The Explore Taiwan tour starts and ends in Taipei. It is a national parks trip that takes 11 days taking you through Puli, Taipei and Yilan in Taiwan.
Breathtaking coastline, lush green landscapes and tranquil temples are only the beginning on this 11-day adventure through tantalising Taiwan. Squeeze between food stalls and medicine pedlars in narrow alleyways. Get behind-the-scenes glimpses (and hands-on experience) in local industries. Taste some of the most innovative dishes in Asia, from oyster omelettes to taro balls. Perhaps best of all? Discover the misty mountains and rugged coastal forests that have captured the attention of so many powers throughout history and earned Taiwan the name ‘the beautiful island’.
Day 01: Arrive Taipei
Welcome to Taipei! Your adventure begins in the densely-populated, beautifully located capital of Taiwan. Meet-assist at airport & transfer to hotel.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 02: Taipei
Explore Taipei this morning by foot and via the city’s excellent metro system. Begin with a visit to Sweet Potato Mama, a social enterprise managed by the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation and your introduction to the wild popularity of the root-vegetable-cum-street-snack in Taiwan. Join the local women who have started their own street food businesses, learn how to prepare the spuds and sell them to hungry locals. Next, stroll through Dihua Street to get a sense of Taipei’s merchant past as well as see how young entrepreneurs are revitalising the area. Continue to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, an impressive dedication to the former president of the Republic of China. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day and night. Perhaps check out the Shilin Night Market.
Day 03: Hualien
Leave Taipei behind today and take the train to Hualien (approximately 2–3 hours), best known for its beautiful natural surrounds like the rift valley plain and a rocky seashore overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Visit the Danong Dafu Forest Park, 11 hectares of reforested ground with spectacular views and plenty of birdlife. The diligent reforestation efforts have led to the reappearance of a number of species. In the evening, explore the night markets of Hualien. Some local specialties are coffin bread (fluffy French toast with fillings), ‘exploding’ chicken rolls, spring onion pancakes and oyster omelettes. Hualien has the largest indigenous population in Taiwan, so you can also find specialties favoured by some of Taiwan’s original inhabitants like bamboo rice, wild bore, birds nest fern and flying fish. You certainly won’t go hungry here!
Day 04: Hualien
Visit the Qingshui Cliff, a long stretch of coast that drops almost vertically into the sea. Continue to Taroko National Park, named after the epic Taroko Gorge, which you’ll stop to see before heading further into the park. Set out along the Shakadang Trail, which follows an aqua stream to a Truku village (approximately 4 hours return if you finish the whole trail). Entry to the village isn’t permitted, but there is sometimes a small market outside selling indigenous foods and handicrafts. If you’ve got energy leftover after your return. There may be time to explore one of the park’s other trails. Your leader can give you advice on the one that’s right for you. Return to Hualien for some free time in the evening. Maybe grab a foot reflexology massage after the hard walk today.
Day 05: Yilan
Travel to Yilan. On arrival, visit a spring onion farm to see how one of Taiwan’s favourite ingredients is grown. Don some gum boots and get grubby in the fields to pick some produce and then learn how to cook them into the beloved Taiwanese snack pancakes. Continue to the King Car Distillery, the island’s only whisky producer, for a tour and tasting of their award-winning Kavalan single malts. The final stop today is the local hot springs, so make sure you have your swimsuit handy, so you don’t miss out on a soak. Your evening is free to explore to relax at your hotel in Yilan.
Day 06: Turtle Island – Jiufen – Taipei
Head out on the water this morning on a cruise around Gueishan (Turtle) Island (approximately 3 hours). From March to September it’s possible to spot pods dolphins and even the odd whale during the boat tour. Back on land, drive to the former gold mining centre of Jiufen, said to be the inspiration for the town in the film Spirited Away. Explore the Old Town at your leisure, perhaps strolling around the beautiful old buildings lining the hillsides, relaxing with a cup of tea at a 100-year-old teahouse or visit the quirky Kite Museum. Some specialty snacks you should seek out while you’re in town are fish balls, molasses cakes and taro balls. Return to Taipei tonight.
Day 07: Sun Moon Lake
Leave Taipei behind today and travel approximately 3 hours by private bus to Sun Moon Lake, perhaps the most iconic destination in Taiwan. The only natural lake in Taiwan is so named for the shapes it’s outline forms. Take a walk through the forested foothills of the mountains around the lake along the Ci’en Pagoda Trail (around 1 hour). The end of the trail offers views over the lake, as well as the chance to climb to the top of the eponymous, 46-metre-high pagoda that marks the end of the trail. Tonight, relax in your guesthouse in Puli.
Day 08: Puli – Sun Moon Lake
After breakfast this morning, embark on a kayaking trip on the serene waters of Sun Moon Lake. Back on land, continue to the Chung Tai Chan Monastery in Puli. Though it was built just 20 years ago, the unique combination of Chinese and Western architectural styles makes it an impressive sight. Take a guided tour with one of the resident nuns. Continue by private vehicle to the Hugosum Tea Farm for insight into the production of Taiwan’s beloved black tea. You will also have the opportunity to roll your own leaves, which will then be dried and packaged on site for you to take a taste of Taiwan home with you. Spend another night in the Puli guesthouse tonight.
Day 09: Fangyuan – Taichung
Today, head to the flat and fertile land of Changhua County, sometimes known as the ‘breadbasket’ of Taiwan. Visit Longshan Temple and explore the beautiful gardens on site. Continue to the fishing village of Fangyuan, where you will have the chance to go oyster picking and discover water birds, fiddler crabs and mudskippers. There will also be the chance to sample local seafood like clams, crabs and oysters. In the afternoon, travel to Taichung. Your accommodation this evening is close to the Fenchia Night Market.
Day 10: Taipei
Before returning to Taipei, stop at the Rainbow Village and learn about the beautiful story behind the incredible murals that cover every inch of the town. If you are lucky, you may just catch the artist Huang Yung-Fu (96-years-old and counting!) sitting outside his house and enjoying some sunshine. Return to Taipei from Taichung, arriving around midday. After checking into the hotel, spend the afternoon at the National Palace Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. Your evening is free.
Day 11: Depart Taipei
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. There are no activities planned for the day, and you’re free to leave the hotel at any time after check out.
|Taipei||02||The Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei|
|Hualien||02||Ramada Encore By Wyndham Hualien|
|Yilan||01||Yi Lan Boutique Hotel|
|Taipei||01||The Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei|
|Puli||02||Tai-Yi Red Maple Resort|
|Taipei||01||The Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei|
– Meeting and assistance by our representative.
– Welcome with fresh flower garlands.
– 10 Nights accommodation
– Daily Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners.
– Monuments entrance fees as per program
– Local English-speaking guide
– All transfers, sightseeing, excursions as per the program by private vehicle.
– Transport, Parking, Gasoline & Toll ways.
– All present government taxes.
– International Airfare.
– Tips, gratuities, Portage, laundry, telephone calls, table drinks, camera/ video camera charges, or any other expenses of a personal nature.
– Visa fees, personal insurance.
– Any item not specified under cost includes.
– Accommodation in good hotels.
– Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
– Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost.
– Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
– A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
– If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
– Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
– In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
– Sometimes, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
– While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
– Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
– In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.