TAICHUNG CITY TAIWAN FEATURED IMAGE

HIGHLIGHTS OF TAICHUNG CITY

Waking up in Taichung City after a great night’s sleep – all the travel fatigue and exhaustion from the previous day of flight delays had melted away – and I leaped out of bed in excitement to look out of the window and see Taichung City all around.

Good morning Taiwan!

Taiwan’s International Airport had been our gateway into Taiwan but Taichung – the second largest city in Taiwan – was our first introduction to this vibrant, thriving, and colourful country that had long been on our travel wish list!

GOOD MORNING TAIWAN #travel #taiwan #taichung #taichungcity
Good morning Taiwan!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OUR 12 DAY TAIWAN ITINERARY

We’d decided that on our arrival in Taiwan, our 12-day Itinerary would take us immediately out of the capital city of Taipei, to travel southbound along the western coast to the island’s mid-point City of Taichung.

We would be using the Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) ‘bullet train’.

We planned to explore Taichung for 3 days then continue south, once again travelling by THSR to the port city of Kaohsiung, for a further 3 day stay.

Then, returning to Taipei on the whole THSR route northbound, to arrive back in time for the Lantern Festival.

The Taiwan Lantern Festival was being hosted in Taipei for the first time in 23 years!

TAIWAN TRAVEL ITINERARY - Taiwan travel guide & 12 night itinerary #travel #taiwan #taiwanguide
Taiwan – Our Fabulous 12-day Itinerary

HIGHLIGHTS OF TAICHUNG CITY

The historic city of Taichung is centrally and conveniently located on the west coast of Taiwan.

Typically, Taichung is known for its manufacturing industry.

When I was a child growing up in the UK, I was very familiar with most of my toys being ‘Made in Taiwan’.

So, I certainly knew something about Taiwan (that it makes things) before I ever knew where it was in the world.

But, as well as being known to produce precision instruments and textiles, did you know that Taichung plays a significant role in the fabrication of bicycles?

It is considered one of the world’s major bicycle manufacturing hubs.

Taichung is also a city of ancient culture and modern art, with its combination of centuries-old shrines, cosmopolitan museums and art galleries – and perhaps most famously of all – its tea shops.

Taichung is the birthplace of the world-famous beverage Bubble Tea – also known as Bobo Tea or Pearl Tea – a tea drinking trend that has become a phenomenon firstly in Asia and now all over the world.

More Bubble Tea (with my video) later in this post!

WHAT TO DO IN TAICHUNG

TAICHUNG PARK

TAICHUNG PARK TAIWAN
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The backpacking husband and I stayed for three nights in Taichung located in the Central District at (affiliate link) The Holiday Inn Express hotel opposite Taichung Park. The hotel is within easy reach of the train station and the bus terminal.

After breakfast on our first morning, we took a walk around the park.

It was wonderful to feel warm for our walk even though we were visiting in early springtime.

Taichung benefits from a mild year-round climate with warm winters and humid summers and average temperatures of 22.4 Deg C (72.F).

Taichung Park (also known as Chungshan Park) is the oldest park in the city (built in 1903).

The park covers an area of ten acres and is popular with locals for walks, exercising, family picnics, and as a meeting place for conversations and games.

It has an artificial lake, a bridge, a pavilion, ancient trees and expanses of tended green parkland, and meandering pathways.

It’s an oasis of calm in the heart of this busy city.

Taichung Park is a perfect place to practice yoga or your Taichi or to row a boat on the lake.

TAIWAN TRAVEL - TAICHUNG CITY - A walk in Taichung Park #travel #taiwan #taichung #taichungcity
A walk around Taichung Park

BUBBLE TEA

TAICHUNG BUBBLE TEA SHOP
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Have you ever tried the iconic beverage ‘Bubble Tea’?

According to the Oxford Learning Dictionary: Bubble Tea (noun) is a Taiwanese cold drink made with tea, sweetened milk or other flavourings, and balls or ‘pearls’ of tapioca. Which also explains why is sometimes known as Pearl Tea.

Wikipedia explains Bubble Tea as: also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, tapioca milk tea, boba tea, or boba – is a tea-based drink that originated in Taiwan in the early 1980s.

I’d actually never tried bubble tea myself, at this point in time.

But from travelling extensively, I can say I’d often heard of it and thought it a strange trending phenomenon.

Not only has bubble tea gripped Asian countries but it has since become a worldwide obsession – not to mention a billion-dollar industry – and to think that it all began here in Taichung at the Chun Shui Tan Tea Shop.

So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to the tea shop where it was invented and try it from the original source!

My verdict on Bubble Tea?

