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Things to do in Taichung Taiwan as a Solo Traveller

Last Updated on September 29, 2020 by queenie mak

As the second-largest city in Taiwan, Taichung (台中) is a vibrant city with a thriving cultural scene. Located on the west coast of Taiwan, Taichung rose as an economic, transportation and cultural hub during the Japanese occupation period due to the development of highways and railway. The city has a modern landscape and open spaces that are welcoming to both locals and tourists.

I quite like Taichung as the city experienced the Japanese Colonial Era where the city is shaped by Japanese culture. Today, you will find many Japanese influences in Taichung, from city streets, cuisine and almost every aspect of life in Taichung.

Besides finding the remnants of Japanese culture, there are many exciting attractions in Taichung. Let me show you exactly what you can do and see in Taichung.

 

 

 

Why Taichung is Great for a Solo Female Traveller

As a solo female traveller, I find Taichung incredibly easy to navigate. I took the bus wherever I went or walk through different neighbourhoods in the city. Perhaps Taichung is a pedestrian-friendly city (which I always prefer), and even though the city is spread out, it is still pretty easy to get around. And if you use a rechargeable IC card like the i-pass, you can take the bus for free if it is less than 10km!

And similar to other Taiwanese cities, Taichung has a low crime rate and is very safe for visitors. There is minimal street crime, and violent crime is rare for the whole country. As a solo female traveller myself, being safe is my number one priority. I feel completely safe the entire time travelling in Taiwan.

 

 

 

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.

 

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The new and improved Taichung Railway Station.

The new and improved Taichung Railway Station.

Taichung Transportation

 

How to get to Taichung

 

From Taichung International Airport to Taichung

Taichung is accessible by air and there are daily domestic and international flights (from Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, and Thailand) fly directly into Taichung International Airport.

From the airport, several buses will take you into Taichung. Alternatively, you can take a metered taxi.

Below is a few sample routes from the Taichung International Airport to Taichung.

  • Taichung International Airport to Taichung Railway Station
    • Taichung Bus Route 9, U Bus Route 302
    • Time: 60 minutes
    • Cost: about NT$15 (with EasyCard or iPass)
  • Taichung International Airport to Taichung Bus Terminal

 

 

 

From Taipei to Taichung

Most international travellers will be coming from Taipei (台北) because there are more international flights flying into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The fastest way of getting from Taipei to Taichung is to take the Metro (MRT) from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Main Train Station. Then take Taiwan High-Speed Railway (HSR) to Taichung.

However, Taichung HSR Station is at the edge of the city, so you will have to hop on another local train to go into the town. Get on the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train at Xinwuri Station, which is a one minute walk from Taichung HSR Station.

 

  • MRT: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Taipei Main Train Station
    • Time: from 35 minutes
    • Cost: NT$150

 

 

Alternatively, you can take TRA, a regular train from Taipei to Taichung for a much cheaper price.

 

 

 

From Tainan to Taichung

If you are coming from the south, you could be coming from Tainan (臺南), Kaohsiung (高雄) or other cities. You can either go to Taichung with a high-speed train (with a transfer to a regular train) or a regular commuter train.

See below for a few sample routes from Tainan to Taichung.

 

 

 

 

How to get around Taichung

Taichung is quite a big city, and a lot of the attractions are not accessible by walking.

The best way to get around Taichung is by local public bus.

If you haven’t already, purchase a rechargeable card called EasyCard or iPass. Either card is good for taking public transportation in major cities in Taiwan. You can get the rechargeable card at any major train station or convenience store in Taiwan.

When you use the EasyCard or iPass for a bus route that is less than 10km in Taichung, your ride is free! Yes, absolutely free! Just make sure to tap your card when you get on the bus and tap it again when you disembark.

 

 

 

 

A standard double guest room at SOF Hotel in Taichung, Taiwan.

A standard double guest room at SOF Hotel in Taichung, Taiwan.

Where to stay in Taichung

There are many excellent affordable hotels and hostels Taichung. The majority of them are around Taichung Railway Station, which is a good location because of its accessibility to major attractions.

Another option is to stay in Xitun District (西屯區) which is further north of the city. But the location is quite good as well because it is close to shops, restaurants and Feng Jia Night Market.

I stayed in both hostels and hotels in Taichung, and I am pleasantly surprised by the quality and cleanliness of both options. I wrote an entire post on where to stay in Taichung as a solo traveller.

Below are highlights from my post. As always, I booked my hostels and hotels at Agoda as it is my go-to website for accommodations.

