Taiwan is opening its border, what to do there

Taiwan will resume visa free entry for Filipino independent travelers starting from September 29, but they still need to undergo three-day hotel quarantine and four-day self-health monitoring, i.e., tourists have to wear masks all the time and avoid going to hospitals.

However, the Taiwan government has declared that quarantine measures for arrivals may be lifted by mid-October. If it happens, visitors to Taiwan will only have to go through 7-day self-health monitoring.

In other words, it’s very likely that Filipino tourists will be able to visit Taiwan visa-free and without quarantine this coming Christmas and holiday season, so you can start planning your Taiwan trip now.

Since Taiwan is opening its border soon, what can you do in Taiwan? Here are some recommendations.

Experience hot springs

One of the most enjoyable things to do in winter is taking a hot spring bath, and Taiwan is ranked among the world’s top 15 hot spring sites, harboring a variety of springs, including hot springs, cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs.

More than one hundred hot springs have been discovered in Taiwan. When the Japanese occupied Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, they brought in rich Japanese culture of spring soaking, and the four most famous hot springs during the Japanese occupation were Beitou, Yangmingshan, Guanziling in Tainan and Sichongxi in Pingtung.

Travelers who only stay in Taipei can visit Beitou or Yangmingshan to experience soaking in steamy hot springs with picturesque scenery by your side.

You can visit the Zhaori Hot Spring in Green Island as well. Zhaori Hot Spring faces the Pacific Ocean so you can see a magnificent sunrise while you are bathing. You can also experience the hot spring at night to see the gorgeous starry sky and bring eggs with you to boil them in the hot spring.

Sleepover at the National Museum
for Marine Biology and Aquarium

If you are visiting southern Taiwan, one of the most popular destinations for families is the National Museum for Marine Biology and Aquarium in Kenting. And if you are visiting the NMMBA, it would be a shame if you don’t book the sleepover activities to go through a night tour of the aquarium and see the marine animals come to life after dark.

At bedtime, visitors can choose a sleeping area beside their favorite animals, and it feels just like you are sleeping under the sea and having marine animals swimming around you while you are sleeping.

Cat cafés and cat village tours

In Taipei, there are dozens of cat cafés where you can enjoy the pleasure of petting cats and the soothing or playful atmosphere of staying with them. Among those cafés, Minimal Cafe, is one of the oldest cat cafés in Taiwan that opened in 2000. Some of the cat cafés also sell cat souvenirs which are so cute that you’ll wish you had more room in the suitcase to bring them all home.

If you are a cat person, you must not miss the Houtong Cat Village where you’ll meet hundreds of these purring fur friends. While Houtong is a cat paradise where you can spend a whole afternoon enjoying your time with adorable cats, it offers visitors more than that.

Like Jiufen, Houtong is an abandoned mining community as well, and it was the largest freight station for mining transportation in Taiwan. To understand more about its mining history, tourists can visit the Houtong Coal Mine Ecological Park to take the miniature train to go underground and experience the working condition of miners or get a chance to touch a 200.3-kilogram gold bar.

It’s only a 12-minute drive from Houtong to Jiufen, an old mountain town with narrow alleys packed with teahouses, street-food shacks and souvenir shops, and it resembles scenes in the Japanese animation movie “Spirited Away.”

After visiting Houtong, you can take a train to Jiufen. You’ll feel like going back to the old times walking in the alleys and many visitors will be fascinated by the nostalgic atmosphere and taking selfies non-stop.

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