Taoyuan City (桃園) is a special municipality in Northern Taiwan, adjacent to New Taipei in the north and Hsinchu County in the south. It is the home of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, which serves Taipei.
Often considered an industrial region, Taoyuan City has more foreign laborers working there than any other region of Taiwan. Though it is the second most populated district in Taiwan, it is usually not a major destination for travelers except for those with an overnight stopover at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Taoyuan and Jhongli are the two largest cities in the district. Away from the crowded plains, in the mountainous area, there is still natural beauty and aboriginal culture to be seen.
Taoyuan district is primarily an industrial district and has few distinctive features. However, if you get stranded at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport overnight and don't want to pay for the airport hotel or travel the extra kilometers into Taipei, you might consider spending the night here. Despite lacking tourist sites, the district does have several large shopping malls, good coffee shops and, due to a large number of overseas workers employed at local factories, also has several cheap South Asian eateries.
- Taoyuan is about a 25-minute taxi ride from the international airport and around 30 to 40 minutes from Taipei.
- There's also a NT$60 bus that leaves from the bus terminal of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE). It is clearly marked with English and traditional Chinese characters.
Everyone arriving at 1 Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (台灣桃園國際機場) (TPE IATA) begins their journey in Taoyuan City. The Taoyuan Airport MRT rail is the fastest travel option to/from the airport. You can reach the Taipei railway station or Taoyuan high-speed railway station by that.
There are 2 local bus routes, one for Taoyuan and one for Jhongli. The buses depart once or twice an hour. They don't have a separate luggage space so it's quite a hassle if you are traveling with bulky luggage. The bus trip takes about 50 minutes, so travelers who are in a hurry or don't like local bus services are advised to take taxi instead.
TRA (台鐵) has a few stations in Taoyuan District. Every local train and most (but not all) express train stops at the district's two largest train stations: Taoyuan and Jhongli. Train is a convenient method to visit Taoyuan City when coming from other parts of Taiwan.
Taoyuan City also has a High Speed Rail station. The station is remote from major settlements, but has free shuttle services to Taoyuan and Jhongli. Estimated travel time is 45 minutes to Taoyuan and 25 minutes to Jhongli.
Inter-city buses are available at Taoyuan and Jhongli. Some other cities can also be reached by express buses from Taipei. Traveling by bus in Taiwan is usually much cheaper than trains, but this may not be the case if you are coming from Taipei—they are too close to each other.
Like many other places in Taiwan, every city and town in Taoyuan can be reached by bus. However, English bus information almost doesn't exist. If you don't understand any Chinese, hiring a cab or renting a car may be your best bet.
- The down town area is small enough to cover on foot.
- Taxi cabs are relatively cheap, starting at around NT$80 plus $5 per 0.3 km.
- The district has its own bus system which is decent and covers the major parts of town, but no where near as convenient as Taipei's MRT/bus system.
- The train station is in the downtown, and fares are more than affordable.
- The new High Speed Railway (HSR) has a stop near the outskirts of town and can shuttle people from Taoyuan to Taipei in around 12 minutes for around NT$120. The HSR covers almost the entire length of Taiwan, but a trip spanning the entire length will cost around NT$2200.
- Buses run to other districts as well. A bus trip to Taipei will cost NT$65.
Jhongli can be accessed by a number of options. A number of bus companies service the city and there is a train station as well. More recently, travelers can get to Jhongli via the high speed rail (HSR). This train provides very fast, very convenient access to and from most larger cities from the north in Taipei along the west coast to the south in Kaohsiung. The Taoyuan station is positioned very close to Jhongli and will eventually be connected to the airport by a subway system which is under construction.
To get to Longtan from Taipei Main Station, follow these steps: Go to the Taipei Main Bus station. Find a TV screen that shows departures. Look for one that either is directly to Longtan or passes through the community - this will be in both English and Chinese. The main operator will be King Bus. Go to the appropriate company's window and say "Longtan" - they'll understand. A one way fare should be NT$82 with King Bus. Ascend to the second floor waiting area and find your company's booth. Look for the "Long Tan" departure gate. Wait in line. The buses run frequently (every 15 minutes during peak periods), but are often quite late (sometimes 20 minutes late). Seating is first come, first served, usually with no assigned seats. The bus trip from Taipei to Longtan is almost exactly an hour. Once you pass the toll plaza (included in your ticket, the bus won't stop), it will be another 10 to 20 minutes. The bus will pull over in front of the company's ticketing office in Longtan along the main drag. Disembark. King Bus' stop is across the street from the main terminal. On King Bus there are approximately 3 stops prior to Longtan, but if unsure, your fellow bus riders can help.
