Tailor made holiday in TAIWAN

Best Of Taiwan – One of the four Asian tigers, the island of Taiwan is divided from the Chinese mainland by the Formosa Strait, and by a yawning political divide. Officially known as the Republic of China, Taiwan has been ruled by the nationalist government found by Chiang Kai-shek since 1945, but the island is simultaneously claimed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Politics aside, this is a land where skyscrapers rub shoulders with misty mountains and mysteries. Away from the futuristic capital, Taipei, Taiwan is a tapestry of forested peaks, giant Buddhas, hot springs, basalt islands and tribal villages. No wonder the island was christened Ilha Formosa (the Beautiful Island) by the Portuguese.

Best time to visit in Taiwan

September to November, for ravishing autumn colours

Places to visit in Taiwan

  • The view over Taipei from the 509m-high Taipei 101 tower.
  • A staggering array of Chinese artefacts in Taipei’s National Palace museum.
  • Historic temples and gourmet dining in Tainan, the ancient capital.
  • Stunning roadside scenery while cycling the South Cross-Island Hwy or Hwy 11.
  • Basalt outcrops and delightfully sculptural stone fish traps on the Penghu islands.

Top things to do in Taiwan

  • Trek through marble canyons beside a jade-green river in Taroko Gorge.
  • Learn to drink tea the Chinese way in the tea gardens of Pinglin.
  • Hike to hidden waterfalls and hot springs in the jungles around Wulai.
  • Encounter Yami tribal people on lovely Lanyu island.

Discover Taiwan

  • Read Hsiao Li-hung’s classic love story A Thousand Moons on a Thousand Rivers
  • Listen to the slicky packaged Mandarin pop of Jay Chou, F4, Farenheit and S.H.E.
  • Watch Taiwanese ‘idol dramas’ to see the next generation of Mandarin pop stars being onto the scene.
  • Eat chou doufu (‘stinky tofu’), marinated in brine made from decomposing vegetables and shromps.
  • Drink Taiwan beer, brewed with Taiwanese ponlai (Japonica) rice – if nothing else, it will take away the taste of the stinky tofu.

Taiwan Highlights

Territorial disputes with the PRC, the Taipei 101 tower, Chiang Kai-shek, labels saying ‘Made in Taiwan’

One word for Taiwan Tourism

Chiah pa boeh? (Have you eate yet?)

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