Relaxing excursions in the countryside
When you arrive in Taichung's idyllic “backyard”, the Dakeng Scenic Area, be prepared to enjoy natural settings that are almost never seen or experienced in a city. Many hiking trails, each with its own unique characteristics, have been mapped out in this area. With so many great options, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily for you, Dakeng is an open, unrestricted area that allows visitors to freely roam from one spot to another. Fruit-picking and biking are among the recreational activities and Taichung's largest camping site, the Chung Cheng Camping Zone, is also located here, in addition to many pottery and bamboo handicrafts available for sale. Depending on the season, many vendors hawk a variety of goods along area routes, offering top-quality Dakeng specialties including bamboo shoots, oranges, pomelo fruit, and orchids.
Taking a break
If you're looking for something truly unique, look around the Dakeng traffic roundabout, where you'll find the Carton King Creativity Park, famous throughout central Taiwan. This place features a large expanse of green with a striking water fountain. Creative cardboard paper cutouts of the Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa and many other famous world landmarks can be seen propped up on the grass. These cutouts are not only beautiful and waterproof, but can also be made into lanterns! Even the take-out drinks here are placed in small, adorable cardboard boxes. This place undoubtedly offers a colorful experience, while displaying a piece of Taiwan's creative culture.
Now that your eyes have enjoyed their fill of wonderful works, it's time to feast on some real food. Dakeng is rich in agricultural products. Bamboo, oranges and free-range chickens are especially famous here, making Dakeng the top choice for savoring chicken dishes. There are many bamboo-themed restaurants with specialty dishes, or you can visit the well-known Tuji (free-range chicken) City for chicken cooked in terra-cotta pots. After the meal you can enjoy a delicious dessert near the traffic roundabout, where flavorful taro dumplings in sweet soup are sold. These are just a few of the many Dakeng specialties that you won't want to miss!
After you have visited the scenic attractions of Dakeng, head back into the city, where there is another green piece of paradise--the Jingguo Parkway, linking Taichung's Botanical Garden, National Museum of Natural Science and the Citizens Square. Each year, you can also enjoy a variety of festivities here, including the very popular Taichung Jazz Festival.
The Botanical Garden has a romantic and exotic atmosphere that is both educational and fun. This is the perfect spot for families as well as a beautiful place to take wedding photos. The adjacent Science Museum regularly hosts world-renowned exhibitions, such as the recent Mammoth and Darwin exhibitions. This means that Taichung residents and visitors don't have to travel overseas to conveniently enjoy these educational, entertaining events.
Leaving the National Museum of Natural Science, take a walk along the Jingguo Parkway and enjoy some peace of mind. Surrounded by greenery, you can also stop for shopping at the Park Lane by CMP mall on Gongyi Road, walking comfortably through the large, spacious and environmentally-friendly building with inner and outer walls made up of living plants��"the largest in surface area within Asia. Just across the street is the large grassy expanse of Citizens Square, covering about 3,300 square meters and serving as the site of the annual Jazz Festival in November. Each year, international musical groups and artists are invited to play at the festival, which attracts throngs of jazz fans from around Taiwan, spreading out across the grass in front of the stage to immerse themselves in mesmerizing melodies and rhythms.
Many families also come here to enjoy time together. The grass is open to all activities and is a perfect spot to gaze up into Taichung’s usually-clear, blue skies.
With these suggestions, you don't have to follow a tour guide itinerary. Rather, you can plan your own adventure and enjoy Taichung to the fullest on your own, whether you're hiking in the countyside, enjoying delicious foods, relaxing or shopping. Best wishes for a memorable visit that will hopefully help you fall in love with this city and have you coming back for more!