Taiwan is the repository of captivating natural sceneries, such as the awe-inspiring Taroko Gorge, National Palace Museum, the tallest building of Taiwan - Taipei 101, and the highest mountain in the Northeast Asia - Yushan (Jade Mountain). Taiwan is also a paradise for gourmets to taste the varied delicate and delicious cuisines, such as local Taiwanese snacks, Hakka dishes, Chinese cuisines, and unique aboriginal foods. Gourmets may try the foods with local flavors in the night markets, and have exquisite dining in five-star hotels. Taiwan is absolutely a place that tourists may not want to miss.
|National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum houses the world's largest collection of priceless Chinese art treasures, one which spans China's nearly 5,000-year history. Most of the museum's 620,000 art objects were part of the Chinese imperial collection, which began over 1,000 years ago in the early Sung dynasty. National Palace Museum is protecting and preserving the 5000-year cultural legacy of China with advanced technologies; cooperating with private connoisseurs and ushering in exhibitions from China; bringing the Museum's collection to the global community and welcoming arts of the world to the Museum.
Taipei 101, with a mass of shops on the lower floors, incorporate many top brands under the LVMH group, such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, etc. The fourth floor houses the Page One bookstore from Singapore, with the highest-roofed coffee house in Taipei and many fine restaurants.
|Xinyi District (Shopping Area)
By day, the Xinyi District bustles with the fast-paced energy of business as Taipei's commercial and financial center. At night, the skyscrapers come alight with eye-catching displays of LED lights, setting the mood for evening fun.
On weekends, the Xinyi District transforms again as outdoor stages and squares come alive with concerts, dance performances, record release events, and celebrity appearances, making this the place where you can experience the youthful energy of Taipei.
Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Built on a green hillside in 1969, the impressive National Martyrs’ Shrine was architecturally inspired by the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing's Forbidden City. The shrine is dedicated to the 390,000 soldiers killed in the service of their country during the War of Resistance against Japan and the civil war between the Chinese Republican and communist forces. A major attraction at the shrine is the hourly ceremony for the changing of the honor guard in front of the main gate.
Converted from the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, the TAIPEI EXPO PARK is an urban recreational facility that comprises three typical park areas (Yuanshan, Taipei Fine Arts Museum and Xinsheng) while offering venues for the hosting of various events in the former Flora Expo’s pavilions. Among the iconic Flora Expo displays, still available, on the parks’ premises, mostly featuring perennial flowering/foliage plants and turfs, are the 3-dimensional Green Walls, Flower Walls, “Flora Rainbows”, Special Exhibition Area, Flower Landscape, Rare Flowers & Plants Area, and Fruit Tree Area, which aim to keep the Expo’s images and variety alive, while impressing park visitors with the openness of a vision of verdure, combined with enhanced recreational quality. The TAIPEI EXPO PARK is also perfect for accommodating the hosting of exhibitions or other events as it lies strategically in the vicinity of MRT Yuanshan Station.
The two-century old Lin An Tai Historical Home is a southern Fujianese-style courtyard. The rocks that cover the front yard were taken from rocks that were used by mainland merchants to stabilize their ships. The pond in the front was used for defensives purposes. It also helped lower summer heat and provided water for drinking and putting out fires.
Of the 14 pavilions of the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo, the Pavilion of Dreams in Xinsheng Park Area is the only one that demonstrates state-of-the-art, interactive digital technologies originated in Taiwan. Each gallery in the pavilion is powered by advanced technologies under the auspices of Academia Sinica, in a palpable sign of national competitiveness. The pavilion’s grand hall is entitled “Prelude” to suggest the beginning of a journey involving four distinctively intriguing galleries and a theater that shows Jimmy Liao’s animated films. While visitors interact, with naked eyes, with 3D images of endemic Taiwanese plants in Gallery 1 under the theme of “Diversity”, they are transformed into insects in Gallery 2 (or “Collaboration”) and learn to coexist with flowers. The screen images magically respond to heart beats and are breath-taking in the 360-degree panoramic theater of Gallery 3 (Harmony), thanks to an Ultra Wide Band Non-contact Physiological Monitoring System. To wrap up the perfectly memorable journey, each visitor will have his/her signature flower planted in the “urban garden” of Gallery 4 (Love and Dream).
