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7-Day Natural Wonders Tour Itinerary
- Tour duration: 7 days
- Tour departs from Taipei, Taiwan – Pick up from your hotel/B&B
Day 1 – Taipei City Tour
- Fly into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei. By the time you’ve transferred to your hotel in the capital, we’ll have finalised a plan for the rest of the day that matches your interests and energy levels. Depending on time available and weather, this may include a look at Taipei Botanical Garden, or one of the popular short hikes on Elephant Mountain.
- Visiting the fabulous National Palace Museum is an option, especially if you’re arriving on a Friday or Saturdays when it stays open to 9pm (closing time is 6.30pm on other days). Alternatively, you may want nothing more strenuous than a soak in a hot spring, a visit to Taipei 101 and its observatory for sunset views over the city, or a stroll around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (a landmark dedicated to Taiwan and Nationalist China’s former leader).
Day 2 – Taipei to Taroko National Park
- We recommend making a reasonably early start and eating a hearty breakfast because we have a four-hour drive ahead of us. The journey can be broken with a stop at the hot & cold springs park in Jiaoxi in Yilan County, or a walk on the windswept Pacific-facing beach at Dongao. A good option for lunch en route is the acclaimed aboriginal restaurant Dageeli.
- Arriving in Taroko National Park around 2pm will give us time to visit the Eternal Spring Shrine and the Yanzikou Trail (Swallow Grotto) before checking into our preferred hotel at 4pm. The property has excellent food and spa services, outdoor and indoor pools, and is a short walk from Xiangde Temple.
Day 3 – Taroko National Park
- Today can be as energetic as you like. Depending on your enthusiasm for walking and your passion for stunning natural landscapes, we can take you along the flat but very pretty Baiyang Trail, the more challenging hike up to Lianhua Pond, or to the Lushui Trail to glimpse macaques.
- If you’re the kind of person happy to enjoy the national park from a car seat, we’ll drive you to the best vantage points, and have lunch at Buluowan, a former Truku aboriginal settlement where there are demonstrations of indigenous handicrafts.
Day 4 – Sun Moon Lake
- After breakfast, we’ll head into the higher reaches of Taroko National Park, stopping if you like for hot ginger tea at Bilu Sacred Tree, a 50m high, 3,200-year-old Lunta fir. We’ll make regular stops, including one at the road’s highest point (3,275m above sea level), so you can photograph the gorgeous scenery and stretch your legs. Lunch can be a feast of roast chicken and mountain vegetables – or a simple picnic nearly two miles above sea level.
- We expect to get you to the lakeshore around 4pm, in time for a delightful cruise on a private boat to enjoy views of the water and the surrounding mountains.
Day 5 – Sun Moon Lake
- Almost everyone agrees that just after daybreak, as the sun climbs up over the nearby peaks, is a splendid moment to appreciate the beauty of Sun Moon Lake. Today you’ll have time to linger awhile in your hotel, if you desire, or take a stroll along the lakeshore.
- For lunch, we’ll drive a short distance from the lake to the town of Puli, and to Jindu (a restaurant where presidents and celebrities often dine). After the feast you’ll undoubtedly want to stretch your legs so we’ll bring you to Antique Assam Tea Farm. This restored Japanese-era tea plantation is as educational as it is scenic; tastings can be arranged.
- In the afternoon, we can lead you through various fun activities: Cycling along the bike path, gentle hikes, and sightseeing. Among the lakeside attractions we’ll visit are Cien Pagoda (built on the orders of Chiang Kai-shek to honour his late mother), and a pair of temples that preserve relics associated with Xuan Zang, a Buddhist monk revered for travelling from China to India in 7th century and translating religious texts.
Day 6 – Lugu Tea District and Laiji
- Today we’re returning to the high mountains. Depending on whether we take the lowland or the highland route (the latter is sometimes closed to traffic), we may be able to stop in the tea-growing district of Lugu en route to Alishan, location of Taiwan’s famed century-old logging railway. In Lugu, we’ll immerse ourselves in one of Taiwan’s most beautiful bamboo forests, and lunch on bamboo, mountain chicken, and vegetables grown locally. We recommend you also sample some of the fine oolong teas that have won a global reputation.
- Then begins our aboriginal adventure. Up in the mountains and next to a river, we’ll stay in the tiny indigenous village of Laiji near Alishan. We have good friends there and will arrange for a traditional dinner: wild-boar meat, yams and foraged vegetables cooked over an open fire.
Day 7 – Wrap up
- Whatever time you fly out, we’ll help you make the very most of your final day in Taiwan. If you’re up early you can ramble around a mountain village and see indigenous folk go about their daily lives.
- From Laiji it’s a scenic two-hour drive to Chiayi or Yunlin High-Speed Railway stations. Depending on your flight time, we may be able to work in a stop or two along the way. If you’ve not already had a chance to see tea plantations up close, we can halt at Shizhuo. Perhaps you’d like to see an ancient and perennially bustling place of worship like Xingang Fengtian Temple.