If you’re an adventurous traveller and love a good adrenaline rush while you’re travelling (or anytime), there’s probably a few places at the top of the bucket list: New Zealand, South Africa and Costa Rica, for example, are all well-known for being awesome adventure destinations. If you want to head somewhere that everyone else hasn’t already been to, though, we’ve got a new adventure destination to bump to the top of your list: Taiwan.
Yes, Taiwan! This small island near the coast of China packs a big punch when it comes to outdoor adventures. It might not be on your bucket list yet, but this list of 6 of the best outdoor adventures in Taiwan will definitely change your mind.
2021: the Year of Cycling in Taiwan
Cycling is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Taiwan. It’s a great way to see the views, an eco-friendly and cheap way to travel, plus it’s great exercise! Between the endless views and scenic national parks, incredible biking infrastructure and bike lanes and routes all around the country, and the small size, Taiwan is an incredible destination to explore by bike. If you’ve never done a multi-day bike trip, Taiwan is a great place to have this totally unique experience!
Even better, 2021 is the Year of Cycling in Taiwan, making it the perfect time to plan your once-in-a-lifetime trip! Not only is cycling an incredible way to explore the country, getting a much better view than from cars or a train, cycling is also an eco-friendly way to travel—something Taiwan is encouraging as they move toward greener cities and find greener ways to explore.
How to Cycle around Taiwan
Taiwan is about 900km (559 miles) if you want to cycle all the way around the country. This route usually takes about 9-12 days to complete, perfect for a two-week holiday! The famous Cycling Route No. 1 is one of the most popular routes to take, as it travels around nearly the entire country and takes about 10-12 days if you ride 4-6 hours a day. Even better, the majority of the route is protected bike lanes or dedicated bike lanes through really scenic areas of Taiwan. Of course, if you aren’t up for such a long ride, there’s a lot of shorter routes that are amazing to explore as well. Jiji Bike Trail and the Tamsui Golden Shore Bike Path are much shorter and let you experience why Taiwan loves cycling so much without having to spend all day on your bike!
Not a cyclist? Add one of these other outdoor adventures to your bucket list, asap!
Explore Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is a must-visit in Taiwan, whether or not you’re an avid cyclist! It’s Taiwan’s largest lake and it’s perfect for a leisurely walk, picnicking, a kayak trip or, of course—a bike ride. The path around the lake is only 10 miles and is considered one of the most beautiful bike trails in the world. If you’re not hopping on a bike, then definitely consider renting a kayak to enjoy the lake’s scenic views.
Whitewater rafting in the Xiuguluan River Canyon
Want to get your adrenaline really pumping? There’s no better way to do so than by taking a guided whitewater rafting tour down Taiwan’s longest river. When you’re not busy flying down the rapids, you’ll have time to take in incredible views of the surrounding gorges and mountains along the way.
Climb Teapot Mountain
If you’re ready for some stellar views, you can hardly beat Teapot Mountain. You’ll have scenic views of miles of mountain peaks plus the endless blue ocean underneath you. All of the uphill hiking will be worth it when you get to the top! Plus, if you want more hiking after you’ve climbed Teapot Mountain, Taiwan has hundreds of peaks, so no matter where you go, there’s tonnes of options.
Escape to (another) Taiwanese island
Taiwan is a small island itself, but it also has several smaller nearby islands, each with their own distinct scenery, culture and offerings. Two of our favorites are Green Island and Orchid Island. You can go scuba diving or snorkeling and see tons of fish and coral. Or just relax in one of the natural hot springs.
Explore Taroko National Park
This is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Taiwan, and luckily, it’s really accessible! The Taroko Gorge rises up staggeringly from the turquoise Liwu River in some really dramatic landscapes. There’s plenty of trails, hot springs, and other ways to explore this scenic park. The Zhuilu Old Trail is one of the most famous (and scenic) trails, but you’ll need a permit so make sure you plan in advance. The Water Curtain Cave and the Scenic Swallow Grotto Trail are two more incredible scenic spots to make sure you see!
Is Taiwan at the top of your bucket list now? Once you’re ready to get your flights to Taiwan, we’ve got the deals.