The former official residence of Chiang Kai-shek and Madam Chiang maintains a quiet and attractive garden. The garden is full of plums, chrysanthemums and roses favored by the Chiang couple. Flowers bloom according to season and make for a stunning view throughout much of the year.
This memorial hall was built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, the first president of the Republic of China. Work on the hall began in 1976, a year after President Chiang passed away. Design by C.C. Yang, who was also the architect for The Grand Hotel, the memorial hall is white with a blue roof, representing the dominant colors in the ROC flag; while the emblem of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) adorns the vaulted ceiling. A bronze statue of Chiang looks west symbolically to the Presidential Office Building and mainland China. The front plaza of the hall is also a major venue for democratic assemblies.
Longshan (lungshan) Temple is a famous old temple in Taiwan. It is for worshiping Guanshiyin Budda and other divine spirits. Longshan (lungshan) Temple is facing the South. Its architecture is a three-section design in shape. There are the front hall, the rear hall and the right/left dragons protecting the middle hall. The layout is square and serene. The temple was built in Qianlong 5th year in Qing Dynasty. Due to natural disaster and damages caused by men, the temple was restored for several times. The doors, beams, and poles are beautifully decorated. There is a pair of bronze dragon poles in the front hall, four pairs of dragon poles in the middle hall. The sculptures are delicate. There are also exquisite wood sculptures. Among them, the well and Budda setting in the main hall are highly appreciated. The temple has many Chinese poems, verses and lyrics on signs. These add a touch of literature in addition to the religious and sightseeing value.
There are great decorative lamp fairs and temple activities on historical festivals. On each 1st and 15th day each month of lunar year, regular visitors will come to the temple for worship ceremony. The temple attracts many people. At normal times, there are domestic/foreign tourists visiting the temple. Longshan (lungshan) Temple is not only a temple, a sightseeing attraction, but also a second-degree historical site. There are traditional streets/shops, antique shops, Buddhists article shops, and Chinese medicine shops surrounding the temple. These places are great to visit due to their richness in folk art.
Hot springs in Xinbeitou with high temperature and many sources are caused by the terrestrial heat of Datun Mountains. Thermal valley is one of the earliest hot spring sources found in Taiwan.
Beitou hot spring has been famous since Japanese colonial times. The area is around with historic monuments and natural scenic spots. Beitou Museum, Yinsong Building, Xingnai Spring, Beitou Library, Beitou Hot Spring Park, and the Folk Museum connect into a hot spring route.
The Red House
Of all Taiwan’s national parks, Yangmingshan is the one located closest to a metropolitan center. Yangmingshan features a widely varying terrain, diverse ecology, and is home to numerous protected species. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of one of Taiwan’s endemic bird species—the Formosan Blue Magpie.
The park is full of plum, cherry, peach and pear trees, rhododendrons, etc. In spring, the cherry blossoms never fail to draw crowds. After cherry blossom season, about mid-March, it’s time for the calla lilies at Bamboo Lake (Zhu-zi-hu) to take center stage. Visitors go into the fields and pick calla lillies to take home with them—it’s become a must-do event for this time of a year!
Perhaps one of the most distinctive features in the park is the “Flower Clock,” composed of a variety of colorful seasonal flowers. When visiting Yangmingshan, be sure to take a photo to prove you’ve seen this famous landmark! Also worth checking are popular sights like the Hsiao-you-keng (“Small Oil Pit”), Ching-tien-kang (Qing-tian Hill) Leng-shui-keng (“Cold Water Pit”), and Yangming Archive House. If you enjoy an invigorating hike, these will be right up your alley!
The Yangmingshan area also possesses a wealth of geothermal resources, with hot springs having differing compositions depending on their location in the park. Nearby Xing-yi Road in Beitou is lined with hot spring restaurants. If you’re passing along this way, don’t forget to take a relaxing dip in the sulfur springs!
