Destinations / Asia

Beautiful Places You Must Visit Outside Taipei

Taiwan is a beautiful country full of bustling cities, spectacular mountain attractions and old cultural towns. On your next trip to this island country, don’t just stay in Taipei City. Make a trip to these lesser explored, but highly accessible spots that should be on every traveller’s bucket list.

Northern Taiwan: Jiufen, Shifen, and Yehliu

Yehliu Geopark

Just 45 minutes away from Taipei sit the country’s northern towns. Your first stop will be to Yehliu Geopark, a coast filled with bizarre rock formations shaped by years of ocean waves and erosion.

Afterwards, head over to Shifen, a former coal mining town that was a major stop for the Pingxi Train line. These days the train runs mostly for tourists and you can write your dreams and wishes on a traditional sky lantern and watch them float into the sky.

The Grand Teahouse

Make a final stop to Jiufen, an old gold mining town that was the inspiration to Hayao Miyazaki’s movie, Spirited Away. Wander through streets filled with generations-owned stores before heading to The Grand Teahouse.

Taichung: Alishan Forest

Alishan Forest Railway

The Alishan National Scenic Area is mostly made up of lush mountains used for planting Taiwan’s famous Oolong tea. Don’t leave without having a cup (or several).

Within the park is a vintage, narrow-gauge train that was used during the Japanese occupation to deforest the mountains. Conservation laws have largely made the train obsolete, so it now runs for tourist purposes.

Alishan Forest Recreational Area

Enjoy a ride on the Alishan Forest Railway to the Alishan Forest Recreational Area. Follow any of the different trails that take you deep into the mountain and marvel at thousand-year-old trees and tranquil ponds.

From Taipei, you’ll have to take the High Speed Rail and get off at either Taichung or Chiayi, but the ride only takes about 40 minutes.

Qingjing Farm

Qingjing Farm

Another underrated Taiwan tour is a trip to Qingjing Farm in Taichung. This family-friendly destination is a great place for summer, thanks to its cool mountain climate and adorable sheep.

The famous Hehuan Mountain of Taiwan

Head over to the Green Green Grassland, or Taiwan’s “Foggy Eden”, and see a sprawling grassland, orchards, lush forests and colorful flowers. Stop by Hehuan Mountain, one of Taiwan’s tallest mountain areas. See snow-capped peaks, hike along picturesque trails and visit the charming tea-growing villages nearby.

Yangmingshan National Park

YangMingShan national park

Last, but certainly not least is Yangmingshan National Park. Of all the tours listed, this is probably the most accessible from Taipei City through public bus or MRT.

Yangmingshan is an oasis of nature just outside Taipei. The park is full of casual hiking trails, flower gardens and mountain sights. Trek to Xiaoyoukeng, a post-volcanic geological park that’s about 805 meters above sea level. It’s famous for the mountain-side sulfur gas exhaust and hot springs. The views here are stunning, with certain vantage points overlooking Taipei and beyond.

Yangmingshan National Park Qingtiangang Grasslands Trail

Alternatively, trek through the Qingtiangang Grasslands Trail, which offers idyllic landscapes close to the clouds. The area was formed from lava flows when Mt. Zhugao erupted, shaping this mountain-top flatland.

Taiwan Uncovered

There’s so much to explore when you’re in Taiwan. Get out of the city, even for just a day, and see some of the country’s underrated gems.

Where do you want to visit from Taipei? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Ben Stower

I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.

Ben Stower
I'm enamoured with travel, whether it's finding the quiet, local sanctuaries in touristic cities, venturing into rock vaults in a distant jungle or spending hours on a Spanish beach. I can't see an end to my travelling. Just another chapter and another story to tell.
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