The Perfect Roadtrip to Explore Taiwan (2 weeks itinerary)

Taiwan is one of my favorite countries for several reasons. 

One of them is how easy and fun it is to explore the island.

And there is no better way than having an epic road trip in Taiwan – especially because the roads are safe and you can reach the most beautiful parts of the island without rushing.

So that’s what I did. I went on a two week road trip drive round Taiwan.

And that was kind of an epic adventure!

1. How to rent a car in Taiwan as a foreigner (e.g. with Chailease)

Renting a car in Taiwan is quite easy and usually not a big hassle. Keep in mind that it is required to bring your passport, driver’s licence as well as an international driving permit and you’re good to go!

To find a good car for the road trip there are a few local Taiwanese car rental companies. Some of them are:

  • Chailease Auto Rental (中租租車): They are located all around Taiwan and that’s the one I used for my road trip. They were very professional, easy communication and super friendly service.
  • EasyRent (和運租車)
  • CarPlus (格上租車)
  • Formosa Car Rental (九龍租賃)

It’s easy to book the car rental online and availability can be checked via hotlines as well.

I booked the car a week in advance and just went to the pick up location, showed them my documents and I was ready to start my adventure!

Taiwan has a great public transportation system and it is possible to go anywhere. BUT to fully experience the landscapes and enjoying the coast lines and hidden spots – a car makes everything so much easier.

2. The route (2 weeks itinerary)

To fully drive round Taiwan you should plan to stay at least two weeks on the island. Taiwan has so many things to offer! Ranging from tropical forests to beautiful coast lines, hidden waterfalls and vibrant cities.

Taiwan really has it all which makes it difficult to pick the best spots but the good part? A road trip is always spontanoues and gives you the freedom to go wherever it takes you.

Nevertheless, there are some hot spots in Taiwan you definitely shouldn’t miss! So here is my 2-weeks itinerary for a perfect road trip in Taiwan:

Click here to get to the google maps link for a detailed route.

Day 1-2 Taipei:

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan and should definitely not be missed out! It has so many things to offer that you can easily spend weeks there without getting bored and it is the best place to rent your car. My highlights for Taipei are visiting the night markets, seeing the city from above of Taipei 101 tower, strolling around in the endless shopping districts, visitng the National Palace Museum and the national Chiang Kai-Chek Memorial.

Day 3: Taichung (→ 170km, 3 hours drive):

Taichung is definitely one of my favorite cities in Taiwan! it is more laid back and you can eat great sea food here. Make sure to check out the instagrammable Rainbow Village for its colorful street art installation and for adrenaline junkies visit the racing track in the outskirt of Taichung.

Day 4: Qingjing Farm (→ 85km, 2 hours drive):

For an animal lover like me, this farm was the highlight of my road trip! The drive up the mounatin is simply beautiful and rewarding. What awaits you are many cute sheeps, fresh air and a green scenery. The farm is also known as “Foggy Eden” or the Switzerland of Taiwan and it was truly beautiful up there!

Day 5-6: Sun Moon Lake (→ 60km, 2 hours drive):

Taiwan’s largest and probably bluest lake of them all is the Sun Moon Lake. An oasis to relax or to go on a bicycle tour around the lake. Prepare the whole day to circumnavigate the lake as there are many stops to make during the 30km route. If you are not much into riding a bike there is also the possibility to hop on a boat and explore the lake’s surroundings by foot.

Day 7 Alishan National Park (→ 105km, 3 hours drive):

Get up early, because the most scenic moment is during the sunrise when the clouds shine in orange pink colors between the mountains. Wake up early, hop in your car, drive to the park entrance and get a ticket for the Alishan Forest Railway. A journey you will never forget! After the sunrise you will have plenty of time to hike inside the national park.

