Taichung has its fair share of claims to fame. For one, it is home to the largest night market in all of Taiwan, the bright and bustling Feng Chia Night Market. It’s also known as the island’s main hub for art and culture. And, of course, you can’t miss the fact that it’s the birthplace of the worldwide sensation that is bubble tea.
To most locals, however, Taichung is simply the place to be.
In 2016, it was reported by CNN that the majority of Taiwanese think of Taichung as the most livable city on the island. Far more laid back than vigorous Taipei, this city located in Central Western Taiwan brings a breath of fresh air to its locals with its pleasant weather and abundant eco-systems.
If that sounds like your kind of destination, too, here are the best things to do in Taichung that make for an exciting itinerary:
Immerse yourself in art and culture
Taichung is the heart and soul of Taiwan’s art and culture scene, so what better way to explore the artsy side of the city than by checking out some art museums and creative parks?
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts is a sprawling art space that covers a total of three hectares. Since its opening in 1988, it has seen the works of the most celebrated Taiwanese and international artists. Today, it welcomes art lovers of all ages to stop and admire world-class oeuvres.
In the mood to take a leisurely stroll while viewing art? Taichung Culture & Creative Industries Park is a good place to visit. For centuries, it served as a distillery—from the Japanese Colonial period up until 1998, when liquor-making operations in the area were ultimately ceased. After years of being idle, the abandoned distillery was converted into an exhibition site and opened in 2011 for creators to showcase their work.
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
No. 2, Section 1, Wuquan W. Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Taichung Culture & Creative Industries
No. 362, Section 3, Fuxing Road, South District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Try your hand at making local handicrafts
Make your own souvenir when you visit Taichung by joining a craft workshop. One of the most popular classes tourists take is a short course on woodcraft. Under the supervision of a local artisan, learn handy skills and techniques like carving, polishing, and oiling, so you can create your own signature woodwork.
Step into a world of colour in the Rainbow Village
Huang Yung-fu, a retired soldier in his twilight years, single-handedly transformed this former military settlement into a wonderland of colors, painting every nook and cranny with images conjured from his childhood. He eventually saved the once-gloomy village from demolition, and now, the Rainbow Village is among Taiwan’s protected cultural areas, winning tourists over for its Insta-worthy streets and houses.
Lane 56, Chun’an Road, Nantun District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Book a day tour here.
Ride a bike down a scenic route
Hop on a bike and make your way down the 4.5-kilometer stretch of the Hou-Feng bike path. Built along the old Mountain Railway line, it treats bikers to varying sceneries that give one a glimpse of life in Taichung. The path crosses an iron bridge over the Dajia Rover and even goes through an idyllic old railway tunnel. Continue your journey down the 12-kilometer Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way Green Corridor, Taiwan’s first bikeway to be made from a disused railway line.
Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way
Zhongshan Road, Dongshi District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Book a tour here.
Be one with nature
Taichung is teeming with beautifully lush nature spots that are a must-visit for lovers of the great outdoors. Stretch those legs and hike up the Dakeng Trails or take lovely photos in the midst of seasonal blooms at Zhong She Flower Market. Visiting in the spring? Don’t miss the pink explosion of cherry blossom trees in Wuling Farm.
Zhong She Flower Market
No. 469-13, Sanfeng Road, Houli District, Taichung City
Book a half day tour here.
Dakeng Scenic Area
Lane 383, Section 1, Dongshan Road, Beitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan
No.3-1 Wuling Road, Pingdeng Village, Heping District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Enjoy a delightful afternoon tea at Chun Shui Tang
A bubble tea fan’s trip to Taichung won’t be complete without a pilgrimage to the very teahouse where the pearl milk tea was invented back in 1987. Chun Shui Tang takes pride in serving the best and original bubble tea in all of Taiwan, so make sure to drop by for a glass or two of the house’s signature Pearl Milk Tea. You can even DIY your own cup on your visit!
Chun Shui Tang
No.9 Dadun 19th St., West District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Book your bubble tea-making experience here.
Witness a spectacular sunset
Take a trip to Gaomei Wetlands just before sundown and watch a thousand colors paint the sky as the sun dips in the horizon. This area located on the Dajia River Estuary is comprised of mudflats and sandy beaches lined with towering windmills. It is also home to over 120 bird species. If you don’t mind playing in the mud, walk the stretch of the boardwalk, sink your feet in the wet sand, and frolic in the shallow waters that mirror the brilliant sunset sky.
Qingshui District, Taichung City, Taiwan
Eat your way through a night market
Night markets are where life’s at in Taiwan! Taichung is dotted by numerous night markets, but if you want the ultimate night market experience in the city, hit Feng Chia Night Market, the country’s most massive night market. A haven for adventurous foodies, it boasts lanes upon lanes of shops and stalls selling a plethora of mouthwatering delicacies such as sticky rice sausages, stinky tofu, and pork buns. The market’s proximity to Feng Chia University also gives it a distinctly youthful vibe, so keep your eyes open for affordable finds like clothes and accessories that are aimed towards the younger crowd.
Feng Chia Night Market
Wenhua Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan