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How to Plan a Family Tour of Taiwan

cuihu lake

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

Summer

Recommended Itinerary 1: Taipei and Taichung

jiufen old town

Here are suggestions for where to go for a four-day family trip (in summer).

Day 1 Morning and Lunch: Taipei 101

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 Afternoon and Evening: Ximending

Ximending is a paradise for kids and teenagers.

We suggest that you head over to Ximending Night Market in the afternoon or evening. This night market is half an hour from the Taipei 101, and easy for you to get to with your children. This will be a taste and cultural experience and give you an opportunity to find toys or fashion clothes 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. Attractions include Matsu Temple and Red House Theater.

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 1 Alternative: Taipei Zoo & Maokong Gondola

Away from the city center, Taipei Zoo & Maokong gondola are the best choices. The baby panda is one of the hottest super stars in Taipei!

Taking a gondola to Maokong is a fun choice. Maokong Gondola Station is only a few steps from the zoo. The gondola takes you onto a mountain full of tea gardens. After having a cup of tea, take a walk on the well-organized hiking trail, suitable for all ages.

Transportation:Taipei zoo station at MRT brown line

Day 2: Flying Cow Ranch

Near Taipei city, Flying Cow Ranch is one of the best choices for a family trip. Besides seeing and touching animals in the ranch, you’ll have the chance to milk a cow or feed a goat. Kids enjoy the practical activities on the ranch.

Hotel: You can choose either stay in the ranch or book a hotel in Taichung.

Transport: Xinzhu HSR station, then take a taxi to Flying Cow Ranch, or a fruit picking farm…

Day 2 Alternative: Fruit Picking Farm

Visiting a fruit farm which allows you pick the fruit yourself is another good idea. It’s a nice opportunity for kids to learn how the fruit has been grown.

Day 3: Taichung — Science Museum & Night Market

Taichung has the best climate in Taiwan. Your family can have an educational afternoon in the Science Museum.

In the evening the night market near Fengjia University is a must-go place. It is the largest might market in Taiwan right now. Once you step into the night market area, just eat as much as you can.

Day 3 Alternative 1: Taichung — 921 Earthquake Museum

Earthquakes occur frequently in Taiwan, but more than 99% of them do no harm. The 921 Earthquake (or ChiChi Earthquake) was the biggest in decades, destroying hundreds of thousands of buildings in one night, including an elementary school in Taichung. After the earthquake, the destroyed school was kept for another important duty — being an earthquake museum. You'll learn why the earthquake caused so much damage and how to protect yourself in an earthquake.

Transportation: You can take taxi from Taichung city to the earthquake museum.

Day 3 Alternative 2: 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.

Transport: It's about 50 km south of Taichung. Take Taichung RY Bus from Taichung Train Station.

Day 4: Taichung — Sun Moon Lake, HSR to Taipei

Sun Moon Lake is a sight you can’t miss in Taiwan. Choose from three different ways to experience this beautiful lake: take a boat, ride a bike, or take the gondola. You can also enjoy an aboriginal style lunch beside the lake.

Transportation: bus or taxi to Sun Moon Lake

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. 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.

Recommended Itinerary 2: Taroko Gorge and Kenting

This itinerary is for families who like the great outdoors. Taiwan has some great national parks. Being outside in the fresh air amongst fantastic scenery is something the whole family can easily enjoy.

Day 1: 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

You and your kids will enjoy the natural beautyand exercise 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 2: Kenting

Kenting National Park

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 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 hour. Taxis should be faster. There are a variety of beach resorts and hotels to choose from.

Day 3: Kenting and HSR to Taipei

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.

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.