With mountain landscapes, white-sand beaches, tropical forests, a modern capital and hot springs, Taiwan has no shortage of diverse attractions.
Begin your visit in the capital, Taipei. This lively, cosmopolitan city in the north of the island has a history preserved in shrines, temples and monuments. Tour the grand Confucius Temple and view the vast collection of Asian art at the National Palace Museum. One of the city's most popular attractions is the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, a monumental building dedicated to the memory of President Chiang Kai-shek. Take the fast elevator up the 1,670-foot (510-meter) Taipei 101 skyscraper. Browse night market stalls at Snake Alley and Shilin and stop at a food stall for grilled quail eggs or fried chicken and noodles.
Rent a bike for a cycling trip along the riverside trails encircling the capital. Taiwan is bike friendly with thousands of miles of cycling paths and lanes throughout the island.
Taiwan’s diverse scenery offers plenty of outdoor activities. Just outside Taipei is Yangmingshan National Park, known for its hot sulfur spring baths and mountain hiking trails. Travel to the southern tip of Taiwan for Kenting National Park. Relax on its beaches, dive among corals and go bird-watching in the forests. Make your way to Yehliu to investigate unusual rock formations shaped by millions of years of wind and sea erosion. Hike through Taroko Gorge to the Eternal Spring Shrine. This temple sits above a waterfall and is flanked by mountains.
A great way to see some of the scenery is to take the Alishan Forest Railway. The line climbs through steep forest terrain to the Alishan mountain resort.
If you have time in your schedule, take a short flight from Taipei to the Matsu Islands. Visit the small archipelago’s beaches, temples, forts and tunnels that were previously used by the military.
With its subtropical climate, Taiwan’s superlative scenery, religious sites and outdoor pursuits can be enjoyed at any time of the year.