25 best things to do in Taiwan

The island nation of Taiwan is located just over 100 miles east of China, and although it is much smaller than its massive neighbor, Taiwan has much to offer visitors. Those looking for culture can visit the National Palace Museum, where they will find one of the world's largest collections of Chinese imperial artifacts, or one of the country's many Buddhist, Taoist and Mazuist temples. Tourists looking for natural beauty will also find it in great supply, with the otherworldly rock formations of Yehliu Geopark and the stunning rock walls and waterfalls of Taroko Gorge. Photo by Navintar / Fotolia

85 Sky Tower

The 85 Sky Tower in the city of Kaohsiung is the second tallest building in Taiwan. Its name comes from the 85 stories within this structure, stories filled with stores, boutiques, restaurants, a hotel and office space. On the 75. On the second floor, there is an observation deck open to visitors, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Kaohsiung city, Singuang ferry terminal and the city's beautiful harbor. Also on the observation deck, there are exhibitions of art, live music, and a small cafe where guests can enjoy food or drinks with a spectacular view. Contact: Nr. 5, Ziqiang 3. Street, Lingya district, Kaohsiung city, Taiwan 802 Photo: Great Rolo Pictures / Fotolia

Chimei Museum

The Chimei Museum prides itself on being a museum for all, so people from all over the world and from all backgrounds can visit their exhibitions, which range from fine art to historical weapons. The permanent exhibition of Chimei Museum is located in Tainan Metropolitan Park in Tainan City and includes about 4.000 objects, most of which are related to Western history, art and culture, but also in the fields of natural sciences and fossils. The Chimei Museum has several halls with permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year. Contact: No. 66, Section 2, Wenhua Road, Rende District, Tainan City, Taiwan 71755, Tel .: + 8-86-62-66-08-08 Photo: Tom Wang / Fotolia

Eternal Spring Shrine

The Eternal Spring Shrine is located in Taroko Gorge and is named after the high waterfall that springs from the cliffs below the temple and falls down the steep rocky cliffs. The shrine and temple commemorates the lives of more than 200 Taiwanese workers who died during the construction of the Cross-Island Highway in the 1950s. Visitors to the Eternal Spring Shrine will find a peaceful and serene place with a small pavilion connected to the temple by a bridge. A little exploration will even reveal a cave behind the shrine, filled with Taoist statues and some paths leading to even more beautiful natural elements in this stunning natural setting. Contact: 972, Taiwan, Hualien, Xiulin Township, Tel .: + 8-86-38-62-11-00 Photo: Keith / Fotolia

Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

The Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in Kaohsiung was built as a shrine to hold the relic of the sacred tooth of the Buddha, which is housed in the complex. The Tooth of Sakyamuni Buddha was originally erected up to 13. The temple was preserved in India in the sixteenth century when it was brought to Tibet. After the destruction of the temple where it was kept until 1968, the tooth was taken to India and finally to Taiwan, where it still stands today. The FGS Buddha Museum is a huge complex where visitors can learn about Buddhist culture and history through displays of art and artifacts, and an educational program designed to give visitors any background on this fascinating religion and way of life. Contact: 84049, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Dashu District, Tel .: + 8-86-76-56-30-33 Photo: Asiastock / Fotolia

Formosan Aboriginal Cultural Village

Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village celebrates the history and culture of Taiwan's indigenous people. This amusement park is a wonderful destination for visitors of all ages, offering rides from a traditional merry-go-round to a wet and wild ravine gorge. In the cultural square, visitors can also listen to traditional music and watch traditional dance performances that reflect the heritage of the aboriginal people. You can also participate in making some traditional crafts or, for the less artistic, buy some at the gift store. At the park's Aboriginal Villages, guests can explore the large open-air museum to learn about the traditional homes and lifestyles of Taiwanese aborigines. Contact: 555, Taiwan, Nantou County, Yuchi Township, Tel .: + 88-64-92-89-53-61 Photo: wizdata / Fotolia

