Taichung, the third largest city in Taiwan, has very limited options of things to do and see. One can usually visit all the attractions worth seeing within 2 or 3 days. In this post, I put together a list of attractions worthy of a visit. The public transportation system in Taichung is terribly bad. Most tourist sights are not easily accessible by bus or train. My advice is to hire a car with driver or take a taxi to these sights. Both options are not expensive in Taichung and can save you a lot of trouble.
1. Kaomei Wetland
Kaomei Wetland is a scenic 1,500-hectare marshy area with one row of windmills standing on it. It is, in my opinion, the most worthy place to visit in Taichung. Some people may think that wetlands are only for people who are interested in wildlife viewing. If you’re this kind of person, don’t let the word “wetland” turn you off. This wetland boasts stunning scenery and is a unique destination that any visitors to Taichung cannot miss. The best part of visiting Kaomei is enjoying the sunset against beautiful clouds and the windmills.
In order to protect the wetland, a long elevated wooden walkway is constructed on the expansive stretch of land for visitors to walk on. Strolling along the walkway while enjoying the view of the seemingly endless expanse of water gleaming in the sunset light is an experience like no other. At the end of the walkway, you’ll be allowed to take off your shoes and walk on the wetland to feel the soft soil, on which you’ll see some tiny crabs crawling.
Admission is free for all visitors. It takes more than one hour to get there from the city center, but once you get there, I’m sure you’ll feel it’s well worth it.
2. Wuchi Tourism Port
Wuchi Tourism Port is only a 15-minute car ride from Kaomei Wetland. Located here are some seafood restaurants and an indoor market offering a wide selection of seafood.
In the outdoor area adjacent to the market, there are a few food stalls selling seafood snacks.
If you plan to hire a private car or a taxi to get you to Kaomei Wetland, you can have your driver make a stop at Wuchi Tourism Port on your way to the wetland. The port can also be accessed by bus, but getting there by bus is not easy. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble.
3. Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area
As one of the most popular attractions in Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is undoubtedly a place worthy of a visit. It’s not located in Taichung city, but getting there from Taichung is extremely easy. For more information on the Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area, please refer to my another two posts “The Cost-effective Way to Visit Sun Moon Lake” and “Things to Do in the Sun Moon Lake Scenic Area“.
4. Summit Resort (Xinshe Castle)
Summit Resort, also called Xinshe Castle, is neither a resort that combines a hotel and a variety of recreations nor a castle with historical value. It’s actually a large park with a faux fortress and a few other buildings that house some restaurants and a souvenir shop.
Although the castle is fake, the scenery in the park is beautiful, making it a very nice place to walk around. In fact, the only activity that guests of this park can enjoy is to walk around, take photos, and just enjoy the scenery.
The park is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays, and from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekends. Entry fee is NT$250, and you get a NT$100 voucher to spend on food or drinks in the park. I’m not a big fan of the food and drinks there. They are expensive, yet taste bad. I would suggest having your meals elsewhere.
5. Fengjia Night Market
Fengjia Night Market is where visitors may experience non-stop eating. Featuring a great diversity of snack stalls, drink stands, and restaurants, this market can please any palate.
When you need a drink, be sure to try the bitter gourd juice with honey. The bitterness has been removed and this deliciously refreshing drink goes perfectly with any snacks.
In addition to the mouth-watering delicacies, the market also offers a wide array of fashion stores to shop from. I was particularly drawn to the shoe stores there, which had a great selection of stylish and comfortable women’s shoes, boots, and sandals, all at extremely good prices. I’m not crazy about shoes, but living in Hong Kong where shoes at the same quality are usually 4 or 5 times more expensive, I just couldn’t resist buying more. My snack-hunting trip eventually turned into a shoe shopping spree.
Fengjia night market usually starts bustling at around 7:00 pm and continues until 1:00 am. The market is packed with people during the night, but is still a great place to spend the evening in Taichung.
6. Cultural Creativity Tourism Night Market
With 700 stalls, this market is the largest night market in central Taiwan and a great place for the entire family. Apart from providing a wide variety of exotic and local food, it also offers amusement rides, such as bumper cars, bungy trampoline, and inflatable rides, to entertain visitors.
Opening hours are from 17:00 to 24:00, Wednesday to Sunday. The market is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Located near the Taichung train station, this site was an eye clinic owned by a Japanese ophthalmologist named Miyahara during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. In 2010, a pastry business named Dawn Cake bought the building and rebuilt it as a 2-storey dessert shop, with a pastry, beverage cum ice cream parlour on the ground floor and a restaurant on the 2nd floor. The interior of the ground floor looks like a Harry Potter library and the splendid decor has drawn lots of vistors.
Of course, visitors do not come here just for the decor. Miyahara is famous for its ice-cream, pearl milk tea, and uniquely packaged pastries such as pineapple cake and sun cake, both are popular food souvenirs of Taiwan. However, note that the pastries in Miyahara are usually more expensive than in other shops. If you don’t need the fancy packaging, you may want to buy your souvenirs elsewhere.
The shop is open daily from 10:00 am till 10:00 pm.