There are very few places on Earth that offer such a high concentration of natural beauty as Taiwan. This mountainous island in the heart of East Asia has it all: rushing rivers, scenic cliffs, deep gorges.
With a population of 23 million, Taiwan hosts developed cities with modern buildings such as iconic Taipei 101. Yet, the life in little villages high in the mountains would be very different – some of the aboriginal tribes there still continue their traditional ways. I have listed all my reasons why visit Taiwan here.
The capital, Taipei is definitely a great base for recovering from the jet lag and visiting the rest of the island: when searching accommodation in Taipei, you can check my article on favorite hostels in Taipei here.
Taiwan, despite being the perfect place for exploring both natural and cultural nights, still remains an underrated tourist destination. The following 20 pictures show you why Taiwan should be on your list.
Seven photographers show their best pictures from across Taiwan. Enjoy!
Elephant mountain is certainly one of the most photogenic places in Taipei. Follow my practical guide to find the way to Elephant mountain, either by sunset or sunrise.
Damsui (sometimes spelled Tamshu) is a smaller city in the north of Taipei, situated near the outlet of the Tamsui (Danshui) River into the Taiwan Strait.It has some Spanish ruts so there is a history to explore, besides many shops and night market that are situated there nowadays. Among Taiwanese, Damshui a popular location for viewing the sunset.
Mazu is the most worshiped deity in Taiwan. Often, she is referred to as The Goddess Mazu. Her divine jurisdiction extends from protecting fisherfolk and helping women in childbirth to restoring social order. There are many temples across Taiwan dedicated to Mazu. Once is a year, the biggest pilgrimage is in her name, too.
There is much more of Taiwan than just a sweet potato-shaped main island. Orchid Island is one of the little-known, under-promoted outlying islands, that consists of is a 45 km2 of peaceful and quietness. Here you can enjoy exploring, without being disturbed by groups of tourists.
The tiny mountain town of Jiufen is one of the popular day trips from Taipei. It was prosperous under Japanese colonial rule but slipped into steep decline after the closure of the nearby gold mine in the 1970s. The iconic town was featured in various popular movies including A City of Sadness and Spirited Away.
Out of nine national parks in Taiwan, Yangmingshan is the easiest to reach from Taipei. It’s famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs and hiking trails of all categories. It’s the highest peak is Mt.Qixing, which is at 1 120 meters the highest peak of Taipei city.
The iconic bridge is a symbol of Damshui town in the north of Taipei. It was opened in 2003 and it’s shape is supposed to resemble a sailing ship. With spectacular illuminations, the bridge is a nice attraction to experience by dark.
Maokong mountain is one of my favorite places in whole Taipei: situated in Wenshan district (near my university, National Chengchi University). When I was living in Taiwan, I loved to walk up here an enjoy views over Taipei. Maokong used to be the biggest tea growing area of Taipei and you can still experience tea pickers doing their job. There is a lot of tea houses on the mountain, and gondola bringing you up if it’s too hot for walking.
Believe it or not, Taipei is the best metropolis in Asia for cycling. Taiwan’s capital offers extensive infrastructure for cyclists: There are over 100 kilometers of cycle paths that run throughout Taipei’s riverside parks and many bike rentals. Most popular cycling roads are located along rivers and surrounded by greenery including nature parks and amazing mangrove forests. During the night, the routes are very free and you can travel from south to north in just two hours. The trip starts in Muzha and ends in Tamsui.
If you have more than a week in Taiwan, then you should plan a trip to stunning Taroko Gorge. You can get inspired for example by this itinerary for visiting Taiwan that includes Taroko Gorge and the major sights in just a week.
You can read my other post on Things to do in Kaohsiung here.
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Thanks for reading!