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April is one of my favorite months of the year in Taiwan. Spring has finally arrived in Taipei, with warm weather but not yet overbearingly hot, and the south of Taiwan is about as hot as I’d like it to be. Perfect time for hiking, and also ideal weather if you’re visiting Taiwan with kids.
The month opens with a 4-day long weekend, when a cluster of music festivals and beach parties take place in Kenting on the southern tip of the country.
Meanwhile, cherry blossoms are blooming in April at Alishan, the last of the season, and Central Taiwan hosts the Matsu pilgrimage, one of the world’s largest.
While there is no particular “tourist season” in Taiwan, the tourist arrival numbers in recent years demonstrate that April is one of the most popular months of the year, and it’s no wonder!
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Is Taiwan Safe to Visit in April 2020?
Essential resources for the monitoring current travel restrictions in Tawian:
Beginning on March 19, all non-residents are barred from visiting Taiwan. Only citizens or ARC (Alien Resident Cards) will be permitted to enter Taiwan. I will no longer be updating this space until there is news that travelers are once again permitted to enter Taiwan.
I have written this article like everything were normal in Taiwan now, which I’m sure you are well aware it is not. Please assume that every major event I mention in this article has either been canceled or postponed. Regarding major Taiwanese tourist attractions, most remain open, but you will definitely want to double check that before you go. As restrictions are changing daily, I cannot ensure that the information I present in this article will remain the same on the day of your visit.
Please also note that there may be reduced services on the Taiwan High Speed Rail in April, including a government announcement that no non-reserved seats will be available for the April long weekend. Therefore, it is highly recommended to book your seats online in advance.
Taipei Weather in April
Also read: When Is the Best Time to Visit Taipei?
Visit Taipei in April and you’ll find that the damp, chilly winter weather is finally over and spring has arrived. The average high temperature for April in Taipei is 26°C (79°F), while the average low is 19°C (66°F).
A little bit of rain is almost guaranteed in you visit Taipei in April (the same can be said for almost any month of the year in Taipei). April receives 180mm (or 15 days) of rain, about the same as March, but it’s rare that it rains long or hard enough to disrupt travel plans. Moreover, April light rain doesn’t chill you to the bone in the same way that it does in January through March.
What to wear in Taipei in April
People who are used to hot weather may still find it slightly cool in April in Taipei at night, so a sweater or light jacket may be useful. As always in Taipei, rain gear can come in handy, but is not as essential as winter, when rain is very cold, or summer, when it comes in massive downpours.
April is usually the month when I start wearing shorts and T-shirts pretty much every day in Taipei, but locals aren’t quite at that point yet.
Taiwan Weather in April
Heading south from Taipei, the weather gets even warmer in April, with less chance of rain. See here for my suggestions on how to plan your overall Taiwan travel itinerary.
In Tainan in April, the average high is 29°C (84°F), while the average low is a pleasant 21°C (70°F). As Tainan sits just below the tropic of cancer, it is more tropical and experiences less seasonal variation than Taipei and the north. Tainan only has about 80mm (or 7 days) of rain in April, compared to around double that in Taipei.
Remember that these are just averages, and it can be even hotter (or colder, of course). I’ve attended the Spring Scream Music Festival in Kenting, at the southern tip of Taiwan, on the first long weekend in April, several times. Usually on that weekend the weather is fantastic; hot enough for the beach, but not too hot yet. But one year in particular stands out; it was already ROASTING hot at the beginning of April, similar to summer weather in Taiwan. Crowds of concertgoers were hiding under the shade of trees instead of going up to the stages, and performers on the stage were visibly suffering.
The weather in April in Taiwan is perfect for lower-altitude hiking, and it’s also a great time to visit Taroko Gorge. Sun Moon Lake, which sits at 748 meters, is usually warm but not quite hot yet. Alishan should be around a mild 10°C in the daytime, but it will still be very cold if you wake up early for sunset.
What to wear in Taiwan in April
If you’re sticking to lowland areas and major cities, then you’ll probably want to pack a mix of summer clothing and a few long sleeve shirts or a light jacket for evenings. And don’t leave your bathing suit at home; even beaches in the cooler north can be approaching beach weather in April, although the water may still be a little cold.
As always in Taiwan, it’s a good idea to prepare for rain, but it’s easy to find what you need there if you don’t want to pack it. And for Alishan or the high mountains, you’ll still need to dress warm, especially if you plan to wake up for sunrise.
Taipei in April: Best Things to Do
April is Taipei is in my opinion one of the best months of the year for hiking, with warm weather and lower chance of rain. You can find my five favorite hikes in the greater Taipei area at the end of my things to do in Taipei article, as well as loads of other ideas for activities & attractions in Taipei.
April is also a great time for explorations on foot in Taipei, such as historical Di Hua Street and funky Ximending. On a clear day, head up to Taipei 101 Observatory for a bird’s eye view of the city, or climb adjacent Elephant Mountain for the postcard views. It’s also a pleasant time to visit Taipei Zoo or ride the Maokong Gondola next to it.
In April the cherry blossoms are done blooming in Taipei, but it’s a great month to witness another natural spectacle: fields of calla lilies growing in Zhuzihu, Yangmingshan National Park (the dormant volcano massif next to Taipei). You’ll know the season arrives when you see people carrying the tall white lilies all over Taipei.
