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Luxury Small Group Departures IW-200

Departure Dates 2021:

Taipei | Sun Moon Lake | Tainan | Kaohsiung | Taitung | Hualien | Taroko

May 15 – 26
Sept 4 – 15
Nov 13 – 24

What’s included:

  • Individual arrival and departure transfers
  • All transfers as per program with luxury vehicle
  • Professional local tour manager throughout
  • Accommodation in first-class hotels including taxes and fees
  • Porterage in all hotels, one piece of luggage per person in and out
  • All tours, sightseeing and activities as described in the program including guide and entrance fees
  • Breakfast daily
  • All meals described in the itinerary/drinks included for welcome and farewell dinner
  • ½ liter of water per person per day in the vehicle

ACCOMODATIONS

CITY NIGHTS HOTELS
Taipei 3 LES SUITES HOTEL - OR SIMILAR
Sun Moon Lake 2 RICHFOREST HOTEL - OR SIMILAR
Kaohsiung 2 SILKS CLUB HOTEL - OR SIMILAR
Taitung 1 ROYAL HOTEL – OR SIMILAR
Hualien 2 SILKS PLACE HOTEL – OR SIMILAR
Taipei 1 LES SUITES HOTEL – OR SIMILAR
DAY 1
SATURDAY: Arrive Taipei

Arrival at Taipei International Airport and private transfer to your hotel with time at leisure to recuperate from the long flight. In the early evening, meet and greet with your tour manager and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby. Right after we will enjoy a welcome dinner at a unique local restaurant located in a historical area. We will dive right into Taiwanese culture through this colorful dinner with local specialties. (D)

DAY 2
SUNDAY: Explore Taipei

Today our exploration begins! We will learn the secrets of the capital of Taiwan, this modern metropolis with colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and modern architecture. First, we will witness the raising of the flag ceremony at the president’s palace, a very unique moment in Taiwan’s everyday life. Afterward, we will visit the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial, with its imposing octagonal roof of blue-glazed tiles. This is also a spot full of life, as many locals come here to practice Tai Chi, Qigong, or dance steps, and others sit around and play their instruments. To immerse ourselves in this moment, we too will enjoy a Tai Chi class with our own Master and learn the basics of this remarkable martial art that has proven to be extremely beneficial to overall health. After these early morning activities, we will head for our orientational city tour. We will view the lively street food scene with many interesting open-air markets and sights. Later, we learn about Taiwanese cuisine during a cooking class with an experienced chef, and we enjoy lunch – the outcome of our cooking class.  After lunch we visit the National Palace Museum displaying a rich permanent collection of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks – one of the largest in the world. After such an active day, full of interesting experiences, it will be time to relax and recuperate during a massage treatment! The rest of the day is at leisure for you to relax, enjoy, or to continue to explore! Your tour manager is here to assist you with touring ideas, restaurant recommendations and other ways to enjoy Taipei to the fullest! Don’t hesitate to ask! (B, L)

DAY 3
MONDAY: Taipei – Beipu – Sun Moon Lake

Today we bid farewell to Taipei for now and enjoy a scenic drive all the way to Sun Moon Lake with several stops. First in the small village of Beipu, to visit its fascinating Old Street and learn about Hakka history and colorful culture. We will enjoy lunch and some free time to experience the Zhudong Market at your own pace. Local markets in Taiwan are not to be missed, so enjoy your time exploring! Later on, we will visit the Sheng-Xing Train Station, which is a very interesting and well-kept station, built by the Japanese back in the Colonial times. Enjoy this evening on your own in Sun Moon Lake. (B, L)

DAY 4
TUESDAY: Sun Moon Lake

We will have the whole day to experience this stunning area of the Sun Moon Lake. Nested in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain range, surrounded by forested peaks and still waters mirroring the mountains and the sky, this place is truly magical! We will enjoy a boat ride on the lake. After lunch together at a local restaurant, we will take the Ropeway Cable car up the mountain for a spectacular view of the lake and surrounding area, a truly unforgettable experience! As we come back, we will visit the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, a theme park that recreates indigenous villages, with displays of centuries-old carved lintel pieces, various handicrafts, and handmade weapons. We will end our touring together in late afternoon, with the rest of the day at leisure for you to relax, absorb this amazing atmosphere, and sample the local restaurants and delicious Taiwanese cuisine! (B, L)

DAY 5
WEDNESDAY: Sun Moon Lake – Tainan – Kaohsiung

This morning we take the road to Tainan, a city on the southwest coast of Taiwan that once was the island capital, under the Qing dynasty. Today Tainan is well known for its fascinating fortresses and temples. We will enjoy a visit to a Palanquin factory and learn about the local customs and wedding culture. Later, we see traditional Chinese embroidery and learn about this beautiful art. We will stop for lunch at a local restaurant, and afterwards continue touring several amazing oriental temples such as Luerhmen Tianhou Temple, where the goddess who protects boats and sailors is worshipped, then the Confucius Temple dedicated to the famous philosopher and educator. The highlight of the day will be a visit to the Chikan Tower, an 18th century complex with gardens, intricately carved towers, and a temple erected on the foundations of Fort Provintia, a Dutch outpost dating from the 1600s. After exploring Tainan, we will head to our hotel in Kaohsiung, where we arrive just in time for dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 6
THURSDAY: Explore Kaohsiung

