. I also enjoy the break from hot weather, and as a multi-cultural family, I love that we get to celebrate both Christmas and Lunar New Year within a few months.

Warming weather in spring is always nice, and while I struggle with the heat and humidity in summer, nothing is more satisfying than a cold beer, or jumping into a cold river, in the middle of summer. Enduring a summer in Taiwan (typhoons included) is, in my opinion, the quintessential Taiwan experience.

But if I have to choose a single season that I love most, it is autumn, and October would have the be my personal favorite month of the year, thanks to those warm days and clear skies. It’s one of the few months of the year when I feel 100% comfortable outside and it is perfect for hiking and city explorations, my favorite activities.

Me on a scooter with my two kids enjoy one of the best months to visit Taiwan

Conclusion: When Is the Best Time to Visit Taiwan?

As you can see, there is no clear answer to the question “When is the best time to travel to Taiwan?” Many websites make claims or automatically generate a best month to go to Taiwan based on the least rain and middle-ground temperatures. But as I’m sure you can see after reading this article, the reality is more complex than that, and I personally believe each month of the year can be a perfect month to visit Taiwan for certain traveler types.

Just choose one that stands out for you, book it, and make the best of your trip. I’m sure you will love Taiwan; I’ve never met a traveler who didn’t.

Related Posts

A detailed guide to the best time to travel to Taipei and best month to visit Taipei

5 thoughts on “The Best Time to Visit Taiwan: A Month-by-Month Guide”

Thanks Nick for the recommendations.

Thank you for sharing! This is detailed and informative 🙂

Thanks Nicks for the recommendation. Plan to visit Taiwan in De

Hi Nick, great website you’ve put together 🙂 I have a trip booked from May 6th to 21st, and until now, completely overlooked that this is Plum Rain season. After 5 days in the Taipei area, I was planning to take the train to Hualien and Taitung where I would then start a road trip through Kenting and up to Alishan. Would it be wise to reschedule, or is there a chance the weather will be good (and safe) enough to enjoy Taiwan’s natural beauty to the fullest? Thank you!

No one can predict the weather perfectly, even professional weather forecasters. The best you can do is look at the month averages, which I’ve compiled (see my Taiwan in May article linked to in this article) and make an educated guess. Generally the rains start in the north then move south in late May to early April. But every year is different. As I write this (first week of May) it’s already raining off an on every day – not necessarily part of the Plums Rains yet, but rain like this can happen in any month of the year in taiwan.

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Security Alert May 17, 2024

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Travel Advisory July 11, 2023

Taiwan - level 1: exercise normal precautions.

Reissued after periodic review with minor edits.

Exercise normal precautions in Taiwan.

Read the  Taiwan International Travel Information  page for additional information on travel to Taiwan.

If you decide to travel to Taiwan:

  • Follow the U.S. Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Review the  security report for Taiwan  from the Overseas Security Advisory Council.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .
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None required. Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends travelers to Taiwan be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. Vaccination information can be found here .

Declare cash amounts over 100,000 New Taiwan Dollars (NTD), foreign currencies over 10,000 USD, or over 20,000 Chinese Yuan (RMB). Customs details are here.

Embassies and Consulates

The American Institute in Taiwan, Taipei Main Office 100 Jinhu Road, Neihu District Taipei 114017, Taiwan Telephone:  +886-2-2162 2000 ext. 2306 Emergency After-Hours Telephone:  +886-2-2162 2000 Fax:  +886-2-2162 2239 Email:   [email protected]

The American Institute in Taiwan, Kaohsiung Branch Office 5th Floor, No. 88, Chenggong 2nd Road, Qianzhen District Kaohsiung 806618, Taiwan Telephone:   +886-7-335 5006 Emergency After-Hours Telephone   +886-2-2162 2000 Fax:  +886-7-338-0551 Email:   [email protected]

The United States maintains unofficial relations with the people on Taiwan through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation, which performs U.S. citizen and consular services similar to those at embassies.

Schedule routine American Citizen Services appointments online. Appointments are available Monday through Thursday except on Taiwan and U.S. holidays .

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See the U.S. Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Taiwan for information on U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

If you wish to enter Taiwan as a tourist or short-term visitor (less than 90 days), you do not need a visa. No extensions or changes of status are permitted. For visa-waiver travel, your U.S. passport must be valid through the number of days you intend to stay. Six-month passport validity is not required.

If you plan to stay longer than 90 days or plan to work or reside in Taiwan, you need a Taiwan visa prior to traveling. Visit the website for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States for the most current visa information.

Taiwan and the United States both allow dual nationality. If you have dual Taiwan-U.S. nationality, you must enter/exit Taiwan on your Taiwan passport and enter/exit the United States on your U.S. passport.

See our website for information on  dual nationality  or the  prevention of international child abduction .

Also see our  Customs Information page .

Taiwan does not have any specific COVID-19 entry requirements for U.S. citizens.

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Potential for Civil Disturbances: Taiwan enjoys a vibrant democracy, and both spontaneous and planned demonstrations occur.  Monitor media coverage of local and regional events and avoid public demonstrations.

Potential for Typhoons and Earthquakes:  During the typhoon season (May through November),  Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau  issues typhoon warnings an average of five times a year (of which, three to four normally make landfall) and heavy rainstorm alerts more frequently. Taiwan also has severe earthquakes. The most recent severe earthquakes included one that caused 2,000 deaths in 1999 and another that caused 117 deaths with widespread damage in 2016.

Disaster Preparedness:

  • Follow the guidance of local authorities in the event of a disaster. See the National Fire Agency’s page for information on “ Disaster Responses .”
  • See the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website  on how to prepare for an emergency.  
  • See also the Crisis and  Disaster  Abroad page of the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.
  • When an emergency arises, we will post up-to-date instructions specific to the circumstances of the event on our  website  and send messages to U.S. citizens who have registered through the Department of State’s  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .

Crime:  There is minimal street crime in Taiwan, and violent crime is rare. Take normal safety precautions, such as avoiding travel after dark or in deserted/unfamiliar areas.  

See the U.S. Department of State's  and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should contact the American Institute in Taiwan for assistance at +886-2-2162 2000. U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should also seek medical attention and report to the police as soon as possible for help.

  • Dial 113 to reach the Taipei Center for the Prevention of Domestic violence and Sexual Assault.
  • Dial 110 to report crimes to the local police.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See the U.S. Department of State’s website on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas , as well as AIT’s webpage for  local resources .

  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police.
  • assist you with emergency needs that arise from the crime, such as finding shelter, food, or clothing.
  • provide information to facilitate access to appropriate medical care.
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent.
  • provide a list of local attorneys.
  • provide information on  victim’s compensation programs in the United States .
  • explain financial assistance options, such as assistance available to return to the United States.
  • replace a lost or stolen passport.

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should call 113 for emergency assistance and dial 110 for an island-wide toll-free hotline. Dial 113 to reach the Taipei Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may also contact the American Institute in Taiwan for assistance at +886-2-2162 2000.

