Taichung, Taiwan, is a multi-faceted, colorful hub that packs a punch when it comes to things to do. From incredible museums and mind-blowing Instagram spots to beautiful parks and even the largest night market in Taiwan – Taichung has it all! While there’s plenty to keep you busy within the city’s borders, there is also an abundance of incredible places to explore on its outskirts. Here are 16 of the best Taichung day trips that definitely deserve a spot on any Taichung itinerary!
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Taichung Day Trip Essentials
Along with the tips and tricks included in this guide, here are a few must-have essentials to maximize your day trip from Taichung.
- Taichung is a popular weekend getaway so make sure to book accommodation well in advance. The Carlton Hotel, as well as Kuan Tour Hotel, get two thumbs up!
- If you don’t have your own set of wheels, it’s best to rent a car or hire a private driver for your Taichung day tour. Although some day trips from Taichung on this list can be reached by public transport, I’ve included quite a few Taichung hidden gems that are completely off the tourist grid!
- For those traveling to Taichung from elsewhere in Taiwan, the fastest way to get here is by high-speed rail. Grab this THSR Unlimited Tourist Pass for 2 or 3 days for a stress-free trip. These tips on how to get to Taichung from Taipei will also come in handy.
- Make sure to grab a local SIM card for pickup at the airport so that you can stay connected on the go.
- If you plan on using public transport, don’t forget to pick up an Easy Card at any convenience store islandwide. That way you can simply tap and go on public transport.
- Some of these places are tucked away in nature, so don’t forget to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellant, and an umbrella!
Taichung Day Trips Quick Overview
Before we dive into this detailed Taichung travel guide, here’s a quick look at the driving times (by car) needed for these day trips.
Taichung day trips within 1 hour’s drive from the city:
- Guangfu New Village
- Temple of Heaven
- Xian Fo Temple
- Wufeng Lin Family Mansion
- Dakeng Hiking Trails
- Gaomei Wetlands
- Zhongse Flower Farm
- Xinshe Castle
- Lavender Cottage
Day Trips more than 1 hour’s drive from Taichung:
- Sun Moon Lake
- Nantou Rainbow Bridge
- Cingjing Farm
- Xitou Monster Village
- Guguan Hot Springs
- Rollin Farm
- Sun Link Sea Forest Recreational Area
In a rush? Pin these Taichung day trips now to read later!
16 Best Day Trips From Taichung
Taiwan’s second-largest city, Taichung, is a fascinating city full of things to do and places to visit. While the city has plenty to keep you busy, there is so much more to see and do beyond its borders – from gorgeous flower farms to scenic hikes to secret temples and some of Taiwan’s most iconic landmarks! Read along to discover the best day trips from Taichung.
Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
Sun Moon Lake is a top tourist spot in Taiwan and arguably the most popular day trip from Taichung. As Taiwan’s largest natural lake, this beautiful oasis lies smack-bang in the middle of Nantou County and is easily reached by public transport from Taichung in less than 2 hours.
Besides spending a bit of time surrounded by nature, there are loads of things to do in Sun Moon Lake. Some of the highlights include cycling around the lake, visiting the age-old temples, climbing the 280-step stairway to Ci’en Pagoda, and of course snacking on famous treats such as black tea egg rolls, black tea ice cream, and numerous Hakka inspired dishes. Of course, taking an epic cable car ride to the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is another fun way to while away the time and get a bird’s eye view over the lake.
Getting there: Take the Nantou shuttle bus, or book a shared transfer from Taichung to save the headache! For those who prefer to have all your stops mapped out, this organized tour covers all the hot spots! For more tips, also read my guide on how to get to Sun Moon Lake from Taichung.
Address: Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, 555
Qingjing Farm (清境農場)
Qingjing Farm is a beautiful mountaintop region located almost 1800m above sea level in Ren’ai Township, Nantou. Known for its herds of grazing sheep along the grassy hills, scenic walking trails, and cherry blossom viewing, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some fresh air.
The Green Green Grassland (青青草原) is the main attraction here and a fun place to stroll around, grab a cuppa, or take photos of the picturesque views and sheep. After enjoying a sheep shearing or equestrian show, take a walk along the Sky Bridge (清境高空觀景步道). It’s the highest skywalk in Taiwan, offering some pretty incredible views. Other scenic spots nearby include the Swiss Garden (清境農場小瑞士花園), the Tea Trail and Hehuanshan National Forest Recreation Area (合歡山森林遊樂區).
