Mostly considered a harbor town and transportation hub for Western Taiwan, Taichung (also known as Taizhong) is often overlooked as an interesting travel destination. After all, who wants to travel in Taichung and see cranes or sea containers as far as the eye reaches? But in terms of sights and activities, this municipality offers so much more to those that dare to dig a little deeper. In the article below, we list our ultimate guide for a 3-day stay in Taichung.
When you make it to Taichung, check-in first or maybe find a last-minute deal on HotelQuickly. Once you are ready to hit the town, we recommend the area around Taichung Station because there are so many sights in the immediate area. Taichung Park is a great spot to relax and observe the locals. Alternatively, check out the Wuri Brewing Company and its surrounding neighborhood. There is even a little beer museum and the local restaurants have every Taiwanese beer on draft that you could possibly wish for.
Credit: Taichung Travel Net
Just 4km from Taichung Station, a group of local creatives got hold of several residential houses. The result is a small area of converted shop houses, quirky store fronts, boutiques, cafés and so much more. Ease into the day with a late breakfast or lunch and do some souvenir shopping at Fantasy Story.
Plus, if you arrived early there is plenty of time to check out the different art galleries and studios just up the road. Pro tip: Make sure your mobile is charged and the local maps are downloaded already. Even though signage in Fantasy Story is in English, getting there isn’t as easy as you think.
Feng Chia Night Market
When the night has come, and the land is dark, visiting Taiwan’s most popular night market is another great way to familiarize yourself with Taichung. Find hundreds of stands with street food and local delicacies and experience the sensory overload that comes with them. After an explosion of taste and aromas, try to bargain with some of the locals for clothes and the gadgets they are selling before partying the night away.
After a day of exploring unknown territory, dialing things down a little is always a good idea and Taichung has several slower-paced sights.
Dajia Jenn Lann Temple
For instance, a day-trip to the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple is a great way to familiarize yourself with Chinese mythology and walk around the coastal district of Dajia. There are several parks in the area for casual strolling, and travelers like to visit the Sword Well too (don’t throw in any coins!). Note that if you travel to Dajia in the Spring, a trip to the Temple can turn out to be a spectacle. With many worshippers attending the “Welcoming of Mazu” around that period, the town will be filled with incense, demons on stilts, traditionally-dressed standard bearers and Taoist monks.
Credit: Prince Roy
Guguan Hot Springs
Located 800 meters above sea level, many travelers like to spend at least one night close to the Guguan hot springs. As such, there are several hotels and resorts in the area. A visit to this Onsen-style spring is best made around autumn. With the maple trees in bloom around that period, the scenery will be stunning. Check out the local “Easy Pub” or “Show House” before returning to your hotel for a well-deserved night of sleep.
Conclude your 3-day trip to Taichung with a bike tour or a trip to Rainbow Village. Pro tip: Keep an eye on your itinerary as you plan the day, because your stay is gradually coming to an end.
Hou-Feng Bike Path
If you love bicycles, this route is an absolute must. Formerly an abandoned railway, it features spectacular views and old industrial architecture, with the absolute highlight being an underground tunnel that stretches for more than a kilometer. There are numerous cheap bike rentals in the area, and you are going to love pedaling through the old railway tunnel.
Originally scheduled for demolition, this little block of houses was saved by a local resident. As the demolition crews came closer and closer, Huang Yung-Fu began painting the remaining houses in brightly colored designs, depicting surrealist drawings that caught the attention of both locals and tourists. Eventually, the site was declared a cultural heritage site and old Huang Yung-Fu lives there to this day. Entry is free, and even the staunchest art critic won’t need more than thirty minutes to take in the entire project.
This list only touches the surface of things to do in Taichung and there are plenty of other activities, markets, shops, and museums that deserve your attention. Three days in any place is never enough time to really discover new things, but given the compact nature of Taichung, we think our tips should get you going.
Feel free to add any sights or attractions you think we missed, and as always – let us know if we made a mistake in the comments below.
Melissa is a passionate foodie, travel writer, and editor working in media internationally and in the USA. She has lived in Bangkok since 2004 and has a background in the travel industry. Melissa’s writing has been published globally in many prestigious online and print magazines for over a decade. Her motto for life is “You cannot live or love well if you have not wined and dined well!”