Domestic violence is considered a crime in Taiwan. Report to police and keep written records of all incidents. Preserve evidence such as medical records documenting injuries, photos of injuries, police records, and damaged clothing and weapons used against you. If you have a court-issued restraining order, present this to the police for use in the arrest of the offender.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:   You are subject to local laws.  If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. See  crimes against minors abroad  and the  U.S. Department of Justice  website.

Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison authorities to notify the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) immediately. 

  • The American Institute can provide a list of English-speaking lawyers .  
  • Taiwan authorities typically do not permit foreigners accused of crimes to leave Taiwan while legal proceedings are ongoing. 
  • Penalties for illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking are severe, with long jail sentences and heavy fines.
  • Taiwan also has the death penalty for certain violent crimes and drug offenses.  
  • See the U.S. Department of State’s  webpage  for further information. 

Labor Disputes:

  • Avoid labor disputes by establishing all terms and conditions of employment or sponsorship in the labor contract at the beginning of your employment.
  • If the dispute cannot be resolved directly with your employer, the American Institute can provide  a list of English-speaking lawyers .

Customs Regulations:  Taiwan has strict regulations on importing/exporting firearms, antiquities, medications, currency, and ivory. Contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, D.C., or the nearest Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the United States for specific information  regarding customs requirements . See also  customs regulations .

Dual Nationality and Compulsory Military Service:  Taiwan has compulsory military service for Taiwan males between the ages of 18 and 36.  This includes dual U.S.-Taiwan citizens who enter Taiwan on their U.S. passports . Before you travel, contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, D.C., or the nearest Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the United States to determine your military service status. 

Faith-Based Travelers:   See our following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Reports
  • Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

Health Screening Process:  To detect and prevent the spread of diseases, Taiwan scans the body temperature of all arriving passengers with an infrared thermal apparatus. Symptomatic passengers are required to fill out a form and may need to give an onsite specimen or see local health authorities. See also the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website .

Judicial Assistance:  Authorities on Taiwan provide judicial assistance in response to letters rogatory from foreign courts in accordance with Taiwan's "Law Governing Extension of Assistance to Foreign Courts." For further information, please go to the  American Institute in Taiwan (AIT)’s website .

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) rights events in Taiwan. Taiwan law prohibits education and employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. On May 24, 2019, Taiwan legalized same sex marriages upon registration with a local household registration office in Taiwan. Same sex marriages from other countries are recognized in Taiwan. LGBTQI+ individuals may still face lack of tolerance, particularly in areas outside the capital and largest city Taipei. See  Section 6 of our Human Rights Practices in the Human Rights Report for Taiwan  and read our  LGBTQI+ Travel Information page .

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:  Taiwan law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities and sets minimum fines for violations. By law, new public buildings, facilities, and transportation equipment must be accessible to persons with disabilities. See  Persons with Disabilities in the Human Rights Report for Taiwan (2022) .

Students: See our  U.S. Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for  Women Travelers .

Taiwan has modern medical facilities, with state-of-the-art equipment available at many hospitals and clinics. Physicians are well trained, and many have studied in the United States and speak English. Hospital nursing services provide medication and wound care but generally do not provide the daily patient care functions found in U.S. hospitals. Taiwan requires masks in healthcare facilities and ambulances to prevent the spread of diseases, including COVID-19.

For emergency services in Taiwan, dial 119.

Ambulance services are

  • widely available;
  • have emergency equipment and supplies;
  • and are staffed by trained medical personnel.

We do not pay medical bills . Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Taiwan hospitals and doctors do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance overseas. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare to ensure the medication is legal in Taiwan.

Vaccinations: Be up to date on all routine vaccinations recommended by the U.S. CDC . Vaccinations are available at all major Taiwan hospitals.

Dengue Fever:  In recent years, Taiwan has seen cases of dengue fever, a virus common in subtropical regions that is spread through mosquito bites. There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent dengue. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. For information on how to reduce the risk of contracting dengue, please visit  the U.S. CDC website .

COVID-19: Major Taiwan healthcare facilities have COVID-19 testing capabilities and can administer FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The American Institute in Taiwan does not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

For further health information :

  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:  Road conditions, lighting, and traffic safety in cities and on major highways are generally good. Roads in major cities are generally congested. Be alert for the many scooters and motorcycles that weave in and out of traffic. Motor scooters are common throughout the island. Be alert for scooters when stepping out of public buses or exiting a car. Exercise caution when crossing streets because many drivers do not respect the pedestrian's right of way. Be especially cautious when driving on mountain roads, which are typically narrow, winding, and poorly banked, and which may be impassable after heavy rains. For example, Taiwan’s central cross-island highway is meandering and often has poor visibility. Exercise caution when driving on highways.

Please see AIT’s website for more details on  Driving in Taiwan .

Traffic Laws:  Passengers in all vehicles, including taxis, are required by law to wear seatbelts. When exiting a vehicle, you are legally required to ensure that no motor scooter, bicycle, or other vehicle is approaching from behind before opening the door. You will be fully liable for any injuries or damages if you fail to do so. Do not turn right on a red traffic signal. It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving without a hands-free kit in Taiwan. The legal limit for alcohol in the bloodstream of drivers in Taiwan is 15 mg per 100 ml of blood (0.03% BAC). This limit is strictly enforced. It is useful to have proof of car insurance and proof of ownership of the vehicle. On-the-spot fines are very common for minor traffic offences in Taiwan and are fixed for each offense. You will be told where to pay the fines and within what period of time. For more serious driving offenses, you will receive a court appearance.

Standard international driving laws apply with a few exceptions:

  • You must have a warning triangle in your car to use if you break down or are involved in an accident.
  • You cannot turn on a red light unless indicated.
  • Many drivers run red lights, especially just after they change.

In an emergency:

  • If you have a problem with your car, call the number on the rental documents or attached to the windscreen of your car.
  • In the event of an accident, you should call the police “110” and medical assistance “119.” Provide the police with all the important information including the type of accident, details of vehicles involved and if there are any injuries or fatalities. The second call you should make is to your insurance company.
  • You will need a police report for your insurance company. While waiting for the police, take photographs of the scene and take the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses. Do not move the vehicles unless it is necessary for safety reasons.
  • Police will not ask for bribes.
  • Police will ask parties involved in the traffic accident to do an alcohol test. This is standard operating procedure.
  • If riding a motor scooter, you must wear a helmet.

For specific information concerning Taiwan’s driver’s permits, vehicle inspection road tax, and mandatory insurance, contact the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington, D.C., or the nearest Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the United States.

Public Transportation:  Public transportation is cheap, convenient, and generally safe. Uber is widely available for use. Taxis and buses may swerve to the side of the road to pick up passengers with little notice or regard for other vehicles.

Please refer to our  Road Safety  page for more information. Refer also to Taiwan’s  Road Traffic Safety Portal .

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed Taiwan’s Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Taiwan's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the  FAA’s Safety Assessment Page .

