Like most big metropolises, Taipei is best known for its world-class museums, cultural institutions, stellar dining, and buzzy nightlife. Yet the capital city is also conveniently situated near some of Taiwan’s most stunning natural areas. From day hikes to multi-day cycling trips, here are the best outdoor activities in Formosa.
Nearly two-thirds of Taiwan is covered in mountains, and you needn’t stray far from the capital to hit the trail. Yangmingshan National Park lies just outside the city limits and offers spectacular hiking trails for all ability levels, including the chance to summit one of Taiwan’s highest peaks, Qixing Mountain. Farther afield (but still doable on a day trip) is the majestic Taroko Gorge, considered one of the Seven Wonders of Asia and one of the island’s top attractions.
Ask local cyclists and they’ll tell you Taiwan seems made for bicycles. Saddle up and take a bike tour of the city by night, with stops at famous attractions like Taipei 101 and Chiang Kai- Shek Memorial Hall. Alternately, head out into the countryside for a day of riding through the scenic tea plantations of Pinglin or for a multi-day cycling adventure along Taiwan’s eastern coastline while learning about the indigenous cultures of the island.
Soaking in Taiwan’s natural hot springs has long been an island pastime, and Beitou Hot Springs sits right within Taipei’s borders. Spend a day soaking in the sulfurous waters of the park’s numerous hot and cold outdoor pools set amid a lovely wooded area.