Taichung (臺中 or 台中; Tái-zhōng)  is located in the west-central part of the island of Taiwan. It has a pleasant climate and a population of just over 2.6 million people, making it the third largest city on the island after New Taipei and Kaohsiung. The city is home to many manufacturers and in recent years has experienced rapid growth in the diversity of its cultural offerings.
Among the activities to catch when visiting Taichung: the world-class science museum and hiking in the nearby hills. There are also many famous night markets that provide night-time excitement. Here you can enjoy delicious food and drink, and find cheap and interesting items for sale. These include the ChungHwa night market (中華夜市), the Feng-Chia university night market (逢甲夜市), the Tung-Hai university night market (東海夜市), and the Chung-Shiao night market (忠孝夜市)).
Taiwanese aborigines originally populated the plain where modern Taichung City is located. They lived by cultivating millet and taro and hunting deer. Several local names in central Taiwan contain the word for "deer," including Shalu Township and Lukang Township in Changhua County.
Early history of Taichung
Taichung was founded in 1705 as a part of Changhua County, originally named Dadun (ch: 大墩; p: Dàdūn; w: Ta-tun; lit. large mound). At this point in history, the Qing Dynasty, formed by invading Manchus in the 1640s, was consolidating its hold on western Taiwan, which it had wrested from the Cheng family in 1682. As a part of strengthening its control, a garrison was founded in 1721 near the site of present-day Taichung Park by Lan Ting-chen.
All was not peaceful for Qing authorities in central Taiwan. North of the city, at the Dajia River, an aboriginal revolt broke out in 1731 after Chinese officials moved in and compelled them to provide labor. After being joined by other aboriginals, they drove as far south as the county seat of Changhua in May, 1732 before being chased into the mountains by Qing forces.
Another rebellion, this one in 1786, against Qing authorities had its roots in the nearby town of Dali, just south of Taichung City. Led by Lin Shuang-wen, it began as an attempt to overthrow the Manchu government and restore the Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately, as they moved northward, they turned to slaughter and looting. They were eventually defeated by a coalition of Hakka, Quanzhou Fujianese descendants, and Aboriginal volunteers who joined with the government to defeat the rebels.
Qing Dynasty rule era
Taiwan became a province of Qing Dynasty China in 1885, and the city, named Dadun at the time, was named capital of Taiwan Prefecture, one of three prefectures in the newly created Taiwan Province. It was also initially designated as the provincial capital, and Qing official Liu Mung-chuan received the authority from the Guangxu Emperor to oversee development of the area. However, four years later, Liu was forced to “retire” by Empress Dowager Cixi, and the provincial capital was moved to what is now known as Taipei.
Japanese colonial era
China lost the Sino-Japanese War in 1895. As a consequence, the Qing Dynasty was forced to cede Taiwan to the Japanese under Treaty of Shimonoseki. The Japanese changed the name of the city from Dadun to Taichū (台中), and began to develop the city, setting out to make it the first “modern” area of Taiwan.
However, Taichū bore the brunt of early Japanese repression. There were many rebels who stated that they had accepted amnesty from the earlier period of rebellion when the Republic of Taiwan was declared in 1895. However, many of those same people continued anti-Japanese activities. On May 25, 1902, some 360 rebels and their families accepted invitations to surrender and receive amnesty and rewards. Instead of receiving amnesty, once inside, the Japanese locked the doors and slaughtered the former rebels.
Taichū Park was completed in 1903. The old north gate, one of the few Liu-era structures to survive the Japanese reconstruction of the city, was moved to the new park. To this day, Taichung Park is one of the most popular places in the city for people to relax.
The first market in Taichū was built in 1908 along JiGuang Road between ZhongZheng and ChengGong Roads. It is still used today, and is a popular spot to purchase food and other items in downtown Taichung. Taichung Middle School (now known as Taichung First High School) was founded in 1913 by Lin Hsien-tang and his brother Lin Lie-tang, two wealthy Taiwanese intellectuals of the era. This was done in an effort to teach children the traditional culture of Taiwan and to foster a sense of local pride.
Taichū was officially designated as a city by Japanese Imperial authorities in 1920, and Taichū City Hall was completed in 1924 after eleven years of construction.
A Taiwanese cultural association founded in 1921 in Taipei by Lin Hsien-tang was moved to Taichū in 1927. Most of the members of this association were from Taichū and the surrounding area. The city became a center of Taiwanese culture and nationalism.
The newly-found prosperity of Taichū was eventually squandered by the war effort. When World War II ended in 1945, Taiwan’s economy, like Japan’s, was in shambles.
Republic of China era (1945-)
The Japanese were forced to surrender to Republic of China forces on behalf of Allied forces on 1945-10-25, who came across the Strait on U.S. ships and accepted their surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers.
The Kuomintang (KMT), also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party, relocated the government of the Republic of China to Taiwan upon losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communists.
The early post-war era was one of transition and turmoil for Taiwan. Taiwanese nationalists had divided into three prominent groups, one of which was known as the Taichung Clique. These were men with relatively high social standing during the Japanese era, such as Lin Hsien-t’ang, Yang Chao-chia, Yeh Jung-chung, and others. These men attempted to take what they believed to be their rightful place as the political leaders of the island. However, the administrator of the island, Chen Yi, opposed this faction as it contained many people, especially merchants and landlords, who had opposed his policies.
Under the authorities of the Republic of China, Taichung had become the center for organized crime and associated businesses.
On 2010-12-25, Taichung City and County of Taiwan Province merged into a new a special municipality of Taichung.
Taichung is divided into 29 geographical subdivisions, including the following 8 in Taichung City before 2010-12-25:
Taichung is blessed with pleasant climate. It is often compared to California because of the frequency of dry and sunny days. The subtropical monsoon climate gives Taichung south wind from June to August and north wind from October to May. The highest temperature appears in the summer months of July, August, and September, and the lowest temperature arrives in the winter months of January and February. The difference in temperature between summer and winter seldom exceeds about 16c. There are short periods during the winter when the temperature barely rises much above 10c. The city enjoys mild weather throughout the year, with the average annual temperature being a comfortable 23c. The average annual rainfall is around 1600 mm. The rain falls generously in the wet season (May – August) and scarcely in the dry season (October – February). Typhoons often bring very heavy rainfall and flooding, however, the unique landform of the basin means that the city suffers less than other areas in Taiwan. The basin also creates air quality problems during the dry season.