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Taiwan should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI) web portal. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard Homeport website , and the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Navigational Warnings website .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Taiwan . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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Taiwan Obsessed

The Best (and Worst!) Time to Visit Taiwan

The best time to go to Taiwan

When is the best time to go to Taiwan? Which months or seasons are best, and which should be avoided?

These questions are not easily answered, because it depends what you are looking for, and no month is perfect in Taiwan. According to tourist arrival numbers , there is no distinct “high” or “low” tourist season in Taiwan . In reality, the numbers go up and down every month, as do the price of flights (see my guide to finding budget flights to Taiwan on search for the best flight deals here ).

However, based on a decade-plus of traveling around and living in Taiwan, I would say that the best months to visit Taiwan are October , November , and April . The busiest month is December . Pretty good months are December , January , February , and March , but avoid Chinese New Year if you can.

The worst months to visit Taiwan are May , June , July , August , and September . Read on to find out why!

Table of Contents

The Best Season to Visit Taiwan

It’s tough to declare which season is the best for visiting Taiwan. It strongly depends on your personal climate preference and what you want to do in Taiwan. My personal favorite is autumn.

Here’s a summary of the ups and downs of each season in Taiwan.

Autumn (October to December)

Yellow maple leaves with some palm trees in the background

In my personal opinion, autumn is the best time of the year to visit Taiwan . These three months have the lowest possibility of rain. The weather is pleasantly warm during the day and only a little cool at night.

October and November are crowd free, but December is the busiest month of the year in Taiwan for tourist arrivals. Christmas events start in late November, while NYE is one of the busiest times of the year. Book early!

November and December are the best time to see fall foliage, but you’ll need to travel a ways to one of the country’s National Forest Recreation Areas to see it.

See my guides to visiting Taiwan in October , November , and December .

Winter (January to March)

Nick Kembel on a snowy mountain peak in winter in Taiwan

January and February are the coldest months of the year in Taiwan. Taipei , Yilan , and the north are especially chilly, but this is also the best time to see snow in the high mountains, like Hehuanshan .

Cherry blossoms start in late January, but come in February or March for the best displays. See my Taiwan cherry blossoms blooming forecas t for more info. Winter is also the best time to experience Taiwan’s hot springs.

Chinese New Year is a week to be avoided if possible, due to crowds, higher prices, and closure of many restaurants and attractions . It usually comes in late January to late February. But the Lantern Festival , on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar new year, is awesome.

See my guides to visiting Taiwan in January , February , and March .

Spring (April to June)

Two kids wearing green rain jackets at a temple in Taiwan

While April is a good month to visit Taiwan, May and June are not. The Plum Rain season brings near constant rain and gray skies for weeks on end.

April’s weather is pleasant, and the April long weekend features several music festivals. However, May and June are all about the rain. In June, when the plum rains finally taper off, they are replaced with intense heat and humidity, signaling the start of summer.

Spring is, however, a good time to visit beaches or Taiwan’s small islands before the masses of Taiwanese do so in summer.

See my guides to visiting Taiwan in April , May , and June .

Summer (July to September)

A pedestrian bridge leading out to a thin strip of sandy beach called Fulong

Summer is, according to most people, the worst time to visit Taiwan. Summer temperatures and humidity are oppressive, making it difficult to spend much time outside. 

Taiwan is known for its summer typhoons, which can disrupt your travel plans for a few days (always make sure to have travel insurance for Taiwan just in case!) Summers are also more crowded, with students off school and more tourists due to the summer holidays in other countries.

If you don’t mind the heat, summer is a good time for beaches, swimming, and other adventure activities.

See my guides to visiting Taiwan in July , August , and September .

The Best Months to Visit Taiwan

The best time to travel to Taiwan is October, November, and April. I choose these months for their excellent weather, lower tourist crowds, and interesting events.

The below table will give you an idea of the average temperatures and rainfall in Taipei. Keep in mind that in the south of Taiwan, like Tainan , Kaohsiung , and Taitung , the weather is usually a little warmer than in Taipei, while the high mountains, like Alishan and Cingjing Farm , are colder.

A group of hikers sitting on the edge of a cliff with rope behind them

My personal favorite month of the year in Taiwan is October. In October, the weather can’t get any better. The oppressive heat of summer is finally gone, but it’s still pleasantly warm, even at night.

Most importantly, October has a lower chance of rain – it actually has the fewest rainy days of rain of any month of the year in Taiwan. The only reason it has a higher average rainfall than other months is due to the occasional typhoon.

In terms of tourist numbers, October is one of the least busy months of the year. Some fun events in October include Halloween and Pride Parade (usually the last Saturday of the month). 

However, even October is not perfect. On rare occasion, a typhoon can strike Taiwan as late as October, and late season typhoons tend to be strong.

Silvergrass in the foreground and a stream of hikers on a trail in the background

November has many of the same perks as October – fewer tourists, low chance of rain, and generally pleasant weather.

I only put November in the second place because it starts to get a little cold in Taipei and the north of Taiwan, especially at night. On the plus side, it is extremely rare for a typhoon to strike in November.

November is the start of autumn foliage viewing and silvergrass season in Taiwan. It’s also the start of hot spring season, but minus the big crowds of December.

A sea of white calla lilies with misty mountains behind

In April, spring and warm weather finally return to Taipei and the north of Taiwan, while the south can already be hot.

April is one of the less rainy months of the year, too, as the spring Plum Rainy Season doesn’t come until May.

With winter cherry blossom season and Chinese New Year holiday finished, April is once again less crowded. You can see a lovely display of calla lilies in Yangmingshan National Park in May.

The first weekend of April, usually a 4-day long weekend, is the unofficial music weekend in Taiwan. Some big ones that usually happen on this weekend include Spring Wave, Megaport, East Wave, and Organik.

Runner-Up Months

October, November, and April are not the only “good” months to visit Taiwan. Several other months also have many pros and few cons.

Red fireworks shooting from the sides of Taipei 101

December has long been the most popular month of the year to visit Taiwan in terms of tourist arrival numbers.

Visitors especially from nearby Asian countries flock to Taiwan at this time to see the NYE fireworks at Taipei 101 , Christmas events, hot springs, autumn foliage, and strawberry picking.

December is the start of winter in Taiwan. It’s not as cold as January or February, but you’ll definitely need to dress warm for Taipei and the north. On the plus side, the chance of rain is just as low as in October and November.

Big crowds is the main downside of visiting Taiwan in December. The weekend of NYE, especially when it’s a 3-day long weekend, is one of the busiest weekends of the year in Taiwan, so book your accommodations and trains early!

January, February, and March

A large round temple visible behind some cherry blossoms

January and February are the coldest months of the year in Taiwan, while March is only slightly better. Taipei in particular tends to be bleak, with cold humidity that gets under your skin.

On the plus side, hot springs are great to visit when it’s cold. Cherry blossoms start blooming in late January, but the best displays of them are in February and March. Some people come to Taiwan in January or February specifically to see snow in the high mountains.

