Taiwan,Travel

Day Trip to Taichung (Taiwan)

Taiwan Zhong She Flower 2 SheenaLovesSunsets.com-min

Our day trip to Taichung is hands-down my favorite part about our Taiwan trip and guessing from the number of messages I get about it on my Instagram, you guys must really like it too!

When I was researching for Taichung, it was hard to find good information online because there aren’t a lot of blogs in English about it. So for this entry, I’m gonna fit in as many details as I can; from transportation to itinerary. Hope this helps you plan for your perfect Taichung Day Trip.

Prepare for a lengthy, but hopefully informative, post!

Transportation

Day Trip to Taichung HSR

Taiwan High Speed Rail

We took the Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) from Taipei to Taichung. We booked the 7:50am departure and arrived at 8:40am because we wanted to start early. One way cost us $700 NT each.

Tip: We bought our departure tickets online because we didn’t want to risk getting delayed just from buying tickets. However, we decided to buy our return ticket to Taipei at the station itself already since we wanted to take our time in Taichung and not get rushed just because we had to follow our schedule. This turned out to be a good plan.

Highly recommended to take the HSR because I have friends who took the bus and said it took them 3 hours one way! It was convenient, clean and hassle free.

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Mr. Zhang: Our Driver

We hired a driver to take us around Taichung for $3000 NT total. We were supposed to book a guy named Mr. Liu, who is also an owner of a taxi service company (quite famous online if you search for Taichung drivers) but at the last minute, he suddenly informed us he wasn’t available. I was so annoyed but he promised to give us a good driver as replacement.

Mr. Zhang turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He was very kind, accommodating, offered to take our photos, tried to give us plenty of details (as much as we can understand, at least!) and did not rush us at all! We originally booked him for 8 hours and when we got worried about time, he told us not to worry and that he will drive us until we were done! And for that alone, I would highly recommend him. Here’s his name card:

taichung-driver-min

Mr. Zhang however speaks only Mandarin and Hokkien (no English!) and though we spoke only a little of both, in the end, we still survived! Haha. If you can’t speak either, it might be hard to get him as a driver, unless you’re willing to risk it and maybe just rely on hand gestures and Google Translate! Hehe.

taichung-driver-min

By the way, I booked and communicated with them via WhatsApp. Since they can’t speak English, they messaged me in Chinese and I just Google translated everything, then replied back in English. And I’m guessing they were doing the same to me because they would always understand my questions and reply back in Chinese. Haha!

Places We Visited

Day Trip to Taichung Zhong She Flower Market

When I was WhatsApp-ing with Mr. Liu about our itinerary, he gave me a list of all the places we could visit in Taichung. When Mr. Zhang was driving us, he wanted to take us to all of these places, but we were the ones who gave up and said to skip some.

Our original itinerary: Rainbow Village – Zhong She Flower Market – Mushroom Garden – XinShe Castle – Lavender Cottage – Don Don Taro Ball Restaurant – Carton King – Feng Chia Night Market.

Here our real itinerary: the places we ended up visiting, plus my recommendations.

1. Rainbow Village

Taiwan Rainbow 11 SheenaLovesSunsets.com-min

Rainbow Village a small village painted with very colorful artworks by a veteran soldier fondly called “Rainbow Grandpa.” I wrote about the place in detail in another entry which you can find here.

You can take as quick as 15-20 minutes and as long as an hour, depending on how much photos you want to take! Hehe. There is nothing much to do here but take photos and meet Rainbow Grandpa himself. I enjoyed it though so I recommend dropping by the place.

2. Zhong She Flower Market

Taiwan Zhong She Flower 14 SheenaLovesSunsets.com-min

Zhong She Flower Market is where we took all our Instagram-worthy photos! If you wanna see more photos of the area, I also wrote about this place in detail which you can find here. Play the piano in a field of lavenders (albeit pretend!) and walk through an entire sea of sunflowers.

Highly recommended if you like taking photos and/or if you like flowers. Other than that, there’s really nothing to do here. I like having nice photos though so I enjoyed. Hehe.

3. Lunch at Master of Mushroom

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We had lunch at a place called Master of Mushroom. We had a delicious hot pot meal with different kinds of mushroom! I love mushroom and it’s healthy too so I really enjoyed this meal.

Day Trip to Taichung

We had a window seat and were treated to a beautiful view. After, we visited the shop beside the restaurant and got different mushroom goodies to bring home.

4. Lavender Cottage

Taiwan Lavender 15 SheenaLovesSunsets.com-min

The Lavender Cottage is a quaint little place where you can easily spend an afternoon in. Although ironically, we saw more lavenders at the Zhong She Flower Market than here! More photos and details can be found here.

It’s a nice place to spend an afternoon in; just relax, enjoy the cool air and have a cone of lavender ice cream. Yum!

5. Mushroom Garden

Day Trip to Taichung Mushroom Garden

And in incredible perfect timing, we asked our driver after our visit to The Lavender Cottage if we could go back to the mushroom shop to buy more goodies but he told us that actually, our next stop was a place called The Mushroom Garden and they had a lot of mushroom stuff there! Yay!

