Backpacking in Taiwan

Backpacking in Taiwan, a small island nation located in East Asia, has been growing in popularity among adventurous travelers in recent years. Known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich cultural heritage, Taiwan offers a unique and exciting experience for backpackers.

With a history that dates back thousands of years, backpacking in Taiwan allows visitors to immerse themselves in the island’s diverse culture, which is a blend of indigenous traditions, Chinese influences, and Japanese colonial legacy. The rise of backpacking in Taiwan can be attributed to the country’s efforts to promote tourism and its reputation as a safe and welcoming destination for travelers.

One intriguing aspect of backpacking in Taiwan is the accessibility and affordability it offers. The island provides a well-developed transportation network that allows backpackers to easily traverse between bustling cities, picturesque mountain ranges, and serene coastal areas. This makes it convenient for travelers to explore different regions and experience the contrasting landscapes that Taiwan has to offer.

Furthermore, backpacking in Taiwan can be a budget-friendly adventure. The cost of accommodation, food, and transportation is relatively low compared to other popular travel destinations in the region. This affordability allows backpackers to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the local culture, trying traditional dishes at bustling night markets or engaging in outdoor activities like hiking through lush forests or cycling along scenic paths.

An interesting statistic to note is that Taiwan has been ranked as one of the top backpacking destinations in Asia by various travel publications and websites. Its unique blend of cultural heritage, natural wonders, and modern infrastructure makes it an attractive choice for backpackers from across the globe. Additionally, Taiwan’s safety record and efficient healthcare system add to its appeal as a top destination for backpackers seeking adventure.

As more and more travelers seek off-the-beaten-path experiences, backpacking in Taiwan continues to grow in popularity. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and affordable travel options, Taiwan offers an unforgettable experience for backpackers looking to explore a lesser-known gem of East Asia.

Backpacking in Taiwan
Backpacking in Taiwan

What are the advantages of backpacking in Taiwan?

Backpacking in Taiwan offers numerous benefits and opportunities for adventurous travelers. From breathtaking natural landscapes to vibrant cities, Taiwan has something to offer for everyone. The country boasts a well-established transportation system, making it easy to explore both urban areas and the countryside. Furthermore, Taiwan is known for its friendly locals, delicious street food, and affordable accommodations. In the next section, we will delve into the advantages of backpacking in Taiwan in more detail, providing you with valuable insights and tips for an unforgettable journey.

Backpacking in Taiwan

Are you an adventurous traveler looking for a unique destination for your next backpacking trip? Look no further than Taiwan! This small island country in East Asia offers a wealth of experiences for backpackers, from stunning natural landscapes to vibrant cities and delicious street food.

Getting Around

One of the advantages of backpacking in Taiwan is the ease of getting around. The country has a well-developed transportation system, making it convenient for travelers to explore different parts of the island. The Taiwan High-Speed Rail (THSR) connects major cities, allowing you to cover long distances quickly. Buses and trains also provide affordable options for shorter journeys.

In addition to public transportation, Taiwan offers a unique way to explore its beautiful scenery – cycling. The island has a comprehensive network of cycling routes, with dedicated paths that take you through coastal areas, mountainous regions, and scenic countryside. Renting a bike and embarking on a cycling adventure is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Taiwan’s natural beauty.

Outdoor Adventures

Taiwan is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The island is home to numerous national parks that offer incredible hiking trails, from the famous Taroko Gorge in Hualien to the lush Alishan National Scenic Area. These parks showcase Taiwan’s diverse landscapes, including towering peaks, beautiful waterfalls, and stunning coastal cliffs.

If you’re up for a challenge, consider tackling the iconic Yushan, also known as Jade Mountain. It’s the highest peak in Taiwan, and reaching the summit is a rewarding accomplishment for avid hikers. The trail to Yushan is well-maintained but requires a permit, so make sure to plan ahead.

In addition to hiking, Taiwan is also a haven for water activities. The east coast of the island offers excellent surfing spots, such as Jinzun Harbor and Fulong Beach. Scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will be captivated by the crystal-clear waters surrounding Green Island and Orchid Island.

Cultural Exploration

While Taiwan boasts breathtaking natural beauty, it also offers unique cultural experiences for backpackers. Start by exploring the vibrant capital city of Taipei, where you can visit iconic landmarks such as the Taipei 101 skyscraper and the famous night markets.

For a glimpse into Taiwan’s rich history, head to the ancient city of Tainan, known as the cultural capital of the island. Here, you can wander through historic temples, visit traditional pottery workshops, and indulge in the city’s renowned street food.

Another must-visit destination is Jiufen, a charming mountain village that inspired the famous Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away. Its narrow streets lined with teahouses, souvenir shops, and stunning views make it a favorite among travelers.

