Most visitors to Taiwan begin their stay in Taoyuan County, as this is where the island's major international airport is located. Those who spend longer than just a stopover in the county, however, will be rewarded with a colorful tapestry of cultures, a thriving metropolis and magnificent natural surroundings.
Explore Taoyuan City, the county’s capital, visit a theme park, or spend some time getting to know the historic district of Dasi. Between the coast and the cities you’ll find ancient cypress forests, enormous reservoirs and many hiking areas to explore.
Head to Taoyuan City’s spectacular Jungli Night Market,where you'll findhundreds of stands selling food, handmade goods and fresh produce. Try local delicacies, such as smoked chicken or calamari rolls. Visit Dasi, just to the south of Taoyuan City, to see an interesting mix of European, Japanese and Chinese architectural styles in the township's Old Streets. While in Dasi, visit the Cihu Mausoleum, dedicated to Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese military leader.
From Dasi, take the children to the Window On China Theme Park in nearby Longtan. It has traditional rides, models of iconic buildings from around the world and a water park in summer.
Taoyuan County is rich in natural beauty and eco-tourism is on the rise. The Shihmen Reservoir is one of the most spectacular attractions in the area. Eat at the local seafood restaurants lining its banks. In the Xiao Wulai Scenic Area you’ll find dense forests and fertile valleys. Walk above the trees on the Xiao Wulai Sky Walk, a pedestrian bridge that is suspended high in the air and takes you across the valley. Hike through the Dongyan Shan National Forest with views over Taipei to the east.
Though the county has an excellent system of buses and trains, renting a car at the airport or in the city allows you to explore the region at your own pace. Taoyuan County enjoys cooler temperatures than Taipei and in summer hiking is a popular activity with visitors.