Taiwan is so much more than meets the eye – this travel destination runs abound with amazing attractions, experiences to be had, food to be tasted, and bubble tea to be drunken. We had a hard time choosing which unique experiences should make it to our list. If you really want to experience Taiwan for its quirkiness and hidden gems, these 15 attractions and places to visit need to be on your travel itinerary.

1. Experience Hot Springs The Natural Way at Wulai Hot Springs

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Just a few miles outside of busy Taipei lies Wulai Hot Springs. Here, you can enjoy the peace and quiet while dipping your toes in an all-natural hot spring and enjoying gorgeous views. You can even enjoy a drink while bathing in the hot springs!

  • Operating hours: None
  • Location: Nanshih River and Tonghou River, Wulai Dist., New Taipei
  • Rates: Entrance is free
  • How to get there: Take the Metro Green Line from Taipei to Xindian Station. Exit the train station and look for a small tourist center. Find bus 849 there and get off at the last stop

2. Make your own bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House, Taipei

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Taiwan is known for their stellar bubble tea, and while you can pick up one of your own from any corner in Taiwan, it makes for a more magical experience if you could make your own. Thanks to Chun Shui Tang, one of the most popular bubble tea places in Taipei, you could finally learn their secrets! Learn from the masters with this experiential, 30-minute course where you can make your own bubble tea or pearl milk tea.

  • Operating hours: 2:00 PM every Tuesday, by reservation only
  • Location: No.30, Siwei St, Taipei City
  • Rates: TWD 269 per person
  • How to get there: You can get there by walking or taking public transportation

3. Visit a Hello Kitty Cafe at Hello Kitty Kitchen and Dining, Taipei

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We’re not sure why – and we don’t dare question it – but themed cafes and restaurants are a big hit in Taiwan. Visiting one of these cafe’s is a must-do for anyone traveling to Taipei, and for huge fans of Hello Kitty, you can find heaven right here. Hello Kitty Kitchen and Dining have everything – right down to their food – in Hello Kitty theme, and you can order western food as well as their Grilled Chicken Salad.

  • Operating hours: 12:00 NN to 8:00 PM
  • Location: No. 1, Jinshan North Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10058
  • Rates: Around TWD 200 per person
  • How to get there: You can get there by walking or taking public transportation

4. Feast on Stinky Tofu at Lehua Night Market, New Taipei

Image source: flickr.com | Josephine Lim

Ah, stinky tofu – if there’s anything that Taiwan is notoriously known for, it’s this. Stinky tofu is fermented tofu with a really pungent smell (think dirty socks), but surprisingly, this street food dish tastes way better than how it smells. You can get yours at bang-for-buck prices at the Lehua Night Market – they have tables and seats as well for a comfortable meal.

  • Operating hours: 5 PM – 1 AM
  • Location: Yongping Road, Yonghe District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 234
  • Rates: A box of 5 will set you back anywhere between TWD 35 and TWD 50
  • How to get there: You can get there by walking or taking public transportation

5. Shop ’til you drop at Ximending Youth Shopping District, Taipei

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Want to know where to spot the latest fashion trends in any country? Shop where the youth do. Ximending Youth Shopping District in Taipei is filled with rows upon rows of shopping centers, restaurants, theaters, bars and street exhibitions. It’s heavily influenced by Japanese culture, coming from when it was established when Taiwan was colonized by Japan.

  • Operating hours: None
  • Location: Ximending Shopping District, Wanhua District, Taipei
  • Rates: Varies
  • How to get there: Head to Taipei Main Station. It will be located a little to the west of the station.

6. Take a Gondola And Have Tea at Maokong Mountain, Taipei

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Scenic views and great tea are all you need to unwind and slow down – you can get both at Maokong Mountain. Here, you’ll be taking a gondola (outfitted with a glass floor, no less) to reach Maokong. Upon reaching Maokong, you’re ushered to a spot with breathtaking views overlooking Taipei City, where you can sip from a warm cup of locally grown tea.

  • Operating hours:  9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Location: No. 8-2, Lane 40, Sec. 3, Zhinan Rd., Wenshan Dist., Taipei City
  • Rates: The gondola ride costs around TWD 120 one-way for adults and TWD 50 for children
  • How to get there: Take the Rbwon Line to Taipei Zoo, then transfer to the Maokong Gondola

7. Buy your Souvenirs at Shilin Night Market, Taipei

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Let us tell you, right off the bat: Taiwan’s night markets are out of this world. Shihlin is the largest market with the most food, and they care merchandise of all sorts – local, international, traditional, what have you. You can buy traditional Taiwanese food here too, like their giant fried chicken steak and oyster omelet. With all the knick-knacks they carry, we’re 100% sure you can find a souvenir here.