 

 

 

Budget accommodation

  • Cost: up to NT$1,000 per day
  • Shin Sei Bashi Hotel (新盛橋行旅)
    • A Japanese inspired boutique hotel that has friendly staff and excellent dorm rooms. Having a common area is nice especially a spot along the window facing the streets. I spent many hours sitting at the table either working or people watching. And it is just a few minutes from Taichung Railway Station.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Chance Hotel (巧合大飯店)
    • The multi-level hotel has typical hotel rooms and dorm rooms as well. The dorm room is basic but spacious, and the communal bathroom is spotless. There is even a common area on the 4th floor for travellers to hang out.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Norden Ruder Hostel Taichung (路得行旅)
    • The high-end hostel does not feel like a hostel at all. The interior is minimal and Scandinavian-like. And it is directly across from Taichung Railway Station. I wrote a full review on Norden Ruder Hostel here.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

 

Mid-range accommodation

  • Cost: from NT$1,000 – 3,000 per day
  • Mini Hotels (台中火車站館)
    • Select a room that suits your style and budget.
    • The room is unique – the private bathroom is on the main floor while your bed is on the upper level within the same unit. The whimsical hotel is clean and is newly built. There are two locations; one by Taichung Railway Station and also one in Xitun.
    • Check prices & reviews for Mini Hotel near Taichung Railway Station: Agoda
    • Check prices & reviews for Mini Hotel in Xitun: Agoda
  • SOF Hotel (植光花園酒店)
    • From the facade of the building to every aspect of the interior, the materials and finishes for every surface and detail are considered. The guest rooms are designed in a minimalist industrial aesthetics. I enjoyed the room so much that I wrote a full review on SOF Hotel here
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

 

 

 

Airbnb accommodation

  • Cost: average NT$1,000 per day for a private room or an entire apartment
  • The Airbnb choices are quite good for Taichung. You can get a really good studio with a large bed, desk, sitting area and a clean bathroom all to yourself for around 1,000NT per day. Some apartments have either a kitchenette where you can make simple meals or a full kitchen.
  • The majority of the units are located near Taichung Railway Station, in Central District and Xitun District.
  • When you book Airbnb, make sure to read all the fine print and also reviews from other travellers. The reviews are a great way to get a feel of the place.
  • And if you are not part of Airbnb yet, please use this code to claim your $35 Airbnb discount.

 

 

Sample local Taiwanese food at Yizhong Night Market

Sample local Taiwanese food at Yizhong Night Market

Where to eat in Taichung

There are so many places to eat in Taichung! I never get tired of trying new things and repeating some favourites.

Below are some night market suggestions, budget, mid-range restaurants and bubble tea shop suggestions. You can find more information about each location in each pin in the attached google map (see above).

 

 

 

Night Markets

  • Yizhong Street Night Market (一中商圈) – my favourite night market is lively but not too busy. And it has the best local food in Taichung where you can purchase food from street vendors or dine at one of the local restaurants. It is near the shopping area so you can walk around and work off your food and go back to the market for seconds.
  • Zhongxin Market (忠信市場) – the market has local restaurants, and coffee shops tucked away in a block of old vintage buildings. Walkthrough the corridors between the shops and restaurants; you might find more shops and people taking photos for their Instagram. The market is across the street from the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Feng Chia Night Market (逢甲夜市) – a busy night market located at the north end of Taichung, that has over 30,000 people visiting during the weekend. Wow!
  • Taichung Second Market (第二市場) – the market is part of the ground floor of the building. Walkthrough the maze of corridors to find retail shops and local restaurants that serve local food but go early as they close when they run out of food.

 

Budget restaurants

  • Kawako Noodles (川子麵線) – I love this place! Not only for the delicious fried chicken with peanut ice-cream but the girls who work there! They were such a breath of fresh air with their enthusiastic energy!
  • Bashi Bao (盛橋刈包) – they serve fusion gua bao (steamed bun with pork and pickled vegetable with peanut sauce) and they keep reinventing their menu to create new fusion gua bao’s. And they serve breakfast gua bao for guests of Shin Sei Bashi Hostel (which is just upstairs)
  • J&G Fried Chicken (繼光香香雞) – Taiwanese people love their fried chicken! I had the signature popcorn chicken, and it was delish!

 

 

 

Mid-range restaurants

  • Miyahara Ice Cream (宮原眼科)– long line-ups start from 8:00 am! But don’t worry, the line moves pretty quickly. Choose from a variety of ice cream. They have a lot of unique tea flavours that you will not find anywhere else. Yes, ice-cream for breakfast is a real thing! And this place has beautiful interiors – it used to be an ophthalmologist clinic. They even kept most of the original furniture and fixtures.
  • Reve Cafe  – a comfortable and cozy spot for brunch. I spent many hours in this restaurant working away.

 

Bubble tea shops

  • Chun Shui Tang (春水堂) – I couldn’t leave the city without trying THE original bubble tea at the original home. of this Taiwanese specialty. I ordered a vegetarian noodle and a lotus wrap sticky rice too!

 

 

Visit the giant golden laughing Buddha at Paochueh Temple in Taichung.

Visit the giant golden laughing Buddha at Paochueh Temple in Taichung.

What to do in Taichung, Taiwan

Taichung is a hub for all things art and culture. You can do a one day tour of all the art and cultural attractions mentioned below and another day wandering around the city for the rest of the tourist attractions.

