People often mistake Taiwan as a small, crowded island filled mostly with electronic and toy manufacturing companies. However, the island offers visitors a hypermodern skin with an ancient Chinese skeleton and an aboriginal soul.
The Taiwanese capital reigns supreme. Taipei offers everything you can expect to find in any leading capital city, from its hub of activities, fantastic shopping centres, restaurants, busy nightlife and night markets. Be sure to venture round the many inspirational temples and edifying museums ranging from the The Longshan Temple to the National Museum Palace, and if you have time maybe throw in a visit to the Botanical Garden.
Kenting is significantly more popular among the locals than it is with the tourist visitors but if you head to the very southern tip of the island, this will become your paradise. Offering stretches of peaceful and undisturbed beaches; you will find the best snorkelling and diving at the Baishawan white-sand beach while if surfing is your thing, try the Jialeshui beach.
Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is the pearl of Central Taiwan and with an elevation of 748 metres above sea level it is the largest natural lake in the country. The southern part of Lalu Island is shaped like a new moon, and the northern part is shaped like a sun; hence the name Sun Moon Lake. Take a stroll along the photogenic grounds, and look on in awe at the mountains which provide a picturesque backdrop. Other points of interest near to the Lake include Wen Wu Temple, Tehua Village, Tse-En Pagoda and the Holy Monk Shrine.
Taroko Gorge National Park
Taroko Gorge is an impressive 19 kilometre canyon situated near Taiwan’s east coast. It provides one of the many features of the popular Taroko Gorge National Park. There is so much to explore and enjoy here from 500 foot cliffs and cascading waterfalls to mist-shrouded forests and secretive river valleys.
A bustling capital city serves as the hub for a venture that will allow you to enjoy a lively night time entertainment and excellent natural day trips to see high mountain ranges, great beaches, stunning lakes and incredible national parks.
WHERE TO STAY:The Grand Hotel
This five-star business hotel is conveniently linked to the Taipei World Trade Centre and ideally situated within the bustling capital city. The Grand Hotel offer the best in luxury hotel recreation, including two 24-hour gymnasiums and an outdoor heated swimming pool.
WHAT TO DO: Dragon Boat Festival
This festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and is among one of the major holidays that is celebrated in Taiwan. Boat races are held all over the country with foreign teams also joining in at a regular basis. There are some culinary dishes associated with the festival which is an effort to ward off disease and evil spirits.
WHERE TO EAT: Din Tai Fung
Din Tai Fung may have chains in ten different countries but its original award-winning restaurant started in Taiwan. With a restaurant situated within the second largest building in the world, why not head to the Taipei 101 and sample the specialty xiaolongbao (small steamed buns).
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