Taiwan Natural World, Top 10 Things to Do around the Island

April 24, 2019 3:25 pm0 commentsViews: 64

Taiwan claims eight national parks, five mountain ranges and more high peaks per km² than anywhere else in the world. Beyond Taipei and the western plain, much of the island is pristine, with hot springs and lakes, spectacular gorges, dramatic mountains and precipitous cliffs plunging into the Pacific.

Among the most popular spots are Alishan, Taroko and Sun Moon Lake, the Kenting National Park in the far south and Yangmingshan in the north.

Around Alishan, Top Things to Do

Trek along gentle trails through Alishan lush tea country, with fabulous views across the hills in the early morning, before stopping on a plantation to taste the local Oolong tea.

Stay with the Tsou aboriginals in one of Alishan’s many homestays and discover the unique culture of one of Taiwan’s smallest tribes, from music and dance to tea rituals or language survival.

Watch the sunrise from the top of Celebration Mountain where at 2490 metres, one may look straight down into the valley or float above a sea of clouds between heaven and earth.

Explore the Yushan National Park and if fighting fit, join an overnight expedition to climb Yushan, the Jade Mountain, Taiwan’s highest peak rising to 3950 metres.

Explore the Taroko Gorge and National Park

Tour the Taroko Gorge in the Central Mountains and see the spectacular Swallow Grotto, the Tunnel of Nine Turns where helmets are compulsory and the shrine of Eternal Spring. Beware of rock falls and follow instructions.

Hike one of trails, such as the Baiyang Falls or Shakadang, spotting birds and butterflies, maybe a Formosan macaque, or picnicking under the trees. Trails may be closed any time due to landslides, always check at the visitors’ centre before setting off.

Learn about the Taroko tribal culture at the Leader Village, offering displays of local craft, aboriginal dancing and rustic accommodation, best booked in advance.

See Sun Moon Lake, Kenting and Yangmingshan

Cycle around the beautiful Sun Moon Lake, a favourite honeymoon haunt framed by the luxuriant foothills of the Central Range. There are 14 hiking trails, from 30 minutes to 8 hours, pleasure boats and a cable car.

Watch resident and migrating birds around Longluan Lake in Taiwan’s tropical south and explore the Kenting National Park on land and sea. There are fantastic rock formations, boat trips and fine beaches at the meeting point of the Pacific, the Bashi Channel and the Taiwan Strait.

Relax in the hot springs of Yangmingshan National Park, a popular outing from Taipei, and see azaleas and cherry blossom covering the mountain slopes in the spring. Local treks include the Butterfly Corridor, Bird Watching Trail and the stunning volcanic landscape of Lengshuikeng.


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