Things to do In and Around Taichung!

Taichung is a town near the center of the east coast of Taiwan. It is not the capital, but I believe it has more to see than the busy city Taipei. All these things are not exactly in the city; some are a little drive away. So, it might take an hour drive or a train ride to get there! These are a few things I did during a span of two weeks. If you want to learn more, click here!

Places to visit

  • Natural Museum of Natural Science.Has so many different exhibits! My favorite was the botanical gardens. Very kid friendly. There is also a theater.
  • 審計新村: A cute little area with apartments turned local  businesses. They are all very different, ranging from indie music shops, to coffee shops, clothing stores, and of course a store that sells hand made soaps, and there are some really cool photo ops!
  • CMP Block Museum of Art: A park with a lot of cool, modern sculptures with different themes. Again, a lot of cool photo ops, and near a lot of other places on this list!
  • Taichung National Theater: I was not able to see a show, but I got to look at the theater, and has a really cool interior design. There are many little shops on the first floor, and the second floor has you feeling like you are in some sort of ginormous egg. It’s hard to explain, you’ll just have to see it for yourself. There is also a cool garden on the roof.
  • Rainbow Village: A very popular tourist destination because it is jut covered in so many paintings. The story of this place is that it was an old village for veterans that was risking annihilation, so one veteran began paining to save it, but also because he was “bored.”
  • Creative Industry Park: I only walked through this park, but it looked like there were many things to do and even some shows to see. Maybe next time I will look into it more to see how I can spend more time there.
  • Taichung Park: Huge park with a little lake that you can do some boating in or take a walk around in. I took a little break here to read a chapter in my book. It’s a very relaxing place, and you will have opportunities to see many locals gathered and laughing with their friends.
  • Painted Animation Lane: Perfect place for cartoon, art, and anime lovers everywhere!
  • Taiwan Literature Museum: I found this on the map when I was leaving the animation lane, and I decided I would stop just to check it out. Its a really cool place with Japanese architecture and a cute place to walk around, but they do not have much information in English so I didn’t really know what I was learning.
  • National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts: I got there when it was about to close, so I didn’t get time to look inside. But there are many cool sculptures outside and a very pretty park.
  • Any school: The schools in Taiwan are sometimes open for the public to walk around in and use the track, but for some you need special permission to go into. If you see an opportunity to visit one that would be awesome so you can see how big they are. I got to walk around my friend’s elementary school, and it was so big compared to what I am used to.
  • Sun Moon Lake: This is a huge lake, about an hours drive from the center of Taichung, but it is totally worth it. I got to go on a foggy day, which made the views a bit more mesmerizing. It is called Sun Moon Lake because one half is Sun Lake, and the other half is Moon Lake. There is a huge temple you can go in, and you have the option of taking a cable car ride that will give you chance to see the lake from the air. If you go but tickets for one of the yachts, which I highly recommend if you want to see other parts of the lake, they will drop you off at an area with a visitors center. Get off there so you can get to the shopping and food street, and to the cable car.
  • Any service area: These share the same purpose as rest areas in the United States, but service areas are so much cooler. If you can get past the fact that you might have to use a squattie pottie, service areas are cool because there are so many shopping opportunities, whether it be for different Taiwan snacks or little gifts. One of them (I don’t remember the name) even had a bunch of fish tanks, and I was told they once had sharks.

Markets

  • 台中忠孝夜市(Taichung Zhongxiao Night Market). Just one of many night markets in Taiwan. This one is kinda crazy, because it is on a busy street that isn’t closed to cars, so there are still many cars going through as well as many pedestrians. There are things to eat and buy on each side of the street. I tried sweet potato fries, oyster rice noodles, stinky tofu (never again), and jidangao (bread with different fillings).
  • 南屯市場. This is a really cool daytime market in Taichung. It has a lot of different snacks and fruit shops. It was here that I tried my first Longyan (longan, dragon’s eye), and dragon fruit. It is also right next to the Buddhist Wanho temple that you can go into.
  • Taichung City Third Market: A morning market close to the Creative Industries Park. I walked through here one morning on my way to Taichung Park. You can get a quick snack, some cheap gifts, or a quick pedicure.
  • third city market
  • FengChia Night Market: This is not as scary as the first night market mentioned, because this one doesn’t have a bunch of cars going through it. It is like a little lane that has many shops you can go into, with street food vendors dotting the sides. There is also a section that has many arcade and fair type games you can play. Outside the market are real Western shops, like Adidas and Nike.

