Here is a list of things to do in Taichung, Central Taiwan & Taiwan. If you have a suggestion, a comment or need help with any of these, please contact me through my TaichungExpat Line account. Add me using the ID: @hem6064z or scan this code:
TAICHUNG TOURISM – First off, the Taichung Tourism Bureau is doing a great job of updating their English website as of late, so this is a great resource for everyone to use.
Paragliding in Puli – very user friendly. Helps if you have a Chinese speaker to translate the instruction, but no real problems. The cost is about $100 US dollars for about 20 minutes overlooking the Puli valley. They will pick you up at the bottom and return you to the parking area at the top. You also get a camera to carry with you and a film of your ride and pictures. It’s about 1 hour from central Taichung.
SPOT in Miaoli – Paddleboarding, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing
Sun Moon Lake – one of the largest lakes on the island, named this because it looked to the aboriginal people like a sun and moon joined together. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Taiwan. Most of the activities are fairly passive except for the biking / walking trail around the lake. If you go in the fall / early spring when it’s cooler outside, this is a very nice place to spend a day. From here you can take the Gondola over the mountain to the 9 Tribes Amusement Park – or just over and back to the lake. It’s a nice and beautiful ride.
Bicycle Riding – Taichung has several dedicated bike paths with multiple places where you can rent bicycles with an ID and a small amount of cash for the day. Bicycles come in all sizes and types including electric bikes for those who might want some extra assistance. If you haven’t ridden in Taiwan much, do be careful and cautious. Scooters often use these bike paths and are very careless, as well as other bicyclist are not used to the more cautious and proactive western way of riding with others.
Giant Bicycle Tours – Giant Bicycles home operation is found here in Taichung and they also operate a tour company specializing in custom and group tours here on the island and around the world. This website will help you contact them to set up an experience. They are definitely experts and these tours, although more expensive that do it yourself take care of everything.
GaoMei Wetlands – The wetlands are a beautiful place to spend an early morning or late afternoon and evening enjoying the ocean. Because of Taiwan’s military position and the government control of all shoreline, there are very few places where you can actually go swimming and enjoy the beach in Taiwan. This area on the Taichung coastline is a beautiful place to play in the sand and enjoy the tide coming in and out.
Surfing in Dulan – There are several places on the East Coast with foreigner run surfing outfits.
On the West coast near Taichung – there is this location: Mr. J Surfwork – you probably should call before you go.
Kiteboarding – Joseph Carl Ruger (you will have to look him up on FaceBook or I can help you contact him) helped start the kiteboarding scene in Taiwan many years ago and if there is someone who can help you get involved – this is your guy. He is willing to give free introductory lessons. The best place for this is a beach near Zhunan.
Badminton – There are courts in almost every neighborhood and it’s quite easy to join a group and start playing.
Tennis – These courts are a little harder to come by – and not so many indoors, so playing tends to be early in the morning and late evening to avoid the sun.
Swimming – Here is a list of most of the pools in Taichung. Be aware that you must wear a swim cap (ladies, men, children – even shaved heads – there is no discussion on this point). It’s an asian rule. Pools sell tickets, individually or in sets. If you plan to swim a lot, it’s better to buy a set so you can get a discount.
Water & Amusement Parks – most of these parks are combination water / amusement parks.
- Liphao Land, right on the north side of Taichung is a combination resort / amusement park and water park.
- Leo Foo Water Park is north of Taichung about one hour.
- Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village – about one hour from Taichung near Sun Moon Lake.
- JanFuSun Amusement Park – about one hour south of Taichung
Movie Theaters – Check out this article on TaichungExpat for the movie theaters in Taichung.
Shopping – Taichung has a number of department stores, which would be equivalent to shopping malls in the west. In addition, there are stores located all throughout the city which cater to various specialities. If you are looking for something specific, please ask – you might need to search in Chinese to find exactly what you need. All of the department stores open at 11:00 a.m. Weekends tend to be very busy and crowded. If you plan to eat at one of the sit down restaurants, make a reservation early. If you park in the underground parking, take your token and wherever you shop or purchase food, hand it to the cashier and they will add time so when you leave, you may not have to pay.
