We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Sponsored Content

This content was paid for by a sponsor. The LAist news team was not involved in its creation. Learn more about LAist's editorial guidelines.

Sponsored

Looking For Your Next Travel Destination? Find Out Why It’s Time For Taiwan

The sun is setting over a Taiwan skyline.
Taipei 101 skyscraper view and city skyline from elephant mountain with clear beautiful sunset sky at twilight night time
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau
/
iStockphoto)
Sponsored by:

We can think of post-quarantine travel a little like spring buds opening on a tree. Some flowers bust out at the first hit of sunshine — others take a little longer, staying tightly closed until the right moment.

Like the latter, Taiwan recently relaxed its strict COVID protocols for travel, and it has reopened its doors to travelers. Americans and Canadians are welcome to enter visa-free and no longer are required to take pre-flight PCR tests. Taiwan is open for tourism and welcomes travelers to experience it in its full, glorious bloom.

The adventure of Taiwan extends beyond its major cities to its 1,200 miles of coastline, 268 mountains and 100+ hot springs. You can explore this land, rich with history, beauty and culture, by reaching out to a reputable local travel agency for help, or doing your own research to navigate the local requirements and terrain. A good place to start is the local Taiwan Tourism Bureau in Los Angeles.

Taiwan Night Market
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Take a Taste of Taiwan

Taiwan’s long been known for its culture and cuisine, attracting travelers from all over the world to its famous night markets, street stalls and high-end establishments. After a couple years on lockdown, the restaurant scene is back and better than ever. In fact, you’ll find more than 300 Michelin-recognized restaurants across the country — including two newly added regions. Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guides, said that Taiwanese restaurateurs were incredibly tenacious and innovative as they stayed in touch with their customers.

The current dining climate, he says, illustrates “the strength and vitality of the local food scene and culture which represent more than a point of interest, a true way of life. By adding Tainan and Kaohsiung – two cities with their own distinctive culinary identities which have impressed our inspectors – to our restaurant selection, we also hope our selection will further satisfy local and international gourmets looking for unforgettable experiences, from fancy places to night food market stalls.”

Shopping

Taiwan has the world-class shopping you’d expect – luxe and consumer retail centers abound. For a uniquely Taiwanese experience, head to some of the many themed districts, such as the ultra-hip LGBTQ+-friendly Ximending district in Taipei for funky fun fashion, salons, tattoo parlors, and lively restaurants and bars. Take a gander at the bird district around Longshan Temple, and if you’re in a discount mood, head to the Shongshan District’s Wufenpu for deals on clothing.

Those who revel in culture and history will love finding antiques and art at the weekend jade markets, while tech aficionados can hit great deals at Taipei’s Guanghua Digital Plaza.

Colorful Taiwanese Umbrellas
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Festivals

Taiwan has plenty to do any time of year, but going to the regional festivals can make your trip a truly remarkable experience. Chinese New Year, one of the most important holidays, is a wonderful way to ring in good luck, prosperity, and a fresh new start. Follow that up with a local lantern festival or the Tourism Bureau’s Taiwan Lantern Festival, which travels to a different location each year. Writing wishes on lanterns (traditionally, for abundant crops) and releasing them into the sky is a way to get them closer to the gods. There are also lots of festivities in celebration, such as parades and fireworks.

Taiwan celebrates LGBTQ+ equality with the largest Pride parade in East Asia, usually held on the last Saturday in October. This year’s 20th annual Pride parade included 120,000 people marching and dancing through the streets of Taipei.

Taiwan Temple
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Maybe water is more your element, and for that, you can head to the Dragon Boat festival, world-famous rowing races that started as a way to pay homage to a poet, Qu Yuan. Legend has it that he jumped into the Miluo River and local people rowed their boats out to look for him. A big part of the celebration involves eating zongzi dumplings, fish stuffed into bamboo leaves, which were said to distract the fish in the river so they wouldn’t eat Qu Yuan.

Small boats docked to a pear, red lanterns hang from pool running along the pear. The sun sets in the distance.
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

The romantic Moon Festival occurs in autumn to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest season. Be on the lookout for special moon cakes, which symbolize unity.

Blossoms are a big deal in Taiwan, and the Hakka Tung Blossom Festival is dedicated to the arrival of spring and its floral glory. Celebrate amid the forest and mountains and take in local art and culture.

A bicycle path bridge with two bicyclists riding along it, runs over a river in Taiwan. Blue sky with white puffy clouds above.
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau)

Enjoy Nature

You’ll certainly want to spend time in nature to get a deeper understanding of this beautiful land that boasts mountains and basins, sea and valleys. The Tropic of Cancer crosses the middle of the country, so you’ll find a huge diversity of flora, fauna and geological features in the tropical, subtropical and temperate climate zones. It’s one of the world’s most critical ecological sites, and to help with preservation, there are nine national parks and 13 scenic areas dedicated for protection.

No matter what adventure you choose during your visit, you can start at the Taiwan tourism website for itinerary ideas, travel tips and more. Or you can place a call to the tourism hotline for help in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese any time of day.

Rolling terraces hills of a tea farm in Taiwan.
(Taiwan Tourism Bureau)