Categories: Taiwan

13 Things To Do In Taichung, An Underrated City In Taiwan With Photoworthy & Family-Friendly Spots

Things to do in Taichung


Releasing lanterns at Shifen, sipping tea in Jiufen, and devouring street food at Shihlin Night Market – these activities usually spring to mind when one thinks of the land of bubble tea. For good reason, Taipei is a fave among Singaporeans. But the oft-overlooked city of Taichung is equally deserving of a spot on your Taiwan hit list.

With a perfect balance of nature spots and city bustle, Taichung is suitable for all kinds of travellers – and you can easily get there under 1 hour via High Speed Rail from Taoyuan or Taipei station. We booked our flights and hotel through Expedia, and jetted off to experience what the beautiful city had to offer. Here are some activities you can enjoy there:


1. Recreate scenes from My Neighbour Totoro at the Totoro Bus Stop


Fans of Miyazaki’s My Neighbour Totoro would remember when Satsuki waited at the bus stop for her dad in the rain and Totoro gave her shelter. Channel your inner anime character and recreate that iconic scene at Taichung’s very own Totoro Bus Stop.


It’s not an actual bus stop, but stick around long enough and who knows, you might just encounter the Catbus *wink*

Right next to this adorable fixture is Home Doctor, a interior design and housing repair company. The owner built the entire setup himself, with the giant grey creature crafted out of scrap wood.

Chibi and Chu Totoro are present too, and the wall behind is dotted with Soot Balls. There was even the soundtrack from the movie playing when we visited – how’s that for attention to detail!

Totoro Bus Stop (大里龍貓公車站)
Address: No. 133, Qiao Cheng Road, Dali District, Taichung City, Taiwan


2. Have a feast at Fengjia Night Market, Taiwan’s largest night market


We all know of Shihlin and Raohe Night Market in Taipei, but Taichung has the trump card: Fengjia Night Market, the biggest one in the entire country. It’s open until 1am every day, so night owls who’d rather not laze away in their hotels at the end of the day can camp out here.


30cm fries drizzled with honey mustard.

Like most Taiwanese night markets, Fengjia Night Market offers delectable street fare as well as stylish clothes and games – all at affordable prices.


Super tall mango and strawberry ice cream.

Some of the nosh we tried include torched beef cubes, milky bubble tea, and a jacket potato drowning in cheese and ham.

Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市)
Address: Wenhua Road, Xitun District, Taichung City, Taiwan 407
Opening hours: 6pm-3am, Daily


3. Be enthralled by Hogwarts vibes at Miyahara


Entering Miyahara will make you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a Harry Potter set – with a grand chandelier, gothic-style cupboards, and towering wooden columns lined with (fake) books, this opulent dessert store – once a Japanese eye clinic – could pass off as the Hogwarts library.

Head up the staircase and you’ll find yourself at their equally fancy-looking restaurant, Moon Pavilion. They serve an assortment of sweet treats and Taiwanese dishes, but we say, go straight for the desserts.

At NT$450 (~S$19.50), their Afternoon Tea For One consists of a pot of tea and your choice of 3 desserts – I picked the Honey Rice Cake, Pineapple Cake, and Chocolate Bark. Dishes here are slightly pricey in general, but for the quality, ambience, and top-notch service, costs are justified.


We also ordered their Cheesecake with Fruits and Honey Pickled Tomatoes (NT$380, ~S$16.50)

Note: there is a minimum order amount of NT$380 (~S$16.50) per person at Moon Pavilion, but order one dessert each and you’ll easily hit that base amount. View Miyahara’s menu for more options.

Miyahara (宮原眼科)
Address: No. 20, Zhongshan Road, Central District, Taichung City, Taiwan 400
Opening hours: 10am-9pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2227 1927 | Miyahara website

4. Snap some photos at the ship-shaped Panding Church

Teepee-shaped Luce Memorial Chapel is probably the most famous church in Taichung. But Panding Church, built to look like a ship, is another unique one worth visiting – and you won’t find it in most tourist guides!

The blue and white colour scheme is calming on the eyes, and needless to say, this architectural gem makes for beautiful photos.

