Dubbed as ‘IIha Formosa‘ which translates to ‘Beautiful Island’ by Portuguese sailors when they spotted the island back in the 16th century, Taiwan today is not only known for its magnificent scenery but also its diverse blend of culture and a vast variety of good food.
Being just a four-hour flight away from Singapore, it does not come as a surprise that Taiwan is constantly one of the most-visited travel destinations by Singaporeans. Despite the country’s popularity, major cities like Taipei and Kaoshiung aside, many are still unfamiliar with what the Formosa has to offer on the outskirts.
As such, let us take you on a journey out of the city, by presenting 10 things to do around Northern and Central Taiwan that will open your eyes to the natural beauty of the country, with no shopping involved!
1. Explore Taiwan’s Tri-Mountain
Taiwan’s Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area consists of three main mountains—Lion’s Head Mountain (狮头山), Lishan (梨山) and Baguashan (八卦山) ranging across Central Taiwan. Located around Taichung, the area is a mere two to three hours away from Taipei, making it a perfect option for a short trip away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
What better way is there to explore the mountain scenic areas than to take a hike? Famous for being home to several Buddhist monasteries and retreats, Lion’s Head Mountain is riddled with temples that were built inside caves since the Japanese occupation.
Appreciate the integration of ancient temples and natural scenery trekking along the Shishan Historic Trail (狮山古道) for an opportunity to relax your mind and soul while getting close to nature. Along the way, look out for temples like Quanhua Temple