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Located in Qingshui District in Taichung, Gaomei Wetlands (高美濕地) is an ecological preservation zone in Central Taiwan. Also known as Gaomei Wetland Preservation Area, the wetland is known for its abundant natural resources and beautiful sunset.
And the best way to experience Gaomei Wetlands is during the late afternoon, where you can catch the sea breeze and watch the sun disappear below the horizon.
But if the weather doesn’t cooperate during your visit, or if you can’t make it there during the afternoon, you should still visit Gaomei Wetlands while you are in Taichung. And you should include Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour and Luce Memorial Chapel to your day trip itinerary. I will show you exactly how you can see all three attractions comfortably in one day.
Before you visit Taichung
Before you go to Taichung, take a look at my post on learning all my best tips for travelling to Taiwan. I included a lot of information, including getting a Taiwan prepaid SIM card, transportation around the country and more. And check out more tips on my solo travel guide to Taichung and learn about other attractions in Taichung.
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How to get to Gaomei Wetlands
Address: Meidi Street, Qingshui District, Taichung City, Taiwan 436
Hours of Operation: open 24 hours
Taichung City Bus
There are many ways to go to Gaomei Wetlands. Both trains and buses are excellent options. However, the easiest way is to take a direct bus from Taichung to Gaomei Wetlands.
- Take Bus #309 to Gaomei Wetlands (No.18 windmill station)
- Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Cost: NT$73 (with your EasyCard or iPass)
What are Gaomei Wetlands
Gaomei Wetlands is over 300 hectares of grassy, mossy, muddy flat land on the west coast of Central Taiwan at the mouth of the Dajia River.
The muddy land has the perfect balance of sand and soil, where it is ideal for many ecological creatures to live in. During low tide, you will find these creatures, such as mud-skippers, fiddler crabs and other crustaceans, crawling around.
To preserve the wetland, an 800-meter long wavy boardwalk was built to prevent people from walking in the muddy land. And you can still walk out into the flat land during high tides.
While many little creatures live underground, you can also find migratory birds, especially during the fall and winter months. An excellent spot for bird watching!
But before you go to Gaomei Wetlands, check the tidal forecast first. You can only see crustaceans in their natural habitat during low tide.
What you will find at Gaomei Wetlands
As soon as you arrive, you will see the visitor centre, a modern concrete building with a pathway leading to the entrance. The visitor centre has a restaurant, bathrooms and several sculptures on the front lawn.
Further along the route, you will find the Gaomei Lighthouse. The red and white striped octagonal concrete structure is 38.7 meters high and was built in 1967. Initially, it was used to guide ships in the area, but it has since been retired in 1982 when the lighthouse lamps were moved to Taichung Port Lighthouse, where it is higher in elevation.
During the weekends, you will find food stalls selling Taiwanese food along the route. That is what’s so great about Taiwan – there is always food somewhere!
And when you return to the visitor centre, you will find Gaomei Wetland Scenic Bridge connecting the wetlands and Taichung Port. The modern structure has an excellent pedestrian walkway. And there are a few benches where you can enjoy the scenery from the bridge.
The best part of the day: Renting an electric bicycle
Even though I didn’t see the beautiful sunset at Gaomei Wetlands, I still had a fantastic day because I rented an electric bike!
The bike rental is just south of the visitor centre. It costs NT$150 for 1 hour. If you return it late for 10 minutes, they will charge an extra NT$150.
Be careful when you are on the electric bike – it can go pretty fast! As fast as 40km/hour! For your safety, make sure to wear the helmet. And also do not stop at the bus stop and the red line.
They also have tandem electric bikes too! If you visit the wetland with a friend, the two of you can hop on the same bike and ride it together!
From the visitor centre, I biked along the Seaside Cycling Route in Gaomei Section, where the route continues into the Branch Line.
The bike route is paved and easy to navigate. It was super easy to follow the signages along the way.
Since I only rented the electric bike for an hour, I biked as far as I can along the route in half an hour and went right back to the bike rental.
If you have time, you can continue on the cycling route to Dayang Cycling Route, and Qingshui Cycling Route, which will take you back to the bike rental.
It was nice seeing the coastal scenery on a bike and feel the sea breeze at the same time. I highly recommend biking along the cycling route in Gaomei Wetlands.
Bonus side trip #1: Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour
Address: Qingshui District, Taichung City, Taiwan 436
Hours of Operation: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Located in the same district as the wetlands, the Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour (梧棲漁港) is a fishing harbour with a seafood market and a variety of seafood restaurants. There are even boat tours if you feel like touring around the port.
In the wet market, walk through aisles of seafood vendors and see fisherman’s daily catches. I saw many types of fish, crabs, lobsters, and the biggest shrimps I’ve ever seen! And they also sell sashimi if you want to try some raw fish at the market.
Before you leave the harbour, take a stroll around the short promenade and see fishing boats unload their catch of the day.
While eating at the seafood restaurant as a solo traveller is not ideal, you can try the seafood at the seafood market where they have cooked seafood.
I found these spicy shellfish types of seafood. I’m not sure what the name but it looks like a small snail. Taiwanese people like tasty food! So be careful when you order something spicy!
There are other less exotic types of seafood. Many of them are fried, including different types of fish and squid. They also sell meat buns, and bubble tea, of course.
And if you want to buy a souvenir, the market has a lot of dried goods, including dried squid, which is wildly popular in Taiwan.
How to go to Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour from Gaomei Wetlands
From the same bus stop (but across the street) at Gaomei Wetlands, take Bus #688 or #309 towards Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour. It should be the last stop on the route because the bus will loop back around, back to Gaomei Wetlands and back to Taichung. The bus ride is free when you use your EasyCard or iPass (bus rides under 10km in Taichung is free when you use your IC card).
Bonus side trip #2: Luce Memorial Chapel
Address: No. 1727, Section 4, Taiwan Boulevard, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407
Hours of Operation: open 24 hours (to view from outside of chapel)
Located on the campus of Tunghai University, the Luce Memorial Chapel (路思義教堂) is a Christian chapel to honour Rev. Henry W. Luce, who is an American missionary in China during the late 19th century.
If you are a modern contemporary architecture lover, then you will appreciate the design of the chapel. The structure stands on an irregular hexagonal base, with a curvy tent-like structure made of reinforced concrete acting as the walls and roof of the chapel. The continuous external structure is composed of repeating yellow glazed diamond-shaped tiles, which resembles the diamond-shaped lattice interior walls.
Many locals visit the chapel on the weekends. And there may even be a wedding! I couldn’t see the inside of the chapel because a lovely couple was getting married that day.
How to go to Luce Memorial Chapel from Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour
From Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour, take Bus #309 to Veterans General Hospital / Tunghai University. Then walk 8 minutes into the campus and find Luce Memorial Chapel on the left-hand side. It cost NT$21 for the bus ride with your EasyCard or iPass.
Are you including Gaomei Wetlands to your Taichung itinerary?
If you enjoy the outdoors and seeing different biodiversity and wildlife, then you should take a day trip to Gaomei Wetlands. It is possible to spend the entire day there, especially if you take your time to see every nook and cranny.
But if you have time, also visit Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour to see the pier and sample some delectable seafood.
And if you love contemporary architecture, then you must visit Luce Memorial Chapel on the way back to Taichung. The chapel is literally on the way back to Taichung, and it only takes a few more minutes to visit the modern chapel.
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Where to go in Taiwan
Wondering which city you should visit in Taiwan? Check out my solo traveller’s guides to the best cities to visit in Taiwan.