Longtan is a small town. You'll be hoofing it unless you possess or rent a scooter. Everything you'll want to see is within a reasonable walking distance, so hailing a taxi is unnecessary.
- 1 At-Taqwa Mosque. The seventh mosque built in Taiwan, built in 2013.
- 2 Cihu Mausoleum (Tzuhu Mausoleum, 慈湖陵寢). closed on Tuesday. The temporary resting place of former President(the first President of ROC) Chiang Kai-shek.
- 3 Daxi Old Street (Heping Old Street, 大溪老街). One of Taiwan's famous old streets.
- 4 Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫). One of Taiwan's major reservoirs, near the Daxi Old Street.
- 5 Dasi CKS Residence, No. 21-3, Puji Road, ☏ . Built in Japanese colonial time. President Chiang used it a residence. King Hussein of Jordan stayed here with President Chiang before.
- 6 Suspension Bridge (大溪情人橋).
- 7 Longgang Mosque (龍岡清真寺). The fifth mosque built in Taiwan, built in 1967.
- 8 Taoyuan Martyr's Shrine. One of the best-kept Shinto shrines outside Japan.
- 9 Window on China Theme Park (小人國), No. 891, Gaoyuan Road, ☏ . 09:00-18:00. One of Taiwan's earliest theme parks. A small-scale replica of many famous landmarks (mostly Asian) and a small amusement park - south of Longtan, next to Aspire Technology Park.
- 10 Lala Shan Nature Reserve (拉拉山自然保護區), ☏ . 08:00-17:00. Lalashan is one of natural protection zones in Taiwan. There are 500– to 2800-year-old divine trees and the No.5 divine tree is older than Confucius.
- 11 Xiao Wulai Scenic Area (小烏來). Waterfall and ancient redwood forest.
- 12 Galehe (四稜溫泉). Wild hot spring.
- 13 Dongyan Shan National Forest Recreation Area (東眼山國家森林遊樂區). A popular hiking area.
- Chatian Shan Nature Reserve. An ancient beech forest.
- Xiebai Shan. (2444 m) - ancient cypress forest.
- 14 Fugang Village (富岡). A Hakka village in Yangmei Township noted for its traditional dwellings.
Longtan's main attraction is the Tourist pond, a former irrigation pond that the city built a temple island in and surrounded with trees. It is quite a nice spot to people watch, grab a coffee or beer, and relax. Also worth seeing is the Crazy House near the bus depot. There are a 1001 stories about it and its history, but they all involve love won and lost, life blessed and lives destroyed. It was to be a decidedly eccentric mansion, but was stopped 90% through and abandoned. Entry is not permitted, but apparently it is structurally sound for the most part. Don't visit to see it, but see it if you visit. The day market. Nothing special, but the place to pick up food for a walking excursion. Best from 10:00-14:00.
for two days trip: D1:Visiting Dashi Old street D1:The Culture Resort of The Jiang D1:stay at Lalashan B&B D2:Lalashan natural protection zone D2:back to Taoyuan district
- Jhongli Xinming Night Market, Xinming Rd, Jhongli City, Taoyuan County. One of the largest night markets in the Taoyuan County area, it's possible to have a full dinner's worth of food on a very tight budget. Add to that a number of stalls selling trinkets (albeit cheap ones) and the sights and sounds of fairground style amusement games, the market makes an ideal way to spend an evening and understand this key part of Taiwan culture.
Biking trails. Surrounded by rice fields and forests, Longtan has made a strong push to develop a network of walking and cycling trails radiating out from the community. Rent a bike (or walk), meander alongside streams filled with fish and turtles, and look out across fields of terraced rice and taro. Especially nice just prior to the rice ripening. Longtan is a nice place to spend a Sunday escaping from Taipei. You won't need more than 5 hours for it though.
- Tigerhead mountain (Hu Tou Shan). A popular spot for first dates and also has well-maintained hiking trails. Watch out for snakes if you're hiking. There are a few snack shops at the top of the mountain.
- The town also has a large IKEA store.
- Off of NanKan road is Taimall, one of the biggest malls in Taiwan.
- shopping - the Taoyuan District has some good department stores.
- Dried bean curd
- Popcorn chicken is a local speciality sold from street corner stalls.
- Bistrot Latini, No. 128 Shin-pu 6th Street (Shin pu is off of Da Xing between Jing Guo and Jung Jeng), ☏ . 11:00-20:00. Latini offers simple but well-cooked Italian food. The owner and head chef, Dan Wu, speaks English and is very helpful and friendly. Try the pumpkin soup and panini. Also offers a good selection of fancy coffees, including espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. NT$150 and up.
