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14 Best Day Trips from Taipei for Solo Travellers

As much as I love exploring different neighbourhoods in Taipei, I also love getting out of the city and visiting many places outside of the capital city. During my last few trips to Taipei, I stayed within the city and took many day trips from Taipei.

And Taipei is an excellent home base for doing many day tours and excursions. Many destinations are reachable by public transportation, which is easy to use and affordable. Plus, they are reliable and safe.

In this post, I’ll show you all my favourite Taipei day trips. I thoroughly enjoyed these day trips and highly recommend them to anyone who wants to be adventurous and want to see places outside of Taipei.

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Taipei Day Trips: what you need to know

Before taking any Taipei day trips, look at my post on everything you need to know before going to Taiwan. I included a lot of travel information, including how to get around Taiwan, how to get a Taiwan SIM Card and other travel tips.

Here are some additional travel tips that you might find helpful in your day trips from Taipei:

  • Taipei and surrounding areas are safe for solo female travellers, even if you take public transportation alone.
  • Purchase a rechargeable smartcard called EasyCard or iPass. Either card is good for taking public transportation all over Taiwan. You can get a rechargeable card at any major train station or convenience store in Taiwan.
  • Pack a daypack with water, snacks and a mobile phone. Make sure to bring cash, as many rural places only accept cash as payment.
  • Make sure to check the timetable for the last bus, subway, or train. You want to ensure you can return to Taipei and not be stranded somewhere.

14 Easy Day Trips from Taipei for Solo Travellers

There are many places to explore outside of Taipei, and many of these destinations can be reached within two hours by either local bus, long-distance buses, subway, express train or high-speed train.

Below I listed 14 Taipei day trips you can do alone. I included the highlights of the city and directions for getting there. Plus, I’ve listed them in the order of travel time (from the quickest to the longest).

Click on the hyperlink to take you directly to the specific section.

Taipei day trips under 1 hour

  1. Yingge
  2. Beitou
  3. Tamsui
  4. Keelung City
  5. Jiufen
  6. Sanxia
  7. Yilan City
  8. Jinguashi

Taipei day trips between 1 to 2 hours

  1. Taichung
  2. Fulong Beach
  3. Jiaoxi
  4. Shifen
  5. Caoling Historic Trail
  6. Bitoujiou

Day Trips out of Taipei: under 1 hour

1. Yingge

Yingge is a pottery town located 26km southwest of Taipei. The town has a 200-year history of ceramic making and is the largest center for ceramic production in Taiwan. At its height, there were over 800 ceramic-related businesses around Yingge Old Street.

The town of Yingge is relatively small. This means including Sanxia on the same-day trip is possible because both cities are close. I highly recommend starting the day in Yingge first, then spending the afternoon in Sanxia (more info about Sanxia further down the post).

Here are some of the must-see while you are in Yingge:

  • Yingge Old Street – stroll through the cobblestone pedestrian shopping street and see the old coal-fired kiln chimney
  • Many local ceramic shops – check out some of the best art studios where you can make your own masterpiece or you can purchase unique pieces of pottery
  • New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum – learn about ceramics making through three floors of exhibits
  • Sanying Art Village – see outdoor art installations surrounding the New Taipei City Art Museum (which is currently under construction)
  • Yingge Ceramics Riverside Park – see giant whimsical ceramic plates, spoons and cups on the green lawn

How to get to Yingge Old Street from Taipei: take a fast local TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Yingge Station. The train takes 23 minutes.

2. Beitou

Beitou is one of the best towns to experience the hot spring culture in Taiwan because of its proximity to the capital city (only 12km north of Taipei) and the abundant activities you can do on a day trip.

