Sure, there’s plenty to do in a city as big and as busy as Taipei, but sometimes it’s nice to simply get away from it all. Whether you enjoy the quaint atmosphere of a sleepy village, the solitude of your own stretch of beach, or the adrenaline of a mountain hike, the areas surrounding the city offer plenty of action, adventure, or relaxation away from the bright lights of the city. So hop on a train and enjoy one of these five daytrips from Taipei.
Image courtesy of LWY/Flickr
Packed together along a mountainside in Northeastern Taiwan are a series of homes, shops, restaurants, and tea houses in the village of Juifen. A former gold mining town, the quaint village enjoys a stunning view of the sea where travelers from all over Taiwan come to get away from busy city life. While quite touristy at times, it’s still worth a visit just for the scenery, tea houses, and seafood. Head to the commercial district running along Jishan and Shuchi streets where you’ll find plenty of shops and restaurants. Be sure to sample the area specialty, fishball soup, and stop in to one of the many tea houses for a traditional Taiwanese tea ceremony.
Wulai Aboriginal Village
Image courtesy of 棟樑‧Harry‧黃基峰‧Taiwan/Flickr
Home of the Tai Ya aboriginal tribe, Wulai Aboriginal Village located north of Taipei gives you a glimpse into the lives and culture of the island. Nestled in the midst of mountain ranges, Wulai got it’s spot on the tourist map when the Japanese began developing around the area’s natural hot springs. In addition to soaking in the white sulfur springs, you can ride a cable car to the peak of a nearby mountain, visit the Wulai 80 foot waterfall, and catch an aboriginal dance performance.
Image courtesy of Ang/Flickr
Extending from Yehliu park to the city of Keelung along the northern coast of Taiwan, you’ll find beautiful beaches, interesting geological formations, and sleepy fishing villages. Keelung, a 40-minute drive from Taipei, has always been an important international port, and the city is filled with European-style forts, cemeteries, and parks to explore, as well as an interesting night market with some of the best street food you’re likely to find in Taiwan. Take a drive through Yehliu geopark to admire some of the area’s fascinating formations, including Queen’s Head rock.
Image courtesy of Kevin Jaako/Flickr
Danshui, a small city to the north of Taipei, was home to both the Spanish and the Dutch at various points in its history, and today, it’s one of the best spots near Taipei to catch a sunset. Start with an early afternoon cup of coffee and stroll down Fisherman’s Wharf. Head to the Old Street waterfront for some fresh, local seafood and shopping, or take the ferry to the village of Bali across the water. It’s easy to get around the interesting parts of the city by foot or rented bike from the Danshui MRT station.
Yangmingshan National Park
Northern Taiwan is a hot spring lover’s wet dream, and some of the best are located inside Yangmingshan National Park. The volcanic terrain-type park (the closest National park to Taipei) is home to a rich ecosystem with plenty of butterflies, birds, and wildflowers. Hiking trails throughout the park are well-maintained, and many are easy enough for visitors with little hiking experience. With so many trails and sights to see, coupled with the ease of access from the city, means you can keep coming back for the fresh air.