In this issue, we take you to explore the beauty of Taiwan. It’s sensational food, breathtaking scenery, traditional festivals and sincere locals will have this country sitting at the top of many honeymooners bucket list.
A Taiwan honeymoon is a real treat. Taiwan’s modern cities feature bustling shopping districts and night markets packed with sensational food around every corner. The country’s dramatic mountainous terrains and picturesque lakes provide many scenic hiking options. Taiwan’s cherry blossom season and exciting festivals are also a treat for the eyes. Taiwan is also home to alluring offshore islands and numerous hot spring resorts for your relaxing needs. Whether you are a city, food, or nature lover – Taiwan has it all covered for you for your honeymoon. Even after 1 or 2 visits, Taiwan can still surprise you. On top of its numerous attractions, the people of this country are some of the friendliest and kindest people I’ve come across on my travels. I absolutely adore Taiwan. It’s relatively underrated, which means it’s not as commercialised. I am making it a point to return every few years to explore a new region. Let me share the Top Taiwan Things to Do for your Taiwan Honeymoon!
Before we get started on the things to do, here are our recommendations on the best places to stay at in Taiwan!
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Best Places to Stay in Taiwan:
1. Experience a romantic & intimate honeymoon at Shaoguang 188 at Sun Moon Lake
We stayed at Shaoguang 188 during our trip to Sun Moon Lake, and we highly recommend it for your honeymoon! With only 3 rooms available, this boutique hotel has an exclusive and homely feel to it, perfect for newlyweds seeking quiet and privacy. The rooms are spacious and designed with an open-concept in mind. Each room comes with huge bathtub, an extremely comfortable bed, and a huge screen TV (comes with Netflix!). The interiors feature Japanese-inspired, minimalist design. Artistic photographs, books, and plants frame the decor of the place. Each room also comes with a generous array of amenities that include facial masks and bath salts, for a pampering stay. Click here to see the beautiful interiors.
The ground floor resembles that of a modern cafe, with a spacious dining area and an open kitchen. The host and staff are very helpful and hospitable, always ready to provide tips and help you to navigate the area. They even walked us to the bike store where we could enjoy a 2-hour free rental! The hotel is located right next to the inter-city bus stop and close to nearby 7-11 and shops, which is very convenient.
The entire experience at Shaoguang 188 is very thoughtfully crafted. Complimentary drinks, snacks and instant noodles are provided during your stay. Each night you can help yourself to the fruits and popcorn laid out for you to enjoy. Come morning, you wake up to a sophisticated breakfast and gourmet coffee prepared by the owner himself, who is an incredibly talented chef! The atmosphere is uplifted with classy lounge music and light scents, creating a soothing ambience for you to enjoy alongside your meal. We had a pleasant and unforgettable stay at Shaoguang 188, which truly felt like a home away from home. It’s no wonder they have an exceptional rating of 9.6 on Booking.com. Click here to make an inquiry or reservation
Click here for rates via Booking.com or Agoda
21 Things to do in Taiwan on your Taiwan Honeymoon
1. Hike up Yangmingshan for amazing scenery & flora
Taiwan has nine beautiful national parks. Yangmingshan is one of the most visited as it is the closest to the capital (Taipei city) and is just a short bus ride away. It is dormant volcano and is famed for its hot springs and sulphur crystals. Hike up the mountain and get sweeping views of the lush valleys and landscape below.
Yangmingshan has an unbelievable array of flora and fauna for you to enjoy. Be sure to check out the Calla lillies at Zhuzhihu (竹子湖). Each season brings a different beauty to this place. February and March are the flowering season, so cherry blossoms are aplenty. Summer brings winds and occasional showers but creates amazing misty weather effects. In October, mountains are covered with silver grass and golden maple leaves. Rainbows can even be spotted after autumn showers! Winter brings you unique scenery and a fantasy world with the possibility of snow. The area has several hotels and B&Bs, making it an ideal base for exploring the countryside. Nearby destinations include the Flower Clock, Menghuan Pond and the Xinyi Road Hot Springs. Admission to the park is free.
