Tourist Information

 

Tourist Information

 

Getting around

The most convenient way of getting around in Taipei is the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system.

 • MRT website: http://english.metro.taipei/

If you are planning to use public transport regularly, it is a good idea to buy an EasyCard, a reloadable swipe card used for public transport.

http://www.easycard.com.tw/english/index.asp

It can be used on the MRT, all local busses, some taxis, and in many convenience stores and supermarkets.

 

 

In Taipei


The National Palace Museum (國立故宮博物院) & the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines (順益台灣原住民博物館)

The National Palace Museum has one of the largest and most impressive collections of Chinese art in the world. Only a small fraction of its collections are on display at any one time; the rest is stored in massive underground vaults, drilled out into the granite of the hill that forms its backdrop.

The NPM attracts huge crowds and is best avoided on weekends and holidays. Most non-Austronesianist tourists have little interest in the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, which is situated on the grounds next to the National Palace Museum and houses an interesting collection of Austronesian indigenous artefacts. Combination tickets for the NPM and the Shung Ye Museum are available at the NPM ticket desk.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/9I8Ac

How to get there:

 • Address: No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Road, Shilin District (臺北市士林區至善路二段221號)

 • MRT and bus, option 1: Take MRT Wenhu Line (Brown Line, No. 1) and get off at Dazhi Station. Then take bus BR13 (Brown 13) and get off at the NPM front facade plaza.

 • MRT and bus, option 2: Take MRT Xindian Line (Red Line, No. 2) and get off at Shilin Station. Then take bus R30 (Red 30) to the National Palace Museum.

National Palace Museum:

 • Opening hours: 08:30-18:30

 • Website: http://www.npm.gov.tw/en/

Shung Ye Museum:

 • Opening hours: 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays

 • Website: http://www.museum.org.tw/


Chiang-Kai Shek Memorial Hall (中正紀念堂)

This impressive and controversial monument to Chiang-Kai Shek, former authoritarian leader of Taiwan, is flanked by two equally impressive buildings that house the National Theatre and the National Concert Hall.

The square connecting the three buildings is popular spot for groups to practice their drumming, various routines.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/ijvbA

How to get there:

 • Address: No. 21, Zhongshan South Road, Zhongzheng District (臺北市中正區中山南路21號)

 • MRT: Take MRT Xindian Line (Red Line, No. 2) and get off at CKS Memorial Hall Station (Exit 5).

General information:

 • Opening hours: 9:00-18:00. Outdoor areas are accessible the entire day.

 • Website: http://www.cksmh.gov.tw/eng/index.php


Longshan Temple (龍山寺)

Built in the first half of the eighteenth century, the Mengjia Longshan Temple is one of the oldest in Taiwan. It is dedicated to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, and like many temples in Taiwan blends Buddhist and Taoist elements. Unlike most tourist destinations, this one is best visited in weekends or on religious holidays, when impressive crowds flock to this temple to bring their offerings and have their futures told. If you only plan to visit one temple in Taiwan, this is good option.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/S83zR

How to get there:

 • Address: No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District (臺北市萬華區廣州街211號)

 • MRT: Take MRT Bannan Line (Blue Line, No. 5) and get off at Longshan Temple Station, Exit 1. The entrance to the temple is across the park.

General information:

 • Opening hours: 6:00-10:00

 • Website: http://www.lungshan.org.tw/


Shilin night market (士林夜市)

No stay in Taiwan is complete without a visit to a night market, and Shilin is considered one of the largest. Expect lots of people, bright lights, fairground games, bizarre trinkets, and of course many strange and wondrous foods.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/NSMD6

How to get there:

 • MRT: Take MRT Xindian Line (Red Line, No. 2) and get off at Jiantan Station, Exit 1. The night market is straight ahead.

General information:

 • Opening hours: 14:00-02:00. Night markets are best visited after dark.


Xinbeitou hot springs (新北投溫泉)

The hot springs at Beitou were probably visited by the local Ketagalan people for centuries, but they were turned into a resort area only during the Japanese Occupation. The Beitou Hot Springs Museum (free admission) is housed in the original Japanese-era resort. For Austronesianists, the Ketagalan Cultural Center might be worth a visit, although its exhibitions tend to be evocative rather than factual. For those interested in a steamy sulfur-scented bath, there is ample choice of public hot springs (bring swimwear) and private spa rooms (no swimwear needed). Alternatively, you can just dip your feet in the warm water of the little river that runs through Xinbeitou.

Do certainly not forget to visit the Thermal Valley, a spectacular green sulfur hot spring. If you are in for a bit of a hike, the Beitou Folk Arts Museum is well worth visiting, either for the museum itself or for the very nice (but slightly pricey) tea house.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/xcj02

How to get there:

 • MRT: Take MRT Xindian Line (Red Line, No. 2) to MRT Beitou Station and change trains for Xinbeitou (a one-station special line). The hot spring area is straight ahead of the station’s exit.

General information:

 • Opening hours: Hot Springs Museum: 9:00-17:00. Beitou Folk Arts Museum: 10:00-18:00. Both museums and the Thermal Valley are closed on Mondays and public holidays.

