1. Visit the night markets
Fengjia night market is very good.. It's very big.. the biggest night market in Taiwan and there are some very famous food stalls there.
Personally, I prefer Yizhong Street night market. It is smaller but the food is very good.. and there are also some pretty good restaurants there. I don't usually shop at night markets.. but the shops looked interesting at Yizhong Street and there are a lot of shops selling sports shoes at reasonable prices.
There is a very famous "Barbequed Chicken Chop" stall in the night market. The chicken chop is first deep fried and then dipped into a very light barbeque sauce. It's crispy, salty, sinful and totally addictive.
2. Take a walk along Calligraphy Greenway
Take a walk along the "Calligraphy Greenway". This is a belt of greenery in the middle of the city. There is an outdoor museum (勤美術館 CMP Block Museum of Arts) that is interesting.. It's right behind the 勤美诚品 (Eslite bookstore), which itself is (as all Eslite stores are) a nice place to visit - for books and interesting shops. There is a coffee place within the outdoor museum where you can have a nice cup of coffee and cheesecake if you get tired.
Sometimes, there is also some sort of flea market near the outdoor museum on weekends.
Do note the opening hours though. The place is only open from 2pm onwards. For more details, visit their facebook page.
3. Have lots of bubble tea
Bubble tea originated, after all, from Taiwan. This drink was supposedly created by Chun Shui Tang Teahouse. I find the bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang really quite good. The "pearls" used are medium sized ones and you can drink the tea using a standard straw and not a big straw like most other places. The noodles and snacks at Chun Shui Tang are pretty good too. Taichung is pretty famous for its beancurd so do try out some at Chun Shui Tang. Their Oolong beancurd with Blood Ricecake (烏龍豆干米血) is really good, if you dare to eat blood ricecake.. It's a ricecake that is made with pigs' blood added to it. It sounds totally gross but it taste okay actually. I also like their mixed shao mai (綜合燒賣) and Burdock tempura (山根甜不辣).
There are a lot of good takeaway bubble tea shops that originated from Taichung as well. Recent popular ones are those that sell bubble tea with fresh fruits and juices added.
When I was in Taichung, I made sure I had bubble tea every day.
The bubble milk tea is fragrant, frothy and has chewy bubbles
I like the burdock tempura (more like a fishcake than "tempura")
The noodles are good too. Little N love the chewy noodles
4. Buy some Sun Cakes (太陽餅）
Sun cakes, or Sun biscuits, are from Taichung and there are lots of shops selling these in Taichung. Everyone has a view of which shop is the best. I think in general there are 2 types - the traditional type which is made with animal fat and the modern type which is made without. I like the modern ones from Gong Yuan Yan Ke.
This shop is an over-the-top pastry shop - selling pastries at top prices in a beautiful shop. It's like the Tiffany's version of a Taiwanese pastry shop. The shop itself is quite worth a visit, even if you don't like their prices. Apparently they have really good ice-cream as well so be sure to try some if you visit.
5. Take a day trip to Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)
The Sun Moon Lake is a beautiful lake that is about an hour's drive from Taichung city. It is actually the largest body of water in Taiwan. The east side of the lake resembles a sun while the west side resembles a moon, hence the name. It's a nice place to visit - you can take a boat trip around the lake, ride a cable car to the top of a nearby hill for some gorgeous view.
Little N loved the cable car ride and goes "car car" ever since that day whenever she seems a picture of a cable car
I really wanted to do this but we didn't have time. I've read quite a lot of good reviews of this place.. so it's on my to do list for my next visit to Taichung!
I didn't get to visit the farm but we did see some lovely flowers at Sun Moon Lake