Taiwan History in a Nutshell - Free English Walking Tour

Duration: 3h and 30min
Guru: Shiheng
Registered on May 09, 2018

Hey there!:) I am Shiheng from Taipei...an enthusiastic road cyclist, an amateur violinist, a data analyst (SQL/Python geek) during the week, and of course, your English/Spanish/Chinese tour guide in Taipei! I started the journey as a part-time tour guide outside of regular office hours since 2017. Right after studying in Spain, Denmark, and Slovenia for my master's degree and joining free walking tours in 20 European countries myself, I felt that walking tour is a great way to share my knowledge about the history, nature, and culture of Taiwan with you, and also for me to learn more about your own culture. This is exactly why although I do NOT make a living out of walking tours - unlike most tour guides you meet in touristy countries - I still obtained the official tour guide license and spend my weekends with travelers from all around the world. It's simply my passion! I speak native Chinese (Mandarin) and Taiwanese, kind of master English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and also know a bit of German and Catalan. As I have worked and studied in several countries in Europe and Asia, my friends are mostly from Europe, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. So, if you happen to be from these regions, I am pretty sure that you will understand the Taiwanese culture more easily from the stories I prepare for you. So far, I have shown 2,000+ international travelers from 30+ countries around Taipei City, and I look forward to seeing you as well 😀 Are you a foodie, nature lover, or culture explorer? If so, I am exactly your ideal mate to accompany you in getting to know Taipei and Taiwan better! Book a tour with me or send me a private message to personalize your itinerary (especially if you are passionate about hiking, cycling, and food)!

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  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

Is this your first time traveling to Taiwan? Are you the type of traveler that always want to learn more about the history and cultural fun facts of cities you visit? If so, this is the walking tour for you! 😉

By joining this tour, you will understand some fun facts including:

  • Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and many other cultures have either ruled this island or left their footprints in Taiwan
  • In 2021, The Economist considered Taiwan the "most dangerous place on earth"
  • Besides being famous for producing semiconductors/chips, Taiwan is actually where the modern and the antique live together harmoniously in everyday life
  • Taiwan is one of the few countries in the world not being a member of the United Nations

Who is recommended to join this tour? 🚩

  • First-timers in Taiwan hoping to gain fundamental knowledge primarily related to the history, lifestyle, politics, and cultural fun facts of this country
  • People having traveled to Taipei City already but are eager to know more about the interesting stories and little details behind those touristy spots and not just take pictures

This tour includes the following spots, which are mainly the must-visits of Taipei City:

  • Longshan Temple
  • Bopiliao Historical Block
  • Ximending
  • Presidential Office Building
  • 228 Peace Park
  • Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Insider Tips:

  • Wear shoes suitable for walking since it will be a 3-hour walk, but don't worry, we will have break time!
  • Bring your umbrella or raincoat! ☔ Because this tour is going to take place for sure, rain or shine😎
  • Remember to bring your masks, since so far visitors to indoor attractions (e.g. temples) are still required to wear masks at all times

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    No. 153號, Section 1, Xiyuan Rd, Wanhu...
    No. 153號, Section 1, Xiyuan Rd, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 108
    View on map

    Right outside Exit 1 of MRT Longshan Temple Station (Blue Line), you will find me wearing a camouflage hat and holding a red sign "GuruWalk"

  • 1
    Free admission
    Longshan Temple

    Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is the oldest and one of the biggest temples in Taipei City. Here, you will understand the general "SOPs" regarding how most Taiwanese worship the gods!

  • 2
    Free admission
    Bopiliao Historical Block

    With a history of more than 200 years, Bopiliao is one of the only 2 streets preserved with original architectural styles dating back to the Qing Dynasty time in Taipei City.

  • 3
    Outside visit
    Ximen Red House Outdoor Bar Area

    A business and residential area built by the Japanese in the early 20th century, and also a place that means a lot to the LGBTQ community in Taiwan.

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Presidential Office Building

    We will briefly talk about Taiwan's political evolution from its authoritarianism after World WAR II to today's liberal democracy. The relationship between Taiwan and China will also be explained in a fairly "neutral" yet insightful way.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    228 Peace Memorial Park
  • 6
    Outside visit
    Liberty Square Arch

    At the end of this tour, you will know the stories about why Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is actually a very controversial site while being one of the most visited tourist spots among international travelers. The tour ends here between 12:00pm and 12:30pm, depending on the group size and the weather condition on the activity date.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

36 ratings
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Itziar 12 May 2023
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Verified booking
Travelled in group - May 2023
Un tour recomendadísimo para todos aquellos que quieran saber sobre la historia y cultura de Taiwan. Visitamos los principales monumentos de Taipei y aprendimos muchísimo gracias a el guía, Sergio.
Felicia 24 Apr 2023

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Apr 2023
Thanks, I really enjoyed the tour!
Terence 19 Apr 2023

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Apr 2023
A very good overview and history of key timeline and places of interest to it. Shih-Heng speaks fluently and informative.
Marie-Soleil 17 Apr 2023

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Apr 2023
Shih-Heng gave us a very insightful tour today! He’s super knowledgable but also very dynamic and easy to talk to. It’s a very nice way to have a better understanding of the surroundings of Taipei/Taiwan and to continue to visit de city with those informations in mind! I’m sure I’ll be craving for that bitter tea in a few days :P Thank you again!
Matthew 17 Apr 2023
New York

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Apr 2023
One of my favorite tours I’ve been on. Shih-Heng Is a great guide, who speaks perfect English and knows the history of Taiwan very well. He was very open and knowledgeable about the history which can be a touchy subject. He did a great professional tour in a fun and interesting way! Would definitely recommend this tour if you are visiting Taiwan!
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Suitable for carrying pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.