Most travelers typically avoid visiting Taiwan during summer. Not that I blame them. Taiwan’s summers are intense, and the heat and humidity can be quite unpleasant – especially if you aren’t used to subtropical climates.
However, if you’re brave enough or don’t mind humid weather, there are actually loads of cool things to do during the summer season in Taiwan. And in this guide, I’ll share the best of them! I’ve also included lots of tips so that you know exactly what to expect!
Ready to find out what to do in Taiwan in summer? Read along to discover the best summer activities in Taiwan!
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When is Summer in Taiwan
Taiwan’s summer runs through the months of June, July, and August, with July being the hottest month.
While the summer temperatures vary by month and location, you can expect hot and muggy temperatures all over Taiwan during the summer season. Southern Taiwan is usually a few degrees warmer than the north, and mountainous areas are a few degrees cooler than everywhere else!
However, adjusting to Taiwan’s summer heat is not the easiest of tasks. Average temperatures generally exceed 30 degrees Celsius, and the humidity often makes it feel much hotter. Throw in frequent downpours and torrential rain, and you might be wondering whether visiting Taiwan in summer is really for you.
While the weather can be intense, summer in Taiwan has its perks. Firstly, it’s a great time to be outdoors – think beaches, mountains, and waterfalls. Secondly, some of the country’s most famous festivals occur during the summer months. So despite the heat and rain, there’s actually lots to do!
Taiwan Weather in Summer: Quick Overview
- June is the first month of summer. The humidity really kicks in, and it begins to feel hot. In the north, especially in Taipei, you can expect average highs of 30°C and average lows in the mid-twenties. Coastal regions like the east coast and the southern corners often feel hotter and more humid, and you can expect temperatures in Kaohsiung and Tainan to reach up to 32°C during this month. It can rain a lot during this month, so plan a flexible itinerary.
- July is the hottest month of the year in Taiwan. Brace yourself for hot sticky weather, brief afternoon showers, and possibly a few typhoons! Daytime temperatures are warmer than in June, reaching up to 34°C in Taipei and falling to 24°C at night. You’ll need to stick to indoor attractions if you really hate hot weather, but otherwise, heading to high altitude areas is a great way to escape the heat.
- August is another hot and steamy month in Taiwan, with average lows of 28 °C and average highs around 32°C. Brief afternoon downpours and the occasional typhoon are not uncommon. Make sure you wear proper sunscreen (even if you’re just roaming the streets). Investing in a UV umbrella or light UV jacket is also a good idea.
Visiting Taiwan During Typhoon Season
On average, Taiwan generally receives 4 to 5 typhoons during the summer months, with most of them impacting the island’s north, east, and south coasts.
Always keep an eye on the weather forecast and avoid visiting places like Keelung, Hualien, Taroko Gorge, and Taitung during or after heavy rain, as they are prone to landslides and rockfalls.
In extreme cases, a mandatory day off for some counties or areas will be scheduled (aka a typhoon day), and if this happens during your trip, make sure to buy enough food and water the day before and don’t go outside.
What to Wear in Summer
When it comes to packing for a Taiwan trip in summer, planning is key. While you can pretty much pack your usual summer clothes (t’s, shorts, dresses, skirts, etc.), it’s important to choose fabrics that won’t stick to your body. Make sure you pack light, breathable clothing made of linen, cotton, or rayon, which is ideal for hot and humid weather.
As for footwear, it’s perfectly acceptable to walk around in flip flops all day long, but pack a nice pair of sandals for the evenings.
If you plan to visit mountainous areas or tackle some of Taiwan’s famous hikes, bring along a few warmer items like a jacket and leggings. Temperatures are often much cooler in Taiwan’s high-altitude regions (even in summer), and you’ll definitely need something to keep you warm at night. Also, don’t forget your hiking boots and a sunhat!
Even if you’re just sticking to urban areas, it’s still a good idea to pack a scarf or a light sweater to carry around with you. These will come in handy when taking public transport, visiting department stores, or even just hanging out in a cafe. While it might be more than 30 degrees outside, the AC will be cranked up everywhere indoors!
Oh, and just a heads up, the Taiwanese are quite conservative in their beach attire. It’s not okay to walk around shirtless or in a bikini (unless you’re at the beach).
Other Essentials for a Taiwan Summer Trip
- Makeup: Make sure you pack waterproof makeup because chances are it won’t stay flawless the whole day. Investing in a good setting spray or powder (like this or this) can also help. Having some oil control film or Innisfree no-sebum mineral powder handy will be a lifesaver if you have oily skin. I always keep a travel-sized bottle of Avene thermal spring water spray in my handbag to refresh my skin.