Gold Museum

This open-air museum in the beautiful mountains of Jinghuashi is a reminder of the gold mining industry in Taiwan. It is the first museum in Taiwan to open with the intention of being an eco-museum, which means it seeks to breathe new life into the culture, buildings and mining relics of Jinghuashi. The museum is located in a building that once housed the Taiwan Metal Mining Corp. lived, and in it shows gold mining and the history of gold mining in the region, and displays many real mining artifacts from the old mine in Jinghuashi. On the second floor, visitors can see the many uses of gold, from money to art, as well as a huge gold treasure that weighs nearly 500 pounds. Contact: 224, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Ruifang District, Tel .88-62-24-96-28-00 Photo: eurostar1977 / Fotolia

Grand Matsu Temple

The goddess Matsu or Mazu is one of the most revered deities in Taiwan, thanks to the role she played in protecting Taiwanese on their journey to the island. Grand Matsu Temple in the city of Tainan is the largest of the many temples dedicated to its name, with an ornate exterior and richly decorated rooms and shrines inside. It was not always a temple, and in fact this huge complex was once a royal palace until the tragic death of the prince who lived there. Today, visitors can explore the huge main hall to find a massive golden statue of Matsu himself flanked on either side by Qianli Yuan and Xufong Er, two legendary monsters that Matsu is said to have transformed to help her as a force for good. Contact: No. 18, Lane 227, Section 2, Yongfu Road, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700, Phone: + 8-86-62-21-11-78 Photo: TravelShots.nl/photolia

Huashan 1914 Creative Park

The historic factory warehouse, now home to Huashan 1914 Creative Park, was once one of Taiwan's largest wine producers. However, when a group of actors rediscovered it in the 1990s, the vast open spaces stood empty. Actors turned a small corner into a performance space and were soon joined by local artists and writers. Today, Huashan 1914 Creative Park is a huge creative arts center celebrating music, art, theater, literature and culture of all kinds. Huashan is a great place to find incredibly unique works by local artists, as well as be an audience to some of the most talented individuals in Taiwan. Contact: No. 1, Section 1, Bad Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100, Phone: + 88-62-23-58-19-14 Photo: Trytoc / Fotolia

Lotus Lake Taoist Complex

The temple complex at Lotus Lake is so ornate and colorful that many visitors have the impression of going to an amusement park. With the large seven-story Dragon and Tiger Pagodas as the centerpiece, visitors enter the Lotus Lake Taoist Complex by entering the mouths of the dragon and tiger to follow a tunnel to the temple. Similarly, the Spring and Autumn Pavilions, two traditional pagoda towers, are connected by a bridge shaped like a dragon and ridden by Kuanyin, the goddess of mercy. The statues and buildings are all very colorful and ornate, with a level of detail that will amaze guests. Contact: No. 1435, Cuihua Road, Zuoying District, Taiwan Photo by Xiongmao / Fotolia

Lungshan Temple of Manka

The Lungshan Temple of Manka in Taipei is a Buddhist temple built in the 18th century. It was built in the seventeenth century by settlers from Fujian, China. The temple was built in honor of Guanyin, a bodhisattva of mercy and compassion, and her image can be found in the temple among those of over 100 other Buddhist deities. Longshan is a beautiful temple with colorful figures and decorations on the roof, depicting dragons, the sun and other traditional Buddhist features. Several times a day, worshippers participate in group sessions of chanting and prayer at the temple, and a visit during these events is one that will not soon be forgotten. Contact: No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10853 Phone: + 88-62-23-02-51-62 Photo: I-Wei Huang / Fotolia

Modern toilet restaurant

At the Modern Toilet Restaurant, guests enjoy the most delicious food of their lives. From the moment they sit down at a table in a seat from the toilet, diners at the Modern Toilet Restaurant will be engrossed in a very strange meal. Drinks at this establishment are served in small urinals. Meals are served in bowls and dishes that look like toilets and bathtubs. Despite the names and appearances of some of the menu items, which range from a batch of soft-serve chocolate ice cream to stews and soups that all look particularly gruesome when served in a toilet bowl, the food here is delicious and diners will Forget it Never forget their experience at the Modern Toilet restaurant. Contact: 33 Section 2, Zhongxiao West Road, Datong District, 103, Taiwan, Tel .: + 88-62-23-11-88-22 Photo: sv_produktion / Fotolia