Food and Night Markets

No backpacking trip to Taiwan would be complete without indulging in the country’s incredible street food and experiencing the lively night markets. The night markets are a hub of activity, offering a plethora of mouth-watering dishes such as stinky tofu, bubble tea, braised pork rice, and oyster omelets.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling Shilin Night Market in Taipei or the Fengjia Night Market in Taichung, you’re bound to encounter an array of delicious treats. Eating your way through Taiwan’s night markets is a culinary adventure in itself.

Statistics show that Taiwan welcomed over 11 million international tourists in 2019*.

So grab your backpack, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Taiwan!

*Source: Taiwan Tourism Bureau

Backpacking in Taiwan FAQ

1. Can I backpack in Taiwan without knowing Mandarin?

Yes, it is possible to backpack in Taiwan without knowing Mandarin. Many Taiwanese people, especially in tourist areas, can speak some English. Additionally, signs and transportation information are usually displayed in both Chinese and English, making it relatively easy to get around.

2. How safe is it to backpack in Taiwan?

Taiwan is generally a safe country for backpackers. The crime rate is relatively low, and locals are friendly and helpful. However, it is still important to take common safety precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding isolated areas alone at night.

3. What is the best time to go backpacking in Taiwan?

The best time to go backpacking in Taiwan is during the spring (April to June) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters bring cooler temperatures and occasional rain.

4. How much money do I need for backpacking in Taiwan?

The amount of money you will need for backpacking in Taiwan depends on your travel style and preferences. On average, a budget traveler can expect to spend around $40-60 USD per day for accommodations, food, transportation, and attractions.

5. Do I need a visa to backpack in Taiwan?

It depends on your nationality. Citizens from many countries can enter Taiwan visa-free for a certain period (usually 90 days). However, it is always recommended to check with the Taiwanese embassy or consulate in your country to confirm the visa requirements before traveling.

6. Are hostels easily available in Taiwan for backpackers?

Yes, hostels are readily available in Taiwan and are popular among backpackers. They offer budget-friendly accommodations and a chance to meet fellow travelers. Hostels can be booked online or found in major cities and tourist areas.

7. What are some must-visit destinations for backpackers in Taiwan?

Taiwan offers a variety of must-visit destinations for backpackers. Some popular ones include Taipei, Jiufen, Taroko Gorge, Alishan, Sun Moon Lake, and Kenting National Park. These places offer a mix of cultural, natural, and historical attractions.

8. Can I rent a motorbike or scooter to explore Taiwan?

Yes, renting a motorbike or scooter is a popular option for exploring Taiwan. However, it is important to have a valid international driver’s license and be familiar with local traffic rules. Always wear a helmet and exercise caution while driving.

9. What are some traditional Taiwanese dishes that backpackers should try?

Backpackers in Taiwan should definitely try some traditional dishes such as beef noodle soup, stinky tofu, bubble tea, pineapple cake, and oyster omelette. Taiwanese street food is renowned, and trying local delicacies is a must for food enthusiasts.

10. Is it necessary to book accommodations and transportation in advance?

It is not always necessary to book accommodations and transportation in advance, especially if you are flexible with your travel plans. However, during peak tourist seasons or for popular destinations, it is advised to make reservations in advance to ensure availability.


Backpacking in Taiwan is an unforgettable adventure that offers a diverse range of experiences for all travelers. From the vibrant cities to the stunning natural landscapes, Taiwan has something for everyone. One of the key highlights of backpacking in Taiwan is the affordable and efficient transportation system, which makes it easy to explore the country. The article emphasized the convenience of the THSR and MRT systems, allowing travelers to effortlessly navigate the cities and access remote hiking trails.

Furthermore, the article highlighted the cultural richness of Taiwan, with its vibrant night markets, ancient temples, and traditional festivals. The country’s unique blend of Chinese, Japanese, and indigenous cultures create a fascinating and dynamic atmosphere that captivates visitors. Additionally, the article emphasized the importance of trying the local cuisine, such as the famous street food dishes like stinky tofu and bubble tea. These culinary delights give backpackers an opportunity to taste the authentic flavors of Taiwan.

Moreover, the article acknowledged the stunning natural beauty of Taiwan, ranging from the dramatic Taroko Gorge to the picturesque Sun Moon Lake. Exploring Taiwan’s national parks, hiking trails, and hot springs allows backpackers to immerse themselves in the country’s breathtaking landscapes. The article also mentioned the friendliness and hospitality of the Taiwanese people, who are known for their warm and welcoming nature towards travelers.

In conclusion, backpacking in Taiwan is a rewarding experience that offers a perfect combination of cultural immersion, natural beauty, and culinary delights. The affordable transportation system, rich cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes make Taiwan an ideal destination for backpackers seeking adventure and exploration. Whether it’s wandering through bustling night markets or hiking along scenic trails, Taiwan is a destination that will leave a lasting impression on any traveler.

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