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Taiwan travel guide

Taiwan remains a bit of a mystery to those who are yet to wander off the beaten track, and in our opinion it's massively underrated. Take the time to visit and you'll find dramatic scenery, stunning hiking trails and traditional temples, as well as vibrant local markets and chilled beaches.
2 speech bubbles Languages
The official language spoken in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, but you will also find people speaking Taiwanese Mandarin (Hokkien).
Tower of coins Currency
New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)
Symbol: $ or NT$
100NT$ is approx £2.50
Clock Time Zone
China Standard Time (UTC+08:00)

Flights to Taiwan

A non-stop flight from London to Taipei takes around 14 hours, however, usually you'll find an airline that has a stopover destination or two. It can take up to 40 hours sometimes (eeeek) so make sure you pick a route you know you can handle! Or see if you can get a longer stopover and visit two countries with one ticket... because who doesn't want to do that?!
Flights to Taiwan

Top things to do in Taiwan

Asian food

A foodie trail

Asian food is always a tasty adventure, and Taiwan doesn't disappoint. Head to any of the night markets to sample the street food: we recommend Keelung Night Market where you can get some great seafood, or Yongkang Street where you can find a range of dining options such as James's Kitchen, which is a highly popular place for traditional home-cooking.
Top tip: Try the xiaolongbao soup and the mango shaved ice (literally shaved ice drowned in condensed milk and topped with a garnish of your choice).
taipei 101

Taipei 101

This towering bamboo stalk - which is what it was genuinely designed to resemble - is visible across the whole city. Shoot up to the 89th floor in only 37 seconds, and be prepared for some magnificent views of Taipei from the observatory (once you've recovered from the elevator ride). If heights don't make you weak at the knees, then head on up to the outdoor observatory on the 91st floor.
Top tip: For an alternative view of Taipei 101 instead of in it, take a hike up Elephant Mountain early in the day before tourists bombard the trail.
taroko gorge

Taroko Gorge

Part of the Taroko National Park, this 18km marble-walled gorge is a place all travelers could go to get a winner of a photo for Instagram - we're pretty sure it could become your most liked photo. Not only great for photos, it's the perfect destination for the walker that enjoys twisty, turny trails through tunnels and across bridges - try saying that quickly.
Top tip: Don't just stop at Taroko Gorge, check out the other amazing sites in the park such as the Golden Canyon, which is home to waterfalls and deep turqouise swimming holes.
sun moon lake

Sun Moon Lake

This lake in Nantou is the largest body of water in Taiwan, and a great place to just sit down and take a break from the sometimes hectic pace of traveling. Hire a bike and cycle around the area, hop on a boat or just chill and enjoy the surroundings. Sun Moon Lake is also home one of the aboriginal tribes of Thaiwan, the Thao tribe.
Top tip: Take the ropeway gondola across to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village theme park, which not only offers rides, but also aboriginal culture performances.

Taipei: Neighbourhood guide

Buildings in Songshan Taiwan at night

Songshan

If it's a hipster neighborhood you're looking for then look no further than the Songshan District, and in particular Fujin Street. The chilled-out vibe, coupled with trendy cafés, independent, quirky stores selling furniture, vintage clothing and other goodies.
Top tip: check out Fujin Tree 355 Café, which is part of a store and art gallery - all your hipster needs met in one place.
aerial view of temple in jiufen taiwan overlooking the water

Jiufen

You can easily spend a day exploring the many lanes and alleyways of Jiufen, that are steeped in history and culture. The architecture hasn't changed since it developed during the gold rush, so it's still very authentic, however Japanese style cafes, tea houses, and shops have cropped up since then, making it hugely appealing to tourists. View our tours to Jiufen here!
Top tip: Visit the Golden Waterfall (the yellow hue is from the copper and iron deposits it picks up from old mines). Another 'golden' photo opportunity, see what we did there?!​
view of creek inside beitou park in taiwan

Beitou

If you're a lover of nature then look no further than Beitou Park. You can get there in 30 mins from Taipei Main Station, and you'll not be disappointed. Lots of green, and rich in history - with an impressive range of hot springs! The perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the capital. See our selection of tours to Beitou here
Top tip: If you visit between Tues-Sun, check out Beitou Thermal Valley (aka Hell's Valley) where you can see steam rising up as high as 100m from the geothermal pools below.
View of alleyway of brick buildings in Wanhua Taiwan

Wanhua

Despite being Taipei's oldest district, Wanhua is just as trendy as the newer kids on the block. You've got the arty and distinctive Red House (the first and largest teahouse in Taiwan), beautiful temples, historic streets that will transport you back in time, night markets, and even an ice rink.
Top tip: Head over to Lane 96 Kunming Street to check out the graffiti.​

Frequently asked questions about travelling to Taiwan

What's the capital of Taiwan?

The capital of Taiwan is Taipei, with a population of over 2.7 million people and known for it's famous Taipei 101 tower (don't leave without visiting it!). 

Where is Taiwan?

Taiwan is a small island nation in the East China sea, it's situated north of the Philippines, east of China, and south west of Japan.

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