Travel to the heart of tantalising Taiwan.

Welcome to one of Asia's most exciting up-and-coming destinations. Breathtaking coastline, lush green landscapes and tranquil temples are only the beginning of this eclectic adventure. Kick off in Taipei, where heritage charm meets cosmopolitan buzz, and make your way to the idyllic Sun Moon Lake, a hiking and cycling paradise. The city of Hualien boasts mountain trails, marble gorges and Pacific Ocean panoramas right on its doorstep, while Yilan is a wonderland of creative farms and hot springs. Along the way, get behind-the-scenes glimpses of local industries, enjoy hands-on food activities, and experience an older, slower Taiwan – from Lukang's Longshan Temple to the marvellous wooden sculptures of Miaoli.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Taipei, Taiwan
Finish
Taipei, Taiwan
Country
Taiwan
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
CJSA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Get behind the scenes of Taiwan's exciting food culture – go oyster picking in Wangong, sip Yuchih black tea at a plantation, and cook spring onion pancakes with your own hand-picked ingredients

  • Become a 'Sweet Potato Mama' as you join a street-food merchant on their daily routine. This is both a unique experience and a great cause, with proceeds going to the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation

  • Hike, ride and kayak around the stunning Sun Moon Lake. Taiwan's one and only natural lagoon doubles as one of the world's top cycling spots

  • Scenes like the Qingshui Cliffs make Taiwan one of the hottest new destinations for nature-lovers. Snap a photo of these rugged bluffs as they drop dramatically into the sparkling blue Pacific Ocean

  • Named after the local Truku word for 'magnificent' and 'splendid', Taroko Gorge more than lives up to its name. The Shakadang Trail is a hiker's dream, a shadowy world of coastal cliffs and marble canyons

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Welcome to Taiwan! Your adventure begins in the densely-populated, beautifully located capital. You can arrive at any time today, as there are no activities planned until a welcome meeting at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note for you at reception detailing the time and place of this important meeting. You will head out for dinner with your fellow group members this evening. If you arrive early in Taipei, get out and discover the excellent museums, or perhaps the hot springs at Yangmingshan National Park. If you're short on time, stay in town and hit the awesome Ningxia Night Market for some pearl tea or pan-fried buns.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Explrore Taipei on a short walking tour this morning. Along the way, use the city's excellent metro system, which gives you a nice glimpse of daily life. There are some great activities for later on. Learn about Taiwanese tea at the oldest tea store in the city, Wang Tea, as you sit down with one of the friendly staff and enjoy a taste. Stroll through the Dihua Street area to get a sense of Taipei's past and browse traditional local wares. Perhaps the highlight of the day, however, is your Sweet Potato Mama experience – a fun, interactive and unique 'live-as-a-local' activity where you join a street food merchant for two hours. Proceeds go to the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation which aids single mothers.
Included Activities
  • Taipei - Tea Tasting
  • Taipei - Dihua Street Walk
  • Taipei - 'Sweet Potato Mama for a Day' experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Hualien. Though it's the second largest city in Taiwan, it's famous for its beautiful natural surrounds – the rift valley plain which lies just besides a mountain range and a rocky seashore overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This countryside is one of the most beautiful natural environments in Taiwan. Head to the Qingshui Cliff, a spectacular 1,000-metre-long cliff that drops almost vertically into the sea. Continue to Taroko National Park, where you might spot swallows nesting on the cliff. Here you'll walk the Shakadang Trail, also known as the 'Mysterious Valley Trail' (approximately 1.5 hours). This follows along a lovely river. In the evening, check out Hualien's night markets, the best place for local food. Here you might like to sample some oyster omelette or grass jelly.
Included Activities
  • Taroko Gorge - Shakadang or Baiyang Trail hike
  • Hualien - Night Markets
  • Hualien - Qingshui Cliff
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Visit the Seven Star Lake (Qixingtan). This was once a thriving fishing village, and nowadays the beach is a popular spot thanks to its abundance of natural beauty. Walk around and take in the beautiful beachside scenery. If there's time, you can hire a bike and tackle the trail that follows the coastline. Later, visit a spring onion farm for a hands-on experience. Here you'll put on some boots and head into the fields to pick some spring onions, then cook them into delicious pancakes back at base. Savour the taste of one of Taiwan's best snacks.