  • Operating hours:  3:00 PM to 1:00 AM
  • Location: No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
  • Rates: Varies
  • How to get there: Take the MRT to Jiantan Station, then walk towards Dadong Road

8. Catch the sunrise at Hehuan Mountain, Nantou

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Hehuan Mountain is arguably one of the most beautiful mountains in Taiwan, and you’d soon realize why once you see the sun rising over its mountain range. You can hike to Hehuan East Peak, which is a one-hour journey, and when you get to the top there’s a nearby cafe and restaurant where you can rest.

  • Operating hours:  None
  • Location: Hehuanshan, Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 546
  • Rates: None
  • How to get there: Take the High-Speed Rail Train to Taichung from Taipei then book a taxi going to CingJing. From their, it’s a one-hour drive to Hehuan Mountain

9. Paraglide over mountains at Puli, Nantou

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Looking for a much-needed adrenaline rush? You can paraglide over Puli, and catch breathtaking views of a mountain range – views you wouldn’t get anywhere else. With lots of fresh air and airtime, you’d be amazed at how you can feel both thrilled and relaxed at the same time after paragliding.

  • Operating hours: 12:00 NN – 5:00 PM
  • Location: Puli, Nantou County, Taiwan
  • Rates: Around TWD 3500
  • How to get there: From Taipei Main Station, take the High-Speed Rail train to Taichung. Then, take the Nantou Bus from Taichung to Puli

10. Get Butchered At the Ancient Art Of Knife Therapy Education Centre, Taipei

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For the brave of heart, here’s another treat for you. Locally known as “dao liao,” butcher massages are quite popular among the Taiwanese – and yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. Massage therapists use blunt-edged butcher knives to massage you, energizing and stimulating circulation in your body.

  • Operating hours: Unclear
  • Location: Dinhua Street, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Rates: A one hour massage is worth TWD 1200
  • How to get there: Walk or take any form of public transportation

11. Explore Buddhism at Guang Shan Monastery, Kaohsiung

Guang Shan Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. This attraction is a temple complex filled with restaurants, cafes and gift shops, and is pretty picturesque too. This is where you can take your favorite shots of Taiwan’s most beautiful Buddhist temples.

  • Operating hours: None
  • Location: No. 1, Tongling Rd, Dashu District, Kaohsiung City, 840
  • Rates: None
  • How to get there: Take the MRT to Zouying Station and take the 8501 bus from there.

12. Rock Your World at Yehliu Geo Park, New Taipei

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For a more adventurous afternoon, you can head over to Yehliu Geo Park. It features unique rock formations, like the “Queen’s Head,” Ginger Rocks and Cream Rock. There’s Yehliu Ocean World too, filled with ocean exhibits and sea lion performances.

  • Operating hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Daily
  • Location: No.167-1, Kantung Rd., Yehliu Village, Wanli District, New Taipei City 20744, Taiwan
  • Rates: Adult tickets are at TWD 80, and children aged 6-12 can get tickets at half the price
  • How to get there: From Taipei West Bus Station Terminal A, buy a ticket for Yehliu GeoPark. The bus will drop you right outside the park entrance

13. Meet and Greet Pandas at Taipei Zoo, Taipei

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We all know pandas are cute – and meeting one just makes them even cuter. Aside from pandas though, Taipei Zoo also has pink flamingos, baboons, monkeys and different exhibition buildings to fill your afternoon.

  • Operating hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Location: No. 30, Section 2, Xinguang Road, Taipei.
  • Rates:  NT 60 for adults
  • How to get there: Ride the MRT towards the Taipei Zoo Station

14. Eat Straight From A Toilet at Modern Toilet, Taipei

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There’s a saying that goes, “don’t eat where you poop,” but we think a meal at Modern Toilet can be forgiven. Here, you literally eat out of a plate shaped like a toilet – and mind you, the food is actually really good. Try out their Signature Chicken Curry, Thai Spicy Stir-Friend Pork and Pork Sausage with Tomato Sauce.

  • Operating hours: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM (Mondays – Thursdays), 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM (Fridays), 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM (Saturdays), 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Sundays)
  • Location: 2F, No 7,Ln 50, Xining S. Rd., Taipei City
  • Rates: A Plate could set you back by around 260 TWD
  • How to get there: Walk or take public transportation

15. Try Your Luck at Longshan Temple, Taipei

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If you don’t trust humans to tell your fortune, you might trust a bird. The Longshan Temple is a worship place catering to a mix of Buddhist and Taoist deities, but outside of its walls is a bazaar where you can have your fortune told by a little bird.

  • Operating hours: 6 AM – 10 PM
  • Location: No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10853
  • Rates: None
  • How to get there: Take the blue line to Longshan Temple

Experience the Best of Taiwan

There are probably more experiences in Taiwan that should land on your travel itinerary (please, do comment them below!) but these should be a good start! If you’re looking for deals to make your trip to Taiwan easier, visit our merchants, or check out ShopBack’s latest travel deals where you can hope to find and Expedia promo code or a Hotels.com promo code!

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