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Random commentary from the designer in me: I’m so impressed by the cute branding of this place with its playful signs and illustrations!

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Even the trash cans are well-designed! They look so nice!

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Anyway, here we saw all kinds of mushrooms. I’m sure that if only we could speak and understand fluent Mandarin, our driver and the staff there would be happy to tell us all about it. But because of the language barrier, they just pointed to us the different kinds and I was just amazed at the variety.

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They also had mushroom picking and I saw a little kid with a bucket who was about to do this. I’m not super sure how it’s done though because again, couldn’t really understand. But it looks like a cute activity to do with kids.

At the shop, I hoarded mushroom chips and mushroom floss (like pork floss but made of mushroom!) to give away to friends and relatives at home.

6. Don Don Taro Ball

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Mr. Liu (our supposed driver, owner of the taxi company) recommended the place. To keep it short and simple, it was nothing special. Not sure if we just ordered the wrong thing or not but in my opinion, you can skip this stop.

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7. Feng Chia Night Market

Day Trip to Taichung Feng Chia Night Market

Our last stop for the day was Feng Chia Night Market. If you’re familiar with Shi Lin in Taipei, well, it’s similar to that one. It’s a place to eat, buy cheap things and eat some more.

If you love trying out different kinds of food, you’ll like this night market (I personally liked the famous Taiwanese fried chicken best!) But if you’re like me and you’re not really super into food and would rather see sights, you can skip this and just visit Shi Lin in Taipei. But again, that’s just me!

Things We Skipped

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Our driver took us to two places that we chose to skip: Xin She Castle and Carton King. If we had two days in Taichung, I would love to visit both places. Carton King looked especially cute and unique but because we were pressed for time, we instead prioritized the places we really wanted to see.

I took these photos at the entrance of Carton King. We just took a peek at the area and then left.

Day Trip to Taichung Carton King

Overall, I really loved Taichung! Two main tips: take the HSR and hire a driver. Have fun!

Read more about our Taiwan trip here!

(NOTE: THIS POST IS ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCE LAST AUGUST 2016.)
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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Larissa
    September 19, 2016 at 3:22 am

    Wow, this really looks like the perfect day trip! I would truely love to visit this beautiful place and the lavender fields!
    Xx
    Rosa Larissa Klara
    conscious lifestyle of mine

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

      It’s a beautiful place, you definitely should!

  • Reply
    Pia
    September 19, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Seriously thinking about booking a trip to Taiwan now. Haha! Your lunch at Master of Mushroom looks really good. <3 i enjoyed your post about Zhong She Flower Market the best. 😀

    http://pepperonipia.com

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks Pia! You really really should! It’s such a beautiful place!

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    September 19, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Lovely pics, Sheena! SO dreamy!!
    Happy Monday, love!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.com

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 20, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Vanessa!

  • Reply
    Maimai
    January 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

    The Zhong She looks like from the europe vibes as well.. Love the reviews and tips. Do you think the whole trip to taiwan was not that too costly but just fair enough, tho? :)

    IG: @heyangeey

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      January 12, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Yes the Taiwan trip was good value for money! I’d highly recommend it!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 16, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Will a solo traveler survive commuting around Taichung instead of hiring a taxi cab? hahaha! I plan to visit this place in April, but I am afraid I’ll get lost. Help HAHA

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      March 17, 2017 at 8:29 am

      Hi Rachel, as I’ve never tried commuting in Taichung I don’t really know although I’m not sure how accessible the other areas are so my best bet is really still to hire a cab!

  • Reply
    Jaime
    March 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Thank you, your tips are very useful !!! Planning to go early April. Cheers.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      March 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Happy to help Jaime!

  • Reply
    Katie Mendoza
    May 17, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Was it hot at Zhong She Market? Thinking of recommending it to my parents but not sure if they’ll be fine with standing under the sun for a long time.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 17, 2017 at 7:39 am

      Hi Katie, yes it was pretty hot when we went. So you better check the weather in Taichung before booking! I think there are colder times naman in a year so should be no problem if you go at the right time. :)

  • Reply
    Kisty
    May 26, 2017 at 8:46 am

    I have never been to Taiwan but after seeing this, I think it’s time to book that ticket. The flower market is so nice! <3

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      May 26, 2017 at 9:30 am

      You should go Kisty! It’s really nice! :)

  • Reply
    Angelie Santos
    June 6, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Sheena!

    Thank you for this informative post. I actually referred to your blog while researching for our Taichung Trip. I found Mr.Liu because of you! He also gave us the same driver, Mr. Zhang! I have question though. Is it okay if we change our itinerary 3 days before our trip? We decided to skip Lavender cottage and Xinshe castle because I realized that there’s nothing much to see there. I have informed Mr.LIu about this but he hasn’t replied yet. Im worried that he got annoyed because of the sudden change of itinerary. Do you think Mr.Liu will be fine with it?

