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When planning my backpacking trip to Taiwan I quickly realised that one week was not enough to see all of Taiwan but one week was all I had and surely it was better than nothing? I can confirm that it was better than nothing and I really enjoyed my one week in Taiwan itinerary. I definitely could have done with two weeks in Taiwan, perhaps even three weeks but this Taiwan trip gave me a good taste of what the Country is all about and I can’t wait to visit again as I loved Taiwan!
I visited Taipei in the North, Hualien and Taroko National Park in the East and Kaohsiung in the South and it was not too rushed as Taiwan is easy and efficient to travel around.
There are lots more places to visit in Taiwan and it’s easy to fully loop around the Country and visit the Cities on the West Coast of Taiwan too but I managed to get a good flight out of Kaohsiung and found it easier and cheaper to fly from there than Taipei so that’s where I finished my Taiwan Backpacking Trip.
Related Post: How Expensive is it to Visit Taiwan?
My First Impressions of Taiwan arriving in Taipei and going to a Taiwan Famous Night Market:
Here is my one week Taiwan itinerary detailing what I did and recommendations for you if you have just one week in Taiwan:
Things to do in Taipei:
After checking in I headed straight out to a Night Market. Night Markets are one of the most popular places to visit in Taiwan so this was a great first introduction!
I went to Raohe Night Market because it was closest to my hostel, it’s a really famous Taipei Night Market so I recommend this for your first taste of Taiwan and Taipei!
Where to Stay in Taipei:
I stayed at Star Hostel Taipei East for 3 nights. It’s in a really good location in the Eastern Side of City and a beautifully decorated hostel with dorm rooms and private rooms. Lovely staff and good Taiwanese Breakfast included.
Things to do in Taipei:
I used the MRT to get around Taipei all day and went to the following Taipei attractions. These places to see in Taipei flow well in terms of how the City and Metro are laid out which is why I recommend this route to you too:
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Park
Knife Massage in Taipei City Mall
Taipei Expo Park
National Palace Museum
Shilin Night Market
If you want to do a tour around Taipei, have a look at these options:
To SEE my Day 1 and 2 in Taipei, including the knife massage above, have a watch of my YouTube video here!
Things to do in Taipei:
As well as having many City Attractions in Taipei, there is lots to see on the outskirts of the City along with a bit of nature so this is a great way to spend day 2 in Taipei. The best time to visit the Taipei 101 is first and early in the morning to avoid the queues. All of these attractions are in the same Eastern area of the City too so they are easy to visit in one day in Taipei:
Cable Car to Maokong
Another Night Market or Dinner in a Taipei Restaurant like Din Tai Fung which is a popular place to get Dumplings in Taipei!
Related Post: 3 Day Taipei Itinerary.
Things to note about Taipei:
The MRT is so easy to use in Taipei. Buy an EasyCard from one of the stations for 100NTD, this is non-fundable but it still makes it cheaper than buying separate tickets. I topped up by 300NTD in total which I used fully on my MRT journeys in 2 days.
Keep your EasyCard with you as you can use it all over Taiwan on public transport and in shops like 7/11.
When it comes to what to wear in Taipei, you can wear usual City exploring clothes on day 1, including comfy shoes, but on day 2 I would recommend activewear as the Elephant Mountain walk and Maokong walks get sweaty!
For additional Taipei Travel Tips, have a look at my Taipei Blog Post here.
I caught the 10:00am-12:30 train from Taipei to Hualien. I purchased my train ticket at Taipei Main Train Station during my first full day in Taipei to ensure I got a ticket as they cannot be booked online. I recommend you book a train ticket in advance too especially if travelling on a weekend around Taiwan.
Things to do in Hualien:
I got Lunch in Hualien when I arrived, there are many cafes and restaurants in Hualien.
Hualien has a huge Coastline so later on, I had a walk down to the Coast, the weather wasn’t on my side so I didn’t see much but going to the beach is a popular thing to do in Hualien, so is hiring a bike to explore the Hualien Coastline.
Hualien Food Markets starts at abut 6:00 pm by the Coast and it’s a really good food Night Market, in fact I preferred it to the Taipei markets I went to as it’s so well set out with lots of food options!
Where to Stay in Hualien:
Hualien is set up for tourism with many hotels and hostels. The best location to stay in Hualien is by the train station as it’s much more convenient.
I stayed at World Inn Hostel for 2 nights and really liked it. The staff are so friendly and gave me tips for Hualien and Taroko National Park. Their dorm rooms have been thoroughly thought about and the private rooms are really comfy, I really recommend it!
