Last updated: November 2018
If I left my heart in Asia, a large slice is here in this beautiful and serene island, little known by mass tourism.
Taiwan, despite being a rather small country, presents a wide variety of landscapes: from mountains to the sea, to islands, to green parks and tea plantations, from thermal springs and waterfalls to modern cities. In addition to the Taiwanese with Chinese descent, most of them from the Han ethnic group, there is a minority of Taiwanese aborigines, who live on this peaceful Asian island.
A culture that derives from traditional Chinese, but that over time has found its own style that has generated its own identity.
Some of the activities I suggest you plan during a trip to Taiwan:
- Explore the Taroko National Park and its gorges.
- Climb the elephant mountain near the center of Taipei for a great view of the city, perfect at sunset!
- Take a selfie in Taipei in front of the 101 or the monument dedicated to Chiang Kai Shek.
- Dine at one of the many night markets scattered everywhere in every city.
- Take a day for a visit to the attractive Jiufen.
- Explore a waterfall around Taipei, there are several interesting trails that pass through the mountains that surround the capital, easily reached by subway.
- Do not miss one of the beautiful temples and pagodas of Taiwan, if you are in Kaohsiung climb to the top of the picturesque pagodas of the dragon and the tiger!
- For surf enthusiasts the east coast is the perfect place, Dulan and the Taitung area is where to ride waves!
- Taiwan is famous for its delicious food, try some of its culinary goodness … you’ll be bold enough to eat the stinky tofu, the tofu that stinks !?
- Take a tour of the ancient Dihua street in Taipei, between ancient pharmacies, temples, cafes and typical shops, if you happen here during the Chinese New Year they organize an interesting market.
- Rent a Go-bike, one of the shared bikes that are present everywhere in the city, and explore the area.
- Visit the Formosa Boulevard Station subway station in Kaohsiung considered one of the most beautiful in the world and its Dome of light, built by an Italian artist, is the largest colored glass work in the world.
Some info about Taiwan:
Although the island is self-governed China continues to proclaim that Taiwan is part of their republic, unfortunately only some nations recognize the island as independent.
Capital of Taiwan: Taipei
Population: 23,5 millions.
Official language: Chinese + some dialects.
Currency: New Taiwan Dollar.
Calling Code for Taiwan: +886
Taiwan Visa: For most of the passports you get it easily on arrival in the country, it’s 90 days in duration and it’s free. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country.
N.B. Always check before leaving that the rules for obtaining the visa have not changed recently!
Phone and Internet: It is easy to buy a sim card, you can use the wifi service in many hotels and some restaurants. The line is fast.
The main tourist destinations of Taiwan:
Most tourists arrive in Taipei and leave from here without having unfortunately visited the rest of the country. I advise you not to miss all the rest that Taiwan has to offer!
Taipei, the modern capital. Rich in history and culture, including modern buildings and ancient temples. A really beautiful city that offers so much to tourists and travelers. In the area around the city there are spectacular natural attractions such as mountains, waterfalls, hot springs.
Kaohsiung, is the second largest city in terms of size and importance in the island. It has beautiful parks, a nice center and interesting pagodas. Even here, as in all the Taiwanese cities, there are night markets to try some local delicacies. If you like art go to the Pier-2 art center, you will find open-air sculptures, murals, cafes and museums. They often organize events and concerts, located at the city’s port.
Taichung is another city to explore if you have time.
Tainan, a beautiful city on the west coast, the oldest in Taiwan. Presents typical culinary delights of the place, ancient temples, charming streets and relaxing parks. Do not miss the temple of Confucius.
The Taroko gorges: explore the canyons, the waterfalls and go hiking in one of the many trails in the island’s most famous national park.
Dulan and the area between Taitung and Hualien, on the beautiful east coast. Here the mountains are thrown into the beautiful blue ocean. Excellent destination for excursions and for those who surf.
The Alishan mountain area and the wonderful views of the surrounding nature.
Taiwan, when to go?
The best time to visit Taiwan is probably spring from April to June and autumn from September to November.
The climate of the island is subtropical, summer is quite hot and humid, winter in the north is cool. Going southwards temperatures rise. It can rain at any time and even for days. Typhoons arrive in the period between June and September.
N.B. Lately the weather conditions are changing a lot, so sometimes the seasons are not always as expected!