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Embrace the Cold and Spend a Wonderful Winter in Taiwan!

Living in a tropical country, Filipinos have always dreamed of what winter could be like. The closest we can get to that feeling is when we go north and enjoy the chilly Baguio weather with a temperature that can go as low as 12°C.

Thankfully, our country is relatively near some of the best winter locations in the world. There is Japan, South Korea, and China, to name a few. But if you want somewhere closer, Taiwan is always a convincing answer. You’ll be happy to know that Taiwan is still visa-free for Filipinos!

Unknown to many, snow falls in this country. It may not be as frequent as snow in the other aforementioned countries, but the kind of cool you can experience in Taiwan is nothing to be downplayed. Visit Mount Hehuan in Nantou County or Mount Guanshan in Taitung County for a greater chance of seeing ice crystals.

A chilly mountain in Taiwan

Winter in Taiwan happens from December to February. Expect foggy areas—especially in the highlands—that are caused by the northeasterly winds from Siberia. Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, can get as cold as 8°C during this season.

Before you fly about 700 miles up north, check out our tips on what to wear, what and where to eat, and what to do to experience winter in Taiwan like a pro traveler.

What to Wear

Winter clothes in Taiwan

Taiwan’s coolest season is not as harsh as you may think. You are not required to bring extra thick layers of clothing to protect you from the cold. In fact, simple warmers will do. Here’s a checklist of suggested clothes to bring for your winter getaway in Taiwan:

  • Thick tees. These are ideal for easy days strolling around the city. You may also bring long-sleeved shirts.
  • Thin sweaters. As mentioned, you don’t need bulky warmers for this trip. This will help you limit your luggage weight, too.
  • A rain jacket. The weather in Taiwan can get a little unpredictable. For emergencies, it’s best to bring at least one rain jacket.
  • Cardigans. Not in the mood for sweaters? A cardigan is another stylish option.
  • Jeans. And/or fleece pants. It’s just that jeans are more flexible to pair with any top.
  • Hats and bonnets. Of course, you have to protect your head from the cold. Choose ones that look good when paired with your entire outfit.
  • Moisture-wicking socks. Choose pairs that are made of wool as they’re more comfortable to wear during cold days.
  • Walking sneakers. You’ll roam around during your entire stay. These are good to wear if you want a rest from donning your heavy boots. A pair of sandals will do, too.
  • Long-sleeve dresses. Pair these with cotton leggings or a pretty pair of boots.
  • Skirts. For when you want to look a bit fancier.
  • Bathing suit and swimming trunks. Winter is a great time to try the hot springs there. You need swimwear for this.

What to Eat

When in Taiwan, everywhere you look, there is food. Regardless of your taste and preference, you can easily find something your palate will happily thank you for. Treat yourself and delve into these must-try goodies when you spend winter in Taiwan.

1. Skewered Fish Balls

There’s plenty of this in the streets of Manila. However, what you can savor in Taiwan tastes a bit different. It’s because theirs are usually made of milkfish.

2. Hot Pot

Taiwan hot pot

What better to eat during a chilly day than a hot bowl of flavorful soup? Hot pot is a simmering soup that contains sliced meat, seafood, vegetables, noodles, and tofu, among other ingredients.

3. Gua Bao (or Cua Pao)

Often called the “Taiwanese burger,” this popular Taiwanese dish features braised pork belly sandwiched in two baozis or Chinese steamed buns. Making it tastier are mustard, coriander, and peanut dressings.

4. Mee Sua

Mee sua in Taiwan

Taiwanese love noodle dishes. Try this one and appreciate the tender wheat-flour noodle strips as you chew mouthwatering oysters or cuts of pork intestine.

5. Pig’s Blood Cake

Try it before you judge it. Yes, it’s made with pork blood, but what makes this pudding a must-try is the addition of sticky rice as well as sweet soy sauce, peanut flour, and coriander.

6. Stinky Tofu

Stinky tofu in Taiwan

Stinky tofu is another local delicacy that may turn you off at first because of, well, its smell. It is brined in fermented milk for a couple of months, which can make you appreciate the dish more.

