Taiwan is a dynamic and affluently cultural country, apparent to any visitor lucky enough to grace its shores. The natural beauty of Taiwan is still relatively untouched, with soaring cliffs of marble and jade, mineral-rich hot springs, and sparkling lakes where the sky meets the water. Even the largest and most bustling of cities honor the traditions of generations past in their architecture and way of life.
The capital city of Taiwan, Taipei, is located on the northern end of the island and is a large, bustling city with over 2.5 million people who call it home. The city seems designed for those with a passion for meandering the streets; parks within walking distance from each other, easily accessible public transportation, and clean public services all easily accessible. Foodies will find themselves right at home, as the dining-out culture is so influential that many apartments in Taipei don’t even have kitchens, with residents preferring to patronize one of the ubiquitous and excellent street food establishments nearby rather than cook for themselves.
Tainan is the oldest modern settlement in Taiwan, and is a major cultural and historical center of the region, known for its dedication to preserving tradition. This is a great city for exploring some of Taiwan’s spectacular historical buildings, including Chihkan Tower, Anping Fort, and Ten Drum Cultural Village. In the evenings the city streets come alive with night markets; dozens of small strips of stalls and vendors selling everything from jewelry to clothing, food and drinks– some even featuring live entertainment.
Jiaosi Hot Springs is the destination of choice for anyone who loves a good relaxing soak in Taiwan’s many hot springs. The springs here are touted for their rich mineral content, which is said to be especially soothing for the skin. Jiaosi also has gorgeous natural scenery, including the Wofongci Waterfalls, a set of three roaring waterfalls.
Taroko National Park is one of Taiwan’s largest and most beautiful national parks, whose name comes from the indigenous word for “human being”. The eponymous Taroko Gorge and the surrounding area are filled with an abundance of marble and jade, which originally began as limestone compressed over millions of years. The Liwu River carved the towering gorge from the bedrock, and during the summer months rafting down the river is a favorite activity for visitors.
A beautiful glittering lake tucked away in Taiwan’s mountainous interior, Sun Moon Lake is one of the great natural sites of Taiwan. Sun Moon Lake is the largest lake in Taiwan and a popular destination for honeymooning couples, as well as bicycling enthusiasts and hikers. The lake has also been home to the area’s aboriginal Thao people for generations, and their village and way of life can be seen on Ita Thao.
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Starting in Taipei, we’ll taste soup dumplings and see the world’s largest collection of Chinese artifacts. Traveling by high-speed rail, we’ll hike Swallow Grotto Trail in Taroko National Park and contemplate a singularly lovely rose-gold sunset from atop the Fleur De Chine hotel’s exclusive observation deck at Sun Moon Lake. Bike through verdant green rice fields and sample Ami-style tribal cuisine in the East Rift Valley and take a walk back in time in the seaside mining town of Jiufen. This tour is ideal for travelers looking for a more in-depth experience of Taiwan’s natural scenery, culture and cuisine.
Visit some of Taiwan’s oldest cities like Tainan and Lukang, its most beautiful natural spaces such as Hehuan Mountain; a spectacular place to watch a sunrise, as well as Sun Moon Lake; world-famous for its serene beauty. Taste Taiwan’s diverse culinary heritage in dishes like Oyster Noodles, Tainan Fried Shrimp Roll, and the famous Din Tai Fung Soup Dumpling. Relax in the luxurious stylings of the mountaintop resort at Ming Ging Farm in the breathtaking Chingjing Highlands, and taste the farm-to-table cuisine made fresh from fruits and vegetables grown in the on-site organic garden.
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