To SEE the Hualien Night Markets, have a look at my YouTube video here!
How to see Taroko National Park:
Taroko National Park is the reason why I visited Hualien, it’s the most popular National Park in Taiwan and if you like nature and going on walks you’ll like this too.
I took the public bus from Hualien into Taroko National Park and jumped on and off it between walks around the park. To see the full details of my day trip to Taroko National Park solo, have a read of this post.
If you are a confident moped driver, a moped is a great way to explore the Coastline and the National Park.
If you are a keen hiker there are some great hikes but some require permits so it’s best to look into this in advance.
If you would rather take an organised day trip around Taroko National Park which will enable you to see more and definitely see Taroko Gorge these are the tours I recommend which you can book online in advance:
To SEE Taroko National Park, have a look at my YouTube video here!
Things to note about Taroko National Park:
The weather here can get very wet so things to pack for Taroko National Park are waterproof and quick-dry clothing. Wear hiking/walking wear too.
If you get the public bus from Hualien to Taroko National Park you can use your EasyCard to pay for the bus!
Take enough food and water for the day as if you are doing quite a bit of hiking you will not pass that many cafes.
I got the 8:23am-13:08 train from Hualien to Kaohsiung and I had to change in Taitung. The first train was a (Hello Kitty themed) high-speed train and the second a normal older train. I had 8 minutes to change trains but the trains were on the same platform so it was fine! I purchased this train ticket the day before at Hualien Train Station which I recommend doing, especially on a weekend in Taiwan.
Things to do in Kaohsiung:
I arrived and had a little walk around Kaohsiung, got some lunch and chilled in my hostel until later where I headed to a night market in Kaohsiung.
There are 2 famous and popular tourist night markets in Kaohsiung, I went to Liouhe Night Market which is the smaller one and it was a good introduction to the City.
Where to stay in Kaohsiung:
I stayed at FlyInn Hostel for 3 nights. It’s in a great location, has really friendly staff and is very clean. The private double room was perfect for me as a solo traveller, they have single private rooms too and good dorm rooms.
Things to do in Kaohsiung:
Although Kaohsiung is not one of the most popular cities to visit in Taiwan there’s actually a good amount of things to do in Kaohsiung and I really enjoyed the City. I read a blog post before going which said it’s an underrated Taiwan City and I agree!
For more information on the best Kaohsiung attractions, have a read of this blog post but in short, here’s how I recommend you spend one day in Kaohsiung.
Taiwanese Breakfast at Xing Long Ju
Pier 2 Art Centre
Ferry to Cijin Island and Explore island on foot or bike.
Lotus Pond and Dragon Tiger Pagoda
Ruifeng Night Market
If you’d like a tour around Kaohsiung to see all the best local spots, have a look at this Kaohsiung Day Tour!
To SEE Kaohsiung, have a watch of my YouTube video here!
I actually had a second full day in Kaohsiung and I flew from Kaohsiung Airport which is why I ended my Taiwan Backpacking Trip there but if you have a flight from Taipei you can get a fast train back to Taipei from Kaohsiung very easily.
If you do fly from Taipei and you have an extra day, you could visit the popular City of Taichung on your way back North.
I found it much cheaper and quicker to fly from Kaohsiung Airport to Japan, which is where I went next than Taipei Airport to Japan so I’d suggest searching some flight options on Kiwi like I did to find to get the best and cheapest flight out of Taiwan as Taipei may not be the cheapest!
7 Days in Taiwan was not enough and is not enough by any means. Like I said at the start I could have easily have spent 2 weeks in Taiwan and 3 weeks in Taiwan if I was travelling slower, it’s such a great country with so much to see and Taiwan is so easy to get around. The locals are friendly and it’s not that expensive making it a great Country to Backpack in Asia that’s a little bit different to the usual places people backpack to!
I hope this Taiwan Itinerary helps you plan your Taiwan Trip or Holiday!
For more of my Taipei Blog Posts see:
I stayed at the 3 hostels mentioned in this post complimentary but I had a great stay in all of them and fully recommend them to you. This post contains affiliate links but at no extra cost to you.
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a total travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010 and has visited over 55 Countries. (Yes I’m a Country Counter!)
I love travelling, visiting new places and meeting new people but what I also love is sharing my experiences to help you travel better which is why I pour so much love into this travel blog.
I hope to inspire you to visit new places, make you realise you don’t need to spend that much money to travel and give you helpful tips on how to get to places and what to do there!
In the Summer of 2018, I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time so if this is your dream too, follow along because I post lots of content around how I did it. And it really is amazing!
Be sure to follow me on social media and you can read more about me here!
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