Notes: The total travel time today is approximately 3 hours.
Included Activities
  • Yilan - Spring Onion Farm
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel to Yilan (approximately 1.5 hours), one of Taipei’s most breathtaking spots. It's situated in the backyard of Taipei City, set against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. During your tour of Yilan you will soak in soothing hot springs, visit creative farms, wander along rustic paths and get a healthy dose of folk culture. First up, though, is a Turtle Island boat tour and whale watching tour. Gueishan Island (Turtle Island) gets its name from the turtle-like pose it strikes when seen from afar. Next, travel to the once gold mining centre of Jiufen and explore Jiufen Old Street, famous for the beautiful old buildings that line the hill slopes. Take the chance to relax with a cup of tea and soak up the scenery of mountains and ocean while you're here.
Included Activities
  • Jiufen - Old Town tour
  • Turtle Island - Boat Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Make sure you've got your comfortable walking shoes on today – you'll be walking the Ci En Pagoda Trail at Sun Moon Lake. This beautiful body of water is the only natural lake in the country, and it's also the largest. Its southern part is shaped like a new moon, and the northern part is a sun, hence the name. After your invigorating hike, jump on a bike and explore the lake's lush surrounds on two wheels. You're in for a treat, as this cycling path is one of the most scenic in the world, thanks to the idyllic lakeside features.

Notes: The total travel time today is approximately 3 hours.
Included Activities
  • Sun Moon Lake - Bike Ride
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Embark on a kayaking trip across Sun Moon Lake. Its calm waters make for a tranquil setting as you gently row and take in the scenery. Later on, hop on a bus and visit the Chung Tai Chan Monastery. The monastery is located in Puli, Nantou. Built relatively recently, it combines Chinese and Western architectural styles. Next it's off to the Hugo Assam Tea Farm for an insight into the production of Taiwan's beloved black tea. The special conditions of this environment have allowed Yuchih black tea to thrive and become world-renowned. Make your own tea and enjoy a taste.
Included Activities
  • Puli - Chung Tai Chan Monastery
  • Nantou - Tea Farm
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head to the country and Changhua. The flat and fertile land of Changhua county has earned it a reputation as the 'breadbasket' of Taiwan. Known originally as 'Banxian,' this area was one of the first areas in Taiwan to be developed. Visit Lukang and take a short walking tour to see some of the beautiful heritage buildings that line the winding streets. Stop in at the amazing Longshan Temple which and witness its three beautiful gardens. In the afternoon, visit the Wanngong Oyster Farm and go oyster picking. Around the fishing village of Wanngong itself there are some nice mangrove forests to be discovered, with water birds, fiddler crabs and mudskippers galore.

Notes: The total travel time today is approximately 3 hours.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit Miaoli, a city known for its wood sculpture, rail history, lakeside views and delicious Hakka cuisine. Discover some of its most charming attributes on a city tour. You will visit the remains of Longteng Bridge which serves as a vivid reminder of the 1935 earthquake. Head to the Sanyi area and discover the glorious wood sculpture of the Old Street. The many wooden crafts displayed in the shops are so beautiful it's difficult to know what to buy. Today there is also the option of trying your hand at traditional indigo dyeing – fold, twirl and tie your own knitted creation. Return to Taipei for a farewell dinner with the group.
Included Activities
  • Sanyi - Wood Sculpture Old Street
  • Sanyi - Longteng Bridge
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. There are no activities planned for the day, and you're free to leave the hotel at any time. Additional accommodation can be arranged if you are extending your stay.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private Bus, Metro, Public Bus, Bike, Taxi, Boat

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Guesthouse (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Taipei - Tea Tasting
  • Taipei - Dihua Street Walk
  • Taipei - 'Sweet Potato Mama for a Day' experience
  • Taroko Gorge - Shakadang or Baiyang Trail hike
  • Hualien - Night Markets
  • Hualien - Qingshui Cliff
  • Yilan - Spring Onion Farm
  • Jiufen - Old Town tour
  • Turtle Island - Boat Tour
  • Sun Moon Lake - Bike Ride
  • Puli - Chung Tai Chan Monastery
  • Nantou - Tea Farm
  • Sanyi - Wood Sculpture Old Street
  • Sanyi - Longteng Bridge

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip.
2. In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local ground representative Topology can be reached on +886 2 2591 0127
3. Please make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Explore Taiwan trips score an average of 4.25 out of 5 based on 4 reviews in the last year.

Explore Taiwan, May 2017

Warren Beavis

Explore Taiwan, April 2017

Naomi Davies