Getting There: Take Bus 260 from Civic Blvd (outside Taipei Main Station). It departs every ten minutes. The journey from Taipei Main Station takes about forty minutes and costs NT$30.
2. Enjoy a picturesque bike route at Sun Moon Lake (Nantou)
Taiwan’s largest lake, Sun Moon Lake, is nestled in the mountains of Nantou. Its name is inspired by the shape of the lake – the east side is round like the sun and the west side is long and narrow like a crescent moon. The clear, sparkling lake is set against a picturesque backdrop. The entire area is so peaceful and calming, which is why many newlyweds come here for their honeymoon. For an aerial view, take the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway cable car.
Rent a bike for NT$100 (~$4.50) per hour and take the scenic cycling route around the lake, which CNN lists among “10 of the World’s Best Bike Routes”. It takes about 4 hours to cycle around the lake, but you can always cover a section of it for a fraction of the time, and reach the other small towns by boat. We dined at one of the restaurants near the ferry terminal and got half-priced off the ferry ticket (NT$300 for 2-way) The ferry departs every 20 minutes and ends at 1750. During the mid-autumn festival (15 Sept), the lake sees many swimmers plunge into the lake to swim 3km across. The annual fireworks festival (Oct) during fall season will have the skies dazzled up. There will also be bands performing. Check out other festivals here.
Getting There: No trains go directly to Sun Moon Lake. From Taichung, you can take a bus or taxi there. We took an inter-city bus for NT$360 (round trip).
3. Explore the countryside at QingJing Farm (Nantou)
Known as a “Foggy Eden”, QingJing is far away from the city area nestled in the mountains. A popular tourist spot all-year round, it presents you with exquisite scenery with each of the 4 seasons of the year. Spring covers the area with acres of flowers, summer brings you coolness, autumn brings you maples and winter covers the pastures with a sheet of snow. Savour the sweet tranquility of the high-mountain countryside at QingJing Farm, for it is a perfect sanctuary for those who enjoy fresh air, lush forests, acres of flowers, wide plains and beautiful starry nights. Head to the North side to find Green Green Grassland, an open pasture ground for sheeps and cows to graze freely. You can see the livestock up close and interact with them. Other attractions include Guanshan Pastoral Areas, Shoushan Park Ecological Area, 487-Steps Trail, and Small Swiss Garden.
Getting There: You can take a Nantou bus from Taipei (5-hour) Taichung or Kaohsiung.
4. Marvel at the marbled mountains of Taroko Gorge (Hualien)
Taroko National Park in Hualien is one of Taiwan’s most beautiful sights. It is perhaps Taiwan’s most famous park due to its marble-walled canyons, created by the continuous rising of mountains and eroding power of Liwe River. This impressive 19-km canyon is also home to over half of Taiwan’s animal and plant species. You will find plenty of grottos, scenic bridges, mountainside temples, majestic cliffs and waterfalls here. The Shakadang trail is an easy hike and you get to enjoy gazing at the turquoise waters. The Baiyang trail gives you a wide range of flora and fauna. You can also experience canyoning (river tracking) here! Admission to the park is free.
Getting there: You can take a 2-hour express train from Taipei to Hualien (NT$440). Local trains take about 3-4 hours. Trains in Taiwan are cheap, reliable and comfortable. The closest train station to the park entrance is Sincheng (新城). A one-way taxi ride from there to Taroko costs about NT$200. Alternatively, you can opt to take the bus from Hualien (NT$170) to Tiansiang. The journey will take about 2-hours due to frequent stops.
5. Capture the misty sunrise at Hehuan Mountain
Hehuanshan means mountain of harmonious joy. Located on the Western edge of Taroko National Park, Hehuanshan is commonly labelled as the Switzerland of Taiwan! Filled with rolling green hills enveloped by sea of clouds, the weather here is cooling and refreshing. It is a popular destination for the locals and is one of the best places to see snow in the winter. You do not require a permit to climb the area. Blue Skies Adventure organizes climbs and tours that allow you to enjoy the 2km trail from one to two hours. From the top, you can take a view of 100 more peaks and the beautiful misty sunrise.
