Taichung, the third largest city in Taiwan is located 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the coast and 174 kilometers (104.4 miles) south of Taipei. Taichung was once a small village established by Chinese settlers in the 17th Century. It has now become an international community with all the amenities of a big city. It has its own international harbor and is centrally located along the North-South Freeway.
Taichung is also famous for its night markets, lively beer houses and Chinese-style parks complete with pavilions and lakes. Because Taichung is much more spread out than Taipei or Kaohsiung, the pace and pressure of modern city life are replaced by a far mellower approach to living.
Taichung is two and a half hours by train from Taipei. It provides a centralized jumping off point for travelers to conveniently visit other major tourist sites and the surrounding mountains.