TAIWAN is my go-to recommendation anytime if my friend ever asks me about a family getaway. Between the variety of delicious food, interesting night markets, and friendly people mainly speak in Mandarin, it’s literally an ideal place for bringing my parents to travel here. There is always a sense of peaceful slow-paced lifestyle I can feel in this beautiful country made me say that.
As the 4th time travel to Taiwan, we decided to get out beyond the city of Taipei and explore the coast and mountains in Taiwan. The natural beauty in Taiwan was unexpectedly impressed me and turned this trip into my most favourite ones, amongst my previous 3 times travelling in Taiwan. Read on to find out why and discover where to go beyond the hustle cities in Taiwan.
From top: NiuShanHuTing in Hualien, Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi, Shitiping in Taitung, Kenting Soared Sada People in Kenting, Hehuanshan in Nantou.
When to go Taiwan & Weather
Personally think spring 🌸 , is the best season to travel to Taiwan. The temperature level and weather is just right and comfortable. This is the time where you can find cherry blossom, plum, and many other types of flower are blooming. However, a good season means tourist crowd. From 28th March to 4th April we travelled through different cities and had experienced quite a change in temperatures. Anyway, the weather is good every day.
- Kaohsiung 高雄: 29° Celsius ~ 32° Celsius
- Chiayi 嘉義: 22° Celsius ~ 28 ° Celsius
- Chiayi Alishan 嘉義阿里山: 7° Celsius ~ 10° Celsius
- Taichung 台中: 26° Celsius ~ 30° Celsius
- Sun Moon Lake 日月潭: 23° Celsius ~ 26° Celsius
- Nantou 南投: 15° Celsius ~ 20° Celsius
- Hehuanshan 合歡山: 10° Celsius ~ 12° Celsius
- Hualien 花蓮: 28° Celsius ~ 30° Celsius
- Taitung 台東: 26° Celsius~ 30° Celsius
- Kenting 墾丁: 26° Celsius ~ 31° Celsius
What to wear to Taiwan during spring
Even though it was spring season when we travelled in Taiwan, but I mostly brought summer outfits. I put on the only thin winter jacket I brought when the temperature is below 25° Celsius. The coldest day was when we went to see Sunrise in the mountain of Alishan, the temperature dropped to 7° Celsius. I just put on a hoodie inside to keep myself warm enough.
What to do in Taiwan – for Nature Lovers
1. Ride on Alishan Forest Railway to watch the sunrise and the sea of cloud 🌄
「 Alishan · 阿里山 」Take the ‘Sunrise train’ (25-30mins) at Alishan Station 阿里山火車站 to Chusan Station 祝山車站. Then, a short hike up to Xiaoliyuanshan Lookout 小笠原山觀景台 instead of the over-crowded Zhushan Sunrise Observation Deck 阿里山祝山觀日平臺. If you are lucky you might get to see the sea cloud 雲海 flow in and up through the mountains. Sadly, we didn’t get to see it. The misty sunr
2. Hiking at the Alishan National Scenic Area & See Cherry Blossom 🌸
「 Alishan · 阿里山 」We spent around 3 hours to hike around this magnificent Alishan National Scenic area 阿里山國家風景區 that filled with ancient sacred trees 神木 stand tall, freshest air, and numerous of beautiful pine trees and greenery. If you are coming at the right time, you will even get to see cherry blossom at the cherry blossom park, sakura trail and along the railway. Many leaves had actually grown on the cherry blossom tree. Luckily we able to see more Cherry blossoms in the park. This wonderful and photogenic Alishan’s hiking trail certainly needed to be on your travel list. Entrance fee is NT$ 300/pax. Alishan’s official website here. See more about my Alishan trip here – Part 1, Part 2.