 • Website: http://wikitravel.org/en/Taipei/Beitou


Maokong (貓空)

A much-loved escape from the sweltering summer heat, Maokong is typically three to five degrees cooler than Taipei city below. Its tea fields are best reached by taking a 4.5 km long gondola ride that sets out from the building next to the Taipei Zoo, although there are minibuses going up and down the mountain for those fearful of heights.

Apart from tea fields, the mountains are dotted with temples and tea houses-with-a-view. The main road tends to get busy in weekends and on holidays, but it is easy to avoid the crowds by hiking up or down one of the numerous scenic walking trails. These vary from one-hundred meter strolls to challenging hikes up or down the mountains along treacherous tea roads dating back to the Japanese era.

For those less active, a smattering of tea houses offer a great view on the city below. Most offer the opportunity to drink traditional Taiwanese tea, but be aware that you will have to brew it yourself.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/Xx5Ah

How to get there:

 • MRT: Take MRT Wenhu Line (Brown Line, No. 1) and get off at Taipei Zoo Station (the terminus). Take the Maokong Gondola up the mountain.

General information:

 • Opening hours: Maokong Gondola does not operate on Mondays. Operations are suspended in bad weather; this is announced on the MRT and the website below.

 • Website: http://english.gondola.taipei/


Yingge Old Pottery Street (鶯歌陶瓷老街)

The rumor goes that all teapots in Taiwan come from Yingge. That might be an exaggeration, but Yingge is the main pottery production center of Taiwan and a must-go of lovers of Chinese ceramics. In the shops around the Old Pottery Street, you will find everything from mass-produced clay trinkets to exquisitely hand-crafted teapots and vases. Prices tend to be considerably lower than those in shops in the city.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/RpVes

How to get there:

 • Train: Take a train from Taipei Main Station to Yingge (approx. 30 minutes). You can check available trains here and buy tickets at the station.

 • Duration: A comfortable day trip

General information:

 • Website: http://wikitravel.org/en/Yingge


Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園)

Situated in the northern tip of Taiwan, Yangmingshan is a mountainous wonderland at a stone’s throw from Taipei. Beautiful hiking trails, hot springs, volcanic vents, restaurants hidden in mountain groves, they are all to be found within the confines of the park. As an added bonus, the main road through the park leads to the Pacific Ocean.

A word of warning: The weather in Yangmingshan is rather unpredictable. The difference between radiant blue skies and zero-visibility mist and rain is a mere mid-sized cloud drifting in from the sea, so it is best to check the weather forecast before you set out.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/toKyh

How to get there:

 • MRT and bus, option 1: Take MRT Bannan Line (Blue Line, No. 5) to Taipei Main Station. Take bus 260 Shuttle (260區) to Yangmingshan.

 • MRT and bus, option 2: Take MRT Xindian Line (Red Line, No. 2) to MRT Shilin Station and catch bus Red 5 (R5) to Yangmingshan.

 • Car: The best option for a day trip is getting your own transport. An international driver’s license might allow you to rent a car or moped. Certain taxi services also offer daily charters for small groups for a not unreasonable price.

 • Duration: A long day trip or two to three days

General information:

 • Opening hours: On weekends and holidays from 8:00 till 15:00, the main entrance road to Yangmingshan is closed for passenger cars without a permit.

 • Website: http://english.ymsnp.gov.tw/

 

 

Further afield


Taroko Gorge (太魯閣峽谷)

Taroko National Park is situated at the east coast of Taiwan, thirty-something kilometer north of Hualien City. The main attraction here is nature. The only way into the park is through a spectacular gorge that leads into the interior of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range.

Not undeservedly, Taroko Gorge is Taiwan’s top tourist destinations. An unfortunate side effect is that in recent years, tour buses have slowly started to suffocate the entrance road into the Gorge. Accommodation inside the Gorge is limited. A rather spectacular option is the Leader Village Hotel (also known as Pulowan), which is run by people from the local Taroko tribe.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/2TqY1

How to get there:

 • Access options: Wikitravel gives a good overview of different options into Taroko Gorge. When renting a car or moped, be prepared for driving on mountain roads. Especially after heavy rain, road conditions can be challenging.

 • Duration: 2 days or more

General information:

 • Website: http://www.taroko.gov.tw/English/


The East Coast (東海岸)

The east coast of Taiwan, especially the stretch between Hualien and Taitung, is very beautiful. Two main roads run between the two cities, one following the coastline and one the Eastern Rift Valley. This is the area where many of Taiwan’s Austronesian people live. If you have a week to spare and are interested in exploring the Austronesian homeland in greater detail, a trip from Hualien down to Taitung and back is certainly worth considering, possibly in combination with a visit to Taroko Gorge.

Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/G05AJ

How to get there:

 • It is technically possible to visit the East Coast by public transport alone, but this is only an option if you plan to take a very long vacation and patience is your middle name.

 • Train and car: Take a train to Hualien and rent a car or moped in one of the rental outlets nearby Hualien Train Station. Be aware that you normally need to reserve a seat on the express train to Hualien and that it is best to buy a ticket well in advance. To rent any motorized vehicle in Taiwan, you will need to present a Taiwanese or international driver’s license.

 • Duration: 4 days or more

Copyright © 2013 Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica.