Taichung - Central Taiwan
Find out why more and more foreigners come
to Taiwan's third largest city... and never leave!
Taichung has the best weather in the world! That's what I tell people who ask me why I've decided to settle down here. Ok, that's probably not totally accurate, but it is true that the area enjoys the best climate in Taiwan. Fall is the best season to be here when the sky is crisp blue and the weather comfortable on most days. It's also greener and has less pollution than Taipei or Kaohsiung.
Food is another reason. Due to the large amount of foreigners that now call Taichung home, there is an ever growing selection of international restaurants that serve anything from Greek to Indian at reasonable prices. This Taiwanese metropolis also has a vibrant nightlife, modern cafes, and lots of traditional Chinese teahouses.
But I'm not gonna lie to you... The city isn't sightseeing galore like Tainan or Taipei, and public transportation... will make you wish you had your own set of wheels. Still, some attractions are worth your time if you decide to stop by. Here are the top places of interest...
Wether or not you're interested in China's most famous philosopher doesn't really matter. The simple sight of this massive architectural marvel is worth the trip. Every year, on September 28, a ceremony is held at dawn to honor the sage and it's a good opportunity to witness ancient Chinese rituals. It was completed in 1976.
The Taiwanese like to make things BIG! And their places of worship don't escape that tendency. At Baojue Temple, Milefo, the giant smiling Buddha, sits on a hollow pedestal that is also used as a meeting chamber.
Stressed out about an upcoming exam? Don't be! Join dozens of Taiwanese students who come here every day to ask the God of literature for divine help in passing tests... and while you're in the area, take a look at Taichung's oldest temple.
Taiwan Museum of Art
This art museum exhibits both Taiwanese and foreign art in a modern building located along the green belt. The plaza in front of the museum is always very lively and it's a good place to observe taichi practitioners around 6am. The Fantasyland library is popular with kids. (2 Wuquan W Rd; Tue-Sun, 9am-5pm; admission free; UBus #75)
National Museum of Natural Science
If you're traveling with kids, don't miss the Science Museum. It has interactive exhibits, an Imax Space Theater, and a life-sized dinosaur reconstruction. (1 Guanqian Rd; Tue-Sun, 8am-5pm; admission adult/kid NT100/50, Imax NT70/30; city bus #88, 103)
National Botanical Garden
Like the Science Museum, the garden isn't the most exhilarating attraction in town for adults and is probably more engaging for kids. Still, this landmark has great surroundings to chill out and the tropical rainforest in the covered area looks quite real. For some, the architecture might be worth the trip in itself. (behind the Science Museum; Tue-Sun, 8am-5pm; admission adult/kid NT20/10)
This is where the city was born. If you find yourself in the old downtown area, come by to see the two iconic pavilions, rowboat, or just people watch while walking on tranquil tree-lined paths. The Lantern Festival is usually held here. (1km north of the train station)
Donghai University - Luce Memorial Chapel
A friend of mine told me that I.M. Pei - Luce Memorial Chapel's architect - had praying hands in mind when he designed this striking landmark. The tent-like structure is located within the appealing grounds of Donghai University, about 8km west of the new downtown area. (city bus #88, 103)
SEE THESE ATTRACTIONS ON A MAP!
Nantian Temple - God Of War
If you're a photo enthusiast, you'll enjoy shooting the 48m-high God of War seated above a tiger on Nantian Temple. The red-faced, red handed deity is said to be worshiped by rebels and criminal gangs. (daily 6:30am-10pm; Ziyou Rd, East district; admission free; city bus #33)
Check out availability and prices for accommodation in the city. You should make a reservation if you plan on coming here on a weekend or holiday. Book a hotel in Taichung now!
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