National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium

At the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, visitors can explore exhibits depicting many different marine environments, as well as meet some of the fish and mammals that live there. There are three main areas within the museum and aquarium: Waters of Taiwan, Coral Kingdom Pavilion and Waters of the World. Visitors can see beluga whales and penguins and even touch some marine animals in the children's pool. Walking through the underwater tunnel, guests feel like they are under the waves as the fish swims around them. Photo: srady / Fotolia

National Museum of Natural Sciences

Visitors to the National Museum of Natural Sciences in the city of Taichung are in one of the most popular and top-rated museums in all of Taiwan. There are five venues on the museum campus, including halls for science, life science, human culture and the environment, as well as an IMAX theater where guests can experience the wonders of space like never before. There are also centers for earthquake research, education and ecology, and in a botanical garden guests can learn about plants from around the world. Contact: No. 1, Guanqian Street, North District, Taichung City, Taiwan 404, Phone: + 88-64-23-22-69-40 Photo: Budimir Jevtic / Fotolia

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National Palace Museum

The National Palace Museum is located in the city of Taipei and is considered to be one of the world's most important collectors of Chinese imperial art and artifacts. Many of the treasures within the museum were shipped to Taiwan for safekeeping during the more turbulent and dangerous times of Chinese history in the last century. Today, the collection includes more than 700.000 pieces. Visitors to the National Palace Museum can explore a vast maze of exhibits detailing the history of past Chinese dynasties. You can also spend time in the museum's gardens, walking along paths along the edges of peaceful ponds and visiting traditional bridges and pavilions. Contact: No. 221, Sec 2, Zhi Shan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei, Taiwan 111, Tel .: + 88-62-28-81-20-21 Photo: vichie81 / Fotolia

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National Taiwan Museum

The National Taiwan Museum was founded in 1908 by the Japanese government during Taiwan's Japanese colonial period. It is the only museum in Taiwan that was built during the Japanese colonial period and is still open today. Inside, visitors can see the many exhibits to learn about Taiwanese culture, wildlife and geology, with special focus on anthropology, zoology, botany and earth science topics. The museum offers its visitors permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational programs and special events, with the goal of educating everyone who walks through its doors. Contact: No. 2, Xiangyang Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100, Phone: + 88-62-23-82-25-66 Photo: Richie Chan / Fotolia

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Rainbow Family Village

When an old man, nearly 90 years old, first picked up a paintbrush and started putting paint on the walls of the military-dependent village where he lived in Taichung, no one had any idea what he would soon create. Huang Yung-Fu, better known as Grandpa Rainbow, is a military veteran and the only resident of Rainbow Family Village. Over the years, he has painted the walls, houses, streets and every other available surface of the small village with swirling designs, different shapes and colorful figures, all done in every shade of the rainbow. One of the best kept secrets in Taiwan, Rainbow Family Village is a place that is absolutely unique. Contact: 22 Lane 56, Chunan Street, Nantun District, 408, Taiwan

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Shifen Waterfall

Shifen Waterfall, which is about 20 meters high and 40 meters wide, making it the widest waterfall in Taiwan, is a horseshoe-shaped waterfall in Shifen in New Taipei City. It is located on the Keelung River and visitors to the waterfall will most likely notice a rainbow or two created by the stream of water as it falls into the pool below. Shifen Waterfall is not accessible by vehicle, but visitors can take a short, 15-minute walk from the nearby town; If you prefer to hike, check out the Sandiaoling Waterfall Trail, which takes about 3 to 4 hours to complete. Contact: 226, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Pingxi District, Tel .: + 88-62-24-95-84-09 Photo: GraceTang / Fotolia

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Shilin Night Market

There are several night markets in Taipei City, but the Shilin Night Market is considered the largest. This place in Shilin County near the Keelung River has been a market for over 100 years and hosts hundreds of stalls selling souvenirs, goods and most importantly food.Visitors to the Shilin night market should be sure to try local specialties such as stinky tofu, a fermented dish often compared to blue cheese for its strong smell and complex flavor, or an oyster omelet served with egg, chives and delicious fresh oyster. Contact: No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111, Phone: + 88-62-28-81-55-57 Photo: Oomy / Fotolia

