With bustling cities, historic architectures, lush mountains and mouth watering restaurants the island nation has something for everyone. It’s an ideal stopover destination for exploring Asia. This is how we recommend first timers to spend 5 days in Taiwan to make the most out of their time.
- Only 2.3% of Taiwanese population is native, the rest 97.7% are ethnically Chinese.
- With 23 million people living mostly along the strip of land along the east coast, it is a densely populated country.
- The national dish of Taiwan is stinky tofu.
- Taipei’s 101 building was the tallest building in the world until 2007.
- Avoid seats dedicated to elderly people, pregnant people and people living with disabilities on public transits.
- You can bring your own drinks to most restaurants.
- Visa card is widely accepted, Mastercard and American Express cards might not be accepted everywhere.
- Some places might only accept card, carry some cash with you all the time.
- Public transportation is cheap and convenient. Get a transportation card to save time and money.
- Some restaurants might require you to pay when you order.
- Tipping isn’t common practice in Taiwan and might be seen as rude if you tip.
- Avoid talking(loudly) on public transportation.
- October to April is the best time to visit Taiwan. The weather is comfortably warm and rainfall is minimal.
- Pack light and wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be taking public transit and walking around in this trip.
Recommended daily itinerary
Estimated cost: $450-$950 per person (Excluding Airfare)
First day of the trip, get settled in Taipei city
- Fly into Taoyuan International Airport.
- Catch Airport Line Express train to Taipei Main Station. Walk to Cosmos Hotel Taipei and check in to the hotel.
- Rest up, get some snacks and make your way to Taipei 101 and enjoy the panoramic views from the observation deck of one of the world’s tallest skyscrappers. Purchase your observatory e-ticket and get a free drink in the food court.
- Enjoy your dinner at Din Tai Fung 101 Branch.
- Catch a train from World Trade Center Station to Jiantan Station and explore Shi Lin Night Market before making your way back to hotel to rest up. Keep in mind that trains only operate till midnight. If you plan to stay out after midnight, you can take cabs to get back to your hotel.
Historic Taipei city
Explore historic landmarks of Taipei city.
- Walk or take a train to Zhongzheng district and enjoy traditional taiwanese breakfast at Dinyuan Soy Milk.
- Head over to Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, a national monument erected in memory of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. This beautiful monument features perfectly landscaped gardens, bronze statue of the late president, concert hall and walkways.
- Enjoy indo-chinese food at Indian Kitchen restaurant &MIK-6 live hookah shisha bar.
- Make your way to Longshan Temple, a cultural centerpiece of the city. The temple is called “meeting place of the gods” for the wealth of deities worshipped here.
- Make your way to National Palace Museum. There are no train lines that goes here so catch a bus or taxi/Uber.
- Enjoy fine Japanese dining at Ikki New Japanese Restaurant (Hengyan).
Explore Taroko National park, one of the nine national parks in Taiwan and a UNESCO site. The park features stunning views, excellent hiking, abundant waterfalls and historical shrines.
- Enjoy early morning breakfast at your hotel.
- Checkout from your hotel and catch an express train from Taipei main terminal to Hualien(Xincheng Station). Reserve your tickets online in advance.
- Catch Taiwan Tourist shuttle and make your way to Taroko Village hotel and check in. Your hotel reservation will usually include free breakfast and dinner.
- Catch a tourist shuttle of bus to Taroko National park. Start out your exploration by hiking Baiyang waterfall trail and make your way to Swallow Grotto Trail. You can grab a bite at in a nearby Lunch cafe here. Take your time exploring other top attractions at the park including Taroko Gorge. Bulowan bridge, Qingshui cliffs and Eternal Spring shrine.
- Head back to your hotel for delicious indigenous meal.
Chishang, Taitung City.
Explore the charming, picturesque rice town of Chishang.
- Enjoy buffet breakfast at your hotel.
- Checkout from your hotel and take a bus to Hualien station and then an express train to Chishang Station.
- Walk or take a bus and get to Chinshang Pastoral Farm Resort. This conveniently located and affordable resort provides environment friendly stay options for guests.
- Make your way to Brown Boulevard on bus or taxi. You can stroll around or rent bike and bike through Chishang. Try to find the famous “Takeshi Kaneshiro” tree.
- Stop for lunch at Dachi Dou Pi Restaurant during your bike ride.
- Make your way to Dapo pond and spend your evening soaking up the views and boating in the pond.
- Enjoy the most famous railroad platform bento at Chuang Mei Hang Bento Resturant.
Last day of the trip.
Get back to Taipei, finish any last minute shopping before catching your flight back.
- Enjoy breakfast at Chingfeng Biscuit.
- Check out from your hotel, make your way to Chishang Station and catch an express train to Taipei. You can stop by the city for any last minute shopping or exploration or directly head back to Taoyuan airport. Enjoy your flight back.