Taichung is the third largest city after Taipei and Kaohsiung. Chances are that you've heard of Taichung for its famous Feng Chia Night Market. Despite the longer travel distance from Taoyuan Airport (as compared to Taipei), Hubby and I enjoy making Taichung our first destination during our travels
How to Travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taichung
When we take a particular budget airlines flight from Singapore to Taiwan, we often find ourselves landing in Taoyuan Airport at 6am. By the time we've picked up our luggage from the conveyor belt and find ourselves at the airport basement level where the 客運 bus interchange is, it's already 6.30am. The bus from the airport to Taichung takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, allowing you to reach Taichung around 8am - perfect time for a local breakfast.
If you are arranging to meet at a local taxi driver upon your arrival in Taichung, the driver may arrange to meet you at Chaoma bus stop 客運朝馬站 instead of the terminus stop at Taichung TRA station. It seems that Chaoma is closer to Feng Chia Night Market vicinity, so the meetup point will depends on your destination.
Taking HSR from Taoyuan Airport to Taichung
If you are planning a day trip from Taoyuan Airport to Taichung, you may want to take the high speed rail (HSR) from Taoyuan HSR station to Taichung Wuri HSR station. While the high speed rail may be costlier, the travel is much faster and time is tight when rushing to so many nice places in Taichung within 1 day.
To get from Taoyuan Airport to Taoyuan HSR station, you would have to take a bus from the arrivals lobby. Look for the UBUS service counters. The bus ride is about 25 to 30 minutes.
The HSR ride is about 38 to 40 minutes. Do note that the HSR station is located within the Wuri 烏日 district, away an hour's drive from Taichung TRA railway station.
Travelling within Taichung
Unlike Taipei and Kaohsiung, there is no MRT subway system in Taichung. For tourists like you and me who are foreign with the city, or if you are unable to speak and read Mandarin, the best way to get around would be to charter a local cab. That's how we got about during our first few trips in Taichung.
Nowadays Hubby and I would charter a local cab for one to two days of our time in Taichung to get to our destinations located in the outskirts of the city, or for a day tour to Nantou (Sun Moon Lake, Jiji, Checheng, etc) and Puli. Other than saving us much traveling time, traveling in a taxi allows us to rest and catch some sleep before reaching the next destination, and gives us peace of mind to leave our heavy shopping bags in the vehicle.
We were staying at a hotel near Fengjia Night Market and often take buses to and fro Taichung TRA station direction, which is about 40 minutes to an hour. Hence you can imagine our surprise when there was no deduction at all in our Easycard. We also learnt that some elderly folks would plan their longer journeys, alight from the bus before their travel hits 10 kilometers, and then board the next bus to continue the free ride.
What to do in TaichungIf you are required to pay an entrance fee at some of the destinations, do hold on to the ticket stubs. It seems like a common practice within most Taichung attractions where you can exchange the ticket stub to offset the costs for food and souvenirs within the attraction compounds.
Yichung Shopping District 一中街商圈
Feng Chia Night Market 逢甲夜市Feng Chia night market is the most well-known night market in Taichung. Located within Xitun District, the night market has more than a thousand stores lining the front and left of Feng Chia University along Wenhua Road, Fuxing Road and Hsian Road.
We stayed at a hotel near Feng Chia Night Market in our recent mid-October trip. Across the street is the start of Wenhua Road with many food stores.
If you are taking a bus from Taichung TRA Station, it is about an hour's ride, and you can alight in front of McDonald's. You'll know when to get off the bus when majority of the bus passengers start alighting.