Shopping

  • Any Stationary Store! I was amazed at the stationary stores. All types of notebooks, paper, pencils, and school supplies. Even if you aren’t starting any type of school anytime soon, you will still want to leave a stationary store with something. My favorite one in Taiwan was Kuang Nan Fashion Shop because it has a cosmetic store on top and the stationary store on the bottom.
  • Any cosmetic store! – Two very popular ones are CosMed and Watsons. They have so many beauty products that you will want to try.
  • Roots。This is actually a Canadian store, but it is very popular in Taiwan. However, it is a little on the pricey side. It might be a cool idea to get a souvenir from here.
  • IMG_3138
  • Miyahara Dessert Shop: Previously a clinic owned by a Japanese man during the Japanese occupation, this is a very beautiful building with many different deserts. They have a guide written in English that you can see if you can’t find what you’re looking for! There is also a popular ice cream shop attached to it. I found that out when I left the shop and saw the long line. It’s like the Margie’s Candies of Taichung.
  • Eslite Park Lane by CMP Store: This is right in front of CMP art museum. It’s a famous department store, Taichung has so many of them. I actually didn’t go into this one, but it has a cool pink dinosaur in front that I took a picture with.
  • Any department store! A department store in Taiwan is what we in the US call a shopping mall. Taichung is filled with them; Chungyo is near the central district, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi is near the national theater. They are all so tall! Here are some pictures from Chungyo.

Temples

First off, Taiwan has SO MANY temples, both Buddhist and Confucius, and they are all really special, in my opinion. I am not saying these are the best temples, but these are the favorite ones I got to visit.

  • 玉闕朝仁宮-temple built in 1832. I really liked this one because it was near the house I was staying at, so I passed by it a lot.
  • 萬和宮- temple completed in 1726. This is also called “Wanho Shrine Culture Museum.” This is right next to 文昌廟.
  • 文昌廟- The belief is that you pray to this god to do well on your tests. This temple and 萬和宮, are right next to 南屯市場, an awesome market.
  • Paochueh Temple: My favorite temple, because it is a giant Buddha! Normally you would be able to go inside this Buddha, but when I went it was closed. That didn’t matter, though; On the outside it was super cool! There is also a normal temple around here you can check out.

Food to Try

  • 春水堂 (ChunShuiTang) – The Original Bubble Tea! You can think about going for lunch, because there is not only tea here, but also food. There are multiple locations around Taichung, and Taiwan for that matter, but it is an awesome idea to go to the original location:  No. 30 Siwei Street | Origin StoreTaichung, Taiwan
  • 台北内湖來來豆漿。 A famous restaurant in Taiwan, perfect for late night munchies. This is the first place I went to when I arrived in Taichung at 3 in the morning.
  • Modern Toilet Restaurant: Don’t let the name fool you; it was pretty good!
  • 阿明師太陽餅店: The most delicious suncakes in all of Taiwan. Suncakes are a traditional Taiwanese snack, so I recommend trying one from here.
  • Rilakumma Cafe– This restaurant is in Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, a famous department store near the Taichung Theater. I actually didn’t eat here, but I wish I did!

Houli District: Day trip to the Houli District

  • Bike one of the many bike trails
  • Shop at Lihpao Outlets
  • Lihpao Land (amusement park and water park)
  • ZhongShe Flower market

MingJian Township

This town is famous for it’s tea! I’m not exactly sure how to get to the area with all the tea shops, but I know it is on your way to 受天宫, a beautiful temple on the side of the mountain that was rebuilt after a fire. There is a scenic viewing are by there where you can see the beautiful Taiwanese mountain side, and if you get lucky you can see monkeys! You can go for a walk around there and see many tea shops and fields where the tea is grown. It is a really cool area. On your way to this neighbor hood there is a giant cardboard tea carton you can take a picture with.

Changhua County

So much to do in this county, and I couldn’t do all it had to offer, but I still got to see many things! My favorite thing was a giant Buddha! It had six floors, and floor each floor had a different story of the life of Buddha! It was very interesting! Near there is an abandoned Confucius temple that you can visit. I’m not exactly sure the exact location, but I thought it was a very peaceful place. Also in Changhua County was Lukang Township! This is a town with over 60 temples, and has a map where you can find all of them. There is a lot more to see though, like an artist village, a traditional market, and ancient streets.

 

 

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