Taiwan is overflowing with beautiful, exciting and magical places. Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, Alishan, to name just three well known spots. But in this article we’ll take you to a few secret spots, true gems known mostly to locals (and in few cases, not many of those). Want to experience something truly unique? Check out a few of these spots on your next Taiwan trip!
No.8 -Jiguopai Old Church (基國派老教堂)
Located in Sanmin Village in the Fuxing District of Taoyuan City, the Jiguopai Old Church was built by a local Atayal people and a a Presbyterian priest in 1964. The walls were constructed from rocks excavated from the nearby bat cave and carried up the mountain by locals. The church’s most distinctive feature is it’s round entrance (similar to the one in Bilbo Baggins house in Lord of the Rings). The areas is a beautiful spot for day hikes as well.
No.7 – Wangyou Forest (忘憂森林)
Nearby the more popular Sitou Forest Recreational Area in Nantou county, the Wangyou forest’s ethereal landscape is a result of a massive earthquake that created a swamp which drowned the roots of a massive pine forest. The resulting skeletal forest of pine trees are quite breathtaking. Visit on a cloudy day when the morning mists give the forest ghostly, mysterious feeling. Don’t forget to wear comfortable hiking boots for the trek.
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The Water-Moon Dharma Center at the Dharma Drum Mountain Nung Chan Monastery in Beitou was built in the modern minimalist architectural style. It features an attractive and mirror-like pool in front of the grand hall, reflecting clouds, sky, and the pavilion behind. Offering both harmonious scenery and a Zen meditation experience, it’s a popular destination for local and foreign practitioners but little known to secular travelers.
No.5 -Wanli UFO Village
This semi-abandoned holiday resort on Taiwan’s northern coast features a dozen or so flying saucer shaped houses in varying degrees of disintegration. The Futuro houses (designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen) are made of plastic and resemble the sort of structures found in 1970’s science fiction films looking to depict what life in the 21st century might look like. Alas, the elements have not been kind to the houses, and while they are currently still standing (at least one appear to be, as of this writing, maintained and occupied), how long they’ll remain so is anybody’s guess. A similar pod of futuristic houses in Taipei’s Sanzhi district were demolished a few years back.
Read More : Eight Secret Spots in Taiwan (Part II)