Random Picks

2021 Nov./Dec.

Ryan Hevern & the Great Taiwan Outdoors

Expat Californian Ryan Hevern has a love for the great outdoors that constantly keeps him on the go. In Taiwan for six-and-a-half years now, he expresses his passion for Taiwan’s…
2022 Sept./Oct.

Valley Views

It’s easy to drive through the splendid mountain, ocean, and rift valley scenery of Shoufeng Township without realizing how much there is to see. This township is home to hidden…
2021 Nov./Dec.

How to Eat Well in Taipei

Michelin’s famed Red Guide, listing the best places to dine in a systematically reviewed locality, is the recognized culinary bible for globe-trekking foodies. Here we introduce three of the best…
2021 Jan./Feb.
The Great TAINAN Cultural-Creative Bloom
2021 July/Aug.
Help Is On/Along the Way
2020 Sept./Oct.
The Rugged NORTHEAST COAST
2021 May/June
Meeting the Seediq
2020 Sept./Oct.
Places to Stay in JIUFEN/JINGUASHI/SHUINANDONG
2022 Jan./Feb.
Chiayi Slow Time, Chiayi Fun Time
 

Jojozoo Park

Bird lovers rejoice! There is a brand-new zoo in Nantou County with a focus on birds. In fact, it’s the largest bird-focused zoo in Asia, with dozens of rare birds kept. The zoo has numerous aviaries and outdoor areas where visitors can get up close to a wide variety of birds, including large species such as ostrich, crane, and flamingo. Among the most popular birds are the brightly colored Scarlet Ibis, Western Crowned Pigeon, and Vulturine Guineafowl. Apart from the bird area, there is also Dinosaur Hill, featuring large dinosaur sculptures.

 

Babbuza Dreamfactory

SHUTER Enterprise, a Taiwan manufacturer of office and industrial storage solutions, has recently built the Babbuza Dreamfactory, a truly remarkable tourist factory at the center of which is a 10-story-high (30.8m) tree structure with a spiraling walkway (386m long) around it. Located in an industrial area west of central Nantou City, the facility was constructed as a “box of light,” with transparent walls letting sunlight in during the daytime and artificial light out during nighttime. Visitors seeking a bit of a thrill can do a 30m bungee jump inside the “tree” or tackle a 20m climbing wall. The tourist factory also has shop, dining, and cultural-performance areas. The grand opening is scheduled for December 23 this year.

 

New Tainan Hotels

Formosa Yacht Resort (福爾摩沙遊艇酒店) | new hotel with yacht marina at Tainan’s Anping Harbor.

 

New Tainan Hotels

Grand Banyan Hotel (台南禧榕軒大飯店) | new hotel located in central Tainan, close to the main railway station.

 

Sandiaoling Tunnel Bikeway

When taking a train from Taipei to the Northeast Coast, make sure to look out the window (left-hand side) after passing Houtong Railway Station so you don’t miss the amazing scenery of the Keelung River valley. The riverbed directly below is strewn with huge boulders, and verdant mountainsides close in on both sides. If you take a local train, you can get off at tiny Sandiaoling Railway Station, well-known by hikers as the starting point of the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail. On the opposite side of the river from the station is another attraction, the new Sandiaoling Tunnel Bikeway (3.19km), which takes you through two old railway tunnels and connects to the village of Mudan, located in an adjoining valley. Crossing the river on the railway bridge near the Sandiaoling station is not permitted, but you can start your bike ride at Houtong and follow the road on the eastern bank of the river to reach the tunnels.

 

New Visitor Center in Chiayi City

If self-help travel is what you plan to do in Taiwan, make sure you know about the visitors centers in the areas you plan to explore. In Taiwan these centers, administered by the central Taiwan Tourism Bureau or local tourism units, often provide a wealth of information in Chinese, English, Japanese, and sometimes other foreign languages as well. If you have specific questions, the staff is usually knowledgeable and helpful. Soon to join the network of visitor centers around Taiwan will be a new one for Chiayi City, in the south. The center, slated to open in October this year, is located near the city’s baseball stadium beside the entrance to Kano Park.

 

Taitung from Above

Taitung County is one of the most beautiful areas of Taiwan, and deserves to be seen from all sorts of angles. Taking to the skies gives you a whole new perspective of the land and the ocean to its east. Apart from taking a hot-air balloon flight during the annual Taiwan International Balloon Festival, you can now also go on 30-min. small-aircraft flights that take in the East Rift Valley, the Pacific coast, and Green Island. The planes, operated by Apex Flight Academy, seat nine passengers and reach heights of up to 1,000 meters. You can choose from three different routes, focusing on the valley, the coast, and the island respectively. The experience sets you back NT$9,900 (NT$85,000 for chartering an entire plane); tours are available Thursday~Sunday.

 

“Yong’an Sea Snail Cultural Experience Park”

About 20km west of downtown Taoyuan City is Yong’an Fishing Harbor. Like many fishing harbors, it’s known for seafood restaurants, but also attracts visitors with a scenic footbridge and the chance of catching eye-pleasing sunsets. One new reason to pay the harbor a visit is the recently opened “Yong’an Sea Snail Cultural Experience Park” on the opposite side of the harbor from the seafood restaurant area. Apart from its unique architectural design (the building was constructed to resemble a sea snail), this new sight also features fun AR and VR experiences for visitors, there is an observation deck with wind chimes, and inside you can sit down for a cup of coffee in the “Sea Snail Café.”

 

Taipei Restaurant Bus

Fancy a high-quality afternoon tea or dinner on board a double-decker bus that slowly makes its way through downtown Taipei? Well then, perhaps the Taipei Restaurant Bus is your wish-come-true. Starting and ending its 90min (afternoon tea)/120min (dinner) journey at Taipei City Hall, the bus makes a loop through Taipei’s modern east district, passing such landmarks as Taipei 101 and Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The exquisite set meals are priced NT$1,000 (afternoon) and NT$1,800 dinner).

 

Aowanda

Just 20km from the geographic center of Taiwan as the crow flies, the Aowanda Forest Recreation Area is a popular summer retreat destination surrounded by the towering mountains of the Central Mountain Range. This is an area of tranquility and natural scenic beauty where you’ll want to stay at least a day or two. Until recently you could opt to sleep in one of the two main accommodation buildings (Red/Green Resort Village) or in a cabin. Now you have a new option, glamping! There are eight comfortable yurt-like tents on wooden platforms, each sleeping four. Available packages include complimentary meals and guided tours.

 

Nine Museums/Cultural Parks One Ticket

If you intend to visit museums/cultural parks in the city of Tainan, note that you can now purchase a combo ticket, the Tainan Museum PASS 2022 (priced NT$399), which gives you: Two-time admission to: Longtian Culture Heritage Area, Tainan Zuojhen Fossil Park, Tainan Waterworks Museum, Shuei Jiao She Cultural Park, Furniture Manufacturing Eco-Museum Discount on tickets for: Chimei Museum, National Museum of Taiwan History, Tainan Astronomical Education Area, Tree Valley Life Science Museum

 

Taichung Fashion City Route

With Taichung’s young metro system (TMRT) currently only operating one line, visitors who want to explore the city’s central districts using public transport have to take the bus. Luckily, a new Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus line, the Taichung Fashion City Route, was introduced earlier this year, enabling convenient visits to a large number of tourist attractions, including the old Taichung Railway Station, Taichung Prefectural Hall, Dadun Cultural Center, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Shenji New Village, Calligraphy Greenway, National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung Park, and Empire Sugar Factory.

1
1