Circle Taiwan

12 Days
Taipei to Taipei
From (AUD)
$ 9,890
Dates & Pricing

2022/2023 Taipei > Taipei

Isle of wonder

Awe inspiring vistas, sacred traditions, and a fusion of cultures. From north to south the marvels of Taiwan never cease
Begin your 12-Day journey, with explorations in the capital, Taipei, visiting memorial sites, shrines of remembrance and witnessing the hourly changing of the guards. Throughout your journey, see the lesser-known regions of Taiwan as well as the must-see sites. Visit local markets and sip on Taiwanese bubble tea before a steamed pork dumpling cooking lesson. See the lush landscapes on scenic train rides through the mountains to traditional villages; and enjoy a boat ride on Sun Moon Lake. Learn about Taiwan’s tea trade during an authentic Chinese Tea house experience and take part in a traditional Buddhist Sutra transcription activity with local monks.
Tour Map
Tour Code:
TWTT
Duration:
12 days
Departure City:
Taipei
Return City:
Taipei

12 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Taipei

    Welcome to Taiwan. Tonight, meet your tour director and fellow travellers before relaxing for the next three nights at your hotel in Taipei, walking distance of the Zhongshan Metro station.

    Meals Included: Dinner

  2. Day 2 - Taipei

    Taipei

    To begin your exploration of Taiwan, we start with an education of its' modern history since the end of World War 2 and the eventual hand over of the island from its former colonial master Japan.  Firstly, stop at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in memory of the founding father of Taiwan. Continuing this history lesson, move to the National Martyr’s Shrine built in remembrance to the 390,000 soldiers killed in the service of their country during the War of Resistance against Japan and the civil war between the Chinese Republican and communist forces. Here witness the hourly changing of the Honour Guard Ceremony at the main gate. After lunch, move to the National Palace Museum which preserves more than 650,000 art objects and documents of the Chinese Imperial collection, formerly held in Beijing. This evening is time for some bargain hunting as we wander through the Shilin Night Market, often considered the most famous and largest night market in Taiwan.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Taipei

    This morning is a lesson and hands on experience in cooking Xiaolongbao (Steamed Pork Dumpling).  Begin with a visit to the market to source your ingredients before moving to your ‘classroom’ to create your own lunch, enjoyed with Taiwanese bubble tea.

    Freechoice

    This afternoon choose between three options of travelling to the regional areas of New Taipei City. Travel to Pingxi and undertake a Sky Lantern Experience which the area is known for, see the 40 meter tall Shifen waterfall and walk through the old lanes and alleys of Shifen’s old town, built around the Japanese train station.  Another option is travelling to the northern cost to Tamsui.  Here visit the Spanish built Fort San Domingo dating from 1629 and then became the British Consulate in 1867 and Tamsui Old street lined with shops, restaurants and vendors selling local specialties. Continue onto Yehliu Geo Park, home to some of the most famous eroded rock formations in the world. Alternatively travel to the Yangmingshan National Park and enjoy a hot spring foot bath in Beitou.

    Enjoy your evening at leisure.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  4. Day 4 - Taipei > Sun Moon Lake

    Transfer to the train station to board your scenic ride to Taichung.  Upon arrival drive to Rainbow Village. Originally a temporary makeshift village to house Nationalist Party soldiers and their families, it was slated for destruction before an ex-soldier and one of its last inhabitants, Huang Yung-fu affectionately known as ‘Rainbow Grandpa’, started painting the village. In 2010 his artwork gained notoriety through social media and the village was saved. Afterwards continue our drive to Sun Moon Lake. Here enjoy a boat ride around the lake before visiting the Tze-En Pagoda and the aboriginal village of Tehua, settled by the Taiwan’s original inhabitants of the area, the Thao people. Settle in for the next two nights at your hotel.

    Sundowners

    Close to sunset gather at the Sky lounge with your fellow travellers to toast the beautiful views of the sun setting over the lake before dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Sun Moon Lake

    The growing of tea is a specialty of the area so this morning we visit the Sun Moon Lake Black Tea Farm to understand the process of growing and harvesting tea. This will include a hands-on experience of rolling the harvested leaves and include interaction with the farmers.  After a local specialty lunch, choose from one of three choices to visit around Sun Moon lake this afternoon.

    Freechoice

    Visit the Ita Thao Village for a cultural show from the area’s original inhabitants, the Thao people.  For the more active, enjoy a 3 km bike ride along the picturesque Xiangshan Bikeway around and over the lake between Shuishe and the Xiangshan Visitor Center.  Alternatively ride the local narrow-gauge train from Jiji to Checheng, a former logging village, where we visit the logging industry museum. The Jiji line was originally built in 1922 by the Japanese in support of Taiwan’s first hydroelectric power station.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  6. Day 6 - Sun Moon Lake > Tainan

    After checkout we commence our drive south to the coastal city of Tainan, Taiwan’s oldest. After a local lunch we commence our tour of city, once the former capital between 1683-1887 during the Koxinga Dynasty and Chinese Qing Dynasty’s rule. First visit the Chihkan Tower, the oldest building in Tainan's West Central District and along with Anping District's Anping Fort, are two of Tainan's most famous landmarks. Originally built as Fort Provintia in 1652 by the Dutch, it has undergone many transformations over the pasts 300 years. On the lawn outside stands a statue of Koxinga accepting the surrender of the Dutch. We then move onto Anping Old Street, the first street in Taiwan to be given a name.  The area retains many of its old-style buildings along the narrow lane which was originally built only for pedestrians more than 300 years ago, again by the Dutch. The street features all kinds of old stalls and shops and the surrounding old-style buildings have the Wind Lion Gods on the roofs and the Sword Lions on the lintels of doors. Later check-in to your hotel in Tainan for the night.

