Dear reader: This article contains links to products and services that I may be compensated for, at no extra cost to you.
October is generally considered the first month of autumn in Taipei and Taiwan; other guides will tell you September, but September is still very much summer in Taiwan. These temperatures usually ease up in Taipei in early October, bringing in gorgeous, pleasantly warm days and often clear, blue skies. ‘Tis the season for hiking!
In the south of Taiwan in October, it’s still practically summer, but minus the rain. While late-season typhoons are not unheard of in October in Taiwan, the month otherwise is a contender for the best month of the year to visit Taiwan weather-wise.
This makes October a great month for general travel in Taiwan, and you can even cap it off with some wild Halloween parties in Taipei at the end of the month.
- Visiting Taiwan in January
- Visiting Taiwan in February
- Visiting Taiwan in March
- Visiting Taiwan in April
- Visiting Taiwan in May
- Visiting Taiwan in June
- Visiting Taiwan in July
- Visiting Taiwan in August
- Visiting Taiwan in September
- Visiting Taiwan in November
- Visiting Taiwan in December
Is Taiwan Safe to Visit in October 2020?
At the time of writing, no foreigners are allowed into Taiwan unless they have an ARC (alien resident card). However, the Taiwanese government has recently unveiled a three-phase plan to open up the country to international travelers by October to December of this year. I will continually update this article with new announcements, so please stay tuned!
October is generally regarded as the last month of typhoon season in Taiwan. Coastal, high mountain, and landslide-prone areas (including Taroko Gorge) should be avoided during or shortly after heavy rain, especially typhoons.
Taipei Weather in October
Summer temperatures finally start waning toward the end of September, ushering in gorgeous Taipei weather in October. The average high temperature in Taipei in October is 27°C (81°F), and the average low is 22°C (72°F).
Taipei receives an average of 150mm of precipitation in October, which is around half of summer levels, but still twice as much as each of the following three months. Part of this is because late-season typhoons can bring additional short bouts of heavy rain. October is generally the end of the typhoon season in Taiwan, but a typhoon in November is not unheard of. Some major typhoons to strike Taiwan in October include Typhoon Longwang (2005) and Typhoon Mitag (2019).
Still, October is one of the driest months of the year in Taipei, with an average of only 12 days with rain in the month, the lowest of the year, along with November and December.
October is probably my single favorite month of the year in Taipei weather-wise. Typical Taipei October weather is warm and comfortable, skies are often blue, and going outside just feels good. See here for my full guide to when to visit Taipei.
What to Wear in Taipei in October
How to dress in October in Taipei is going to vary by what you are used to. Locals and people from countries in Asia with similar climates tend to start dressing for cooler weather in October. This might include jeans and a light jacket or hoodie, especially for going out in the evening.
If you’re from a cooler climate like me (the prairies of Canada), though, you will most likely still be wearing shorts and a T-shirt in Taipei’s October weather. I don’t usually break my summer clothing choices until sometime in November.
Taiwan Weather in October
However, venture further south, and you’ll find that summer still hasn’t quite departed. Taichung and Tainan still have an average high of 30°C (86°F) and 31°C (89°F), respectively, in October. What’s even better, rain in the south of Taiwan is rare in October; Taichung only gets an average of 16mm while Tainan gets 30mm. That means only a handful of days with rain per month.
In other words, the weather in Taiwan in October is about as close as you could get to ideal for traveling around. It still feels practically like summer in Taiwan, but not overbearingly so like in real summer, and with substantially less rain.
Sun Moon Lake is usually a few degrees cooler than nearby Taichung, and is gorgeous to visit in October. At higher altitude resorts like Cingjing Farm or Alishan, the temperature can go down to the mid-teens Celsius (around 60°F) in the early morning.
What to wear in Taiwan in October
For Northern Taiwan, you’ll want to pack some autumn clothing, including a hoodie or light jacket for evenings, but if you’re sticking mainly to the south of Taiwan, you’ll still be dressing like it’s summer. Don’t forget your bathing suit, as beach season is still on!
You coldest you’re likely to feel on your trip is when you’re standing around before dawn at Alishan waiting for that famous sunrise, so do bring a few layers if you’re planning to do that!
There’s barely a need to dress for rain in October in most of Taiwan, with the exception of Taipei and the north.
Taipei in October: Best Things to Do
With such lovely weather in October in Taipei, you’re going to want to be outside a lot. October is perfect for city parks like Da’An Forest Park, hiking trails like Elephant Mountain (for those postcard Taipei views), and atmospheric neighborhoods begging to be explored, like Ximending, Dadaocheng, and Beitou Thermal Valley.