Beautiful flowers in the spring, a cool getaway in the summer, silver grass and maple leaves in the fall, hot springs in the winter—Yangmingshan’s distinctive seasonal offerings await your discovery!
in the old days, the Tamsui River was navigable all the way inland to Daxi. The dock was where the old Heping Road runs today, and from Ching Dynasty times this has been the town's business commercial area. In addition to the traditional wooden furniture shops, on the Old Street today you can still see the old professions: the making of Daxi's famous dried bean curd, iron mongering, and stone working. The street was formed during the period of Japanese occupation (1895-1945.) The shops are faced in Japanese baroque style with washed stone and are beautifully decorated with intricate carvings of birds, animals, flowers, and plants. The name of the establishment is written above the entrance.
Guanwu Park is located on the border of Wufeng District, Hsinchu and Tai'an Township, Miaoli. As the mists here are very thick and dense, it is also called the country of clouds. Entering Guanwu Park from Zhudong, Hsinchu County, the scenery along the road is fascinating with special clouds and mountainous views. Guanwu Park has an altitude of 1,800 meters and is the entrance to Dabajian Mountain. The Hsinchu Forest Bureau has built many tour tracks, leading to ancient trees as old as 2000 years old, forests and waterfalls. In addition, the forests also have several species of mountain birds, endangered plants and animals.
The most famous scene in Guanwu Park is the Zhenshan Track, along which are tall trees. The track is 4,130 meters long and it takes about 3 to 4 hours to finish the track. Climbing up to the top of Zhenshan, 2,439 meters in altitude, visitors can appreciate and admire the spectacles of the Xue Mountains and the Daba Mountains.
Dongfeng Bicycle Green Way
The Dongfeong Bicycle Green Way is a one-lane road that can be used by bicycles from both directions. Cyclists can enjoy the rolling hills, the changes in the people and in the landscape along the way. One can see the dominant culture of the Hakka ethnic group amidst vast verdant farmlands crisscrossed by foot paths. After the Green Way was opened to the public, a tourist center was established in 2003 to better cater for the needs of tourists. From where it is located on the Shihgang section, the center commands a panoramic view of the adjacent blue Daja River and serves as an ideal place for leisure and recreation activities on holidays. Nighttime sightseeing has become a new tourist option in October, 2003, when night lighting facilities were added to the entire section making it Taiwan's first night-time bicycle lane. In the future, the Green Way will extend beyond the Daja River Bridge up to the Tai-an Railway Cultural Park in Houli and connect to the Houli Horse Ranch, the Yuemei Sugar Factory and the Yamay Resort. The newest tourist route is soon to be opened.
Gaomei was called Gaomi in the Qing Dynasty and was renamed during the Japanese occupation. The wetlands here are over 300 hectares, but the area is only 1/10 of Dadu River wetlands. The geography is divided into 7 categories, which results in diversified organisms in this area. Gaomei Wetlands is one of the few places that have wild ducks.
Despite the small area, Gaomei Wetlands have special soils mixed with mud and sand. Ecology here breeds diversified organisms of both plants and animals. Research shows that animals here include birds, fishes, crabs and invertebrates.
Sun Moon Lake
The most famous sights around Sun Moon Lake are the Itashao, Lalu Island, the Syuentzang Temple, the Tsen Pagoda, the Wenwu Temple and so on. The natural forests bordering these roads are good places for bird watching. There are a lot of birds that live on the mid-elevation, such as the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Grap-throated Minivet, Formosan Yuhina, Gray Tree Pie, Bamboo Partridge, Chinese Bulbul, Muller's Barbet, and the Black Bulbul. Colonies of Black-crowned Night herons and Egretta garzettas , and birds such as the common kingfisher and the Green-winged Teal can be seen at the Dajhuhu water reservation, situated around the water gate. Besides these birds, fish, insects and wild vegetables are flourishing in the region as well. These are all natural resources of the Sun Moon Lake region. The Shao Clan is the earliest clan that lived in the Sun Moon Lake region. The Harvest Festival, Sowing Festival and their special handicraft fair every year, as well as their articles have helped to preserve the particular culture of the Sun Moon Lake region.