    Thank you! <3

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      June 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      Hi Angelie, I don’t think it will be a problem because actually during the day Mr. Zhang was suggesting other places to visit and we also backed out on some so that won’t be a problem! Angeli, can I ask a favor? Can you tell him you found him through my blog? Maybe you can show him a screenshot? Haha! Only if it’s not too much trouble :p I’m not sure if he remembers me but I hope my entry continues to help him! He was super nice. :)

  • Reply
    Cel
    June 7, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Hi, may I know what is the contact number for Mr Liu? Or would it better for us to contact Mr Zhang directly? Thank you in advanced!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      June 8, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Mr. Liu (+886927888032) but you can probably just contact Mr. Zhang directly. His number is on the photo in the article. :)

  • Reply
    Luz
    June 30, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hi, may I know how much did you pay to Mr. Liu? We’re thinking of hiring a driver as well when we go to Taichung. Thank you for your help! 😉

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      June 30, 2017 at 11:47 am

      Hi Luz, I mentioned it in the article! :p “We hired a driver to take us around Taichung for $3000 NT total.” Hehe.

  • Reply
    Raya Fuentes
    July 4, 2017 at 12:09 am

    Reading your blog entry made me really interested to tour Taichung myself. How did you book your HSR tickets online? Is the website in English? Thank you! ??

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      July 4, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Raya, I’m sorry I don’t remember anymore as a friend was the one who booked the HSR tickets online. You can check out their website! :) And you should definitely go to Taichung!!

  • Reply
    Edna
    July 14, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Sheena! I loved your post, it’s really helpful.. May i know if you prebooked your driver before going to Taiwan? If so, did you pay any deposit or pay after the trip? Im worried of being duped if i pay for pre-booking.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      July 16, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Edna, no predeposit but reserved through WhatsApp! :) Thanks Edna I’m glad you find it helpful!!

  • Reply
    sarah
    July 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    there are few more new attractions in taichung now , which might delight you =)

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      July 28, 2017 at 11:15 pm

      Would love to know more about it!

  • Reply
    Marie
    August 7, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Sheena! Thanks for this informative post. :) I’ve contacted Mr. Zhang already and he’s willing to drive us around Taichung. Just curious, are we also in charge of Mr. Zhang’s food for that day?

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      August 8, 2017 at 12:06 am

      Hi Marie, that’s great to hear! Nope, we did not pay for his food or anything else. Just the amount we agreed upon. Have a beautiful trip!! (Show him my photo and tell him you found him through me! Hehe!)

  • Reply
    Colleen
    September 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Hi Sheena!! Looks like you had so much fun! I absolutely love the photos and the field of flowers is beautiful.

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 10, 2017 at 1:59 am

      Thanks Colleen! It was sooo pretty!

  • Reply
    Nora Gouma
    September 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Love this great post, the pictures are truly amazing, very inspiring. Thank you for sharing, cannot wait for the next awesome post!!!

  • Reply
    Lee Ai Cheng
    September 26, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Sheena, very nice photos 😉 I had a great time taking photos with my gfs at Taichung during previous trip too.
    But this time I’m bringing my 2 boys to Taichung, would the driver be able to bring us for places for fruit picking and Gaomei Wetland?
    Same question as above, would it be okay to contact Mr Zhang directly or we book through Mr Liu?

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 27, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Hi Lee, that’s so exciting! I would love to bring my son there too. You can ask the driver if he knows those fruit picking places as I’m not familiar. I’m not sure if you can contact him directly, but you can try! Have a wonderful trip!!

  • Reply
    Phylicia
    September 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Sheena, Thank you for sharing! the places that you went seem interesting and fun. can i ask for the High speed rail train inside is there baggage storage area? as i’m travelling alone and afraid to put it up above the seat, beside is there washroom inside too?

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      September 28, 2017 at 8:43 am

      Hi Phylicia, sorry when we went, we didn’t bring any baggage so I didn’t notice the storage area. Also, if I recall correctly, we did not use the washroom so I’m not sure either but I think from the website it says that there are washrooms! :) So don’t worry about it. Have a great trip!!

  • Reply
    ky
    October 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Sheena,

    Does the day trip includes transport back to the HSR station or the final stop was at feng jia?

    By the way, i love your blog!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Ky yes he dropped us back at the HSR station. :) Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Maffy
    October 19, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Sheena! Are these places far from each other?

    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 19, 2017 at 10:15 pm

      Not so far but you definitely need a car!

  • Reply
    Ling
    October 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Is Mr Zhang on WhatsApp? Can’t seems to contact him..

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      He should be. Unless he changed numbers. :(

  • Reply
    Ling
    October 20, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Does Mr Zhang use WhatsApp? I m interested to engage him too!

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      October 21, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Yes we communicated via WhatsApp!

  • Reply
    Sheena Lim
    November 16, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    Hi Sheena :) what time was your trip from Taichung to Taipei? I’m thinking of going to Taichung for a day trip only too. Thank you for posting this article. It’s really helpful :)

    • Reply
      Sheena Sy Gonzales
      November 17, 2017 at 11:35 pm

      Hi Sheena! :) Shucks I don’t remember anymore. It was after dinner so I’m guessing around 8pm+?

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