    Freechoice

    Tonight, enjoy a choice of cuisine from a steak at ‘Robin's Grill & Teppan’, local Taiwanese Style Hot Pod Dinner at ‘Silks House’ or Shanghainese and Taiwanese Cuisine at 38F of Shangri-La Hotel Tainan ‘Shanghai Pavilion’.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Tainan > Kaohsiung

    Leaving Tainan behind we drive further south along the coastline to Kaohsiung. Before arriving at the city itself, stop at the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. It is also home to a 40m tall standing Buddha statue and the world’s tallest bronze sitting Buddha statue rising 108 meters tall from the base.

    Enrich

    After viewing the Buddha museum, undertake a relaxing and traditional Buddhist Sutra transcription activity under the instruction of one of the local monks.

    Enjoy a vegetarian meal at the monastery before continuing onto the city of Kaohsiung. On the southern foreshore of Lotus Lake visit the Spring and Autumn Pavilions, two massive pavilions dedicated to Kuan Kung, the God of War. Located 700 metres away are the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas where we enter the Dragon Pagoda. By entering the dragon's throat and coming out the tiger's mouth, this symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune.  Moving from the lake to the port area we visit the Kaohsiung Pier 2 Art Center District, a unique open air art space which provides artists and students an environment in which to express themselves. Close by is the Hamasen Railway Cultural Park and Kaohsiung's first railway station. Check-in for a night at your hotel in Kaohsiung with dinner at a local seafood restaurant.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Kaohsiung > Hualien > Tarako National Park

    This morning commence our four hour Puyuma Express train journey to Hualien, located on the east coast of Taiwan. Upon arrival, visit the picturesque Chishingtan Scenic Area, an area which rests at the tip of a crescent bay dotted with calming parks, tropical palm trees and pristine beaches. Afterwards drive up into Tarako National Park, named after the Tarako Gorge which has been carved by the Liwu River as it flows from the Central Mountains of Taiwan to the Philippine Sea. Settle into your hotel in  Taroko for two nights.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  9. Day 9 - Tarako National Park

    Begin your full day of exploration around the area’s dramatic scenery with a stop at the Visitor’s Centre to gain your bearings.  Then admire the coastal views at Qingshui Cliffs - one of the Eight Wonders of Taiwan, walk along the Shakadang Trail (Mysterious Valley Trail) with its crystal-clear turquoise water strewn with imposing marble boulders and view the Eternal Spring Shrine – perhaps the most recognizable sight in Taroko Gorge with its picturesque waterfall streaming out through the mouth of the Tang Dynasty style shrine, built to honour the many who died building the highway in the 1910s. After a traditional lunch particular to the area, move to Swallow’s Grotto (or Yanzikou), a stretch of road with multiple tunnels where you can walk along and peer over into the sheer drop of marble cliff faces to the river far below.  Later continue your scenic walk along the 700 meter long Tunnel of Nine Turns (or Jiuqudong), another dramatic stretch of walking-only tunnels which used to be a part of the original highway through Taroko Gorge. From here you will see some of Taroko Gorge’s most epic views, a worthy addition to the many spectacular photos you will be taking today.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Tarako National Park > Jiufen > Taipei

    Commence our journey back to Taipei by driving first to Yilan County. Following lunch here visit the Kavalan Single Malt Whisky Distillery to see the distilling process and try a sample of their renown product. Continue onto the small village of Jiufen, located in the mountains overlooking Taipei. Jiufen’s Old Street is a narrow alleyway lined up with small food stalls, tea houses, souvenir shops and pottery stores. Enjoy an afternoon tea in the famous A-Mei Teahouse, a multi-story teahouse strategically located just a little off the main street and perched on top of a hill with commanding views. Continue our journey down into Taipei and check back into your hotel for your last two nights in Taiwan.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  11. Day 11 - Taipei

    Begin our last full day in Taiwan with a trip up Taipei 101 Observatory. Being one of the top 10 highest observatories in the world, you will be able to see some of the locations visited during the past week from your 360 degree view. After a lunch of steam pork dumplings, move to the memorial hall built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek.  From here visit Longshan Temple, founded in 1738 by Han immigrants from Fujian and nearby Herb alley, an area which dates back to the Qing times. As it is a great place to sample some of the incredible range of Chinese herbal drinks, you will be able to sample some such as the soothing wax-gourd tea (donggua chá), the refreshing roselle (luòshén hua), or the incredibly bitter, bitter tea (ku chá). Tonight, as a final highlight you will dress up in traditional Chinese clothing as part of your farewell dinner with free flow drinks.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Taipei

    Transfer to the airport and say farewell to Taiwan, treasuring the many wonderful memories from your journey.

    The itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons. As such Scenic cannot guarantee the journey will operate unaltered from the itinerary stated above. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further information.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

The Scenic Difference
  • Hands on Steamed Pork Dumpling lunch cooking experience
  • Undertake a traditional Buddhist Sutra transcription activity under the instruction of local monks
  • Sample Kavalan Single Malt Whisky at the distillery
  • Have an authentic Chinese Tea house experience and try herbal teas
  • Visit a working Tea plantation for a hands on experience
  • Visit the Rainbow Village
  • Choices to enjoy experiences in visit lesser visited areas of Taiwan
  • Witness the Honour Guard Ceremony at the National Martyr’s Shrine

5 Star Luxury inclusions
  • The intimacy of small group touring with a maximum of 24 guests
  • 1 exclusive Scenic Enrich experience
  • Your choice of 9 Scenic Freechoice activities and dining
  • 1 Scenic Sundowners event
  • 31 meals – 11 breakfasts (B), 11 lunches (L) and 09 dinners (D)
  • Scenic Tour Director with expert local guides
  • All tipping and gratuities
  • Return Airport Transfers

Pricing & Availability