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Think you know Taiwan? Here are some sights you may not have encountered in the country
In the huge peninsula of Taiwan, you’ll find an inexhaustible array of incredible sights — both man-made and natural — beyond the usual shopping and eating spoils that the country is known for.
The next time you visit, bookmark these places to visit, some of which you can enjoy with guided and private tours offered by Changi Recommends.
As purveyors of day tours catered for time-strapped tourists who are looking for less travelled destinations, Changi Recommends lets one delve into local culture through food and scenic spots.
Plus, they offer a range of services to travellers entering and exiting Singapore, including rental of mobile Wi-Fi router, train passes, prepaid cards and last minute hotel bookings.
For a truly personalised experience, opt for the private charter, which gives you the ability to customise your tours and where you want to visit. The free-and-easy day tour includes chauffeur service, to help you explore outside the city centres.
Best of all? Document it all easily on social media when you use the Wi-Fi rental service, which lets you enjoy unlimited data (from as low as $5 per day, with first day rental fee waived) throughout the trip and connectivity for up to six devices.
1. Hayashi Department Store, Tainan
A monument from the Taiwan’s era of Japanese rule, Hayashi Department Store (commonly called “Five-story Building”) was originally completed and opened in December 1932.
It was designed by a Japanese architect and was the first store in Taiwan to have a full operating elevator. Locals reportedly travelled across the country just to take a ride on this new-fangled pulley.
At the end of World War II, the building was bombed by the United States airplanes, and it has since undergone refurbishment and restoration. Today, it houses levels of local specialties, hipster handicrafts and a coffee shop. On the rooftop is a Torii gate with its top pole removed — the KMT’s way of ‘getting back’ at the Japanese then.
2. Yehliu Geopark, Taipei
A surprising find near Taipei, Yehliu Geopark is a land of wacky natural formations that wouldn’t be out of place in the Jurassic period.
Part of the Daliao Miocene Formation, the geopark forms a 1,700m-long cape stretching from the town of Wanli that has been shaped by thousands of years of geological movement.
Look for the iconic “Queen’s Head”, as well as other odd formations like the Sea Candles, Fairy Shoe, Ice Cream Rock, Kissing Rock and Princess’ Head.
Visit Yehliu Geopark on a one-day private charter here.
3. Chimei Museum, Tainan
A European museum with classical Greek sculptures in Taiwan? You read that right.
Tainan, which is the former and historical capital of Taiwan, is home to a private museum that houses an impressive collection of artifacts ranging from taxidermied specimens to Renaissance paintings.
There’s even a giant remodelled statue of Rodin’s “The Thinker”, and the world’s largest violin collection, from which famed musicians and orchestras have loaned pieces to play at award-winning performances.
4. Paragliding in Nantou
Nantou is a county blessed with majestic mountains and the famous Sun Moon Lake, but here’s an even better way to achieve an unprecedented view of these natural wonders.
Soar over some of Taiwan’s most beautiful landscapes on a paragliding flight, guided by professional and licensed instructors. You can book a session for your visit via Changi Recommends, which offers a 10- to 15-minute guided flight over Nantou, complete with equipment rental, GoPro video recording and even shuttle bus services.
Check out the Nantou Paragliding voucher here.
5. Cherry blossoms, various national parks
If you’ve checked out the sakura blooms in Singapore and want to see them on a more impressive scale, Taiwan will surprise you. Several national parks and scenic areas around the country have cherry trees that will bloom in all shades of pink during Spring.
Some areas to check out include the Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi, Yangmingshan National Park in Taipei, Wuling Farm in Taichung, the Wuji Tianyuan Temple in New Taipei and Sun Moon Lake in Nantou.
Visit Alishan, Yangmingshan and Sun Moon Lake on tours here.
Brought to you by Changi Recommends.