9 days

Treasures of Taiwan

Trip rating
  • From bustling Taipei to the cool blue streams of the Shakada River, this nine-day journey drops you into some of Taiwan’s most spectacular scenes. You’ll encounter the breadth of Taiwanese culture, from the minority indigenous tribes of Sun Moon Lake to the friendly merchants of the urban night markets – not to mention natural wonders like Sun Moon Lake and Yehliu National Geo Park.

     

    Warning - this is a new trip for us!
    While we have thoroughly researched this area to put together this trip, it still must be remembered that this is a relatively new trip for us. To be frank, we expect some things to go wrong. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but the warning is sincere. If it concerns you then we recommend that you wait for a year until we get any bugs ironed out.

    Why we love it

    • Discover the vast waters of Sun Moon Lake, home to one of the smallest indigenous populations in Taiwan
    • Enjoy the full spectrum of Taiwanese cuisine, from traditional Thao seafood to the Soursop of Taipei’s street markets
    • Witness one of Asia’s true geological oddities – the hoodoo rocks of Yehliu
    • Visit the renowned King Car Whisky Distillery in Yilan
    • Experience Taiwan’s idyllic countryside at the Green Green Grasslands

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Taipei

    • Welcome to Taiwan!
    • You can arrive at the joining-point hotel at any time as there are no planned activities aside from a group meeting on the evening of day 1, followed by dinner. Your leader will leave a note for you at reception informing you of what time and where this important meeting will take place. If it is likely that you will be arriving after 6pm on day 1, please inform us at time of booking.
    • Taipei sits in a basin enclosed by mountains and teeming with hot springs. In a city home to nearly 4 million people Taipei is one of the most densely populated urban areas in the world. Whether you want to roam around world class museums, laze about the hot springs or try the local delicacies, Taipei has it all and will keep you entertained for days.
    • Take an optional drive outside of Taipei and visit Yangmingshan National Park, (Taipei's Backyard Garden). Yangmingshan is known for its hiking trails, natural hot springs, sulfurous rocks and volcanic openings.
    • Discover the up and coming art scene in Taipei and discover hundreds of delicious Taiwanese dishes, from soups to scrummy pork, delicacies to old favourites at the Ningxia Night Market.
    • Although we return to Taipei later in the itinerary we recommend arriving a couple of days early to make the most of this fascinating city.
    Just Sleep Hotel or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2 & 3 - Sun Moon Lake

    • This morning we take a drive to Sun Moon Lake, the largest body of freshwater in Taiwan, (approx 3-4 hours drive). We will enjoy a traditional Aboriginal lunch and in the afternoon take a cycle or walk around the lush mountainous scenery that surrounds the lake.
    • Enjoy the Thao aboriginal culture and watch them prepare for us a traditional chicken dish that is cooked in a large roasting pot in the ground.
    • Hire a bike and take a cycle route around the Lake that will take your breath away. The ride will take around 3 hours but the surrounding idyllic scenery will be well worth the sweat!
    • On Day 3 we will try our hand at traditional paper making, at the Paper Dome in Puli. The Paper Dome is a church made of paper tubes built by a Japanese architect after the Great Hanshin Earthquake in Japan in 1999, and became a religious center for the survivors of the Taiwan after the "921" Earthquake when it was then moved to Puli. The church (or nowadays cultural center), is supported by 58 pillars made from paper to symbolize 'rising hope'.
    • Enjoy an afternoon of "tastings" when we visit the Puli Wine Museum and Factory. Enjoy some samples of wine and local produce at the museum and then head upstairs to learn the history of the regions wine. We will also visit a local tea factory and enjoy some tea tasting. Taiwan is famous for its tea, the main three being: oolong tea, black tea and green tea.
    Minsu Guesthouse or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Hualien

    • Today we drive to Hualien (approx 5 hours drive), Taiwan's second largest state where we will partake in an Aboriginal Mountain style lunch before setting out to explore Taroko Gorge.
    • Taroko Gorge is an 18km marble-wall that is a popular walking and hiking spot. Taroko was formed through the erosion of marble by the path of the Liwu River over millions of years. With dramatic scenery and an abundance of wildlife Taroko Gorge is a natural splendor that covers 92,000 hectares and one that all travelers will enjoy. Get your camera ready as you will be sure to get some dramatic shots while wandering around the Gorge. Be prepared however as this is one of Taiwan's top tourist sights, so it is always teeming with other curious travellers.
    • We will enjoy a 1 hour hike on the Shakadang Trail around the lush surrounds following the crystal clear blue Shakadang River as it winds through the marble canyons. The walk is not on a steep incline so anyone with a reasonable amount of fitness will be fine on this trail.
    • Return to Hualien for the evening, perhaps visit the local night market for dinner or a spot of shopping.
    Fanlin House or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 & 6 - Yilan