- Hair care: If you have frizzy hair, get ready for some challenges! The humidity is no joke in Taiwan, and you’ll definitely need some anti-frizz hair spray to keep your hair in check. I love this Kerastase anti-frizz spray!
- Umbrella/ Raincoat: Rain and even typhoons are not uncommon during the summer season, and you’ll definitely need a raincoat or umbrella. There’s no need to pack them, though. They’re cheap and widely sold in convenience stores.
- Other must-pack items include a swimsuit, sunglasses, reusable water bottle, bug spray, sun protection, and deodorant. While you can easily buy sunscreen or deodorant at Watsons, Poya, and even convenience stores, you should know that most brands in Taiwan (and Asia) contain whitening agents. If you don’t mind altering your skin color, go for it, but otherwise, pack your favorite brand from home. Make sure to pack reef-safe sunscreen (like this). That way you can do your part to protect the environment. In fact, if you plan on visiting Xiaoliuqiu (a protected coral reef) this is a MUST.
15 Fantastic Things to do in Taiwan in Summer
Swim with Sea Turtles at Xiaoliuqiu
Summer in Taiwan means beach time! And if you’re after a tropical escape, you should definitely visit Xiaoliuqiu.
Xiaoliuqiu is tiny coral island located just off the coast of southern Taiwan and one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Boasting beautiful beaches and colorful reefs brimming with fish and sea turtles, Xiaoliuqiu is a scuba diving, snorkeling, and free diving paradise.
If you get sick of lounging on the beach or spotting sea turtles, explore the island’s interesting landmarks. Some of the unmissable places to visit include Vase Rock (a huge mushroom-like rock formation that juts out of the ocean), Beauty Cave and Black Dwarf Cave.
While you can easily visit the island on a day trip from Kaohsiung, the laidback vibes, excellent food, and great natural sites warrant an extended stay. Just keep an eye on the weather forecast and book a room with a free cancellation policy as typhoons or bad weather could impact your trip.
Go Island Hopping in Penghu
Located just 40 minutes by plane from Taichung City is another gem perfect for a summer getaway, Penghu.
Penghu is a stunning archipelago consisting of roughly 90 islands and islets. The most convenient area to base yourself is Magong, the main island. Here you’ll have easy access to all of the island’s best attractions and lots of shops and eateries around you. Some of the highlights include lounging on beautiful beaches, snorkeling or scuba diving in colorful reefs, trying out kitesurfing, visiting the Whale Cave, and snacking your way through the Old Street.
While there are lots to keep you busy on the main island, you’ll miss out if you don’t explore the rest of the archipelago. And the easiest way to do that is to join an island-hopping tour. There are many different tours to choose from, but I highly recommend visiting Qimei to see the famous Twin Heart Stone Weir or Jibei for its stunning 4 km sand tail.
Want to have an island all to yourself? Check out this cool camping experience!
Hit the Beaches in Kenting National Park
Home to some of the best beaches in Taiwan, Kenting National Park is the island’s premier summer vacay destination and a hotspot for beachgoers and sun lovers.
Spend your days lounging on white sandy beaches, and at night, snack your way through the bustling night market – one of the best night markets in Taiwan!
Of course, Kenting has loads of other must-do activities. Shore diving, kayaking, and eating insanely fresh seafood at the Houbihu Harbor are all musts. Head to Longpan Park and Maobitou Park for incredible views or visit Kenting’s most iconic landmark, Sailrock. The National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium is another great place to learn a little more about the underwater world.
If the crowds get too much for you, go surfing in Jialeshui. Alternatively, head to Baishawan Bay – a secluded bay with soft sand and turquoise water.
Since Kenting is one of the most popular places to visit in Taiwan in summer, it’s best to book accommodation at least 4-5 weeks in advance. (See my top picks for where to stay in Kenting here).
Go Hiking in the Mountains
Taiwan is blessed with abundant high-altitude peaks perfect for escaping the summer heat.
One of the most beautiful areas is Alishan, sitting at an elevation of 2663m. Famous for many things – incredible sunrises, high mountain tea, sacred trees, excellent hiking trails, and a historic railway built by the Japanese, Alishan is one of the top tourist attractions in Taiwan. To fully experience the magic of Alishan, spend at least two days exploring the park. While getting to Alishan can be a mission, it is definitely easier than accessing Sun Link Sea.
Sun Link Sea doesn’t ring a bell to most and is one of Taiwan’s best-hidden gems. The forest is filled with towering trees, a stunning waterfall, and great hiking trails. For those that want to get off the beaten track, Sun Link Sea is an excellent alternative. As mentioned, it’s not the easiest place to get to with public transport, so it’s best to book a guided tour.
