Travel Guide to Taiwan – the Asian Tiger

Taipei - Capital City at Night

Portuguese sailors who saw the place for the first time gave their first impression – a description so vivid that it captures everything about the island. They called the place “Ilha Formosa” or “Beautiful Island.”

Taiwan speaks more than its relatively small size. Situated south of mainland China, this mountainous island is bustling with all kinds of business, trade, manufacture, and other forms of industries. It is regarded as one of the four Asian Tigers and one of the top 20 countries with the largest economy all over the world. Taiwan is also proud to have the least number of people who live below the poverty line.

Coupled with progress is the country’s growing tourism driven by its natural gifts – lush green forest mountains, relaxing hot springs, magnificent cliffs, and other awe-inspiring sights. Taiwan has the most easy-going, friendly people in the world. Here you’ll also experience the warmth of hospitality locals lavishly give to visitors and tourists.

Here are some of Taiwan’s marvelous sights and entertainment centers:

1. The Taroko Gorge. The marble cliffs of Taroko, its winding tunnels, rugged landscape, and hiking trails, is a haven for adventure seekers. It features the Liwu River, Tunnel of Nine Turns, Hualien Stone Sculpture Park, Eternal Spring Shrine and the Chi Hsing Beach.

2.    Yangmingshan National Park. This volcanic park gives a hindsight on how the island was formed. Here and there you will find hot springs and fumaroles, refreshing lakes, green meadows and cherry blossoms. Tourist love the therapeutic effect of hot springs which are known to relieve muscular, digestive and nervous infirmities.

3.    Taipei. Start the tour to the capital with a visit to the Lungshan Temple and get to know the country’s age-old traditional practices. Savor the mouthwatering Mongolian Barbecue in Taipei’s premiere oriental restaurants and scale the heights of the 101 Building, the world’s second tallest skyscraper. Call it a day and shop till you drop as you wander all night through the city’s exotic night markets.

How to Get There and Places to Stay

You can get to Taiwan by land or by sea. Chinese New Year is the busiest time of the year so it’s best to plan ahead if you want to get there before the celebrations. Christmas is not a public holiday in Taiwan so you don’t have to worry about expensive flights and fully-booked tickets. Airlines companies traveling to and within Taiwan are China Airlines, Eva Air, KLM, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Malaysia Airlines.

Hotels and accommodations is a very competitive business in Taiwan. You won’t have a hard time looking for the best ones since there are plenty of them – at very affordable prices. Room rates are charged per room, not per person. If you’re planning to go as a group this will help you save a lot of money. They serve both Western and Chinese cuisine for breakfast. For the upper class, they can avail of the 5-star hotels such as the Hyatt and Sheraton. For those who are in a budget, they may try Howard and Landis. Hotel rates may vary from a particular period of the year to the next and rates are expected to rise during peak seasons such as Chinese New Year.

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