Lunar New Year, the biggest holiday of the year for locals, is not a good time to visit Taiwan. The 7 to 10-day holiday usually takes place from late-January to late-February. Many things in Taipei and other major cities close at this time, hotels fill up around the country, highways have traffic jams, train tickets are hard to get, and flights can be more expensive due to so many Taiwanese flying home from abroad.

On the other hand, the Lantern Festival , on the 15th day of the lunar new year, is one of the most impressive festivals of the year in Taiwan, so try to come for that instead!

The Worst Months to Visit Taiwan

While every month has its own pros and cons, the following months have bigger cons than others.

A scooter driving on a wet street in the rain, with temple lanterns in the background

There’s only one reason you’ll probably want to avoid Taiwan in May, but it’s a big one. It’s called the “Plum Rain Season”. This mini-monsoon brings never ending grays skies and rains for weeks on end.

The timing of the Plum Rain season varies by year, but it usually starts sometime in May in the north of Taiwan and then works its way south into June.

Yes, the tourist crowds will be low in May, but personally I’d rather have clear skies with more people.

If you must visit Taiwan in May, not all hope is lost. There are several interesting events in May – find more info in my guide to visiting Taiwan in May.

Close up of the head of a dragon boat in Taiwan

June has two strikes against it. Visit Taiwan in early June and the Plum Rains will still be pouring. Come in mid- to late-June, and the oppressive summer heat will have already begun. The extreme heat and humidity often results in late afternoon showers.

On the plus side, June is less busy than July and August, and typhoons never strike as early as June.

Dragon Boat Festival is one interesting activity that takes place in June.

July & August

Secret Beach on Xiaoliuqiu, shot from above, with three people in the water

July and August are the hottest months of the year in Taiwan. Expect temperatures in the mid-30s Celsius every day. The intense humidity makes it feel even worse. Going outside in the mid-day can feel like torture.

July and August are also the start of typhoon season in Taiwan. Anything from zero to half a dozen typhoons strike Taiwan every year. If one strikes during your visit, it will bring extremely heavy rain and wind. There may be a stay-at-home order for 1-2 days, so you might lose a day or two of your trip. It’s also dangerous to visit high mountain areas during typhoons.

However, July and August are NOT a “rainy season”. They are actually the sunniest months of the year in Taiwan, in terms of the total hours of sunshine per day. Besides typhoons, which are relatively rare, most of the rain will come as very short but intense downpours in the late afternoon, often for less than an hour.

Summer also has moderate crowds due to students being off school and holidays in other countries. Taiwanese flock to beaches and the offshore islands in summer.

Close up of two Taiwanese moon cakes in front of two glasses of tea

September is not much different than July and August in Taiwan. It’s still extremely hot, humid, with the possibility of typhoons and late afternoon showers.

On the plus side, September sees far fewer tourists than July or August. So if you have the choice, visiting Taiwan is September is definitely better than July or August. If you don’t mind the hot and humid weather (plus the risk of typhoon), then September is actually a great month to visit Taiwan for this reason alone.

The Mid Autumn (Moon) Festival usually falls in September. It doesn’t have anything special for visitors, beside eating moon cakes, but watch out for domestic crowds if it results in a 3-day long weekend.

When to Visit Taiwan: Conclusion

If you have total flexibility, choose when to go to Taiwan based on your personal interests.  Choose autumn for low crowds, balmy weather, hiking, fall foliage viewing, and low chance of rain.

If you mainly want to do flower viewing, hot springs, or try to see snow, go for winter, but just mind the holiday dates.

For the best music festivals and good weather, choose April, but try to avoid May and June due to the Plum Rains.

Last but not least, expect intense heat, humidity, sun & rain, and the possibility of typhoons messing up your travel plans if you come in summer.

Tipping in Taiwan: Should You? (a local perspective)

How to plan a taoyuan airport layover in taipei, taiwan, 2 thoughts on “the best (and worst) time to visit taiwan”.

Very detailed thank you. Which area will be best to stay if you need to get to the airport for work but you dont want to stay in the city. And you need to take local transport and i am a cyclist so i would like to get on the cycling tracks easily? Thank you

Can you please clarify, which airport in Taiwan? And you will be living there or just visiting for a short time? You’re working at this ariport, or you mean flying to other countries for working?

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tourist visiting taiwan

Top 7 Places to Visit in Taiwan on Your Next Visit

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

Are you planning a trip to Taiwan? This beautiful country is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant city life. From bustling cities to serene natural wonders, Taiwan has something to offer every traveller. In this guide, here is my pick of the 7 top places to visit in Taiwan, ensuring that you make the most of your next adventure. Whether you’re seeking Taiwan tourist attractions, cultural experiences, or breathtaking landscapes, I’ve got you covered.

1. Taipei 101

Taipei 101, previously recognized as the Taipei World Financial Center, stands tall as an iconic tourist attraction in Taiwan that should be on every traveler’s list. Standing at 508 meters (1,667 feet), it held the title of the world’s tallest building until 2010. The panoramic vista from the 89th-floor observation deck presents awe-inspiring views that capture Taipei City and the surrounding mountains. It’s especially enchanting during the evening when the city lights up. Inside, you’ll find a luxurious shopping mall with international brands and a wide array of dining options, making it a fantastic destination for sightseeing and shopping.

2. Taroko Gorge National Park

Taroko Gorge National Park is a natural wonderland in Taiwan that captivates visitors with its stunning marble cliffs, deep canyons, and emerald-green rivers. The park covers an area of over 920 square kilometers (355 square miles), and it’s a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Some must-visit places within the park include the Swallow Grotto, to witness the Liwu River cutting through marble cliffs, and the Eternal Spring Shrine, to pay tribute to the workers who lost their lives during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway. The park’s diverse ecosystems make it a hotspot for biodiversity, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Jiufen is a charming old mining town located in the hills of northeastern Taiwan. Steeped in history and culture, this picturesque town is famous for its narrow winding streets, atmospheric teahouses, and traditional red lanterns that illuminate the evenings. Jiufen’s unique blend of Japanese and Chinese influences is evident in its architecture and cuisine. Visitors can indulge in local street food, including the famous taro balls and sweet potato balls, while enjoying panoramic hillside views. Don’t forget to visit the A-Mei Tea House, an iconic tourist attraction perched on a hilltop that served as an inspiration for the Studio Ghibli movie, “Spirited Away.”

4. Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan’s largest body of water, is nestled in the lush Nantou County. The lake gets its name from its unique shape, resembling both a sun and a moon. Surrounded by mist-covered mountains, this place offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Visitors can take leisurely boat rides to explore the lake or rent bicycles to cycle around its perimeter, taking in the breathtaking scenery. Additionally, a visit to the nearby Wenwu Temple adds a cultural dimension to your experience, as it is dedicated to Confucius, Yue Fei, and Guan Yu.