Day 8-9 Kaohsiung (→ 180km, 5 hours drive):

Drive the scenic roads until you get to Kaohsiung. There are also many places worth stopping by on the way (hot springs, forests, hiking areas etc.). In Kaohsiung itself it’s a must to check out the Lotus Lake with it’s colorful pagodas, the art district, having a gondola ride at the love river and making a day trip to Fo Guang Shan – an impressive Chinese Buddhist Monastery.

Day 10 Kenting National Park (→ 110km, 2,5 hours drive):

Going south means swimming in the ocean! There are plenty of white beaches, caves and coral reeves to explore. It’s also home to the best seafood restaurants of Taiwan, so don’t miss them out.

Day 11 Taitung (→ 160km, 4 hours drive):

While driving up the east coast of Taiwan you will realize how different it is compared to the western coast. Definitely check out Taitung Forest Park, have a massage and relax a little bit! You can drive to Brown Road, Dapo Lake and even get to know the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan.

Day 12-13 Hualien and Taroko (→ 170km, 4 hours drive):

Driving up to Hualien will for sure take your breath away as you will pass by Sanxiantai and drive along the 21km long Qingshui Cliff. It lays 800 meters above sea level and the crystal clear blue water is mesmerizing! Going further west you will encounter the Taroko National Park which is definitely worth a full day. And latest there you will be glad having a car! Taroko Gorge is a 19km long canyon with hidden waterfalls, turquoise rivers and dark caves.

Day 14 Back to Taipei (→ 190km, 5 hours drive):

The road trip is coming to an end and I recommend to avoid the highway going back as you will finish with some epic serpentines and a last scenic drive through coconut tree forests with old beautiful temples.

3. Is it safe to drive in Taiwan?

During the two weeks driving around Taiwan I never encountered a dangerous situation. The roads are well maintained, the traffic out of the big cities is very limited and I found Taiwanese drivers to be very friendly and tolerant. Noone is taligating and in general speed limits are not really high which makes driving safer but more relaxed.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind while driving in Taiwan as not everything is the same like in western countries.

  • A rental car will most likely be automatic rather than manual
  • People drive on the right side of the road
  • There are speed cameras everywhere
  • It’s illegal to use mobile devices while driving
  • At most gas stations there will be attendants to help you fuel up
  • Always watch out for scooters when changing lanes
  • It happened a few times that cars overtook us from the right side (instead of left)

Having these rules in mind I can definitely say that driving in Taiwan in general is really safe and enjoyable. I never felt stressed. Even in the big cities I felt that other drivers would watch out for others and always put safety first. The roads in general are not packed at all.

Driving around Taiwan is a wonderful experience and I would say one of the safest countries to drive worldwide. Do not miss out that opportunity and next time when you come to Taiwan consider renting a car, explore the wild landscapes and have an epic road trip!

This is how I dont get my stuff stolen when traveling – My 5 TIPS

Have you ever had your stuff stolen?

WELL, this happened to me!

During my travel in the past years, I’ve learned a lot about staying safe – especially because people actually tried to rob me and I had my stuff stolen a lot of times.

Even in my own home city. The place where I usually feel safe and confident.

But sh*t happens and lessons learned!

In this video and article I show you my 5 tips how I prevent myself from getting stuff stolen while hitchhiking, traveling solo and staying in hostels or doing Couchsurfing.

Especially when traveling with a laptop or filming gear.

1. Get a secure anti-theft backpack (e.g. from RiutBag)

I usually don’t give product recommendations, but I think for this article it’s very useful to mention my favorite things that I really trust when it comes to safety.

And the RiutBag backpack is just the best thing ever. It totally changed my life and made everything just so much easier.

You wonder why? I’ll tell you.

The best thing about this backpack is that it has no outer openings.

It means all the zips are hidden against the back.

So it’s impossible. Impossible. to open it while it’s on your back.

It’s waterproof and It has enough space for my laptop and camera gear.

And the best part: It just makes me feel comfortable wherever I go. Because I know that everything is really safe. Nobody can open it from the outside.