3. Cycling through borderless rice fields of Brown Boulevard 池上伯朗大道 🌾
「 Taitung · 台東 」This rural landscape with its endless bike paths and the mountainous view is another paradise for the cyclists! This attraction may look normal, but the serenity of this vast paddy field literally took my breath away on the windy weather. We rented a four-seater electrical bike at TW$ 800, in order to explore further more comfortably. If you want to see these rice paddies turn to golden yellow colours, come visit this place during summer! See more pictures here.
4. Camping/ Marvel at the amazing sights of Shitiping 石梯坪 🌊
「 Taitung · 台東 」This natural coastal landscape is purely stunning and impressive. With sea trenches 海蝕溝, sea cliff 海蝕崖, cuestas 單面山, sea-eroded stones 海蝕石头, sea-eroded potholes 海蝕壺穴 all at this place. We enjoyed spending times looking at the sea waves rolling in and out, climbing at the natural staircases formed by those sea-eroded stones. The sight is quite big and each step you take will make you feel like taking a shot of picture. A pair of comfortable shoes and more times may be needed to linger at this place. There are people choose to stay longer here by camping at the campground, for diving, observing the ecology or just enjoying the sound of waves on a starry night. I can say Shitiping is my most favourite sight in Taiwan. See more pictures here.
5. Interact with sheep and see cherry blossom on the hillside 🐑 Cingjing Farm 清境農場
「 Nantou · 南投 」Cingjing – the foggy ‘little Europe’ is highly recommended to go with family and children. A grassland with roaming sheep, fresh air to breath in, starry sky at nights, scenic trails and lines of cherry blossoms tree, were what we found here. Don’t miss the ticked-included sheep show and horse show like us. Do check the schedule of the shows when you come here. Remember to buy some sheep’s food to feed the super furry sheep, so they will keen to follow you. Entrance Fee is NT$ 200/pax. Read more about my Cingjing trip here.
6. Strolling/ Cycling at the largest lake of Taiwan 🌙 Sun Moon Lake 日月潭
「 Nantou · 南投 」Sun Moon Lake – One of the 8 wonders of Taiwan and it is located in the centre of Taiwan. You can admire this picturesque sun-moon-like lake with its clear water and mountainous backdrop by cycling, taking a boat/cable car ride, or just strolling at the easy foot trails like us. It was so misty on that day, we couldn’t see the scene like on Google. Instead of cycling, we took a relaxing stroll around the lake and ended at the Wen Wu Temple overlooking the lake. See more about Sun Moon Lake here.
7. See the milky way and sea of cloud over the sunset/sunrise at Hehuanshan mountain 🌌
「 Nantou · 南投 」Leaving Nantou to Hualien, we stopped by the highest road point of Taiwan – Wuling 武嶺 and then Hehuanshan Lookout 合歡山瞭望臺. These two stops are just unexpectedly stunning with the panoramic mountain views. People usually come here for hiking to see the spectacular sunset/sunrise over the sea of clouds, milky way during the night, and even snow 🏔 during the winter. We only had a quick stopover at this place before continuing on to Cingjing. Even there was no sea of cloud but rolling green hills with cooling weather still make this place into my favourite. Consider staying overnight here for hiking! Make sure to bring a thicker jacket when you get here. This place is freaking cold and windy. Read more about my Nantou trip here.
8. Explore the natural beauty of Hualien 🍃
「 Hualien · 花蓮 」Rivers, lakes, cliffs, mountains, waterfalls, beaches – all of these you can find in Hualien. One of all made a great impression are the scenic Qingshui Cliff
9. Immerse in the sea of flowers at Zhongshe Flower Market 中社观光花市 🌼
「 Taichung · 台中 」This place is definitely worth a visit as you get to see various types of flower in one place. If you are just like us, who see leaves and trees more than flowers in your daily life, will surely feel happy when eyes filled with the scenes of the colourful flowers. We spent around 2 hours taking tons of pics at this Instagram-worthy place. Entrance fee is NT$120/pax. See more about Taichung here.
