CULTURAL TAIWAN: 5 UNMISSABLE EXPERIENCES
Embark on an extraordinary journey through Taiwan as you delve into its rich cultural tapestry. From exploring magnificent national parks and awe-inspiring temples to island hopping and letting the hot springs melt your worries away, Taiwan offers a plethora of unmissable experiences. Read on to learn more about this wondrous destination!
Visit the national parks
Located just a couple of hours by train from Taipei, Taroko National Park is one of the most visited natural wonders and one of the nine national parks. Covering just under 100,00 hectares, it offers ample opportunities for hiking through its mountains and gorges, and also for you to dip your feet in the mountain rivers. The park also features attractions such as the Eternal Spring Changchun Shrine, an impressive temple that sits on top of a natural spring. You may visit the park independently or as part of a full-day tour from Hualien City, where you will also visit Chishingtan Beach and admire the views of the Qingshui Cliffs and Taroko Gorge. Adventure seekers can enjoy a leisurely hike to Baiyang Waterfall!
Take your pick from 15,000 temples
Renowned for their intricate carvings and colourful details, temples in Taiwan offer a glimpse into the country’s spiritual life. These are places of worship where people go to pray, make offerings, and engage in complex rituals and prayers.
Some notable temples include Taipei’s UNESCO-awarded Bao’an Temple, Guandu Temple—the oldest Mazu temple in northern Taiwan—and the Chinese folk religious temple, Longshan. Visit Longshan Temple as part of a walking tour through Wanhua District! When visiting any temple, it is customary to enter through the ‘dragon door’ on the right and exit through the ‘tiger door’ on the left for protection. To gain a deeper understanding of Taiwanese religious practices and customs, you may engage with the local community by joining in on activities like incense making or calligraphy workshops offered at certain temples.
Go island hopping
The Penghu Islands are an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait, located approximately 50 kilometres from mainland Taiwan. Known for their golden beaches, the islands offer a variety of activities for adrenaline-seekers including snorkelling, jet skiing, and windsurfing. Take a boat and explore multiple islands in one day as you encounter everything from sea turtles and temples to traditional aboriginal villages made of coral. As you would expect, the cuisine in Penghu Island is largely centred around seafood, which you can enjoy while dining beachside!
Frolic in any of the 100 major hot springs
Thanks to its location at the western edge of the Philippine Sea Plate on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan is known for its abundance of natural hot springs. Whether you choose to hike to wild springs or soak in Japanese-era bathhouses, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the country’s hot springs culture. Beitou Hot Spring, located in the town of Xinbeitou, is a popular destination for those seeking relaxation in the busy city. In fact, it became so popular that a train line and station were built outside to enable more people to travel there and experience the beauty of the area with ease!
Experience Taiwan’s Indigenous cultures
Immersing yourself fully in Taiwan’s traditions and customs will be a memory you’ll cherish forever. Exploring local communities will not only offer insights into the island’s history and the diverse ethnic groups, but also showcase their significant contributions to Taiwanese culture!
To enhance your experience, book a private cooking class in Hualien, a beautiful city on Taiwan’s east coast. Such an intimate setting will allow you to learn about the Indigenous tribes of eastern Taiwan while preparing traditional aboriginal food alongside your knowledgeable hosts. Get ready to learn more about the ingredients in your food that have been sourced from your hosts’ personal garden and hear their captivating life stories! It’ll definitely be a unique and enriching experience.
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