Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park is perhaps Taiwan’s most famous national park and is a source of immense local pride. Located in Hualien County, the park is a regular stop for the thousands of organized tours that make their way around the island each year.
Covering 1,200 square miles, the park rises from sea level to 3,700 metres (12139 ft) and is 90% mountains. The park features marble-walled canyons and over half of Taiwan’s animal and plant species.
Grottos, scenic bridges, mountainside temples, cliffs, and waterfalls, Taroko National Park is a photographer’s dream and easily Taiwan’s number one tourist attraction.
Kenting National Park
Kenting National Park has the honor of being the first of the country’s new national parks. Located at the southern tip of the island, the park is home to white sandy beaches, caves, and mountains.
The most popular destination within the park is Kenting resort town which is small strip of restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels hugging the coastline. This is one of the most popular beach holiday destinations in the country as it enjoys fine weather throughout the year.
However, the park is not limited to beach holidays and tourists often hire scooters to explore the many caves, cliffs, and mountains found within its lush countryside.
Yangmingshan National Park
The closest national park to the capital city, Yangmingshan is actually located in the ever popular New Taipei City district of Beitou. Famed for its hot springs and incredible scenery, the park is home to countless hotels and B&Bs that are an ideal base for exploring the countryside.
Yang Ming Shan (Yang Ming Mountain) is in actual fact a dormant volcano which explains the numerous hot springs. It is also home to an unbelievable array of flora some of which the Japanese planted during their rule over the island.
It’s a popular day trip destination due to the proximity of Taipei City and the large number of hiking trails that wind their way through the hillsides are usually busy with folk seeking respite from the bustle of the city.
Yushan National Park
Yushan National Park is a hiker’s dreamland. Featuring over thirty peaks more than 3,000 metres in height (9842 ft), the park is also home to the highest mountain in Taiwan, Yushan (Jade Mountain) which at 3,952 metres (12965 ft) is the world’s fourth highest mountain on an island.
The park has a seemingly endless network of hikes and trails and is so popular that certain hikes require permits. The scenery is worth it though and so many tourists wish to make the climb of Yushan that there is often a long waiting list for a permit.
Shei-Pa National Park
Located near the border of three counties, Taichung, Hsinchu, and Miaoli, this area earned national park status in 1992. There are several mountains in the park and the scenery is simply breathtaking.
Xueshan (Snow Mountain) is the second highest peak in Taiwan after Yushan and there’s no prizes for guessing how it got its name. In a country where snow is extremely rare, Xueshan is an incredibly popular climb for photographers and locals seeking their first sight of Taiwanese snow.