Got a few hours to kill before or after arriving at Taichung Airport? Overlooking nearby QingShui village is Aofeng hIll and the rather sprawling Qingshui Shizhen park with a surprising number of things to do.
Niumatou Archeological Center (牛罵頭遺址)
Once called Niumatou, Qingshui is the site of an ancient culture dating back 4500 years. The site is the oldest archaeological one in central Taiwan. Neolithic remains uncovered at this site include a variety of tools, earthenware, bone & animal teeth knives, as well as some insight into how the people of the time lived. The Japanese colonists were the first to uncover remains at the Qingshui site and excavations have carried on ever since. There are three Japanese era bungalows in a U shape – two containing an assortment of relics and the other a cafe. There are several ancient banyan trees on site that also bear looking at. The view of Qingshui has a nice map detailing the sites around. Total visit time 45-60 mins.
Taichung Ghost Caves (清水鬼洞入口)
The caves are really tunnels dug through the rock during the second world war in 1942. As with similar fortifications 1-2 kilometers were dug into the hard rock of the mountain to shelter Japanese shoulders and provide a base for attack. The tunnels are narrow enough for one person to move at a time, and a real squeeze when passing someone. They contain several interesting aspects, however, such as living quarters with beds, storage areas and fortified look out positions.
There are three entrances into the tunnels, A, B and C. Limited numbers of people may enter at any one time meaning you must register with the guard before going inside. Flashlights may be borrowed before entering. Allow 20-30 mins to navigate the tunnels.
(Update: Currently the tunnels are closed until June 2017 for repair work.)
Aofeng Observatory (and Sports Park)
The view from the top of Aofeng hill is nice and worth the 10 min hike from the parking lot. A rather pretty walkway winds up through landscaped woodland to a pavilion style view point. From the top, one can see Taichung Port, Qingshui town, and a randomly placed velodrome. Undoubtedly very picturesque at night.
How to get there?
Take bus number 9 from Taichung airport across from the Han Xiang Fu Cai Center (漢翔複材中心), which is near to the International terminal, to Aofeng Hill Observatory, or to It takes just under 40 mins by bus, an hour by walking or 7 mins by car. When the bus pulls up a hill (on Aohai Road 鰲海路), you’ll quickly see a sign for Niumatou on the right. Continue up and you’ll see Taichung Ghost caves entrance ‘B’ on the left. Continue even further up and you’ll come to the hill observatory. There are a number of temples in the surrounding area that look worth exploring if you have a scooter and the time to do so.