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5-Day Private Food Tour of Taiwan Itinerary
Day 1 – Taipei City
- After flying into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, transferring to the capital, and resting up for a bit in your hotel, we’ll begin our gourmet expedition with an early-ish dinner that represents mainstream culinary traditions: Ultra-fresh ingredients braised, steamed or turned into soups; vegetables wok-fried with garlic; and delicious local fruit for dessert.
- After-dark Taipei is brim-full of distractions. Depending on your preferences, we can take you for a spot of shopping in glitzy Xinyi District, a wander through the far more traditional neighbourhood of Dihua Street, or a look at the gorgeous Baoan Temple. The evening will end with a look (and a sampling of traditional snacks) at one of Taipei’s night markets.
Day 2 – Wulai Scenic District
- Taipei is dominated by Taiwanese of Chinese descent, but just outside the capital there’s a gorgeously scenic district called Wulai. It’s popular with birdwatchers, hot-spring aficionados and hikers. Many of Wulai’s 6,000 residents are members of the Atayal ethnic group, one of the island’s 16 Austronesian indigenous tribes. For a quick introduction to Taiwan’s aboriginal people and their delicious food, we’ll drive you to some of Wulai’s most scenic corners before sitting down for a lunch that’ll include roasted meats and foraged vegetables.
- If you wish we can spend the entire day in Wulai. Alternatively, we can drive to one of the region’s fishing harbors for a seafood feast. As befits one of the world’s great fishing nations (Taiwan’s pelagic fishing fleet ranks no. 1 in the world for Pacific saury, no. 2 for tuna and no. 3 for squid), the Taiwanese have a tremendous appetite for seafood and love to eat at dockside restaurants.
Day 3 – Cooking Class and Yangmingshan National Park
- Today will be a day of markets, cookery classes and mountain views. We’ll make an earlyish start and meet Emily Wu, a famous chef who teaches Taiwanese cooking to the rich and famous. She’ll accompany you to one of the city’s morning markets for a traditional breakfast, then head to a seafood market. At both locations we’ll purchase supplies for your cookery class with Emily at her house, where you’ll prepare and enjoy lunch.
- After 2pm we’ll head out of the city to beautiful Yangmingshan National Park to see the flower blossoms and walk off lunch. At a renovated rice granary converted to a coffee shop, we’ll taste their renowned homemade cakes. Dinner will be at a seafood restaurant in an old fishing village. As we return to the city centre, you can let us know if you’re done for the day and eager to rest – or up for a night market or a bit of nightlife.
Day 4 – Tainan Ancient City
- After breakfast we’ll board a bullet train to Tainan, the city that served as Taiwan’s capital for more than 200 years and remains a bastion of tradition. South Taiwan has its own culinary specialities and we’ll enjoy several of these before your departure.
- Between touring sites of historical, spiritual or artistic importance – like Fort Zeelandia, the stronghold built by the Dutch East India Company in the the early 1630s, the serene Confucius Temple, and atmospheric Shennong Street – we’ll partake of local delicacies like oyster omelettes, danzai mian (peddler’s noodles) and milkfish soup. If you’d like to learn how trade in commodities like tea, rice and sugar impacted Taiwan, we recommend a couple of hours in the National Museum of Taiwan History.
Day 5 – Wrap Up
- Whatever time your flight out, we’ll help you make the most of your final day in Taiwan. Tainan HSR Station (where you’ll board the bullet train to the airport) is southeast of the city centre, we can show you a couple of sights on the way. One is Xinhua Old Street, an authentic merchants’ thoroughfare from the 1920s, behind which there is a thriving traditional morning market. Alternatively, if you tried something the previous day that stunned your palate, we can of course go back for more.