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Small group tours Taiwan | Taiwan Lantern festival

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Taiwan and beyond into Asia. We explore Taiwan's fairy-tale sculptured natural beauty, its ancient heritage, and world famous city and museum, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Taiwan, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

The Taiwan Lantern festival small group tour takes in amazing cultural festivals, temples and shrines. You will witness breathtaking natural landscapes, bustling night markets, magnificent cuisine and hospitable people. Join us on this unforgettable educational experience.

The fully escorted Taiwan Lantern festival small group tour is for 11 days with a maximum of 14 participants. The program leader draws on professional guides to share their knowledge of the culture and history as well as the natural beauty of Taiwan.

Small group tours Taiwan Highlights

Our small group tour includes a stop in Taipei for a city tour with its impressive Taipei 101 Tower. You visit the National Palace Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of Chinese art. Whilst touring the island you  also visit a local village and enjoy a performance of traditional dancing illustrating their mythical origins.

We spend a morning at Yehliu Geo-Park on the island’s north coast, strolling around its famous rock formations. Here we will view the beautiful scenery of the lunar-like landscape and rock formations. After a lunch break we drive up into the hillside villages of Chiufen which were once a gold mining town. The gold is now gone but the quaint old villages of closely packed houses, clinging to steep mountainsides, still offer enchanting scenery and fascinating glimpses into past lifestyles.

Highlights also include a tour of Taipei City. Here we take in the Grand Hotel, built on the instructions of Chiang Kai-Shek primarily to house visiting foreign dignitaries. It is the world’s tallest building of classical Chinese design. We will also see the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, which includes the National Theatre and National Opera House within its grounds.

In the afternoon we will drive to Chihu, the final resting place of Chiang Kai-Shek, and then on to Sanhsia, a bustling town with narrow, winding streets and brick buildings at least 100 years old. A short trip further on brings us to Yingko where hand-painted replicas of elegant Ming (1368 – 1644) and Ching (or Qing) (1644 – 1911) vases are produced.

Natural Wonders

The Taiwan small group tour also includes many of Taiwan's natural wonders; from Taroko Gorge, one of the seven wonders of Asia, to Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan's largest lake. We also visit Kenting National Park for a walking tour. The park has 60 kilometres of coral-rimmed shoreline. The East Coast National Scenic Area stretches for 170 kilometres.

During the tour, accommodation is typically in first-class hotels, including the Lalu Hotel, which has been voted among the top 50 resorts in the world.

This Taiwan small group tour is suited for the mature-aged or senior couple or solo traveller.

Get in Touch about Odyssey Traveller's Taiwan Tours

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Our article Questions about Taiwan may also help you as you finalise your travel plans.

Frequently Asked Questions About Taiwan

Taiwan has a subtropical climate, save for the very southern tip of the island, which enjoys a tropical climate. The annual average temperature is 22 degrees Celsius with a low of 12 degrees.

Summer is June to August, autumn is September to November, and winter is December to February. March to May is the rainy season, during which the country may experience continuous drizzles.

While the summer months coincide with high season for tourism, these months are also the time when typhoons approach or hit Taiwan. Keep an eye out for weather reports as typhoons can be severe and cause flooding.

Winters are mild save for some snowfall in the mountains and in the northern lowlands.

Odyssey Traveller travels to Taiwan during winter (Taiwan Lantern Festival tour) and autumn (Taiwan Culture & History tour) to take advantage of the cool and comfortable weather and relatively thinner crowds.

Taiwan’s official currency is the New Taiwan Dollar (NT or NT$), which replaced the old currency in 1949. US dollars and credit cards are also accepted, but it might be easier to convert to the local currency, especially when visiting cash-only businesses such as the night markets or cheaper accommodations such as homestays.

Due to years of migration and invasion, Taiwan is a multilingual country, with Mandarin Chinese the official language. Mandarin is also the language spoken in mainland China.

