When we think of Taiwan, Taipei, yummy street food and bustling markets are what come to mind. But venture a little out of the capital city and you’d discover that Taiwan has numerous outdoor experiences for a refreshing getaway.
The next time you’re looking for a quick change of scenery, why not add these into your next Taiwan itinerary! Here are six unique outdoor experiences ranked from adventurous to chill so there’s a little treat regardless of how you like to experience the outdoors!
Photo credit: 溯溪王Riverking Facebook
Hualien county is Taiwan’s nature and adventure hub. There are several scenic canyons and waterfalls in the area, making it a great place for river trekking.
River trekking involves a mix of wading through waters, climbing and cliff diving — so it’s good to have a basic level of fitness. This river trekking tour takes on Hualien’s Shapodong River, where guests will navigate its emerald waters with an experienced guide.
Photo credit: The Travel Intern
Yilan county is just an hour’s drive from Taipei and is famous for beautiful mountains and coastlines. One of the best things to do in Yilan is to hop on a dolphin-spotting tour.
During the warmer months of March till November, the seas here are frequented by wild dolphins. These playful creatures often swim up close to boats! The tour also includes a stop at Turtle Island, Taiwan’s only active volcano.
Photo credit: Josh Ellis Photography
Looking for a more thrilling outdoor experience outside Taipei? Put on your hiking boots and check out the Wuliaojian (Wu Liao Peak) Trek.
This peak isn’t that high — just 639m — but the route is pretty challenging. There are a few steep ascending sections, so be prepared to sweat it out. A highlight of this hike is the ridge walk, where hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley.
The entire round-trip hike is 5km and takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete.
Photo credit: Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration
Sicao Green Tunnel is the star attraction of Sicao Wetlands in Taijiang National Park, famous for gorgeous reflections in its calm waters. The best way to experience this is by hopping on a boat tour to admire the lush green canopy and thick mangrove forests. The wetlands are also home to various wildlife — keep your eyes peeled for the mudskippers and crabs.
Photo credit: Alishan National Scenic Area Tourism Bureau
Most tourists are familiar with Alishan, fewer have heard of Shizhao (or Shizhuo). Located an hour’s drive from Alishan National Forest Area, Shizhao is a mountain village surrounded by tea fields and bamboo forests.
The best way to see Shizhao is by taking on its network of six short trails — Mist, Tea, Cloud, Sunset, Sakura and Love Trails. They range from 500m to 1.8km, and can be completed in 2 hours total.
Photo credit: Klook
Guanziling Mud Hot Spring is one of Taiwan’s most famous hot springs, surrounded by mountains in the Baihe District. It’s a natural mud spring — the water contains salts, sulfur and mud.
Because of its high concentration of minerals, the mud here is believed to be good for the skin! Guanziling has around a dozen hot spring hotels, great for a relaxing holiday away from the city.
Photo credit: @quieroana via Instagram
One of Taiwan’s best-kept secrets is the peaceful county of Taitung. With their abundance of natural landscapes, it makes for a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
While many visit their national parks or ride a bike through the East Rift Valley, the best way to immerse yourself in Taitung’s wonders is to go glamping by the sea. Wake up to the sounds of waves crashing, admire the coastline up close, and view the starry skies from the comfort of your own luxury tent!
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