If you have never had a hot spring experience, Beitou is a great place to start. Here is what you will see during a day in Beitou:

  • Beitou Thermal Valley – see the emerald green hot spring water and sulphuric steam
  • Beitou Park – wander around the first hot spring park in Taiwan and visit Beitou Hot Spring Museum
  • Millennium Hot Spring – experience a local outdoor hot spring
  • Free foot baths around Beitou – soak your tired feet in the warm hot spring water
  • Sulphur Valley Recreation Area – see sulphur pools around the hiking trail

How to get to Beitou from Taipei: take the MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line (red line) from Taipei Main Station to Beitou Station, then transfer to Xinbeitou Line to Xinbeitou Station. The subway ride takes 38 minutes.

3. Tamsui

Many people may not know about Tamsui (or Danshui), but you should visit this laid-back waterfront city as it is only 20km north of Taipei.

And during a day trip to Tamsui, you can see many historic buildings occupied by the Spaniards, Dutch, English and Japanese. And don’t leave without trying some of the best local Taiwanese food that you can’t find anywhere else.

Here are some of the highlights of Tamsui:

  • Tamsui Old Street – try unique local food like “A-gei” (dried tofu stuffed with glass noodles) and pick up great souvenirs from Taiwan
  • Fuyou Temple and Longshan Temple – visit two well-known temples in the city of Tamsui
  • Lover’s Bridge at Fisherman’s Wharf – walk across the white bridge that resembles the mast of a sailboat
  • Fort San Domingo – visit a hilltop fortress that various countries have occupied
  • Drop of Water Memorial Hall – see the memorial hall in a Japanese wooden house

How to get to Tamsui from Taipei: take the MRT Tamsui-Xinyi Line (red line) from Taipei Main Station to Tamsui Station, the last stop on the red line. The subway ride takes 43 minutes.

4. Keelung City

Another popular Taipei day trip desitnation is Keelung City, a major port city in northern Taiwan. Many travellers travel from Taipei to Keelung because the city has many interesting things to do and is only 30km northwest of the capital city.

When you spend a day in Keelung, you can visit various ports, see historical parks with viewpoints, and capture many Instagrammable photos from different parts of the city. And best of all, you can try unique Taiwanese food at one of the best night markts in Taiwan.

So if you do go to Keelung, look for these attractions:

  • Zhongzheng Park – see the 25m Keelung Guanyin Statue, the largest goddess statue in Southeast Asia
  • Zhengbin Fishing Port – take photos of the famous multi-coloured houses
  • Keelung Night Market – eat delicious local specialties from the food stalls with yellow lanterns
  • Agenna Shipyard Relics – see the abandoned shipyard which is another great spot for photography
  • Heping Island – hike the mountain trail along the coast and see marine caves and tidal pools

How to get to Keelung from Taipei: take the TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Keelung Station. The train ride takes 47 minutes.

5. Jiufen

If you can only take one day trip from Taipei, then you must visit Jiufen. The quaint little village in the mountains is 40km east of Taipei and is made famous for the similarity to the village in the Japanese anime, Spirited Away.

When you spend a day in Jiufen, you can get lost in the maze of alleyways and stairs while searching for red lanterns. Plus, you can learn about tea ceremony at one of the teahouses and eat many delicious local food.

Here are some things to look for while you are in Jiufen:

  • Jiufen Old Street – try many local food like taro ball soup and peanut ice cream roll on this winding alleyway
  • A-Mei Teahouse – take photos of the picturesque teahouse
  • Historic teahouses – enjoy a traditional tea experience at one of many teahouses in Jiufen
  • Keelung Mountain – option to hike up the 600m tall mountain with views overlooking Taipei City and Keelung

How to get to Jiufen from Taipei: take bus 1062 from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station to Jiufen Old Street. The bus ride takes up to an hour. The bus ride takes about 1 hour. See my detailed instructions in my post on travelling to Jiufen from Taipei

6. Sanxia

Sanxia is a historical district located 26km southwest of Taipei and was known as the center for cloth dyeing and the production of Assam Indigo. Today, the area still attracts many visitors because of the well-preserved heritage houses and the intricate and complex temple.