While Qingjing is a popular side trip from Taichung, it’s also a fabulous place to spend a few days. The Cotswolds Villa is a charming B&B offering exquisite views over the mountains, whereas The Old England Manor offers upscale accommodation in a European-styled mansion.
Getting there: The easiest way to visit Cingjing is on an organized from Taichung. However, if time is not a problem, take the direct Nantou Bus from Taichung HSR Station. For more tips, read my detailed guide on getting to Qingjing.
Address: No. 170, Renhe Road, Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, 546
Xian Fo Temple (禪機山仙佛寺)
Xian Fo Temple is right up there as one of the best Taichung day trips! This beautiful Buddhist Temple is located in Nantou County, roughly 40 minutes drive from Taichung City.
What really makes this temple so incredible is that it sits amid a whimsical forest dotted with yellow lanterns. Some of the many amazing sights to see here include cute temples, a gigantic bell, and a library housing important Buddhist scriptures. However, the shining star here is undoubtedly the massive square filled with 500 stone statues of deities surrounding a huge buddha seated on a lotus flower in its center.
While Xian Fo Temple is a cool place to visit throughout the day, come in the afternoon for the best photography. There are loads of trails to follow, too, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes! Oh, and don’t forget mosquito repellant!
Getting there: Take Nantou bus 6899 at Taichung Station bound for Puli and get off at the Fugui stop. From there, it’s s an 11-minute walk to the temple. The bus ride takes roughly 1h35 and costs NT$119. It’s quite a long journey, so it’s best to hire a private driver for the day to maximize your time.
Address: 544, Nantou County, Guoxing Township, 長壽巷66-1號
Temple of Heaven (金陵山天壇)
Located in a huge religious park in Jinling Mountain, Baiyang Temple of Heaven is a relaxing pitstop and just one of the many hidden gems in Wufeng District. While there are several impressive sites to visit in the park, it is the Temple of Heaven that will truly leave you breathless.
With a height of 54 meters, this beautiful dome-shaped temple surpasses the Beijing Temple of Heaven, making it the tallest of its kind globally. Besides its size, what truly makes it such a masterwork is that it is almost entirely constructed out of copper!
Whether you’re admiring the temple from the outside or getting a closer look at the massive hall from within – every single little detail here (all done by hand) is impressive. From the elaborate carvings on the doors and pillars to the decorative paintwork on the ceiling and outer walls to the life-like statues of religious figures, it’s easy to see why this temple took more than 20 years to complete.
Temple of Heaven is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Since it’s a newly built attraction, you’re almost guaranteed to have it all to yourself!
How to get there: Baiyang Temple is just 40 minutes drive from Taichung City. However, the easiest way to access the area is by hiring a private driver for the day.
Address: No. 900, Fenggu Road, Wufeng District, Taichung City, 413
Guangfu Village (光復新村)
Located mere steps from the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan (921地震教育園區), you’ll find one of the coolest places to go in Taichung!
Guangfu New Village, in Wufeng District, is a hip artists village with quite an interesting past. Like Rainbow Village, Guangfu Village is a former military dependents village built by the KMT for military personnel and their families who served in the civil war in Mainland China. While the old brick remnants and unique architecture provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, today, the village is more known as a creative hub.
The village is home to some impressive galleries, loads of quirky souvenir stores, and mind-blowing food! Although the main tourist area is made up of two streets, one can easily spend hours here popping into the shops, taking photos of all the colorful houses, or chilling at its cool cafes. Don’t miss the savory donuts at Yuer Bakery (魚兒賣甜點) – they are delish! Check out their IG page here.
Getting to Guangfu Village: Catch bus 50 towards the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan at Taichung Station. Get off at Guangfu New Village Traffic Circle. Buses come every 20 minutes and cost NT$32.
Address: 413, Taichung City, Wufeng District, 光復新村
Gaomei Wetlands (高美濕地)
Gaomei Wetlands is a popular day trip from Taichung and a firm favorite among sunset chasers.
Situated roughly 50 minutes drive from Taichung, in Qingshui District, this sprawling ecological wonderland is a great place to go cycling, do bird watching, or simply watch the sun melt away over the horizon.
