Taoyuan a not-so-hidden gem in Taiwan

Taoyuan a not-so-hidden gem in Taiwan

City hosts key airport and many attractions

Shihmen reservoir in Taiwan saw 107,316 tourists arrive in January of this year.
Shihmen reservoir in Taiwan saw 107,316 tourists arrive in January of this year.

The oft-overlooked Taiwanese city of Taoyuan is expecting a windfall of Thai travellers with the launch of direct flights from Bangkok offered by Tigerair Taiwan.

The flight is a little less than four hours and departs from Don Mueang airport.

The Ynotfly travel booking platform, in association with the Department of Tourism of Taiwan and Tigerair, is also launching special promotions to attract Thai travellers.

For 6,490 baht, the special promotion includes a round-trip flight with a one-night hotel stay near Taoyuan airport, a taxi discount from the airport to the hotel, a 50% discount on a city tour bus for one day and unlimited SIM card use in Taiwan.

The promotion is valid from May 15 to Oct 31.

"Upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan's international airport, passengers should plan to travel through Taoyuan and stay for at least two days to get to know the Taoyuan city near the airport," said Yang Sheng-Ping, director-general of Taoyuan's Department of Tourism.

Jenny Wang, executive officer of the department, underscores that Taiwan is more than just Taipei. Tourists can get to know Taoyuan city, which offers a variety of attractions such as the must-visit Daxi village, she said.

Few tourists know about Taoyuan city, located on the tip of Taiwan island in the Pacific, 30 minutes from Taipei, the capital. Taoyuan is surrounded by mountains and offers many places to visit.

According to the Department of Tourism in Taoyuan, 689,394 tourists visited Daxi village in 2018. The village was the earliest developed area in Taoyuan and at one point had a thriving trade with China.

Taoyuan's major attraction is the old colonial village of Daxi, built during the Japanese occupation period with baroque architecture. The attraction offers specialty shops and food with must-eat traditional delicacies like bean curd, peanut brittle, rice cake and tofu pudding.

The city is also home to the President Chiang Kai-shek Mausoleum, the temporary resting place of Chiang Kai-shek. The nearby Shihmen reservoir is renowned for its beautiful lake and mountain views year round.

The reservoir is also a great place to admire the magnificent beauty of flowers and leaves. Fiery maple leaves and snow-white plum blossoms catch your eye in the wintertime.

When spring comes, the peach, cherry and azalea bloom to compete for visitors' attention with their captivating beauty.

In the rainy season, Shihmen dam will discharge its water, providing a spectacular view that attracts a great number of tourists.

According to the Department of Tourism of Taoyuan, Shihmen reservoir saw a year-on-year decrease in tourists of 3.1%, from 110,786 in January 2018 to 107,316 in January 2019.

"Many tourists are price-sensitive, and so planning to stay in Taoyuan city is more economical than hopping on a taxi to Taipei," said Sorracha Soponnitid, marketing strategist and partnership manager at Miramar Services.

There are many chic accommodations near the airport, she said, and staying in Taoyuan is an economical choice for passengers arriving on flights at night.

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