One of the Four Asian Tigers, alongside Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, Taiwan has emerged as economic and industrial powerhouse. Considering how the government of the Republic of China retreated to the island after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Communists in mainland China - this turnaround has occasionally been called the Taiwan Miracle. Now, Taiwan’s cities have ultra-modern infrastructures worthy of an Asian Tiger, including Taipei 101. But perhaps you will agree that the country’s true wealth lies in the natural beauty that surrounds it. Taiwan has some of the tallest mountains in northeast Asia and some of its most unspoiled coastlines.
The city of Hualien is located in Hualien County, facing the vast Pacific Ocean in the east and leaning against the grand Central Mountain Range in the west. Recognized for its beautiful scenery, the area offers tourists many attractions that keep the cameras clicking and eyes round with astonishment. Natural sights, including Taroko National Park, East Coast National Scenic Area and Yushan National Park make Hualien one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan.
Once a humble fishing village, Kaohshiung ("gow-shung") is Taiwan’s largest shipping port. The area may be a little off the beaten path, but those who go consider themselves very lucky indeed. To discover the surprises that await, explore the old city on one side of the river, the new downtown on the other side, Shoushan (Mount Shou) park where native monkeys wander freely, or the Lotus Lake district where Buddhist temples, pavilions and pagodas can give you a rare moment of Zen.
- The Love River, a major symbol of rejuvenation for the city and a great place to linger in one of the many coffee houses along its banks. Riverside parks lead you to cultural sites, including a film archive, history museum, art district, music hall, fine arts museum and cultural museum.
- Foguangshan, Taiwan's largest Buddhist center, which has a 131-foot (40-meter) golden Buddha and 480 smaller ones around it.
- Liouhe Night Market, where you can barter for handicrafts, clothes and electronics, and sample a Taiwanese original, stinky tofu, a fermented and highly aromatic (to put it politely) bean curd.
Taichung is located in Central Taiwan, a region marked by striking mountains, hot springs, and rich, cultural resources. A city that enjoys spring all year-round, Taichung is home to a thriving cultural scene, friendly people and exquisite scenery. The city also offers a pedestrian-only street which is lined on both sides with fashion boutiques, tea and coffee shops, foreign restaurants, galleries, and other establishments. With a street that combines shopping, relaxation and art in one convenient location, soaking up Taichung's joie de vivre is easy.
Taipei is Taiwan’s largest city and its capital. Nearby Keelung is your port of call and gateway to Taipei. A city of contrasts, Taipei has ancient temples and the most modern of establishments, including what was until very recently the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101. While bustling with millions of people, Taipei also promises peaceful, scenic gardens. But perhaps most noteworthy of all - Taipei is foodie heaven, offering cuisine from every region in Mainland China.
Taipei-Keelung form the largest metropolitan area in Taiwan. While Taiwan may be the more famous one between them, Keelung also has its charms. Keelung has its share of revered temples and other historic sites, breathtaking scenery and little islands truly worth discovering.
- In Taiwan Taipei 101, the world’s second tallest building with 101 above-ground storeys. (Only the Burj Dubai is taller). It was built to withstand earthquakes above seven on the Richter scale, and considered one of the world's most technologically advanced skyscrapers. A lift can take you to the 89th floor observatory in under 39 seconds.
- In Keelung, Keelung Miaokou Eateries, world-renowned and a major attraction in Keelung. The whole street features Taiwan’s mouthwatering cuisine: pot-edged pancake soup, shaved ice, Tenpura, fried sandwiches, bean noodle thick soup,and shrimp Taiwanese balls, as well as its unique snacks such as baked squid feet, wine stewed whorls, sugarcoated haws, cool cakes and pickled guavas. The famous night market is just beside Miaokou, so you can cover two attractions in one stop.