Explore the underappreciated island of Taiwan on this exciting 8-day Classic Taiwan journey. Its island landscape is comprised of mostly mountains along a north-south axis dotted with hot springs, dramatic cliffs on the east coast, deep ravines, sandy beaches with world-class surf, and swathes of verdant farmland. Taipei is a cultural epicenter with a unique lifestyle, owing to its complex history with China and influences absorbed from Japan during colonial times. Experience the juxtaposition of ancient temples and towering skyscrapers on the age-old landscape. Travel down the scenic coastline to go trekking in a gorge before heading to Kaosiung, a port city in the south.This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
Begin your journey in Taiwan at the capital city of Taipei. You will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel to check in and freshen up. In the afternoon, explore Ximending, a lively hip entertainment and commercial pedestrian zone. Hip since the Japanese colonial era, this recreation district offers boutiques, brand name shops, an adjoining theatre district, bars, a graffiti lane, and casual eateries. Stop at the Red House, one of the oldest buildings in the area at 110-years old which showcases arts and crafts from local artists. At night, it is time to visit the quintessential night market. Raohe Night Market is one of the oldest and most popular. Its almost 2000-feet stretch is packed with shops and stalls selling souvenirs and snacks. Eat your way down the market as you browse deeply discounted fashion. Don't forget to try this market's famed black pepper bun.
Today discover the city's mix of new and old. Start the morning at Longshan temple, built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, China. Then head to the Taiwan 101 building, an iconic skyscraper for its unique architectural style evoking traditional Asian aesthetics in a modern structure. Head to the observation deck for views over the city and to see the world's largest damper sphere which helps the building endure earthquakes. We recommend trying soup dumplings made famous by Taiwanese restaurant Din Tai Fung, at its original location for lunch. In the afternoon, pay a visit to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and catch the changing of the guards before exploring the National Palace Museum. This museum has an impressive permanent collection of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artwork which were brought to Taiwan by the fleeing Nationalist party, saving them from being destroyed during China's Cultural Revolution. This evening, visit the nearby Shilin night market, the largest and most famous in the city. Peruse the alleys and lanes lined with food stalls, video arcades, shops, karaoke bars and snack to your heart's content. If you dare, try the night market classic snack, stinky tofu.
Take a day-trip to explore a few nearby villages, just to the north of Taipei. At the very north coast on a cape is an interesting geopark known for unique geological formations. The soft limestone eroded by seawater and wave has created interesting formations named for the shape, the most iconic of which is the 'Queen's Head.' A short walk beyond the geopark brings you to the top of a cliff for outstanding views of the North Coast and Pacific Ocean. Continue to the fairytale-esque hillside village of Jiufen which offers rich history, atmospheric lanes, teahouses, and snacks at every turn. Then, visit the nearby Shifen village, a collection of lanes and alleys built around the central railway that runs through the town. Visit the town's waterfall and if you wish, release a sky lantern. The final stop is your choice between the traditional Keelung port city with its famous Miaokou night market and seafood, or the obscure and strange Wanli UFO village, a collection of derelict Venturo houses lining an eerie abandoned beachside town.
Leave the city behind and embark on a spectacular car journey along the island's east coast. The land here consists of volcanic rock that has been pushed upward by tectonic action, creating dramatic landforms of coastal terraces, sand and pebble beaches, shoreline reefs, trenches, and caves. Travel south with the emerald mountains to your right and ocean blues to your left. Enroute, visit Kavalan Whisky Distillery which makes Taiwan's acclaimed spirit, followed by lunch at a local fishing village, and a stop at the magnificent Qingshui Cliff. Your final destination is Silk's Place hotel located deep inside Taroko Gorge National Park. Unwind and rest up for tomorrow's adventure in the park.
Take your journey to the next level as you river trace in the Taroko Gorge. Truly the best way to enjoy the view, you will combine climbing and hiking in the picturesque (and safe) environment. Visit the Changchun Shrine, or the Eternal Spring Shrine. The shrine commemorates the 212 construction workers who died building the Central Cross-Island Highway. Enjoy a unique lunch of aboriginal cuisine at a local restaurant. Put on your waterproof gear when you visit the Shuilian Cave, or the Water Curtain Cave. Brought to fame by the novel, Journey to the West, this is where the main character sought enlightenment. End the day with a hike along the Shakadang Trail, or Mysterious Valley Trail, built along the river’s edge, and get one last glimpse of the postcard-perfect views.