Bus is the most convenient and least expensive option. From Taipei Train Station, go to the bus terminal and take the Tong-Lien Bus (統聯客運), Kuo-Kuang Bus (國光客運). Tickets cost from NT$100-350, depending on what day of the week you travel on. Buses depart several times an hour from the early morning through evenings and the entire ride is about three hours long.
All Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) trains between Taipei and Kaohsiung stop at Taichung. The High Speed Rail station is located on the outskirts of Taichung. You can take a regular train between the two stations in about six minutes, in addition, a free bus is available to take HSR passengers downtown, to the universities, etc.
In addition, Taichung is a major stop along the Western Line with all north and south bound trains a making a stop here. Express trains (ZiQiang) are NT$375 from Taipei and NT$470 from Kaohsiung. Midrange ticket prices (Jukuang class) typically run around NT$289 from Taipei or NT$363 from Kaohsiung. The entire trip takes about three hours from both Taipei and Kaohsiung. The Western Line station is located in central Taichung.
You can rent a small car for about 2200 NT per day.
Taichung airport operates mostly as domestic hub, though it does also offer a limited international service to neighboring counties. A flight to Taipei takes 40 minutes, although air service to Taipei has been cut back lately as the High Speed Rail is generally a faster and more convenient way to get there.
An international terminal is being built currently in Taichung and is going to be the largest airport in Taiwan and the terminal's floor area is more than 800,000 square meters. This airport is normally compared to the Beijing Capital International Airport T3, The Changi International Airport T3 in Singapore, and other big airports around the world. This new airport will offer at least 80 airlines and more than 70 restaurants. This airport was scheduled to be finished by the end of 2009. However, as of early 2011 this expansion has not yet been completed.
Compared to Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taichung's public transit system is much more limited. There is no MRT system but bus service is frequent on Taizhonggang road from the train station to the west side of town. Buses also run frequently from the train station along SanMin Road to BeiTun District. As of May 2009, a more improved bus system has been implemented but only runs until 10pm. Most fares are about NT25 per ride. An refillable fare card is available but not required.
As of summer 2010, eight bus lines (Routes #51-58) run from various points around the city free of charge. A few of these routes require a traveler to walk several hundred meters to the northeast along JianGuo Road to reach the beginning of these free routes.
Traveling by scooter is the most convenient option. For those with a Taiwanese driver's license, renting a scooter can be done. Otherwise, you will need to take taxis. Taxis are convenient, and fares start at NT$85 at flag-fall. Tips are not required. The downtown area is sufficiently compact to make it easy to get around on foot, although many shop owners will utilize the sidewalk in front of their business. This can make walking something of an ordeal, dodging traffic as you are forced to walk on the street.
An MRT system in the city is under construction and the first line from the High speed Rail Station to Fengyuan should be completed somewhere in 2014. The future completed Taichung MRT will have stations at the Science Park, New Taichung City Hall, Taichung Convention Center, Shui-Nan Financial District, High Speed Rail Station, Taichung International Airport, and more.
The Central Cross-Island Highway (Provincial Highway Number 8) remains closed between Guguan and Deji since the major earthquake on 1999-09-21. As repairs are underway, traveling between Dongshi District and Lishan Village in Heping District on the road requires a long detour through Puli, Nantou County. Prepare to allow at least 4 hours for the extra travel on the mountainous roads.
The Taichung BRT Blue Line (Chinese: 臺中快捷巴士）is an articulated bus Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system located in Taichung, Taiwan. It operates between Taichung TRA Station and Providence University. The 17.1-kilometer (10.6 mi) line serves 21 stations. It is the first BRT line in the nation. The line is planned to be replaced by a MRT system in the future. The line opened for the public on July 27, 2014. At some sections of the network, the BRT has a dedicated fast lane, so it'll cut your travel time if you are in a rush. The BRT is currently Free of Charge to use in it's first year of operation, so be sure to use this to your advantage when planning your routes! Also as a consequence, the BRT could be over crowded. Even though it is free, you are still required to tap your EasyCard upon entry and exit although no amount would be deducted.
Clothes Stores at FCNM
A One Day Trip Visitor's Example for FCNM If you ride a motorcycle to Feng Chia Night Market, you should try to find an empty spot on any of the small side streets. Parking monitors gives tickets to scooters parked on the main roads. It costs NT 20 per hour to park on main roads around Feng Chia Night Market. If you drive a car, finding a place to park on the street is almost impossible, so you’ll have to park in one of the many pay lots in the area. You can’t miss them because they have people with flashlights trying to wave you in. Parking costs NT50 to park for the entire evening. However you go to Feng Chia Night Market, you should go there early because the later you go there, the more crowded it is. First, you may want to get something to drink. You can buy taro ball tea at KOI tea shop on Fu-Xhin Road. It is delicious! Another choice is winter melon tea on Qing-He St. Winter melon tea is a Taiwanese specialty. It is not too sweet. You might also try ice black tea with tapioca pearls at Happiness Ice Black Tea on Wenhua Road. They use crushed ice in their drinks so they stay cold for a long time, and the pearls are very delicious because their tapioca pearls are handmade. It is really worthwhile to try it. Next, we suggest that you walk around and visit various specialty shops while you enjoy your drink. There is a special vendor that sells decorative items made from colored wire. They will make one with your name or an image such as the island of Taiwan or an animal shape. These are made to be used as key chains or cell phone fobs. These are all made by hand, so they are very unique. They are also nice gifts or souvenirs. After you tell them what you want, your selection will be ready in about an hour. Now it is snack time. First, you should try Wu Tsay Sau between Alley 28 and Alley 10 on Feng Chia Road LN.20. The sign says 新鮮烏賊 + 海 鮮燉飯=烏賊燒. This means cuttlefish + squid with rice = cuttlefish squid. Because they only sell one thing, all you have to do is tell them how many you want. It will cost you NT55. Another choice is a store named Ying Mu Ding. It is near the Wu Tsay Sau store on Alley 10 of Feng Chia Road LN.20. They take fried noodles and some Chinese cabbage and serve it in a white bread roll. It is a really delicious snack. After having some snacks, you can visit Feng Chia University to take a rest. You can enjoy your snack and do some people watching. It is a really big campus, and many people use the campus as a public park. You can watch students playing basketball, visit the bookstore, or just walk around. Finally, maybe you’d like to enjoy a late dinner. One special restaurant is named Do What on Lane 150 of Wenhua Road. They sell some Western foods such as spaghetti and chicken with rice. They also sell a variety of snacks. The real reason to go there is to play the games they have there. The games are all from Western countries. If you lose at the games, the restaurant has many strange punishments, such as wearing an Afro wig or big eyeglasses, or word cards with punishment sentences written on them. The restaurant’s name is to make people remember it easily. Do What is compelling.
