A vibrant island where natural beauty blends with bustling cityscapes, Taiwan is a captivating blend of rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and culinary bliss. Tainan itself is a historical city steeped with centuries of heritage, delectable cuisine and vibrant culture, there is so much more to Taiwan that it’d be a pity to not explore! 

In the five months in Taiwan, I spent countless weekends discovering the island, and here is a list of 5 underrated, stunning places to visit while you’re there!

A vibrant port city located a short drive away from Taipei, Keelung is great for anything ranging from a short day trip to a several days’ stay! While the city itself is not entirely underrated, there are some attractions that are not as well known, but definitely still worth a visit!

Keelung Islet
A little offshore island, it is perfect for a half day trip! A short hike up to the lighthouse promises stunning views. Do note that the island is only open to a limited number of visitors a day and a guided tour is required to embark the island.

Badouzi Train Station
An open-air train station right by the sea, there is also a little shoreline just in front of the station that locals come and swim in. When visiting in the right season, you can see the rocks entirely covered in green moss, a rather beautiful sight. Within walking distance is also a row of small cafes and eateries.

Heping Island Geopark
Much less well-known as compared to the Yehliu geopark nearby, the Heping Island Park features endless stunning ocean view and rock formations with much lesser crowds and tourists. It even boasts a natural swimming pool, guided tours and has won multiple awards for the design of the park.

Emerald Bay
A small bay located slightly further away from the city centre, it is one of the most bizarre places I have visited. A popular local spot for surfing, but just along the shoreline are abandoned, UFO looking houses. (More on these houses: https://www.goteamjosh.com/blog/wanufo )

ZhongZheng Park
A Buddhist temple and a park, visiting this place felt like a step back in time. Perched on a hilltop, it also offers stunning view of the port-city below.

Other places not to be missed in Keelung include the famous MiaoKou Night Market, ZhengBin Port Colour Houses, and the adorable cafes scattered all around the city!


Lots of tourists flock to CingJing to visit the sheeps, but just nearby, is Hehuanshan. At 3,416 metres, it offers a great beginner’s high mountain trail with breathaking views.


One of the larger ones of Taiwan’s many offshore islands, Penghu offers a variety of watersports, island hopping, stunning rock formations, historical sites, and hosts an international fireworks festival every year from April – June. I spent three days here and it was far too short to appreciate this island.


2. HUALIEN (& the entire East Coast!)
Not exactly an underrated location either but apart from Taroko National Park and endless pebble beaches with mountains in the background, definitely also try paragliding over the Pacific Ocean, whale-watching and exploring this laid-back city and the East Coast! The TRA (Taiwan’s Railway) runs along the coast and while the journey is long, the views are truly breathtaking. (Bonus: Hop off at Taitung and switch to Taiwan’s only open-window train by the ocean, the Breezy Blue train, for the rest of the journey!)

This place is a 2.5 hour bus ride from Hualien to the middle of nowhere, but it was one of my favourite places I have visited. The crashing waves on the step-looking rocks, with barely any tourists, it was so peaceful and majestic.

The number one on my list undoubtedly goes to this charming little island. Xiao Liu Qiu, also known as Lambai Island, is a tiny little island off the coast of Pingtung. Public transport and taxis are almost non-existent here so get ready to ride a scooter or an ebike to get around! Thanks to conservation efforts, the island sees lots of sea turtles in the surrounding ocean and is a haven for watersports and diving. I spent my mornings here freediving, afternoons exploring the coral cliffs, riding around the island’s coast, wading around tidepools on the beaches and eating local delicacies (for a tiny island, they have an insane amount of extremely good food!) and the evenings watching the sunsets and nights stargazing.


Apart from these, there are so many more places that I loved and I would definitely encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit Taiwan to simply go explore whenever you can! Trains, buses and high-speed rails gets you everywhere in the country and guides to visit the offshore islands are available all over the web. Ask a local for recommendations, scour google maps for random places, or simply go out and walk around! 🙂


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