After seeing all the beautiful Taichung photos from your friend’s Instagram accounts, this article will convince you further on why you should make that Taichung trip happen. Headed to Taichung in February and had a great time visiting night markets and many Instagrammable attractions all in just two days. Skip the Rainbow Village or Totoro bus stop, because here are some must-visit places in Taichung to fill your Instagram feed and satisfy the nature-lover in you.
1. Zhongshe Flower Market (中社觀光花市)
I officially name this view as “Taiwan’s Mount Fuji”. Not even joking to say that every corner in Zhongshe Flower Market shouts ‘Instagrammable’. Photo opportunities wherever we head to, be it the seasonal field of sunflowers or tulips, the romantic ‘winter sonata’ white piano in the middle of a lavender field, or the rainbow wooden hut. While you are there, why not enjoy a delicious BBQ meal before entering the flower market. Later did we realise that the admission fee to the flowers field zone is waived for all eating customers.
Zhongshe Flower Market (中社觀光花市)
Address: No. 333號, Section 5, Sanfeng Road, Houli District, Taichung City, Taiwan 421
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm, Sat – Sun 8am – 9pm
Website: Zhongshe Flower Market
Admission Fee for Flower Market: Jan – Mar (150 TWD), Apr – Dec (120 TWD)
Price for BBQ: Oct – May (350 TWD), Jun – Sep (300 TWD)
2. MIAOLI Old Mountain Line Rail bike (苗栗舊山線軌道自行車)
If you are searching for an activity that is not that touristy, head to Sheng xing Station (勝興車站) for some rail-bike activity on an old mountain rail line. Shengxing Station is where you will get your tickets, board the train, and end your rail-bike journey. With a total of 1.5 hours, you will be passing by the Longteng Broken Bridge (龍騰斷橋) and exploring some of the ruins with the train leader. Though it is a rail-bike, you don’t exactly have to pedal if you are too tired to do so. The rail-bike runs on engine so you can pedal as and when you feel like for the experience.
Do book the tickets online in advance as there are only a few slots daily, and tons of people (like us) would be queueing to buy the tickets at the counter, and the tickets run out fast as there are limited seats for each time-slot.
MIAOLI Old Mountain Line Rail bike (苗栗舊山線軌道自行車)
Address: Shengxing railway station (三義勝興車站)
Opening Hours: 9.20am (First train) – 5.30pm (Last train)
Website: Old Mountain Line Rail Bike
Price: 220 TWD
Duration: 1.5 hours
3. Yizhong street Night Market (一中街 /一中夜市)
Though not as huge and extensive as Feng Jia Night Market, Yi Zhong is considered as the second best night market in Taichung. Yizhong Street Night Market is more popular among students since it is surrounded by three universities and a senior high school. Two of my picks for the night market would be the Yi Zhong fried chicken (一中豪大雞排) and the bubble milk tea from Xing Fu Tang (幸福堂) .
Yizhong Street Night Market (一中街 /一中夜市)
Address: Yizhong Street, North District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm
4. Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
For nature and sea lovers, this is the perfect place for you. There are three main areas in Sun Moon Lake for you to explore: 1) Harbour Yacht (水社碼頭), 2) Xuanguang Temple (玄光寺), and 3) Yi Da Shao (伊達邵). We only had a total of 2.5 hours to explore Sun Moon Lake as we were also rushing off to Qingjing Farm. If you have motion sickness, do bring along your pills as the waters might be a little rough.
Though most drivers or guides would recommend this itinerary, I would suggest you to head to Sun Moon Lake and Qingjing Farm on separate days so that you can enjoy each of them fully. The most exciting part would probably be Yi Da Shao (伊達邵) for us as there were a couple of old streets with souvenir shops and numerous street food and eateries. Must-try food when you are there are: Chicken Wing Rice, Fried banana wrapped with noodles, and the famous Sun Moon Lake black tea.
Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
Address: Yuchi, Nantou County, Taiwan
Website: Sun Moon Lake
Price: 300 TWD for unlimited shuttle boat rides
5. Qingjing Farm (清境農場)
Though the journey uphill was torturing, the fresh air, cherry blossom sightings, breathtaking panoramic view and close-up interactions with the sheep made up for it. The sheep are allowed to roam and graze freely as visitors try to feed them with food bought from the dispenser machines at the farm in hopes of scoring a selfie. Do make sure to catch the Sheep Shearing Show & Sheepdog Herding Show (which we didn’t get to watch as we headed there too late) which takes place daily on summer holidays and new year holidays (except Wednesdays or rainy days).