Traditional markets in Taiwan are aggregations of a variety of different types of vendors. The defining feature of traditional markets is vendors who sell fresh and processed produce and meat. Intermingled with these vendors are other vendors selling a wide variety of items ranging from specialty food items to common household items to clothing and shoes to tools. The term 'traditional market' may refer to a single, enclosed area or to a general aggregation of vendors along the roads of a given area. These areas also commonly include restaurants and beverage shops. Many people in Taiwan purchase their food daily daily at traditional markets.
Address: 台中市西區向上路一段218巷 Ln. 218, Sec. 1, Xiangshang Rd., West Dist., Taichung City
There is a parking lot about 100m from the intersection of Zhongmei and Xianshang Roads. Of course you can park a scooter just about anywhere, but the streets, lanes and alleys are small and jam packed. 洪紅茶冰 (Hong Iced Black Tea) is on Zhongmei Road about 25 meters from Xianshang Road. This is a small cart with has a red sign and yellow letters that say 洪紅茶冰 (Hong Iced Black Tea). They only sell iced black tea, so all you have to do is tell them how many you want and what size-大,中,小 (da, zhong, xiao). A small is 10NT, a medium is 15 NT, and a large is 20 NT. 向上水餃 (Xianshang Dumplings) is on Zhongmei Road about 100m from Xianshang Road next to a small alley. It’s a small stand with a white sign with red letters that say 向上水餃 (Xiang Shang Dumplings). There are also two larger signs that are red with white letters that say the same thing. They sell boiled dumplings with pork filling for 2NT each. You just ask for how many you want. You can get these to go, or you can sit at a table in a small area behind the stand. Also, you can buy uncooked dumplings to bring home. Just tell them how many you want ‘冷凍’ (ren dong), which means uncooked. The oldest, original part of the market is a covered walkway on Zhongmei Road about 100m from Xianshang Road. There are many different types of vendors in here, but none of them are especially unique or interesting. In sum, they pretty much sell stuff you can buy just about anywhere. There is probably no article of Taiwanese food you couldn’t find here. Walking through here gives you a real idea of what an old Chinese marketplace must have been like. At the intersection of 向上北路 (Xianshang Bei Road) and 向上北路224巷 (Xianshang Bei Road Lane 224 ), there are two vendors that have some of the lowest prices in the area for fruits and vegetables. The fruit vendor is on Xianshang Bei Road to the left of the entrance of the covered market area, and the vegetable vendor is about 25m down Lane 224 on your left. Both of these places sell by the piece or by weight. You may see hand written signs that say things like 4把50元or 4顆100元 which means how many of something you get for how much money. 專賣澎湖空運海產 (Specialty Vendor of Peng hu Air Freight Seafood) On Lane 224 inside the covered area of the market, there is a small seafood vendor. This vendor has a white sign with blue and red writing on it. The name on the sign says 專賣澎湖空運海產 (Specialty Vendor of Peng hu Air Freight Seafood). It is about 50m down the lane on your right. As with most seafood vendors, you buy by weight. Under a green awning at the corner of 向上北路 (Xianshang Bei Road) and 華美路 (Huamei Road) there is a restaurant with no name. They have a red sign with white letters that gives the names and prices of the food. One good thing to try here is 魯肉飯 (Lou Rou Fan) which is soy sauce-marinated ground pork over rice. One bowl costs 25 NT. On Huamei Road about 25m form Xianshang Road, there is a small restaurant that sells 4 things - 肉燥飯 (Rou Zao Fan) is 20 NT, 魷魚肉羹麵/飯/米粉/冬粉 (Youyu Rou Geng Mian/ Fan/ Mi Fen/ Dong Fen) is 30 NT. This is a kind of thick soup served over your choice of different types of noodles or rice. 魷魚肉羹 (Youyu Rou Geng) is 30 NT and 乾麵 (Gan Mian) is 20 NT. There is a large sign with a picture of rose on it high above the street with the name of the place on it. Over the cooking area at the front of the restaurant, there is a yellow sign with the names of the dishes on it. You have to tell them what you want, and they will ask you 內用外帶 (Nei Yong Wai Dai) which means “for here or go.” The seating area is small, and second place dose a lot of business. This place does a lot of business because the food is delicious and cheap. If you want 內用 (Nei Yong), you may have to wait a while. You should be happy with whatever you ask for. On Xianshang Bei Road a short distance away from the market, there is a restaurant an the left side of the street as you approach 美村路 (Meicun Road). This is a place that sells 清蒸肉圓 (steamed ba wan) in a special, delicious sauce. They have a large, white sign that says 狀元 (Chuang Yuen) in green and 清蒸肉圓 (Ching Jen Rou Yuan), which roughly translates as ‘top student’ steamed glutinous rice flour dumplings. Though the name is a bit self explanatory, it may be helpful to know that these are large, gloopy, semi - transparent dumplings with pork filling. Most places sell ba wan fried, but this is one of the few in Taichung that sells them steamed. Just ask for一份 (Yi Fen) and you get one serving of 2 ba wan. They also have a full menu of standard Chinese fare. 阿川鵝肉 (A Chan E Rou) At the intersection of 美村路一段 (Meicun Road) and 中美街224巷 (Zhongmei Street Lane 224) there is a restaurant that sells 鵝肉 (goose) They have a large sign that says 阿川鵝肉 (A Chan E Rou) in white with a picture of goose on it. They sell by weight. They will ask you which part of goose you want.
