A weekend getaway to a serene location could be what you need to recharge and recenter. Here are six quiet corners waiting for you around Taiwan.
Serenity and escapism are blissful, and finding a tranquil spot that allows you to relax and rejuvenate is rewarding. But those who seek relaxation don’t need an entire lifestyle shift or hike to the top of a lonely mountain and live there – it’d be chilly and the bathroom facilities are terrible. Below are some spots in Taiwan where a bit of calmness and contentment can be cultivated.
Jiqi Beach (磯崎海水浴場) – Hualien
If you’re seeking a quiet stretch of sand with tropical mountains on one side and the deep blue Pacific on the other, Jiqi Beach is where you want to be. Forty minutes south of Hualien, you’ll find plenty of peace and have a patch of nature to yourself.
While beaches close to the big cities are bursting with cafes and bustling with people, Jiqi is a haven for rest. If the only soundtrack you need is waves surging on the sand, peaceful tranquility awaits you here. And at the beach’s southern end, there’s a hill with a well-maintained track that offers pleasant views of the area.
Chaojih Hot Springs (朝日溫泉) – Green Island
This natural ocean-side hot spring is a world marvel. The only other two comparable sites can be found in Japan and Italy. Naturally hot water bubbles into the rock pools near the ocean, which allows seawater to mix with the warm water, offering pools of different temperatures according to the tide. There are quite a few pools scattered around the area. Sipping sea air while relaxing in a warm rock pool is sensory bliss. You can get your dose of vitamins D and “Sea” in one easy sitting.
Kayoufeng Falls (卡悠峰瀑布) – Pingtung
The combination of vast ranges of mountains, rainfall, and gravity at this scenic location means that water heads down crevices and crannies at a rapid rate. More often than not, thanks to Taiwan’s topography, you’ll find a waterfall or two between the mountains and the ocean. As a result of that phenomenon, there are plenty of falls to choose from in Pingtung County.
One of the quieter spots is the Kayoufeng Falls, not far from Shihzih Township and smack in the middle of mango country. There’s a paved walking trail from a nearby parking lot and easy access to the base of the falls.
Sea of Clouds (雲海) – Nantou
Pretty much at any elevated spot along Route 14, on the mountainous border between Nantou and Hualien counties, you’ll find a sea of clouds – or yunhai (雲海). The Ren’ai and Qingjing Farm region is a popular area to stay and view a uniform cloud layer from above, resembling an ocean surface. You can also find a serene viewing spot by walking or driving a bit farther up.
Your best chance of seeing the clouds is early to mid-morning. It’s the simple science of cooler air being trapped or compressed by a layer of warmer air. As the day warms, the clouds dissipate – but hopefully only after you’ve had the chance to witness this natural magic.
Taroko Gorge (太魯閣) – Hualien
In terms of size, grandeur, and a multitude of peaceful locations, it’s difficult to beat Taroko Gorge and its associated national park. Taroko is incredibly popular, and can thus get crowded, but you don’t have to go far off the beaten track to escape the hordes. Numerous walking tracks, differing in degrees of difficulty and length, give you plenty of opportunities to escape the throngs.
Whether you want to stroll over a few scenic suspension bridges or sit down by a quiet bend in the river, you’ll find many options in and around this breathtaking gorge.
Hengchun Peninsula (恆春半島) – Pingtung
Known locally as the Breezy Peninsula, Hengchun is always pleasantly a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the country in summer, and warmer throughout winter. Located at the southern tip of Taiwan, this scenic spot hosts numerous dive sites, clear-water swimming spots, and palm-dotted beaches. On this picturesque peninsula, it’s fun to take in a sunrise or sunset by moving from one side to the other.
Although Hengchun Peninsula is a tourist haven, hosting a hugely popular night market in the tourist town of Kenting, there are plenty of places to relax outside its immediate area. A thirty-minute drive can see you in the rural township of Manzhou. This town is a slice of serenity, surrounded by rice paddies and within sight of the tail end of the Central Mountain Range, where long, narrow plains alternate with hills and plateaus, and where the Pacific Ocean, the Bashi Channel, and the Taiwan Strait can all be seen in the distance.
A couple of languid waterfalls, timid cousins to their relatives in the high mountains, pour lazily into rock-lined creeks in the Manzhou area. Picturesque grasslands abound, and walking, cycling, and horse riding are easily accessible activities here.