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Songshan Culture and Creative Park

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park is located in an old building that was once home to a tobacco factory. When it was transformed into Songshan Culture and Creative Park, it was a hub for all things creative. Visitors can visit exhibitions by local artists, buy handmade goods at craft fairs and find stores selling books, records and other creative works. The park also houses many conference and classrooms where visitors can attend workshops, seminars and courses on the creation of various types of art. Contact: No. 133, Guangfu South Street, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110, Phone: + 88-62-27-65-13-88 Photo: ChenPG / Fotolia

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Taipei Museum of Fine Arts

Taipei Fine Arts Museum was the first museum in all of Taiwan devoted exclusively to contemporary and modern art. Focuses on Taiwanese artists to promote the creation and expansion of art culture in Taiwan, although many temporary exhibitions also come from outside the country. The architecture of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum is a work of art in itself and visitors to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum will find four floors of galleries and exhibition halls ranging from paintings to photographs to sculptures for their perusal and entertainment. Contact: No. 181, Section 3, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10461, Tel .: + 88-62-25-95-76-56 Photo: Coffmancmu / Fotolia

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Taipei Zoo

Taipei Zoo was opened in 1914 and is the oldest zoo in Taiwan. It is a leader in conservation and research, and visitors to the zoo can see a variety of animals from around the world at this 400-hectare park, including koala bears, penguins and pangolins. Taipei Zoo is also home to the Panda House, where visitors can see the panda bears that call the zoo home. Free tickets for the Panda House are available at the entrance of the zoo, as the facility can only accommodate a certain number of visitors at a time. Contact: No. 30, Section 2, Xinguang Road, Wenshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 116, Phone: + 8-86-22-93-82-30-06-30 Photo: insjoy / Fotolia

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Taroko Gorge

Taroko Gorge once belonged to the Trukus, who are native to Taiwan, and the name they gave Taroko means "beautiful". or? great ?. One look at the sheer cliffs of limestone and marble, or the dramatic waterfalls and raging rivers that look like babbling brooks at the bottom of the gorge, is all it takes to understand why. Visitors to Taroko Gorge can experience the beauty of the Eternal Spring Shrine, cross the long, dangerous-looking suspension bridges that stretch over the precipice, and brave the darkness of the Tunnel of the Nine Curves for a spectacular view of the falls from the other end. Contact: Xiulin Township, 972, Taiwan Photo: Sanga / Fotolia

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The Dome of Light

The Dome of Light is located in the busiest metro station in the city of Kaohsiung, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. The Dome of Light consists of over 4.500 colored glass panels and is the largest glass artwork in the world, rising above the heads of subway users as they enter the station. The exterior of the station is also quite impressive, with curved glass entrances that resemble hands folded in prayer. The dome light itself consists of four sections, each depicting images about the universe, humanity and Taiwan's own complicated history. Contact: 115 Zhongshan 1. Street, Xinxing District, Taiwan Photo by Nicholashan / Fotolia

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The High Heel Church

Cinderella might have had a harder time forgetting her shoe if it looked like this. With 320 blue glass panels rising up to form the shape of a massive blue stiletto, this modern structure is certainly not to be missed. The building was only completed in 2016 and is designed to attract women to this place of worship. The High Heel Church is well suited for weddings and other events; there is a large outdoor stage built into the outside of the shoe, and loveseats for guests inside the church. Contact: Haixing Street, Budai Township, Chiayi County, Taiwan 625, Phone: + 8-86-67-86-10-00 Photo: Vladitto / Fotolia

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Yehliu Geopark

The rock formations at Yehliu Geopark look like they would fit right into a sculpture park or art installation, but in fact these oddly shaped features were sculpted by nature itself, over centuries and millennia of wind and waves pounding the stone into its current forms. There are the iconic hoodoos, tall columns of top heavy stones that resemble mushrooms, and walls of stone covered with honeycomb-like pockets. Visitors to Yehliu should take care to respect the delicacy of these natural phenomena and stay away from certain clearly marked formations to preserve these amazing rocks for centuries to come. Contact: Gangdong Road, Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan, 207 Photo: hin255 / Fotolia

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