The Taipei National Palace Museum is a world class museum that hosts a wide collection of treasures and relics kept by generations of Emperors who ruled in the Forbidden City. During WWII, nationalist troops held the most important pieces to prevent invaders from raiding China’s national treasures. They were eventually brought to Taiwan where they placed them in the museum styled like a Northern Chinese palace. Hundreds of thousands of historical relics are housed in the museum making up the world’s most complete and precious collection of ancient Chinese artefacts. The relics cover over 5,000 years of China’s history and politics.
Martyr’s Shrine, is a shrine that was built to honour the fallen Kuomintang soldiers after the Chinese Civil War and government relocations to Taiwan. It is home to around 390,000 spirit tablets honouring the lives and sacrifices the Kuomintang soldiers during the war against the communists in mainland China. The complex was built in 1969 and contains the main shrine with several other small exhibitions around it. If you are visiting this shrine make sure you stay for the guard changing procedure that takes place every hour throughout the day and be sure to walk inside the shrine to explore the fascinating and beautiful Chinese architecture.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is a historical landmark located in Taipei city. It was erected in 1980 in honour of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the former President of the Republic of China. The octagon shaped white building is 76 metres high and covered in blue tiles and red accents replicating the flag of the Republic of China. There are eight sides to the building which is a Chinese cultural symbol associated with fortune and wealth. Two sets of 89 steps lead to the main hall where you can see a large statue of Chiang protected by military personnel who change every hour. Below the hall is a museum displaying Chiang’s life and career, as well as an exhibition of Taiwan’s history, pan-Chinese culture and history and ROC’s developments after moving to Taiwan.
Taroko National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan. Taroko National Park was named after Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park carved by the Liwu River. It was originally established as the Tsugitaka Taroko National Park during 1937 when Taiwan was a part of the Empire of Japan. After the Empire of Japan’s was defeated in World War II, the Republic of China took over Taiwan. The ROC government subsequently abolished the park on 15 August 1945. It was not until the 28th of November 1986 that the park was re-established. The park spans through Taichung City, Nantou County and Hualien County.
Sun Moon Lake is located in the mountains of Nantou and is the largest lake in Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake is surrounded by forest peaks, foot trails, an Aboriginal Culture Village and a cable car to see the spectacular views of the mountains and the water below. Sun Moon Lake’s name is inspired by the beauty of the area, with the east side of the lake being round like the sun and the west side having a shape of a crescent moon. Around the lake aboriginal Thao tribes live and run their own local businesses. As a visitor you can visit Ita Thao which is located across the lake from the pier area and next to the Sun Moon Lake Ropeway. In the centre of the lake is a small island, Lalu which is a reserved spot for aboriginal religious practices so it is prohibited to the public. You can also access the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village theme park by ropeway gondola. Enjoy the beautiful sites, as well as the historical and traditional culture practices at the Sun Moon Lake.
Tse En Pagoda is a nine story pagoda built up on 954 metres high Shabalan Mountain in which you can see the stunning Moon Lake on the left and the Sun Lake on the right. It was completed in 1971, on the fifth anniversary of Lady Wang, the mother of Chiang Kai-Shek. Tse En Pagoda is built in accordance with the standard type of Chinese pagoda and is unique with a story relating to the past president Chiang Kai-Shek and his family. Enjoy this secluded pagoda and the intricate details that relate the unique strong president Chiang Kai-Shek and his family left behind.
Anping District is the historical heart of Tainan and is home to the Anping Old Fort, the Anping Tree House and numerous other restaurants and food stalls. As you walk around the area you feel a mix of western (especially Dutch) and Chinese culture through historical buildings and colonial forts, landing areas and entrance to the harbour. Try some of the local foods, step back in time to Tainan’s colonial times and enjoy the beautiful nature.
Chihkan Tower was built by the Dutch in 1653 by Dutch colonials. The Dutch used the fort for their outpost during their attempts to conquer and take over Taiwan. It was originally known as “Fort Provintia” but became “Chihkan Temple” or “Red Haired Tower” after the Han people. The Towers walls are designed with red bricks made from a mixture of concrete, sticky rice, sugared water and oyster cell with allows the building to stand for many centuries. The Tower today serves as a place students go to pray to Kuei Xin Ye, the god of education and fortune for their studies and examinations.
Liu He Night Market is located in downtown Kaohsiung. It is famous for its wide variety of snacks, steakhouses and seafood shops. Liu He Market has successfully shaped the overall image of the international-level gourmet sightseeing night market, creating new attractions for leisure and consumption. The variety of dishes are unforgettable. The rich taste of snacks is well-known throughout Taiwan. Kaohsiung’s special papaya milk and salt steamed shrimp are must try foods.
The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas belong to the temple Cihiji Palace, which is located right across the street. Cihji Palace houses Baosheng Dadi, who along with other deities, are the patron saints of the area. The original Cihji Palace was built in the 17th century. Under Japanese rule the temple became a military base so the patron saints were moved to other locations temporarily. It wasn’t until 1959 that the construction of the current temple was complete. In 1974, Baosheng Dadi ordered that the Dragon Tiger Pagodas be built. The two seven story pagodas were complete in 1976. In Chinese culture, dragons symbolize auspicious power and strength and they have strong control over water (such as floods or rain). While the tiger symbolizes prowess, righteousness and harmony.
Longshan Temple is the most well-known temple in Taiwan and was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian background as a gathering place for Chinese settlers. It is believed to be Taiwan’s most well preserved Fujianese style architectures from the Qing dynasty. Longshan Temple has been named a national historical site and one of the most beautiful temples in Taiwan.