As mentioned, it is possible to include Yingge on the same-day trip. Start the day in Yingge, then spend the afternoon in Sanxia.

While you are in Sanxia, here is what you can look forward to:

  • Sanxia Old Street – see the red-brick baroque-style heritage houses that date back to the Japanese Era
  • Qingshui Zushi Temple – see the intricately sculpted temple that was built in 1769
  • Buffalo horn bread – try a croissant-shaped bread that comes in many flavours
  • Sanxia Indigo Dyeing Park – learn about Sanxia’s original roots in indigo dyeing
  • New Taipei City Hakka Museum – see exhibits on Hakka culture

How to get to Sanxia Old Street from Taipei: take the local train from Taipei Main Station to Yingge Station. Then take bus 702 to Wenhua Road. Sanxia Old Street is not far. The entire journey takes 1 hour.

7. Yilan City

Located 56km southwest of Taipei, Yilan City is one of the bigger cities in Yilan County where mountains and sea surround it.

The city was initially inhabited by the Kavalan tribe, which are Taiwanese indigenous people. Then the population was mixed with Han Chinese immigrants and Japanese people in the early 1900s. This is the reason why Yilan has a mix of culture, and there are plenty of buildings in Yilan that have their roots in the Qing Dynasty and the Japanese Colonial Era.

When you spend a day in Yilan, you can learn more about the city through these attractions:

  • Yilan Cultural and Creative Park – learn about aboriginal culture at this new cultural park
  • Memorial Hall of Founding of Yilan Administration – see the Japanese and Western architectural aesthetics at this historical building
  • Yilan Distillery – see exhibits related to beer and wine
  • Kavalan Distillery – try whiskeys in the tasting room at the only whiskey distillery in Taiwan
  • Diu Diu Dang Forest Park – visit the small park with a steel-frame iron tree forest. If you visit on the weekend, there is a weekend market with vendors selling handicrafts

How to get to Yilan City from Taipei: the fastest way to get to Yilan is by taking Kamalan bus 1916A from Taipei Bus Station to Yilan Bus Station. The bus takes about an hour. Otherwise, take the express TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Yilan Station. The train takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.

8. Jinguashi

Most people have heard of Jiufen, but may not know anything about Jinguashi. It is a small town next to Jiufen, known for its goldmines in the late 19th century. Even though the gold rush has ended, there is still many historical relics from the mining days.

Besides learning about gold mining, several hiking trails and attractions are worth checking out. Here are some things to look for during your day in Jinguashi:

  • Jinguashi Gold Ecological Park – visit the historical area and get an insightful look at the gold mining industry and the life of a miner
  • Try a miner’s lunch box – I tried one at Gold Mine Crystal Cafeteria
  • Gold Museum – visit the open-air museum and see former dormitories and processing plants for the Taiwan Metal Mining Corp
  • Qitang Old Street – walk through the old neighbourhood with a rainbow staircase
  • Baoshishan Lookout – walk to the end of a stairway and see Yingyang Sea
  • Teapot Mountain Trail – hike up to 580m and see a rock that resembles a handleless teapot at the peak
  • Golden Waterfall – see the cascading waterfall with a golden hue
  • Jinguashi Shinto Shrine – see the Torii gates built during the Japanese era

How to get to Jinguashi from Taipei: take bus 1062 to Jiufen from Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT Station. And take the bus to the last top at Chuen Ji Hall. The bus ride takes an hour. See my detailed instructions in my post on travelling to Jiufen from Taipei

Day Trips from Taipei: between 1 to 2 hours

1. Taichung

Taichung is Taiwan’s second-largest city and is 160km southwest of Taipei. Even though Taichung is quite far, the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) can take you there in 1.5 hours.

There are so many things to do in Taichung as the city is a major hub with modern landscapes and cultural landmarks. Plus, there are many places to explore outside the city where you should stay for more than one day.

