All these and more await all those who visit Taiwan, the island that lies at the junction of the East and South China Seas.
In the midst of planning a trip here? Take a look at this list which includes 5 regions that you should definitely make time to visit for an epic vacation in Taiwan.
New Taipei City is a special municipality in Taiwan that was known as Taipei County before 2010. Today, this bustling city that’s home to over 4 million people is one that’s well loved, and famous for tons of shopping as well as delightful eats. If you’d like to do something different, visit the Beitou District, which is home to many hot spring resorts as well as a Thermal Valley, or take a short 20-minute hike up Elephant Mountain, and treat yourself to a bird’s eye view of Taiwan’s capital – with Taipei 101 at the very forefront. Whatever you plan to do, don’t miss out on visiting one of their world-famous night markets, and while you’re there, remember to treat yourself to a cup of bubble tea!
Hualien County is best known for its flawless natural landscapes. It’s home to Taroko National Park – Taiwan’s most famous National Park – which is named after Taroko Gorge, the magnificent 19km marble-walled gorge that was carved out by the waters of the Liwu River. Those who love to hike will enjoy the various trails, while those up for something more adventurous should give river tracing a try. What’s more, there are numerous other sights including Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow’s Grotto, and Buluowan Suspension Bridge. Other than visiting Taroko National Park, make it a point to stop by the nearby Qingshui Cliff and Qixingtan Beach. You won’t find endless vistas of marble gorges here, but you’ll find towering, rugged cliffs that hug the shoreline, and a pristine beach that’s second to none.
If you’re planning to visit Nantou County, do spend a few days at Cing Jing Farm. Sitting 1,750m above sea level is a mountaintop town that’s extremely picturesque. With its cool year-round weather, this destination is one that appeals to families, couples, friends, and even solo travellers. Make time to visit the biggest attraction here: Green Green Grasslands, a postcard-worthy zone where you’ll find fluffy white sheep grazing in rolling pasturelands. Stay in one of the many family-run bed and breakfasts here, and you might just wake up the next morning to find a sea of clouds below you – it’s a quintessential experience in central Taiwan that’s not to be missed!
Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s third largest city. Though it’s very cosmopolitan, it gives off a more artsy vibe when compared to the other cities on this island. This may be because of Pier 2 Art Centre, an area along the harbour where you’ll find old warehouses that have been turned into art galleries as well as hipster boutiques, cafes, and even craft beer bars. Besides wandering in and out of these old warehouses – some of which have huge, impressive murals painted on their sides – make it a point to check out the outdoor art installations, especially the one that’s made of bright red shipping containers. If you’ve more time to spare, visit Hamasen Railway Cultural Park, an open space that houses decommissioned railway lines and retired train carriages.
Alishan is, without a doubt, Taiwan’s most iconic mountainous region. Within the 415 square km reserve that sits over 2,000m above sea level lies misty alpine forests, world-class hiking trails, breathtaking vistas, and the Alishan Forest Railway: a historic railway that was built by the Japanese for the transportation of timber. Today, it’s a scenic train route for those visiting the region – whether to enjoy the crisp air, to visit the villages here and learn more about the rich indigenous culture, or to try the nation’s most sought after Alishan High Mountain Tea. Stay overnight and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the sunrise from the Ogasawara Mountain Observation Deck.
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