The most effective day journeys from Taipei for a glimpse of rural Taiwan

Inside the dense forests that encircle the colourful, chaotic Taiwanese capital, the mysteries of rural Taiwan await, made accessible by Taipei’s ultra-efficient public transport system.

In addition to a full spectrum of inexperienced areas, cultural heritage abounds, from the steep alleyways of Jiufen Outdated Road to the old-world Pingxi railway. Learn on to find our favourite day journeys from Taipei.

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Hike all day lengthy in Yangmingshan

Why go?: For the recent air and views

The sheer quantity and vary of mountain climbing alternatives close to Taipei will go away you breathless, as will the realm’s numerous parks and reserves. Yangmingshan Nationwide Park is without doubt one of the most accessible pure preserves, lording over Taipei Metropolis with lush peaks coated in silver grass and an in depth community of trails winding via meadows and pastures.

There are ten hikeable peaks at Yangmingshan, and you probably have 11 hours to spare, you could possibly strive climbing all of them in someday. For a extra stress-free day, strive for only one or two peaks – maybe Mt Qixing’s foremost and east peaks – adopted by a gathering with water buffalo on the Qingtian Grassland, geothermal encounters on the Xiaoyoukeng geological park, or lilly selecting at Zhuzihu (potential from February to Could). Beitou Sizzling Springs is one other close by attraction, and its steaming baths are all of the extra interesting after a full day of mountain climbing.

The summit of Mt Qixing is a worthy day journey vacation spot from Taipei © T.Dallas / Shutterstock

There are a number of methods to climb 1120m (3675ft) Mt Qixing – the meandering 2.4km (1.5-mile) Miaopu path beginning close to Yangmingshan Customer Heart follows a stone-paved path, with indicators in Mandarin and English; indicators alongside the route spotlight different points of interest similar to Menghuan Pond and the Lengshuikeng pure springs, permitting you to increase your journey relying on power ranges.

Find out how to get to Yangmingshan: To succeed in the customer middle, hop on shuttle bus 260 from Shimin Boulevard behind Taipei Important Station and alight at Yangmingshan Bus Terminal (30NTD/US$1, one hour).

From the bus terminal, stroll again to the primary highway and head uphill; search for an indication in your proper marking the trail to the customer middle. Choose up an in depth map right here (or get human recommendation!) to find any trails you want to strive. After finishing your hike, the 108 bus can drop you again on the customer middle to catch the 260 bus returning to Taipei Metropolis.

The annual sky lantern festival in northern Taiwan's Pingxi District
Pingxi is the setting for Taiwan’s spectacular Sky Lantern Pageant in February © kecl / Getty Photos

Get pleasure from quirky outdated mining cities and waterfalls on the Pingxi Line

Why go? For railway nostalgia

Initially constructed to attach a collection of coal mining cities through the Japanese occupation, the charming Pingxi railway line is lower than an hour from Taipei. This 12km (7.5-mile) single-track railway runs parallel to the Keelung River and stops at quite a few slow-moving villages which might be wealthy with mining heritage, spectacular pure points of interest, and cats!

Houtong Cat Village will win you over early on, so pause for some high quality time with the handfuls of docile kitties that sunbathe on the steps and corrugated roofs across the village. You may also go to the coal mining museum (and experience a handcar into the tunnels) adopted by a espresso in a cutesy cat-themed café when you look ahead to the following scheduled prepare (they normally run each hour).

Sandiaoling and Shifen are two competing waterfalls on the Pingxi Line; the previous is price visiting for forested mountain climbing trails resulting in swimmable swimming pools; the latter is taken into account the most suitable choice for breathtaking views. The Sandiaoling Waterfall Path is a half-day journey in itself, linking the Hegu and Motian cascades and Pipa Cave by way of a suspension bridge and nature path. The 40m (131ft) Shifen Waterfall is taken into account Taiwan’s most scenic cascade, and it has the added bonus of an adjoining ‘outdated avenue’ of classic homes.

The penultimate cease is Pingxi, the mining city that gave the railway its identify, recognized for its nostalgic outdated avenue and Sky Lantern Pageant, held each February, when practically 100,000 guests paint their needs onto paper lanterns and launch them into the night time sky. On the last cease of Jingtong, you’ll be able to stroll alongside tracks lined with memento stalls, stands serving scorching Taiwanese sausages and heritage buildings.

Find out how to board the Pingxi Line: The Pingxi Line is a straightforward day journey from Taipei, and it is easy to increase the journey with an in a single day keep in wildly fashionable Jiufen village. Taiwan Railway (TRA) trains to Ruifang Station run from Taipei Important Station (from 50NTD/US$1.70, one hour), at which level you’ll be able to switch simply to the Pingxi Line.