On Yangmingshan, the dormant volcano massif in Taipei and New Taipei City, autumn colors usually start appearing in mid- to late-October. Silvergrass also begins painting the hillsides gray by the end of the month, but November is usually the prime time to see this natural spectacle.
The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節 or zhongqiu jie, also known as the Moon Festival) normally takes place in September, but in 2020 the lunar calendar date falls on October 1. Primarily a family-oriented festival, locals celebrate it by having barbecue gatherings right on the alleys and streets in front of their homes; you’ll probably see this mostly on the first weekend of October in 2020.
You can also take part in the festival by trying a moon cake, a rich, round pastry filled (traditionally) with things like bean paste, salted duck egg yolk, meat floss or (in modern versions) anything from mochi to ice cream. Boxes of them are often gifted at the time, and local expats seem to either love or hate them, while most young local locals nowadays find them “too sweet”.
October 10 is the National Day of the Republic of China (10/10 Day or Double Ten Day) and a national holiday. Often incorrectly described (even by locals) as “Taiwan’s birthday”, the day commemorates the Wuchang Uprising in China, which eventually led to the establishment of the Republic of China.
In 2020, Double Ten Day falls on a Saturday, but the government is giving people a day off the day before (Friday, October 9). This is important to note because hotels and trains fill up quickly on long weekends in Taiwan. The day is celebrated with a ceremony at the Presidential Office Building in Taipei; don’t go out of your way for it.
On the night of Saturday, October 3, don’t miss Taipei’s Nuit Blanche. 2020 will be the 5th time that Taipei hosts this unique all-night arts festival which originated in France.
Some other Taipei October events include the Taipei Jazz Festival, taking place at venues throughout the city in October, and the Digital Arts Festival held at the Bottle Cap Factory Nangang from October 1 to 15.
For one month beginning on October 16, Beitou Hot Spring Museum will host its anniversary event, which usually includes a variety of performances, exhibits, and other activities. Late October is also the first point in the season when you might start thinking about getting into the hot springs at Beitou. See my full guide to Beitou for the best ones.
From October 17-19, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial hall will host the annual Taipei Hakka Yimin festival, highlighting Taiwan’s Hakka culture. To learn more about the Hakka people, read my guide to Miaoli, Taiwan.
Halloween is slowly becoming a thing in Taiwan; in the past it was nothing more than an hour-long activity in kindergartens. For visitors to Taipei with young kids, there are usually Halloween events held in Shilin District, at the Taipei Children’s Amusement Park, and at the Taipei Zoo (a month-long event called Zooloween). Since Halloween is on a Saturday in 2020, you can expect most events to take place on that day.
For us grown-ups, a number of Taipei night clubs throw some pretty wild parties on Halloween, but the party of all parties is without a doubt Resurrected. The venue varies, but in recent years it has been held at an awesome outdoor venue on Tiger Mountain. Tickets are usually available from iBon machines in all convenience stores.
Taiwan in October: Best Places to Visit
October weather in Taiwan is about as good as it gets, which means it’s a perfect month for planning a round-island trip. You can do so by following my Taiwan itinerary for 1-3 weeks or my recommended Taiwan itinerary with kids, or get more ideas here on what to do in Taiwan.
October is an ideal month to visit Taichung, with warm weather and very low chance of rain. Make sure to include Rainbow Village, the Gaomei Wetlands, or numerous day trips from the city on your Taichung itinerary.
Don’t miss Sun Moon Lake, which is lovely at this time, and consider getting a Sun Moon Lake Pass or read which Sun Moon Lake tours I recommend. Also keep an eye out for the Sun Moon Lake Fireworks Festival; the 2020 dates have yet to be announced, but it should be in October.
Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung (including Kenting National Park) are still summery in October, while October is probably the last month I’d consider visiting the offshore islands like Green Island, Orchid Island, and Penghu, as they tend to get windy and chilly in winter in Taiwan, with many services closing for the season.
High mountain resorts like Cingjing Farm or Alishan are still perfectly fine for visiting in October, but do expect cold weather in the early morning. October is also great for hiking all around the island. For autumn colors, though, you’ll need to wait until November and December for the best colors to come out in most places.
The out-of-this-world Burning of the Wang Yeh Boats in Donggang, Pingtung County happens once every three years, usually in October. The next event will happen in October 2021.
Conclusion: Is October a Good Time to Visit Taiwan?
October is quite possibly my favorite month of the year to be in Taiwan. Even Taipei, which is notorious for having kind of crappy weather, is undeniably lovely for most of October. Meanwhile in the south of Taiwan, it’s like summer minus the rain.
If you love spending long hours outside in warm (not overbearingly hot) weather, enjoy hiking, cycling, and even some time on the beach, October in Taiwan is simply awesome, but do remember there is still a small chance of encountering a late-season typhoon.