For the best experience, be sure to come at least one hour before sunset. That way you’ll have enough time to grab a spot on the Gaomei Walkway – an extensive wooden walkway that is built over the marshes. There are loads of vendors nearby, too, where you can buy local snacks to enjoy while you watch the golden hour.
Getting to Gaomei Wetlands: Take bus 309 from Taichung Station and get off at No. 18 Wind Turbine. The ride takes just over one hour and costs NT$73. Alternatively, join this Gaomei Wetlands day tour that also stops at Rainbow Village and Fengjia Night Market.
Address: Meidi Street, Qingshui District, Taichung City, 436
Lavender Cottage (薰衣草森林)
Lavender Cottage is a whimsical mountainside retreat just over an hour’s drive from Taichung.
Like Xinshe Castle, Lavender Cottage is located in Xinshe District. It’s a laid-back place to visit near Taichung, especially if you want to enjoy some fresh air.
What really sets this recreational area apart from others is that it’s home to sprawling lavender fields and beautiful trails offering plenty of photo ops and relaxing strolls. There’s also a nice restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat and a cute gift shop selling all kinds of weird and wonderful lavender products. Don’t miss the lavender ice cream because it’s lip-smacking delicious!
Address: No. 20號, Zhongxing Street, Xinshe District, Taichung City, 426
Wufeng Lin Family Mansion & Garden (霧峰林家宮保第園區)
Another Taichung tourist spot worth visiting is the Wufeng Lin Family Mansion. The large mansion features ornate architecture, a beautiful garden, a large open-air court, and some impressive treasures within its walls.
The Wufeng Lin Mansion has a rich history dating back more than 200 years. While the 921 earthquake destroyed some parts of the complex, it remains the most well-preserved historical landmark in Wufeng District to this day. And more noteworthy, one of the best examples of traditional Taiwanese architecture.
The house is divided into three parts: Upper House, Lower House, and Lai Garden, each beautiful in its own right. If you’d like to learn a little more about the Lin Family, several guided tours are offered onsite throughout the day. Group tours are only in Chinese, so don’t forget to grab the free headphones devices to listen to the tour in English. Alternatively, book a private tour with an English-speaking guide (at least a few days in advance) on their website.
The mansion is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily, and entrance tickets cost NT$250 per person.
Getting there: Take bus 201 to Wufeng or bus 108 to Wufeng Farmers Association. Both buses depart from Taichung station, taking roughly 45 minutes.
Address: No. 26, Minsheng Road, Wufeng District, Taichung City, 413
Guguan Hot Springs (谷關風景特定區)
Taiwan has no shortage of excellent hot springs, and Guguan in Heping District is one of the best.
Tucked away amid soaring mountaintops of Baxianshan, along the Dajia River, Gugaun Hot Springs is a great place to spend some time in nature. During spring, it’s a cool spot for cherry blossoms viewing, while autumn marks the arrival of fiery red maple leaves.
Besides soaking in the steamy waters that reach up to 48 degrees Celcius, there are loads of scenic spots around Gugaun. Some of the most noteworthy attractions include hiking the lush forest trails and bamboo groves of Baxianshan National Forest Recreation Area (八仙山國家森林遊樂區), visiting the Cultural Museum of Hot Springs, or enjoying a walkabout on the Shaolai and Guguan suspension bridges. Both Bali Nature Spa Hot Spring Hotel and Luquan Hotspring offer amazing spa facilities perfect for a pamper session.
Gugaun is about 1.5 hours drive from Taichung and easily accessed by bus. Alternatively, this day tour from Taichung, also stops by Dungshi Hakka Cultural Park.
How to get to Guguan Hot Springs: Take bus 850, calling every hour at Taichung Station. Get off at the Long Paradise stop.
Address: No. 172, Zhongbu Cross-island highway, Heping District, Taichung City, 424
Rollin Farm (若茵農場)
Rollin Farm is a beautiful retreat hidden along the slopes of Snow Mountain in Heping District, roughly 1.5 hours drive from Taichung City. Located 1200 meters above sea level, amid a thick bamboo forest, it’s one of Taichung’s best-kept secrets, offering the most incredible views imaginable.
