Often forgotten in the looming shadow of its massive neighbor, Taiwan is a magnificent travel destination in its' own right. The island nation of 23 million boasts a vibrant culture, fantastic food and warm and generous people. It also offers a tremendous opportunity to improve your Mandarin language skills and contrast a big and cosmopolitan city like Taipei with the more rural and remote parts of the country. Join us!
Walking Tree organizes programs for teachers and their students.
Don’t see your area of interest highlighted in the itinerary below? Plan your own customized trip today!
Walking Tree Travel specializes in customized group travel. The itinerary below is from a recent program and is provided here as an example of just one of many experiences that are possible in this destination.
Today the group will depart the USA for Taiwan and arrive tomorrow.
We will arrive in Taipei and check into our accomodation in the heart of Taipei's Da'an district. After we rest and freshen up, we will take a stroll over to Da'an forest park to see the sunset by the egret pond. Then we will get our first group dinner. If time permits, we could also take a quick metro ride to the freedom plaza and grab dinner there. Feeling satiated, we will head back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
We will wake up bright and early for our first full day in Taipei. We'll either grab breakfast at the hotel or hit up a nearby breakfast joint for soy milk and fried donuts before traveling to the National Palace Museum for a tour of their collection. We will follow this up with lunch in nearby Tianmu, then hop back on the MRT to Maokong, where we will enjoy a gondola ride, visit the Tea Research and Promotion Centre and sample some tea and snacks. Time permitting, we will hike over to see the Silver Stream Cave Waterfall and take a peek at the Zhinan temple, famous for its mysterious ability to split people up--dating couples beware! In the evening we will take the MRT back into Taipei city for a group dinner and a little night market browsing.
After breakfast we will meet with our cooking instructors for a farmers' market tour, then put on our aprons for a traditional Taiwanese cooking class. After devouring the fruits of our labor, we will stop by the Jianguo Flower and Jade market in the afternoon and embark on a scavenger hunt. Afterwards, if the group is up for it, we can head over to the 228 memorial peace park for a tour of the peace museum. In the evening we will meet with a guide for a tour of old Taipei's dihua street district, learn about the city's history and sample some delicious Taiwanese snacks.
The adventures continue as we depart Taipei for Tainan by high speed train. After checking into our accomodations in central Tainan, we will hop on a bus or ride bikes over to the An Ping Old Street the former center of Dutch colonial trade. In An Ping we will feast on more Tainanese street snacks (seafood-lovers might sample some of the famous fried shrimp wontons) before a quick tour of the An Ping Fort to learn about the history of Taiwan's tea and sugar trade (there's a reason why bubble tea is made in Taiwan!). Then we will meander over to the 安平樹屋 to see one of the most epic "treehouses" in the world. After snapping some great pictures at the treehouse, we will head back into the city center and meet with a local guide for a walking tour. If time allows, we will check out the famous Hayashi department, Koxinga Shrine and Confucious Temple. Of course our day wouldn't be complete without another delicious array of Tainanese dishes- mushroom/pork rice, shrimp fried rice, braised eel noodles, light spring rolls and green mango shaved ice, to name a few. After our meal we will take a stroll through some of Tainan's quaint alleyways, then head over to the Chihkan tower to admire the nighttime scenery.
We will start our day with a scrumpious Tainanese breakfast at some of the shops along Kuohua street (think piping hot beef soup, millet donuts, or steamed rice/starch cakes). Next we will head over to the Taijiang national park for an ecological tour of the salt farms and a boat ride through the mangrove tunnel. In the evening we will enjoy another great Tainanese meal, and hold a group reflection where we will discuss our journey thus far.
After a final breakfast in Tainan, we will travel by train to Kaohsiung, drop our bags off at our accomodations, then hop on the bus to the Foguangshan temple complex. Our first stop will be the visitor center where we will dine on a delicious vegetarian lunch, before spending the afternoon exploring the temple grounds and practicing meditative calligraphy through an interactive sutra tracing activity. Feeling refreshed and perhaps one step closer to enlightenment, we will take a bus back to Kaohsiung, swing by the hotel for a quick rest if necessary, then head out on foot or by metro to the Ruifong night market. We will wrap a fulfilling day with a jaunt around the lotus pond and take a few group pictures at the dragon/tiger towers.
We will depart Kaosiung early in the morning on either the 6:00am or 8:00am train and head north to Chiayi. We will then catch a bus to the Alishan forest recretion area to get a glimpse of the scenery at the peak of cherry blossom season. We will spend the day exploring the mountain's forest park and ancient trees before heading back to town. For dinner we will sample Chiayi's most famous dish: turkey rice, then return to the hotel for an early night.
We will take the HSR back to Taipei, drop off our bags and get lunch, then head out to do some remaining sightseeing and souvenir shopping. The avid readers in the group might want to visit a branch of the eslite bookstore to pick up some great Chinese language reading material, while the others might want to check out some of the Taiwanese hipster DIY designer gifts on sale at the Song Shan Cultural and Creative Park. If time permits, we could also visit the nearby Puppetry Art Center of Taipei. In the evening we will head over to the Taipei 101 area for a final dinner to celebrate our time in country together as well as hike up elephant mountain for a panoramic view of the city. After one last nightmarket run for bubble tea and shaved ice, we will head back to our hotel to prepare for tomorrow's flight home.
Depart Taipei for the USA.
History Teacher, Virginia
"It was an incredible trip; everyone had a wonderful time! We also really enjoyed our group leaders, they were fabulous."
All-Inclusive Program Tuition
$2,790 + International Flight
Program Types in this Destination
Service AdventuresConservation ExpeditionsCultural Journeys
Don’t see your area of interest highlighted in the itinerary above?
Plan your own customized trip today!
Program Tuition Includes
Global Leadership Activities
Walking Tree Travel has developed tools that will help our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple, engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame the group’s experience, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively on our programs now and on their own into the future. Our activities also encourage students to take initiative as leaders in their local communities to make a difference at an immediate level, helping them to understand the impact they can have when they combine cultural understanding with personal and social responsibility.