How to Plan a Family Tour of Taiwan
Where in Taiwan you go for a family trip depends on what you and your family like to do. It also depends on the time of year and how long you plan to stay. Choose from our current Taiwan tours, or let us help you tailor-make a Taiwan tour for your family.
Attractions: Taiwan is small, but it is comparatively well-endowed with rugged natural parks containing very tall mountains, and beaches. Taiwan is rich enough to support some of the world's tallest buildings, best museums, and the best amusement park rides. The bullet train makes travel around the island relatively fast, and in itself it is a scenic travel highlight.
When to Go
Water parks, mountain areas, and beaches are great in the summer, but not winter. Here are our top suggestions for where to go with your family in Taiwan for various times of year.
Any Time of Year
- Sightseeing, restaurants —Taipei 101
- Art, museums, Chinese history — Palace Museum
- Shopping, local markets — Ximending Street Market
- Amusement parks, thrill rides: Leofoo, Janfusan
- Small children’s nature park and family retreat: Taipei Zoo, Flying Cow Ranch
Spring, Summer, Fall
- Hiking, nature, scenery —Taroko Gorge
- Yamay Water Park
- Kenting Beach
Here are suggestions for where to go for a four-day family trip (in summer).
Day 1: Morning and Lunch
Arrive at Taipei International Airport. Have a relaxing day and tour the Taipei 101 building, the 3rd or 4th tallest building in the world. What makes the building a highlight of the city is the observation deck on the 89th floor and the Ding Xian 101 restaurant on the top floor (floor 101). You may have time to see other Taipei attractions.
Day 1: Evening and Dinner
More than shopping on the street...
We suggest that you head over to Ximending Night Market in the afternoon or evening. This night market is close to the Taipei 101 and easy for you to go to with your children. This will be a taste and cultural experience and give you an opportunity to find toys or goods for your family.
This old area of Taipei was built up during the Japanese occupation a century ago to be a Japanese colonial entertainment and market area. For this reason, it is a place your family can see Japanese buildings such as Matsu Temple and Red House Theater.
Learn about the differences between the two cultures and their histories. It is still a place popular for its Japanese food, so it is a place to teach your children about the two cultures and experience the difference in styles and tastes.
For dinner, we suggest a Taipei local favorite noodle shop called A Zong Mian Xian Restaurant. The noodles have a great reputation (45 TWD per bowl (1.60 USD)). Experience the authentic local street life, culture and tastes.
Transport: Ximending Market is about 7 kilometers west of the Taipei 101 on MRT Line 5 (Bannan Line).
Day 2: Morning
In the morning, head over to the National Palace Museum in Taipei. It houses one of the world’s great collections of Chinese artifacts and treasures dating from the Zhou Dynasty about 3,000 years ago.
The Nationalists brought some of the best Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) treasures and preserved them on the island. On the mainland, many treasures were destroyed or stolen.
Day 2: Afternoon, Lunch and Dinner
In the afternoon, take your kids to a screaming fun park called Leofoo. The park has a 7 acre water park with a wave pool, and several theme areas including a wild animal park. The park closes at 5:30 or 6 pm on most days, though in the spring and summer it often closes at 8 or 9 especially on the weekends. You can have meals there.
Transport: Leofoo is in Guansi Township in Hsinchu County west of Taipei. You can take the bullet train to the station there, and then take a taxi.
Day 2 Alternative: Taroko Gorge
- Majestic, deep valley
- Frothing white river
- Forests and 3,000 meter high mountains that cover 1,500 square kilometers.
- High peaks, swimming holes, jungle trails
Alternatively, you and your kids might prefer to see natural beauty and exercise by walking the paths of Taroko Gorge. The paths around the area near the Taroko Visitor Center (the entrance) are well made and fenced for safety.
You can walk over a deep chasm on a bridge that will probably give little kids a memorable thrill.
Transport: Transport to the national park will probably take 4 or 5 hours total unless you arrange for a driver or get a taxi at Hualien Station. An express regular train from Taipei to Hualien takes two hours (440 NTD or 15 USD). It is a scenic ride in itself. Then buses leave from the train station at 6:30 am, 8:40 am, 10:50 am and 1:50 pm (170 NTD).
Taxi for a day: Hire a taxi to drive you to the park and drive you around to various parts of the park for about 1,200 NTD (41 USD). It is a big park, so this makes sense for a day visit with your family. The drive takes an hour, and your whole family might fit in one taxi.
Day 3: Kenting
For a two-day getaway trip to the southern tip of the island, go to Kenting, the best beach area in Taiwan to stay at a beach resort or hotel.
Kenting is actually a large national park area that measures more than 100 square miles (300 square kilometers). The area is known for a tropical climate where you can go even in the winter with warm breezes and currents from the south.
The trip by bullet train and bus from Taipei takes about 4 hours or less. The bullet train trip takes only 1? hours to travel the distance from Taipei to Kaohsiung. The train travels at speeds of greater than 300 km/hour. Seeing scenery whistling by is sure to excite your children.
From Kaohsiung catch a taxi or a bus to the beach resort area. Buses get there in about 1? hours. Taxis should be faster. There are a variety of beach resorts and hotels to choose from.
Day 3 Alternative: Janfusun Fancy World Theme Park
- Hotel, waterpark, and big screaming thrill rides
- 88 meter high ferris wheel
- Dancers and acrobats
- Nature park, and a sound and light extravaganza
The Janfusun theme park is a relatively new theme park with new thrill rides and many water rides. The park features three roller coasters including Swiss-built Diving Machine G5 and Insane Speed. There is also an 88-meter-tall (289-ft-tall) giant ferris wheel; the tallest in Taiwan.
Enjoy the beach, seafood, and relax. You might prefer a mountain hike or scuba diving at the reef. Then take the bullet train back to Taipei.
Day 4 Alternative: Yamay Water Park
- Resort for little children
- 170 kilometers south of Taipei
- Began operations in 2000
- Mala Water Park has a wave pool, beach volleyball, and bumper boats.
- Discovery World has Enchanted Forest, Fairytale Village, and Discovery Walk.
Yamay Water Park is in the city of Taichung southeast of Taipei. The park is designed for children and young people. Theaters include the Children’s Theater and the Teen Stunt Show for martial arts acts and stunts.
China Highlights Tours
Let us help you plan a personalized Taiwan tour for your family and make the travel arrangements for you. Our current Taiwan tours are limited to Taipei or Taiwan Island, but if you would like an itinerary combining both let us know.
Questions and Answers About How to Plan a Family Tour of Taiwan
Hi Michelle, what are your kids interested in, please?Whitney Liao replied on 2013-06-08
Hi Sophia, November would be the best time to get the lowest price with good weather.Whitney Liao replied on 2013-04-02
I updated this article on March 18, 2013
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