Panding Church (磐頂教會)
Address: No. 15, Lane 361, Youyuan South Road, Longjing District, Taichung City, Taiwan 434
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9am-5pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: +886 4 2631 2522

4. Catch an epic sunset at Gaomei Wetlands

While Gaomei Wetlands may not appear spectacular during the day, it’s a whole different story at sundown. Watching the golden orb of the sun inch down towards the horizon feels almost surreal, and the row of windmills adds to the charm of the scene.


During low tide, you’ll see little critters like mudskippers and crabs here.

Stroll to the end of the 800m-long boardwalk and you’ll reach an open area where you can walk on the wet sand. We chose to skip the extensive walking and instead picked a spot halfway down the path to sit with our legs dangling over the edge.


This was taken shortly after the sun disappeared into the horizon.

Note: the vibrancy of the sunset scene here is quite weather-dependent. Check the weather forecast beforehand before making plans to visit. Sunset in Taichung usually begins around 5.30pm, so do reach with enough buffer time to catch the wetlands in its full splendour.

Gaomei Wetlands (高美湿地)
Address: Qingshui District, Taichung City 436, Taiwan

6. Walk through Painted Animation Lane’s cartoon murals

Street art might be a common city sight no matter where you go, but instead of the usual graffiti, Taichung has a little alleyway known as Painted Anime Lane, dedicated to murals of cartoon favourites from our childhoods.

From Looney Tunes to Mr Bean and characters from the the anime Bleach, all designs are painted with impeccable workmanship. One might even think they were done by the original artists themselves!

Painted Animation Lane (動漫彩繪巷)
Address: Lane 100, Linsen Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403

7. Admire the European-style Xinshe Castle

Xinshe Castle looks like a scene straight out of a European fairytale. Funny thing is, this was neither built nor lived in by the Europeans. Origins of this place aren’t clear, but no matter – we’re in love with how serene and romantic it feels.

For some reason, Xinshe Castle’s lake is completely green, but it’s still a sight to behold

Spend some time strolling around and breathing in the fresh air here as you take in the lush greenery around you!

Xinshe Castle (新社古堡庄园)
Admission: NT$350/adult (~$15.20) | NT$250/child (~$10.80) | Free for children under 6 years old
Address: No. 65, Xiezhong Street, Xinshe District, Taichung City, Taiwan 426
Opening hours: 9am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2582 5628 | Xinshe Castle website

8. Visit Taichung’s cutest cafes

Like Taipei, Taichung has lots of hip, unique cafes perfect for conquering with your best foodie pals. These are the ones we visited:

I’m Talato

At the entrance of I’m Talato, you’ll be greeted with an abstract-looking sculpture of a see-saw piled high with giant cones of ice cream. Not hard to guess then that the cafe is all about ice cream!

The dining concept here is a little different: patrons are only allowed in for fixed 1-hour intervals, and seats are limited, so you’ll have to come slightly earlier to chope your spot. Each entry ticket costs NT$150 (~S$6.50) and entitles you to 2 scoops of gelato – a good deal!

Flavours are unique too – while there are classics like Matcha and Chocolate, there were also never-heard-before ones like Dragonfruit, Sweet Potato with Cheese, and Blue Pea with Lemon.

I’m Talato (我是塔拉朵)
Address: No. 451, Yingcai Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Opening hours: 10am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2305 8908 | I’m Talato website

艸水木堂 (Cao Shui Mu Tang)

Step right up into the refurbished house that is 艸水木堂 (Cao Shui Mu Tang), and find yourself in a carnival-like setting of kitschy vanity mirrors and giant woodland creatures.

They serve up a mean breaded Panini sandwich – choose from flavours like Sweet Bacon Cheese (NT$120, ~S$5.20) and Peanut Butter Condensed Milk (NT$80, ~S$3.50). We picked the Fried Lobster Cheese (NT$150, S$5.20), which had generous fresh chunks of the crustacean betweeen stringy cheese layers.

You’re allowed to put on these animal masks for some laughs and pictures!

As they specialise in takeaways, there are no seats, but you can stand at the bar counter to tuck into your meal. Alternatively, there are benches in the vicinity outside.

艸水木堂
Address: No. 364, Minsheng Road, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Opening hours: Wed-Mon 11am-7pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: +886 4 2301 9569 | 艸水木堂 website

Sowing The Sweets

With yellow and white as its main colour scheme, Sowing The Sweets is the epitome of cheery. If you’re wondering about their name – the cafe serves cakes made to look like potted plants.