April 2-5, 2020 is a long weekend in Taipei. Thursday, April 2 is Children’s Day, so you can expect any family-friendly places (and highways going out of the city) to be packed. Friday, April 3 is Tomb Sweeping Day, when locals head to graveyards (mostly outside of the city) to pay their respects, but in practice they tend to do this anytime during the weekend, or even on prior weekends. Still, it’s something to consider if you’re planning to make a day trip out of Taipei.
Urban Nomad Film Festival, the best indie film festival in Taiwan, will take place from April to May, 2020. The festival will kickstart with a 3-day music festival at a great outdoor venue on Tiger Mountain. (Update: the music festival has been postponed to fall 2020. Those who have already purchased a ticket can get a refund, or keep their ticket, which will remain valid in fall. Most of the musicians on the line-up have agreed to still perform at the postponed event).
Easter is not celebrated in any visible way in Taiwan.
Taiwan in April: Best Places to Visit
April is a great time for exploring cities, hiking, or visiting outdoor attractions across Taiwan, such as Taroko Gorge. It’s also just right for hitting the beach in the far south, for example in Kenting or Dulan, or exploring the many things to do in Yilan in northeastern Taiwan.
The April long weekend (April 2-5, 2020) is referred to as Spring Scream in Kenting. The original Spring Scream music festival is an alternative/rock-oriented music & arts festival that has been running since 1995 and is usually held on the grassland at Eluanbi Lighthouse on the southernmost tip of Taiwan.
Over time, other parties and festivals (especially electronic and beach parties, notably Spring Wave Music Festival in Hengchun) were added in other places in Kenting, making the park THE PLACE to be for the April long weekend, when the whole area takes on a kind of party vibe.
However, in recent years, Kenting’s popularity has declined among Taiwanese, who tend to favor flying to Japan for their short holidays, and the original Spring Scream music festival struggles to draw much of a crowd (the 2019 festival was even pronounced a flop).
Still, if you love the beach, music, dancing, and partying in general, you’ll want to see what’s going on for the April long weekend in Kenting. Accommodations in Kenting are notoriously overpriced in Kenting, especially on the long weekend, so do book early or consider camping in the area or checking Airbnbs in Kenting.
The Fulong International Sand Sculpture Art Festival at Fulong Beach, one of the most popular beaches with easy reach from Taipei, usually kicks off in mid to late April, but you have until August to check it out. The festival features some truly impressive and enormous sand sculptures, and really is a must-see!
On the 14th day of the third lunar month (April 6, 2020, April 25, 2021), the eve of Baosheng Emperor’s birthday, Bao An Temple puts on its annual parade.
From April 17-April 26, the rock formations in Yehliu Geopark will be lit up at night. Stay tuned for more details and entrance times/prices (double check for possible cancellation in 2020).
On the 23rd day of the 3rd month on the lunar calendar (April 15, 2020 or May 4, 2021), Taiwan celebrates the birthday of Matsu, goddess of fishermen and the sea. Matsu is the patron goddess of Taiwan and her birthday is celebrated with a raucous 10-day mass pilgrimage that attracts more than a million participants. The pilgrimage starts at ends at Zhenlan Temple in Dajia, Taichung, and traverses parts of Changhua, Yunlin, and Chiayi counties. The pilgrimage usually starts before her before and culminates on it. The 2020 pilgrimage has been postponed to an unknown future date.
April is the tail end of the cherry blossom season; you can still see them in the high mountains, such as at Alishan, but with limited hotels at the popular tourist resort, you’ll need to book a room at Alishan way, way in advance to be there for the cherry blossoms (and this remains true despite the reduction in foreign visitors in 2020; may locals still want to go there too).
And unfortunately there are no hostel or budget accommodations up there; visiting as a day trip from Chiayi is a perfect alternative. Also make sure to reserve your Alishan Forest Railway tickets two weeks in advance if you plan to ride the historic train to get there. You can ride the short train rides within the scenic area without making a reservation, though.
Besides cherry blossoms, April also marks the start of the Tung Blossom season. Described as “April (or May) snow”, locals love to stand under trees as the wind blows the white pedals to the ground. Tung Blossoms are associated with Hakka culture, and the best places to see them are in Taoyuan and Miaoli.
Buddha’s Birthday will be celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month (April 30, 2020). While this is not a major celebration like it is in some neighboring countries (see my article on the Lantern Festival in Busan, South Korea), you can expect major Buddhist monasteries in Taiwan such as Foguangshan in Kaohsiung to have some kind of festivities or special decorations.
April is the first month that I would personally consider visiting the offshore islands such as Green Island, Penghu, or Orchid Island. Before then, the islands are cold and windy, with reduced services. May and June are best for perfect weather before it gets super hot and crowded in summer, but late April would likely be fine as well.
The Penghu International Fireworks Festival, which normally begins in April, has been postponed this year to July 6 to September 3, 2020.
A small, underground electronic music festival called Organik will take place on a remote beach in Hualien County on the east coast of Taiwan from April 24-27 (double check for possible cancellation or postponement).
Conclusion: Is April a good time to visit Taiwan?
Yes, it is! With warm weather and relatively little rain, April is a great time for just about everything in Taiwan.
A diverse range of options for an April trip to Taiwan can include partying on the beach in the Kenting, taking in the cherry blossoms in the high mountains, or participating in the Matsu pilgrimage, one of the greatest folk celebrations of the year in Taiwan.