A day ticket for limitless journey on the Pingxi Line prices solely 80NTD (US$2.75), making it one of many all-time finest low-cost journeys from Taipei! On weekends, the small prepare can get fairly packed, particularly when returning to Ruifang on the finish of the day. Contemplate approaching a weekday or begin early to keep away from the worst crowds.

Gushing waterfall in Wulai district
Simply half-hour from Taipei. Wulai District is known for its gushing waterfalls © SILENCE Picture / Getty Photos

Get sizzling and steamy in Wulai District

Why go? For warm springs and hikes

One of many high romantic getaways close to Taipei, Wulai District will get its identify from the Atayal phrase for the recent springs for which this Indigenous city is famend. Regardless of some commercialization, Wulai retains a sure authenticity – the mountain valley is minimize off from the remainder of Taiwan and exists in concord with the verdant mountains surrounding it.

Most individuals who come right here keep in a single day at a Wulai sizzling springs resort, a few of that are bookable by the hour for day-trippers. It is also potential to wash in sizzling springs without cost subsequent to the Wulai River, permitting you to save lots of your cash for a go to to the Wulai Atayal Museum, a tram experience, or the gondola journey to the Yunshien Amusement Park. Alongside the way in which, decide up Atayal snacks similar to wild boar, stuffed bamboo tubes and millet wine.

Vacationers wishing to get off the crushed park have myriad choices, together with heading past the crimson Nanshi suspension bridge on looping mountain climbing trails in direction of Wulai Falls, or climbing straight up Large Knife Mountain. Rambling alongside the rocky Laka Path, or mountain climbing via the emerald-hued Mini Gorge is especially rewarding. River tracing (like canyoning), swimming, and tenting are extra choices for outside enjoyable.

Find out how to attain Wulai: The only path to Wulai from Taipei is to board the 1601 bus from Xindian MRT Station (40NTD/US$1.40, half-hour). Taxi drivers wait across the metro station trying to ferry vacationers to Wulai for a good fee, so if the bus is full, contemplate teaming up with different vacationers and sharing the experience.

Full Moon Waterfall in Manyueyuan National Forest Recreation Area near Taipei
Serene forest bathing is the lure at Manyueyuan Nationwide Forest Recreation Space © YCBanana / Shutterstock

Bathe in a forest glade at Manyueyuan Nationwide Forest

Why go? For rural serenity

Japan – Taiwan’s shut neighbor – might have coined the time period ‘shinrin-yoku’ (forest bathing), however this tradition may also be loved within the dense forests surrounding Taipei. About 90 minutes south of the Taiwanese capital in Sanxia District, Manyueyuan Nationwide Forest is without doubt one of the closest locations to Taipei for an arboreal bathing session, and it is well-known for its waterfalls set in woodland alongside a subtropical creek, with plenty of potential bathing spots.

Day trippers to Manyueyuan can sort out a 10km (6.2-mile) loop path that crosses over Beichatian Mountain, passing via historical stands of forest. Alternatively, you’ll be able to comply with a flat, paved path alongside Dabao River for potential sightings of Formosan rock macaques and crested eagles perched upon the branches above the trail.

For an prolonged weekend journey from Taipei, contemplate including on extra forest bathing at Dongyanshan Forest, staying in a single day at a heritage guesthouse in Sanxia or Yingge.

Find out how to get to Manyueyuan: Probably the most handy approach to attain the forest is to drive; alternatively, contemplate a guided tour or taxi pool with a gaggle of fellow vacationers utilizing providers similar to Tripool and Parkbus.

With extra time to spare, experience the metro to Banqiao TRA Station, taking the 702 or 812 bus to Sanxia Cease 1 adopted by the much less frequent 807 to the Manyueyuan car parking zone.

Keelung's lively Miaokou night market, famous throughout Taiwan for its seafood
Keelung’s vigorous Miaokou Evening Market is known for its recent seafood © Yevgen Belich / Shutterstock

Fulfill your seafood cravings at Keelung Harbor

Why go? For a Taiwanese feast

Individuals who ask if Keelung is price visiting clearly haven’t heard about this port metropolis’s popularity for succulent and inexpensive seafood. There are many cultural highlights too – the daring colours of Zhengbin Fishing Harbor and a outstanding 25m (82ft) statue of Guanyin, the Chinese language Goddess of Mercy, standing amid the temples of Zhongzheng Park.

At Heping Island Park, sea views and curious rock formations make the strolling trails a pleasure to discover. The first cause to go to Keelung nonetheless is Miaokou Evening Market, which boasts some 200 meals stalls overlaying a number of blocks within the neighborhood of Dianji Temple.

