With an average year-round temperature of about 72 degrees and sunny days, along with its central location and accessibility by high-speed rail, Taichung has been recognized several times as the best city in which to live in Taiwan. Add to that its history, natural and cultural resources, events, shopping and more and Taichung is a terrific spot for visitors, too.
With all there is to do in Taichung, you can be busy for days. Fortunately, to get started, the tourism bureau identified the Top 10 most popular and most Instagrammed spots to help you with inspiration. Among them is the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple, with more than 200 years of history and considered one of the most famous of the Mazu Temples in Taiwan. In March, the now-world-famous religious ceremony, the inspection tours, draws domestic and international visitors, and the temple is filled with pilgrims year-round.
Bird enthusiasts will want to make a visit to the Gaomei Wetland, found on the south side of the Dajia River Estuary in Qingshui. Get your Life List ready: More than 120 bird species have been spotted in the area’s mud flats, sand beaches and swamp. An added bonus: Visit at the end of the day for what will surely be a dramatic sunset.
On the weekends, as many as 30,000 people will visit the Feng Chia Night Market, which might be considered the most famous night market in all of Taiwan in regards to younger visitors. That really is not a surprise, however, since the market is within one kilometer of Feng Chia University. Here, you will find all types of take-away snack foods, quite affordable, so you can easily try many dishes to find the one you enjoy the most.
With myriad markets in which to shop during your time in Taichung, it is not a matter of where to shop, but rather for what to shop. And when shopping, don’t forget to pick up a few souvenirs, either for yourself to remember your trip or for friends and family at home.
Taichung has several souvenirs for which the city is known, so we thought we would provide some inspiration to get you started. Sun cakes are sometimes considered a synonym for Taichung — small, round cakes with a thin pastry skin that comes in a variety of flavors.
During the Japanese colonial period, 99 percent of the lacquerware business was found in Fengyuan, known as “the Hometown of Lacquerwares in Taiwan.” Take a part of history home with you with lacquer artwork, lacquer bowls or lacquer chopsticks, all of which are the most iconic lacquerware.
After sipping an original tapioca tea in Taichung, ask if there is a recipe you can take with you to recreate the treat at home. The tea’s rise in popularity was quite meteoric — it is said it started thriving in 1987, and within six months was enjoyed internationally.
Speaking of tastes of Taichung, there are a few dishes found within the city considered must-eats. Aside from sun cakes and tapioca tea, seek out thick noodle soup, considered one of the city’s most distinctive dishes: thick noodles topped with fried garlic, shrimp, leek and dried radish. Though its name may turn you off, stinky tofu is a popular dish throughout Taiwan: tofu deep-fried until crispy, served with pickled vegetables. Like spice? Try a spicy hot pot; Taichung has several restaurants famous for the iterations.
When it comes time for dessert, taro, grown in the area, takes the spotlight in a number of sweet dishes: in shortbread, shaved ice with taro balls and taro in syrup. Bon appetit!