Start your Taiwan itinerary in Taoyuan
The first city upon arrival in Taiwan
Taoyuan serves as an important interchange for various forms of transportation all the time. As the first station that welcomes foreigners travelling to Taiwan, this beautiful garden city has numerous popular attractions, such as Sacred Trees on Lala Mountain that is as well-known as Alishan, Baroque style Daxi Old Street that combines Eastern and Western cultures, Shihmen Reservoir that is the most beautiful and well-known reservoir in Northern Taiwan. In addition, there are many large shopping malls with excellent discounts. These are sure to catch your eye. Furthermore, Taoyuan is also the gustatory heaven with the most concentrated Burmese food diners in Taiwan. Visitors can taste authentic Yunnan cuisine and Thai delicacies in Taoyuan, thus experiencing the unique experience of enjoying two styles in a country.
The first station
Taoyuan Airport MRT
Taoyuan Airport MRT is connected to Taiwan Railways, THSR and Taipei Metro; there are two types of the train: the express train and the commuter train which stops at every station. Traveling to Taipei Station from Taoyuan International Airport by express train takes only 35 and 39 minutes, departing at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, respectively. It only takes 19 minutes to travel from Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 to Taoyuan THSR Station by commuter train, and visitors can use the MRT to tour Taoyuan. It is the most convenient mode of transportation for visitors reaching Taiwan!
Recommendation：Get around Taoyuan by the Airport MRT
Taiwan Tourist Shuttle is a specialized tourism shuttle company that brings visitors from various stations to famous attractions in Taiwan. The affordable price, easy wait and frequent buses make it very suitable for backpackers and solo travelers. There are three main lines in Taoyuan; the visitors can choose historical or nature routes.
More：Daxi Express Route
Shihmen Reservoir Route
Visit the first sacred tree
Meet the Sacred Trees
By taking the North-Cross Island Highway, one can reach the Lala Mountain in Fuxing District. Lala Mountain has the most concentrated Taiwan cypress trees in Northern Taiwan. Visitors can walk along the mountain trail and observe the 500-3000 year old Taiwan cypress while showering in phytoncide from the forest in Lala Mountain.
Sacred Tree Trail in Lala Mountain
Distance: 3.3 km
Time required: 1.5-3 hours
Opening hours: 6am-5pm
The temperature on the mountain is low. Please bring a jacket.
Must-Try Mountain Produce
Peach is the most famous produce from Lala Mountain. During the summer when peach is in season, there are many vendors selling juicy peaches along North-Cross Island Highway. One can even try the luxurious peach ice-blended from shops in Jiaoban Mountain Shopping District or Balong region. If one wishes to experience the joy of fruit picking, one can also ask the shopkeepers or the visitor center.
In addition to peaches, tender mountain trout, refreshing persimmon that is produced in autumn and seasonal vegetable dishes are all must-try mountain dishes.
Enjoy the beauty of living in the mountain
On top of having a different appearance in a different season, Lala Mountain has different trekking trails, creeks, hot springs, water curtain as well as a waterfall. Along with the fruit picking experience, it is a popular tourist attraction despite being further away from the city. It is very suitable for visitors with a car to stay for a few nights to experience nature at Lala Mountain.
Slowly roam the first old street
Daxi Old Street
With influence from the Qing dynasty,Japanese colonization and Western culture: one can observe the remains of different cultures and century-long nostalgia. The patterns from Fukien traditional clothing merged seamlessly with the Baroque style building, form the unique elegance here.When visiting the century-old street, not only should one try traditional Taiwanese snacks like Daxi dried tofu and moon cake, but also try traditional Taiwanese games like spinning top. Alternatively, one can choose to go to a tea shop or café to enjoy the historical culture at Daxi.
Delicacies and souvenirs that you should not miss：
Dried tofu, savory rice pudding, tofu pudding, moon cake, peanut sweet, triangular rice ball, vegetarian Taiwanese meatball, mille-feuille, spinning top.
Sankeng Old Street
The winding Sankeng Old Street, which is inaccessible by cars, still preserves the most traditional Hakka Zhaung Street structure, brick walls, hebaixi and witnesses the history and past glory of the old street.
The traditional style Sankeng Old Street has many hidden gems, including the most authentic Hakka delicacies. Niu wenshu is a Hakka traditional snack that is made by drizzling black sugar ginger syrup, crushed peanut, and sesame on rice balls. It has the chewiness and fragrance of glutinous rice. Hakka style vegetable buns wrap various ingredients such as radish and dried shrimps with skin made from rice peanut milk. It is simple but tasty and is a must-try delicacy.
Delicacies that you cannot miss：
niu wenshui, Hakka style vegetable bun, Hakka style rice ball, flat rice noodle, Hakka Ai Pan.
