Taichung, Taiwan Travel Guide

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Theodore
Travel Writer

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This is a guide to traveling in Taichung City, Taiwan. Keep reading to learn more.

I’ve visited Taichung City many times throughout my 5 years in Taiwan and decided to build this guide to help fellow travelers.

March–April and September–November are the best times to visit Taichung. Not too hot, not too cold. Plus, in March, you’ll catch cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Early April has some major holidays, so it can get a bit crowded then.

Consider these souvenirs from Taichung:

  • Grape Wine: The best grape wine in Taiwan is produced in Waipu, Taichung.
    • Moscato Oro Vino Fortificato (Putao Wine) has won international awards & is made from Golden Muscatel Grapes [1].
  • Lacquerwares: Fengyuan in Taichung is renowned for its lacquerware, including artwork, bowls, & chopsticks.
    • These items could serve as elegant souvenirs​.
  • Suncakes: A traditional dessert in Taichung, typically filled with maltose.
    • Many pastry shops have started offering healthier versions of the cake with vegetable oil instead of animal shortening.
  • Stuff from Miyahara: Get pineapple cakes & cookies.

Summary

  • The best way to get around Taichung is by using the city bus.
  • The best attractions include Miyahara Ice Cream & Sun Moon Lake.
  • Souvenirs you should get include sun cakes.
  • Taichung is in Central Taiwan.

Taichung City, Taiwan Traveler Information

CurrencyNew Taiwan Dollar
Power Socket110V or 220V
Time ZoneGMT+8
Tipping Required?No
City-wide Wi-Fi SSIDiTaichung & iTaiwan

iTaiwan isn’t the most reliable Wi-Fi network. Last I checked, they asked for your passport information to log in. I don’t know whether this is still the case.

I believe now you just have to accept the terms of service and log in.


Useful Phone Numbers in Taichung City

Here’s a list of phone numbers you should keep on hand while in Taichung:

Ambulance / Fire119
Police110
Emergency Rescue112
Travel Information Hotline(02) 2717-3737

How to Get Around Taichung City

TransportationAvg. Price (One-Way)Best For
City BusNT$15; 1 segmentBudget
Car RentalVariesRoad Trips
Bicycle rentalNT$5–NT$40 per 30 minExercise
WalkingFreeCities
Taiwan Railway AdministrationNT$11–NT$836Budget inter-city travel
Taiwan High-Speed RailNT$35–NT$2,500Quickly navigating different cities
RideshareNT$120–NT$1,200 per tripComfortable city travel
Mass Rapid TransitNT$20–NT$65City travel
TaxiNT$16–NT$25 per kmTravel to specific destinations
Taiwan public transportation mediums compared.

Taichung City Districts: Best Place to Stay

Here are all the districts in Taichung City and whether I recommend staying there:

  • Central / 中區: Close to perks & has plenty of restaurants (recommended).
  • East / 東區: Many temples & close to shopping centers  and tourist attractions (recommended)
  • Xitun / 西屯區: By Feng Jia Night Market; highly recommend staying here. 
  • North District / 北區: Close to museums & the Botanical Garden, not the most convenient district.

Here are the rural(ish) areas to avoid as a tourist:

  • West / 西區
  • South / 南區
  • Beitun / 北屯區
  • Nantun / 南屯區

Staying in residential areas will save you money, but are far away from the city center. I recommend staying in the city center if possible. If you have limited time in Taiwan, you don’t want to waste hours in traffic by taking the bus.

Taichung isn’t as convenient as Taipei or New Taipei. Thus, the subway doesn’t reach most of the city.


How to Get to Taichung City

Let’s cover entering Taichung from different cities and airports:

Taoyuan International Airport:

  • HSR: Taoyuan HSR > HSR Taichung Station (41 min.)
    • NT$520–1,010
  • TRA: Zhongli Station (Taoyuan) > Taichung Station (1.5 hrs)
    • NT$184–286
  • Intercity bus: Ubus (1 hr 40 min)

Taichung International Airport: 

  • City bus: Ubus (34 min)

Taipei City:

  • HSR:
    • HSR Nangang Station > HSR Taichung Station (1 hr. 11 min.)
      • NT$750–1,330
    • HSR Taipei Main Station > HSR Taichung Station (47 min.)
      • NT$675–1,250
  • TRA: Taipei Station > Taichung Station (2.5 hrs)
    • NT$241–375
  • Intercity bus: Ubus (2–2.5 hrs)

Kaohsiung:

  • HSR: HSR Zuoying Station > HSR Taichung Station (55 min.)
    • NT$765–1,390
  • TRA: Kaohsiung Station > Taichung Station (2.5–4.5 hrs.)
    • NT$301–469
  • Intercity bus: Ubus (2 hrs 50 min.)