5. Kenting National Park

Kenting National Park, located at the southern tip of Taiwan, is renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. It’s a must-visit place for water sports enthusiasts, offering activities such as surfing, snorkelling, and scuba diving. The park also features lush forests and coral reefs, making it a diverse destination for nature lovers. At night, the Kenting Night Market comes to life with food stalls offering a variety of Taiwanese and international delicacies. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, this place has it all.

Tainan, Taiwan’s oldest city, is a treasure trove of historical sites and cultural landmarks. It’s often referred to as the “Capital City of Taiwanese Culture.” Some must-visit places include Chihkan Tower, a Dutch-era fortification that offers insights into Taiwan’s colonial history, and Koxinga Shrine, dedicated to the national hero who resisted foreign rule. Tainan is also famous for its street food, and you can savour local delicacies like oyster omelettes and shrimp rolls at the countless food stalls scattered across the city.

7. Alishan National Scenic Area

Alishan National Scenic Area is a mountainous wonderland that attracts nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. Known for its misty forests, ancient trees, and breathtaking sunrise views, Alishan offers a serene retreat from city life. Watching the sunrise from the Alishan Forest Recreation Area is a surreal experience as the sun’s first rays pierce through the sea of clouds. A network of well-maintained trails allows visitors to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the region, making it a top place to visit in Taiwan for hiking and photography.

Embrace the Diversity of Taiwan: Your Perfect Itinerary Awaits

Taiwan is a remarkable destination filled with diverse experiences for travelers. From the bustling streets of Taipei to the serene natural wonders of Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, and other incredible destinations, this island nation has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re interested in Taiwan tourist attractions, cultural explorations, outdoor adventures, or simply figuring out where to go in Taiwan , these top places to visit provide a comprehensive itinerary for your next visit. So, pack your bags and embark on a memorable journey to discover the beauty and charm of Taiwan.

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Are you planning a trip to Taiwan? This beautiful country is a treasure trove of cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant city life. From bustling cities to serene natural wonders, Taiwan has something to offer every traveller. In this guide, here is my pick of the 7 top places to visit in Taiwan, ensuring that you make the most of your next adventure. Whether you’re seeking Taiwan tourist attractions, cultural experiences, or breathtaking landscapes, I’ve got you covered. 1. Taipei 101 Taipei 101, previously recognized as the Taipei World Financial Center, stands tall as an iconic tourist attraction in Taiwan …

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Restrictions on Entering Taiwan:  National Immigration Agency - Restrictions on Entering Taiwan (Chinese)

For the latest Taiwan entry/exit and quarantine information, please refer to the website of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare:  Taiwan Center for Disease Control - Border Quarantine

Updated COVID-19 Response Actions

From August 15, 2023:

  • If you have suspected symptoms of COVID-19 or receive a positive quick test, please follow the "0+n self-health management" approach. Under this system, no quarantine is required, but such individuals should avoid any unnecessary departures from their residence/hotel room and they should wear a mask at all times when they go out. These procedures should be followed until a negative quick test is received, or 5 days after the most recent positive test.
  • Individuals with severe risk factors should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Foreign travelers may obtain tourist visas if they hold foreign passports or travel documents valid for more than six months in the Republic of China for purposes of sightseeing, business, family visits, study or training, medical treatments, or other legitimate activities. Visa requirements included one completed application form, incoming and outgoing travel tickets, one photo, documents verifying the purpose of the visits, and other relevant documents. The Visitor Visa Application Form can be downloaded from the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The completed form should be submitted to an Embassies and Mission Abroad of the Republic of China for visa issuances.

For any further information, please visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs . For any further questions about visa application, please contact: e-mail: [email protected] , TEL: +886-2-2343-2888.

  • Countries eligible for Visa-Exempt Entry
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  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Custom hints for Passenger please check Directorate General of Customs' website at  Taipei Customs Office . 

Traveler Luggage Clearance

Foreign Currencies: value over US$10,000 should be declared. New Taiwan Currency: under NT$100,000. A traveler should apply for the permission to the Central Bank for amounts over such value. There is no restriction on the amount of gold that a traveler can bring out of Taiwan; however, a traveler should declare to the customs office. When carrying out gold valued over US$20,000 out of Taiwan, a traveler should apply for an export permit to the Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA (Tel : +886-2-2351-0271 ext. 352) and apply for customs clearance to the customs office.

NB: A traveler should register at the customs office counter when bringing out of Taiwan gold, foreign currencies or new taiwan currency in excess of the said amount. (Tel: +886-3-398-2308, +886-3-398-3222)

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U.S. Lawmakers Visit Taiwan and Vow Support in Face of Chinese Military Drills

A bipartisan delegation promised to stand by the island’s newly elected president, Lai Ching-te, after Beijing surrounded the self-governing island with naval vessels and aircraft.

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Michael McCaul and Lai Ching-te, who is wearing a black cowboy hat, pose for a photo in a richly appointed presidential office.

By Catie Edmondson

Reporting from Taipei, Taiwan

After China performed two days of military drills intended to punish Taiwan, Representative Michael McCaul of Texas on Monday stood alongside the island nation’s newly elected president, Lai Ching-te, and issued a promise.

“The United States must maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or coercion that would jeopardize the security of the people of Taiwan,” Mr. McCaul, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said. “That is what we stand for, and that is what we continue to say.”

Mr. McCaul, a Republican, traveled this week to Taipei with a bipartisan delegation of other American lawmakers in an attempt, he said, to show that the U.S. government stood in lock step with Mr. Lai and Taiwan.

The trip, which will last through the week, comes at a fraught time: Just days after Mr. Lai was sworn into office and vowed in his inaugural address to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, China responded by surrounding the self-governing island with naval vessels and military aircraft. Before the lawmakers arrived, the Chinese government had publicly warned them to “seriously abide by the one-China policy” and “not to schedule any congressional visit to Taiwan.”

Just a few days ago, China “conducted two days of military drills in the Taiwan Strait to express their displeasure with President Lai,” Lin Chia-lung, Taiwan’s foreign minister, told Mr. McCaul at a news conference on Monday.

“You can say in this critical time, it is a powerful display,” Mr. Lin added.

Even as many Republicans in Congress balked at providing continued U.S. military aid to Ukraine, support for Taiwan has remained a largely bipartisan endeavor. A number of conservatives have argued that the United States should pull back its investments in Ukraine and instead bolster deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region. In April, the House voted to approve $8 billion for Taiwan in a lopsided 385-to-34 vote.

“Even though there are debates about other theaters of war,” Mr. McCaul said, “I can tell you there is no division or no dissension when it comes to Taiwan in the Congress.”

But deep challenges remain. Even though there are few political hurdles to approving fresh tranches of aid for Taiwan, the backlog of undelivered orders of arms and military equipment to the island from the United States has grown to nearly $20 billion. Some weapons systems that Washington approved for Taiwan in 2020 have yet to be sent.

