Charming Taiwan

Description
Taiwan is known as a destination full of bustling night markets, old temples, incredible views and amazing street food. A culturally diverse destination, Taiwan offers visitors a chance to immerse in rich traditions and history while enjoying the sophistication of modern touches. An island nation most definitely worth exploring.
From$2,150
Starts in Taipei
Ends in Taipei
Duration (days) 9
Group size 16
Charming Taiwan

Overview

Our 9 day Taiwan itinerary will take guests from the capital city of Taipei, to Sun Moon Lake situated in the centre of Taiwan and down to the Fo Guang Shan Monastery located in the south. Visit harbors and fishing villages and marvel at the giant statue of the Goddess of Mercy in Chung Cheng Park in Keelung City. Expert guides will share the highlights of Taiwan in just over a week that will leave you with incredible memories of a truly unique destination.
HOTEL:
MEALS:
Basic Itinerary

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Arrive Taipei
Welcome to Taiwan! Upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport, your driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel by private car. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.
Day 2Taipei
Our first stop in Taipei is at the monument dedicated to President Chiang Kai-shek, located at the Memorial Hall of the same name, followed by a photo opportunity at the historical Grand Hotel Taipei. En route to the hotel, our tour guide will give a quick passing introduction to the Presidential Office Building, a symbolic and historical landmark in Taipei City. Our penultimate stop will be at Martyr’s Shrine where we hope to catch the “changing of the guard” ceremony. We end our city tour with a visit to the world-famous National Palace Museum boasting a collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artwork spanning multiple dynasties. Visit the Lungshan Temple that represents the local religious beliefs and practices; and the famous skyscraper, Taipei 101, that showcases the modern technology and globalization of the city. Today’s guided tour unveils the past, present and future of Taipei City. With the help of your tour guide, you will learn more about each attraction that you visit during the tour, and discover the city from a different perspective.
Breakfast
Day 3Sun Moon Lake
Breakfast is at the hotel. Depart from central Taipei and travel to the heart of the island, Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area. Sun Moon Lake, the largest freshwater lake on the island, is divided by Lalu Island. The eastern side of the lake resembles the sun, while the western side resembles the crescent moon, giving the lake its unique name. This picturesque area is also the ancestral home of the Thao people, one of Taiwan's indigenous groups. With its rich indigenous culture and abundant natural beauty, Sun Moon Lake has earned its place as one of Taiwan's premier destinations. Embark on a scenic bus tour around Sun Moon Lake, where you'll explore the most renowned attractions in this area. Begin with a visit to Ita Thao, an indigenous village that offers insights into the culture and lifestyle of the Thao people. Then, marvel at the grandeur of Ci'en Pagoda, an iconic Sun Moon Lake landmark constructed by the late President Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his mother. Following your visit to Ci'en Pagoda, your exploration of Sun Moon Lake continues with stops at two significant temples. First, you'll arrive at Xuanzang Temple, a serene Buddhist sanctuary dedicated to the esteemed monk Xuanzang. Then, your journey takes you to Wenwu Temple, an imposing Taoist temple featuring three halls devoted to the Martial God and the God of Literature. With the expert commentary of your tour guide, you'll gain deeper insights into Sun Moon Lake, enriching your appreciation of the area's history and significance. Check into your hotel either in the serene surroundings of Sun Moon Lake or in the vibrant heart of downtown Taichung. Enjoy activities the region offers such as Fleur de Chine natural hot springs, hiking, biking, walking trails and a boat ride on the lake.
Breakfast
Day 4Kaohsiung
Enjoy a delightful breakfast at the hotel. Set the tone for another day of exploration. Hop on the bus and make your way to Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan, celebrated for its abundance of historic buildings and profound historical heritage. Your adventure proceeds with a visit to Fort Zeelandia, constructed by the Dutch East India Company during their 38-year administration of western Taiwan. The original fortress faced near destruction by the British army in the 19th century but was subsequently rebuilt by the Japanese. After exploring Fort Zeelandia, take a leisurely walk along Anping Old Street. Situated on the east side of Fort Zeelandia, this historic street was established by the Dutch over 300 years ago and holds the distinction of being the first officially named street in Taiwan. Besides its fascinating history, Anping Old Street is also known for its local specialties such as tofu pudding, shrimp rolls, fish skin dishes, beef soup, and many more. While you're here, don't miss the chance to savor the city's signature delicacies, adding a delightful