6. Explore the scenic beauty of Alishan
You may be familiar with the song that goes 阿里山的姑娘~. Since the 1920s, the Alishan National Scenic Area is one of the most visited spots in Taiwan for its alpine forests and sweeping mountain views. It covers over 41,520 hectares of land and is home to beautiful sunrises, old railways, indigenous villages, hillside tea farms, and rushing waterfalls that emerge from lush green forests. You can explore the area through 3 main themes, “Alishan Highway”, “Northwestern Corridor” and “Tsou Villages”.
If it is your first time, take the classic Alishan Highway (Provincial Highway 18) route. It is the main road that crosses the Alishan area. This classic route takes you from flatlands to highlands. Along the way, enjoy splendid views of the tea farms, sea of clouds, old Qing-dynasty routes, old logging railways and a beautiful sunset. Must-sees include sunrise at Jhushan (祝山), the Giant Trees Trail (near Shermuh station), Shoujhen Temple (受鎮宮), Two Sisters Pond (姊妹潭) and Giant Tree of Mt Shuishan (水山巨木). If you need somewhere to place your luggage, you can do so either at the visitor centre or at the 1st floor of Alishan station for a small fee.
Getting There: Take the HSR to Chiayi station. From there you can take a direct bus service. The service is NT$300 for a round trip and the journey takes about 2.5 hours. There are only 2 buses a day between 10am – 11:30am. There are other bus services that leave hourly but at a different rate. A taxi ride costs about NT$1,600. Alternatively, take the famous Alishan Mountain Railway narrow-gauge train from Chiayi to ‘Fenchihu’/Fenqihu (奮起湖) (daily departure from 9am, round-trip ticket costs NT$384), and take a connecting bus from there You can also take a bus from Sun Moon Lake (3.5 hours). Admission to Alishan is NT$150/pax by bus and NT$300 by car.
8. Catch the blooming of cherry blossoms in Taiwan
Korea or Japan are not the only places to catch the blooming of beautiful cherry blossoms. Taiwan also has their fair share of sakura flowers, from January to March. You can catch them at Alishan National Scenic Area (late Jan – mid April), in Taipei (late Jan – mid Feb), Wuling Farm (mid Feb – early Mar), Danshui (mid Feb – mid Mar), Yangmingshan National Park (mid Feb – mid Mar) and Wulai Scenic Area (late Feb – early Mar). Click here for a more detailed forecast by Tripzilla.
9. Take in the mesmerizing sunset at Yushan Peak, the 4th highest mountain in the world
Yushan, also known as Mount Yu / Jade Mountain, stands at 3,952 metres. During Winter, thick snow caps the mountain, causing the peak to shine like stainless jade, which gave rise to its name. It is the highest mountain in Taiwan, and the 4th highest in the world. Located within Yushan National Park and next to the famous Alishan National Scenic Area, Yushan Peak is one of the most famous hikes in Taiwan, with many locals and tourists listing it as a “must-do”.
Yushan has 5 peaks, the main peak being the most popular. Here, you can see panoramic views of overlapping mountains and deep plunging valleys. See mesmerizing sunsets, breathtaking scenery and the sea of clouds that often fill the valleys. The hike up Yushan is generally gradual with the exception of the final ascent which might be steeper. Nonetheless, many locals and tourists are able to make it up to the peak, thanks to the well-mapped trails. A permit is required to climb and you can apply online here. Do apply ahead of time. The alternative is to go with an organized tour.
Getting There: Take a train or bus to the nearby major cities of Taichung (台中) and Chiayi (嘉義). From there, you take New Cross-Island Provincial Highway with different routes. Website
10. Soak up the sunshine, ocean waves & hot springs at Kenting (South of Taiwan)
Located in the southern tip of Taiwan (Hengchun Peninsula), Kenting National Park is a major beach and water-sports destination. It is home to white sandy beaches, caves, coral reefs, and mountains. It is so beautiful that no wonder Life of Pi was filmed here. The best way to explore Kenting is to rent a scooter and ride around like a local.
