6 Totally Underrated Places to Visit in Taiwan

6 Totally Underrated Places to Visit in Taiwan

Thinking of places to visit in Taiwan? Get off the beaten track and discover these underrated destinations.

Taiwan is a very dynamic city with tons to see, do and eat. Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, can rival Singapore and Hong Kong as a vibrant modern city. Once you are outside of the capital, however, you can find old quaint villages and outstanding natural landscapes. Here are six underrated destinations in Taiwan that deserves more attention from travellers…

Also Read: 5 Most Underrated Natural Attractions In Taiwan

1. Jiufen

Image Credit: Kabacchi

Jiufen is a mountain area in New Taipei City. Literally, it means “nine portions”. A weird name, right? There is a story behind this! During the Qing Dynasty, this area was an isolated village with only nine families. Each time the villagers request shipments from town, they would request “nine portions”, and this became the name of the village. In 1890, railroad workers discovered flakes of gold and a few years later, the hills in the area were producing several kilograms of gold a day. The gold rush turned the small village into a booming town until the Japanese era. In 2001, the downtown of Jiufen was used as a model for the anime movie Spirited Away.

2. Kinmen County

Image Credit: Sz-Chi Chen

Kinmen County consists of several small islands, including Great Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and several islets. It is very close Xiamen, a major city on the southeast coast of mainland China. Originally, Kinmen was a military reserve. It was returned to the civilian government in the mid-1990s, and opened to public travel. In 2001, direct travel between Kinmen and China was established. This gave Kinmen a boost economically. Major tourist attractions in Kinmen include the Gugang Lake that features a 16-m high pavilion that was built in 1964, the Kinmen National Park, and the Jhaishan Tunnel.

3. Pier-2 Art Center

Image Credit: Ernest

The Pier-2 Art Center in Kaohsiung was originally a site of abandoned warehouses. These warehouses were built in 1973 when Kaohsiung was still an industrial city. Since then, Kaohsiung has transformed itself into a service city and economic center of southern Taiwan. The local artists negotiated with the local government who eventually agreed to turn the area into an art center. Here at the Pier-2 Art Center, you can find many exhibitions by both local and foreign artists.

Also Read: 10 Things About Taiwan You Never Knew

4. Sizihwan

Image Credit: Pilzland

Also located in Kaohsiung, “Sizih” means Xi Shi, the name of a famous ancient Chinese beauty. Yes, the view at this bay (“wan”) is gorgeous, and it certainly deserves to be named after an ancient beauty. Sizhiwan is located at the north of the entrance to the Kaohsiung harbour and is surrounded by mountains. It’s famous for its black sand beach – the Sizihwan Beach, which is a popular beach among the locals. Other popular attractions in the area include the Lingsing Temple and the former British Consulate at Takao.

5. Kenting National Park

Image Credit: Chen Qu

The Kenting National Park is located at the southernmost tip of Taiwan. It is well known for its tropical climate, scenic beach and mountain, as well as the Spring Scream rock-band festival that is held here every March. The Kenting National Park covers an area of 333 sq km, with 181 sq km being land and 152 sq km of being water. You can find a lake called Longlyuantan in this national park.

6. Lanyu

Image Credit: David Hsu

Located off the southeastern coast of the main island of Taiwan, Lanyu is also known as Orchid Island. It is the home to an ethnic minority group known as the Tao, who migrated from the Batan Archipelago about 800 years ago. There are eight mountains of over 400 metres high on Lanyu, with Mt. Hongtoushan being the tallest. The Lesser Orchid Island, an uninhabited volcanic islet south of the main Orchid Island, is home to an endangered endemic orchid known as Phalaenopsis equestris that is native to Taiwan and the Philippines.

Also Read: 7 Scenic Destinations in Taiwan for Nature Lovers

About Author

Sandra Chan

Sandra is a freelance writer, illustrator, layout designer, and web developer. Growing up in Canada, she earned a degree in Computer Science and worked in the IT field. She was bored by her 9 – 5 job and decided to take some time off to travel. She moved to Taiwan where she volunteered for a non-profit organization as a layout designer and illustrator, and has been travelling around Asia for the past two and a half years.


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