Day 1 – Taipei City
• Fly into Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei. By the time you’ve transferred to your hotel in the capital, we’ll have finalized a plan for the rest of the day that matches your interests and energy levels.
• We’ll experience a tea ceremony, led by a local tea master and featuring a selection of Taiwan's finest teas. Alternatively, we may take the Maokong Gondola up to the tea plantations in the southwestern part of the capital, and have dinner - with some excellent local tea, of course.
Day 2 – Hsinchu and Miaoli
• After a morning visit to one of Taipei’s famous tea sellers, today we’ll be driving into the Hakka heartlands of Hsinchu and Miaoli. This is where Taiwan’s oriental beauty tea is grown. We’ll try local green, oolong and oriental beauty teas, and take a look at the pre-World War II tea-processing equipment preserved inside.
• Dinner will include Hakka delicacies. In the past, many Hakka dishes were regarded as oily and salty; in line with the modern preference for healthy fare, innovative chefs have updated the cuisine, while retaining its characteristic pork and pickle flavors.
Day 3 – Lugu Tea District
• Heading south again, we’ll make a lengthy stop in the tea-growing district of Lugu, to immerse ourselves in one of Taiwan’s most beautiful bamboo forests, and lunch on bamboo, mountain chicken, and vegetables grown locally. We will, of course, sample some of the fine oolong teas that have won a global reputation.
• Dinner will be near your accommodation at Shizhuo, 1,000 m or so above sea level and another famous tea-growing area. We recommend a local speciality: chicken basted in tea oil.
Day 4 – Tea Plantations and National Forest
• We’ll have the entire day to explore the Greater Alishan region, visit tea plantations, meet farmers and try their teas. The scenery throughout is wonderful; if you’d like to go for a hike, we’ll show you a trail that matches your physical condition.
• We can go for a gentle stroll through the forests, take a look at Dinghu, a tea-growing village even higher than Shizhuo, or meet a lady who gathers wild coffee in the indigenous village of Laiji.
Day 5 – Scenic drive
• Whatever time you fly out, we’ll help you make the very most of your final day in Taiwan. Before putting you on the bullet train at Chiayi HSR Station, we can bring you to the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum, which has a superb permanent exhibition about tea culture, as well as sections devoted to Asian textiles, Buddhist Art and other themes.
• Prices based on twin sharing. Single supplement is US$255.