The language commonly referred to as “Taiwanese” is Hokkien, a Minnan language which originates from Fujian Province in southeastern China. Hokkien is also spoken by the Chinese diaspora in many parts of Southeast Asia.

Another variant of Chinese spoken in Taiwan is Hakka, which has affinities to Mandarin and Cantonese. (Cantonese is the language spoken in Hong Kong and Macau.)


Tour Notes
  • Please note Lantern Festival site gathers large crowds and the group will be standing for long periods of time.
  • Tour itinerary is indicative only and is subject to change due to local conditions and date of festival.
  • Pingxi lantern festival will take place on 19 February 2019.

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: Today we will arrive in Taipei and come to the hotel individually. We will meet our tour leader in the late afternoon in the hotel lobby for a briefing and welcome dinner. After dinner, we will visit the second tallest building in the world, Taipei 101, and marvel at the night lights of Taipei. Weather permitting, we will visit the Taipei Lantern Festival site.

Accommodation: 3 nights at Landis Taipei-Boutique Hotel or similar accommodation with preregistration included for early arrivals.

Overview: Today will be one of the highlights of our trip as we attend the Lantern Festival, or as it is called in Chinese, the Shang-Yuan-Jie. We will travel to Yehliu Park, which is famous for its natural rock formations. We will then drive into the hillside villages of Chiufen. Both the village of Chiufen and the neighbouring township of Jinguashi in Taipei County were once gold mining centres. These quaint old villages of closely packed houses cling to steep mountainsides, offering enchanting scenery and fascinating glimpses into past lifestyles.

Tonight we will attend the Pingxi Lantern Festival, in a small township nestled among the mountains, an hour’s drive from Taipei. We will witness thousands of sky lanterns with wishes written on them released together into the night sky on the first full moon of the Chinese New Year. The spectacular Lantern Festival is truly a joy to behold.

Accommodation: Landis Taipei-Boutique Hotel or similar accommodation.

Overview: We will embark on a full-day tour of Taipei. We will start our exploration with a visit to the National Palace Museum, which is home to the world’s largest and finest collection of Chinese art, spanning 5,000 years of Chinese history. If time allows, we will also visit contemporary Chinese art master Chang Dai-ch’ien’s Memorial Residence.

After lunch, we will visit the National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine, the Taipei Confucius Temple, and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which was built in 1980 to commemorate former Taiwan President Chiang Kai-shek.

Accommodation: Landis Taipei-Boutique Hotel or similar accommodation.

Overview: This morning we will head for Yilan, taking the scenic route. En route we will visit Yilan’s National Centre for Traditional Arts, established in 2002 to promote and preserve Taiwan’s aboriginal culture and art. We will then visit the Taroko National Park and the Taroko Gorge. The Taroko Gorge is a beautiful, narrow ravine created by a river which has cut deep into mountains of solid marble. A road carved into the sheer rock walls snakes its way past forested peaks and cliffs towering approximately 1,000 metres above, and a river roars below across gigantic marble boulders. Peaks in the area reach 3,700 metres above sea level. We will also stop at the Eternal Spring Shrine and Swallow Grotto.

Accommodation: 1 night at Silks Place Hotel (inside the National Park) or similar accommodation.

Overview: Today we will drive along the East Coast. It is among the most breathtakingly beautiful routes along the Pacific Ocean. On the way, we will stop at Dulan and learn about the legend of the Terrace of the Three Immortals at Sansiantai. After lunch, we will travel to our hotel in Taitung and on arrival we can take a relaxing hot spring bath in our 5-star hotel. Tonight we will enjoy a buffet dinner in the hotel.

Accommodation: 1 night at Hotel Royal Chihpen or similar accommodation.