Well, you’ll have to read my full post on visiting the original Bubble Tea Tea Shop and watch my video clip below!

TAIWAN TRAVEL: The original Bubble Tea shop in Taichung! #bubbleteashop #taiwan #taichung
Bubble Tea in Taichung at the Chun Shui Tan Tea Shop

921 EARTHQUAKE MUSEUM

TAICHUNG TAIWAN EARTHQUAKE MUSEUM
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The 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan is in Taichung. The museum is dedicated to the 7.2 earthquake that struck central Taiwan on at 01:47am local time on Tuesday 21 September 1999.

We took the public bus (paid using our Easy Card) which took about 40 mins to go from Central Taichung to the Earthquake Museum in the Wufeng District.

It might sound (and look) like dark tourism – and therefore a little macabre – to spend a day at an earthquake museum.

But I highly recommend it to you for your Taichung itinerary.

The museum includes the preserved ruins of a school that collapsed during the earthquake.

So, what you now see, is a multi-story building with floors stacked and twisted on top of each other.

The school campus – notably the running track – has also been left exactly as it was found after the quake with its ruptured tarmac and a raised fault line. It’s a harrowing sight.

As the earthquake struck in the night, no one was in the school building at the time. But elsewhere, 2400 people in Taiwan died and many more were injured and made homeless as houses and buildings all around the area collapsed.

The purpose of the museum is not just to show you what happened on that fateful night in September 1999.

It’s underlying purpose is that of education and to show how the disaster has influenced the development of earthquake-proof building design systems since this quake – not just in Taiwan – but throughout the world.

There is also a ‘virtual earthquake’ experience in what is essentially a padded room where you get to feel what a 7.2 earthquake is like. Having experience an earthquake tremor once myself (in Honduras) I found it very realistic.

For those of you who like to learn stuff – the museum has a really interesting engineering department.

This shows the methods – and demonstrates them – how it has been possible for geologists and technicians and engineers to further develop high-tech counter measures to the shaking and rocking movement of buildings during earthquakes.

All these methods are demonstrated and on show in the museum.

I found it very interesting. My backpacking husband, with his background in engineering, found it all fascinating.

It made us especially keen for our anticipated visit to the top of the 101 Tower in Taipei, which when it was built in 2004 was the worlds tallest building, and which has this ‘earthquake proof’ technology installed and on display to visitors.

I would give our visit to the 921 Earthquake Museum top billing in our Taichung Itinerary.

I would also allow a good portion of your day to fully explore it all.

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The 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan is in Taichung

TAICHUNG FOOD SCENE

While wandering the maize of streets in central Taichung, we were deliciously impressed by all the numerous bakeries and patisseries and amazing looking confectionaries on offer in the shops.

And, looking for a mid-afternoon sugar rush, we had to try lots of them!

We were told me must try a taiyang bing or suncake which is a Taiwanese sweet dessert originally from the city of Taichung.

Pineapple cakes are also popular. I particularly loved the dreamy soft and sweet custard bun that I bought from a fabulous bakery on the way back to our hotel.

But, with no idea what it was known as or noting where I’d actually bought it from, when I when back to try and retrace my steps the next day to buy another custard bun – I couldn’t find the shop again. Aarrrgggh!

TAIWAN TRAVEL - TAICHUNG CAKES - #travel #taiwan #taichung #taichungcity
Dreamy Custard Buns!

FENG CHIA NIGHT MARKET

Taiwan Travel Taichung Feng Chai Night Market
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Feng Chiai Night Market – also known as Fengjia Night Market – is certainly the most famous in Taichung.

And Taichung is famous for its night markets and for street food and we happen to love both.

It is also said to be the largest night market in Taiwan. First established in the 1960’s, the market hosts hundreds of food stalls that now line 1.5km of the street.

Just before dark, we took the public bus (using our Easy Card) from Taichung Station area over to Dingnanzai Xitun Rd in the the Xitun District to explore the night market and try the amazing variety of traditional Taiwanese street foods on offer.

It was an amazing experience and there were so many different foods to try.

We often stopped at a stall to try a morsel of something that smelled amazing or looked delicious.

Or to simply watch in awe at what the stallholder chef was creating.

Or, because lots of people were patiently queuing up at a stall, and that made us curious enough to wonder what was going to be so good that they were all willing to wait in line to eat it.

Feng Chiai Night Market was a delicious highlight of our time in Taichung!

FENG CHAI NIGHT MARKET TAICHUNG TAIWAN
A delicious highlight of our time in Taichung!

Are you planning a trip to Taiwan?

Will you be travelling to Taichung?

Were my highlights of Taichung helpful to you?

Let me know – I’d love to hear from you!

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