Capital City: Taipei
Currency: New Taiwan Dollar
Official Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language in Taiwan with native Taiwanese being widely spoken
Welcome to Asia’s best kept travel secret!
It’s spicy and it’s scenic, and Taiwan will probably turn out to be everything you never expected from it! There’s a lot more to Taiwan than just “made in Taiwan”, something clearly evident in the panoramic views, a rich and diverse culture and a very impressive history. From the night markets to the trails and hot springs, gleaming skyscrapers and hulking mountains with stunning lakes, Taiwan has some serious appeal to it, especially when considering that it’s actually half the size of Scotland! Taiwan is a place where ancient religious and cultural practices still thrive seamlessly right alongside modern society and the people are as friendly and as inviting as they come. It’s a place that’s bound to entice travelers from all walks of life, from the history buffs to the nature lovers, the shopping queens, the watersport fans, the foodies and the pilgrims, Taiwan has got a little something in store for just about everyone.
Must see places in Taiwan
The National Palace Museum
The Taipei National Palace Museum is a must see for history buffs, giving you the opportunity to get behind the cultural heritage. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Chinese artefacts, making it a unmissable sight.
Taroko Gorge is Taiwan’s most iconic natural attraction with its towering cliffs with marble deposits in the ravine. It’s one of the Far East’s most spectacular sights and a place that should have a very important place on any travel itinerary when you’re visiting Taiwan.
Also known as Green Island, the waters around Ludao are perfect for snorkeling and diving. Located just off the southeast coast, the marvelous coral forests are a breathtaking sight. The visibility under water is perfect all year.
Kenting National Park
This forest recreation area really has a lot on offer. Stunning beaches, coral lakes, a bird sanctuary, watersports, golf and tropical coastal forests all come together to make it a destination well worth visiting.
Lanyu, also known as Orchid Island, is home to the world’s last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes, called the Yami. This volcanic island is also home to splendid coral reefs and beaches, giving tourists a taste of tropical paradise.
Also known as Lukang, this town is filled to the brim with old-time tradition and cultural practices. The traditional buildings and authentic local craft shops will keep you entertained, and then there are also the atmospheric temples of Longshan, Matsu and Glass Matsu.
Tainan is Taiwan’s oldest city and also used to be the capital, but it’s best known for its temples. Also called the “City of 100 Temples” Tainan has a whopping 220 temples to discover boasting some of the best Confucian-style temple architecture in the country.
Chung Tai Chan Monastery
What took more than 10 years to build, the world’s tallest Buddhist temple can be accessed through the town of Puli in central Taiwan.
The Penghu archipelago is renowned for its basalt rock formations that were formed by underground volcanic activity. The sights located on the group of islands in the middle of the Taiwan Straits are enough to leave you in awe, but for the more adventurous travelers, the breeze that pushes through here also makes the Penghu archipelago a great windsurfing destination.
Things to do in Taiwan
Get a bird’s eye view atop Taipei 101
Until 2010, Taipei 101 used to be the world’s tallest building, so it goes without saying that this building offers you the best panoramic view over the island. The lift of the Taipei 101 is the fastest of its kind in the world and takes you up to The Observatory on the top floor for the best views.
Take a trip down the northeast coastal road
The coastal road that travels down the northeast of Taiwan offers some spectacular views like the foothills of the Central Mountain Range and the vast East China Sea and Pacific Ocean. It also leads you along an abundance of old-time villages that take you back to a place that time forgot.
See the Jade Mountain
Yushan, also known as the Jade Mountain is an important symbol of Taiwan’s identity, and if you have the perseverance, it’s one of the best places to hike up in Taiwan. At 3,952 meters high, it’s the highest peak in North East Asia.
See the land of milk and honey
The East Rift Valley is Taiwan’s largest fault line and it’s somewhat of a geologist’s paradise. It has some spectacular scenery on offer like the clear streams, the lakes and the awe inspiring valleys.
Unwind in the Taian hot springs
The volcanic past of Taiwan left the nation with a lot of hotspots for geothermal energy, with over 100 hot mineral springs in the country. The best ones to head to are undeniably located in Taian in the north of Taiwan.
Taiwan is home to an impressive 460 different species of birds, some of which are rare like the Formosan Blue Magpie, the Orange Punk-Haired Flamcrest and the Mikado ad Swinhoe’s Pheasants.
Best time to visit Taiwan
Tourists visit Taiwan in Spring and Autumn
Because Taiwan is split in half by the Tropic of Cancer, weather conditions vary considerably from the north to the south. The north has a subtropical climate with moderate temperatures with wintertime rains. The south has generally higher average temperatures and it’s also drier than the north. The entire island has a very hot average temperature in the summer months, which makes autumn and spring the best times to visit Taiwan.
Did you know?
Known for its technological advances, it’s temples and towers as well as the endless exploration opportunities, Taiwan is known for being Asia’s best kept secret.
- Spring rolls with peanut satay
- Sweet and sour spare ribs
- Oyster omelet
- Steamed pork dumplings
- Fried shrimp with cashews
- Peking duck
- For your own health and safety, stick to bottled water for drinking
- Make sure that you have your address written down in Mandarin Chinese to help you get to your destination without any issues
- You should take your own tissues for when you need to go to the loo because Taiwan public bathrooms don’t have toilet paper
- No food or drink (not even gum) is allowed on public transport systems