- Cong dra bing. Pronounced tsong draw bing, it is a scallion pancake that the vendor cooks on a griddle and fluffs up before searing on scrambled egg and a variety of toppings like bacon and fresh basil. The traditional sauce they put on top is soy-based, but you can ask for spicy. Absolutely delicious. Usually a daytime snack, sold on the side of the street by SK II downtown or by Nova computer store.
- Carrefour, Jing guo road (near Da Xing on Jing Guo). In addition to the obvious groceries, this French-owned grocery store has a food court on the top floor with good options. Sushi express, 8 things (Japanese with 7 small side dishes), a Thai restaurant, Meet Fresh, McDonald's and several noodle soup and fried chicken places.
- Frank's Texas BBQ, No. 249-1, Section 2 Rui'an Road, Daxi Township, Taoyuan County, ☏ . 11:30-21:00. An American-style grill specialising in steaks, also provides soft drinks, draught beer and wines. The interiors are nicely decorated in the theme you would expect from a Texan BBQ.
- Ciao-Lyon, No. 200, Section 1, Buding Road, Daxi Township, Taoyuan County, ☏ . 11:00-21:00. A restaurant serving surprisingly good French cuisine (as well as a pasta option or two) in this out-of-the-way location in Daxi. There is either a full set menu or a la carte (soup, main & drink) to choose from as well as a decent wine list. The interiors are simple but comfortable, and the staff extremely helpful.
- [formerly dead link] The 3 Baboons Sports Bar & Grill, Taimall Shopping Center, 112 Nankan Rd, Sec 1. Luchu Hsieng, Taoyuan City, ☏ . 11:00-00:00. Restaurant featuring western cuisine, beer, wine, cocktails, and a large screen satellite TV for international sports. Foosball and pool table available. 10 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport in Taimall Shopping Center.
- 7Yunnan. 11:00-14:00, 17:00-21:00. A small restaurant chain local to Taoyuan City providing a vast range of Yunnan cuisine (somewhat like a mixture between Thai and Chinese), very affordable and good interiors. Most staff do not speak English, but all of the menus have pictures.
- Craftsman Chinese Restaurant. Nice restaurant. Photo menu. From Watsons, head towards the McDonald's staying on the same side of the street. English sign. NT$30-180.
- Tea shops. You can barely walk 100 m in Taoyuan without running into a tea shop. Ching xin, Coco and 85 degrees are some of the biggest brands. Ask for green tea (lu cha) or oolong tea. They'll ask how much sugar and ice you want, and shake up your tea like a martini before handing it to you in a sealed cup in a scooter-friendly bag. If you're feeling adventurous, you can add pudding (bu ding), pearls (zhen zhu) or yogurt (duo duo).
- The Jalapeno, No. 370, Min Chuan Road, Jhongli City, Taoyuan County, ☏ . A Mexican-themed bar around the corner from the Jhongli Night market, serving Mexican food best categorised as greasy bar food. Jack the owner makes the bar what it is, a fun place to spend an evening. Jack and many of his staff speak English, and the place is often frequented by expats and western visitors.
- Cowboy Hat. A bar on the second floor of a building overlooking the Tourist Pond. Very nice view, ok ambiance and price.
- The Elephant. Jungle-themed bar. Best patio in town. Good beer and ambiance.
- O Ya Cafe. Assorted food and cafe items. Walk along Wufu St, away from the day market. It'll be across from the giant Hess building. English menu.
- Hotel Kuva Chateau, 398 Minchuan Rd, ☏ .
- KG Landmark Hotel, 107 Mingshen Road, ☏ . A good business hotel and the tallest building in the district.
- Monarch Plaza Hotel, 300 Chuang Ching Road, ☏ . A five-star business hotel with several amenities and restaurants including a Teppenyaki grill.
- Fuyam Tourist Home, No.180-7 Hualing Village, Fuxing shiang, Taoyuan (at Lalashan Natural protection zone), ☏ . They provide package tour of Lalashan (reservation is required).
- Yuankuang. Founded in 1917, it is the earliest Buddhist academy in Taiwan. Yuankuang is in the country-side near Taoyuan.
- Yingge. Between Taipei and Taoyuan is the interesting pottery town of Yingge. 'Old Street' is lined with stores selling the works of local potters and is a pleasant place to pass a few hours.
|Routes through Taipei (THSR)|
|Taipei ←||N S||→ Hsinchu → Miaoli|
|Routes through Taipei (National Highway)|
|Taipei ← New Taipei ←||N S||→ Hsinchu County → Hsinchu|
|Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport ←||W E||→ New Taipei|
|Taipei ← New Taipei ←||N S||→ Hsinchu County → Hsinchu|