By far, the biggest part of the undelivered inventory is an order approved by the Trump administration in 2019 for 66 F-16 fighter jets, which makes up over 40 percent of the backlog, according to Eric Gomez, a researcher at the Cato Institute in Washington who, with a co-researcher, has compiled a running estimate of the delays . Other items that Taiwan is waiting for include a Harpoon coastal defense system, mobile rocket launchers called HIMARS and Abrams tanks.

The additional $8 billion of military spending support for Taiwan and the Asia-Pacific region approved by Congress would not make a big dent in the backlog, Mr. Gomez said. That amount includes $1.9 billion to enable the Pentagon to release weapons to send to Taiwan from U.S. stockpiles, with the money then used to replenish the American inventory. But the United States “does not have the capability in its stockpile to send” those, Mr. Gomez said.

And there are quietly growing fears among supporters of Taiwan that Western allies, chief among them the United States, will become bogged down in other intractable conflicts — in Ukraine and the Middle East — that will further erode their capacity to send arms.

“People in Taiwan look at what happened in Hong Kong, they look at Afghanistan, they look at Putin,” Mr. McCaul said in an interview. “They’re worried that this is going to be the next shoe to drop, and they should be.”

“I don’t want anyone to think that we can’t support Taiwan because of Ukraine,” he added. “The stuff going to Ukraine is old and it’s old NATO stuff; this is all brand-new for Taiwan. But I just think our defense industrial base is overloaded right now, and it cannot handle this amount of conflict in the world.”

Mr. Lai, in remarks delivered at the Office of the President, alluded to the critical role that the United States had played in assisting the Taiwanese people’s “determination to defend their homeland.” He praised former President Ronald Reagan — a favorite among conservatives, and especially with Speaker Mike Johnson, who frequently quotes him — for his “concept of peace through strength.”

“With your support, I hope that Congress through legislative action will continue to assist Taiwan,” Mr. Lai said.

The aim of the delegation’s visit, Mr. McCaul said, was to show lawmakers’ commitment to do just that. He said he was heartened by how little backlash he and other Republicans had received after Congress moved to pass the enormous aid package for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

“You can see the impact that vote has here,” Mr. McCaul said. “It has real-life consequences; it’s not some political game on the floor. It has real consequences here, it has real consequences in Ukraine.”

The visiting delegation includes Mr. McCaul and Representatives Young Kim, Republican of California; Joe Wilson, Republican of South Carolina; Jimmy Panetta, Democrat of California; Andy Barr, Republican of Kentucky; and Chrissy Houlahan, Democrat of Pennsylvania.

Christopher Buckley contributed reporting.

Catie Edmondson covers Congress for The Times. More about Catie Edmondson

Nvidia's Jensen Huang receives a rockstar reception in Taiwan amid a record high stock market

  • Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's Taiwan visit boosts local stock market amid China tensions.
  • Huang's arrival signals confidence despite recent Chinese military drills around Taiwan.
  • Investors focus on tech stock indices over geopolitical risks, seeing buy opportunities.

Insider Today

Nvidia cofounder and CEO Jensen Huang is in Taiwan this week, where he's getting rockstar reception and boosting the stock market.

Huang arrived in Taiwan on Sunday a day after China wrapped up military drills around the island, which Beijing claims as its territory. Li Xi, a spokesperson for China's People's Liberation Army, said the exercise was a "strong punishment for the separatist acts of 'Taiwan independence' forces."

The drills started on Thursday, but Taiwan's stock market was little changed over the period. The market resumed its ascent on Monday following Huang's arrival — signaling confidence in Taiwan's massive chip sector that the world depends on.

Local media has been out and about on Huang's trail this week. The leather jacket-clad rockstar tech exec has been spotted dining with bigwigs from TSMC, Foxconn, and Asus.

On Wednesday, Huang also strolled through a night market with Morris Chang, the 92-year-old founder of chip giant TSMC.

He also appeared to have taken time out to visit his regular hair salon in Taipei, per the salon's Instagram .

Huang is scheduled to deliver the opening address at tech trade show Computex on Sunday.

Related stories

Other high-profile global tech execs are also expected to deliver keynotes. They include AMD CEO Lisa Su — who is a distant cousin of Huang — Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon, and Arm CEO Rene Haas.

'PHLX Semiconductor Index matters more than the PLA'

The rally in Taiwan's tech-backed stock market contrasts with growing fears over China's military activities around the island.

Investors have to note that growing tensions among China, Taiwan, and the US will be a "permanent feature of the global landscape," wrote Rory Green, the chief China economist at GlobalData.TS Lombard, in a Thursday report.

However, for investors, "the PHLX Semiconductor Index matters more than the PLA," said Green, referring to the chip index hosted on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange that has gained 24% year-to-date. It's also up nearly 50% in the last 12 months.

In Taiwan, the island's TAIEX stock index has been breaching record highs this year on the back of the artificial intelligence frenzy on Wall Street that has boosted the stock price of US-listed Nvidia — whose largest supplier is TSMC.

The TAIEX index is up nearly 20% so far this year and hit a fresh all-time high on Tuesday.

"In this case, the AI equity theme, physical investment in AI, and the wider upturn in electronic component demand are driving robust Taiwanese growth and the strong stock market performance," wrote Green.

He added that an outright invasion of Taiwan by China is "very unlikely" due to high military and economic risk. Military preparations for an invasion would also be evident at least 12 months in advance — similar to the buildup near Ukraine before Russia invaded.

While a full blockade of Taiwan is a risk, Green said China is likely not willing to risk the severe economic, financial, and military repercussions it would bring because the East Asian giant is far from ready for international isolation.

Green said investors should view any geopolitical-driven sell-offs as a chance to get in at a lower price point.

"If the macro backdrop is positive and China remains far from achieving 'fortress-like' economic conditions, future sell-offs may offer attractive buying opportunities," Green wrote.

Watch: Thousands of demonstrators erupt in rare protests against COVID-19 restrictions across China

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U.S. lawmakers' message for Taiwan amid political turmoil: 'Democracy is messy'

A protestor holds a sign reading "Keep Taiwan Free" during a demonstration

TAIPEI, Taiwan — It was a message delivered in blunt terms. 

“Democracy is messy. Democracy can be hard, but it is far better to have a messy democracy than to be controlled by an authoritarian,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth , D-Ill., told NBC News on Wednesday during a two-day visit to Taiwan .

She and three other U.S. senators arrived on the Beijing-claimed island in the midst of domestic political turmoil, as the executive cabinet said it would reject parliamentary reforms passed by the opposition-controlled legislature that are seen as favoring China .

The delegation led by Duckworth and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, also includes Sens. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Laphonza Butler, D-Calif. They are the second bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers to arrive in Taiwan this week, after a delegation of six House lawmakers led by Rep. Michael McCaul , R-Texas, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that arrived on Sunday .

The House lawmakers were the first group of current U.S. officials to meet with Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te , a former vice president Beijing labels a “separatist.”

