Travelling Welshman
Instagram @tompj
Asia,  Taiwan,  Top Lists

The 20 Best Instagram Worthy Spots in Taiwan

The tiny island nation of Taiwan leaves a BIG impression and continues to capture the imagination of photographers, influencers and travellers worldwide with its iconic scenes.

In this treasure trove of Taiwanese delights, skyscrapers stand next to breathtaking temples and eye-catching night markets. Indigenous villages sit along turquoise coasts with only rugged mountainous terrain keeping them apart.

Each and every spot across this underrated jewel is more photogenic than the last. So in that case, grab your camera, and let’s discover the 20 best spots across Taiwan to spice up your Instagram feed!

This article may contain affiliate links which I may be compensated for at no extra cost to you dear readers!

Taipei 101 as seen from Elephant Mountain. Photo by peellden, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What was once the tallest building in the world now stands as a beacon of Taiwanese pride! This monumental bamboo-shaped tower stands in the heart of Taipei’s bustling Xinyi district and can easily be spotted throughout the capital.

While gazing at it from below is a must, the ultimate view is from one of the many mountains that surround Taipei, especially Elephant Mountain (one of Taipei’s biggest must-dos).

But it doesn’t end there! You can spend hours meandering amongst the luxury shopping mall and high-end boutiques held inside. From there, you can travel all the way to the tippy-top of the tower! On a clear day, you can see the entire expanse of the city and its protective mountain border. Also, be sure to check out the incredible counter-balance system that keeps the tower standing even during the strongest earthquakes.

taiwan instagram
Taroko Gorge

While Taipei 101 is the most incredible architectural marvel in the country, this next one is all down to Mother Nature herself!

Taroko National Park is a breathtaking slice of nature at its finest. Towering marble cliffs and lush forests cascade down towards turquoise blue waters that carve the very valleys you’re standing in. The park is covered from one end to the other with immense trails that wind their way deeper into the gorge along treacherous cliffs. Whether you want to explore the many tunnels that bore their way through the mountainside or enjoy the wonders from the comfort of your own car, its a placed designed to be captured.

taiwan instagram
Jiufen Old Street at night

Instagram has been covered with images of Jiufen since its inception, making it one of the most recognisable scenes in Taiwan. This charming maze of narrow alleys and staircases feels like something straight out of a Hayao Miyazaki flick. There’s even a well-known myth that the area inspired his iconic masterpiece Spirited Away!

The narrow corridors become a pleasant gauntlet of aromatic mists from traditional tea houses and delectable street food, giving you a sensory overload like never before! As you walk through under the light of hundreds of red lanterns, you feel as if you’re lost in a fairytale of old-world wonder.

taiwan instagram
The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas

Describing this next spot as eye-catching would be an injustice! The peculiar figure of an openmouthed tiger and dragon nestled at the feet of two identical pagodas is quite the sight, to say the least.

The legend says that your fortunes will be changed once you enter through the dragon’s mouth and exit through the tiger’s. Just to hammer the point home, a vast collection of dioramas is held within the belly of the beasts, depicting what will happen to anyone who does not lead a moral existence.

Climbing the intricately designed pagodas to their peak will reveal exactly what sets this site apart. The pagodas are placed on the outer edge of Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung amongst a tangled web of lotus flowers. You’ll also be able to spot many other fascinating sites that line the lake, including the Spring and Autumn Pavilions.

taiwan instagram
Alishan National Forest Park

The name Alishan was given to this iconic national park by the arriving Japanese colonials who thought it resembled the birthplace of Buddha. Having a namesake like that just goes to show the serenity that this incredible national park provides.

This mountainous paradise is all about jaw-dropping views and tranquil trails. The heavenly pathways that carve their way through this misty wonderland look too pristine for even the cheesiest Disney movie! That’s doubly true when riding along the quaint Alishan Forest Railway.

Even the region outside the park itself has a load of spots to grab incredible photos. The vast stretches of tea plantation blanketing the mountainscape are quite the sight, especially when the clouds start rolling in.

The ultimate guide to exploring the Taiwanese capital and favourite amongst expats – Taipei

What to see, where to stay and how to get there

Click Here!

taiwan instagram
Longshan Temple

Taiwan is a nation of many, MANY temples. Though each has its own significance, all pale in comparison to the OG of Taiwanese spirituality – Longshan Temple.

