One of my bucket list is to backpack Taiwan. And I did it, which made me realise the plenty of underrated places in Taiwan.
Underrated Places in Taiwan
- Watch sunrise from Alishan
- Jiufen: this is not an underrated place, but it’s definitely a place many western tourists don’t hear so often, unless they are into Japanese anime. Jiufen is a mountain area in New Taipei City. It means 9 portions. During the Qing Dynasty, this area was an isolated village with only nine families. Hence, everything was imported as 9 portions. The downtown of Jiufen was used as a model for the anime movie Spirited Away.
- Lanyu: Lanyu is also known as Orchid Island. It is the home to an ethnic minority group known as the Tao. 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.
- Jianguo Weekend Flower Market 建國花市: The Jianguo Weekend Flower Market, set up weekends under the Jianguo elevated road. It’s very relaxed (and crowded sometimes) and you wouldn’t believe some of the orchids you’ll see. (Taiwan loves orchids!)
- Yungkang Street 永康街: This gives you a glimpse of what Taiwan was becoming in about 1990, before politics intervened.
- National Palace Museum: all the quality Chinese art work collected by all the past Chinese emperors. They were taken away by the KMT when they moved to Taiwan. You can see these treasures now in the museum. You should consider 4-5h there.
- Taroko Gorge: Rent a car. The drive was quite easy mostly highway and incredible views even before arriving at the gorge of huge mountains. Nothing would come close to the actual drive through the gorge itself however. Driving on the right side of the road as you enter the gorge you are forced to drive right next to the cliff edge however it is safe as there is guard rails. There are multiple places to stop and admire the view you just have to be careful of other cars as the road is quite narrow.
- Qingshui Cliff: the water has an incredible colour and it is just a place that takes your breath away.
- Shakdang Trail: Shakadang trail was incredible. If you are scared of heights this trail is the one to do however you need to cross a suspension bridge at the start. This suspension bridge isn’t as bad as the one in Baiyang waterfall trail as high trees cover a lot of the view of the height. There is also a decent amount of stairs however it is a scenic walk through lush green trees. Further along the trail you start to get a nice view of the gorge and river running through it from above as it slowly takes you downwards closer to the river. Follow it close to almost the end until you get to a massive rock shown in this picture Shakadang Trail Lagoon This lagoon is one of the best ones and you can swim in it. All the locals were swimming in it and it seems to be a very treasured spot amongst them. You will need to jump the fence and climb down some rocks however it is not steep and relatively safe to do.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.