Last time, I introduced some of my favorite spots in and around Taiwan’s cities. As we continue our journey through Taiwan’s must see attractions, it’s time to leave the urban areas and see what the countryside has to offer. Today we’re looking at 5 of Taiwan’s best scenic and cultural destinations spread along the coasts and central mountain range of this amazing island.
墾丁國家公園 / Kenting National Park
The southernmost tip of Taiwan’s main island is Kenting. White beaches, sparkling blue water and warm tropical sun greet visitors to this paradise. Hiking trails wind their way up the mountains overlooking the sea, and the Eluanbi Lighthouse, built in 1883, stands watch over the cliffs. I always try to schedule my visit for April when the annual Spring Scream music festival is held, attracting rock and pop bands from all over the region.
太魯閣峽谷 / Taroko Gorge
On the rugged East coast sits Taroko Gorge. This natural wonder is one of Taiwan’s most visited national parks and features geology unlike anywhere else on Earth. Over millions of years, the Liwu River cut through the marble cliffs, creating one of the most dramatic sights in the country. The road which leads through the gorge is also an amazing feat of engineering, carved directly into the rock face, and creating tunnels and caves for tourists to explore. Though I’ve been there 4 times, I never get tired of visiting Taroko and hope to explore more of the massive park in the near future.
阿里山風景區 / Alishan Scenic Area
Located in the center of the island, Alishan gives visitors an experience unlike any other. The forest railway, built by the Japanese over 100 years ago, carries passengers up the mountain and through small villages. Tea plantations abound in the area, producing some of my favorite tea varieties which are prized throughout the world. But the highlight is the majestic “sea of clouds,” which presents itself to visitors who rise early to see the sunrise from the highest peak. Bring your camera and prepare to be blown away.
綠島與蘭嶼 / Green Island and Orchid Island
Though an island itself, Taiwan has no shortage of its own offshore islands. Two of my favorites are within sight of each other off the east coast. Green Island is well-known for the historic prison, as well as wildlife, especially deer which roam freely. Orchid Island has its own share of unique plant and animal life, including Green Sea Turtles which nest on the island. Visitors can also get a glimpse at the aboriginal lifestyle, as locals still demonstrate traditional dances and customs.
日月潭 / Sun Moon Lake日月潭
A large lake high in the mountains of central Taiwan, Sun Moon Lake is one of the most famous tourist spots in Asia. The natural scenery of the surrounding peaks reflected in the lake’s glassy surface draw visitors from around the world. The name comes from the Eastern and Western halves of the lake, which resemble the sun and moon, respectively, but all I could think about when I visited with my wife and mother was how spectacular it was. Sun Moon Lake is truly a gorgeous place to go with the special people in your life.
|countryside (n.) 鄉間||destination (n.) 目的地|
|annual (n.) 一年一度的||music festival (n.) 音樂祭|
|explore (v.) 探險、探索||locate (v.) 位於|
|draw (v.) 吸引||gorgeous (adj.) 美不勝收的|