Whatever you do, make sure to take a look at the map below and add these Taichung attractions to your itinerary.

 

 

 

Must-see attractions in Taichung

 

Taichung Confucius Temple (台中孔廟)

Built between 1972 and 1976, Taichung Confucius Temple is designed and constructed in a classic architectural style of the Song Dynasty. The temple complex layout resembles the original Confucius Temple in Qufu, Shandong, which is also the birthplace of Confucius in China.

Even if you don’t know much about the history of the temple, it is worth seeing the grandeur of the temple. The roofs and beams are decorated with many different colours and materials. And colourful paintings in the Song style are found in each hall.

 

 

 

Paochueh Temple (寶覺禪寺)

Paochueh Temple was built to commemorate all the fallen Japanese soldiers during World War II. Since their remains were not claimed, the deceased were gathered into the columbaria at the temple. Many Japanese tourists come here to pay their respects every year.

The temple includes the old temple surrounded by a new structure and the giant golden laughing Buddha.

 

 

Other attractions in Taichung

Taichung Park (臺中公園)

As the oldest park in the city, Taichung Park spans over 10 acres where you will find Rih-Yue Lake, an artificial lake, an arch bridge and Hu Xin Pavilion, which is a double pavilion that was built to commemorate the Crossway Railway in 1908. Locals like to hang out here because of all the outdoor recreational equipment like tennis courts and playgrounds.

 

Luce Memorial Chapel (路思義教堂)

The Luce Memorial Chapel is part of Tunghai University in Taichung. It is a Christian chapel to honour Rev. Henry W. Luce, who is an American missionary in China during the late 19th century.

The design of the chapel is quite unusual. The chapel is on an irregular hexagonal base, with a curvy tent-like structure acting as the walls and roof for the chapel. The continuous external structure is composed of repeating yellow glazed diamond-shaped tiles, which resembles the diamond-shaped lattice interior walls.

 

 

 

Gaomei Wetlands (高美濕地)

At the mouth of Dajia River, you will find Gaomei Wetlands. The grassy and muddy wetland spans over 1,500 acres of land, and you can walk on the long boardwalk to enjoy the scenery. Also, it is an excellent spot for bird watching during winter as many migratory birds stay over winter. And it has one of the best places to catch the sunsets in Taichung.

Gaomei Wetlands is a popular spot for locals and tourists on the weekends. There are food stalls where you can try some of the best Taiwanese food. Just make sure to check the tide times before going. When it is high tide, you may not be able to walk around as freely.

You can easily spend a day at Gaomei Wetlands, along with Wuqi Fisherman’s Harbour and Luce Memorial Chapel.

 

 

Visit all the colourful houses at Rainbow Village in Taichung

Visit all the colourful houses at Rainbow Village in Taichung

Art & culture in Taichung

 

Rainbow Village (彩虹眷村)

At the west end of Taichung, you will find the whimsical and colourful Rainbow Village. It is a very popular spot for taking photos for Instagram. There are tons of photo ops in just a small block of colourful houses.

Walkthrough all the narrow pathways, and you will find colourful surprises around each corner. And if you are lucky, you might even get to meet Rainbow Grandpa, who painted the houses to help save the village as it was about to be demolished by the government.

 

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (國立台灣美術館)

The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) has exhibits by Taiwanese artists with a focus on modern and contemporary art. Part of the museum’s mission is to encourage art exchange with overseas organizations and promote art education.

The museum includes all the outdoor exhibits in the outdoor courtyard and within the main building spanning over four floors. Admission is entirely free.

 

 

 

CMP Block Museum of Arts (勤美術館) – currently closed for renovation

CMP (China Metal Products) Block Museum of Arts is indeed one-of-a-kind! It is the first museum in Taiwan to use outdoor spaces to display contemporary art installations. The structure-less museum is next to Calligraphy Greenway, where all the exhibits seamlessly integrate into nature.

 

Painted Animation Lane (動漫彩繪巷)

Painted Animation Lane is a small alley full of graffiti of anime and popular cartoon characters. You might recognize some of the cartoon characters like Super Mario Brothers, Popeye, Dragon Ball, and more. Colourful murals are painted on both sides of the alley, and it is best to go during the day to fully appreciate this delightful art scene.

 

 

 

If you want to see Taiwan with a tour, check out some of these tour ideas:

 

 

Day trips from Taichung

 

Da Keng Scenic Area (大坑風景區)

Other than the art and culture that Taichung is known for, there is an abundance of outdoor activities in Taichung vicinity. One of the most popular hiking spots is in Da Keng Scenic Area. Da Keng has ten trails where the first four are the most difficult.

Located at the east end of Taichung, the easiest way to get there is by Uber. Go early in the morning and start at trail #4 (which is the hardest one and the most scenic). Continue onto trail #5 and take either trail #2 or #1 back to the main road and hop on a local bus #66 back to Taichung.

 
 
 
Want to learn more about Taiwanese Food? Read about All the Must Eat Food in Taiwan
 

 

 

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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