Located in Taipei’s oldest district, this iconic temple isn’t just a place of worship; it’s a vibrant slice of Taiwanese life. This nearly 300-year-old temple has become a national institution, one where people from across the country bask amongst the mists of incense and echoes of prayers.

With intricately carved dragon pillars and colourful eaves that tell stories from Chinese folklore, it’s a photographer’s dream! That’s without mentioning being able to watch Taiwan’s citizens each pay their respects and hold their hands in prayer before the mighty shrines within.

Want to learn more about temples in Taiwan? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Taiwanese Temples!

taiwan instagram
Rainbow Village

I wonder where this place got its name from. This whimsical little village in the centre of Taichung is a pure explosion of colour and has a beautiful little story behind its creation.

What was once a military village has since been given a colourful makeover by the artistic touch of one man, Huang Yung-Fu, affectionately known as “Grandpa Rainbow.” At over ninety years old, Grandpa Rainbow took to painting every wall and street in the surrounding area, bringing this dying village back to life. On top of still creating colourful masterpieces, he still lives in the village to this day!

It’s a place where art and community spirit blend beautifully. There are few Instagram-worthy snapshots better in Taiwan than this one!

Local train passing through Shifen Old Street. Photo by Smiley.toeristCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The mountainous terrain of Taiwan is home to plenty of bright little gems that will add a real shine to your Instagram game. Shifen Old Street is one of those jewels and remains a beautiful little slice of old-world charm that you could only ever find in a quaint little railway town.

The narrow train tracks passing through the centre of the town are reminiscent of the streets of Hanoi or Bangkok. Bustling stores and snack stalls swing to create a sensory mish-mash with only the occasional rumble of a train passing just inches away.

The true magic however is sold in many of the stores that line the train tracks. From here, visitors can purchase, customise and release traditional sky lanterns to the skies above. The absolutely best time to see this is during the yearly Lantern Festival when the entirety of Northern Taiwan descends upon the streets to release their lanterns.

Want to discover more sites in Hanoi? Check out The 20 Best Highlights To See in Hanoi!

taiwan instagram
Fo Guang Shan Buddha Monastery

In the spiritual nation of Taiwan, there aren’t many better representations of that fact than the impressive might of Fo Guang Shan Buddha Monastery. This is by far the biggest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and has become a place where devout worshippers and curious travellers come in seek of a peaceful atmosphere.

Amongst this enormous compound, there are a ridiculous amount of photogenic sites! From the lush row of trees, monks performing daily rituals or, most eye-catching of all, the imposing 108-meter-tall Buddha statue standing at the end of a long pagoda-lined walkway.

The unique rock formations of Yehliu Geopark. Photo by Carrie KellenbergerCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Consider the northern coast of Taiwan to be a geological playground. The peculiar landscape has been chiselled by millennia of erosion and has left behind a one-of-a-kind natural wonder.

Yehliu Geopark holds some incredibly unique rock formations, some of which have become their own icons. Those include the iconic “Queen’s Head“, which resembled the dear departed Elizabeth. The Earthy orange tones contrast wonderfully against the deep blue of the Pacific.

taiwan instagram
The river running through Wulai

The dictionary definition of “hidden gem” would be this little heavenly paradise right here! Still within a public bus distance from the capital, you’ll find yourself in the indigenous natural heaven of Wulai.

The tiny town deep in the valleys is renowned for an incredible number of things. The eye-catching turquoise waters that cascade down from the mountains above provide visitors with ache-soothing natural hot springs. Whether you want to spend the night or just a few hours, there are plenty of places to soak in the toasty waters.

But it doesn’t end there! The area is also home to one of the many indigenous tribes that still survive in Taiwan! You’ll be able to experience local indigenous culture through exhibitions, mouth-watering treats and colourful facades covered in red, white and black – the colours of the local tribe.

taiwan instagram
Sun Moon Lake

As far as the people of Taiwan are concerned, this is the number 1 Instagram spot! Sun Moon Lake is the postcard image that demonstrates everything that Taiwan does so well.

The shimmering waters and rolling mountains around its perimeter bring an enchanting beauty that’s hard to beat. Whether you’re cycling around the lake, hopping on a boat to cruise its serene waters, or even want to try some water sports, this place has it all.

The shorelines of the lake also has some incredible treats, such as Wenwu Temple overlooking the entire landscape. The real highlight for many is Ita Thao village, which offers a charming peek into the life of the indigenous Thao people, with their vibrant markets and traditional performances.

