Taichung's Scenic Spots
Sun Moon Lake - map
The Taichung ETA group went on a trip to the Sun Moon Lake back in October. A 2-3day weekend trip is recommended rather than a day trip (which is possible) because there is a lot to see and enjoy by the lake. I would recommend taking ferry rides, cable car, and visiting the aboriginal village. You can also bike and walk along the river, which offers gorgeous scenic views. From the Taichung Gancheng station, you can take the bus（台灣好行), which will take about 2.5 hours to the lake.
Lugang - map
If you want to connect with Taiwan’s past, you should visit Lugang. It is a quick one hour bus ride from the Taichung train station. I would recommend taking the #6993 bus located behind the station. Once there, you can explore the many old temples and wander on Lugang Old Street. The Lugang Longshan Temple is one of the most intricate and beautiful temples in all of Taiwan.
Gaomei Wetlands - map
It is a very romantic place with the best view of a sunset on a clear day. You can take either local train or bus#9 from the Taichung train station to Qingshui. Then, you can take a shuttle (which only comes every half hour or so) or a cab (200 TWD, fixed rate) to Gaomei. Make sure that you get there at least 30 minutes before the sunset, so you can take a walk on the wetland or along the coast. The view of a sunset with the background of blue sky, endless wetland, and windmills is truly breathtaking.
Dakeng Mountain - map
The DaKeng mountain area has ten hiking trails. Trails 6-10 are known as the easier trails. 9 and 10 on any given weekend will probably be the most crowded, in part because they are so accessible. They are on the very edge of the city so a bus (270, 21, and others) will take you right to the trailhead. There are stands to buy food, people playing music, playing badminton, and picnicking, and I have heard though have not yet confirmed that if you go before 7am on Saturday and Sunday, they will give you free breakfast. Trails 1-5 are all connected, but they are harder to reach. Bus 66 will take you to the trailheads of 1-3, but it does not run frequently.
Xitou - map
A lush green mountain with hiking trails and a monster-themed village await you if you choose to go to Xitou for the day. Take the Nantou bus from Gancheng Station, and you will easily find yourself in the midst of a bamboo forest. While the monster village is touristy, you should go in just to try the charcoal egg tarts once you’ve built up an appetite hiking.
Calligraphy Greenway - map
The science museum, art museum, and several other attractions are connected by the calligraphy greenway, a scenic greenbelt that can be traveled by foot or bicycle. I’d recommend starting at the science museum and travelling down the greenway. The greenway also passes by several restaurants, cafes, and tea shops.
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts - map
This spacious museum features a permanent display of Chinese art and several rotating exhibits. It also has an outdoor sculpture garden. Entry is free, making it an inexpensive and relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
National Museum of Natural Science - map
Includes exhibits on the human body, dinosaurs, and ancient Chinese technology.
The museum grounds also house the botanical gardens.
Taichung Park - map
Built in the early 1900’s (under Japanese rule), Taichung Park is expansive and contains much more history than most of the parks you’ll find sprinkled around Taichung. A building known as the “Mid-Lake Pavilion” is an original structure, and one of the most iconic images of Taichung. The park is filled with scenery, so it’s a nice place to walk around, study, or just relax. A lot of events are held in Taichung Park due to the performance and public areas inside, so you’ll likely find something going on if you visit on a weekend
While not as big or diverse as Taichung Park, the Folklore Park is my favorite park in the city. A Qing-era-style compound has been re-created complete with a kitchen, several bedrooms, and other standard areas to be explored. The park also has performance areas, and many cultural events are held here on weekends. Under the park, a museum exhibit is open to the public, which displays Taiwan’s history in regards to art and folklore. There is also a beautiful garden and pond that visitors can sit around, and restaurants and tea-shops are located within the park.
Eating in Taichung
Shark Bites Toast - map
This is a chain and can be found all throughout Taiwan but we really love it here, and it’s definitely a great comfort food place.
The Early Bird Diner - map
This is a restaurant opened by an American so it’s all American food, great home comfort food, and arguably has one of the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life.
Bei Fang Guan 北方館 - map
Bei Fang Guan has excellent handmade noodles. Their beef noodle soup is amazing, as well as their dumplings and spring onion pancakes. It can be crowded and you’ll probably have to share tables with strangers if you go in a small group, but it’s worth it.
Fu Shang Rou Yuan 福上肉圓 - map
It is a tiny place crammed at the intersection of three streets, but the Rou Yuan (Va Wan) there is the best I’ve had in Taichung so far.
Chun Shui Tang 春水堂
I’ve been told by multiple people that this was the original tea stand that invented Bubble Tea.
Now they are a full tea restaurant that serves a variety of drinks as well as dimsum, noodle, and rice dishes.
Fengjia Night Market
As Taichung’s most famous night market, it’s very crowded and full of a variety of street food. Some are quite interesting and some really taste good. It is something people should check out in the tourist sense.
Guanyin Jiankang Su Shi Guan 觀音健康素食館
It’s on Hankou Road between Taiyuan and Shanxi roads, closer to the Shanxi road intersection. This is a vegetarian buffet that charges by the weight of your food.
They offer many, many dishes, and all of the dishes you can choose from are delicious. There are actually many similar style restaurants in Taiwan.
Dong Hai Su Shi 東海素食 - map
No. 81, Tàipíng Road, Bei District. They sell wonton soup noodle bowls that are so delicious you don’t even realize that they’re vegetarian until somebody tells you.
Yizhong Night Market - map
My favorite night market by far… It has a lot of great stuff but it’s not as overly crowded or overwhelming like Fengjia. It’s also near a very famous/popular Taichung mall so there’s a wide variety of shopping to be had here from the street stall kind to the high end brand kind.