Taiwan vacations? Traveling in Taiwan? For what? To visit factories? Big polluted cities? Not at all! Read on, check out the pictures on this Taiwan travel guide and you’ll be amazed at how much beauty you can find on Formosa.
Sure… The tiny island (which is not so small actually) has her fare share of crowded cities, but one thing you might want to remember when considering your vacation in Taiwan, is that two thirds of the island is covered by beautiful mountains that reach as high as 3996 meters high, and that the eastern coast of the island is doted with beautiful, sandy beaches where you can surf, snorkel, and scuba dive.
Make sure you reserve your hotels in advance in Taiwan as they tend to be fully booked on weekends and holidays.
Top Destinations for Taiwan Vacations
Taiwan’s vibrant capital city, Chinese temples, the Taipei 101 Tower, the biggest night markets in the world, world-class shopping, food, food, food
Taiwan’s old capital, in the southern part of the island. Age-old rituals, folk religion, small alleys, and again, a lot of good special snacks
Hualien City and Taiwan’s East Coast
Beaches, surf, aboriginal culture, gateway to Taroko Gorge, hiking, river tracing, camping (Hualien and the entire area around the city is really a top Taiwan vacations spot!)
Green Island (Lyudao)
Tiny island off the east coast of Taiwan, near Taitung, world-class scuba diving, sea hot springs, hiking
Sun Moon Lake
Taiwan’s biggest lake, majestic mountains, cycling and hiking paths, great for pictures, unfortunately crowded on weekends
Beaches, temples, seafood, windsurfing, sailing
Taiwan’s top beach vacation resort, located at the southern tip of the island, a huge outdoor music festival in Spring, family resorts, cheap seafood on the street
In the Pacific Ocean, very remote feeling, no 7-11, aboriginal traditions alive and thriving
Best place to have a hiking vacation in Taiwan, green rolling hills, the famous sea of clouds, colder weather, clean air, starry skies
For serious mountain climbers, in the Central Mountain Range, high altitude camping, adventure
Waterfalls, a wild river, Taiwan’s most amazing hot spring, native Taiwanese culture, landscape to make you have goose bumps, photographer’s paradise
Ancient Chinese architecture, the liveliest Mazu temple in Taiwan, an old street where you can find handmade Chinese art like paintings, umbrellas, pottery
Natural hot springs, gorgeous waterfalls, green mountains, natural pools for swimming, Rukai aboriginal tribe, outdoor activities
Most accessible seaside resort in Taiwan, an hour and half away from Taipei City
Taiwan’s largest Buddhist monastery, 30 minutes away from Kaohsiung City
A stunning temple, a crazy festival that involves pigs, and a cool “old” street
What’s more to make you salivate about Taiwanese vacations? Most of the population of Taiwan is in the main cities that are located along the west coast: Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hsinchu, Taoyuan, Tainan, Chiayi.
This means that the mountains are really empty. You don’t have to travel too far in the backcountry to get a feeling of “remoteness”. I’ve been on popular hiking trails in the Central Mountain Range on weekends without meeting a single soul.
Two other (positive) aspects to consider as you’re contemplating the idea of Taiwan vacations, are:
- Empty beaches: Taiwanese are scared of the sun (they love white skin), so beaches are not as crowded as in Europe or North America. The only exception is Kenting, the #1 beach resort in Taiwan.
- Not many tourists: Very few people take a vacation to Taiwan. Most travelers come here for business and stay in Taipei. Taiwan is NOT a popular backpacker destination like Thailand. You will not see crowds of westerners walking around with Lonely Planet guidebooks at every street corner in Taiwan.
I think this last paragraph explains very well why a vacation to Taiwan is so awesome. Because most cities and natural attractions haven’t been invaded by thousands of tourists, Taiwanese people have remained authentic, friendly, and curious about travelers.
Who needs a vacation to Taiwan? I hope you do! Mine has started in 2000 and it hasn’t stopped yet. I just can’t leave Formosa!
Helpful Taiwan Vacations Links
Visa to Taiwan: You might need one before you embark on a plane for your Taiwan vacations.
Study Mandarin Chinese: Why not extend your Taiwanese vacation to a month-long or year-long holiday? Taiwan is one of the best places on earth to learn Mandarin Chinese.
Teach English and make a very good living: As the author of Teach English in Taiwan: The Official Survival Guide, I know what I’m talking about! Working as an ESL teacher in Taiwan is… well, head to this page to learn about jobs in Taiwan.
Get a clear “picture” about Taiwan vacations – check out my Taiwan photo gallery!