Translated to Chinese by Teresa Lee.
One of the fastest-expanding metropolises on the island, Taichung is quickly becoming one of the hottest tourist attractions, if not the hottest, in Taiwan. And it’s not hard to see why; situated in the middle of Taiwan, the central city has just the right amount of elements from the north and the south of the island—a perfect blend of the city and the country (thanks to generous patches of green strewn throughout), with new, contemporary buildings coexisting with the old. With its always-pleasant weather, wide and well-organized tree-lined roads and balanced pace of living, Taichung has rightfully earned its title as Taiwan’s most liveable city.
台中是台灣近年來發展最快速的城市之一，儘管還稱不上第一名、但絕對是最熱門的觀光勝地之一。其實這並不是毫無來由, 位於台灣中央地帶的台中, 均勻的結合了這個小島南部和北部的各種元素—— 自然與都會的完美融合（這座城市充滿點點綠意），和現代化的新穎大樓錯落於古老的建築間。加上永遠的豔陽天, 台中都市規劃完善的道路與行道樹平衡了城市匆促的腳步，也為台中贏得台灣最生氣蓬勃城市的美名。
Kick off your visit by checking out Taichung’s latest developments in “The Seventh Redevelopment Zone”, simply “Qi Qi” (七期) in Mandarin, Taichung’s new city center. The relocation of the city government to the area spawned a new era in the city; a high concentration of luxurious department stores—Shinkong Mitsukoshi, Tiger City and the newest Top City—multitudes of mid-level to high-end dining options, towering apartment buildings and skyscrapers, laid out neatly along the tree-lined streets. Marvel at the impressive contemporary architecture of the new city government building and the soon-to-be architectural landmark of the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House designed by Toyo Ito—the “most impossible structure in the world”—before doing some department store shopping and heading to Maple Garden, a manmade valley with a lake and maple trees, at sunset.
image via Fcuk1203
Travel uphill to the western-most point of Taichung, where sits Tunghai University and its landmark Luce Memorial Chapel, a popular photography spot. Head to the nearby Tunghai Arts Street, which features a coterie of boutique shops, cafes, tea houses, pottery museums and clothing stores. The sloped street paved with a cobblestone sidewalk gives off a distinctively European vibe, a stark contrast to the bustling Tunghai Night Market across the street, one the lesser known but just as good night markets in Taichung, with unique snacks such as its famous chicken feet jelly, braised duck head, chicken fillet burger and grass jelly with taro balls. If you’re in the mood, this would be a perfect time to hit up the Taichung Metropolitan Park and breathe in the spectacular night view of Taichung from atop the Dadu Mountain.
image via Taichung City Government
What’s a trip to a Taiwan without a visit to a night market? The mantra holds for practically every major city in Taiwan, Taichung included. At the onset of the evening, make your mandatory visit to the famed Fengjia Night Market to shop, haggle and eat the night away, being sure to cross off every item of the top 10 things to try while at the popular night market, located next to its namesake Fengjia University.
image via Rybloo
One of the best things about central and southern cities in Taiwan is that they offer a whole host of local dishes that is exclusive to the area. Start your morning off with a bowl of big noodle geng at Ying Cai Big Noodle Geng, made from thick noodles in a geng (a thick soup) with a special salty flavor, an authentic taste of Taichung that simply cannot be tasted—or found in fact—anywhere else.
image via unknown5050
Next, dedicate a generous block of your afternoon for an escape to the lungs of Taichung for a stroll down the Calligraphy Greenway, a long, luscious dash of green that stretches from the National Museum of Natural Science to the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts via two Eslite bookstores and the CMP Block Museum of Arts. Take your time to breathe in the natural beauty that resides within this urban metropolis, exploring every nook and cranny, as you’ll find tucked in each alley artsy boutiques, cafes and restaurants such as the famous Haritts doughnut shop. Finally, head to Eslite Park Lane and check out a book and its impressive green wall.
image via Fcuk1203
Spend some time in Central District around Taichung Train Station for a glimpse into the city’s past. The weathered and worn buildings preserve the genuine historic Taiwanese lifestyle for all to experience. Visit the Taichung Jianguo Market behind the station, where you can buy traditional trinkets and try out some age-old cuisine that made up the childhood memories of many Taichung residents such as the dishes at Taichung Traditional Mushroom Pork Geng near the train station. Round out your trip back in time by heading to Gongyuan Eye Clinic, a former eye clinic during the Japanese occupation that has since been transformed into the flagship store of Dawn Cakes, a hot tourist destination that sells traditional Taiwanese desserts such as Sun Cakes and nougat candy.
image via Miyahara
Relive the wonders of youth at Yizhong Street, located around Taichung First Senior High School, a young and hip night market scene akin to Taipei’s Ximending; vendors tend to specialize in trendy clothing, accessories, cute stationery and technological gadgets, the sorts of knick knacks that’d appeal to the younger generation, who flood into the area after school each day for their cram school classes, making the area a main hangout for the youngsters. Next, head to the nearby Chungyo Department Store, one of the oldest department stores in Taichung, if not for the shopping at its three buildings (A, B and C) then for the toilets. Yes, toilets. As in bathrooms, washrooms, the water closet. Why? Because each floor in each building’s toilet has a different theme—a forest, an underwater world, a pub, an art gallery to bathrooms dedicated to the theme of chocolate, the future, romance and even The Great Gatsby—all guaranteeing shoppers a nice surprise upon entering. A crowd favorite is located on Building A’s 10th Floor: Coca Cola can-shaped cubicles.
image via Chungyo
Cheaper admissions, larger venues, minimal safety concerns—what’s not to like about Taichung’s nightlife? Indeed, the central city’s party scene is fast becoming one of the hottest on the island. Party well past sunrise at any—or all—of the best club this city has to offer—Lobby, Vivo, 18TC, SPIN Dance Club and more.
image via lobby
Cure your hangover with a slice of breakfast heaven at Pork Egg Toast, yet another Taichung local favorite. It’s a concoction you’d find at any traditional breakfast store, yet somehow this stand’s marinated meat sandwich just tastes significantly better. The steady line out the door every morning is testament enough.
image via mini QQ
Cap off the your few days in Taiwan’s most liveable city by heading to Jingming 1st Street, a pedestrian-only walkway with white tile apartment buildings running alongside, housing classy shops with brightly-lit store fronts, art galleries, classy cafes and international restaurants. Sometimes referred to as Little Italy, the area also holds outdoor concerts and events on the weekend, making for a perfect soothing Sunday. Finally, meander through the nearby alleys of quaint art galleries and boutiques before settling down with the perfect cuppa in a sun-drenched cafe, such as Who Together.
image via Juliana Su
Forte Orange Business Hotel (福泰桔子商旅) is a moderately-priced yet comfortable option right opposite Taichung Park and close to the Taichung Train Station.
Red Dot Hotel (紅點文旅) is a fun, modern designer hotel with a slide from the second floor to the first that is conveniently situated close to both the new and old Taichung city centers.
The Millennium Vee Hotel Taichung (台中日月千禧酒店) is an upscale five-star hotel located right in the heart of the luxurious residential area in the new city center in Xitun District.
feature image via 崧竣 Liao
This post is presented by Forte Orange Hotel 福泰桔子商務旅館