Taiwan Travel Guide
Taiwan is one of the most underrated travel destinations in Asia. Take a stunning, rugged landscape, add a handful of Chinese influence and a pinch of Japanese, throw in a liberal salting of indigenous cultures, pepper it with an economic miracle and progressive democracy, and then mix it up with the modern globalised world: the result is the vibrant, melting pot that is Taiwan. In this rich and varied country there is a compelling experience at every turn and a surprise waiting around every corner.
Where to travel in Taiwan
Taiwan’s position on the Pacific Ring of Fire has created its spectacular mountain ranges. Dense forests and plunging gorges, such as Taroko, grace the approaches to the highest peaks in north-east Asia - Yushan, and Snow Mountain.
Visit Taipei for the priceless treasures in its museums, for world-class performance art in its concert halls and theatres, and for open, friendly people who take their cuisine – haute or street – very seriously. Browse the bookshops and antiques, and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the city’s burgeoning cafe culture.
The older southern city of Tainan offers a great contrast to the capital. Here, laid-back locals place great emphasis on culinary and tea culture, and the city’s fascinating history is on display everywhere, and particularly evident in the island’s greatest concentration of temples.
Away from the big cities, the culture changes along with the scenery, as the dominance of the Han Chinese gives way to the different lifestyles and worldviews of Taiwan’s aboriginal peoples, who have deep spiritual roots in the land that they live in. Explore these in the landscape around Sun Moon Lake and the National Parks such as Alishan and Kenting.
Reasons to love Taiwan
- Although Taiwan is a rich country by world standards, spending time here is surprisingly affordable, partly because the bulk of the island’s income is from technology and services, and so tourism is not treated as a cash cow.
- After a long day out exploring the country’s scenic natural wonders, few things are more inviting, or rewarding than relaxing in one of Taiwan's numerous natural hot springs, such as Sileng Wild Springs just outside Taipei.
Taiwan’s unusual political history leaves it on the fringes of the international community – it has all the outward attributes of a fully independent country but it remains unrecognised by most other nations around the world. China still claims Taiwan as a part of its territory, despite the opposition of the vast majority of Taiwanese people, who would far rather go it alone.
Discover your Asia
Call us on 01273 670 001
Population: – 23.5 million
Capital: – Taipei
Currency: – New Taiwan dollar
Language: – Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien
Religion: – Diverse
Perfect straight ‘off the peg’ or as a source of inspiration allowing us to start with blank canvas. You decide.
Explore Taiwan's highlights
Taipei combines a dazzling array of culinary options, a vibrant cultural scene, and a friendliness and approachability unmatched in other busy metropolises. It is also an excellent base from which to explore the country’s areas of stunning natural beauty, and has quite a few unexpected secrets of its own.
Taroko National Park
Carved by the Liwu River, Taroko Gorge is perhaps the single most impressive natural wonder of Taiwan, and boasts the title of world’s deepest marble gorge. Surrounded by lush vegetation and majestic mountains, the National Park delivers spectacular views of the canyon, hewn by water and geological activity out of the marble of the central mountain range.
Whilst Taipei can leave at least some visitors a little underwhelmed, Kaohsiung strikes all the right chords. From the vibrant arts centre to ultra-Taiwanese Lotus pond, its a city with plenty to fill a few days.
The Love River flows through the city and provides its leisure hub in the form of cycling and walking paths, a night market and several outdoor cafés which are popular spots for live music.