For centuries, Taiwan was known as “Ilha Formosa” which means “The Beautiful Isle” in Portugese, and it certainly is that.
Located 36,000 square kilometers off the southeastern coast of mainland China, Taiwan is a densely populated island teeming with over 22 million people, but this does not detract from its natural beauty. The island is lined with soaring mountains that provide an impressive backdrop to its lush green foothills, terraced flatlands and magnificent coastal plains and basins. The Taiwan Attraction Taiwanese culture is rich and unique. Well-traveled tourists will marvel at Taiwan’s breath-taking landscape peppered with natural waterfalls, lakes and hot springs and its many hillsides that are clouded with mist. The ubiquitous pagodas and temples around the island hint at the locals’ deep spirituality while its modern skyscrapers, shopping malls and commercial facilities herald Taiwan’s growing economic presence in the modern world.
This interesting mix of a storied past and a progressive present make Taiwan a fascinating study of the old and the new. Great Taiwan Tourist Destinations Taipei, the country’s capital, is a modern metropolis comparable to the most advanced cities in Asia and the world. The other major cities are culture-rich Taichung and Kaoshiung, which is a hub of industry. Taipei is home to the Yangmingshan National Park, which has a vast mountain range that overlooks Taipei and is lined with hot springs. It is a favorite haven for locals and tourists who want to seek refuge from the hectic pace of life down below. Taipei also hosts several world-class museums, art galleries and historical sights, including Fort San Domingo, which was built by the Spanish in 1629 as well as the National Theater and the National Concert Hall, both fascinating testaments to Chinese architecture. Of course, no visit to Taiwan would be complete without a trip to the Taipei 101 building, the tallest building in the world and home to numerous corporate head offices, a shopping mall and several restaurants.
When traveling the countryside, there are several beautiful destinations that are worth visiting such as the Yushan (Jade) Mountain and the Yushan National Park, the famed Sun Moon Lake, Hsitou bamboo forest, Kenting National Park and the Alishan and Taroko Gorge. Kenting National Park is known for its famous beaches and lush vegetation. It is nestled at the extreme southern tip of the Taiwan. Shei-pa National Park is another famous park that spans mountains and rivers and makes for a great hiking experience. Other Major Taiwan Cities Hsinchu is the country’s technology base and one leading producers of hi-tech products in the world. Jioufen, a former boom town where gold prospecting flourished, is now one of the most popular tourist destinations. Hualien is one of the most appealing and breath-taking of Taiwan’s cities. It is located near Taroko Gorge. Tainan is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital during imperial times. It is famous for its temples and other historic buildings. How to Get to Taiwan Local airlines are China Airlines and EVA Air. Cathay Pacific also has flights to Hong Kong. Other major airlines include Northwest Airlines, KLM Asia, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways.
You can also travel to Taiwan by passenger ferry from Okinawa, Japan. Traveling Around Taiwan For domestic air travel, there is the Songshan domestic airport in downtown Taipei. There are four domestic airlines which have business-sized planes. A national bus system is in place and is quite reliable. Taxi cabs are easy to find. But if you can’t stand the traffic, you may be better served by taking the train. Shopping in Taiwan Night markets are an interesting hub of shopping in Taiwan and a well-stocked haven for entertainment, bargain-hunting and eating (snake meat is a local delicacy). There is at least one night market in each Taiwanese city, with the capital city, Taipei, boasting of at least a dozen night markets.