At Kenting Town, you can find plenty of restaurants, street-food stalls, bars, and nightlife. Kenting is also home to one of Taiwan’s best natural hot springs; the Sihjhongsi Hot Springs, just 10 minutes from Checheng. Schedule a day to relax at White Sand Bay (白沙灣) and enjoy water sports. Cafes, restaurants and small shops line the streets toward the north end of the beach Rent a tent for NT$250 (~S$11) and soak up the sun on your Taiwan honeymoon. Cold and hot showers are also available at a small fare. Take a 20-minute drive to experience the Kenting night market after a great day at the beach. Alternative beaches include Nanwan South Beach (南灣) which is much busier. If you are a surfer, Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) is 25 minutes away from Kenting Village.
Do visit Kenting National Forest Recreation Area. It is the only tropical botanical garden in Taiwan and has been named one of the Top 10 in the world. Thousands of tropical plants and species of butterflies, birds, insects, and reptiles live here, and the natural landscape is stunning. It can be reached via a bike or scooter from Hengchun. Here is a great guide to Kenting.
Getting There: You can take the High Speed Rail (HSR) from Taipei to Zuoying (Kaohsiung). The journey is ~90 minutes. From there, take the Line 88 Bus to Kenting (NT$350). The bus operates 24 hours/day and the journey is ~2.5 hours. A shared taxi may be cheaper than taking the bus. Do reserve your HSR tickets online, weekend tickets are often sold out. Website
11. Spot rainbows at the most scenic waterfall in Taiwan – Shifen Waterfall
Shifen Waterfall (十分大瀑布), nicknamed as “Little Niagara” due to its horseshoe shape, is a stunning sight. Standing at 20-metres high and 40-metres wide, be mesmerized by the falls as they plunge into the waters. The walk to the waterfall is a beautiful one, for you will pass two suspension bridges and a turquoise river set in lush green mountains. Countless photo spots await. Be sure to go to the Observation Point Trail, where you can walk all the way to the bottom of the falls for the best photo.
12. Indulge in tempting Taiwanese street snacks at Shifen Old Street
After admiring Shifen Waterfall, you can head to Shifen Old Street, where tempting Taiwanese food awaits you. At Shifen, it is a common practice to light up your own lantern and wish for good luck as you watch it drift up to the skies. Though fun to watch, I personally avoid doing so for environmental reasons! During the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in February/March, you can see thousands of lanterns light up the skies so that could be a beautiful sight to marvel at. After Shifen Old Street, you can head to Jiufen to enjoy the sunsets along the coastline.
Getting There: From Taipei Main Station, board a Northbound train (except a Keelung-bound train) to Ruifang and transfer to the Pingxi line.
13. Walk the cobbled streets of Jiufen & visit Keelung for delicious seafood
What used to be a gold mining mountain town today is known for narrow alleyways packed with tea houses, street-food, and souvenir shops. Many of the buildings in Jiufen remain unchanged since Jiufen was originally built by the Japanese during the gold rush. Tour the town and embrace the history and culture that remains here. You can also soak in the marvellous view of the ocean and sunset. Before heading home, you can take a bus to Keelung and visit Miaokou Night Market (廟口夜市) for cheap delicious seafood before going home.
When at Jiufen, visit Jinguashi (a 10-minute bus ride away), the former mine that is estimated to have 8 million oz of mineable gold remaining here. The star attraction is the restored Benshan Fifth Tunnel where you can peak into the miners’ lives, back in the old days. Here also lies the largest gold ingot in the world. Rumour has it that if you can lift it with one hand, you can bring it home! See the Golden Waterfall, where the waters are brown due to the heavy metals., Though not safe to enter, you can also see the Remains Of The Thirteen Levels 十三层遗址/Shuinandong Smelter 水湳洞精炼厂 where prisoners of war were forced to work during WWII.
Getting There: From Taipei Main Station, take the train north to Ruifang Station, followed by a bus heading towards Jiufen. To get to Keelung from Jiufen, simply take any city bus bound for Keelung. The bus will arrive at Keelung train station right next to the harbour and night market.