Address: 台中市東區建國路 224 號 No.224, Jianguo Rd., East Dist., Taichung City
Jianguo market is at the corner of 建國路 (JianguoRoad) and 八德街 (Bade Street) near the main train station. The market runs for about two blocks along Bade Street, and there are also many vendors along the side streets off of Bade Street. This is the biggest traditional market in Taichung. Aside from being a market for everyday shoppers, it is also a wholesale market, supplying other traditional markets and restaurants in Taichung. Look for signs that say 寄車 (Ji Che), which are for pay parking. These usually charge 30NT per hour. You can also park your car or motorcycle at the intersection of 八德街 (Bade Street) and 復興路四段 (Fuxing Road Section 4). Someone will clip a ticket onto your car or motorcycle, and you can then go to any convenience store to pay the parking fee. The fee is printed on the ticket. Inside the market building at the corner of Jianguo and Bade Street there is a warren of small vendors selling everything from household items to frog’s legs. 蘋果專賣店 (Specialty Vendor of Apples) On 八德街 (Bade Street) about 500m from the bridge at Fuxing Road, there is a stand with red canvas and white letters that say 蘋果專賣店 (Specialty Vendor of Apple). They sell apples based on the sizes of the apples. For example, you can get 3 large apples for 100NT, or 13 smaller apples for the same price. You can buy the apples in a bag or they will place them in a gift box. 雪農產行(Xue Agricultural Production) On 新民街 (Xinmin Street) about 30m from 南京路 (Nanjing Road), there is a sign with red and green letters that say 雪農產行(Xue Agricultural Production). They sell a variety of vegetables. You may see handwritten signs that say things like 一把10元, 一斤30元, 一粒5元 or 一條10元, which means how many of something you get for how much money. 三郎水果行 (San Lang Fruit Vendor) This is a popular fruit vendor on 武德街 (Wude Street) about 20m from 八德街 (Bade Street). It’s always the most crowded fruit vendor at this market. They sell just about any kind of fruit you can imagine. The stand has a red canvas awning with green letters that say 三郎水果行 (San Lang Fruit Vendor). They sell fruit by weight or by the piece. 萬家香 (Wan Jia Shiang) There is a store called 萬家香 (Wan Jia Xiang) at 建國路228號 (228 Jianguo Road). This store has a red sign and white letters. It sells cured meat, pork sausage and liver sausage. Their most popular product is ham. 阿鄉 (A Shiang) Many blogs recommend a small restaurant, that’s right inside the large market building at the corner of Jianguo and Bade Street. There is a small sign on the wall in front of the restaurant that says 阿鄉 (A Shiang) 1987. It is open daily from 7am till 2pm, and it is closed on Mondays. They sell 雞腿飯 (ji tui fan - chicken leg with rice), 排骨飯 (pai gu fan – pork filet with rice) and 爌肉飯 (kuang rou fan – pork belly with rice). On the blogs we read, people say their meals are very delicious, so even though it is small and dingy, it is worth a try. When you order a meal like ji tui fan (chicken leg with rice), you have to select three side dishes from the display case. You can just point at what you want. The prices are on the wall behind the counter. Ji tui fan, for example, costs 70NT. 聖芸 (Sheng Yun) vegetarian restaurant is at 建國路197號 (197 Jianguo Road). It has a white sign and red letters. It is open from 6:30am to 1:30pm. They sell many kinds of noodles, soups and a tasty kind of ground pork with rice. The most popular soup is jute soup because while jute soup generally tastes bitter, the soup here does not.
Address: 台中市中區三民路2 段87 號 No.87, Sec. 2, Sanmin Rd., Central Dist., Taichung City
At Second Market all of the vendors are under one roof. There is a map of the layout of the market at each entrance. Second Market assigns numbers to all of the vendors. In the descriptions of selected vendors below, the ‘vendor number’ is the number assigned to the vendor by the market authority. The numbers include the Chinese characters 臨 (lin) and 內 (nei). For example, if a vendor’s number is 臨175, there will be black letters on the vendor’s stand. 菜頭粿王糯米腸 (Radish Cake Wong Sticky Rice Sausage) is at 三民路二段87號 (87 Sanmin Rd, Sec.2). It is a small vendor’s stand. It has a yellow sign with red letters that say 菜頭粿王糯米腸 (Radish Cake Wong Sticky Rice Sausage). It also has black letters that say 臨175 on it. It has another white sign with red letters that say 菜頭粿+米腸+蛋 55, which means radish cake plus sticky rice sausage plus egg cost 55NT. Just say 一份菜頭粿+米腸+蛋 (yi fen tsai tou guei jia mi chang jia dan). They also sell 甜不辣 (tempura), 大腸 (pork intestines), and soup. It is open from 7am to 6pm. You can get this to go, or you can eat it at tables. 三代福州意麵 (Three Generations Fuzhou Yee Mien) Just across the street from this vendor, there is a white sign with red letters that say 三代福州意麵 (Three Generations Fuzhou Yee Mien) and blue letters that say 餛飩‧福州魚丸‧排骨 (won ton, fu jou fish balls, pai gu). It is open 8:30am to 4:30pm. This is a small restaurant that sells many kinds of noodle dishes, 糯米腸 (sticky rice sausage), 滷味 (soya-mixed meat) and soup. You can order 一碗乾意麵 (yi wan gan yee mien). One bowl costs 40NT. When you order something, they will ask 內用外帶? (nei yong wai dai?), which means, ‘for here or to go?’ There are many tables inside where you can sit. You can also buy uncooked won ton to bring home. A box of won ton costs 120NT. Also, you can buy a bottle of their special sauce 麻醬 (ma jiang). One bottle costs 150NT. Their number is 內153. 