5 Beautiful Places To Visit Outside Taipei

Taiwan seems to fall on the bottom – if at all – of most travelers’ bucket lists, which is sad because the island possesses beautiful sites, delicious food, and kind people. When thinking of visiting Taiwan, generally stinky tofu (yes, it actually is stinky), the hustle and bustle of Taipei city, and the Taipei 101 skyscraper come to mind. There is so much more to Taiwan, though, that most people don’t find because they refuse to leave Taipei City. For those adventurous and curious others, add these 5 beautiful places outside of Taipei City to your list of must-sees.

 

Photo by Mark Kao on Flickr

Photo by Mark Kao on Flickr

1. Sun Moon Lake

 Famous for its sunrises and sunsets, this serene lake is the largest body of water in Taiwan. The gorgeous lake and lush grounds add to the scenic views of the temples that dot the area, long hiking and biking trails, and boating tours. Travelers that enjoy a little R&R will be happy to learn that there are pristine spas in the area that offer some of the most decadent treatments in Taiwan.

 

Photo by Tang Allen on Flickr

Photo by Tang Allen on Flickr

2. Tamsui

This small seaside district in the north of New Taipei City is easy to get to and offers a range of cultural delights and culinary pleasures. Taiwan’s famous bridge, Lovers Bridge, is a great place coupled up travelers can visit to take in a beautiful sunset (and enjoy some secret smooches).

 

Photo by m-louis. on Flickr

Photo by m-louis. on Flickr

3. Wulai

 Wulai is a great day trip for those staying in Taipei because it sits just on the border of the city. Only a cab and bus ride away, this mountainous area is known for its waterfalls, hot springs, and traditional Hakka villages. The small market underneath the mountain is a great place to taste a special variation of suckling pig.

 

Photo by Jirka Matousek on Flickr

Photo by Jirka Matousek on Flickr

4. Pingxi

 Another easy day trip, the small rural district of Pingxi is best visited during the Lantern Festival in January as hopeful natives and travelers release sky lanterns decorated with wishes into the sky. Travelers who can’t visit during the Lantern Festival will still find beauty in the small district. From walking among its distinct architecture to wandering around the small shops built in the 1930s that still stand, visitors can find plenty of picturesque areas to enjoy, delicious food to indulge in, and one of a kind souvenirs to purchase,

 

Photo by Jinhan on Flickr

Photo by Jinhan on Flickr

5. Little Liuchiu Island

 The small but beautiful coral island offers some of Taiwan’s best views. Visitors stroll the island, exploring its complex caves, unique rock formations, and elaborate temples. May to July is an especially wonderful time to visit the island, as it’s turtle hatching season. Although curious tourists may wish to get a closer glimpse of the little animals (probably while humming “The Circle Of Life” from The Lion King), some areas of the island are banned during these months to protect our hard-shelled friends who are actually an endangered species of green sea turtles. Because the island’s ecosystem is so precious and delicate, gill net fishing was actually banned off the island in 2013 in an effort to protect the coral and sea turtles.

 

Calling all expert travelers of Taiwan: what fun places would you add to this list of things to do outside of Taipei City? Share your answer with other expats in a comment below!

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