You can actually sign up for a Shepherding experience camp to experience what it is like to be a Shepherd for half a day (850 TWD) or one full day (starting from 2605 TWD, inclusive of accommodation). Sounds like a perfect once-in-a-lifetime experience isn’t it. I would actually consider this during my next trip!
Cingjing Farm (清境農場)
Address: No. 170, Renhe Road, Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, Taiwan 546
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 8am – 5pm
Website: Cingjing Farm
Admission Fee: 262 TWD
6. Feng jia Night Market (逢甲夜市)
A trip to Feng Jia Night Market, which is claimed to be the largest night market in Taiwan, is a must! Not only will you find lots of travelers at the night market, it is popular among locals as well. Head there with an empty stomach as you are sure to be chewing on something new every few steps. Besides the numerous food stalls, the streets are littered with boutique shops and claw machine shops as well. Have a go at the claw machines (10 TWD per try) as they are cheap and relatively easy to win. Managed to win a Brown bear and a limited edition all-black Fragment Pikachu plush for 20 TWD each #cheapthrill.
Feng Chia Night Market (逢甲夜市)
Address: Wenhua Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 4pm – 2am
How to get to Taichung From Taipei
Traveling from Taipei to Taichung is extremely convenient with the High Speed Rail (HSR) train. The entire duration is around 1 hour and you can even choose to get the express ticket which skips a few of the stations in between. We pre-booked our HSR train tickets from Klook which cost S$21 per ticket. It is much cheaper than the original ticket price (750 TWD which is around S$32) if you were to purchase it from the train station counter. All you have to do is purchase it via Klook, show the e-receipt at the train station counter with your passport (so that they can verify your identity), choose your time-slots and collect your reserved seat tickets immediately! The whole collection process would take probably 10-15 minutes just in case there is a queue. This is probably the best deal that I’ve discovered! Who would say no to saving time and money.
Chances are, you will be commuting early in the morning to make full use of your day in Taichung. Grab this traditional train bento from the mini-mart before boarding the train. Got myself a Pork chop bento and it even comes with vegetables, sides and a braised egg. You may also choose to get some snacks and drinks on board the train from staff who will be pushing their carts down the aisle during certain stations.
Here’s a summary of the High Speed Rail ticket prices. Always choose the reserved seat tickets as this means you won’t have to be chased away by travelers who have reserved their seats. The price difference isn’t that great anyway so save yourself the hassle of changing seats in between stations, especially if you are traveling for many stations. If you are a new Klook user, sign up here to get a S$5 discount on top of saving S$10 when you pre-book your tickets instead of purchasing it at the counter or at the website.
Taiwan High Speed Rail (台灣高鐵)
Website: Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR)
where to stay in Taichung
Instead of staying in a hotel, we decided to go ahead with an airbnb vacation rental which is much cheaper. There’s nothing to hate about this particular airbnb that we stayed in. It comes with a comfortable Queen-size bed, a sofa-bed, a vanity area and all the amenities you need (shampoo, body wash, hair dryer, hangers etc). The room is nicely decorated so that you feel like home. The only complaint would be that the vanity table and sink area is a little too high and can be pretty awkward to bend over the stool. The toilet on the other hand is pretty cramped as there is no separation for the dry and wet area.
Nevertheless, it is still a great apartment to stay in as it has a security guard on 24-hour duty and security tap-card gate. There’s also a 7-11 / family mart right at our doorstep, and Carrefour and Mcdonalds are just nearby as well. Accessibility wise, it is pretty convenient to reach the apartment from either Taichung International Airport, Taichung High Speed Rail (HSR) Station, or the Taichung Railway Station. To make the deal sweeter, the public buses in Taichung are free within 10km. We tested it out and it is indeed true! Simply tap your Youyou card (悠游卡) when you board and alight the bus with no cost. If you are a new user to airbnb, sign up here to get $46 off your first trip!
Staying Connected With Roaming man Portable travel Wifi Device
We connected with Roaming Man’s Portable Travel Wifi Router throughout our Taichung trip and as promised, it gave us access to unlimited 4G network even when we are up in the mountains of Cingjing Farm, or out at Sun Moon Lake, and even when we are passing through the tunnel via the Miaoli Rail Bike. The cost for Taiwan rental is $5 a day and you get free delivery within Singapore! Roaming Man is also the first pocket wifi rental that provides free delivery within Singapore, making the booking and returning process really easy for travelers.