Bus prices and times will vary based on the chosen bus. HSR prices will depend on whether you get Standard Cars, Business Cars, or Non-Reserved seats. The third option is the cheapest. The second, the most expensive.


Where to Exchange Currency in Taichung City

Here are all the places you could exchange currency in Taichung:

  • ATM (best rates): You’ll find ATMs everywhere (including in convenience stores).
    • Use ATMs from banks; they won’t charge ATM fees
  • Inside banks: You must wait 10–20 minutes to see a teller.
  • Shopping centers: These don’t offer great rates.
    • SKM Department Store Taichung Branch
    • Pacific Mall
    • Chung Yo Department Store
    • SOGO Department Store
    • Mode Mall
    • Fuwang Company
  • Hotels: These offer some of the worst exchange rates.
    • Hotel National
    • Plaza International Hotel
    • Tempus Hotel
    • Evergreen Company Taichung Branch
    • Fresh Fields Resort
    • Windsor Hotel
    • Hotel ONE Taichung
    • Taichung Howard Hotel
    • Holiday Inn Express Taichung Park
    • TCCH
  • Other stores:
    • Far East Jewelry Store
  • Taichung International Airport (worst rates)

If you have friends in Taichung, see whether you can trade your currency for their Taiwanese currency.


How to Get Around Taichung City

Here’s how to get around Taichung:

TransportationAvg. Price (One-Way)Best For
City BusNT$15; 1 segmentBudget
Car RentalVariesRoad Trips
Bicycle rentalNT$5–NT$40 per 30 minExercise
WalkingFreeCities
Taiwan Railway AdministrationNT$11–NT$836Budget inter-city travel
RideshareNT$120–NT$1,200 per tripComfortable city travel
Mass Rapid TransitNT$20–NT$65City travel
TaxiNT$16–NT$25 per kmTravel to specific destinations
Taiwan public transportation mediums compared.

Taichung Metro: Best Way to Get Around Outer Taichung

The Taichung Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is an above-ground metro system with 18 stations that’ll transport you around the outer layers of Taichung City. It only has 1 line at the moment, making it not the most efficient way to get around.

The MRT stations intersect with local train stations, which are the best way to get around the outer area of Taichung City. It’ll take you to hotspots like Miyahara.


Bus: City, Intercity, Innercity, & Shuttle bus: Cheapest & Best Way to Get Around

This is the best and most affordable way to get around Taichung unless you want to hail a taxi. The trains only circle around Taichung City, but have no way of navigating the inner city. Making it more painful to get around.

I recommend getting an EasyCard, iPass, or icash 2.0. They’re smart cards that you fill with cash. Use them for cashless purchases, renting Youbikes, or getting on/off public transportation (e.g., MRT and bus).

To pay for your bus ride, you must tap your smart card when getting on and off. Paying by cash is more of a pain. You’ll need to hold folks up while digging through your wallet for change.

By the way, bus rides are bumpy. As drivers are always in a hurry.


Taxi & Uber: Most Expensive

The average taxi start price in Taichung is NT$85. From there, it’s NT$25 per kilometer and NT$300 per waiting hour [2]. To summon a taxi driver, wave down an empty car. I’ve noticed that taxi drivers aren’t as common as in Taipei and New Taipei. Where you’d see them everywhere.

When waiving one down, you best have your address prepared. Most taxi drivers won’t speak English. And when it comes to payment, watch the meter and give them the cash shown on it.

Don’t want a taxi? There’s also LINE Taxi and Uber. Both have similar pricing to taxis, but offer more comfort in their cars.

Tipping isn’t required in Taiwan. Don’t worry about tipping taxi drivers. If you insist, you could give them a tip. Since it isn’t considered disrespectful in Taiwan.. But then you’d need to tell them to keep the change.

YouBike: Great for Sightseeing

YouBikes are a bicycle rental service throughout Taiwan.

Here are the prices for YouBike 1.0 and 2.0:

PriceDuration
NT$5 ($0.17)First 30 minutes
NT$10 ($0.34)Per 30 minutes (for the next 4 hours)
NT$20 ($0.68)Per 30 minutes (for the next 4–8 hours)
NT$40 ($1.36)Per 30 minutes (after 8 hours)
Rates for renting a YouBike.