Sanyi Township is a rural township located in the southern Miaoli County in Taiwan. It is famous for its wood carving industry earning it the name Woodcarving Kingdom of Taiwan. Early exploitation in Sanyi township was for timber and hides. Later tung oil was extracted from the abundant tung trees and camphor from the camphor trees. After that the wood carving industry developed and over 80% of the local families were employed in wood carving. At the end of the 20th century Sanyi began developing a tourist industry.
Take the trip of a life time to a cultural and foody hot spot, Taiwan. Take a trip through Taipei city, visit the vast Taroko Gorge, see the stunning Sun Moon Lake, visit the old capital of Tainan, and see the Dutch colonies hide away spot in Kaohsiung as well as the lotus lake with the famous Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in Lukang.
Board your international flight to Taiwan today.
Note: Some flights may depart one day after.
Welcome to Taipei, Taiwan! Upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, please make your way to the arrivals gate where your tour guide will be waiting for you. Your tour guide will transfer you to your hotel.
Taipei is widely regarded as the political, economic and cultural centre of Taiwan. Taipei consists of 12 distinct districts, each with its own style and charm. Taipei is an amazing modern city with an innumerable amount of historical attractions, numerous acclaimed night markets, shopping districts, as well as cultural corners with modern coffee houses, museums, and roaring nightlife. Shi-Da Night market is full of people every night tasting the street foods, Ximending Youth Shopping District is full of excitement and entertainment for all ages, check out Longshan Temple one of the religious and cultural landmarks of Taipei, see Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall with its high blue steeple and white base, go to various other temples and immerse yourself in the local culture by trying Taiwanese tea, famous desserts and pineapple cakes.
Taipei (B, D)
Today, we will begin by doing a half day tour of Taipei city. We will start by taking a visit to the Presidential Building and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. Explore the National Palace Museum, one of the biggest museums in the world housing 7,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artefacts and artworks. After that head to the memorial site for the fallen Kuomintang soldiers at Martyr's Shrine. Then make your way to one of the largest and oldest temples in Taiwan, the Chinese Temple. Followed by Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall erected in honour of General Chiang Kai Shek, the former President of the Republic of China. Buy some local handicrafts and souvenirs at the Handicraft Centre and make a detour past the Presidential building featuring the Office of the President of China.
Taipei Taroko (B, D)
Today’s highlight is a visit to Taroko National Park. Just 15km north of Hualien lies Taroko Gorge, Taiwan’s top tourist destination. The park covers over 120,000 hectares and rises from sea level in the east to over 3700m further west. The aquamarine Liwu River cuts through the centre, forging deep slitted valleys before joining the sea. Take in the majestic scenery of the Taroko Gorge, a place that has to be seen to be believed. Stop off at the Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Grotto, The Tunnel of Nine Turns, Marble Bridge Tienshiang and the Marble Factory. Return to Taipei City.
Taroko Scenic Mountain Road Sun Moon Lake (B, D)
This morning travel to Sun Moon Lake, located in the middle of Taiwan, and situated 762 metres above sea level in the lofty mountains of central Taiwan. We will cross from East to West through the island Scenic Mountain Road. Stopping at the famous Wenwu Temple and Mt Hehuan visitor centre to see a 360 view of the 3, 400 metre mountain cliff and the beautiful lake.
Sun Moon Lake Tainan (B, D)
Today make your way from the beautiful Sun Moon Lake to the old ancient capital of Tainan. Make a stop at the Tang styled shrine constructed by Tang Xuanzang, the Holy Monk Shrine. Continue on to Tehua Village known for its long history of the Tsao tribe and their local businesses as well as Tse En Pagoda to reach the commanding point of the Sun Moon Lake. Finish up your day by vising the oldest city in Taiwan, Tainan. Be taken back in time to the colonial settlement period and feel a mixture of western and Chinese culture in Anping Old Fort as well as the other local quaint shops and museums.
Taitung Kaohsiung (B, D)
This morning we head to Kaohsiung to visit the Chihkan Tower and the Taiwan Confucius Temple. Chihkan Tower was built in 1653 by the Dutch as an outpost site during the colonization of Taiwan. It is surrounded by statues and beautiful green gardens. We then visit the first Confucian Temple to be built in Taiwan to get an insight into the ancient Confucian ceremonies and rituals. Afterwards, enjoy a light vegetarian lunch at the Fonguanshan Monastery with a tour through the main shrine and Buddhist museum as well as a tour through downtown Kaohsiung City. By night time we will stroll through the Liu He Night Market where you can try a range of seafood. Bring an appetite and enjoy the downtown energy!
Kaohsiung Lukang Taipei (B, L)
Today, visit the uniquely painted and tiled Dragon and Tiger Pagoda located on Lotus Lake, in Kaohsiung. Afterwards, visit the Spring and Autumn Pavilions to capture the beautiful reflection of this unique pavilion over the lake. The bridge connecting the Spring and Autumn pavilions is a good spot for lotus viewing in the summer time and if you look out from the left side of the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda you can see the Spring and Autumn Pavilions. We then visit Lukang which is famous for the Longshan temple and markets. Longshan temple is one of the largest temples in Lukang and is one of the most well-preserved Fujianese styled architecture from the Qing dynasty. Follow the winding Lukang Old Market Street to traditional Taiwanese styled houses, the narrow alleyways and the array of seafood and traditional foods. We will then travel to the Sanyi, famous for its wood carvings, architecture, Hakka style foods and lush green hiking trails.
Taipei Australia (B)
After this, we will head back to Taipei city where we will depart for Taoyuan International Airport.
Board your flight via a connecting city back to Australia.
Arrive Australia this morning.