There are many food stuff to try - from Korean style fried chicken to Thai style grilled prawns, Xinjiang-style satay (BBQ grilled spiced meat on wooden skewers), deep fried cuttlefish to takopachi, fried chicken chop, blow-torch beef steak, deep fried tempura mushrooms, various bubble tea shops (we like Double A bubble tea shop, you would have to walk all the way to the end of the night market street), etc
Rainbow Village 彩繪眷村台中市南屯區春安路56巷(嶺東科大附近的小巷子裡)
Do visit my blog post at http://wendyboey.blogspot.sg/2015/09/rainbow-village-taiwan-places-to-visit.html about our experience at Rainbow Village
Love Moncoeur 心之芳庭
Carton King 紙箱王創意園區-大坑店
Dong Hai Lian Xin Bing Ji Zua Dong 東海蓮心冰雞爪凍
Retro themed restaurant, get a glimpse of how Taiwanese life was like back in the olden days
Dawn CakeDawn Cake has a few outlets within Taichung. The outlet nearest Taichung TRA station appears like a European library where you can browse the collection of cheese cake and traditional snacks packaged in CD boxes. Each of this CD package snack costs about TWD 99 to 120, about SGD 4 to 5. There is also an ice-cream shop beside it that always have long queue. Opens daily 10am-10pm
Destinations visited in mid-October 2015
台中市 霧峰區 坑口里中正路46號
Ticket $50, Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm
Earthquake affected zone reinforced with steel bars in concrete; earthquake simulator room
老鑼牛肉麵 Laoluo Beef Noodle
台中市 南區 工学路86号 402 (台中高工旁)
Open Monday to Sunday 11am to 9pm, Close on Saturday
台中市 南區 復興路三段362號
Open 10am to 5pm
Old wine factory transformed to Creative Park
台中第二市場 Taichung Second Public Market
台中市 中區 三民路二段87號
• 王菜頭粿糯米腸 (middle door, right hand side, open 7am to 6pm, 糯米腸, 菜頭粿, 綜合湯)
• 老賴紅茶 (middle door, left hand side, open 8.30am to 6pm, 豆香紅茶)
• 阿嬤a相思麵店 (open 7am to 6pm, 招牌白麵(乾), 隔間肉湯, 四神湯)
• 楊媽媽立食 (store #33-35, 供餐時間：11:00~16:00，外帶時間：08:00~17:00，close on Monday, 有名日本料理, 店內是沒有menu的，點餐方式有兩種: 一種是給楊媽媽預算幫你搭配的無菜單料理,兩人1000~1500元間就有海膽或明蝦沙拉或鮑魚，視食材狀況提供, 但如果已有口袋魚種的話也可以自己點菜。另一種是依現場餐點自選，在櫥窗內都有今天的新鮮食材，主要還是以生魚片為主，丸子類都是提供食材零售外帶的)
• 李海滷肉飯 (store #9, go in中正路大門, open 5pm to 5am, 白菜滷搭配魯肉飯, 米粉肉圓湯
Nearby stores include:
• 天天饅頭 (at the street nearby, 台中市中正路182巷巷口, open 9am to 7pm)
• 顏記肉包 (台中市三民路二段103號 Open 8am to 5.30pm, 肉包，餛飩湯, 外帶還要加錢)
春水堂Chun Shui Tang Cultural Tea House
Inventor of bubble tea!
Got other Taiwanese cuisine
創始店: 台中市 西區 四維街30號 (市政府後)
Tel: 04-22297991 | Open 8am to 10pm
Parklane by CMP勤美 誠品綠園道 & CMP Block Museum of Arts
(‘green’ shopping mall with Eslite, outdoor park museum)
台中市 西區 公益路68號
Open Mon-Fri 11:00-22:00, Sat-Sun 10:30-22:00
(Museum free admission, close on Monday)
台中市 清水区 大甲溪出海口南侧
(building exterior walls painted like shops in the 50s)
Mitaka 3e Café (see night cityscape)
台中市 沙鹿區 東晉東路731號 (Directions: 設定在沙鹿區晉武路上，往沙鹿方向過弘光科大，看見ok商店右轉爬坡，那條就是晉武路了，然後彎小路往上就會抵達- located on way towards沙鹿 from rear of Taichung Metropolitan Park)
look for Totoro sign board.
Open Tuesday to Sunday 5pm to 12am, close on Monday | skilful latte art and pancake
* note: cash only
Other destinations planned in our itinerary but have not visited
- 好好gooddays (a popular cafe located at 台中市 西屯區 朝富路232號, open 7:30am to 9pm)
- Traveler’s Kitchen 秘密旅行 (restaurants in German and Greek Athens themes, http://www.tkitchen.com)
- Rollin Farm (Wuling district, beautiful scenery, peach blossoms when in season, https://www.agoda.com/en-sg/rollin-farm-b-b/hotel/taichung-tw.html?cid=1653099)
- 阿財米糕 (財伯米糕, 貢丸湯, 排骨湯, 紅油抄手. Located at 台中市清水區西寧路105號, Open Tuesday to Sunday 10:00-19:00, Close on Monday. Unfortunately this was closed when we head there after Gaomei Wetlands)
- Stock 20 Artists Village 20號倉庫 (located 6-6, Lane 37, Fushing Road Section 4 at the other side of Taichung TRA station, can be reached by walking through the tunnel beneath the train station, open from 10am to 6pm, Tuesday to Sunday, free entrance)
- Taichung Park 台中公園 (located at the corner of 公園路and 自由路 Section 2, free entrance, can paddle boat)
Thanks for asking :) As mentioned in the blog post, it is not free, TWD250 per person when I was last there
It's more of a 8-seater minibus driven by a local that brings you to the various sights, stopping at all colored lines
When you are on the bus, you can inform the driver the various places you want to go and he will drop you off at each location (he decides which you go first as he knows the roads best)
If you have a Taiwanese mobile number, you can call him when you are ready to be picked up. Otherwise he will pre-arrange a time to pick you up at the entrance of the attraction