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12 days in Taipei & Tainan, recommend any day trips?

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Hello All!

I've posted here about my itinerary for Japan already too but I'll actually be volunteering in Taiwan for a month teaching English (July), but after I return from Japan I will be visiting family in Taipei & Tainan, and hopefully making some side trips for 1-2 days each!

I'll be in Taiwan from August 19 through the 21st and during my last 12 days I definitely want to see as much as possible! I am thinking about spending half of that time in Tainan and half in Taipei, using both cities as a base if I do day trips. I will have already been to Kenting, Alisan, and all that but does anyone have suggestions for other day trips?

I like being in the outdoors but my mom told me that most people will not hike much in the Taiwan summer heat! (As a note, I am a proficient Mandarin speaker, my parents are from Taiwan) Are there any cool activities (like rafting! I've always wanted to go) people could recommend?

I am spending most of my time in Southern Taiwan, so anything in Central & Northern Taiwan I think would be cool. Like Taroko Gorge (how much would that cost to get driven there?) and visiting Hualien for a couple days!

As of now I am totally flexible about where I'll be spending my time :D

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