Another less touristy site is Cingjing Farm – a beautiful farm featuring lush grasslands and tons of grazing sheep. Nearby you’ll find lots of easy trails. Make sure to pop by the Swiss Garden and join a stargazing and sunrise tour to Hehuanshan – one of the highest mountains in Taiwan, soaring more than 3000m.
Visit Taiwan’s Largest Lake
With an elevation of just over 700m, Sun Moon Lake enjoys pleasant temperatures year-round. It won’t be as cool as Alishan or Cingjing, but it will definitely be cooler than elsewhere.
As Taiwan’s largest lake, Sun Moon Lake boasts beautiful alpine scenery and tons of fun things to do. Some highlights include boating, visiting the gorgeous temples, climbing to the top of Ci’En Pagoda, cycling around the lake, and sampling aboriginal food at the Ita Thao Tourist Night Market.
Sun Moon Lake is one of the most popular places in Taiwan. Book accommodation at least a few weeks in advance and visit during the week for fewer crowds.
Cool Off in a Waterfall
Most visitors to Taiwan don’t know this, but there are dozens of dreamy waterfalls scattered around the island!
While you can’t swim at Shifen, there are a bunch of smaller falls along the historic Pingxi Railway Line, where you can take a relaxing dip sans the crowds. Don’t miss Wanggu and Lingjiao! And if you really want to get off the tourist track, Qingshan Waterfall near Shimen is another cool swimming spot. Bring water and snacks as the hike to the waterfall is quite intense.
Watch the Dragon Boat Races
Dragon Boat Festival is one of Taiwan’s most famous traditional festivals, tracing back to the Japanese occupation.
During the festival, rowers from all over the country race along Taiwan’s rivers in huge dragon boats. Besides watching the races, it’s customary to eat zongzi (sticky rice dumplings stuffed with different fillings and wrapped with bamboo leaves).
The dates for Dragon Boat Festival change every year (depending on the Chinese Lunar calendar), but it usually falls in June and is free to watch.
You can see the races all over Taiwan in major cities like Taipei, Tainan, Keelung, and Hsinchu. But the Taipei International Dragon Boat Festival is probably the most famous one. This year, the festival runs from June 3 to June 5 at Dajia Riverside Park.
Eat Mango Shaved Ice
If you’re craving a cold treat on a hot day, forget the ice cream and grab a huge bowl of shaved ice (bào bīng) instead!
Mango shaved ice is the most popular dessert in Taiwan, and during summertime, it’s just the thing to cool you off. The dessert consists of crushed ice smothered in sweet syrup and topped with juicy chunks of fresh mango.
Mango isn’t the only flavor, and there are many variations and toppings to choose from, so you can really go wild! Some of the most popular ones included mixed fruit, chocolate and banana, milk, and passionfruit. Top it off with boba, red beans, peanuts, mung beans, grass jelly, or taro – you name it!
Other popular summer treats are douhua (tofu pudding) and ice cream milk tea. Also, read my guide on the best Taiwanese drinks!
Go River Tracing on the East Coast
Taiwan’s stunning east coast is a mecca for thrill-seekers, offering everything from paragliding and hiking in Taroko Gorge to river rafting, SUP, and gorgeous cycling routes for more adventurous travelers. However, one of the best outdoor activities here in summer is river tracing.
Both Yilan and Hualien are hot spots for river tracing. It’s easy to join a guided tour where you can scramble over rocks, cool off in dreamy pools, and fully immerse yourself in nature for the day.
Fly in a Hot-Air Balloon
Despite being one of the most remote places in Taiwan, Taitung is famous for its incredible coastlines, sprawling rice fields, and lush mountain scenery. With scenic spots like Mr. Brown Avenue, Sanxiantai, Jinzun, and the Green Island (Ludao) just a short ferry ride away, there are loads to keep you busy in this beautiful part of the island. And if you happen to visit during summer, Luye Highland is another spot to add to your must-see list.
Every year, the Taiwan International Hot Air Balloon Festival is held here, welcoming thousands of visitors from near and far. The festival has been up and running since 2012 and was listed as one of the world’s top hot air balloon festivals in 2018.
Even if you’re not brave enough to get in one, it’s still worth the trip because seeing all the colorful balloons filling the sky is quite a sight.
Balloons in all shapes and sizes can be seen at the event. Keep an eye out for the most Instagram-worthy ones – Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, and OhBear!
The Taiwan International Balloon Festival runs from July 2 to August 15 in 2022.
Experience the Keelung Mid-Summer Ghost Festival
Ghost Festival, which takes place throughout the 7th month of the lunar calendar (usually in August), is one of the world’s most unique festivals.