While Rolling Farm is actually a B&B (check rates here), there is a lovely little cafe with a huge deck offering jaw-dropping views over the Taichung basin. The quirky restaurant has a good selection of drinks and food, making it a great place to grab a cuppa or a bite to eat while enjoying the laidback vibes. If your Taichung day trip itinerary is flexible, it’s worth sticking around until sunset to spot the sea of clouds that often frequent these parts of Taiwan.
Since Rollin Farm is just a short drive from Daxueshan National Forest Recreation Area (大雪山國家森林遊樂區), it’s also easy to combine the two on one trip. Daxueshan is a former logging area filled with dense forests, sacred trees, abundant birdlife, and great hiking opportunities.
Getting to Rollin Farm: Since Rollin Farm is quite a hidden gem, the only way to access the area is by car.
Address: No. 1, Xueshan Road, Heping District, Taichung City, 424
Dakeng Scenic Area (大坑風景區)
Dakeng Scenic Area is a firm favorite among hikers and a cool Taichung day trip just 30 minutes drive away from the city center.
There are ten trails ranging from beginner-friendly hikes to more difficult treks, all offering excellent scenery and a great day outdoors. Trails 6-10 are among the most popular and also the easiest to complete. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views over the mountains and lush forests filled with varied orchards and vegetation. If you’re looking for a challenge, tackle trails one to five where you’re guaranteed to break a sweat!
While Dakeng is a popular hiking spot just outside Taichung, it has also become quite an Instagram hotspot thanks to its rustic wooden log trails. For this reason, it’s best to come early to beat the heat and crowds that flock here on weekends and holidays.
Getting there: You can take bus 1, 15, 16, 20, 21, 31, 51, 66, 68, 85, 270, 271, or 276 to access the easier trails. Get off at Taipower Dongshan Service (台電東山所) in Dongshan Road.
Address: Lane 383, Section 1, Dongshan Road, Beitun District, Taichung City, 406
Shuanglong Rainbow Bridge (雙龍七彩吊橋)
Another neat place to visit near Taichung is the newly renovated Rainbow Bridge.
Located in Xinyi Township, Nantou County, Rainbow Bridge is definitely one of the hardest places to reach on this Taichung day trip list. But the effort will be worth it!
To get to the base of the bridge, you need to walk down a long stairway. Once you get to the rainbow-colored bridge, you’ll be greeted with sweeping views over a deep verdant valley and the incredible Double Dragon Waterfall (雙龍瀑布) in the distance. Besides being an Instagram hotspot, what really sets this bridge a notch above others is its sheer size! At 342 meters long and 110 meters deep, it is the longest and deepest of its kind in Taiwan.
Besides crossing the bridge, make sure to follow the trail to the Double Dragon Waterfall – a 100m tall waterfall and one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Taiwan. The entire loop trail is 3.7km long.
Since only 250 people are allowed on the bridge each day, it’s best to make a reservation online to guarantee a spot. To access the bridge, you need to pay a small fee of NT$100, which also includes a shuttle bus ride. Just a heads up, the bridge is closed every Monday!
Getting to Rainbow Bridge: Unless you’re staying overnight in Sun Moon Lake, the fastest way to reach this tourist destination from Taichung is by car.
Address: No. 556, Guangfu Ln., Xinyi Township, Nantou County 556, Taiwan
Zhongshe Flower Market (中社觀光花市花海)
No Taichung day tour list would be complete without a visit to the beautiful Zhongshe Tourist Flower Market (also spelled Chungshe).
Roughly 45 minutes drive from the city center, this sprawling 6-hectare area is one of the best examples of flower fields in Taiwan. Renowned for its varied, colorful flowers that bloom right throughout the year, Zhongshe is a great place to enjoy a walkabout. The best part? The fields are dotted with tons of props, from picture frames to a wooden piano and even a Dutch-style windmill – all creating a picture-perfect backdrop.
Since Zhongsge is quite a popular place to visit during weekends, come early to skip the crowds. If your Taiwan itinerary happens to fall from January through March, you’re in for a real treat! Because it’s also the only place in Taiwan where you can see thousands of colorful tulips in full bloom. The entrance fee is NT$120 (April to December) and NT$150 (January to March).
Getting to Zhongshe Flower Market: Catch a northbound train to Tai’an Station (泰安火車站) at Taichung Station. From there, grab a taxi or walk the remaining 1.8km to the flower farm. Alternatively, book this fun day tour that also includes a few other hot spots around the city.