And here’s the pricing for YouBike 2.0E:

  • NT$20: per 30 minutes (for the first 2 hours)
  • NT$40: per 30 minutes (from the 3rd hour forward)

Taichung is one of few cities with YouBike 2.0E bikes (orange bikes). I highly recommend trying them if you get a change. They have a small motor that’ll put less strain on your body while cycling. Allowing you to traverse Taichung City without feeling exhausted quickly.

You’ll find YouBike stations by tourist attractions and in parks. You must pay for them using an iPass or EasyCard. And before using these, you have to register your smart card on their website or at a YouBike kiosk. The computer by YouBike stations.

And once you’re finished riding your bike, you must return it to a station. Don’t attempt to abandon them, because they have built-in GPS systems and are tied to your smart card. And since you registered it, YouBike will know who you are.


Things to do in Taichung City

Here are all the things to try in Taichung:

Miyahara Ice Cream

Historical site

Animation Alley

Art display

Taichung Confucius Temple

Religious site

921 Earthquake Museum

Museum

National Taichung Theater

Opera house

Rainbow Village

Art display

Taichung Second market

Shopping area

Taichung Martyr’s Shrine

Religious site

Gaomei Wetlands

Preservation area

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts

Museum

Sun Moon Lake

Lake

Luce Memorial Chapel

Religious site

Lavender Cottage

Mountainside retreat


Best Food to Eat in Taichung City

Here are a bunch of restaurants I recommend trying while in Taichung:

Restaurant NameDescriptionChinese Name
MiyaharaFamous for its ice cream.宮原眼科
Chun Shui Tang (Original branch)Supposed birthplace for bubble tea.春水堂人文茶館
Ke Kou Beef NoodlesMICHELIN-star restaurant that serves beef noodles.可口牛肉麵
Fu Din WangMICHELIN-star restaurant that serves braised pork knuckles富鼎旺
Tripod KingPopular hotpot place鼎王麻辣鍋

Night Markets in Taichung City

Night markets are a great way to pick up an affordable snack and find accessories and souvenirs.

Here are all the street food markets in Taichung:

Night MarketChinese NameFood To Try
Fengjia Night Market逢甲夜市Sausages & egg pancakes
Donghai Daxue Night Market (Tunghai Villa)東海夜市Chicken feet
Fengyuan Miaodong Night Market豐原廟東夜市Fried chestnuts
Zhonghua Night Market中華路夜市Deep fried beef & Taiwanese hamburger
Yizhong Street Night Market一中街夜市Stinky tofu & sun cakes
Lufeng Night Market峰夜市Nothing noteworthy
Hanxi Night Market旱溪夜市Dried tofu
Sizhangli Night market四張犁夜市Nothing noteworthy
Tianzi Shengli Night market潭子勝利夜市Nothing noteworthy
Yatan Night Market雅潭夜市Nothing noteworthy
Every night market in Taichung, Taiwan.

The time to hike and difficulty of each path will vary by person:

Xueshan Main Peak

Moderate
Length: 7.4 km
Time: NA
Location: Shei-Pa National Park

Dakeng No. 9 Trail

Moderate
Length: 3.4 km
Time: 1 hr. 11 min.
Location: Beitun

Taoshan Waterfall Trail

Moderate
Length: 8.2 km
Time: 3 hrs. 31 min.
Location: Shei-Pa National Park

Mount Dongmao

Hard
Length: 11.7 km
Time: 5 hrs. 9 min.
Location: Dongshi


Taichung City Travel Tips

Follow these tips when navigating Taichung City:

  • Snag an EasyCard: It’s your ticket for cashless public transport. 
  • Grab a YouBike for short distances: They’re everywhere. 
  • Learn a few Mandarin phrases: Not everyone speaks English. 
  • Dress in layers: The weather can change quickly. 
  • Keep cash on hand: Some shops don’t accept cards. 
  • Download a map app: Taichung can be a maze. 
  • Be vigilant with your belongings: Pickpockets can be sneaky. 
  • Stay hydrated: It can get hot in the summer. 

Preparation is key to a smooth travel experience. Happy exploring.


Additional Travel Guides for Taichung City

Photo sources:

  • taichung.travel
  • sunmoonlake.gov.tw
  • nps.gov
  • travel.taichung.gov.tw

Even More Guides

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About Theo

Theodore began first experienced the wonders of traveling when visiting Vietnam. Afterward, he went crazy and ventured to at least… More about Theo