Even as China held military drills around Taiwan in recent days in response to Lai’s inauguration on May 20, the island has been focused more on the proposed changes, which increase oversight of the government. The reforms, approved on Tuesday, give lawmakers greater power to control budgets, including defense spending that had been blocked by the opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), which officially backs unification with China.

Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which lost its majority in the legislature in the January election, opposed the changes, saying they expand parliamentary authority at the expense of the president and were pushed through without proper consultation. In a statement on Tuesday, the executive cabinet said the changes might be in violation of the constitution and that it would send them back to the legislature for review.

The dispute has led tens of thousands of protesters to gather outside the legislature and set off physical fights among lawmakers in the chamber, which was filled with banners from both sides on Tuesday.

Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., a member of the House delegation, said the heated politics were “the product of a free society.”

“This is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength,” he said. “It is a sign of a mature, multiparty democracy that is seeking checks and balances.”

Though the United States does not have formal relations with Taiwan, it is the island’s most important international backer and arms supplier. U.S. lawmakers regularly travel to Taiwan over the objections of Beijing, which views such visits as provocative and a violation of Washington’s longstanding one-China policy.

The lawmakers’ visits come days after China, which has not ruled out the use of force in unifying with Taiwan, conducted two days of “punishment” drills  around the island in response to Lai’s inauguration speech, in which he urged Beijing to cease its threats and “face the reality” of Taiwan’s existence.

Though Lai favors maintaining the status quo — neither formally declaring independence nor becoming part of China — Beijing has rebuffed his offers of talks.

China’s joint military exercises were held Thursday and Friday in the Taiwan Strait and around groups of Taiwan-controlled islands near the Chinese coast, leading Taiwan’s military to mobilize its own forces.

Tsai Ming-yen, director-general of Taiwan’s National Security Bureau, told reporters on Wednesday that the aim of China’s drills was “to intimidate Taiwan, rather than initiate a war.”

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said Wednesday that the drills were “a just action to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” Spokesperson Zhu Fenglian criticized Lai over his stance on Taiwan and said such military actions would not cease “as long as the provocation for ‘Taiwan independence’ continues.”

Though Lai’s victory in the January election secured the DPP an unprecedented third consecutive presidential term, the party lost its majority in the legislature, constraining his policy agenda.

No party has a majority on its own, but the KMT won the most seats and passed the parliamentary reforms with the help of the small Taiwan People’s Party.

The changes expand the legislature’s investigative powers, require the president to report regularly to lawmakers and answer questions from them, and criminalize contempt of parliament by government officials.

The KMT says the changes are necessary to improve government accountability. It denies being pro-Beijing and says claims that it is acting at the behest of China are groundless and politically motivated.

Duckworth said that in her meetings with Taiwan lawmakers from different parties, they clearly understood “that they have to come together and work with each other” in the face of the threat from China, which has stepped up pressure on the island in recent years.

She said a similar unity was on display when Congress approved almost $2 billion in military aid for Taiwan last month.

“I think it’s clear, to at least the members of Congress, how important this region of the world is for America’s national security,” she said.

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Ryan Nobles is a correspondent covering Capitol Hill.

tourist visiting taiwan

Frank Thorp V is a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News, managing coverage of the Senate.

The best time to visit Taiwan

Oct 25, 2023 • 6 min read

tourist visiting taiwan

From white-sand beaches to wonderful celebrations, there's no bad time to visit Taiwan © PhotonCatcher / Shutterstock

A beautiful island that has everything from snow-dusted peaks and steaming hot springs to wildlife-filled nature reserves and neon-drenched cities,  Taiwan is one of Asia’s most popular destinations.

Foodies flock to  Taipei to sample some of the world’s tastiest street foods (don’t leave without enjoying a bowl of beef noodle soup, Taiwan’s unofficial national dish), while nature lovers come to explore its national parks, sky-scraping mountains and spectacular coastline. Wondering about the best time to go to Taiwan? The good news is that because of its topography and size, there’s no such thing as a bad time to visit.

Winters are relatively mild in this subtropical destination, and although light rainfall can occur throughout the year, these (usually short) precious rain showers are key to the lushness of Taiwan’s vibrant landscapes. Generally, September, October and November are the best times to explore the country’s great outdoors, while spring means endless opportunities to enjoy the stunning colors of nature and some of Taiwan’s top festivals.

November and December are fantastic times to explore cities like  Taichung and Taipei. Remember that the further south you go, the warmer it will be, and don’t make the mistake of ruling out a winter getaway – winter in Taiwan is much less severe than in  Japan or  China . And the best bit? You’ll never be far from a steaming hot spring in which you can ward off any winter chills – although the downside is that rates at hot spring hotels are higher during the colder months. Luckily, this doesn’t apply to other types of accommodation, which often offer brilliant discounts at this time of year. Here’s when to visit Taiwan.

a smiling Asian girl take photos with a digital camera under Cherry trees in taiwan

January and February is cherry blossom season in Taiwan

Thought  the cherry blossom displays in Japan were spectacular? Cherry blossom season in Taiwan is just as stunning, and we guarantee there’s less chance of a stray selfie stick working its way into your sakura shots. Some of the best places to see cherry blossom displays are in and around Taiwan’s cities, and these floral extravaganzas are precisely why January and February are regarded by many as the best times to visit Taipei.

Hot spots for cherry blossom displays here include the gardens surrounding the city’s temples, such as Taipei’s Wuji Tianyuan Temple, where meandering alleyways are lined with Yoshino cherry trees.

The start of the year (and winter in general) is also an ideal time to soak in a hot spring – visitors can ease aches and pains in over 150 hot springs in Taiwan. Some of the best are close to Taipei, although there are several hot spring resorts in Guguan, a mountainous area close to the city of Taichung, a 2.5-hour bullet train ride from Taipei. Great public transport connections mean the  Beitou hot springs near Taipei are easily accessible, and crowds will be thinner in January and February.

Two Taiwanese women pick tea leaves in conical hats in the hills of Tawian

Get a culture (and caffeine) fix between March and May

Springtime is all about nature in Taiwan. You’ll still see cherry blossoms in March and May, although it’s also a fantastic time to explore Taiwan’s more remote regions and coastal areas. Fancy a spot of pedal power? Consider exploring Taiwan by bike – temperatures are cooler than in summer and  the country’s national parks explode with color.

Spring is also a great time to visit Taiwan’s tea plantations (oolong is the most common variety produced here), which are at their most lush. Top tea destinations in Taiwan include  Chiayi , Miaoli and Taoyuan. There are fantastic festivals throughout the year, although several of the most important Indigenous celebrations take place in spring.

Our favorite? The Bunun tribe’s Ear-Shooting Festival in April or May (the exact date depends on the lunar calendar). This is when this Indigenous group’s coming-of-age ceremonies take place. Men will head into the forests to hunt wild deer, and an ear from the deer is then fixed to a wooden post. Young men will try to shoot the ear with an arrow – a symbolic act that represents the transfer of hunting knowledge to the group’s younger generations. Locals are happy for tourists to watch the ceremonies, most of which take place in and around rural villages in eastern Taiwan.

