Taiwan (8D7N) – Nature and Hiking Tour
- Yangmingshan National Park
Within just half an hour drive you’ll find yourself in the middle of nature surrounded by a volcanic landscape and scenic hiking trails.
- Taroko National Park
This magnificent park features a marble gorge, covered in beautiful patterns and geological details.
- Sun Moon Lake
This scenic lake is located in the centre of Taiwan, among farms and tea plantations. Activities include treks, cycling and boat rides.
Day 1 . Arrival in Taipei
Ni Hao! Welcome to Taiwan, considered to be the jewel in the Asia Pacific rim. You will be greeted by our representative at the airport and escorted to the capital city – Taipei (80 km, 45 minutes). Along the way, see city landmarks from a distance, such as the palace-like Grand Hotel and the Taipei 101 Tower – the tallest building in the world until early 2010.
Taiwan is also famous for its wide variety of cuisine apart from the traditional Taiwanese cuisine and street food. When Chiang Kai Shek came to Taiwan back in 1949, two million people followed him. Among them were students, soldiers, and chefs from different provinces of China. As a result, there are many restaurants showcasing dishes from all over China. In addition, there are the flavours introduced by Taiwan’s Hakka community and 16 indigenous tribes. This combination of tastes and trends has resulted in fabulous flavours and cuisines.
Check in the hotel (hotel check in time 15:00 PM) and refresh. Later, explore the city’s CBD area. Get a feel for the city as you drive through – the organised traffic, the greenery, the tall buildings, and how everything keeps moving at a steady pace.
Tonight, we’ll be introduced to the delicious signature dishes at Din Tai Fung dumpling restaurant. Watch the dumpling master making the dumplings in the open kitchen. After dinner, visit the local night market and get a glimpse into Taipei’s night life,
Overnight in Taipei
Day 2 . Taipei & Yangmingshan National Park
After breakfast, visit Yangmingshan National Park. See the steaming Thermal Valley (Xiaoyukeng) and the sulfur landscape, and walk the Jinbaoli Trail (Yulu Historical Trai North section, 3.7 KM, 3 hrs).
In the early days Yulu trail was used by the locals to transport fish, tea and sulfur by foot between Taipei and Jinshan in the north. Yulu literarily means “fish path”. These days, it is a historical trail used for recreation. Along the path there are traces of the history of the trail, including well-preserved equipment.
In the afternoon, we will be introduced to the National Palace Museum, which houses an impressive collection of more than 650,000 Chinese imperial exhibits covering thousands of years. The exquisite collection includes jade pottery, porcelain, documents, letters, paintings, calligraphy and sniff bottles.
Overnight in Taipei
Day 3 . Yehliu Geo Park & Yilan
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Today we’ll visit the scenic Northern Coast.
At Yehliu Geo Park, explore interesting rock formations as well as real fossils right beneath your feet. Enjoy the wide open ocean view, the small tidal creatures and the sea breeze.
Visit the seafood market and enjoy a seafood lunch, fresh off the boat!
The highlight of today is the Caoling Historical Trail. The trail cuts across Sandiao Cape (Sandiaojiao), starting at Yuanwangkeng just inland from Fulong, and ending at Dali on the coast. It is the only remaining section of the old Ching dynasty trail that was constructed 130 years ago to provide a land link down the northeast coast from Tamsui to Yilan. The present trail is approximately 10 kilometres long and offers a pleasant hike of three hours.
Continue to Yilan, famous for its natural hot spring. Enjoy relaxing in the hot springs.
Overnight in Yilan
Meal(s): Breakfast, lunch box
Day 4 . Yilan & Taroko National Park
Enjoy breakfast, check out and head for Taroko National Park, one of the few marble gorges in the world. It offers spectacular views and an insight into the indigenous culture.
Shakadang Trail: Take an easy walk along this scenic trail. Stroll alongside Shakadang River and see the beautiful gorge with its crystal-clear river.
Swallow Grotto: Swallow Grotto is a marble cliff. River erosion has created holes in the cliff now inhabited by swallows – hence the name of the grotto.
Tunnel of Nine Turns: This scenic trail is only 700 metres long but is considered as the best in the area. Walk beside the mountains and cliffs, overlooking the Liwu River. Take your time to admire the beautiful details, faults and folds of the marble cliff.
Also visit Bulowan Terrace and walk over the Sanyue Bridge to see this marble gorge from a different angle. Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight in Taroko
Meal(s): Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 5 . Taroko National Park & Zhuilu Historical Trail
Today we’ll wake up and find ourselves surrounded by greenery. The highlight for today is Zhuilu Historical Trail (10km, altitude 700-800 M, 5-6 hours).
Zhuilu Old Trail offers the most impressive and breathtaking views within Taroko Gorge.
Look down over the magnificent marble walled canyon and the Liwu River that carved it.
Overnight in Taroko
Meal(s): Breakfast, dinner
Day 6 . Mt. Hehuan
After breakfast, we’ll head to Mt. Hehuan Peaks via the Central Cross Island Highway, the most beautiful highway in Taiwan.
Mt. Hehuan (Hehuanshan) is a 3,416-metre-high mountain in central Taiwan. The peak lies on the boundaries of Nantou and Hualien counties and is within the Taroko Gorge National Park. Summer is delightfully cool, and highly scenic as different alpine flowers bloom from May to September. Autumn and spring are wonderful seasons for hiking and trekking.
Trail 1: Shihmen Mountain trail (775m, altitude 3237m, 40-60 min)
At 3,237 metres, Shihmenshan (Mt. Shihmen) is a high, but accessible climb. The trail from the parking area to the top is relatively flat and takes only about 30 minutes to walk, making it suitable for visitors of all ages. From its position on the crest-line of the Central Range, enjoy the sweeping views over the alpine landscape.
Trail 2: Hehuan Jian Shan trail (505m, altitude 3217m, 45-60 min round trip)
Trail 3: Hehuan East Peak (938m, altitude 3421m, 2 hours round-trip)
The main trail begins right across from the cottage and ascends the north slope of the mountain. There are some steep sections where you have to use your hands, or where hiking poles might come in handy.
Overnight in Qingjing
Meal(s): Breakfast, dinner
Day 7 . Qingjing& Sun Moon Lake
After breakfast, immerse yourself in the fresh air, scenic wild greenery and sea of clouds.
We’ll then head out to the centre of Taiwan and Sun Moon Lake. The lake sits at an altitude of 762m in the mountains of Nantou County. With good weather year-round and tons of outdoor activities to offer, it’s not surprising it’s one of Taiwan’s most renowned tourist destinations.
Visit Wen Wu Temple which offers beautiful lake views. If time allows, visit Tse En Pagoda and Tehua Village.
In the afternoon, we’ll walk the Mt. Maolan Trail (3hrs round-trip). Mt. Maolan Trail is an easy walk to a weather observatory built by the Japanese in 1940. From the summit, at 1020m, you can see as far as Puli. The 3km trail (a paved road actually) winds through vast tea plantations.
Overnight in Sun Moon Lake
Day 8 . Taipei, Departure
After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing bicycle ride around the lake to take in more of the scenery. (There is the alternative option of a boat trip.)
Check out of the hotel and drive to the airport for the onward flight.