Taiwan Discovery - 8 Days / 7 Nights
TOUR CODE TW 2014
Taipei, Sun Moon Lake, Kaohsiung, Kenting, Taitung, Hualien
Day 1 Taipei
Upon arriving in Taipei, our local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Relax for the rest of the evening.
Day 2 Taipei - Sun Moon Lake (AB)
This morning we will drive to Sun Moon Lake
, which is situated 748 meters above sea level in the lofty mountains of Central Taiwan. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, the reason for its namesake. Sun Moon Lake is actually the largest body of water found in Taiwan and has been designated one of the island's thirteen national scenic areas. It is for this reason why swimming in the lake usually isn't permitted, although there is an annual 3-km race called the Swimming Carnival of Sun Moon Lake held around the Mid-Autumn Festival each year. In recent years, the number of people participating in the race has numbered in the tens of thousands.
The tour will continue on to the famous Wenwu Temple
, also known as the Literature-Warrior Temple, which was dedicated to Confucius as Master of Pen and to Kuan Ti as Master of Sword. Wenwu Temple was built after rising water levels from building a dam forced several smaller temples to be removed. Later, we will travel on to visit the Holy Monk Shrine
and Ci En Pagoda
, the latter of which was constructed by late President Chiang Kai-Shek in 1971 in memory of his mother. After touring around Sun Moon Lake, we will check into our hotel. Upon check in, you have the option to enjoy the spa and a natural hot spring bath.
Day 3 Sun Moon Lake - Fo Guang Shan Monastery - Kaohsiung (AB)
After a delicious breakfast, check out of the hotel. We will drive past the small and old Jiji Railway Station and continue on to the most famous Buddhist sacred place of southern Taiwan, Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery
. This is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and also one of its largest charity organizations. Here you will learn about Buddhism during the monastery walking tour and visit the "Buddha Memorial Center". You will have a chance to communicate with some of the local monks and nuns during the visit. Your adventure continues with an opportunity to taste a Buddhist vegetarian lunch (at your own cost). Next, we will drive to Kaohsiung City, which is the second largest city of Taiwan. This tour will take you to Love River
and Liuhe Night Market
. Love River is the spine of Kaohsiung and, thus, of great cultural significance to its residents. It plays an important role in the city's economy and tourism. The Love River Park runs along the riverbank in downtown Kaohsiung and the Liuhe night market operates in the park, and there are three outdoor cafés, often with live bands. Boats which hold about fifteen people take tourists up and down the river. The scenery is enhanced by attractive city structures near the river, such as the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Kaohsiung Bridge and the Kaohsiung District Court. Cultural events such as concerts and the Lantern Festival are often held by the river. Take in the city and enjoy an overnight stay in Kaohsiung.
Day 4 Kaohsiung - Kenting - Zhiben Hot Springs (AB)
Enjoy a morning tour to Kenting National Park
, located at Taiwan's southern tip and the 37 miles of coral-rimmed shoreline along three sides of the park. It is Taiwan's oldest and southernmost national park, having been established in 1984. The national park is well known for its sunshine, tropical climate, scenic mountain and beach, making it one of the most desired resort places in Taiwan. From there, stops will be made at Eluanbi Light House, Maobitou Coastal Scenic Area and Longpan Park. The Eluanbi Lighthouse
was completed in 1883, following requests from the American and Japanese governments to the Chinese government after several shipwrecks occurred in the 1860s.
Chinese troops had to be sent to protect the lighthouse during construction from attacks by local tribesmen, and the lighthouse was surrounded by a fort with cannons and a ditch for protection. It is one of the rare examples in the world of a fortified lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is 70 ft tall and its light is 185 feet above the tidal high water. The light flashes every 10 seconds and its range is approximately 27 nautical miles. Then, we drive to Taitung via Southern Link Highway. By the end of the day, we end up in Zhiben. Relax and enjoy an overnight stay with the Zhiben Hot Springs
, which hold the reputation of being "the greatest scene in eastern Taiwan". In the early years, hot springs emerged from riverbeds. These are carbonic acid springs that are colorless, odorless, and whose temperatures reach more than 100 degrees Celsius.
Day 5 Taitung - East Coast National Scenic Area - Hualien (AB)
After breakfast, it will be an exciting East Coast Tour of Taiwan. The East Coast National Scenic Area
, known as "Taiwan's last unspoiled land", stretches 170 kilometers down the east coast of the island. To the east lies the Pacific Ocean and to the west, the Coastal Mountian Range. The land consists of volcanic rock, deep sea rock and shale that is still being pushed upward by shifting tectonic plates. Weathering, erosion and accumulation have produced a wide range of landforms here, including coastal terraces, sand and pebble beaches, shoreline reefs, inshore islands, and capes along with sea-eroded platforms, trenches and caves. It is a truly beautiful scenery to behold. Your tour will stop at Xiaoyeliu, Sanxiantai, Shitiping
(or "Stone Steps"), and at a marble factory and showroom. In the late afternoon, we will proceed to Hualien for an overnight stay at Taroko National Park
. Rest and get ready to explore the park in the morning.
Day 6 Hualien - Taroko Gorge - Taipei (AB)
After breakfast, we will make a visit to Taroko National Park. Taroko Gorge
is an exceptionally beautiful, narrow ravine created by the Liwu river which has cut deep into the mountains of solid marble. In fact, the name Taroko means "magnificent and beautiful" in the Truku language of the Truku indigenous tribe. It is a popular belief that long ago a Truku tribesman saw the beauty of the azure Pacific when he walked out of the gorge and upon seeing the magnificent scene, cried out "Taroko!", hence its name. It is essentially a road carved into sheer walls of rock that rewinds its way past forested peaks and cliffs towering thousands of feet above it, while hundreds of feet below a river roars past gigantic marble boulders. There are a few bridges crossing over the running river. Passing by Tunnel of Nine Turns, Ci Mu Bridge
, stops will be made at Swallow Grotto, Changchun Temple
and Shakadang Trail
. We will then drive back to Taipei with a stop at Qingshui Cliff
and drive through Syue-Shan Long Tunnel (12.9 Kms) to arrive back in Taipei by the early evening.
Day 7 Taipei (AB)
Today you will begin your tour by visiting the Presidential Building
, in the national capital city of Taipei in the Republic of China. The 130 meter-wide facade faces east down a busy multi-lane boulevard, reflecting the concerns of its Japanese architects, who often oriented important structures toward the rising sun at the head of long avenues. The two-part main building, six stories high, mainly houses government offices and maintenance services. The 60-meter tower at the center of the building was the tallest structure in the Taipei Basin during Japanese rule. When the Nationalist regime took power, a platform was built at the top floor to enable martial flag-raising ceremonies. Afterward, visit the famous monumental Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall
, the Martyrs' Shrine
and a traditional Taiwanese Temple. Later, we will complete the tour by exploring the National Palace Museum
and a local Handicraft Center.
Day 8 Taipei (AB)
Enjoy your last day in Taipei. A transfer from the hotel to the airport is included.