Decorated with a carrot-shaped meringue, their Chocolate Cake (NT$130, ~S$5.60) appeared dry on the surface, but upon digging in, we were pleased to find that it was moist and dense enough without being too heavy. Another meringue-topped creation is their Tiramisu (NT$130, ~S$5.60) served with a little dripper of rum.

We also enjoyed the Salted Caramel Tart (NT$115, ~S$5), which had enough of a salty kick to offset the sweetness a little.

Sowing The Sweets (耕者有其甜)
Address: No. 234, Huamei Street, West District, Taichung City, Taiwan 403
Opening hours: 12pm-7pm, Daily
Contact: +886 986 750 680 | 耕者有其甜 website

(Closed) Blue Box

Lovers of the colour blue and all things beachy will have a whale of a time at Blue Box, an establishment serving up refreshing milkshakes and ice-cream. Though small, their seating area set against a pretty backdrop of dried flower sprigs, starfish, and artificial roses will make you feel right at home.

Quench your thirst with their Strawberry and Bluebery Milkshakes, both topped with multicoloured sweet treats like macarons, gummy strips, and marshmallows. The former will delight all sweet-tooths, while the latter is less saccharine. There’s also mermaid- and unicorn-inspired ice cream for you to indulge in.

9. Frolic in a sea of flowers at Zhong She Flower Market

Despite its name, Zhong She Flower Market is more of a gigantic flower field than a marketplace. Types of flowers you’ll encounter here depend on the season – we got to feast our eyes on various blooms like lavender, lilies, and cheery sunflowers.

With props like windmills and a princess carriage, Zhong She Flower Market is ideal for lovey-dovey couple shots – you may spot some people taking their pre-wedding photos here.


Giant sunflowers that may be taller than you.


Be sure to snap a picture at this pink piano surrounded by a carpet of flowers.

Zhong She Flower Market (中社观光花市)
Admission fee: January-March NT$150 (~S$6.50) | April-December NT$120 (~S$5.20)
Address: No.469-13, Sanfeng Road, Houli District, Taichung City 421, Taiwan
Opening hours: 8am-6pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2557 6926 | Zhong She Flower Market website

10. Munch on Taichung’s best sandwiches from Hong Rui Zhen bakery

They might look just like the ones you can get at any HDB bakery, but don’t knock Hong Rui Zhen’s humble sandwiches till you try ‘em!

While simple, their combinations of jam with cheese, egg with cheese, or ham with cheese are somehow inexplicably delicious. For most full-bodied flavour, go straight for the ham one. Each sandwich costs just NT$30 (~S$1.30) or less, so take the opportunity to load up while you’re there!

Don’t believe us? Even the locals will tell you that these are the best sandwiches in Taichung. We were skeptical at first, but ended up visiting the store thrice during our 3 days in the city and probably gobbled down more than 10 sandwiches each.

Hong Rui Zhen (洪瑞珍自由店 )
Address: No. 122, Section 1, Ziyou Road, West District, Taichung City, 403, Taiwan
Opening hours: 9am-10pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2226 8127 | Hong Rui Zhen website


11. Explore colourful alleyways at Rainbow Village



Rainbow Village is a small cluster of homes that are connected to one another.
Image credit: @carin17 via Instagram

When it comes to colourful murals, it doesn’t take much convincing for us to dash right over. It’s no wonder that Rainbow Village is the new hot topic on social media. Bright red alleyways covered head-to-toe in paintings of animals, humans, and motifs – what’s not to love? 


Image credit: @jessica_chongml via Instagram

These vibrant streets were painted by one of the village’s last residents, a retired soldier named Huang Yong-Fu. Apparently, visitors can still find him hanging out in the village. Although relatively small in size, the village is worth a couple of hours’ visit with photoworthy spots in every corner and equally colourful souvenirs to cop. Best of all, visiting this little gem is completely free-of-charge. 

Rainbow Village
Admission: Free
Address: No. 25, Lane 56, Chun’an Road, Nantun District, Taichung City, 408, Taiwan
Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2380 2351 | Rainbow Village website


12. Ride a 90-degree rollercoaster at Lihpao Discovery Land


Adrenaline junkies, this one’s for you. Just when you thought you’ve been there, done that with countless runs on all of Universal Studios Singapore’s roller coasters, Lihpao Discovery Land in Taichung has a dizzying one for you to conquer. Enter The Stinger, a roller coaster that’ll have you suspended 90-degrees in the air before dropping you into a tunnel. 