Attempt recent seafood fried, roasted, steamed, uncooked, or paired harmoniously with thick crab soup and glutinous rice. Different really helpful snacks embody tempura, pork knuckle and dianbiancuo soup – a Keelung specialty made with scrapings of rice flour batter, served with shrimp, pork and cabbage.

Find out how to get to Keelung: Merely hop on a northbound prepare from Taipei Important Station and journey to succeed in Keelung Station (40NTD/US$1.30, 40 minutes).

Tea pickers harvesting leaves in Taiwan
The tea plantations round Pinglin produce high-quality pouchong teas © shih kuang chao / Getty Photos

Style pouchong tea in Pinglin

Why go? For tea plantation excursions

Tea lovers can take a day journey to savor the fragile style of pouchong tea on the plantations and outdated streets of Pinglin, a district central to Taiwan’s century-old tea commerce. Pinglin is simply over one hour from Taipei; the picturesque Thousand Island Lake additionally lies within the space, and it is a must-see you probably have sufficient time.

Begin your day with breakfast on Pinglin Outdated Road, the place each snack comes infused with native leaves. Tea eggs are a comfort retailer staple throughout Taiwan however in Pinglin they swap black tea for pouchong within the steeping course of, making for a lighter style. The Liang Xin bun retailer distinguishes its steam buns from the pack with pure coloring and tea infusions; they value simply 10NTD (US$0.35) every.

Lease a bicycle and comply with the river alongside the Beishixi Bikeway via landscapes of terraced tea fields. The Pinglin Tea Museum lies inside simple attain, for insights into the historical past of the tea commerce and the tea manufacturing course of. For an open-air different, go to a working farm similar to Tea City Osmanthus or the Inexperienced Mild Farm to see tea harvesting in spring, or get pleasure from tea tasting all 12 months spherical.

You would possibly odor your final cease on strategy. Famed for 100 years of the Taiwanese delicacy pungent tofu, Shiding Outdated Road may not be each foreigner’s first selection for a snack cease, however the old-fashioned environment is well worth the time, with stone walkways and stilt homes suspended haphazardly over the riverbed. Shops right here additionally promote extra accessible tofu snacks, together with tofu pudding and tofu tiramisu.

Find out how to attain Pinglin: Pinglin lies simply 30km (18.6 miles) outdoors of Taipei however the winding mountain roads make the journey really feel longer. The Inexperienced 12 bus runs to Pinglin by way of the Feitsui reservoir however the 923 bus is the one direct bus path to Pinglin. It runs from Xindian MRT station to Pinglin Outdated Road by way of Shiding (30NTD/US$1, one hour).

A traditional Taiwanese tea set in a teahouse near Taipei
Ceramics offered in Yingge vary from delicate tea units to large plant pots and vases © Hiroshi Higuchi / Getty Photos

Throw pots on Yingge Ceramics Road

Why go? For enjoyable craft purchasing

Should you’re searching for a pot to brew your freshly acquired pouchong tea, the city of Yingge will probably be glad to assist. October is one of the best month to go to Taiwan’s pottery and ceramics capital, as native companies get fired up for the Yingge Ceramics Pageant and performances take over the streets.

Anybody desirous about ceramics or historical Chinese language arts will get pleasure from pottering round city at any time of 12 months. Guests can study in regards to the colonial historical past that formed the ceramics commerce on the Yingge Ceramics Museum (80NTD/US$2.75). The Yingge Ceramics Mall additionally has a number of merchants promoting crockery, conventional tea units and ornamental items underneath one roof.

To strive your hand at sculpting, glazing and firing your individual pottery, guide a two-hour class at one of many ceramics studios within the space (similar to Shu’s Pottery) for round 300NTD (US$$10) per particular person. In any other case, a number of kilns on Chongqing Road supply a glimpse of the normal firing strategies used to supply Yingge ceramics.

Having discovered a good tea set, get pleasure from upscale tea and small plates on the Tea Day restaurant, including on a go to to the close by city of Sanxia to admire extra red-brick structure and conventional knick-knacks. The central Qingshui Zushi Temple is a dwelling museum of Chinese language historical past and people artwork, internet hosting a controversial animal sacrifice on the sixth day of the lunar calendar.

Find out how to get to Yingge: Yingge lies about half-hour southwest of Taipei by prepare, however you too can get right here by way of a leisurely hour-long cycle alongside the riverside bikeway; there is a YouBike station adjoining to the outdated avenue in Yingge. Alternatively, you’ll be able to take a Taiwan Railway prepare direct to Yingge Station from Taipei Important Station.