The old motto of "Made in Taiwan" (think cheap shoes, toys and electrical goods) is synonymous with Taichung's history and not the city of today that is famous for its bicycles. The city now represents the gateway to explore the interior of the island with its glorious mountains. Taichung is cloaked in cultural sights from the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) sitting about 20 km from the Taiwan Strait. The 3rd largest city on the island, it is located in the central area of Taiwan with the best climate of the whole island. Unfortunately there is a lack of town planning causing dire traffic problems that can create havoc when attempting to walk on the almost non-existent sidewalks.
For the arty mind there is the Museum of Fine Arts to meander around or it is just a great place to chill out on a steamy hot day. The Museum of Natural Science with a Botanic Garden and Planetarium is where you can let loose the inner child for a few hours of unabated fun. Make sure you take the time to check out the beautiful Chung Tai Chan Monastery and the Taichung Confucius Temple plus the huge Laughing Buddha at the Paochueh Temple. The night markets are throbbing havens with plenty of pickpockets wanting to catch you unawares, whilst a visit to a teahouse is something everyone should do. In the old Taichung city center there is the Main Railway Station and a remnant of the Japanese era is the "Second Market". Make a beeline for the Jade Market if you really want to take home a souvenir that doesn't talk.
For the nature lover there is the Sun Moon Lake for a bit of boating or hiking, the old town of Lukang is worth a poke around, whilst the Taichung Metropolitan Park and the Gaomei Wetlands are where the locals hang at the weekends for some fresh air.
Make sure you gorge yourself on some Din Tai Fung dumplings at Top City and down some "Bubble Tea" with a serving of "sun cakes" (think round flaky crusted pastries filled with condensed malt sugar).
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