culinary experience to your historical journey in Tainan. Continue your journey to the romantic harbor city of Kaohsiung, the most populous city in Southern Taiwan. Upon arriving in Kaohsiung, your first stop is the renowned Fo Guang Shan Monastery (FGS), a significant Buddhist monastery founded by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun in 1967. The monastery is most famous for its Great Buddha Land, featuring a majestic 36-meter-tall golden statue of Buddha Amitabha, which stands as the tallest standing Buddha in Southeast Asia. It is encircled by an impressive array of 480 smaller statues depicting Buddha Amitabha. During your visit to Fo Guang Shan Monastery, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with a knowledgeable monk who provides insights into the doctrines and development of Buddhism, which is the most widely practised religion in Taiwan Tonight, you'll have a pleasant stay in a conveniently located 5-star hotel, surrounded by department stores, convenience stores, and drugstores. Take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on any additional supplies you may need for the remaining days of your Taiwan tour.
Breakfast
Day 5Taitung
After a hearty breakfast, set out on your journey as you head south toward the border, where Taiwan's first national park awaits. Kenting National Park is celebrated for its coastal geological formations, scenic landscapes, and rich marine biodiversity, fostered by its unique combination of crustal deformation and tropical climate. Additionally, Kenting is also a paradise for surfers and divers alike. Make your stops at Maopitou, literally cat’s nose, aptly named as it resembles a colossal crouching cat when viewed from afar; Chuanfan Rock, literally sail rock, another distinctive natural formation that resembles the sail of a ship or a likeness of the former US President Richard Nixon; Eluanpi Lighthouse, a Qing Dynasty-era construction that was recognized as one of the Eight Views of Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period; and Longpan Park, a coral limestone plateau overlooking the Pacific Ocean, shaped over time by rainfall erosion. Following your exploration of Kenting National Park, your journey will take you to Taitung via the scenic South Link Highway, allowing you to savor the continually shifting landscapes throughout your drive. Tonight, you'll enjoy the pleasure of staying in a serene hot spring resort in Zhiben, Taitung County. Zhiben is renowned for its carbonate hot springs, which are known for enhancing blood circulation and alleviating fatigue, making it the perfect place to rejuvenate after a day of exploration.
Breakfast
Day 6Hualien
After a good night’s sleep and a delectable breakfast, continue your journey along the east coast, known as the last unspoiled place of the island. Wherever you go, it never ceases to amaze you with its enchanting natural beauty. You'll visit some of the most impressive scenic spots along the way, including Xiaoyeliu, Sanxientai, Shitiping, and Fanshuliao, each boasting its own distinctive geological features. The first stop is Xiaoyehliu (literally “Little Yehliu, or officially “Fugang Geopark”). This area is known for its natural rock formations, resembling those found in Yehliu Geopark on the northern coast of Taiwan, hence the name. Here, you can get up close to these unique landforms, shaped over time by weathering and sea erosion. Your adventure continues with a visit to Sanxientai (literally the terrace of the three immortals), which comprises an offshore island and coral reefs, with a cross-sea bridge that connects the mainland to the island, serving as a prominent landmark in the East Coast National Scenic Area. After exploring Sanxientai, you will make a stop at Shitiping (literally stone steps). This area is a well-developed sea erosion terrace, featuring promontories along the coastline that have been eroded by sea water over millions of years. This natural process has created an abrasion platform, sea grooves, sea cliffs, and potholes, making Shitiping a world-class outdoor geology classroom. Before visiting the marble factory in Hualien, your next stop is Fanshuliao, a unique canyon often considered a smaller version of Taroko Gorge. Marble mining and processing have been integral to Hualien's history, significantly contributing to the city's prosperity. The marble factory and its exhibits provide valuable insights into this major industry in Hualien. Indulge in a serene overnight stay at a luxurious 5-star resort as you prepare to be amazed by the world-renowned natural wonder—Taroko Gorge.
Breakfast
Day 7Taipei
