Top 10 things to do in Taichung when in a hurry!

Taichung has much to offer, but when you’re short on time and don’t know where to start, here are ten places to get you going

1. Feng Jia Night Market

Taiwanese culture has truly integrated the night market and what better way to experience that by simply visiting one. Feng Jia has a huge selection of different snack foods, fashionable clothes and mobile accessories. Over 1000 shops and stalls at the night market make it the biggest in Taichung (and many say Taiwan). If you like trying different kinds of local snacks, then you should definitely visit. You’ll need a whole evening to see all the different parts of the night market..

2. Confucius Temple & Nearby

A semblance of culture amidst the chaotic city life surrounding it, Taichung Confucius temple was built to imitate a Chinese Song Dynasty palace and worship the ancient philosopher Confucius. Make sure you visit on Sep. 28 for Confucius’ birthday where there will be celebrations, free calligraphy classes and more. You may also want to visit here on Teacher’s Day when students from across the city ask and give thanks for success in upcoming examinations. Taichung Martyr’s shrine a short walk away.

3. Yizhong Street Night Market

One of the most famous night markets in Taichung is just 10-15 mins walk from the main train station and right next to Taichung park.  By far the most accessible night market to the short-stay traveler and offers as much food and things to do as Feng Jia night market. Crowded streets, exotic smell, and all the hustle and bustle one would expect from a Taiwanese night market

4. 921 Earthquake Museum

On the 21st September 1999, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck central Taiwan, Nantou County resulting in over 1000 deaths. Many of these were school children who died when their school collapsed around them. The 921 Earthquake Museum preserves Guangfu Junior High School in its original state to enforce the memory of those lives lost. It features information about the national tragedy as well as the geological fault lines of through Taiwan, the human relationship with them and what to do when one happens. Truly one-of-a-kind.

5. Miyahara Icecream Hospital

An ice cream parlor converted from a Japanese era eye hospital near the train station. The photos speak for itself. Even if you don’t eat ice cream, the parlor is worth visiting if not for the amazing décor inside. 54 flavors of ice cream with multiple souvenir options inside.  all be bought here.

6. Sun Cake Museum

The one and only Taichung Sun Cake Museum highlights Taichung’s premiere export: the sun cake.  Visitors can expect to sample assorted flavors of sun cake as well as learn about the history of the famous pastry.   In addition, a DIY section inside teaches guests how to make sun cake, and other famous Taiwanese cakes like pineapple cake are sold here too.  Originally a medicine store, the building has three levels, with a cafe on the second floor and a museum on the top.

7. Taichung Art Museum

Taiwan’s National Art Gallery has different styles to suit all tastes, and best of all entrance is free.  Three floors contain art galleries ranging from calligraphy to national themes and abstract art.  Most exhibitions are tailored toward Taiwanese painters, not to be unexpected on an island focused on increasing its sense of self.  Note that it gets very busy here on the weekends.

8. Taichung Second Market

This market dates from the Japanese Era and still contains some of the original wooden structure though most of the modern building is post 1945. It is also often called the ‘Japanese Market for the array of Japanese goods which can still be bought here. ‘Eat traditional local breakfast at one of Taichung’s most original markets. Some examples worth trying include: sticky rice sausage, radish cake and Fuzhou noodles.

9. Make Bubble Tea in its place of origin

The original inventor of bubble tea supposedly lies in a little tea shop called Chun Shui Tang in Taichung near the train station. The idea originally came when the owner of a shop visited Japan and saw how coffee could be served cold. One day, the owner put tapioca in her iced Assam tea for fun and a new drink was born. Visitors to the tea house are taught how to make and serve the tea though bookings should be made in advance in order so the tea house can prepare the equipment before you arrive.

10. Explore Taichung Park

The high-arched gate of Taichung Park gives some welcome peace and quiet from the noise of the city next door. Originally laid out by the Japanese 1903 as one of the founding pillars of a new city, there’s a pretty lake and pavilion as well as some well-labeled tropical plants throughout.  Taichung’s old Qing dynasty North gate has also been relocated here. Adjacent to the park is a little-known jade market worth checking out – busiest on Saturdays with hundreds of sellers.

Photo Credit By Yoxem (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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