Waters in Taroko Gorge

11 Reasons Why Taiwan Is Really Worth Visiting

You’re probably wondering whether Taiwan is worth visiting.

Well, I can reassure you that Taiwan is a hidden gem. It’s still a very underrated travel destination and not many people have been here yet.

Although, there are many reasons to visit Taiwan. From the towering heights of Taipei 101 to the impressive natural beauty at Taroko Gorge, this island nation is filled with places for you to explore.

This article will dive into why Taiwan should be next on your travel bucket list.

Key takeaways

  • Taiwan is an affordable travel destination with a good public transportation system, offering budget-friendly accommodations and cheap, delicious street food.
  • This island nation is home to stunning natural landscapes, from the highest peak in East Asia to serene hot springs.
  • The Taiwanese people are known for their friendliness and hospitality, making you feel welcome with their helpfulness and open-minded culture.
  • Night markets play a central role in Taiwanese society, offering tasty food and unique goods in a lively atmosphere for minimal cost.

Reasons why Taiwan should be on your travel bucket list

So, is Taiwan worth visiting? And if so, why should you really visit this underrated Asian island?

Taiwan is an island nation filled with a welcoming culture, delicious food and breathtaking scenery; that’s what awaits in Taiwan.

1. Affordable food, transportation & accommodation

Exploring Taiwan won’t break the bank, as food and transportation in Taiwan is very affordable.

Compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors, it may be slightly pricier, yet it remains a very affordable destination. If you compare Taiwan to the US, Europe or Australia, prices are way lower here.

You’ll find accommodation that fits tight budgets and street food that’s both cheap and delicious. Trying stinky tofu at the popular Shilin night market or sipping tea by Sun Moon Lake won’t require you to spend big.

Getting around is easy on your wallet too with Taiwan’s efficient public transport system. Move across cities using buses, trains and metros that are not only affordable but also punctual and clean.

With living costs low, your adventure through Taiwan can last even longer as you discover more hidden gems this vibrant island has in store for you.

Jiufen Xingyu Restaurant
Xingyu Restaurant: an affordable restaurant in Jiufen

2. Beautiful nature

This island has some of the most diverse and stunning landscapes in all of Asia. Imagine hiking up Jade Mountain, the tallest peak in East Asia, where each step takes you higher into amazing views and challenging trails.

Nature lovers find their paradise here, with easy access from buzzing cities to majestic mountains. Even Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a very green city.

If you want to get out of the city, you can simply hike the Elephant Mountain, also known as Xiangshan. Taipei is definitely one of the greenest cities I’ve ever encountered.

greenery in Taipei
A street decorated with plants in Taipei: one of many

Don’t miss out on journeys through dramatic gorges – especially the East Coast of Taiwan is filled with beautiful nature. It’s the perfect place to explore lush green mountains or soak in a natural hot spring.

Don’t forget to visit the Qingshui Cliff on the East Coast when you’re here, watching the blue colors of the water in combination with the greenery surrounding it feels surreal.

blue waters meet green mountains at Qingshui Cliff
Qingshui Cliff in Taiwan
Qingshui Cliff in Taiwan

3. Friendly locals

Step into Taiwan and you’ll instantly notice the warmth of its people. The Taiwanese are known for their hospitality, always ready to help you out, even when there are language barriers.

Our host at Wangyuku B&B in Jiufen even gave us free snacks, rain ponchos and noodles.

This open-minded spirit is reflected in how they embrace different cultures, even becoming the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Whether it’s directions to a national park or recommendations for the best Taiwanese food, they’re happy to share their knowledge with you.

Their friendly nature isn’t just an added bonus – it’s one of the reasons why visitors hold Taiwan so dear.

locals in Taipei

4. Good public transport

Taiwan has a really good public transport system. Zip around Taipei with ease thanks to a metro network that’s not only clean but also provides announcements in English. Use a metro app to make getting around Taipei even easier.

I must admit that buses aren’t always on time, but they’re still a great way to get around if you have a bit of patience. They’re affordable and pretty comfortable.

If you want to get to another city, for example from Taipei to Hualien, then making use of the train system is very convenient. There are direct trains that go from city to city at an affordable price.

The efficient way of getting around by public transport means you have more time to spend indulging in rich cultural experiences and less time worrying about getting from A to B.

man in bus in Taipei

5. Delicious food

If you’re a foodie, then Taiwan is the country for you. There are so many different foods for you to try over here. Taiwan definitely has a great culinary scene.

From sizzling hot pots to the sweet and chewy boba to taro balls, there are so many food and drink options.

At every night market you’ll find a mix of local favorites like lu rou fan (braised pork rice) or beef noodle soup that promise a flavour explosion without breaking the bank. One of the best night markets worth visiting is the lively Raohe Night Market.

Street foods such as stinky tofu may challenge your nose but they’re a must-try for any food lover, costing just a dollar or two.

food in Taiwan

6. Rich cultural heritage

Taiwan’s rich cultural heritage stems from its colorful history, with influences from various settlers and neighboring nations. You’ll find a vibrant blend of traditions and customs tightly woven into the everyday life of the Taiwanese people.