However, if you are only looking to do a day trip to Taichung, here’s what you can see:

  • Rainbow Village – see the famous colourful murals drawn by Rainbow Grandpa
  • Paochueh Temple – visit a 7-storey golden laughing Buddha
  • Miyahara – buy unique food souvenirs from a former ophthalmology clinic
  • Chun Shui Tang – try the original pearl milk tea at the birthplace of the bubble tea
  • Feng Chia Night Market – try many traditional Taiwanese foods at one of the best night markets in Taichung

How to get to Taichung from Taipei: the fastest way to get to Taichung is by taking the HSR train from Taipei Main Station to HSR Taichung Station. Then take the TRA train from Xinwuri Station to Taichung Station. The combined train journey takes 1 hour and 11 minutes. Or take the express TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Taichung Station. Taking the TRA train takes 1 hour 38 minutes.

2. Fulong Beach

Fulong is a popular beach resort town 55km east of the capital. Locals in Taipei love visiting Fulong Beach for its 3km golden sand beach and many water activities.

Besides enjoying the lovely beach, there are options to add to your day trip, including a hike on an ancient trail or cycle through the Old Caoling Railway Tunnel.

Here are some highlights when you visit Fulong Beach:

  • Taiwanese lunch box – get a famous “biandang” (lunchbox) sold outside of Fulong Station
  • Various water activities – windsurfing, kayaking and standup paddleboarding
  • Fulong Sand Sculpture Festival – see 80+ giant sand sculptures from May to October
  • Option to hike Caoling Historic Trail – the start of Caoling Historic Trail is just south of Fulong Station
  • Rent a bicycle – cycle through the Old Caoling Railway Tunnel and around the eastern peninsula in Yilan County

How to get to Fulong Beach from Taipei: take the fast local TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Fulong Station. The express train can get you to Fulong Station in 1 hour 12 minutes.

3. Jiaoxi

Jiaoxi is a rural township in the northern section of Yilan County on the east coast of Taiwan. The area is 50km southeast of Taipei and is in a fault zone with underground heat sources, making Jiaoxi the largest hot spring area in Taiwan.

Besides visiting the sodium bicarbonate hot springs in Jiaoxi, you can also trek several hiking trails and see waterfalls.

Here are some things to look for on your day trip to Jiaoxi:

  • Tangweigou Hot Spring Park – have little fish nibble on your feet at the fish foot bath
  • Free foot hot springs – soak your feet in one of the several free foot bathing pools around Jiaoxi
  • Paoma Historic Trail – hike the trail that used to transport lumber and see panoramic views of Jiaoxi and Guishan Island
  • Wufongci Waterfall – see a series of waterfalls when you hike up several flights of stairs
  • Shengmu Hiking Trail – see the mountainous terrain of Jiaoxi countryside when you hike this 10km trail

How to get to Jiaoxi from Taipei: the fastest way to get to Jiaoxi is by taking the Kamalan bus 1915B from Taipei Bus Station to Jiaoxi Transfer Station. The bus ride is 1 hour 18 minutes. Otherwise, take the TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Jiaoxi Station. The train ride takes 1.5 hours.

4. Shifen

Shifen is a railroad town 35km east of Taipei known for its beautiful waterfalls and the famous lantern festival, Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, on the 15th day of the lunar new year.

But you don’t need to wait until Chinese New Year to release a lantern in Shifen; you can do that anytime! Plus, you can explore several waterfalls, try local food and enjoy a day in nature.

Here are some highlights during a day trip to Shifen:

  • Shifen Old Street – try local food and buy souvenirs on either side of the train tracks
  • Release a sky lantern over the train tracks – one of the best activities in Shifen
  • Yanjingdong Falls – see the first waterfall on the trail near Guanpu Suspension Bridge
  • Shifen Waterfall – see the 40m high waterfall from one of several viewing platforms

How to get to Shifen from Taipei: take the local TRA train to Ruifang station. Transfer to another train bound for Pingxi, and get off at Shifen Station. The entire train ride takes 1 hour 44 minutes.