Enjoy the view of the first reservoir
The beautiful Shihmen Reservoir serves as a place for relaxation and water storage. There are rich outdoor activities, including cycling on the bicycle trail, trekking on the mountain trail as well as riding a yacht around the lake, making it an excellent travel spot for locals or visitors. In addition, there are large scale activities such as Shihmen Fish Festival and Hot Air Balloon Carnival allowing people to taste the deliciousness of fish dishes and enjoy the glorious hot air balloons with spotlight sculpture!Shihmen Reservoir tour
Shop at the first shopping mall
There are many large shopping malls in the easily accessible Taoyuan City. Each shopping mall has its own unique characteristic but all have economical desserts and delicacies as well as high-class foreign restaurants, providing tastes from different countries. In addition, shopping malls also have well-known brands from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Europe, and the USA. One can easily find things one wants, be it clothing, electronics, travel products or family products. This provides visitors with a comfortable shopping experience.
- The midyear celebration and the anniversary for shopping malls in Taoyuan take place in May-June and September-December respectively. There are great discounts during these two periods
- One can go to the official website or the Facebook page to check “discounted brands recently, or what are the brands with a discount?”
- Check the map of the shopping mall online beforehand or get a copy of the map at the shopping mall.
- Choose the brand you are interested in and arrange your shopping order.
Money exchange + Tax refund
Some shopping malls provide money exchange service. The rate and the currency follow the information announced by the shopping mall website or the Facebook page.
All shopping malls provide a tax refund service. As long as you spend at least NTD2000 in the same store on the same day, you can go to the customer service center and ask for a tax refund application form. This form can be brought to an international airport or international port for a tax refund.
Global Mall A8
- Money exchange service provided
- Near Airport MRT A8 Station
- The first shopping mall that is linked with the Airport MRT in Taiwan.
- It contains internationally known brands, departmental store, and chain restaurants.
- The first large scale shopping and relaxation center in Taiwan
- he main filming location for “Office Girls”
- It contains internationally renowned brands, departmental store, cinema, and chain restaurants.
MetroWalk Shopping Center
- Its outstanding modern appearance makes it a landmark in Taoyuan.
- Providing shuttle service to and from Taoyuan THSR Station
- Occasional Live Band performance with visual arts in the mall
- The filming location for many dramas
- Near Exit 6 of Taoyuan THSR Station and Airport MRT A18 Station
- The first American style outdoor shopping outlet village
- Well-equipped family facilities and internationally renowned stores
- Money exchange service provided
Taste the first foreign dish
You can try authentic Yunnan and Burmese delicacies in Taoyuan! In the past (about 1950s), the market in Zhongli Longgang was the region where the Thai, Vietnamese and Burmese soldiers lived after retreating. The people who retreated with the army lived here and brought the unique Burmese food culture to Taiwan. Local Burmese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines such as rice noodle made from rice, a dairy fan that has a thick milk fragrance (tastes like cheese), the sour and spicy Yunnan style sliced pig scalp and the refreshing mango salad have all become the unique parts of the local cuisine!
Yiyu Yunnan Restaurant
It is one of the few large scale Yunnan restaurants in Longgang region. Amongst the 6 selected Yunnan delicacies, dust-pan rice (rice eaten with hands) is the most unique dish. If you wish to experience the most primitive ethnic food culture, invite a few family members or friends to enjoy the large dustpan rice.
Address：No. 27, Longde Rd., Zhongli Dist., Taoyuan City
Buyiyang Eatery is one of the few halal restaurants in Taiwan. The three must-try dishes include the special chicken dumpling, Thai basil chili chicken made with Nanfeng spices and “Tang Ming Bao” which is uniquely sold in Taiwan. “Tang Ming Bao” is a unique dish, consisting of rice made with chicken stock, crispy and golden chicken, spring onion and peanuts. The special texture is definitely worth a try!
Opening hours：09:00-20:00，Closed on Wednesdays
Address：No. 46, Longdong Rd., Zhongli Dist., Taoyuan City
Tang Ji Steamed Rice Noodles
Located in Zhongzhen Market, Tang Rice Noodle is a famous store in the Longgang District. In addition to handmade rice noodle, one can also choose rice vermicelli and dairy fan. In addition, there are also snacks, salads, and stir-fried dishes. This store allows customers to try all Burmese dishes at once!
Address：No. 214, Longdong Rd., Zhongli Dist., Taoyuan City
Amay Rice Noodle
Not only does Amay Rice Noodle sell foreign eatery, but it also carries the story of lone armies and the culture of minority tribes in China. Entering the shop is like entering a miniature museum. The wall is decorated with artifacts the founder had when fighting the Burmese war. One can understand the local stories of Longgang while savoring rice noodles.
Address：No. 142, Zhongshan Rd., Pingzhen Dist., Taoyuan City
Guoqiwu (Flag House) Rice Noodle
Guoqiwu (Flag House) is an eatery decorated with Taiwanese flags inside and outside. It is a small but popular eatery in the area and offers a great taste of military dependent village. It still has the authentic local rice noodle, sliced pig scalp, and pea meal, and is a must-go store for foodies!
Opening hours：Weekdays 05:00-14:30，Closed on Thursdays；Weekends 5am-7pm
Address：No. 221, Longping Rd., Zhongli Dist., Taoyuan City