14. Admire the skyline from the top of Taipei 101
What was once the tallest building of the world in 2004, remains beautiful and presents you with a stunning view of the city. Spanning 101 stories above the ground at 508 metres, the building was designed as a symbol of technology fused with Asian tradition. Head up to the observation deck and museum to enjoy fantastic scenery and learn about the engineering marvel that made Taipei 101 come to life. Admission to the observatory costs about NT$600 (~S$26).
Getting There: Take a Red Line (Xiangshan Train) to Taipei 101 Station, or Blue Line to Taipei City Hall Station where it is a short walk away. The opening Hours are from 9 am – 10 pm. Website
15. Visit Tainan, the City of 100 Temples
Tainan, the “City of 100 Temples” is the oldest city in Taiwan. It was Taiwan’s capital from 1983 – 1887 under the Qing dynasty. Today, it remains a popular tourist attraction for those who wish to step back in time and experience traditional charm from years ago. Tour centuries-old fortresses, temples and shrines. A well-known site is Chihkan Tower, an 18th Century complex with gardens, towers, and a temple.
Tainan is known to be the culinary center of Taiwan and dubbed ‘city of snacks’ by locals. Forget the usual Taiwanese snacks and try the unique local cuisine options available here. Must tries include the Milk Fish Porridge (虱目魚粥), beef soup, Coffin Bread (棺材板), Fried Shrimp Rolls and Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice Bowl (滷肉飯). Tainan Flower Night Market, located at HaiAn Road is the largest market in Tainan and here you will find numerous stalls selling food, games, and clothing at affordable prices. Some of Taiwan’s oldest streets are in Anping district. The Anping Tree House is a sight (similar to Cambodia’s Ta Phrom). Stroll down Shennong, Zhengxing or Ximei street and you will see old shophouses turned into quaint cafes and mini galleries. If you are an art-lover, head to Chimei Museum, where they showcase wide collections of Western art and European-style architecture.
Getting There: Take the HSR from Taipei Main Station to Tainan (1 hour 45 mins). From Kaohsiung, the HSR from Zuoying Station to Tainan takes 15 minutes. Website
16. Find Queen’s head at Yehliu GeoPark
At Yehliu Geopark, you can see naturally formed rock formations that are pretty surreal. These honeycomb and mushroom rocks have been eroded by the sea and wind over time. The park sits about an hour outside of Taipei on the North Coast. Be sure to spot the iconic Queen’s head. Her elegant “neck” and regal “head” resembles an Egyptian Queen’s silhouette. Other iconic rocks include Dragon’s Head, Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Ginger Rocks, Kissing Rock. Though this area is more remote, it is a worthy visit. After visiting the park, you can head next door to Yehliu Ocean World (野柳海洋世界) to see ocean exhibits and sea life, including dolphin and sea lion performances.
Getting There: Go to Taipei West Bus Station at Taipei Main Station and purchase a ticket to Yehliu Geopark from the KuoKuang Window (國光). A ticket costs about NT$86 and the bus takes around 90 minutes. It drops you on the main road just outside the park. Alternatively, take the North Coast Shuttle Bus from MRT Tamsui Station or Keelung Railway Station for NT$96.
17. Get closer to nature in Hualien (East Taiwan)
Hualien is located near Taroko National Park, the East Rift Valley and Qingshui cliffs, which makes it a great base for exploring the nearby attractions. But this mountainous town serves more than just a base. In fact, it is the biggest city in Taiwan. For food, head to Zhongshan Road for delicious Taiwanese snacks. Come nightfall, head to Dongdamen Night Market for a food tour (and an impending food coma). Take a stroll along the quiet Qixingtan beach, go river shrimping in the outskirts of Hualien, spend your day whale and dolphin watching, and enjoy breathtaking scenery from the skies with paragliding. The laid-back atmosphere of Hualien makes it a wonderful place to be. Hualien is also where you will find the best of Taiwanese mochi, so do not give that a miss!
Other attractions include Wuhe Tea Plantation, Hualien Farglory Ocean Park, Ruisui Hot Springs and more. A 2-hour train ride from Hualien brings you to the quaint county of Yilan, known for beautiful flowers, authentic cultural vibes, and rustic hospitality. You can also take a soak at Tangweigou Hot Spring Park.