Our day is dedicated to exploring Kaohsiung, a massive port city in southern Taiwan, home to many skyscrapers and well known for its diversity of parks. First, an orientational city tour that features the Old British Consulate and some free time to enjoy the Love River and Love Pier, a historical landmark and area with walking paths and inviting cafes along its banks. It’s a lovely place to sit back, relax, grab a bite, and watch the boats sail along the waters. Later, we explore the Lotus Pond Shrine, an artificial lake surrounded by fascinating temples. We visit the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas and the Spring and Autumn Pavilions – two massive pavilions dedicated to Kuan Kung, the God of War. At the Tiger Pagodas, we will ask for good fortune in life by following the custom of entering the dragon’s throat and coming out a tiger’s mouth, a tradition believed to bring luck into one’s life. Later, we will experience the Ten Drums Cultural Park that used to be a sugar refinery but has been reborn to incorporate the Ten Drum Band’s innovative Taiwanese drumming music, thus creating Asia’s first drumming themed international art village. We will also visit the Keziliao Fishing Harbor, an interesting and colorful fish market selling all kinds of seafood products. We will have free time in the afternoon to relax or continue to explore at your own pace. Tonight, we will explore the lively Night Markets, the Formosa Boulevard MRT Station, and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)

DAY 7
FRIDAY: Kaohsiung – Taitung

Today we bid farewell to Kaohsiung and enjoy the scenic drive on the way to the southeast coast facing the Pacific Ocean and the city of Taitung, home to the Beinan Cultural Park, the site of Neolithic findings excavated in the 1980s. We will visit the Beinan Archeological site and then enjoy a stop at a local restaurant for lunch. Later on, we will have a chance to see the Neolithic findings displayed in the National Museum of Prehistory that we also visit today. Later we will settle into our hotel with some time at leisure. Explore the local restaurants tonight, and there is also a night market to check out. (B, L)

DAY 8
SATURDAY: Taitung – Taroko Gorge

This morning we enjoy a drive along the coast with stops on the way, in Xiaoyeliu, to see the amazing rock formations, then Sanxiantai and Shitiping. We will stop for lunch along the way before we arrive at Hualien city on the eastern coast of Taiwan. We will enjoy a panoramic tour, and explore the A-Zone, a truly unique place with various shops and eateries, and finally, a visit to the central Pine Garden, a cultural center in a former Japanese military office. From here, we will head to our hotel to rest and relax. We will have dinner at the hotel tonight. (B, L, D)

DAY 9
SUNDAY: Taroko Gorge (Taroko National Park)

Today we visit Taroko National Gorge Park, a place of fascinating beauty where the pristine blue-green waters of the Liwu River cut through Taroko Gorge forming a spectacular landscape of marble-walled canyons surrounded by lushly forested peaks! We will spend our day exploring the serpentine roads deep in the heart of this gorgeous river ravine. We will have time also to relax and marvel at the scenery as we make stops along the way at places like Swallow Grotto, the Marble Bridge, and Evergreen Shrine. Later, we will enjoy an authentic dining experience at lunch to sample the dishes of the local aboriginal tribes. After lunch there will be some free time for you to wander around this natural paradise at your own pace. Tonight, enjoy dinner and time at leisure at our hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 10
MONDAY: Taroko Gorge – Taipei

Today we visit the fascinating Qinsui Cliff, another marvel of nature in the Taroko National Park.  We will enjoy the view of these 14-mile-long coastal cliffs bursting 2,620 feet above sea level like a mighty wall overlooking the vast ocean. We will stop for lunch along the way, and after our coastal adventure, we return to Taipei and enjoy a relaxing Chinese calligraphy class taught by a master. We learn how to use brushes to write Chinese characters on the rice paper and about this amazing peace of Oriental heritage. The rest of the day is free. (B, L)

DAY 11
TUESDAY: Taipei countryside

Today you will enjoy a free morning in Taipei, and in the early afternoon, we embark on our last Taiwan journey, to the bustling port of Keelung and to visit Chung Cheng Park and marvel at the enormous statue of the Goddess of Mercy and take in fantastic views of Keelung Harbor. Afterward we continue to Yehliu, famed for its spectacular coastal scenery and unusual rock formations. We then enjoy the scenic drive along the island’s rugged northeast coast to Chiufen where we will be charmed by the picturesque villages that prospered during the island’s gold mining boom, still clinging to the mountainsides, offering us a glimpse of a bygone era. To mark our last day in Taiwan, we enjoy another amazing experience! We will have the chance to participate in an age-old tradition as we write a wish or a blessing on a paper lantern before releasing it into the evening sky! With our wishes released, we will head to visit the crown jewel of Taipei’s city skyline – Taipei 101, one of the 10 tallest buildings of the world. Here you will be able to shop in the many upscale shops and boutiques and enjoy the fascinating bird’s-eye view of this amazing city! Our dinner will be at a nearby restaurant to say farewell to Taiwan in style. (B, D)

DAY 12
WEDNESDAY: Depart Taipei

Today you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the airport for your homebound flight. (B)

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