7. Mochi

Grilled mochi in Taiwan

Mochi may originally be from Japan, but the Taiwanese version is too yummy to resist. Traditional mochi is filled with red bean paste. Eating it is definitely a superb way to wrap up a meal. Shown above is a grilled version of mochi.

8. Bubble Tea

A cup of milk tea with a generous amount of pearls. We don’t need to explain this one further, do we?

Tip: Try Night Markets!

It’s safe to say that Taiwanese are food lovers. It is evident in the number of night markets in Taipei alone. You can effortlessly find all of the food items listed above when you spend time in a night market. Plus, you can discover more iconic dishes that are both interesting and delicious.

Ren'ai District in Taiwan

Among the night markets you should visit are Shilin, Raohe, Ningxia, and Huaxi. Don’t miss the chance to try a dish or two at the Michelin-recognized food stalls there.

What to Do

Booking a tour is a convenient way to maximize your time, especially if it’s your first time to experience winter in Taiwan. Try these recommended tours and attractions that you should add to your itinerary:

1. Yangmingshan National Park & Hot Spring Tour

Yangmingshan National Park & Hot Spring Tour

Explore Taiwan in a delightful, four-hour tour. Book this one and enjoy a visit to Yangmingshan National Park, where you will get to see the beautiful mountainous area of the city. If you’re lucky, you might see the mountains covered in snow.

The tour will also take you to the unique Flower Clock at Yangming Park and let you see the stunning post-volcanic areas at Xiaoyoukeng and Lengshuikeng. End the trip with a rejuvenating footbath experience in one of the hot springs.

Book your Yangmingshan National Park & Hot Spring Tour Tickets now!

2. Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark

A premier destination in northern Taiwan, Yehliu Geopark offers views of many strange and spectacular rocks, the most famous being the iconic Queen’s Head. Its unique landscape was once likened to outer space geology by an American cable news network, dubbing it as the most Mars-like rock environment on earth.

Book your Yehliu Geopark Tickets now!

3. Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen Tour

Yehliu, Jiufen, and Shifen Tour

Visit three of Taiwan’s most popular attractions in a day. After seeing some of the world’s most famous eroded rock formations in Yehliu Geopark, you’ll learn about the heyday of the gold mining industry at the Shuinandong Smelter. End the trip as you explore Jiufen Old Street and Shifen Old Street for a glimpse of an old railroad town.

Book your Yehliu, Jiufen & Shifen Tour Tickets now!

4. Spring City Resort Beitou Hot Spring Spa

Spring City Resort Beitou Hot Spring Spa

Complete your holiday in Taiwan with a relaxing day at Spring City Resort Beitou’s hot spring pools. Spend a full day unwinding in the resort’s nine different types of bath in the outdoor spa area, including the waterfall pool, cold water pool, floating pool, and family pool.

Book your Spring City Resort Beitou Hot Spring Spa Tickets now!

5. Qingjing Farm: Green Green Grassland

Qingjing Farm Green Green Grassland

Take a break from the busy city and enjoy the serenity of the countryside for a bit. Qingjing Farm’s Green Green Grassland will provide you with much-needed greenery, fresh air, and a chance to encounter some friendly livestock animals.

After appreciating the views of the surrounding range of mountains, you can entertain yourself by watching seasonal shows in the area.

Book your Qingjing Farm Tickets now!

6. Taroko (Marble) Gorge Tour

Taroko (Marble) Gorge Tour

Make your winter even more unforgettable by joining this sightseeing tour that will let you explore Taroko Gorge for a day.

See the spectacular views of the marble canyons by the Liwu River, observe the ecosystem around the Shakadang Trail, and step into other breathtaking destinations such as Tianxiang, Qixing Lake, and Hualien Stone Sculptural Park.

Book your Taroko Marble Gorge Tour tickets now!

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture wonderful moments as you enjoy winter in Taiwan! Visit Explore by Traveloka often for more travel hacks and announcements.

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