Lying between Japan's southern Ryukyu Islands and the Philippines, this mountainous island nutures a population descended from Han Chinese (partly Fujianese and Hakka) and aborigine.
The Taiwanese people have put out the welcome mat for the world to discover their colorful temples, traditional festivals, lively processions, hot springs and spas, one very tall skyscraper, and shops carrying herbal medicines and high-tech gadgets.
The island's political, economic and cultural heart, Taipei sits inland from Taiwan's northern coast, filling a wide basin backed by mountains. It's record-setting skyscraper Taipei 101 surveys the sprawling metropolis from an 89-floors-high observatory.
Colorful Longshan Temple(龍山寺) permits a peek into past imperial-era religion.
Countless night markets entice experts and the uninitiated to taste a mind-boggling array of edible inventions....
Taichung is a pleasant city known for teahouses, well-regarded museums and fine weather. Its historical capital, the coastal city of Lugang(鹿港), is home to atmospheric temples and Qing-era(清朝) architecture.
In the green foothills farther east, turquoise-blue Sun Moon Lake (日月潭)serves up a non-stop feast of boating, bicycling, and temple touring.
Farther south Alishan Recreation Area's (阿里山森林遊樂區) allure is its beloved sea of clouds sunrise, while nearby Yushan National Park(玉山國家公園) preserves perhaps the best piece of wilderness on the island.
Taiwan's southern tip hosts tropical Kenting, whose golden sand beaches and lush junglescapes rapidly give way to Mount Northern Dawu (北大武山), Taiwan's southernmost peak above 3000m/9842ft.
The central Mountains continue northward through the villages of Sandimen, Maolin and Namasia where aboriginals dwell amid winding rivers, lofty mountains and valleys filled with exotic butterflies.
· 8 years ago