- Top City – VieShow Movie Theater, DinTaiFeng Restaurant, City Super Import Grocer
- Mitsukoshi – Movie Theater, Gordon Biersch, Jamba Juice
- Tiger City – VieShow Theater + Gold Class, SEGA Game Center, Chili’s Bar & Grill
- Sogo – Wovie Theater with couch seating
- Park Lane CMP Department Store
- Park Lane Inn by Splendor (Hotel above)
- ChungYo Department Store – Jason’s Import Supermarket, near YiZhong Night Market
- Taroko Mall – Theater, 24 Hour Carrefour, Children’s Playland, Indoor Ice Rink (small), Lazer Tag
- Showtime Plaza Wenxin (Theater) – these are the two newest additions to the shopping, movie scene in Taichung. The Wenxin location has Taichung’s only Burger King in the B1 food court.
- Showtime Plaza Taichung Station (Theater)
Festivals & Events – it can be a little hard to keep up with all of the festivals and events around the island, but this website will give you a good start.
Taroko Gorge – Taiwan’s iconic natural wonder. Definitely plan a trip here. Ask me how and I’ll help you find a plan for your budget and time frame including an English tour guide to make sure you have the best experience.
White Water Rafting / River Tracing – you can do this in the Hualien area and it’s a great deal of fun and not too expensive. I’ll help you plan a trip to fit your time and budget.
Dolphin Watching Tours (Taichung / Yilan / Hualien) – just make sure to take your motion sickness pills.
Kenting Beach Resorts – Kenting is Taiwan’s largest beach area where the water is usually beautifully clear and the swimming is okay. The beach’s are not as nice as some other asian locations or Hawaii or Florida, but they are great and the weather is usually very nice. There are several great resorts and also options for snorkeling and scuba diving where you can see some amazing underwater sea life. Let me know if you need some suggestions of where to stay or how to plan a trip.
Snorkeling / Scuba – if you are interested in Scuba, then ask me and I’ll put you in touch with my PADI certified instructor Ronald Fergusson who can help you arrange a trip to fit your budget and/or get you certified in SCUBA while you are here in Taiwan. He’s a great Taichung based expat with tons of experience and all the right contacts to make it happen.
National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium – definitely a place to visit if you enjoy the sea.
Scuba Dive Hotel in Taichung – The DiveCube Hotel in taichung has an indoor scuba pool where you can do your certification or just dive.
Calligraphy Greenway / People’s Park
National Museum of Natural Science w/ Imax Theater
921 Earthquake Museum – Definitely worth a trip to understand the history of the 921 earthquake and also gain a better understanding of earthquake science.
National Public Library – all ARC holders can apply for a library card to use in the library system and check out books, rent movies, etc.
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts – a very active art museum with great grounds, sculptures and a constantly rotating set of exhibits.
Flying Cow Ranch – about 1 hour from Taichung is this great out of the city adventure.
DongShi Forest Park – within 30 minutes you can be out of the city and up into the moutains, where there are many great parks and hikes to explore. This is just one of them.
Chasing Waterfalls – This expat has spent the last few years cataloging most of the waterfalls and swimming holes around Taiwan. Now you can spend your time here going to enjoy them.
National Taichung Theater – is not only an amazing landmark for Taichung’s architectural scene, but is hosting some great performances.
Lazer Tag / Minigolf – here’s a nice indoor way to spend some time.
Ninja Factory Trampoline Park
Taichung Extreme Sports Park – skate park / rock climbing / paintball etc
Indoor Rock Climbing – you can also google search taichung rock climbing and a quick list will pop up.
Taiwan Balloon Museum – a little north of town you can find this balloon factory. If you have a group, they will arrange a tour, otherwise just a nice shop where you can buy some balloons that are only made here in Taichung.
Dirt Bike Racing – Iron Hill Cycling Village near Dajia. You should probably call first or have a Chinese speaker/reader help you. Their website is all Mandarin. But several friends have gone out and had a great time here.
Oyster Farm – this is a local oyster farm where you can go out and help harvest oysters, eat them, etc.
LOST Escape Room
Ten Drums Cultural Park – One of the most fun performances you can catch in Taiwan. They have performances and a great cultural experience at their headquarters in Tainan as well as traveling troupes that perform around the country.
Of course no list would be complete without night markets. Taichung has many to choose from, but two you should definitely include would be the FengJia Night Market and the YiZhong Night Market. Both are full of food, shopping and lots of people most nights of the week. Go with an empty stomach and you won’t leave disappointed.