Songboling Forest Park
Near Shoutian Temple, there is a tourism service center, providing tourism information in Songboling. Shoutian Temple has four stories and it overlooks the Qingshui River and Zhuoshui River. One tour track leads to Tianzhong and has two pavilions for visitors to rest. Tea lovers can never miss Songboling Forest Park.
Sun Link Sea Forest Recreation Area
One of the most beloved sights among the abundance of natural scenery here is the Qingyun Waterfall, which plunges 116 meters. There are two more waterfalls in the Songlong Rock area. Niaosong Waterfall and Water Curtain Cave Waterfall. More than 10 well-like holes are scattered on the river bed, where crystal-clear water flows by. A "Swallows' Cottage" beside Rhododendron Spring (named for the rhododendrons through which it flows) features a "bead curtain" formed by dripping water.
The Confucius Temple in Tainan was built in 1666, it was the first Confucius Temple, before the end of Manchu Dynasty, it was the location of the highest official institute of higher learning in Taiwan. The Taiwan Palace of "Confucianism Study", it owned the incompatible position of culture and education, and was called "The Highest Institute". The Confucius Temple has been through more than thirty times of reconstruction, a part of the building was destroyed during the wars or ruined by nature disasters; the present scale of the Confucius Temple was the look after reconstructing during the time when Japanese were ruling (1917), its elegant and simple localization characteristic takes a distinctive attitude of its own among the Confucius Temples buildings in Taiwan. There are fifteen structures inside the Confucius Temple, the primary sacrifices in the palace is to Confucius divine tablet, on both sides, the sacrifices are to the sixteen pupils of Confucius.
Between the beams and pillars, there hang twelve horizontal described boards awarded by sovereigns of all dynasties since early Manchu Dynasty till today, it is the Confucius Temple in Taiwan to own the most complete royal horizontal described boards of all dynasties. Inside the temple, there are very old trees towering, classical elegant and tranquil, self-becoming a place of its own, the whole space presents a cultural breath, and is presently ranked among the national first-degree historic spots. Speaking of the preservation of the cultural articles in the Confucius, the inscriptional records through all times of repairs, the horizontal described boards awarded by sovereigns of all dynasties, and ceremony and musical instruments from early Manchu Dynasty till nowadays are still kept perfectly, and these are all very precious historical cultural articles that deserve to be carefully appreciated.
Chengcing Lake is the largest lake in Kaohsiung’s suburbs, and has won the accolade of “Taiwan’s Xi Lake” for its beauty. The eastern shore of Chengcing Lake maintains a bird refuge. At Ocean World, you can see many unusual creatures from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, earning it an accolade as a world famous tourist attraction.
Formosa Boulevard (Dome Of Light)
Situated at the Kaohsiung MRT transfer station for the Red Line and Orange Line (Formosa Boulevard Station), the Dome of Light was created by renowned artist Narcissus Quagliata. The dome is the world's largest public art installation made from individual pieces of colored glass. The work not only adds to the beauty of the station, but also adds a new dimension to the art life of the Kaohsiung and creates a new scenic spot in the city.
The Dome of Light took nearly four years to complete. The work was overseen personally by Quagliata and shipped from Germany for installation at the station. The dome tells the story of human life in four chronologically arranged themes: Water: The Womb of Life; Earth: Prosperity and Growth; Light: The Creative Spirit; and Fire: Destruction and Rebirth, with an overall message of love and tolerance.
The dome has a 30-meter diameter and covers an area of 660 square meters. The lead glass panes were created and assembled according to a full-scale blueprint created by Quagliata to produce a creative new departure from this millennia old art form.
Located at the junction of Bo'ai 1st Road and Tongmeng 1st Road, the Heart of the Love River is in the upper reaches of the Love River between East Lake and West Lake. In between these lakes, there is a heart-shaped bridge. The beautiful bike routes and beautiful lakeside landscape here have become a quality leisure space for all in Kaohsiung.
At night, the magnificent lights look like a diamond necklace, sparkling in the night.
Little Liuqiu is originally named Samagi. It's history can trace back to 1775 AD (Qian-long year 20, Qing Dynasty), when Mr. Lee Yue reached the island from his hometown at today's Kaohsiung Port (of Fu-jian province, Mainland China then). The first time ancestor Lee stepped on the land was to take shelter from the storms.