5. Caoling Historic Trail

Caoling Historic Trail is one of several ancient trails in northeastern Taiwan. The 8.5km trail crosses from Yilan County to New Taipei City, where you can see historical relics, sweeping mountain views and panoramic views of Taiwan’s east coast and Pacific Ocean.

The easy trail is 70km east of Taipei, and takes 3 hours to complete. This means you can include another destination like Fulong Beach or Bitoujiao Trail afterwards.

Here are some things to look for on your day hike on the Caoling Historic Trail:

  • Panoramic views of east coast Taiwan and the Pacific Ocean – can be seen soon after you hike up the trail
  • Tiger Inscription and Siong Jhen Man Yan Inscription – see two large boulders with inscriptions
  • Silver grass covering the mountain – see a mountain full of miscanthus flowers dancing in the wind during fall and winter
  • Option to hike Taoyuan Valley – see grazing buffalos and Mount Wankengtou

How to get to Caoling Historic Trail from Taipei: take the local TRA train to Dali Station. From Dali Station, follow the signs for the Caoling Trail. Then end your journey at Fulong Station and return home to Taipei. The train ride takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

6. Bitoujiou

Bitoujiao Trail is an easy hiking trail on the mountain ridges of a major cape on the Northeastern coast of Taiwan. Most people visit the Bitoujiao Scenic Area, 48km east of Taipei and hike this short trail to see lush green mountains, rocky coast, and sparkling blue ocean water.

This is an excellent day trip from Taipei and Yilan County. Plus, it is possible to combine another destination in Northern Taiwan, like Jiufen or Caoling Historic Trail, on the day trip since you don’t need a full day to explore Bitoujiou.

Here are some things to look for on your day hike in Bitoujiou:

  • Bitou Cape Trail – see panoramic views along the trail and viewing pagodas
  • Tingtao Cafe with rainbow-coloured stairs – a colourful camouflaged cafe that was a former marine base
  • Bitou Seashore Park – explore around the pagoda and rocky shore
  • Bitou Fishing Harbour – see fishing boats and try a seaweed jelly drink

How to get to Bitoujiou from Taipei: take the express TRA train from Taipei Main Station to Fulong Station. Then walk two minutes to the Fulong bus stop on Xinglong Street and wait for bus 791. After about 30 minutes, alight at the Bitoujiao (Bitou Service Area) bus stop. The entire journey takes about 2 hours.

Want a fun way to get around small towns? Learn how you can rent a scooter outside of Taipei

Which day trip from Taipei are you going to take?

I hope all of them because each of these day trips from Taipei is fun and different from one another. I really like these destinations because you can easily get there without renting a car. This is definitely a perk for a solo traveller!

Which day trip from Taipei do you like the most? Leave a comment below. Or, if you think other Taipei day trips should be part of the list, let me know as well.

Thank you for reading my post on Taipei day trips

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Taiwan:

Introduction to Taiwan
Northern Taiwan posts

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 20+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

2 Comments

  • Aiesha Parker-Hicks
    January 31, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    So glad to have found your wonderful space! I’m intrigued by Taiwan after a delicious experience at Joy in Los Angeles.
    I only speak english and was looking at an Airbnb in Toucheng Township. Any thoughts on that specific area? ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      January 31, 2023 at 9:45 pm

      Hi Aiesha,
      Taiwanese food is so good! It is one of the reasons why I keep going back!
      Toucheng is a small town and you can see everything in 1 day. I was looking for Airbnb in Yilan and found the best ones in Toucheng. You can stay there and use it as a homebase and see other areas in Yilan and also places east of Taipei like Jiufen, Shifen, etc.
      As for language, I think its fine if you don’t speak mandarin. As long as you have googlemaps to navigate, translation app to order food, then that’s all you need. Most signs are in English.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply

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