Welcome to Beautiful Formosa!
Welcome to my Taiwan Travel Guide! I’m originally from Montreal, Canada, and I’ve been living in Taiwan for 23 years. I’ve created this website to share my passion for everything Formosa, and to help you prepare your trip to Taiwan the right way!
The Taiwan travel information provided on this page is the result of 23 years of adventure and research around this precious Asian paradise. My aim is to share with you the gems and special places I’ve found over the years.
Taiwan is the most diverse and underrated travel destination in Asia!
This country really has everything: AMAZING food, gorgeous beaches, excellent hiking, hot springs, jungles, rock-climbing, surfing, diving, world-class cities with unique cultural attractions, and some of the best roads for motorcycle road trips. It’s also one of the only places in the world where you can still witness genuine, ancient Chinese culture.
It’s one of the only travel destinations in Asia where you won’t be surrounded by hordes of backpackers all the time – it’s still (somehow) off the beaten track of mass tourism. Taiwan is a very precious jewel, a truly magical place, that must be on your travel bucket list!
Top 15 Destinations in Taiwan
Kenting National Park is the most popular beach resort in Taiwan. The warm tropical weather makes it a favorite travel destination in winter. The national park also has wicked surfing, decent scuba diving sites and wild hiking trails. This is where I live (in Manzhou), so I can really help you plan your trip there!
Orchid Island (Lanyu) is the wildest, remotest place around Formosa. It’s far off in the Pacific Ocean, actually closer to the Philippines than the Taiwanese mainland. Tao aboriginal culture, steep mountains, scuba diving at pristine coral reefs, and a memorable round-the-island scooter trip are the main attractions on Lanyu.
Taipei: Taiwan’s capital is one of the most dynamic cities in Asia. Taipei has ancient temples, a museum that holds the world’s largest collection of Chinese artifacts, vast memorials, world-class hotels, the popular Taipei 101 Tower, and endless shopping opportunities.
Mt. Hehuan is located in Central Taiwan, on the western edge of Taroko National Park. This alpine station is characterised by rolling green hills that often disappear in a sea of clouds. This is where you’ll find the most accessible high altitude hiking trails in Taiwan with most peaks reaching heights of more than 3000m.
Taichung is no longer just a stop on your way to Sun Moon Lake. Spending a few days here is highly enjoyable. There’s tons of beautiful parks, museums, temples, and some of the coolest restaurants and cafes on the island.
Sun Moon Lake: Walk around, or paddle across Taiwan’s largest lake in the beautiful green hills of the Central Mountain Range. Sun Moon Lake is Taiwan’s most popular natural tourist attraction.
Alishan is dominated by towering mountains and thick, pristine forests. This hyper-popular alpine resort has long been a favorite to watch the sunrise, witness the rolling sea of clouds, and ride the narrow gauge mountain railway.
Green Island: Scuba dive, snorkel, or soak in a sea-water hot spring on tiny, lush Green Island (Lyudao), in the Pacific Ocean, 30km east of Taitung.
Taroko Gorge: With its marble-walled canyons, remote mountains and rushing rivers, Taroko National Park is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life. I’ve visited the area at least 50 times since moving to Taiwan and I still go back again and again to hike, swim, or just cruise along the scenic Cross Central Highway.
Highway 11 runs north-south along the scenic and serene East Coast, between Hualien and Taitung. This is my personal favorite scooter road-trip on the island. Check it out if beaches and fishing villages sound interesting.
Lugang is one of Taiwan’s most historical towns and is famous for its old market street, magnificent temples, narrow curved alleys, and fine traditional handicrafts. If it’s cultural treasures you’re after during your travel to Taiwan, then you’ll want to bookmark this destination.
Tainan is Taiwan’s temple capital. It’s the best place to witness ancient Chinese traditions and age-old religious ceremonies. Tainan is my favorite city in Taiwan. If you’re into photography, make sure to put Tainan way at the top of your list of places to visit in Taiwan.
Donghe is the #1 spot for surfing in Taiwan. It’s also a really cool little town north of Taitung City, where you can hike, chill at the beach, or simply stay at one of the nice B&Bs and sip coffee all day while reading a book.
Kinmen Island is within a stone throw of mainland China. The archipelago is one of the most authentically old-Chinese places in the world. Here, you’ll find traditional villages, Ming- and Qing-era architecture, as well as military museums and artifacts.
Getting Around Taiwan
Traveling around Taiwan is extremely convenient and cheap. Consult the following links or my travel in Taiwan page to know how to get around the island: Bus Travel | Normal Train Travel (TRA) | High Speed Railway (HSR) | Scooter / Motorbike
Who is behind Taiwanese Secrets Travel Guide?
Ni hao! I’m Ugo from Montreal, Canada. I first moved to Taiwan in 2000 to rock climb and to learn Mandarin Chinese. I was supposed to stay here just a few months, but I fell madly in love with this island (and my wife Ruby) and I never left! I’m also founder & CEO of Pizza Rock, the fastest-growing pizza chain in Taiwan. You can read our story here.
Taiwanese Secrets Travel Guide is a personal website, I’m not a company or a travel agency. I created this site simply to share my travel and living experience on the island and to help you prepare your own journey. I sincerely hope you’ll find what you’re looking for and that you’ll get inspired by the pictures, and some of my crazy stories.
Thanks for your visit!
Have a wonderful time around Formosa!
You can contact me at ugoortolano(at)gmail.com