When you hear the phrase “Valentine’s Day,” you probably think of romance, flowers, chocolates, a candlelit dinner with your beloved and maybe even getting lucky. However, cheesy clichés aside, Valentine’s also means pressure to go on a special date; the perfect date, if you will. Coming up with original date ideas can be tough, trust us, we know. Oh boy, do we know. However, luckily for you, you’re in Taiwan and our beautiful island has many fun, interesting and outside-the-box date spots where you won’t fall short on romance or originality. You’re welcome in advance… (Read more: The Best Chocolate Shops in Taiwan)
Xiahai City God Temple
City God Temple is home to statues of more than 600 deities, including the Chinese Cupid. The temple is a popular spot to visit for singles and couples alike, as it is said that praying to Cupid can help guarantee a smooth romantic future. Maybe not the best spot for a first date or a last-minute it’s-Valentine’s-so-I’m-really-desperate-and-lonely-today Tinder meet-up, but for legit couples it is a nice place to visit before a stroll around nearby Ningxia Night Market.
Fellas, take your date to Taiwan’s tallest building because you’re definitely not compensating for something, right? But seriously, a nighttime trip to 101 to see it all lit up is pretty romantic, plus you can take a picture for Instagram by the Love sign to prove to all your followers that the love you have for your partner is #real.
Head to Taichung and spend a day at one of Taiwan’s hippest tourist attractions. Basically a huge piece of art, Rainbow Village is the perfect spot for taking selfies and photos and you can even impress your date with a bit of historical knowledge when you tell them all the buildings were painted and maintained by now 95-year-old Huang Yong-Fu (aka Rainbow Grandpa) who fled to Taiwan from China with the KMT. Smart is sexy, after all. (Read more: Taichung Art & Culture Tour)
Sun Moon Lake
A wonderful spot for biking, drinking tea and treating yourself to a little luxury, Sun Moon Lake is an ideal spot for a romantic date. You could rent a private yacht, go whisky tasting at Omar Single Malt Distillery, or spend the night at a five-star hotel – you can really go all out to impress at Sun Moon Lake. Also, on the other hand, if the date isn’t going well, you can push them in the lake. “It’s not you, it’s me” *splash*. (Read more: Sun Moon Lake One Day Leisure Tour)
We can’t decide whether the name “Love River” sounds like something romantic or something gross, but the definitely-not-gross Love River in Kaohsiung is the perfect location for a Valentine’s date. You can watch the sun set (or rise if the date went well) and enjoy a boat cruise while staring into each other’s eyes, momentarily feeling like you’ve been transported to the French Riviera, when in fact you aren’t cruising along the Mediterranean at all, you’re in Kaohsiung. The French Riviera of the East, maybe…
Shoushan LOVE Lookout
Also known as Shoushan Love Observatory, the LOVE Lookout, located near the famous Martyr’s Shrine, is the best spot in Kaohsiung to take in the city’s skyline, including the port, buildings and mountains. The spot, featuring a large “LOVE” sculpture, is a very popular place for pre-wedding photos… hint, hint, nudge, nudge.
Double-Heart of Stacked Stones in Penghu Island
You’ll find the Double-Heart of Stacked Stones, known by many as the Twin-Heart Fish Trap or Twin-Heart Stone Weir, in the Cimei Township in Penghu. Shaped like a heart, nothing says romance like an ancient fish trap made from stacks of stones. If you’re date doesn’t appreciate this then, sorry, they’re not the one for you. There’s plenty more fish in the trap, after all… (Read more: The Penghu Pearls – Islands Close to Taiwan’s Heart, Yet a World Away)
Okay, maybe not the best option for February, but Kenting Beach is a must visit for singles and couples alike. Situated across from Kenting National Park, the tropical beach, with its bright white sands juxtaposed by sparkling blue ocean, is a dreamy spot for a romantic stroll. Picture the scene: you and your date are walking along the beach; barefoot, your toes in the sand. You bend down to pickup a seashell and hand it to them. “Wow, the second most beautiful thing on the beach,” you say. “I don’t get it,” they reply. Ah well, at least they’re hot…
Mr. Brown Avenue
Named so after being popularized following its appearance in a Mr. Brown Coffee commercial, this small avenue in Chihshang, Taitung, flanked by rice fields, is a gorgeous road to cycle down. “The scenery here is almost as gorgeous as you,” you tell your date. “You’re saying I’m a rice field?” Seriously, we don’t care how hot they are. Leave this idiot…
Pronounced Shi-tee-ping (to avoid any confusion for English speakers), Shihtiping, meaning “stone steps,” is an incredible naturally-formed stone staircase on Taiwan’s east coast. However, if you do mispronounce it and invite your date to “Shittyping” and they still agree to go with you, fair play, you must really have something going for you. (Read more: Beauty in the east: five days on Taiwan’s east coast)
Head to Pingxi, via a stop at the magical Jiufen, and set off a sky lantern with your special someone. Write each other’s names on the side, make your wishes for the future, and release your lantern into the night’s sky. The lantern burning could also be a cruel visual metaphor for your relationship going up in flames, but let’s not dwell on that, alright? (Read more: Jiufen and Pingxi Day Tour)
Rabbit God Temple
Wei-ming Temple is a Taoist temple in New Taipei City dedicated to the Rabbit God, Tu’er Shen. The Rabbit God has been blessing Taiwan’s homosexuals for centuries, making the temple a great place for LGBTQ couples to visit and pray for good fortune and blessings. Just make it clear to your date where you want to go before you suggest this to them. “Let’s go pray to a gay rabbit,” or something to that effect might cause a bit of confusion… (Read more: Underground Taipei LGBTQ Tour)
Want to visit any of these places on a date or otherwise? Click here for more information.