楊田肉舖 (Yang Tian Meat Vendor) Near the hexagonal pillar in the center of the market, there is a white sign with black letters that say 專賣黑豬肉 (Specialty Vendor of Black Pork). It also has red letters that say 楊田肉舖 (Yang Tian Meat Vendor) with their telephone number on it. It has a white board with blue letters that say 今日肉價 (today’s prices). There is also a sign that says TFP (Taiwan Fresh Pig) on a black pig’s body. This is a quality mark for pork in Taiwan. It is closed on Mondays. They sell 里肌肉 (li ji rou – pig’s back), 五花肉 (wu hua rou – pig’s belly) and 胛心肉 (jia shin rou – near the pig’s front of feet). This meat vendor is the most popular one at Second Market. You can choose which meat you want and look at the white board to check the price. 三寶剉冰 (san bao Shaved Ice) is on 三民路二段第二市場三之一 (Sanmin Rd, Sec.2, Second Market Third of First). It has a banner with dark red letters that say 第二市場三寶剉冰 (Second Market Shan Bau Shaved Ice) and blue letters that say 各式剉冰 (many kinds of shaved ice). They sell 剉冰 (shaved ice), 咖啡 (coffee), 柳橙汁 (orange juice), 檸檬汁 (lemon juice), 木瓜牛奶 (papaya with milk) and 酪梨牛奶 (avocado with milk). The shaved ice is served in bowls and mixed with various ingredients. One good thing to try here is 一碗綜合剉冰 (yi wan zong he cuo bing). This is a bowl of shaved ice served with red beans, peanuts, pearl barley, and sweet beans. One bowl costs 40NT. 李海魯肉飯 (Lee Hai Braised Pork Rice) Their vendor number is 內 98. It has a yellow sign with red letters that say 李海魯肉飯 (Lee Hai Braised Pork Rice). It is open from 5pm to 5am. A small is 45NT and a large is 55NT. You can say 一碗大的魯肉飯 (yi wan da de lou rou fan), which is braised pork served over rice. You can get this to go, or sit at tables. 山河魯肉飯 (Shan Ho Braised Pork Rice) Another good place to get braised pork dishes here is 山河魯肉飯 (Shan Ho Braised Pork Rice). Their vendor number is 內 103. It has a red sign with yellow letters that say 第二市場山河魯肉飯 (Second Market Shan Ho Braised pork rice). There is also another large sign that is red with white letters that say the same thing. It is open from 4am to 2:30pm. You can ask for 一碗魯肉飯 (yi wan lou rou fan), which is braised pork served over rice . One bowl costs 45NT. It has two dinning areas, so you can eat it there or get it to go. Both 李海魯肉飯 (Lee Hai Braised Pork Rice) and 山河魯肉飯 (Shan Ho Braised Pork Rice) are famous for their delicious braised pork rice. 茂川肉丸 (Mao Chuan Meat Balls) is outside the market at 中正路225號 (225 Zhongzheng Rd). It has an orange sign with red letters that say茂川肉丸 (Mao Chuan Meat Balls) and black letters that say 原丁山肉圓 (Yuen Ding Shan Meat Balls). Their vendor number is A01. There is also another large sign that is red with white letters that say the same thing. They sell 意麵 (yee mien), 餛飩麵 (won ton noodles), 肉丸 (meat balls) and soup. This is a small restaurant that has an air conditioned dining area. 顏記肉包 (Yan Ji Meat buns) is at 三民路二段103號 (103 Sanmin Rd, Sec.2). It has a yellow sign that says 顏記三代老店餛飩湯 (Yan Ji San Dai Lao Dian Hun Dun Tang ) in red, 肉包正第二市場 (Rou Bao Zheng Di Er Shi Chang) in blue and A17 in black. There is another sign with orange and green letters that say the same thing on the glass. They only sell two things － 肉包 (meat buns) and 餛飩湯 (won ton soup). A typical order here is 一顆肉餛包和一飩碗湯 (yi ke rou bao han yi wan huen duen tang) which means one meat bun and a bowl of won ton soup. Each Meat bun costs 30NT and won ton soup costs 40NT. You can eat there or get it to go.
Address: 台中市南區臺中路 90 號 No.90, Taichung Rd., South Dist., Taichung City
Third Market runs for about one block on Heping Road and for a couple of blocks in either direction where Heping Road intersects with Minyi Street. The area has a covering of colorful plastic streamers stretched between the buildings over the streets. 蔡紅豆餅 (Tsai Red Bean Cake) is on Heping St right at the market entrance. This is a small cart. It has a purple sign with yellow letters and red letters that say蔡紅豆餅 (cai hong dou bing). It sells 紅豆餅 (red bean cake), 奶油餅 (butter cake), and 蘿蔔絲 (radish silk cake). You can ask for 一個紅豆餅 (yi ge hung dou bing) to get a red bean cake. Each cake costs 7NT and three cost 20NT. 廣記肉鬆專門店 (Guang Ji Fried Pork Fiber Specialty Shop) is at和平街13號 (13 Heping Street). The opening hours are 9am to 8pm. It has a white sign with red and blue letters with the name of the shop on it. It has been in business for 70 years. They sell 肉乾 (dried meat), 香腸 (sausage) and 肉鬆 (shredded pork). 肉鬆 (rou sung) costs 300NT per 300 grams. You can also buy a gift box and choose what you want to put in it. 榮記餅店 (Rong Ji Cake Shop) is at 復興路三段370巷11號 (370 Fuxing Road, Section 3, Lane 11). It has a yellow sign with dark red letters and has been in business for many years. They sell delicious cakes. 兩相好 (liang shiang hau–fried bread) costs 220NT per 600 grams, and 鹹蛋糕 (shian dan gau–salty cake) costs 150NT per 600 grams. These are two of their most delicious selections. They also sell 檸檬蛋糕 (ning meng dangao – lemon cake) 鳯梨酥 (feng li su – pineapple cake) and 老婆餅 (lau po bing – a sweet cake) by the piece for 20NT. 紅茶 (Hong Cha Cart) – There is a no-name cart that has a yellow sign with black letters that say 紅茶 (hong cha) at 民意街53號 (53 Minyi Street). They sell 紅茶冰 (iced black tea), and their opening hours are 9am to 6pm. A medium (中 – zhong) is 25NT, and a small (小 – small) is 20NT. You can say, 一杯小杯紅茶冰 (Yi bei shiau bei hong cha bing). They also sell 冬瓜茶 (dong gua cha - tea flavored with a Chinese squash) and 咖啡紅茶 (ka fei hung cha-tea flavored with coffee). Vegetable Vendor – There is a no-name vegetable vendor next to 廣記肉鬆專門店 (Guang Ji Fried Pork Fiber Specialty Shop). All the vegetables there are very fresh. When you buy any vegetable, the vendor will give you a bunch of green onions for free.