Shifen Waterfall. Photo by Weihao.chiu, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The streets of Shifen are known for much more than a few simple lanterns and a quaint little train track. Hidden deep amongst the valleys and lush forests on the outskirts of town stands the most beautiful waterfall in all of Taiwan!

Tumbling gracefully down to a tranquil pool below a 40-meter drop, Shifen Waterfall is the cherry on top of the little mountainous cake. From the wooden boardwalks above you can take in the pure beauty of its roaring waters and cascading flows.

taiwan instagram
Thermal Valley

The lands beneath Taiwan are positively bursting with volcanic activity! Evidence of that fact can be seen in the numerous hot springs scattered across the island. Though I wouldn’t recommend dipping your toe into this next one…unless you want to lose it!

The hot-spring-loving district of Beitou on the outer teacher Taipei is also home to a site straight out of a comic book. Otherwise known as “Hell Valley“, this near-boiling pool of neon green water is a testament to the fires that burn beneath the island. What’s more, it’s radioactive! With a constant stream of stream skimming across its surface, it looks entirely alien!

taiwan instagram
The coast of Lanyu

Yet another jewel hidden away from the bright lights of Taipei, Lanyu truly is entering another world, and there’s a very good reason for that.

This tiny little island is home to the Tao tribe, one of the many tribes indigenous in Taiwan. The tribe has also resisted a lot of influence from the outside world, even from the Taiwanese mainland itself. As such, the island has remained authentic in the sense that very little has been changed – no high-rise hotels, no 5-star restaurants, this is as rustic and authentic of an Indigenous experience as you’ll get anywhere in Taiwan!

But it doesn’t end there! The island from one end to the other is filled with jaw-dropping photo opportunities. Whether it be the incredible coastline or the island’s mountainous centre to the traditional Tao fishing boats and underground homes, each sight is more unique than the last. Not to mention you might get lucky enough to try the local delicacy, flying fish!

A comprehensive list of every temple worth visiting during your time in and around the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.

Click Here!

Sanxiantai Dragon Bridge. Photo by Bernard GagnonCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Quite the eye-catching design I’m sure you’ll agree! This iconic bridge stretches across crystal-clear waters to the rocky island of Sanxiantai, where you’ll discover a treasure trove for nature lovers and explorers. The rocky landscapes and unique geological formations provide ample space for an array of native plants and birds.

Yet, it’s the bridge itself which is the true highlight. Its undulating design mimics a dragon’s back, snaking its way to the opposite coast. It makes for quite an addition to your Taiwan Instagram story.

Formosa Boulevard Dome of Light. Rybloo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The southern city of Kaohsiung is bursting with worthy sites to visit, and this particular one has but one simple subway station on the map.

This incredible piece of art on the roof of the station is the world’s largest glasswork consisting of 4,500 glass panels, but that’s not the impressive bit. The entire set-up depicts a stunning light show of the journey of human life in a stunning array of colours. It’s certainly one of the more vivid Instagram shots you’ll get in Taiwan!

Turtle Island

This next spot may fly under the radar of most people, but it’s one of the quirkiest sites in Taiwan! Just off the coast of Yilan lies Turtle Island – an abandoned military base and venomous snake experimentation site on an active volcano.

The long peculiar history of this island has left behind military tunnels which cut through the centre of the island, artillery guns heading out to the Pacific Ocean and a village complete with a school which now stands lifeless.

From the peak of the island, you’ll get the best view of the island’s main attraction. Wrapped around the head of the island are stunning turquoise waters, a tell-tale sign of the volcanic activity brewing beneath the waters.

Kenting National Park. Photo by 蘇鐿顯CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Perched on the southern tip of Taiwan, Kenting National Park is a tropical playground well worth a place on your Instagram. Among these lush lands, green hills slip away into golden beaches and inviting waters that invite some heart-pounding water sports.

For those preferring to keep themselves dry, there are plenty of hiking trails to explore. Better yet, there’s even a night market which comes alive once the sun goes down! With vibrant stalls offering everything from mouth-watering street food to quirky souvenirs.

Thank You for Reading The 20 Best Instagram Worthy Spots in Taiwan! Check Out These Other Helpful Links!

Thank you so much for reading The 20 Best Instagram Worthy Spots in Taiwan! Check out these other helpful articles! See you next time!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.