 

That’s not all, of course. Be sure to dedicate at least a full day here to explore the entire theme park. There are 32 parks with tonnes of rides of adults and kids of all ages. 


Mala Bay waterpark.
Image credit: @lihpaoland via Instagram

The park happens to be part of the Lihpao Resort Park cluster. So, consider booking a stay at Fullon Hotel Lihpao Land so that you can take your time to explore Mala Bay waterpark, the outlet mall, and other attractions like go-kart racing and escape rooms. 

Lihpao Discovery Land
Admission: From NT$900/adult (~S$39) | NT$550/child (~S$23.85)
Address: No. 8, Furong Road, Houli District, Taichung City, 42145, Taiwan
Opening hours: 9.30am-8pm, Daily
Contact: +886 4 2558 2459 | Lihpao Resort Park website


13. Step into a whimsical paper dimension at Carton King



Image credit: @you_guan via Instagram

If an alternate dimension existed on Earth, it might very well be a paper dimension at Carton King Creative Park. That pretty much describes this spot in a nutshell: think furniture made of heavy duty cardboard, paper decor such as lanterns, and paper replicas of landmarks such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Eiffel Tower. 


Image adapted from: @ying790823 & @jenny890830 via Instagram

Explore this little park to snap whimsical photos, or browse their store for unique paper goods such as cardboard toys and gifts. There’s also a cafe onsite where you can have hotpot served in the cafe’s iconic paper pot for NT$420 (~$18.20)

Carton King Creative Park
Admission: NT$200 (~S$8.70), inclusive of NT$100 (~S$4.35) credits
Address: No. 1, Guanqian Road, North District, Taichung City, 404 Taiwan
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 9am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: +886 4 2325 3022 | Carton King website

Book your flights and hotel for your Taichung trip with Expedia’s app

All geared up and ready to go on your next trip? Expedia is a handy booking portal to use. They’ll help you search out a whole list of flight and hotel options, suitable for all budgets and preferences.

Each booking will earn you points, which you can accumulate and use as credits for future bookings. For double the points, make your bookings on Expedia’s mobile app (iOS, Android) instead!

The Expedia mobile app shows you a nifty map of the region of your choice, picking out hotels in various locations with different price ranges

For flight bookings, Expedia’s app lets you sort search results according to preferences like price, airline, and whether or not there are stopovers involved. You can even filter out flights that don’t have your ideal departure or arrival timings. If you book in advance, you’ll be able to snag direct flights to Taiwan for prices as low as $250 or less.

So go on and make a hassle-free booking for your trip to Taichung with Expedia – you’ll have truckloads of fun at Taichung’s numerous scenic spots, quaint cafes, and the largest night market in the entire country!

Find out more about the Expedia app here

 

*Article originally published in 2017. Some promos listed here may have since ended.


This post was brought to you by Expedia.
Article originally published on 29th October 2017. Last updated by Jessica Fang on 22nd June 2023.

Rachel Yohannan

Recent Posts

12 Family-Friendly Things To Do During The June Holidays If You’re Not Going To Zao Overseas

In case you can't bear to leave sunny Singapore this June holidays.

May 22, 2024

There’s A New Alpaca Petting Cafe In JB With No Entrance Fees & Cute Desserts For Animal Lovers

As Clouds Cafe is a new alpaca cafe in JB with a pair of friendly,…

May 22, 2024

12 Coldest Places As Near As A 2H Direct Flight From Singapore To Dodge The Heat On A Budget

You don't have to travel to Europe to experience snow.

May 22, 2024

This Affordable Dog Cafe In JB Has $6.80 Entry On Weekends & Chow Chows To Play With

Chill ‘N Chow Cafe - Chow Chow dog cafe in JB Let’s be real here,…

May 21, 2024

Singtel Has $15/Month Prepaid Plans With No Contract & Rewards Like Samsung Galaxy S24 To Score

Get unlimited 5G data with these plans so you can binge-watch your shows, uninterrupted.

May 21, 2024