Known as the beautiful island or Ilha Formosa, Taiwan
is a country of many natural wonders. So it’s no surprise that the local tourism board is doing its best to promote the nation as the perfect ecotourism destination. Here are 10 stunning locations where tourists can appreciate the true beauty of Taiwan
Yangmingshan National Park
As the most easily accessed of Taiwan’s national parks, Yangmingshan is one of the most popular destinations for tourists staying in Taipei. It’s just a short bus ride out of the city and is home to hot springs, lush countryside, and a geothermal scenic area where you can witness steam rise from the ground. The park is also home to endless hiking trails and some incredible natural scenery. It’s well worth a visit even if you’re only in the city for a weekend.
Yangmingshan National Park, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan
One of the most unusual and some might say eeriest places in the country is set in Alishan Township. This place has a real haunted forest feel to it and is an increasingly popular destination for local campers and hikers. It wasn’t always like this though. The current landscape was created after the devastating earthquake that hit Taiwan back in 1999.
Shuiyang Forest, Alishan Township, Chiayi County, Taiwan
Kenting National Park
To many people in Taiwan, Kenting is the ultimate local beach destination and with good reason. Its many beautiful and sometimes deserted beaches are some of the best in Taiwan, but the national park is much more than a few stretches of golden sand. The national forest area is teeming with life and boasts 17 scenic spots that you can get to via a network of hiking trails. Fairy caves, 400-year-old trees, and a valley of Banyans; this place has it all.
Kenting National Park, Pingtung County, Taiwan.
A coral reef island located off the country’s south coast, Xiaoliuqiu, also known as Lambai Island, is a real back-to-nature type of experience. This tiny island has no traffic lights, and life is most certainly relaxed. You can visit the island’s caves or marvel at the incredible rock formations. A must for any seasoned ecotourist.
Xiaoliuqiu, Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan
Of the many islands surrounding Taiwan, Penghu is, without a doubt, the most popular in terms of tourism. It’s the perfect island getaway and rivals Kenting for its beautiful beaches. There are in fact 90 islands and islets, and it’s the largest island also named Penghu that is the gateway to this marvel of Taiwanese scenery. With so many islands, finding a nice quiet spot shouldn’t be a problem, but you will certainly need some local know-how on where the best places are to visit.
Penghu Islands, Taiwan
Sun Moon Lake
A man-made lake doesn’t sound like an ideal destination for an ecotourist, but Sun Moon Lake is actually a wonderfully lush area that has grown into one of the most popular tourist attractions in Taiwan. There are several villages and townships surrounding the lake with businesses primarily run by local indigenous tribes. Here you can enjoy cable car rides through mountains, boat rides on the lake, and cycling trips through the local countryside.
Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
Another destination that is just outside of the capital, Yehliu is easily accessed by public bus or even a private tour. The Geopark boasts some truly amazing rock formations that make for some excellent photo opportunities. Make sure though to visit during the week as at the weekend, and on public holidays, the place can get very busy.
Yehliu Geopark, 167-1 Gangdong Road, Wanli District, New Taipei City, Taiwan
Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area
This area covers about 100 kilometers of coastline, so it’s really best explored by car or on a private tour. You can visit the many beaches or stop off at the numerous scenic spots along the coast all of which boast panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. There are also some great hot spring areas such as Jiaoxi where you can relax in the area’s natural thermal waters.
Jiaoxi Township, Yilan County, Taiwan
Tianliao Moon World
This seemingly barren area looks like something from a sci-fi movie and given that Taiwan is home to some amazingly lush countryside, this place is something of an oddity. The Badlands, as some call it, resembles a moonscape, albeit with a few trees scattered throughout the area, and it really is a place that you have to see for yourself to truly appreciate.
Tianliao Moon World, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park
The spectacular landscape of Taiwan’s most popular national park is enough for it to merit a place on this list. But the Eternal Spring Shrine in the heart of Taroko Gorge makes this place a must on any tourist’s itinerary. The temple is set into the side of the gorge with a waterfall running beneath it to the river below. It’s the park’s most visited attraction, and it’s easy to see why.
Taroko National Park, Xiulin Township, Hualien County, Taiwan