A woman cycles past the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei on a hot sunny day with scores of pigeons walking around the square

Explore Taiwan’s cities from June to August

June, July and August are great times to visit Taiwan, especially its cities. These months can be hot and humid, which is why the Taiwanese (especially those living in urban areas) tend to migrate to the country’s coastline during this time.

Cities will be quieter and less crowded, and the abundance of museums, galleries and indoor attractions make it easier to escape any rainfall – this is technically monsoon season in Taiwan, although showers are typically short and sweet (rainfall will be heaviest in southern Taiwan). We recommend booking ahead if visiting during these months, especially if you’re on a budget – hotel rates can increase by up to 50% during July and August (expect price hikes during the Chinese New Year, too).

When is typhoon season in Taiwan?

Typhoon season takes place between May and November. Also known as tropical cyclone season, typhoons are more likely during this time, but it’s worth noting that Taiwan is hit by an average of just 3.7 every year. The country’s infrastructure is more than capable of coping with these typhoons, and the vast majority only affect specific parts of the country.

The best approach is to keep an eye on weather forecasts and be flexible when it comes to plans. It’s worth bearing in mind that peak tourist season (between May and September) takes place during typhoon season – a reminder that Taiwan is still a fantastic destination to visit during these months.

The sun sets over a mountain in the Alishan National Scenic Area, Taiwan as scores of people look on

August is the best time to go hiking

During August, expect average lows of 28°C (82°F) and average highs of around 32°C (90°F). It’s hot and humid and a great time to escape the heat  by heading to higher altitudes – to mountainous regions such as Yushan National Park, which has a network of walking trails. We also love the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail – it’s close to Taipei and the well-marked walking routes weave around various waterfalls, providing plenty of opportunities to cool off.

Embrace fall in Taiwan’s nature reserves

Taiwan’s autumnal colors are spectacular – the thick swathes of forest in areas such as Nantou County’s  Aowanda Forest Recreational Area (the highlight of which is its beautiful Maple Trail) transform into endless expanses of gold, red and ochre. Fall is also a great time to sign up for a scenic train ride. We recommend bagging a seat on the Alishan Forest Railway – a century-old steam train that chugs through the forests and mountains surrounding Chiayi County, in south-western Taiwan. Another reason to visit during September and October? It’s shoulder season, when rates are significantly less for midweek hotel stays.

This article was first published Jan 3, 2023 and updated Oct 25, 2023.

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    13. Tainan. Tainan used to be the capital of Taiwan back in 1683-1887 but it's still the cultural capital of Taiwan now and therefore a good place to visit in Taiwan. Although initially, the city seems pretty similar to Taichung in architecture once you reach the centre you'll start to see the history.

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    24 | The Best Time To Visit Taiwan . Between the monsoonal rains, cherry blossom fever and oppressive summer mugginess, it can be hard to determine when the best time to visit Taiwan actually is. While summer is when tourism booms across the country, the searing heat, crowds and high chance of storms mean this isn't an ideal time to plan your ...

  16. 15 things to know before traveling to Taipei

    A word of warning: convenience stores can quickly become a comfortable choice, but this will cost you in terms of the most authentic food and local interactions, so visit sparingly. 6. Don't leave a tip. As in Japanese culture, tipping is not customary in Taiwan - in some cases, it could even be considered an insult.

  17. The Best Time to Visit Taiwan: A Month-by-Month Guide

    May in Taiwan. Warm usually turns to hot in May, with ideal weather for visiting many corners of Taiwan. May is, in my opinion, the best month to visit offshore islands such as Green Island, Penghu, Xiaoliuqiu, or Orchid Island, before they get too hot and loaded with domestic tourists in summer.

  18. Taiwan International Travel Information

    Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories.

  19. Taipei Travel

    Department of Information and Tourism,Taipei City Government. Address: 110024, 4F, No.1, City Hall Rd., Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. For callers in Taipei City please dial 1999(Chinese) for the Citizen Hotline; For callers outside of Taipei City, please dial +886-2-27208889-ext.

  20. The Best (and Worst!) Time to Visit Taiwan

    However, based on a decade-plus of traveling around and living in Taiwan, I would say that the best months to visit Taiwan are October, November, and April. The busiest month is December. Pretty good months are December, January, February, and March, but avoid Chinese New Year if you can.

  21. Top 7 Places to Visit in Taiwan on Your Next Visit

    1. Taipei 101. Taipei 101, previously recognized as the Taipei World Financial Center, stands tall as an iconic tourist attraction in Taiwan that should be on every traveler's list. Standing at ...

  22. China and Taiwan: A really simple guide

    China and Taiwan: A really simple guide. 8 January. Getty Images. China sees self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be under Beijing's control - and has not ruled out the ...

  23. US lawmakers vow to bolster Taiwan's defense with bipartisan visit days

    US lawmakers vowed to bolster Taiwan's deterrence against China on Monday during a bipartisan congressional visit to the self-governing democracy just days after Beijing surrounded the island ...

  24. Arrival & Departure

    For any further information, please visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For any further questions about visa application, please contact: e-mail: [email protected], TEL: +886-2-2343-2888. Countries eligible for Visa-Exempt Entry. Countries eligible for Landing Visas. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  25. Taiwan travel

    Asia. Generous like its 23 million people, Taiwan offers wondrous vistas, lively traditions and a culture as luxuriant as Jade Mountain on a sunny day. Best Time to Visit. Best Places to Visit. 01 / Attractions.

  26. U.S. Lawmakers Visit Taiwan and Vow Support in Face of Chinese Military

    That amount includes $1.9 billion to enable the Pentagon to release weapons to send to Taiwan from U.S. stockpiles, with the money then used to replenish the American inventory. But the United ...

  27. Nvidia's Jensen Huang Travels to Taiwan Amid Record Stock Market High

    Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang's Taiwan visit boosts local stock market amid China tensions. Huang's arrival signals confidence despite recent Chinese military drills around Taiwan. Investors focus on ...

  28. Driving in the U.S. if you are not a citizen

    Driver's licenses if you are living in the U.S. as a permanent resident. If you are a citizen of another country and are living permanently in the U.S., you may be eligible to apply for a driver's license from the state where you live. The residency requirement for obtaining a U.S. driver's license is different in each state.

  29. U.S. lawmakers' message for Taiwan amid political turmoil: 'Democracy

    May 29, 2024, 11:35 AM PDT. By Ryan Nobles and Frank Thorp V. TAIPEI, Taiwan — It was a message delivered in blunt terms. "Democracy is messy. Democracy can be hard, but it is far better to ...

  30. Best time to visit Taiwan

    Consider exploring Taiwan by bike - temperatures are cooler than in summer and the country's national parks explode with color. Spring is also a great time to visit Taiwan's tea plantations (oolong is the most common variety produced here), which are at their most lush. Top tea destinations in Taiwan include Chiayi, Miaoli and Taoyuan ...