All right, let me begin this travel guide to Fengyuan in Central Taiwan by saying that you don’t want to take a trip there if you’re only on a short vacation in Taiwan. There are destinations around the island which are much more exciting than that.
This article is targeted at you, the expat (probably an English teacher), who has been living in Taichung City for a while and who’s now looking for interesting day trips out of the city.
Fengyuan is actually not even a day-trip. It’s more like a half-day-trip destination. Chances are that you’ve already heard one of the following things about this place:
- A friend of a friend has moved to Fengyuan because there was a teaching job available and he didn’t need a teaching degree to get it.
- You can get a 3-bedroom apartment for the price of a taofang (single room apartment) in Taichung.
- There are lots of old people.
- You can ride your scooter without a helmet.
- It’s close to the mountains.
- Schools in the countryside around Fengyuan look like barns.
- Your friend who moved to Fengyuan to teach, is already back in Taichung because he was bored to death.
- Fengyuan sucks.
- There’s a famous temple in the city where Taiwanese people go to ask favors to the gods.
- The food that’s sold next to the temple is cheap, delicious, and famous island-wide.
The focus of this travel guide is about the last 2 points: the temple and the food sold next to it.
If you’re not interested in temples, stay in Taichung, don’t even bother. If you like being surrounded by images of Chinese gods, dragons, lanterns and people who burn incense and ghost money, you’ll probably enjoy spending some time walking around this place.
Here are some pictures I took last time I went there:
The food street next to the temple
I have to admit that I really enjoyed walking around the stalls there. The atmosphere was lively and the food I tried was really tasty – and cheap! I highly recommend the bamboo shoot soup and the stinky tofu.
Getting to Fengyuan from Taichung City
Easy. Get on a train and head north. It takes about 15 minutes to get there from Taichung City and cost only 30NT$.
There aren’t that many good hotels in Fengyuan. Also, apart from having a meal and a drink on Temple Street, nightlife is pretty much non-existent in the area. Your best bet for a comfortable bed will be in Taichung City, which is not too away. Find accommodation in Taichung now!