Taoyuan Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 桃园市 (táo yuán shì)
Area: 1,220.95 square kilometers (471.41 square miles)
Location: in the northwest of Taiwan Island, southeast China
Administrative Division: 13 districts
Area Code: 03
Zip Code: 320-33
GDP (2019): CNY 387.5 billion (USD 56.2 billion)
Houses Taiwan’s Largest Airport & Most Military Dependents' Villages
Taoyuan is located in the northwest of Taiwan island of China, adjacent to New Taipei City, Hsinchu County and Yilan County. A lot of travelers choose this city as their first stop of the Taiwan tour because it is where Taiwan’s largest international airport is located. The Taibei Taoyuan International Airport is just about 40 km (25 mi) to the capital city Taipei, which makes Taoyuan become Taiwan’s fourth-largest metropolitan area. Taoyuan highlights mountain and lake landscapes, and you cannot miss cypress forests and many hiking areas around the reservoirs. The cultural attractions like the Daxi Old Street, Li Tengfang Ancient House and Qiming Temple are also worth a visit. What’s more, Taoyuan has the most military dependents' villages built for soldiers and their dependents who were forced to migrate from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan from 1949 to the 1960s.
Top Attractions - Things to Do
Lilliput Theme Park: It has 130 models of worldwide famous buildings such as the Forbidden City, the Osaka Castle, the Statue of Liberty, and the Sphinx. They are all one twenty-fifth of the actual sizes. There are also various exciting amusements, restaurants, and shops selling souvenirs.
Shihmen Reservoir, located at Longtan Township in Taoyuan, is one of the most famous artificial lakes in Taiwan. Because two hillocks stand facing each other on the lake, which look like a stone door, so the reservoir got its name, which means “stone door”. More than 3,000 maple trees grow along the lakeside. The activity of watching maples is held there at the end of every year.
Dasi Old Town: Most of the architectures in the town are built with red bricks. The archways are ornately carved with baroque style relief sculptures. On Dasi Old Street, houses lie on both sides one by one. They can be both residences and shops.
Cihhu: Cihhu is an artificial reservoir and a beautiful park in Taoyuan. Cihhu Mausoleum lies here, which is the mausoleum of Chiang Kai-shek, the former president of Republic of China. The mausoleum was his temporary dwelling house before he died. In addition, it was built in wartime, so you can find mossy pillboxes, secret passages, and toilets encircled by blindages. There is also a bomb shelter in the cliff behind the house. What’s more, the Changing the Guard at 09:00 every morning attracts lots of visitors.
Jiaobanshan Park: It is at Fusing Township of Taoyuan. A large number of maple trees grow here. In autumn, they look like seas of flames. Chiang Kai-shek and his wife planted two banyans in front of the Prince Building. The trees’ trunks twine around each other years later, so they are together called “Couple Tree”. In the Jiaobanshan Hall opposite the park, the old pictures, cultural relics, and life stories of Chiang Kai-shek are displayed.
Small Wulai Scenic Area: It is famous for Small Wulai Waterfall, Skywalk, Balanced Rock, and Dragon Phoenix Waterfall. The Small Wulai Waterfall flows straightly downward from the steep cliff like ten thousand horses galloping. A four-floor building standing alongside is for you to better watch the waterfall.
Takuanshan Nature Reserve: Here you can see all kinds of Taiwanese plants such as beeches, azaleas, and sweetgums. There are also a number of mysterious trees over one thousand years old. Moreover, in June and July, tourists can come to pick ripe honey peaches.
1. Lilliput Theme Park→ Shihmen Reservoir→ Dasi Old Town→ Cihhu
2. Jiaobanshan Park→ East Eye Mountain Forest Recreation Area→ Small Wulai Scenic Area→ Takuanshan Nature Reserve→ Gala Hot Spring
How to Get to Taoyuan
By air: Taoyuan Airport is the most important traffic hub of Taiwan. Many cities have direct flights to get there such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong. From the airport, there are buses taking you to Taoyuan Railway Station and other places in the city.
By train: You can take the train from Taipei to Taoyuan or Jhongli. The high speed train costs TWD 155 for a non-reserved seat and TWD 160 for a standard seat with the duration of 20 minutes, while the ordinary train takes 30-40 minutes with the price of TWD 51-66. The train to Jhongli costs TWD 68-89 with the travel time of 40 minutes.
See more about Taiwan Train
By long-distance bus: Taipei has buses to Dasi and Fusing, which take about 1 hour. Hsinchu has buses to Jhongli and Longtan. Furthermore, you can take the shuttle bus from Jhongli Bus Terminal near Jhongli Railway Station to Shihmen Reservoir, Dasi Old Street, and Cihhu.
City bus: There are buses to the scenic spots such as Dasi and Shimen. They cost TWD 18-75 for a single trip.
Tourist Shuttle Bus: Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Bus starts from the Taoyuan Bus Terminal and arrives at the Small Wulai. It passes many attractions such as Dasi Old Street, Cihhu Mausoleum, and Jiaobanshan Hall. The bus departs from the Bus Terminal at 08:30, 09:00, 09:30, 10:00, 12:00, and 13:30; it returns from Small Wulai at 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:10, and 17:10. One-stop ride costs TWD 18 and one-day ticket costs TWD 150.
Taxi: It costs TWD 80 for the first 1.25 km (0.8 mi) and TWD 5 for every additional 250 m (273 yd). The waiting charge is TWD 5 for every 3 minutes.
Taoyuan Travel Tips
Where and What to Eat: Black dried tofu, potato cakes, glutinous oil rice, salty rice puddings, and tofu puddings are all Dasi’s local snacks. You cannot miss goose meats at Shinwu, peanut brittles at Longtan, and fish at Shihmen. Taoyuan, Jhongli, and Chungyuan night markets are good places to eat traditional Taiwanese foods like oyster omelets, sausage wrapped in glutinous rice, and beef noodles.