Taiwan Travel Guide & Tips: Overview

Taipei 101

I spent 24 days in Taiwan in late 2023 (November and December). If you’re planning a trip there, this series of posts may help with your planning. This post provides a general overview of the country and places you might want to consider visiting if you have the time.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Taipei

Taipei, Taiwan

For many travelers to Taiwan, Taipei is all they see and do. I think that’s a mistake, but it’s understandable. There is a lot to see in and around Taipei to keep you busy for a week or more. This guide will help you plan a great trip.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Taipei (Nearby Areas)

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Taipei is a big city with a lot to keep you busy, but there are also some great things to do and see not far from the city. Here are some of the ones I recommend.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Alishan National Park

Alishan National Scenic Area low lying clouds

Alishan National Scenic Area (阿里山國家風景區) is a national park in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan. It’s one of the primary tourist attractions in the country. It is Taiwan’s most-visited national park. Located high up in Taiwan’s mountainous spine, it’s particularly popular in spring during the cherry blossom season (March-April), as well as in summer as a cool escape from the steamy coastal cities.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Sun Moon Lake

Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Sun Moon Lake is one of the most popular destinations for travelers in Taiwan. It boasts breathtaking scenery and a history that stretches back centuries. Sun Moon Lake’s name originates from the unique shape of the lake itself. The eastern shore resembles a crescent moon, while the western side mirrors a round sun.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge, Taiwan

Taroko Gorge (太魯閣) is a deep, rocky, tree-lined canyon with a boulder-strewn, blue-green river at the bottom. It’s one of Taiwan’s major tourist attractions and is a good place for hiking or just sightseeing. There are various ways to access Taroko, but I recommend basing yourself in Hualien for one or more days if you have the time.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Hualien


Hualien is considered one of the most pleasant cities in Taiwan. Many tourists visit the city to enjoy the scenery and fresh air and also to tour the famous Taroko Gorge, which is a few kilometers north of the city. That’s what I did and I definitely recommend you add it to your itinerary if you have the time.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Kaohsiung and Cijin Island

Dome of Light (光之穹頂) at Formosa Station in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung is known for its harbor. Its year-round fine weather and the low cost of living makes Kaohsiung a good place to visit. Unlike Taipei, Kaohsiung is a planned city with wide streets and slightly less traffic congestion than the capital. The city has made great strides in transforming itself from a primarily industrial city into a modern Asian metropolis

Taiwan Travel Guide – Tainan

Chihkan Tower, Tainan, Taiwan

Tainan (臺南), in Southern Taiwan, is the oldest city in Taiwan. Tainan is famous for its temples, historic buildings and snack food. It may be under-appreciated compared to Taipei, but is well worth a stop on a round-island trip for a quintessentially Taiwanese experience.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Chiayi

Chiayi park tree dome

Chiayi City is a laid-back, friendly country town and is the access point for trips to the scenic mountain area of Alishan. It’s not necessary to stay here as buses leave quite frequently, but I did spend two nights here and found it a pleasant place to base myself to make a more leisurely one-day trip to Alishan.

Taiwan Travel Guide – Taichung

manhole cover in Taichung, Taiwan

Taichung (臺中 or 台中) is located in the west-central part of Taiwan. It is the second largest city on the island. Although not well-known for anything in particular, it’s a nice city to visit and has two great places to visit if you are a fan of street art: Comics Alley (aka Painted Animation Lane) and Rainbow Village.

Singapore Travel Guide

Gardens by the Bay Super Trees

Singapore is a clean, green and modern city with a surprisingly large number of things to see and do. Here is my guide for what you need to know to make the most of your visit, including recommended sights, and information about transportation options, budgeting, how long to visit, staying connected, food options and more.

Changsha Travel Guide: My Travel Itinerary, Budget, Tips and Observations

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

About a year ago there was a big AirAsia sale and I got a great price on a direct flight from Chiang Mai to Changsha, China. I knew nothing about Changsha or the surrounding area (Hunan province) and this would be my first trip anywhere in China. As it turns out, the nearby cities of Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang make for a great 1-2 week … [ Read more ]

My Travel Costs in Philippines: Itinerary and Budget Breakdown

White Island - Camiguin, Philippines

Since I recently finished a full month of traveling in the Philippines I thought it might be helpful to provide a detailed summary of my expenses there, along with my full itinerary and a few travel observations.

Saving on Travel in Japan with a JR Rail Pass: My Itinerary, Tips and Cost Savings

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Updated November 04, 2023
Japan has long been considered one of the more expensive countries to travel. Recently, thanks to a weakening currency and years of deflation, Japan is becoming more affordable. Getting around inside the country will, however, be one of your bigger expenses. If you aren’t too pressed for time or you are just planning to visit a few locations, the best prices will … [ Read more ]

My Travel Costs in South America: A Complete Budget Breakdown (with Spreadsheet)

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Note: See the end of this post to see how you can get/use my expense tracking spreadsheet (free).

Many people are interested in how much around-the-world (RTW) or other long-term travel costs, especially as a budget traveler or backpacker. As I explained in my Central America cost breakdown, before I began my multi-year Latin America journey, I created a spreadsheet to … [ Read more ]

Travel Tips: Brazil Travel Guide

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General Thoughts about Brazil
Like almost everyone I have met who has traveled to Brazil, I loved my experience here. It is a huge country, diverse in land, people, culture and even language. When I first started thinking of my South America plans I considered skipping Brazil precisely because it was so huge and because I wanted to concentrate on improving my Spanish, but as I … [ Read more ]