Taiwan is full of wonders, but not a lot of people know about them. This makes the country one the most underrated destinations in the world.
Traveling to somewhere undiscovered, like many the places in this fantastic Asian country, makes for a one-of-a-kind trip. From the majestic 16th-century temples to high mountain tea houses, and from spectacular landscapes to natural hot spring areas among other natural utopias, there's always something special about exploring places that are under the radar.
Take a look at eight of these incredible (and definitely Instagrammable) places in Taiwan you didn’t know existed:
Found in Tainan, on the Southeast side of Taiwan, is a 750-m long, off-the-beaten-track destination. Here, you’ll be fascinated by the views of lush trees while walking on its narrow, wooden pathway. This place is a treat for the senses where you get to enjoy the serene and relaxing sound of nature.
Qiju Salt Mountains
Ever heard of a salt mountain? In Taiwan, you’ll find a few places that are both picture-worthy while still being exciting for tourists of all ages. Here, visitors can climb to the peak of the mountain that’s about six stories tall while having the option to make salt in traditional fields. The experience is fun and very entertaining.
The perfect time to come here is during the late afternoon so visitors can catch the sunset and see a more dramatic view of the salt mountains.
Sihcao Green Tunnel
Located in the oldest city of Tainan, the Sihcao Green Tunnel features a 750-meter mangrove forest which can be explored on a 30-minute boat ride. Take in the beauty of nature by slowly cruising through the river surrounded by thick mangroves that are home to many fiddle crabs, fishes, and birds. While you’re there, don't forget to take photos of the trees to capture its beautiful, mirror-like reflection.
It is the first 5-star hotel ever built in Taiwan. Truly majestic, the Grand Hotel showcases many elements of classic Chinese architecture, making it one of the most significant landmarks in the country. Found in the capital city of Taipei, the building is designed with over 220,000 dragon patterns with guest rooms that are inspired by both the Orient and the Western. Built in 1952, this hotel was once the tallest building in Taiwan until 1981.
Lungshan Temple of Manka
Built during the Qing Dynasty, the Lungshan Temple of Manka is one of the oldest temples in Taiwan where many people flock to worship Buddha and other divine spirits.
But worship isn’t the only draw of this place, as guests and locals can also to ask questions that are answerable by YES or NO while there. This practice is quite prevalent in Buddhist temples and is done with the use of the Jiaobei blocks.
Jiaobei blocks - tools used to get answers from gods
The person to ask the question must throw the blocks downward to get an answer. One flat block and the other round block round means ‘Yes’ while both round blocks means ‘No’. If both blocks fall flat, it means either ‘No' or the gods are laughing at the question.
Jiufen, a small town located an hour drive away from Taipei, is famous for its captivating mountain and coastal views, tea houses, and souvenir shops. This area was once an isolated village until the Japanese occupied it in 1893. It was also a prosperous gold mining town until the 1950s.
Today, Jiufen is a place where both natives and foreigners alike go to shop, dine, and drink quality teas while overlooking the fascinating views of mountains, temples, and the Pacific Ocean.
Busy streets of Jiufen
Souvenir Shops in Jiufen
View from the Yam & Sweet Potato Tea House
High Mountain Tea, the most expensive and famous tea in Taiwan
Several critically-acclaimed films, such as the Oscar-award winning movie Spirited Away, were influenced by one of the compelling tea houses in the area called Amei.
Amei Tea House
Marshal Zen Garden
Nestled in the quiet town of Beitou, about a 40-minute drive from Taipei city center, the Marshal Zen Garden features a Japanese-inspired restaurant that serves a fusion of Taiwanese and Japanese culinary delights. Locals and tourists alike come here to see the lovely gardens, enjoy food and afternoon tea, and soak in relaxing hot springs. This place also ideal for those who need some time to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
These are just some of the countless marvels of Taiwan! There’s a lot more to discover, so why don’t you find out for yourself by exploring this fascinating destination dubbed as the ‘Heart of Asia’.
written by Teresa Arcega
She spends her time reading books and learning new things. She enjoys the outdoors, exploring new places, and is a cat lover.
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