    • This morning we travel to Yilan county (Approx 4-5 hours drive) spending the morning exploring the Yilan Whiskey Distillery, the only Whiskey Distillery in Taiwan! Kick start your day and try their KaVaLan whiskey and learn how it is produced. The Distillery also produces their own blend of coffee called Mr Browns Coffee for those that instead need their morning caffeine fix.
    • Enjoy a local lunch at the BaJia Fish Farm. The natural spring water in the farm cultivates sweetfish that tastes extraordinarily tender and flavorsome. After lunch enjoy a visit to the National Center for Traditional Arts. This center was created to showcase traditional Taiwanese life and culture. We can see examples of conventional grocery stores, folk arts, merchants and eateries. While we are in the area we will also stop to see a Chinese puppet show, ceramic glaze making, fabric dyeing, and a host of other cultural artisan crafts that will give you insight into how society on the Ilha Formosa functioned in the past.
    • Taiwan is known to have some of the best street markets in the world and tonight we will discover the sights, smells and tastes of Lo-don Night Markets.
    • On day 6 we visit the Lo-don Forest District, try our hand at making Candied Fruits, (a traditional Taiwanese dessert) at the Candied Fruits Museum and take an leisurely afternoon hike through the lush surrounds on the LinMei ShihPan Forest Trail.
    • Tonight we return to Taipei to spend the evening.
    Just Sleep Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Jiufen

    • Today we travel to the Yehliu National Geo Park is a cape famous for its hoodoo stones (isolated free standing rocks), and thin spires of rock formed by sedimentary stone. You could spend a couple of hours here gazing at the rock formations, the most famous being the "The Queen's Head".
    • Enjoy a seafood lunch as we then make our way to the Gold Rush town of Jiufen founded during the Qing Dynasty and located in the hills of north-eastern Taiwan. This town was once a major hub during World War II due to the mining of gold and copper which was used by the military.
    • Discover the hidden corners of Jiufen Old Street where locals and tourists together gather for prosperous shopping and are found dining at the many eateries along this street.
    • Take a tour of a the first local movie Theatre in Northern Taiwan with a local guide. Later that night we will explore Ximending night markets and try some of the local delicacies.
    • Return to Taipei for the night (2 hours drive).
    Just Sleep Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 8-9 - Taipei

    • On our last full day we will be checking out the top sights in Taipei!
    • First stop: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall was erected in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China. Fly on upwards to the 89th-floor observation deck Taipei 101 and soak up the view.
    • Discover the history of Confucius as we visit Confucius Temple. Bao-an Temple is a must see on our day of sights and a recipient of a Unesco Asia-Pacific Heritage Award for both its restoration and revival of temple rites and festivities.
    • Join an optional Taiwanese cooking class!
    • There is so much to do in and around Taipei you might choose to extend your stay here.
    • There are no activities planned for day 9 and you are able to depart the hotel at any time.
    Just Sleep Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • An experienced, English-speaking local Peregrine leader
    • Arrival transfer
    • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinners
    • Authentic Accommodation includes 3 nights at Local Guesthouses, 4 nights at Hotels, 1 night at a B&B
    • Transport
    • Gratuities included for the essential services only that you will receive as part of your tour package. Please see our Tipping section of these trip notes for more information.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable):Taipei's Backyard Garden, Great Taroko Gorge, Shakadang Trail hike, Yilan Whisky Distillery, Tea & Wine tasting, Agrioz Candied Fruits Museum,
    • continued: National Center for Traditional Arts, Local Theater & House tour, Puli Paper Dome, Confucius Temple, Taipei 101 Observation Deck, Bao-an Temple

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Departure transfer
    • Meals unless specified in the itinerary
    • Insurance
    • Optional tours or activities during free time

    Safety Information

    Taiwan has a low incidence of crime, including petty crime.  Protests and demonstrations do occur in Taiwan from time to time and are generally peaceful; however, there have been instances where they have turned violent. Australians are reminded to avoid demonstrations and protests.

    Although there have been some instances of assault on passengers by taxi drivers, taxis in Taiwan are generally safe. We advise that you use radio taxis or taxis booked on the internet or through your hotel.

  • Map Itinerary

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PCTN
Group size 1 - 16
Start City: Taipei, Taiwan
End City: Taipei, Taiwan
Style: Small Group

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