Address: 台中市西區大明街 9 號 No.9, Daming St., West Dist., Taichung City
Fifth Market begins at the corner of 大明和自立街 (Daming and Tzli Street). There is a big sign on the building at the corner that says 第五市場 (di wu shr chang), and it also says The Fifth Market in English. The market has stalls, vendors and shops along both Daming and Tzli Street, as well as on 樂群 (Luchuen Street). There are many different vendors and shops inside the building. There is a parking lot on Luchuen Street near Tzli Street. You can also park a scooter on the streets, lanes and alleys. 龍成肉舖 (Long Cheng Meat Vendor) is inside the market building near an entrance on 自立街7號 (7 Tzli Street) and 自立街9號 (9 Tzli Street). There is a stand with blue letters that say 龍成肉舖 (Long Cheng Meat Vendor). They sell meat by weight. It is very popular and their meat sells out quickly every day. There are no price signs, so you have to ask the vendor 肉一斤賣多少錢? (Rou yi jin mai duo shao cian?), which means, How much is this? 聯發製麵廠 (Lian Fa Jhih Mian Chang) is at 大明街7號 (7 Daming Street). There is a stand with a yellow sign with blue letters that say 聯發製麵廠 (Lian Fa Jhih Mian Chang). They sell uncooked noodles like 意麵 (Yi Mian) and 全麥麵 (Cyuan Mai Mian). They sell prepackaged noodles and they also sell noodles by weight. 意麵 (Yi Mian) costs 35NT for one small bag. 大方烤雞 (Da Fang Roast Chicken) is inside the market building near an entrance on Tzli Street. There is a stand with a yellow sign with red letters that say 大方烤雞 (Da Fang Roast Chicken). They sell 煙燻烤雞肉/鴨肉/鵝肉 (yan syun kao ji rou, ya rou and e rou- barbequed chicken, duck and goose). A small is serving costs 150NT and a large is 250NT. Just tell them 一份小的or一份大的 (yi fen xiao de) (yi fen da de), which means one small or one large 煙燻烤雞肉/鴨肉/鵝肉 (yan syun kao ji rou, ya rou and e rou). For example, if you want a large serving of chicken, you should say, “Yi fen da de ji rou.” Da Fang Roast Chicken is popular, and many blogs recommend it. There is a vegetable vendor with no name next to Da Fang Roast Chicken. There is a small white sign with blue letters that say GAP (Good Agriculture Practice) displayed on their stand. They sell by piece or by weight. There are no price signs, so you have to ask 怎麼賣? (Ze me mai?), which means, How much is this? And just point at want you want. 麻糬之家 (Mochi Jhih Jia) is inside the market building near an entrance on大明街9之1號 (9-1 Daming Street). There is a stand with a purple sign with white letters that say 麻糬之家 (Mochi Jhih Jia). They sell mochi, herb jelly and vegetarian gelatin. Their mochi is their most well-known item. It comes in three favors- peanut, sesame and red bean. There are signs that say 每盒10粒,一盒50元, which means you get 10 mochi for 50NT. 太空紅茶冰 (Tai Kong iced black tea) is at 樂群街41-1號 (41-1 Luchuen Street). There is a cart with a white sign with small blue letters that say 太空 (Tai Kong). It also has big red letters that say 紅茶冰 (iced black tea). They sell iced black tea in plastic bags and in cups. Previously in Taiwan, drinks were always sold in plastic bags, and some people still prefer to buy it this way. Also, you get more tea for the same amount of money that you pay for a cup.
Yizhong Street is a night market type of area is located near 中友百貨 (Chungyo Department Store) in the northwest of Taichung. Aside from NTIT and Taichung First High School, there are also many cram schools in the area, so if is always teeming with students. The vendors, shops and restaurants in the area are more or less located there to serve this youthful population. Therefore, most of the shops sell items catered to their tastes, and the vendors and restaurants emphasize low prices and a casual atmosphere. The area more or less centers around the Shuei Li? Buildings Which houses many cram schools. All of the streets, lanes and alleys running in every direction from the Shuei Li building are crammed with shops and vendors, and they are all teeming with young people most of the afternoon and evening and into the night. Besides being close to Chungyo Department Store, Yizhong Street is also close to the Taichung Confucian Temple, the Taichung Baseball Field and Zhongshan Park, and the street address is 台中市404北區一中街 (404 Yizhong Street).
Restaurants at Yizhong Street
Hong Kong Story is located at 116 Yizhong Street. The sign is black with golden letters that say 香港故事. This is a restaurant that sells Hong Kong-style food, including meals and smacks. The most popular snack is 波蘿油 (Buo Luo You). This is a snack of hot bread with cold butter inside. It costs 45NT for two slices. At this restaurant, you check off what you want on a paper menu and take it to the cashier. Then they will bring what you ordered to your table. You could also tell the clerk, “一份波蘿油”(Yi fen buo luo you) if you want to try the bread. You can choose to eat there or get it to go. If you want to try a meal there, you can ask for a 海鮮火鍋 (Hai shien huo guo), which is a seafood hotpot. They also sell a variety of hot and cold tea drinks.
This tea house is located at 11 Lane 107, Taiping Road (太平路107巷11號). This lane is across from California Fitness. The sign is a red circle board with black letters that say ”ㄙㄢㄕˊ”. These are Taiwanese phonetic symbols which sound like the name of the tea house. Their hours are 11:00a.m. to 10:30p.m. There is a black menu on the wall. They sell almond tea and snacks such as clay oven rolls with fried bread sticks. We ordered one cup of their specialty-almond tea, and it tasted smooth and mellow. The prices are between 35NT and 85NT. If you want a cup of almond tea, say我要一杯杏仁茶 (Wo yao yi bei shing ren cha).
This restaurant is located at 111 Swan Shi Road Section 2 (雙十路二段111號二段). It has a red wall and a white gate out front, and there are a train beside the building. They sell Hong-Kong-style snacks and hot pot meals. They also sell things like candy and toys. Another special thing about this restaurant is that there is an old railroad car next to the building. It’s like a museum exhibit you can walk around in and imagine what it was like to ride a train many years ago. Single servings of snacks cost between 60 and 100NT, and hot pot meals cost between 200 and 300NT.
There is an old-fashioned, Japanese-style house on a small lane. There is no sign. It looks like a residence with many plants surrounding it. It’s also decorated like a home inside, so it has a relaxing atmosphere. Though it all looks like a Japanese residence, it’s a restaurant that sells spaghetti, sandwiches and coffee. It’s at 7 Lane 75, Taiping Road (太平路75巷7號). Furthermore, there are always a lot of cats hanging around in the area in front of the restaurant. It’s open from 12p.m. to 12a.m. Meals cost 150 to 350NT. To order a plate of spaghetti with clam and garlic sauce, you should say 一份蒜香蛤蠣義大利麵 (Yi fen suan shiang geli yidalimian). It costs 190NT. It’s a nice place to eat, drink and chat with friends.