And isn’t it the most frustrating thing when you realize that you got something stolen because someone opened your bag while you were in a crowded place?

This happened to me a lot of times in the past.

I think not only everyone should have a backpack like this one, but every backpack should be designed like this.

So no matter if you’re traveling to a foreign country or if you’re commuting to work every day: Having a secure backpack is the most important thing!

You can find different versions of the RiutBag on their website here.

2. Wear a thin belt bag to store your emergency cash

Another thing that I always use when I’m traveling is a belt bag.

But not a big one, it’s important that it’s small and not visible to other people while you’re wearing it.

There I’m hiding a part of my money, an emergency credit card, my keys or whatever.

The most secure place is our body and we should always make use of it.

This belt bag is so thin that other people won’t even notice it when I’m wearing a dress over it or a T-Shirt.

And I really just use it for the most important things.

When I’m sleeping outside or in a train, it also has space to fit my phone in there.

And this belt bag really makes me feel relaxed while sleeping in a public space or just having it on me all times.

So if you don’t have a belt bag yet – get one!

3. Lock up your valuables with lockers

I learned the importance of locking up my valuables just on my recent trip.

Not only ask a lot of hostels for a separate lock or charge an extra fee for that.

The locks you get in hostels are also not necessarily that secure and can be easily opened by thieves.

So that’s why I usually carry a simple but secure lock with me which is also useful to no only lock up storage, but also doors, your bags, your camera gear, drones and your pacsafes.

There are thousand different kinds of locks available on the market but I think choosing one that is not too heavy but also not too simple to open is a good choice and carrying it around won’t feel like a waste of weight.

I know that people who really wanna open a lock will be able to open the lock. So keep that in mind but most of the thieves usually don’t plan to steal your stuff.

It mostly just happens randomly by strangers who see that your stuff is not secured and easily accessible.

So a lock will definitely prevent people from touching your stuff.

4. Prepare a dummy wallet and take it with you wherever you go

Everybody should carry a dummy wallet while traveling for mainly two reasons.

First: It is never a good idea to keep all your cash in one place.

So having a second wallet makes real sense if you just keep a small amount of cash in there.

So whenever you need change you know that you have this wallet and small notes are available. In some places where corruption is still a thing, it might help you as well to have a dummy wallet.

So if a police officer stops you and wants some money from you for whatever reason, you can show him your wallet and he will maybe leave you with a smaller fine because you have not that much cash on you.

For instance, this happened to me in Vietnam and Turkey and both times the officers didn’t want to make big trouble either and let me go.

Second: The second reason why traveling with a dummy wallet is a good idea is because if someone tries to steal your wallet or even wants to rob you.

You can hand this wallet over and it won’t be that big of a deal.

You won’t lose that much money and it maybe saves your life to cooperate with someone trying to rob you.

5. Secure your laptop in a portable safe

This is something I don’t own yet but it’s definitely on my list.

I was looking for something to lock up my laptop or camera gear while going out at night or when there is no locker available and you don’t wanna carry your laptop with you all the time.

The idea is to have a small bag that is as secure as a safe.

So I stumbled upon this website and I read really good recommendations about their products.

What’s definitely on my list is the Travelsafe which is basically a portable safe but it doesn’t necessarily look like one.

I think this will be very useful when traveling in hostels that do not have safes.

On my last trip, I was a little bit worried about my laptop sometimes because it happened that there was no storage available and I had to hide it under my pillow.

Anyway, this travelsafe is Almost like a small backpack and you can just lock it on the bed, around a tree or wherever and it’s really really hard to open it even with the right tools.

I can imagine that it’s so solid that It will add weight to your bag but I think definitely worth it in my opinion.”

Traveling is fun and life-changing. But it doesn’t mean that travel can’t be frustrating, or that accidents can’t happen.

You always need to be careful when it comes to your safety and your money. Which is exactly why I wrote this article and why I made this video. So I hope your next travel will be safe and see you next time!