North coast Taiwan is jam-packed with hidden gems, cute seaside villages, and some of the most beautiful places in Taiwan. The best part, you don’t have to venture far to escape the crowds of Taipei and find beautiful waterfalls, rice terraces, stunning hiking trails, and great food!
In this Taipei day trip guide, I’ll cover 4 Taipei hidden gems, which you probably didn’t even know existed! I’ve also included some tips to help you plan the perfect Taipei one day trip and discover the best of Taiwan north coast.
Ready to discover the best things to do on Taiwan’s north coast and see some of the most beautiful places near Taipei? Let’s go!
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Things to know before visiting the North Coast of Taiwan
Before visiting these hidden gems on the northern coast of Taiwan, read my Taipei first timer’s guide.
Here are a few tips to help you plan your north coast Taiwan tour:
- Taiwan has a subtropical climate. Expect pleasant temperatures during spring (March-May) and autumn (Sept-Nov). Winter (Dec-Feb) is cold but bearable, and summer (Jun-Aug) is hot and humid.
- If you’re visiting any of these Taipei hidden gems during summer, make sure to stay hydrated. It’s also a good idea to pack sunscreen, a hat, a travel umbrella, and bug spray when hiking in Taiwan.
- Since most of these places covered in this Taipei one day trip are quite hard to reach, planning is vital. If you do not have your own set of wheels, the best way to access these Taipei hidden gems is on a Taipei day tour or even a private tour. By joining a tour, you’ll get a chance to experience the north coast’s beauty without having to plan out a trip.
In a rush? Pin this Taipei day trip guide for later.
Taipei One Day Trip: Hidden Gems of North Coast Taiwan
Kick-off your Taiwan tour with a visit to one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Taipei – Qingshan Waterfall! This 30m-high waterfall is neatly tucked away in Yangmingshan National Park and located near Shimen District in New Taipei City.
While it is quite a trek to get to this secret waterfall, you’ll be completely immersed in nature. The trail runs under a thick jungle canopy, which really helps if you’re visiting during summer. Along the way, you’ll need to scramble over rocks and rugged terrain. Nonetheless, there are plenty of places to take a breather, dip your toes in the river stream, and enjoy the tranquility and breathtaking views.
Hiking Qingshan Falls Trail shouldn’t take more than 40 minutes to complete. And, once you reach the waterfall, the effort will be totally worth it!
Since Qingsgan Falls is a lesser-known Taipei waterfall, it’s a great place to get away from the crowds. Make sure to read my super detailed Qingshan Falls guide for more tips. I’ve included lots of information — from what to pack, how to get there, and much more. Oh, and travel tip — don’t forget your swimsuit!
Shimen Rice Terraces
While most travelers to Shimen head out to see Laomei Green Reef during April and May, few visitors know about the breathtaking Shimen Rice Terraces a short drive from here.
The terrace dates back nearly 100 years and was hand-built by local farmers using volcanic rocks from the area. It’s a great place to take photos of lush rice paddies and the mountains create a beautiful backdrop.
Jinshan Old Street
Jinshan Old Street (formerly known as Jinbaoli Old Street) is full of history and some of the best eats on Taiwan’s north coast. As one of the last remaining old streets from the Qing Dynasty, it has a rich history dating back over 300 years.
Today, Jinshan Old street is still a bustling place and draws crowds from near and far. It’s a great place to take a gentle stroll, marvel at the architecture, pop by temples, and of course, sample the fantastic street food.
Jinshan Old Street is famous for its tasty local snacks, fresh produce, and seafood. There are lots to try, so come hungry! Some of the most popular snacks to try include Jinbaoli duck meat, one-bite pastries, and sweet potatoes. That said, no visit to Jinshan Old Street would be complete without sampling taro cakes, pickled goods, handmade egg rolls, and caramelized yams.
Despite only being a few hundred meters long, one could easily spend 1-2 hours here, sampling different local dishes, taking photos, and watching people come and go.
Nanzilin Hiking Trail
If you’re looking for breathtaking views of mountains and sea, it doesn’t get much better than the Nanzilin Hiking Trail. Located next to the tiny fishing village, Nanya, the Nanzilin Hiking Trail is a short hike, but a tough one. It’s a popular spot among sunrise and sunset chasers and undoubtedly one of the most stunning walks along the north coast of Taiwan.
The trail is less than 1km long, but since it’s a steep climb, expect to break a sweat. First, you’ll need to climb several flights of wooden stairs. Once you reach the end of the staircase, the trail mostly consists of stones and a dirt path. From here, the trail continues uphill. There’s not much shade along the way, so don’t forget to bring a hat, umbrella, and water!
There is a cute pavilion half-way up the trail where you can take a breather and marvel at the panoramic views below. Continuing from here, it’s the final push to reach the mountain top. Once at the top, you’ll be rewarded with a bird’s-eye view of Nanya fishing village, Bitou Cape, Teapot Mountain, and Keelung Mountain. The vistas are mind-blowing – but judge for yourself by the photos included!
Tackling this trail is best done in the early morning or late in the afternoon. If you happen to visit during autumn or winter, you’ll get to see beautiful fields of silver grass swaying in the wind.
To find the trailhead make your way along the small road that runs past Nanxin Temple. There are clear signs in English and Chinese guiding the way, so don’t worry about getting lost.
North Coast Taiwan Hidden Gems Conclusion
Whether you’re a local or just landed, Taiwan’s north coast is full of hidden treasures. While these are only a few of Taipei’s hidden gems, I hope this guide will come in handy when planning out your Taipei day trip.
That wraps up this Taipei day trip to the north coast of Taiwan. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
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Disclosure: Even though I visited these Taipei hidden gems with Justaiwantour, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more details on Taiwan tour packages, check out their website.