After scrupulous adventure, however, he found the place inhabitable for its copious catch of fish and nice weather. Taking advantage of its natural resources, Lee called about 20 Lee families to migrate overseas here and started their living by fishery. For being separated from the motherland Taiwan, this island to the Lees was just like a ball drifting on the sea, from which Liuqiu (drifting ball) was named. To tell Liouciou from Okinawa, Japan, which pronunciation is the same as Liuqiu in Chinese, people here is used to calling it Liitle Liuqiu.
Little Liuqiu is the general name of Liuqiu Island. It is only 6.8 square kilometers large, with a 12km coastline. The only offshore coral reef island of Taiwan, it is 14km southwest of Donggang Township, Pingtung County. Little Liuqiu is blessed with many tourist resources. Because is not influenced by northeastern monsoons in winter, this island can be visited all year round. Especially on chilly days, it is still suitable for travel.
For its unique geological formations, Little Liuqiu has a diverse natural ecology and plenty of beautiful coastal views. The amazing rocks in different sizes and shapes make its scenery even more charming. People are simple and honest here. Temples are everywhere, and graceful old houses abound. A leisurely fishery village it is. There are no traffic lights at all on this island. Pace of life is slow and free. No big budget is needed to enjoy this island of diverse ecology, authentic culture, and LOHAS life. It is pretty convenient to get to the island, too.
Qingshui Cliff, located on the section of the Suao-Hualien Highway that stretches between Heping and Chongde stations, is one of the most spectacular sights on Taiwan's Pacific coast. The cliff is more than 1,000 meters high and drops almost vertically into the sea. The highway snakes along its curving face more than 20 kilometers, with the sheer cliff rising on one side and a sheer drop to the ocean on the other.
Caoling Historic Trail
The Caoling Historic Trail cuts across Sandiao Cape (Sandiaojiao), starting at Yuanwangkeng, just inland from Fulong, and ending at Dali on the coast. It is the only remaining section (rebuilt by the Tourism Bureau) of the old Ching dynasty trail that was constructed 130 years ago to provide the only land link down the Northeast Coast from Tamsui to Yilan. The present trail is approximately 10 kilometers long and offers a pleasant hike of two to three hours.
Two large boulders along the trail bear Qing dynasty inscriptions and are listed as third-class historic sites. One of the inscriptions has four Chinese characters meaning Bravely Suppress the Wild Mists and the other bears the single character Tiger (the tiger is believed to control the winds). Both were ordered by the regional commander of imperial forces in Taiwan, and were meant to ward off the baleful influences of nature in this once-remote area.
To hike the Caoling Historic Trail, you can take the train from the Fulong or Gongliao station, and walk (about 40 minutes) from there to the head of the trail in Yuanwangkeng. From the other end of the trail, you can take the return train from the Dali station. If you are driving, you can consider leaving your car at Tiangong Temple in Dali and hiking the trail both ways.
Jiaoxi Hot Springs
The Jiaoxi Hot Spring originates at the foot of a hill behind Fuchung Temple at Deyang Village, Jiaoxi Township. While streaming along the ditches and highways, running through the railroads, the welling hot waters gather into a brook, serving local people as natural baths at the string of boiling ditches in ancient times.
However, there are only two public bathhouses left for those who want to try an absolutely different bath. As an alkaline fountain, Jiaoxi Hot Spring is crystal-clear, odorless, yet contains a considerable amount of minerals like Potassium chloride, Sodium sulphide, Potassium hydrogen carbonate, Technical Granular, Floating Acids as well as rich organisms.
Being honored as " The Hot Spring among Hot Springs", you would find your skin smooth and fine without the slightest stickiness after a bath at Jiaoxi.
All these years the Farmer's Association of Jiaoxi has been developing hot spring vegetables, hot spring drinking water, and hot spring breeding. They devote themselves to give full play to the possible usage of hot spring, so as to gain financial ground for agricultural economy and tour industry in Jiaoxi. http://eng.taiwan.net.tw/m1.aspx?sNo=0002106&id=2263
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