Taiwan Backpacking Guide

Ready to join me on my Backpacking Taiwan guide? I want to bring you on an exhilarating journey through the enchanting landscapes of Taiwan. After backpacking across the country for more than a month, uncovering local hidden gems, and soaking in savage hot springs, I can’t wait to share my incredible experiences with you.

Taiwan isn’t just a destination; it’s a hiking paradise waiting to be explored. You’ll find many lush mountain trails with stunning coastal vistas.

But it’s not just the landscapes that make Taiwan special. It’s the warm hospitality of its people, the delicious flavors of its street food, and the sense of safety and security that envelops you as you wander through its bustling streets.

What to Expect: A simple Overview

Taiwan is one of the safest countries in the world to travel solo. People are extremely helpful. I even had some taxi drivers explaining me how to take public transportation, so I could save some money.

You can find modern cities, breathtaking natural wonders, and diverse landscapes. It even has some pristine beaches! It requires a bit of planning, as for some extreme hikes you’ll need a permit, but worry not, I will explain you everything you need to know to enjoy the country at your own path

Regarding hostels, you can expect clean and super-safe accommodations. While socializing in hostels might be a bit challenging due to fewer tourists compared to other destinations, you’ll still find warm hospitality and friendly faces eager to hear your stories.

Whether you’re trekking through the iconic Taroko Gorge, soaking in the natural beauty of Sun Moon Lake, or savoring the vibrant street food scene in Taipei’s night markets, each experience will leave you wanting more.

Travel Costs: Detailed Breakdown

Taiwan is not the cheapest country in South East Asia, but it is still affordable. Let’s see the estimated budget you’ll need. Remember these prices depends on your personal preferences, as well as the season you are traveling.

Suggested Budget per Person per Day

  • Low: $20 – $35
  • Middle: $40 – $70
  • High: $80+

Detailed Costs


  • Low: Hostel dormitories typically range from $10 to $20 per night.
  • Middle: Mid-range hotels or guesthouses may cost between $30 and $60 per night.
  • High: Luxury hotels or upscale accommodations start from $80 and can exceed.


  • Low: Affordable eateries and street food stalls offer meals for $2 to $5.
  • Middle: Mid-range restaurants might charge $6 to $10 for a meal.
  • High: Fine dining experiences begin from $15-20.

Tips for Enjoying Cheap Food in Taiwan

Night Markets: Taiwan is renowned for its vibrant night markets, where you can try a huge variety of delicious and affordable street foods, snacks, and local specialties for $2 to $7.

Local Eateries: Look for traditional Taiwanese restaurants and local eateries for budget-friendly meals, ranging from $5 to $10 per person.

Convenience Stores: Taiwanese convenience stores like 7-Eleven and FamilyMart offer a wide selection of inexpensive yet satisfying meals and snacks, including bento boxes, noodles, and sandwiches for $2 to $5. In the FamilyMarkt you’ll find also cheap coffee (coffee is quite expensive in Taiwan compared with other countries)  and I have been told they use same beans as SB.

Taiwanese Tea Houses: Experience Taiwanese tea culture at local tea houses, where you can enjoy a cup of tea accompanied by complimentary snacks for $5 to $10.

Things to See and Do

Absolute Top Cities

Taipei: Taiwan’s capital is a must-visit, boasting a fascinating blend of modernity and tradition. Explore bustling night markets, visit iconic landmarks like Taipei 101, and discover the rich cultural heritage at temples and museums.

Kaohsiung: This southern port city offers a laid-back atmosphere, stunning waterfront views, and a thriving arts scene. Don’t miss attractions like the Lotus Pond, Pier-2 Art Center, and Cijin Island for a taste of local life.

Historical Landmarks

National Palace Museum: Located in Taipei, this museum houses one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese art and artifacts, offering insights into Taiwan’s rich history and culture.

Taipei 101: Once the tallest building in the world, Taipei 101 is an iconic landmark dominating the city skyline. Take a ride up to the observation deck for panoramic views of Taipei and marvel at the engineering marvels of this skyscraper.

Fort Zeelandia: Situated in Tainan, this historic fortress dates back to the Dutch colonial period and provides a glimpse into Taiwan’s colonial past.

Natural Wonders

Taroko Gorge: A hiker’s paradise, Taroko Gorge in Hualien County offers breathtaking scenery, dramatic marble cliffs, and numerous hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hot Springs:Taiwan has plenty of natural hot springs nestled all around the country. You can opt to relax in public baths or indulge in private hot spring resorts. One of the most famous hot springs near Taipei is Beitou

Alishan National Scenic Area: Located in Chiayi County, Alishan is renowned for its stunning sunrise views, ancient cypress forests, and scenic mountain railway, offering a serene escape from the city.

Cultural Experiences

Taiwanese Temples: Explore Taiwan’s vibrant temple culture by visiting historic temples such as Longshan Temple in Taipei or Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Kaohsiung.

Night Markets: Experience Taiwan’s culinary delights  at its famous night markets. The most known around the country are Shilin Night Market in Taipei or Liuhe Night Market in Kaohsiung.

Pingxi Lantern Festival: Held in Pingxi District during the Lantern Festival, this annual event allows visitors to release sky lanterns into the night sky, symbolizing their hopes and dreams for the future.

Itinerary Ideas


Where to stay on a Budget in Taiwan

Few Hostels we love


How to get around Taiwan


Best Time to visit Taiwan


Backpacking Essentials & Safety Tips

Safety Tips

Cultural Norms

Things Not to Do

Resources and Planning

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