一中豐仁冰 (Yizong Fong Ran Ice) is located in 6 Yee Tsai Street (育才街6號). The stand has a white board with the name of the shop on it. In summer, you may have to wait in line for a long time because it’s very popular. The specialty is 豐仁冰 (Fong Ran Ice). This is crushed ice mixed with plum juice, red beans, and ice cream. If you want to eat this at the shop, you must ask for a bowl 一碗 (Yi Wan). If you want it to go, you must ask for 一杯 (Yi Bei).
Food and Drink Vendors at Yizhong Street
This drinks vendor is located at 43 Yizhong Street, opposite the 水利大樓 (Shuei Li Building). They sell drinks made with gelatin mixed with milk or brown sugar water. It has a big white sign with a green and orange words, and there is a picture of a frog beside the words. You can choose what you want from the board, and order 一杯 (Yi Bay) for one. 青蛙下蛋 (Ching Wa Sha Dan) also sells vegetarian gelatin combined with lemon. The price is between 25 and 30NT.
半月燒 (Ban Yue Shau) is at 31 Yutsai South Street (育才南街31號) across from the 水利大樓 (Shuei Li Building). This is the tallest building in the area There’s a yellow sign with a big sign with black letters that say半月燒 (Ban Yue Shau). Under the sign, there are five pictures that show different kinds of pancakes. There are pork, corn, tuna, chicken and beef. These may be ordered with or without cheese. This shop also sells pancakes made with fried eggs and Chinese basil. They cost 35 to 40NT. You can just point at one of the pictures to order, and you can pay 5 dollars to add cheese. To order a chicken flavor for one, you should say 一份雞肉燒 (Yi Fen Ji Rou Shau). It costs 35NT. The vendor will ask you 加起司嗎 (Jia Chisz Ma?), means “ Do you want to add cheese?
饕饌 (Tau Juan) is at No.33, Yutsai South Street (台中市育才南街33號 ). It’s next to 半月燒 (Ban Yue Shau). There’s a big a sign with two pictures of rice balls and clay oven rolls. On the top of the sign there are beige and brown letters that say 饕饌 (Tau Juan). Under the big sign, there’s a small white sign with black letters which lists eight selections. This vendor only sells clay oven rolls and roast rice balls. Both of them are made with pork, chicken, beef or lamb. The filling of the roast rice balls includes pickled cabbage, dried bean curd, stewed egg and fried bread sticks. The fillings of the clay oven rolls are cabbage and diced, preserved radish. These cost between 40 and 45NT. The vendor also adds Taiwanese pickled cabbage to every order for free. The most popular snack is the roast rice balls. To order roast rice balls with chicken, you should say 一份烤飯糰 (Yi Fen Ji Rou Kau Fan Tuan). It cost 45NT.
王印乾麵 is located at 65-1 Taiping Road (太平路65號之1). 王印乾麵 (Wang Yien Noodles) is point on a small yellow sign with yellow words. The specialty at 王印乾麵 (Wang Yien Noodles) is handmade noodles with a spicy sauce. Many people will order this when they visit there. You should ask for 一碗 (Yi Wan) for one, and the price is 30 to 40NT.
山西刀削麵食館is located at 18 Yutsai South Street (育才南路18號) It has a big white sign with the name of the shop in red words. Its specialties are hand- sliced noodles with beef soup, and木須炒麵 (moo shi chao mian). The price is between 50NT+70NT, and they also sell fried rice and many other noodle dishes. You should ask for牛肉麵 (a bowl of beef noodles) or 炒麵 ( fried noodles) for one.
This vendor is located at 20 Yizhong Street. There is a cartoon man on an orange sign with purple letters that say胖子雞丁. Their opening hours are 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and they are closed every Tuesday. They sell fried chicken, including chicken legs, and chicken breasts. They also sell French fries and various quick-fried vegetables. There is a menu in Chinese that shows the items and the prices. If you want to buy a small bag of diced chicken, you say 我要一份小的雞丁(Wo yao yi fen hsiao de ji ding). We bought one small bag of fried diced chicken to check it out. It tasted delicious and juicy. A small one costs 40 NT, and a large bag costs 60NT.
This small stand is located at 65-1 Taiping Road (太平路65號之1), next to胖子雞丁 (Ponz Ji Ding). Opposite the building is中興堂 (Zhong Xing Tang). There is a white sign with black letters that say 雄爺雞蛋糕 (Shing Ye Ji Dan Gao). They sell small cakes with different fillings such as chocolate, butter, cheese, or peanuts. There are many small boards below the sign that show the flavors and prices. If you want to want a bag of cheese flavor, you can say 我要一份起士口味的 (Wo yao yi fen cheese kou wei de). These are small and convenient to eat while you walk around. A small bag of any flavor costs 10NT-20NT.
日式炸物 (Japanese Fry) is an unusual and cheap vendor that has been in the Yizhong Street market area for over 6 years. It’s on Yutsai South Street (育才南街), in front of 一中二街購物廣場 (Yizhong Second Street Shopping Plaza). There’s a blue sign with white letters that say日式炸物 (Japanese Fry), and the small stand is decorated in a Japanese style. The snacks are unique and delicious. They sell fried bananas, fried cheese balls, fried hash browns, and fried chicken speared on skewers. The cost is between 15+ 30NT. One popular snack they sell is fried bananas. A skewer of fried bananas only costs 15NT. To order a fried bananas, you should say 一份炸香蕉 (Yi Fen Ja Shiang Jieu).
Hao Da Ji Pai is located at 49 Yizhong Street. It has a big yellow sign with a chicken picture and red words that say 一中豪大雞排 (Yizhong Hao Da Ji Pai). The wall inside is made of wood. This vendor sells fried food like French fries, quick-fried vegetables, chicken breast filets, and mushrooms. The most popular item is the chicken breast filets. Just say, 一份雞排 ( Yi fen ji pie ) to ask for one. The seller will ask you 要切嗎? (Yao chie ma? ), which means do you want it chopped up or not. It costs 45NT. If you want it spicy you can say, 我要加辣 (Wo yao ja la), and they sprinkle it with cayenne pepper powder.
Mr. Sam is located on Yizhong Street 61 Lane. The sign is black with a yellow cartoon child’s face on it and white words that say 可樂奶 ( Kele Nai). This is a drinks vendor. They sell many different kinds of drinks, and the most special drink is 可樂奶 ( Kele Nai). It is coke with milk tea. If you want to buy a cup of this, you can say 一杯可樂奶 (Yi bei kele nai). It’s a large cup, and it costs 30NT. The seller will ask you 甜度冰塊 (Tian du bing kwai), which means how much sugar and ice do you want. The best way to enjoy this is not too sweet and very cold, so you should say “Ban tan duo bing”.
