The Top 10 Things to Do in Hsinchu, Taiwan

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The Top 10 Things to Do in Hsinchu, Taiwan

With almost 400 years of history, Hsinchu is one of the oldest cities in Taiwan and is deeply rooted in the island's traditions and culture. A major stop on the THSR, Taiwan High Speed Rail line, there's plenty of things to do in Hsinchu to warrant visiting the city and its surrounding area.

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The Top 10 Things to Do in Hsinchu, Taiwan

Hsinchu Zoo

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The oldest zoo in Taiwan, Hsinchu Zoo has been welcoming visitors since 1936. Recently redeveloped in 2019, the zoo is now much more modern and offers beautiful enclosures for the animals there. You'll find a number of native Taiwanese species along with animals from all over the world there, a total of around 300.


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Nestled deep into the mountains of central Taiwan, Smangus is an aboriginal village home to the Atayal people. Once known as Taiwan's most isolated village, the construction of a mountain road now links up the area to Hsinchu.

Encompassing the mountain side at a height of 1,500 meters, Smangus is the perfect escape to nature. The area around the village is known for its ancient cypress trees that date back to over a thousand years old along with bamboo forests. Despite the feeling of isolation, there's plenty of things to do around Smangus. It's a great place to get to know Taiwanese aboriginal culture by staying overnight in the village and taking part in performances, songs and feasts.

Walk Down Hsinchu Moat Park

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Once a moat surrounding the walls of Hsinchu, this waterfront park is a picturesque stretch of the city. Hsinchu Moat Park is a lovely spot to take a stroll and admire the scenery, just a short walk from Hsinchu Station. The park is also beautiful at night, when its illuminations are lit up.

Hsinchu East Gate

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As you walk down Hsinchu moat park, make sure to check out the old city's east gate also known as Yin Hsi East Gate. The last surviving gate of Hsinchu's walled city, the structure was built in 1827.

Neiwan Old Street

Another of Hsinchu's scenic mountain towns, it's much easier to reach than Smangus, with the Neiwan railway line taking passengers straight from Hsinchu to the town. Neiwan and the historic Neiwan Old Street are also famous spots for getting to know Hakka culture, settled by Hakka residents throughout the years.

Neiwan was once one of Taiwan's many coal mining and lumber towns that all but shut down when the country started to import cheaper coal from abroad. After being revitalized by tourism, Neiwan is now a blast to the past, showcasing its historic buildings, Hakka culture and delicious street food and snacks sold along the old street.

Apart from exploring the town itself, being located in a mountain valley offers plenty of things to do and see around Neiwan. Apart from hiking trails and hot springs to soak in, the forests around Neiwan are one of the best spots to view fireflies in Taiwan, around late April to early May.

Leofoo Theme Park

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One of Taiwan's most famous theme parks, Leofoo Theme Park has plenty of things to do to make for a great day out. The park contains a few different themed areas such as African Safari and Arabian Kingdom that each have rides and attractions including some popular rollercoasters.

Hsinchu Fish Harbor

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Escape to Hsinchu's coastline and head to Nanliao Fish Harbor, this small harbor area has been redeveloped into a beautiful tourist attraction with restaurants and seafood markets.

It's also a popular area for cycling, there's a 17 kilometer dedicated bike path that runs along the coastline offering picturesque views along the way.

Hsinchu City God Temple

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One of the most famous of Taiwan's city god temples, Hsinchu's was built in 1747 and has long been a bustling center of life for residents of the city. Also known as Chenghuang Temple, it's also the site of a night market that opens up in the evening, selling delicious Taiwanese street food.

Hakka Culture at Beipu

The Hakka are Taiwan's second largest ethnic group and make up around a fifth of the population of Taiwan. Offering a different side of Chinese culture to what you'll find elsewhere around Taiwan, the town of Beipu is a window into the past, with many Qing Dynasty era buildings still standing and age-old restaurants offering Hakka delicacies and dishes to try.

Green Grass Lake

Green Grass Lake Hsinchu

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While it might not be quite as incredible as the famous Sun Moon Lake, Green Grass Lake just outside of Hsinchu City is a lush green paradise that's well worth visiting. The lake is especially picturesque just after sunrise in the morning or in the evening when the scenery is lit up.