Today you are headed to your final destination of this journey, the southern port city of Kaohsiung. Depart from Taroko and cut across the island to Taichung via the curvy and mountainous Cross Island Highway. In Taichung, have lunch and visit the Rainbow Village, a settlement of brightly painted homes and streets. The work was single-handedly done by a man on the quest to save his village from demolition. Before getting on the train, stop in at Miyahara, a red-brick building that was formerly a ophthalmology clinic during the Japanese colonial period. Check out its historic architecture while also trying ice cream and bubble tea from the pastry company that moved in. The high-speed rail journey takes only an hour to reach Kaosiung. Check in to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure.
Once a purely industrial city with a busy harbor, Kaohsiung has become an exciting, trendy landscape. Visit Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan's largest temple which has an impressive path called The Noble Eightfold Path which leads to an enormous bronze sitting Buddha statue. Head to the scenic Lotus Lake, fringed with temples. The most interesting and popular of which is the flamboyant Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, twin seven-storey towers with a dragon's mouth entrance and tiger's jaws exit. Take it easy in the afternoon with a stroll around the Pier 2 Art District and Xinjuejiang shopping district. Tonight, take one last opportunity to enjoy the snacks at one of the city's night markets.
Have breakfast and spend the morning at leisure, perhaps enjoying a final bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup or last minute souvenir collecting. When ready, a private transfer will take you to the airport for your flight onward.
The utterly stunning Mandarin Oriental Taipei stands shining over Dun Hua North Road in central Taipei. Just a short distance from both Songshan Airport Station and from Nanjing East Road MRT station, this architectural marvel is within easy reach of the city and all its delights. Nearby attractions certain to interest guests include Taipei Arena, Taipei Fine Art Museum, a number of beautiful riverside parks and the city’s shopping district with Taipei 101. Within the hotel are a range of opulent rooms and suites to suit all tastes, sumptuously decorated and well equipped for comfort and luxury. Guests can choose between three formal restaurants serving a range of cuisines from around the world, while the hotel’s bar and cake shop serve delightful little treats. What’s more, the pool, spa and lounge encourage guests to relax and unwind, while the fitness center is perfect for invigorating workouts.
This large, sleek, contemporary Chinese style hotel offers sweeping vistas of Taroko Gorge and its surrounding mountainside. The hotel has many five-star well-being facilities including an indoor and outdoor pool, a spa, sauna and gym with fitness classes. The hotel’s deluxe rooms are well-furnished with modern amenities and private balconies overlooking either the nearby mountains or the river below. Diners may enjoy Chinese or international dishes al-fresco amongst the rugged gorge edges, or inside in the elegant restaurant with two private rooms. In the evenings, guests can indulge in a few after dinner drinks and star gazing at the Fire Place bar -complete with stylish outdoor heaters.
Whether you travel to Kaohsiung for history, nature, or simply to shop, this southern Taiwanese city is a tempting destination, and the luxurious Silks Club Hotel is a perfect home base for your travels. The hotel's airy, minimalist rooms start at 197 square feet, and guests can pick between two twins or a king-size bed. Linens are 400 thread count, while freestanding tubs and modern amenities like LED TVs, BOSE Sound Link Minis, and Wi-Fi come standard. Suites are fitted with oak floors and separate living rooms — some even have wet bars. UKAI, the world's only Michelin-star-awarded Teppanyaki restaurant, is located within the hotel; other tantalizing dishes like Wagyu beef and freshly caught seafood are also available. The In Jade Lounge is another venue where guests can enjoy fresh dishes, and Dassai Bar serves up premium sakes. With views spanning the New Bay Area, the hotel’s swimming pool beckons, as do the dry saunas and steam rooms for men and women, and a fitness room with premium gym equipment like Italian-imported Technogym treadmills and free weights.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, high-speed train ticket Taichung-Kaosiung, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, and breakfasts while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including lunches and dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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A road trip along Taiwan’s east coast allows travelers to see strange architectural wonders, breathtaking natural beauty, and dynamic Asian cityscapes from a whole new angle.
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