Taiwan Travel Guide

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A Taiwan travel guide will tell you all about this island which is located off the southeastern coast of China. Though Taiwan is an independent republic, it is in constant dispute with the mainland China which considers Taiwan as a part of its territory. Taiwan is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with 23 million people in 36000 sq km of area and is a highly industrialized nation. There are many lush forests and mountains on this island of Taiwan.

Getting There

The international airport in Taiwan receives flights from all over the world and is well-connected to Europe and the United States. One can also get there by sea from some of the islands of Japan. Tourists staying in Taiwan for less than thirty days are granted a visa for that period, as long as passports are valid for over six months. Extended stays requires a visitor to apply for a tourist visa for a period of sixty days. Accommodation is easily available in hotels that cater to tourists.

Places to Visit

The main cities in Taiwan are the capital, Taipei, and other cities like Taichung and Tainan. Taipei is surrounded by hills and has three rivers running through it. It is a very modern city and is home to one of the tallest buildings in the world. This is TAIPEI101 which rises to 1671 feet in the very modern city that Taipei is.

Yangmingshan National Park is one of the places in Taipei worth a visit for tourists. The surrounding areas around Taipei have a lot of pagodas and temples that predate Western civilization. Natural regions in Taiwan that attract a lot of tourists are the Hsitou’s bamboo forests, Sun Moon Lake, Jade Mountain and Taroko Gorge. The beaches around Taiwan are great for water sports and the fine beaches and coral reefs an added attraction. And, you can also gorge on fresh seafood made in the local style.

Tainan is one of the oldest cities in the region and has many ancient architectural splendors that are worth having a look at.  It is considered a major cultural city and its traditional observance of ceremonies and other festivals are considered tourist attractions. Chihkan Tower is an ancient site that goes back to the 17th century. It also has a museum that contains Dutch area artifacts. The Matsu temple here is over four hundred years old and is favored by those looking to get married. Anping Fort, Guanzi Hill and the Chigu Salt Mountain are other tourist attractions.

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Taiwan is situated about 160 kilometers off the southeastern coast of the Chinese mainland, and between Korea and Japan in the north and The Philippines to the south. The island has always been known as one of the most beautiful in the Pacific. The Portuguese called it Ilha Formosa , which means "The Beautiful Isle". With its mountains that rise up high above the green-forested foothills, its terraced flatlands and coastal plains and basins and foremost with its friendly generous people, it's almost "paradise" (if you overlook the widespread environmental devastation caused by rapid development).

It is not just the breathtaking scenery with waterfalls, lakes, hot springs or misty hillsides that make Taiwan well worth a visit. Pagodas and temples build on a culture that goes back beyond the beginning of western civilization. Next to nature and tradition there's also the modern Taiwan with skyscrapers that almost reach into heaven, with their feet firmly planted in a chaotic stream of traffic. Whatever you're looking for, you can probably find it in here.

If you visit the capital city of Taipei, even if you're just passing through take a day or two to look around and to visit the Yangmingshan National Park. Other major cities are Taichung and the industrial city of Kaohsiung.  Sidewalks are poor, but the streets are clean, if not somewhat disorganized. 

The most beautiful natural regions are Central Cross-Island Highway, the Hsitou's bamboo forests, Sun Moon Lake, Kenting National Park and the Yushan National Park and of course there's Yushan (Jade Mountain), Alishan and Taroko Gorge.

If you think you have seen the whole island you also have to discover the Penghu Islands, off the southwestern coast of Taiwan. Ancient temples, picturesque farms and windswept fishing villages, friendly people, fine beaches, coral reefs, and rugged coastlines are just a few keywords to get your attention. This is a great place for all kinds of water sports and don't forget to try the fresh seafood!

Contributors

August 22, 2006 change by giorgio

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