Updated for 2018 – All the info you need to plan your adventure around beautiful Formosa!
Hi, my name is Ugo, I’m originally from Montreal, Canada, and I’ve been living in Taiwan for 18 years. I’ve created this website to share my passion for everything Formosa, and to help you prepare your trip to Taiwan the right way!
Taiwan is the most diverse and underrated travel destination in Asia!
Taiwan really has everything: AMAZING food, gorgeous beaches, excellent hiking, hot springs, jungles, rock-climbing, surfing, diving, world-class cities with unique cultural attractions, and some of the best roads for motorcycle road trips. It’s the only place in the world where you can witness genuine, ancient Chinese culture.
It’s one of the only travel destinations in Asia where you won’t be surrounded by hordes of backpackers all the time – it’s still (somehow) off the beaten track of mass tourism. Taiwan is a very precious jewel, a truly magical place, that should (must!) be on your travel bucket list!
My 10 Favorite Destinations in Taiwan
Kenting National Park is the most popular beach resort in Taiwan. The warm tropical weather makes it a favorite travel destination in winter. The national park also has wicked surfing, decent scuba diving sites and wild hiking trails. This is where I live (in Manzhou), so I can really help you plan your trip there!
My house is in a remote part of Kenting National Park. I decided to settle down here because I believe it’s by far one of the most beautiful tropical places in the world! I highly, sincerely recommend that you take a look at Wild East Guesthouse (the orange banner below) if you would like to experience the kind of heaven I live in. This B&B is 5 minutes away from my place, near jungles, mountains, and beaches, it’s run by my best friend in Taiwan, it’s new, safe, clean, and will provide you with an experience of a lifetime that you will never forget.
Taipei: Taiwan’s capital is one of the most dynamic cities in Asia. Taipei has ancient temples, a museum that holds the world’s largest collection of Chinese artifacts, vast memorials, world-class hotels, the popular Taipei 101 Tower, and endless shopping opportunities.
Mt. Hehuan is located in Central Taiwan, on the western edge of Taroko National Park. This alpine station is characterised by rolling green hills that often disappear in a sea of clouds. This is where you’ll find the most accessible high altitude hiking trails in Taiwan with most peaks reaching heights of more than 3000m.
Sun Moon Lake: Walk around, or paddle across Taiwan’s largest lake in the beautiful green hills of the Central Mountain Range. Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s most popular natural tourist attraction.
Alishan is dominated by towering mountains and thick, pristine forests. This hyper-popular alpine resort has long been a favorite to watch the sunrise, witness the rolling sea of clouds, and ride the narrow gauge mountain railway.
Green Island: Scuba dive, snorkel, or soak in a sea-water hot spring on tiny, lush Green Island (Lyudao), in the Pacific Ocean, 30km east of Taitung.
Taroko Gorge: With its marble-walled canyons, remote mountains and rushing rivers, Taroko National Park is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life. I’ve visited the area at least 50 times since moving to Taiwan and I still go back again and again to hike, swim, or just cruise along the scenic Cross Central Highway.
Highway 11 runs north-south along the scenic and serene East Coast, between Hualien and Taitung. This is my personal favorite scooter road-trip on the island. Check it out if beaches and fishing villages sound interesting.
Lugang is one of Taiwan’s oldest towns and is famous for its old market street, magnificent temples, curved streets, and fine traditional handicrafts.
Tainan is Taiwan’s temple capital. It’s the best place to witness ancient Chinese traditions and age-old religious ceremonies. Tainan is my favorite city in Taiwan. If you’re into photography, make sure to put Tainan way at the top of your list of places to visit in Taiwan.
Getting Around Taiwan
Traveling around Taiwan is extremely convenient and cheap. Consult the following links or my travel in Taiwan page to know how to get around the island: Bus Travel | Normal Train Travel (TRA) | High Speed Railway (HSR) | Scooter / Motorbike
My #1 advice for all travelers to Taiwan is to absolutely make sure to book your hotel in advance – especially if you visit a busy destination such as Taipei, Sun Moon Lake, Kenting, or Alishan. Not having a reservation for highly touristic spots in Taiwan can cost you a lot. You can use this form (below) to make reservations. I’ve used HotelsCombined in Taiwan for years and have never been disappointed.
Who is behind Taiwanese Secrets Travel Guide?
Ni hao! I’m Ugo from Montreal, Canada. I first moved to Taiwan in 2000 to rock climb and to learn Mandarin Chinese. I was supposed to stay here just a few months, but I fell madly in love with this island (and my wife Ruby) and I never left! I’m also Founder & CEO of Pizza Rock, the fastest growing pizza chain in Taiwan. You can read our story here.
Taiwanese Secrets Travel Guide is a personal website, I’m not a company or a travel agency. I created this website simply to share my travel experience on the island and to help you prepare your own journey. I really hope you find what you’re looking for and that you’ll get inspired by the pictures.
You can contact me if you have a question about anything related to travel in Taiwan, and I’ll do my best to reply when I have a minute. Thanks for your visit. Have a fun trip!