10. Get a summer holiday at Kenting 🏖
「 Kenting · 墾丁 」One of the tourist hotspot in Taiwan, which you can spend at least 2 days to explore the beaches and forests. Usually, people visit here to have fun activities like surfing, swimming, ride ATV, hike the national park and many more. If you are just passing by the town and love natural scenery like us, go sightseeing at beautiful Longpan Park龙磐公园 and windy Fengchuisha 風吹砂, then watch a sunset or eating a popsicle at the beach can be very enjoyable too.
Taiwan 10D9N Itinerary – Summary of cities we went
Day 1 : 1PM arrived Kaohsiung 高雄
Day 2 : → Chiayi Alishan 嘉義阿里山
Day 3 : Chiayi Alishan 嘉義阿里山 → Taichung 台中
Day 4 : Taichung 台中 → Sun Moon Lake 日月潭 → Nantou 南投
Day 5 : Nantou 南投 → Hualien 花蓮
Day 6 : Hualien 花蓮
Day 7 : → Taitung 台東
Day 8 : → Kenting 墾丁 → Kaohsiung 高雄
Day 9 : Kaohsiung 高雄
Day 10 : 1PM leaving Kaohsiung 高雄
The artsy urban of Kaohsiung is our 10 days trip’s starting and ending point. Not only because we were landing at Kaohsiung airport, but mainly due to my dad who wish to back to the place we stayed last time. So, he could have his first and last day of the trip living like a local in Kaohsiung.
You can spend your first day exploring the artsy and slow-paced city of Kaohsiung. Before you leave at Kaohsiung airport on the next day, you can have a day trip to the quaint and historical city of Tainan. Don’t forget to indulge in Tainan (台南) ‘s very own exclusive and renowned delicacies.
The detailed daily itinerary of Taiwan will be up to blog soon! 😊
Transportation to travel around Taiwan
Since the places of interests are all far apart, it’s either hire a local driver or rent a car to solve the transportation issues.
So, we decided to hire a driver to ensure our parents can travel more comfortably and conveniently. Hire a driver is not that expensive than it sounds if you are travelling in a group. Our van can actually occupy up to 6 persons at the cost RM 4500 (TWD 8,250) for 7 days. This equal to 1 person only costs around RM 110 a day, to anywhere you want. Also, you can stop by anywhere and whenever you want during travelling.
Note: The price I listed is based on the places we went from day 2 to day 8.
I actually saved up a lot of my times, by no research and schedule needed to be done in advance. We chose the cities we want to go and he provided a list of places we can go to. Then, we booked the hotels accordingly. That’s it! Meet him in Taiwan!
Experiences with our driver/tour guide
In the end, we had a very good travel experience and my family get along so well with our driver. He even helped us took a lot of pictures. He shared us a lot of stories and jokes, unfailingly deliver us an unforgettable trip. Literally make us worry free about how long we can spend at a place, where to eat, accompanying and guiding us all day long. I think he is best because he is always trying to understand his customers’ needs and adjust the itinerary accordingly.
Well, he speaks in Mandarin and we call him ‘Xiao Jiang’ 小江. If you are planning to go on a family or friends trip in a group of 5 or 6 to Taiwan, getting a private car and driver might be the best option for you. You can contact him at Facebook here.
Taiwan Trip Expenses & Budgets for 10D9N
We travelled in a group of 4 people.
Currency Rate : TW$ 100 = MYR 13.47
Total Expenses per pax: MYR 3,716
Return Flight Ticket: MYR 793 (AirAsia, with 15kg/arrive, 20kg/depart luggage, insurance & meals)
Food: MYR 571/ 10 Days
Accommodation: MYR 1,038/ 9 Nights
GRAB to & back KLIA: MYR 47
MRT in Kaohsiung: MYR 20
Transport Driver & Tourguide for Day 2 to 8: MYR 1,111 /7 days
Entrance Fees & Activity: MYR 136