During Ghost Month, locals believe the spirits of the dead return, and there’s a whole list of things one can (and cannot) do to appease the ghosts. Getting married, moving into a new house, and walking around at night are taboo!
Many temples across Taiwan hold special events and performances during this period, but the most impressive festivity occurs in Keelung City. A lot goes on during the month-long festival, so best to time your visit. On the first 12 days, you can see the lanterns lit up at Zhupu Altar, while a water lantern parade takes place on the 14th day by the shore.
The official dates for this year’s festival have not been set yet.
Check out the Fulong Sand Sculpting Art Festival
Taiwan’s north coast doesn’t get as much hype as the southern shores, but there are actually several lovely beaches located not too far from Taipei, perfect for a quick day trip. One of the most famous beach spots is Fulong, located just 1.5 hours east of Taipei.
Fulong Beach boasts soft golden sand and warm water. And as a result, it’s a popular hangout spot during summer in Taiwan. Besides perfect swimming conditions and a whole host of fun water activities like kayaking and windsurfing, there is another reason to visit. And that’s to see some really impressive sand sculptures right on the beach. The Fulong International Sand Sculpting Art Festival is quite a big deal with artists coming from all over. It usually kicks off in late spring and runs through summer. This year the festival runs from May 26 to October 10.
Go Whale & Dolphin Watching in Yilan
Another amazing thing to do in Taiwan in summer is whale and dolphin watching. And the best place to do that is at Turtle Island – a tiny island floating in the Pacific Ocean roughly 10km off the coast of Toucheng in Yilan County.
There are about ten species of whales and dolphins in these parts, thanks to the warm currents that attract migratory marine life here. The most common species are bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, and false killer whales. May to October are prime months to spot whales and dolphins frolicking out at sea, and a boat trip will allow you the best vantage point to admire these animals playing in the water. Moreover, you’ll have a front-row seat to the amazing views over the island and Taiwan’s scenic northeast coast!
If you have time, it’s definitely worth snagging a combo ticket that includes visiting the island and spotting whales and dolphins near its shores. The island has a long and interesting history. About 700 locals once inhabited it. Later it turned into a restricted military zone, and today it’s a protected ecological reserve allowing only a small number of visitors a day.
You’ll need a permit to visit the island (applied 20 days beforehand), so make sure to book a tour in advance as it fills up quickly during the summer months. KK Day has an array of day tour packages catering to all budgets and interests.
Soak in a Cold Spring
Taiwan might be famous for its steamy hot springs, but it’s also home to two of the world’s rarest cold springs – perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s day.
Su’ao Cold Spring Park in Yilan County is probably the most famous and accessible cold spring in Taiwan. Located on the east coast in Su’ao Township, it boasts clear water rich in calcium bicarbonate with pleasant temperatures of 21℃ all year round. The park features indoor and outdoor pools, and it’s the perfect spot for anyone looking for a more authentic local experience. Don’t forget your swimming cap! It gets crowded quickly during the warmer months, so consider checking into the swanky 5-star RSL Cold Spring Resort if crowds aren’t for you.
Beipu Cold Spring in Beipu Township is somewhat of a hidden gem, making it perfect for those who want to get off the main tourist track. Hidden in the hills, this small town is a popular day trip from Hsinchu for foodies, but not many people know that it’s also home to a cold spring. The water of Beipu Cold Spring is not as clear as Su’ao Cold Spring, as it contains both carbonic acid and sulfur. But with average water temperatures ranging from 10 to 15℃, it’s the perfect spot to cool off and spend time in nature. The best part? You don’t need to soak in one of the dedicated spring pools; do as the locals do and enjoy a natural spa in the huge waterfall pool!
Visit the Theme Parks
If you’re visiting Taiwan with kids or simply enjoy going to theme parks, you’re in for a treat. There are loads of theme parks scattered around Taiwan, and many of them have huge pools with all kinds of fun water slides.
Leofoo Village Theme Park near Hsinchu is among the best, but other noteworthy ones include Farglory Ocean Park in Hualien and Janfusun Fancy World in Yunlin.
Should You Visit Taiwan in Summer?
If you don’t mind the high temperatures and mugginess, summer is a great season to visit Taiwan. Whether you want to relax at the beaches, swim in the waterfalls, chill in the cold springs, explore the high altitude regions, or join one of the many cultural festivals, visiting Taiwan during summer will be an adventure in itself!
Now that you know everything about Taiwan’s summer, all that’s left is to grab your swimsuit, fave shades, and sunscreen!
There you have it – the best things to do in Taiwan in summer. Did your favorite Taiwan summer activities make my list? If not, let me know in the comments below so that I can try them out this summer in Taiwan!
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