Overview: After breakfast, we will visit the National Natural History Museum before heading for Kaohsiung, which is Taiwan’s second largest city and the largest industrial harbour in Taiwan. It is also the second busiest port in Asia. We will then visit the Dago Former British Consulate at sunset. In the evening, we will visit Liuho Night Market to taste Taiwanese desserts and snacks, and visit the famous Love River, which is now renowned for its cafe culture and night tours. Love River is a popular destination for local couples looking to enjoy a romantic night out.

The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is held annually along the Love River. During the festival period, both sides of the river and the streets nearby feature lantern exhibitions. There are also musical performances that lend a festive mood to the whole city. We may also be able to enjoy the romantic water lantern event at Love River.

Accommodation: 1 night at Ambassador Hotel or similar accommodation.

Overview: Today we will drive to Tainan, which is the ancient imperial capital. We will see the Chihkan Tower, which is known originally as Fort Provintia, and we will also see the Fujian-style Koxinga Shrine. We will visit the Taiwan International Orchid Show (TIOS). Orchid exports account for more than 70% of Taiwan’s horticultural exports. Taiwan supplies over 50% of the world’s orchids and more than 80% of butterfly orchids imported into the USA are from Taiwan. More than 600,000 visitors attended the 2015 Taiwan International Orchid Show.

Accommodation: 1 night at Tainan Zenda Suite Hotel or similar accommodation.

Overview: Today we will travel to the beautiful resort of Sun Moon Lake. Its name derives from the shape of the lake–the northern part of the lake is in the shape of the sun, while the southern part resembles a crescent moon.

Tonight we will stay at the one of the top 50 resorts in the world: the tranquil Lalu Resort. It was designed by award-winning Australian architect Kerry Hill. The hotel, which overlooks Taiwan’s largest lake and features an impressive mountain backdrop, was the place where Chiang Kai-shek entertained his overseas dignitaries. The guest house was painstakingly relocated, brick by brick, into the Garden of Lalu and is now a museum commemorating Chiang Kai-Shek’s era.

Accommodation: 2 nights at Lalu Sun Moon Lake.

Overview: Today’s highlight is a visit to the Lantern Festival. In the morning, we will take a private motorboat ride around Sun Moon Lake. We will also visit the Holy Monk Shrine, dedicated to Buddhist monk Xuanzang, who led an epic journey from China to India in 629. He returned 16 years later with hundreds of scriptures and scrolls, and had a profound influence on the spread of Buddhism throughout China.

After lunch, we will visit the Antique Assam Tea Farm. Later this afternoon, we will travel to the venue where the Lantern Festival is held and enjoy the spectacular lantern exhibition.

Accommodation: Lalu Sun Moon Lake.

Overview: After breakfast, we will continue our journey to Taipei. On the way, we will stop at Chiang Kai-shek’s mausoleum, where we will hear stories of his ambitious plans to return to mainland China. We will view the Chiang Kai-shek Statue Park, home to hundreds of his statues collected from all over Taiwan, to mark the end of an era. This evening will feature a farewell dinner, to be held at our hotel’s restaurant.

Accommodation: 1 night at Landis Taipei-Boutique Hotel or similar accommodation.

Overview: Our tour will end after breakfast. We will have time to pack and look around Taipei at our leisure.

Discover Tapei’s impressive Taipei 101 Tower.
Visit the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan.
View the treasures of the National Palace Museum.
Explore the World Heritage listed Taroko Gorge.
See the natural beauty of Sun Moon Lake and stay in Taiwan’s most iconic hotel, the Lalu in Sun Moon Lake.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 10 nights hotel accommodation including breakfast.
  • Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
  • Travel is in modern, air-conditioned coaches.
  • All field trips and associated entry fees as per the itinerary.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Services of a tour leader for the duration of tour.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International airfares.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
Lanterns in Taiwan
Curve bridge in Sanxiantai, Taiwan
Taipei, Taiwan evening skyline
Liberty Square, Taipei, Taiwan
Wuling Farm Taiwan Sakura Garden
Lanterns in Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan
Keelung, Taiwan Skyline
TitleTemple at Jiufen Old Street in Taipei