18. Admire the natural landscapes of East Rift Valley
The East Rift Valley extends from Hualien to Taitung. Dubbed as known as ‘Emerald Paradise’, the valley is home to several aboriginal cultures and natural landscapes that encompasses beautiful mountains, valleys, hot springs, and vast green fields.
Every summer, Amis tribes will host a harvest festival. You can also learn about the planting and processing history of tobacco at the Tobacco Barn House Village in Yuli. The lake in Yunshanshui and the mountain beside Liyu Lake (Carp Lake) make travellers linger. See a sea of orange daylily at Chikeshan and admire the sunrise at Liu shi dan shan. To add to the thrill, have an exciting rafting session down Xiuguluan River! Get your tours here.
19. Eat till you drop at Taiwan’s best night markets – Shilin Night Market
Taiwan would not be the destination it is without its night markets – their scene is one of the best in the world! What began as informal vendor meetings where merchants would gather to sell their wares eventually turned into formal night markets bustling with locals and tourists. Whether your mission is to taste all the Taiwanese local delights or simply to soak up the atmosphere, night markets are a must-visit during your Taiwan honeymoon.
Shilin Night Market in Taipei is the most famous night market in Taiwan, encompassing over 500 stalls. Do try the stinky bean curd here, as well as the XXL chicken chop. Other notable markets in Taipei include Ningxia night market, Huaxi night market, Raohe night market, and Linjiang.
When we were visiting Taichung, many locals insisted we visit Fengjia night market – said to be one of the largest in Taiwan. A lesser-known option is Zhong Xiao night market, which is visited frequently by locals, but we preferred the food options there. Click here for a full list of night markets in the different regions.
20. Take a relaxing soak in Taiwan’s best hot springs
Taiwan is well known for its hot springs and is a must-try when visiting the country. Beitou Hot Springs is one of the most accessible hot springs and is just a short MRT ride from the centre of Taipei. If you are in the Hualien countryside, do visit Wenshan Hot Spring – an amazing outdoor spring with a pool and cave that is off the beaten path.
Just a little further from Taipei is Wulai, famous for its hot springs and aboriginal culture. Clear and odorless with temperature as high as 80 degrees Celsius, many tourists come here on a day trip to take a relaxing soak in the rich waters that are said to be good for the skin. After indulging in a relaxing soak, enjoy scenic gazes at Wulai’s waterfall.
Getting There: From Taipei, take the MRT Xindian Line and ride to Xindian stop. Take the bus to Wulai #849 (comes every 15 minutes). The bus trip costs you ~NT$40 and takes 40 minutes. Alternatively, a taxi from Xindian station takes 30 minutes and cost about NT$600 one-way.
21. Go snorkelling and diving on Green Island
If you are looking for an adventure off the beaten path, a boat ride from Taitung will take you to Green Island. Formed by undersea volcanic activity, the land is covered in hills and is a paradise for snorkelling and diving thanks to its coral reefs and abundant tropical fish. It is said that hammerhead sharks circle the island, though not to worry if you meet some as they are not dangerous at all. The Jhaorih Saltwater Hot Springs on Green Island is one of only 3 saltwater springs in the world (very rare!), and it is here where you can relax and enjoy the sunset.
Getting There: Take a HSR to Kaohsiung and a connecting bus/train to Taitung (South Eastern Coast of Taiwan) before you ride a boat to Green Island.
Best time to visit Taiwan:
The best time to visit Taiwan is during spring (April – June). You get warm and pleasant weather during Spring and it is also the shoulder season with cheaper prices. The Fall (Sept – Nov) season is also a good option for nice weather. Dec-March is the low season and great for budget travellers.
That being said, Taiwan is a year-round destination, for the weather remains quite mild even during weather (Nov – Feb). The typhoons season runs from June to October. Summer (Jun – Aug) is when the weather gets hotter and more humid and is the peak tourist season.
Get the Cheapest Flights to Taiwan:
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