This vendor is on Yizhong Street across from 胖子雞丁 (Ponz Ji Ding). The sign si white and red words say 臭豆腐. This vendor has been in business for thirty years. They sell only stinky tofu. This is the small brown squares of fried stinky tofu that many vendors sell, but it’s always fresh and well-prepared. You can say 一份小的 (Yi fen shiao de) for a small box, it costs 30NT, or 一份大的 (Yi fen da de) for a bigger box that costs 40NT. The seller will ask you “Jia la ma?”, which means do you want it spicy. You can choose to eat it there or get it to go.
This vendor is on Yizhong Street near the A-Sir tea shop. Its sign is black and with red words with the vendor’s name on it. They sell cold boiled food like blood rice cake, chicken leg, beans, tofu and meatballs. You put the items into a small basket yourself, and they chop it up and put into a bag for you to eat with skewers. Each item costs 10NT. You can say, “Wo ye ja la”, which means do you want to add spice. The seller will ask you, “Yau ja swan tsai ma?”, which means do you want Chinese pickled cabbage or not. The rice sausage and blood rice cake are very good at this vendor. If you have no idea about what you should try, just grab a bunch of stuff and see how you like it.
At 83 Yizhong Street near 豪大雞排 (Hao Da Chi Pie). There is a vendor stand with a red sign with white words that say 打餅舖. This vendor sells Chinese pancakes. Their top most popular flavors are pictured on a placard over the stand. The best-seller is Chinese pickled cabbage with cheese and egg. However, we thought that cheese with egg was better than that because we tried both of them. It cost 30NT for the cheese with egg, and the Chinese pickled cabbage with cheese and egg costs 35NT. You can say “我要一份起士蛋”(Woy au yi fen chiz dan) for cheese flavor, or “我要一份酸菜起士” (Woy au yi fen swan tsai chiz) for the Chinese pickled cabbage wit cheese and egg flavor. They will ask you 要加辣嗎? (Yao ja la ma?), Which means do you want spicy.
This vendor is located at 8 Lane 75 Taiping Road. This stand is made of wood, and there are two lovely chairs in front of it. The sign over the stand says 泰好喝, and it is decorated with LED lights. They sell Thai-style drinks like black tea and milk tea. We bought a cup of milk tea. It’s orange and not very sweet, and it has a strong tea taste. We think the best way to enjoy it is fairly sweet and very cold, so you should say,”一杯奶茶全糖多冰” (Yi bei nai cha. Chuan tan duo bing.) One cup costs 35NT. They may ask you 要袋子嗎? (Yao daiz ma?) means do you want a plastic bag.
This store sells clothes, shoes and nail polish for young women. It’s on Yutsai South Street (育才南街) inside 一中二街購物廣場 (Yizhong Second Street Shopping Plaza) on the second floor. Go up the stairs, and it’s on your right beside a restroom. There’s a white sign with brown letters that say Iivery. The clothes cost between 300 and 2000NT. The prices are higher than other shops because the clothes come from Korea, and they are high quality.
The store is located at 22-3 Zunxian Street (尚賢街22號-3). The Shuei Li Building is across the street. There is a green sign with white words say Cream. It sells clothes for young women, and it is very popular. It has been open for five years. The prices of their clothes are very reasonable, so many people shop there. If you want to try the clothes on, there are two fitting rooms inside the store that you can use.
Specialty Shops at Yizhong Street
At 1 Dian Tai Street, you can visit the building which housed the first radio station in central Taiwan. It has been refurbished by the Taichung city government, and it is now a popular attraction. You can visit for free. Inside the gate, there is a courtyard with a small pool. There are also trees with some decorations on them. Inside the building, there is a video screen playing a film about the history of radio in Taiwan. There is also a display of some old radio station microphones, photos and books. There is a cafe’ area that sells ice cream and drinks. They also offer picnic blankets, so you can sit outside in the courtyard.
Temples can be found all over the city of Taichung. While many of them are of recent construction, others are considered historic and are indicative of the changing currents through Taichung’s history.
Taichung has many department stores which can be accessed by bus.
Taichung is also well known for its Chinese bakeries. Pastries that are worth a try include sun cakes(太陽餅) and pineapple tarts(鳯梨酥)
With a proliferation of noodle shops and street vendors peddling anything from the exotic to common household dishes, there is no lack of choice for enjoying local delicacies. Walking through streets of Taichung one can locate exotic cuisines like Indian, Japanese, Indonesia, continental et al., . Fortunately, the Taiwanese are quite accustomed to non-Chinese speakers, so using gestures will get you what you want (with perhaps a little surprise!)
Foreign-owned Restaurants - The listings below are intended to guide people who are looking for meals prepared by restauranteurs from different countries around the world.
In addition to traditional-style hotels, you might want to consider the exotic "love motels" for which Taichung is famous. These provide the feel of a resort with a large bath (often complete with television), large-screen television in the main room, and large beds, but without the need to travel hundreds of miles away. Rooms are individually priced and themed: everything from tropical paradise, complete with waterfall or reflecting pool, to dramatic uptown chic, to kitschy reds and pinks. Visit with your special someone for a night you won't soon forget! Here are a couple to get you started:
The area dialling code for Taichung is 04. From overseas, dial: +886 4 XXXX XXXX
Taichung is generally safe as long as you are vigilant at all times. Look both ways before crossing roads, then look again while you cross. Most injuries and fatalities to travelers in Taichung occur from vehicular accidents. As you alight from a bus, be sure to look to your right before stepping down to prevent being hit by a scooter.
As Taichung is located in the middle of Taiwan, it is conveniently located for making trips to both Taipei and Kaohsiung. There are frequent, comfortable and inexpensive freeway-bus services plying the routes. The journey to either city by bus or train takes around 3 hours, or as little as 1.5 hours given optimal traffic conditions.
The Taiwanese High Speed Rail (HSR) is now in operation, and as it runs up to 300 kph, travel time to both Taipei and Kaohsiung is now as short as 45 minutes.
Taichung is located near several recreational areas. A short distance to the north is a large water park, especially enticing during the hot summer months. Also, Sun Moon Lake and the mountains and lush plains of Puli in Nantou County are within an hour's drive to the east. The coast is a mere half-hour from central city to the west.