The oldest city in northern Taiwan, and long a base for traditional industries such as glass- and noodle-making, this laid-back, leafy town (Xīnzhú) makes for a great day trip from Taipei. The town centre spreads back from a pretty restored canal zone, bordered by small personalised shops, restaurants and cafes.
Makung (Mǎgōng, Magong, Makong) is a seaside town with a history stretching back to the 14th century. The downtown is fairly modern but you won't have to look far to find remnants of bygone dynasties. The Japanese have also left their mark in Makung with a number of Japanese-style administrative buildings around town.