From temples such as the impressive Jiufen Qingyun Temple or the Eternal Spring Shine to ancient festivals, every corner of Taiwan tells a story steeped in tradition.

Eternal Spring Shine in Taiwan
Eternal Spring Shine, East Coast of Taiwan

Explore Taiwan’s indigenous roots among its 16 Aboriginal cultures, each offering a glimpse into the island’s historical depth.

These communities preserve their unique languages, music, art forms and lifestyles – inviting open-minded travellers like you to learn more about their ancestral ways.

Taiwan stands as a progressive beacon in Asia championing diversity and inclusion alongside its cultural richness.

Your journey here isn’t just travel; it’s an experience where ancient meets modern against a backdrop of exceptional natural beauty.

Temple in Taiwan in the mountains

7. In general very safe

It’s always good to be aware of safety issues before traveling to a new country. Luckily, Taiwan is in general a very safe country to visit.

You can wander through its vibrant streets, exploring without a worry, because you’re in one of the safest places for travellers. That’s right; Taiwan stands out as an exceptionally secure destination.

Crime rates are low and incidents involving tourists are rare. This creates a sense of security that allows you to enjoy night markets at midnight or take serene walks in secluded nature reserves at dawn.

The local attitude towards visitors is incredibly welcoming. With openness and politeness embedded in their culture, Taiwanese people often go out of their way to help lost or curious foreigners.

Even the language barrier seems less daunting here – signs typically offer translations. These factors combine to create a carefree travel experience where safety concerns can take a backseat to adventure.

Do keep in mind that wherever you go in the world, you should always take general safety measures and common sense into account.

Mountains in Taiwan

8. Night market culture

When in Taiwan, you’ll realize they have a really vibrant night market culture, which is an essential part of any visit to this island.

These are more than just markets; they’re a pulsating heart of Taiwanese society where aromas, colors and voices blend into an experience that engages all senses.

You can try some sweet pineapple cakes for just a couple of dollars or you can taste some bubble tea or a corn dog. The night markets are filled with street foods.

However, you’ll find not only food here. The narrow alleys are lined with stalls selling everything from trendy clothes to quirky souvenirs.

Each night market has its own unique flair that not only captivates visitors from all around the world – but also lots of locals.

night market in Taiwan

9. Filled with creativity

Another thing that stands out about Taiwan is its creativity. Explore the vibrant creative hubs throughout Taiwan, where innovation meets tradition in a spectacular blend.

Every major city has dynamic industrial parks that have been transformed into buzzing centres of artistic and technological advancement. Some of these places are the creative Huashan 1914 Park and the underrated Treasure Hill Artist Village in Taipei.

These spaces are alive with young designers, start-ups, and artists sharing their fresh perspectives through unique art installations, tech gadgets and performances.

It feels like a seamless merge of Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese influences with Western flair reflected in the architecture around you.

This spirit is also evident in pop-up exhibitions or street art that challenge conventions and celebrate diversity. The island is filled with creativity.

Huashan Park Taipei

10. Plenty of outdoor activities

If you love outdoor activities, then you should really visit Taiwan. It truly is filled with adventures. Hike up Jade Mountain at sunrise, or trek through the impressive Taroko Gorge, where towering marble cliffs meet rushing river waters.

River tracing adventurers find their thrills in Taiwan’s wild streams, navigating boulders and waterfalls for an exhilarating experience.

The country’s natural beauty doesn’t end on land. Offshore islands invite you to explore its beaches with waters perfect for snorkeling and diving.

Whether you’re looking for tranquillity or adrenaline filled action, Taiwan’s outdoors has something special for every open-minded explorer.

Taroko Gorge: one of the reasons why Taiwan is worth visiting

11. Upcoming cycling infrastructure

An upcoming cycling infrastructure was probably not the first thing on your mind when you thought of Taiwan. However, cycling in Taipei is definitely one of the nicest experiences in Taiwan.

Imagine cycling through the city streets of Taipei, past night markets and neon-lights in the distance. Hiring a bike is very easy here. You can simply hire a bike through Youbike 2.0.

It’s very affordable. One bike trip can cost somewhere between 5 to 25 NTD. This is not more than 1 euro, to give you an idea of the costs.

Not only in Taipei you can cycle around. Chishang, on the East Coast of Taiwan, is another good place to explore its landscapes by bike. Imagine cruising in the serene and green countryside. It’s a great way to go and explore in a sustainable way.

bike in Taipei streets

In conclusion

There are many reasons to visit Taiwan. It’s filled with outdoor adventures, friendly people and natural wonders.

Everything that this island is made of promises unforgettable experiences. Try lots of street food, navigate through lush landscapes and wander around its night markets.

Your journey through this island will reward you with sights and flavors that will stay with you long after your visit. From visiting Qingshui Cliff to cycling around in Taipei, every moment in Taiwan invites curiosity and wonder.

Don’t miss out on the underrated landscapes, delicious foods and friendly people of Taiwan.

Away with Danae

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