or phone ready for an unforgettable adventure in the world’s largest marble canyon! Situated in the eastern part of Taiwan, Taroko National Park was established in the year of 1986. This national park is renowned for its dramatic gorges, diverse wildlife, unique geological formations, and particularly, its towering marble cliffs, which can reach heights of up to 1,100 meters. Today, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some of the park’s most famous attractions, including Cimu Bridge, the Tunnel of Nine Turns, Buluowan Suspension Bridge, Eternal Spring Shrine (Changchun Temple), Swallow Grotto Trail, and Qingshui Cliff. Embark on your day at Cimu Bridge after a hearty breakfast. The name “Cimu” directly translates to “loving mother”, as a homage to a touching story of maternal love. At the eastern end of the bridge proudly stands the Cimu Pavilion, a structure commissioned by the late president Chiang Kai-shek in memory of his own mother. Originally constructed with white marble from the region, this red steel bridge, resembling a cable-stayed design, was known as the “Marble Bridge” before being swept away by a typhoon in 1990. On its eastern end, visitors can take in the scenic beauty of a riverbend where millions of years of powerful rapids have artistically shaped the riverbed. Following your visit to Cimu Bridge, the next enchanting highlight on your Taroko adventure is the Tunnel of Nine Turns, which is considered the most picturesque section of Taroko Gorge. After extensive repair work, it reopened to the public in 2019. As you walk along the trail, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the meandering river below, running through the deep and spectacular canyon. Additionally, you’ll get a closer view of the geological faults and folds in the towering marble cliffs, as well as the unique vegetation clinging to the canyon walls. Your next stop is Swallow Grotto Trail. The distinctive potholes on the cliff surface were formed by the combination of groundwater and the swift-flowing river. These natural formations were once the favored nesting spots for swallows, giving the trail its name. As you stroll through the tunnels, get ready to be amazed by the stunning vistas of the soaring marble cliffs that seem to reach the sky. Your adventure persists as you explore the awe-inspiring Buluowan Suspension Bridge. Spanning 196 meters in length, 2.5 meters in width, and soaring approximately 152 meters above the Liwu Valley, this bridge offers visitors a remarkable vantage point to witness the twists and turns of the Liwu River. As you gaze eastward from the bridge, you will be captivated by the sweeping panoramas of the Liwu River Valley. Likewise, when you turn your gaze to the west, you’ll be enchanted by the breathtaking landscapes of the Swallow Grotto. Next, you’ll stop by the Eternal Spring Shrine, a memorial shrine built in 1958 to commemorate the 225 personnel (military veterans), who lost their lives during the construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway. From a distance, you’ll witness a waterfall gracefully descending over the sheer cliff beneath the shrine, forming a poetic and picturesque sight. Visit one of Taiwan’s renowned “Eight Wonders” – the Qingshui Cliff, offering yet another visual spectacle. This towering cliff, standing at over 1,000 meters in height and stretching for 21 kilometers, plunges almost vertically into the sea. At the viewing platform, you’ll be able to relish a breathtaking panoramic view of this natural wonder. Drive through the 13km Syue-Shan Long Tunnel, arriving back in Taipei by early evening.
Breakfast
Day 8Taipei
Today discover the unique charm of the rural districts along the north and northeast coast of Taiwan. Without having to travel far away, through this guided day tour from Taipei, you will visit Jiufen Village, a hillside village prosperous in the 1940s that will bring you an old-time vibe with its atmospheric alleys; Yehliu Geopark, known for its unique coastal erosion features, will blow you mind away; Pingxi District, a former mining town that is known for the world-famous "Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival", where you will experience the iconic tradition of flying sky lantern, messages of well-wishes written on the lanterns are sent up into the night sky, prayers to God for love and joy for you and your loved ones. Visit the “Little Niagara Falls” of Taiwan—Shifen Waterfall. Whether you are a first-timer or a repeat visitor, you will fully enjoy what Taiwan's north and northeast coast has to offer and have an insight into the history and truly appreciate the natural landscapes in this area.
Breakfast
Day 9Depart Taipei
Your tour ends today. After check out, your driver will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
Breakfast
Day 6 and more

Dates & Prices

Accommodation

Day
Where
Accommodation
1 - 3
Taipei
Regent Taipei or similar
3 - 4
Sun Moon Lake
Fleur De Chine – Mountain View Room or similar
4 - 5
Kaohsiung
Grand Hi-Lai Hotel or similar
5 - 6
Taitung
Hotel Royal Chihpen or similar
6 - 7
Hualien
Silks Place Taroko or similar
7 - 9
Taipei
Regent Taipei or similar

Other information

2024 Apr 01-2025 Mar 31: Twin Sharing $2150 p. p. Single Supplement $1445 p. p. Arrival Taipei on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only based on minimum 2 passengers travelling together. Prices include: Private transfers to/from airport (driver only), hotel accommodations, English speaking guided seat-in-coach tours, daily breakfast and one special dinner as mentioned. Prices Exclude: International airfare to/from Taiwan, entry visa/fee, taxes, seasonal/fuel surcharges, gratuities, meals not mentioned, personal expenditures, baggage handling and shipping, optional tours, and drinks. Blackout dates: Dec 30,31,2024; Jan 25, 26, 2025/ Taipei Cycle Show 2025; prices are available upon request with high season surcharges