Address: No. 333, Section 5, Sanfeng Road, Houli District, Taichung City, 421
Xinshe Castle (新社莊園古堡)
Xinshe Castle is yet another popular tourist destination just on the outskirts of Taichung.
Nestled amid the mountains of Xinshe Township, this European-style castle has a lot going for it! Besides the cool architecture that will transcend you to a fairy-tale setting, the beautiful gardens complete with koi-filled ponds and the massive human-made waterfall are just as impressive. After wandering along the various walkways, grab a bite at one of the onsite restaurants, go wine tasting or shop for some souvenirs.
Xinshe Castle is open from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 6 pm on weekends. The entrance fee is NT$250, of which NT$100 can be used at both the Hexagon or Wooden House Restaurants.
Getting to Xinshe Castle involves taking a train and bus. First, take the TRA to Fengyuan Station (豐原車站). From there, catch bus 91 and get off at the Xinwu Village (新五村) stop.
Address: No. 23, Xiezhong Street, Xinshe District, Taichung City, 426
Xitou Monster Village (溪頭妖怪村)
Xitou Monster Village is a quirky Japanese-themed village roughly 1.5 hours drive from Taichung.
Famous for its tasty monster-themed food, cool monster statues, red torii gate, and dozens of red lanterns, Xitou is a fun place to walk around, take photos or hunt for monster sculptures. Since the village is quite small, you can easily see it all in less than an hour or two.
With that said, though, there’s more to Xitou than its quirky village. In particular, the Xitou Nature Education Park. Here you can wander along misty forest trails both on the ground and on treetop walkways. If you don’t have time to visit the mystical forests of Alishan, then this nearby park is a great alternative. Just a heads up, it’s quite popular among tour groups and school outings! So, if you don’t like crowds, this might not be your thing.
Further afield, Shanlinxi Forest Ecological Resort (杉林溪森林生態渡假園區) is beautiful area, offering a fun hike to the gorgeous Songlong Rock WaterFall (松瀧岩瀑布). Hop on bus 6277 from Xitou Nature Education Center and ride one stop to Sun Link Sea, or join the tour below to see all of the area’s best bits!
Getting to Xitou Monster Village: The easiest way to visit Xitou is on an organized Xitou Monster Village tour from Taichung. Alternatively, you can hop on the Xitou Shuttle bus. The shuttle also offers a special tourist pass that can save you a few bucks!
Address: No.2-3, Xingchan Rd., Lugu Township, Nantou County 558
Sun-Link-Sea Forest Recreation Area (杉林溪森林生態渡假園區)
Located less than 2 hours drive from Taichung, Sun Link Sea is another beautiful forest resort in Nantou County. Boasting beautiful waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, and misty forests lined with towering trees and lush plant life Sun Link Sea is one of the best day trips from Taichung.
With more than 40 hectares to explore, Sun Link Sea is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. The most popular sight to see here is Songlong Rock Waterfall – a stunning waterfall that sits right beside a massive cliff. A well-paved path is etched out along the cave’s interior and offers panoramic views over the waterfall and lush valley surrounding it. Several trails lead you deeper into the forest from here, where you can see a 4000-year-old cypress tree and the famous Tian-ti Yen – the highest point in the park sitting at an elevation of 1800m.
Another highlight not to miss in Sun Link Sea is the sprawling Herb and Flower Center, housing a wide variety of medicinal plants and more than 30 flower species, such as hydrangea, Indian pipes, and peonies.
Sun Link Sea has tons of trails to trek, and you could easily spend a few days here to do them all. For those not keen on walking long distances, the park also has a shuttle service at regular intervals that stop at several of the area’s most iconic attractions.
Address: No.6, Xishan Rd., Daan Village, Zhushan Township, Nantou County 557, Taiwan
Taichung Day Trips in Conclusion
As you can see, there are loads of incredible places to go near Taichung. While these Taichung day trips are just a handful of bucket-list-worthy spots to visit, they should provide plenty of inspiration on where to go and what to see near Taichung!
Well, that’s all I’ve got on Taichung day trips. If you think I’ve missed anything or have any other places to go near Taichung, feel free to share your recommendations below!
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