One look at a relief map of Taiwan shows you its huge adventure sports potential; bisected by northeast Asia’s highest mountains and with the rushing rivers and sheer cliffs of the east coast, this hidden paradise of outdoor pursuits is starting to attract more adventurous travellers from Asia and the rest of the world. As well as a haven for trekkers and mountaineers, the island also offers excellent conditions for a range of activities, from mountain biking and kayaking to paragliding and surfing, with many grassroots operators springing up to meet the needs of the adventure traveller.
Taiwan offers hiking and trekking possibilities thanks to an extensive network of national parks, scenic areas and forest reserves.
Given its hilly terrain and extensive trail network, Taiwan has some of the world’s top mountain biking, rivalling the best of North America and southern Europe. Heart-stopping downhill courses, technical rock gardens, jumps and super-fast single track: the island has it all, and much is easily accessible from cities such as Taipei and Taichung.
Taiwan is well known for its windsurfing, and the Penghu Islands are widely considered one of the world’s top windsurfing spots. Given the islands’ unique flatness, the northeast monsoon winds that whip across the strait are especially powerful here with wind speeds of up to 50 and sometimes even 60 knots possible in winter. And the horseshoe-like shape of the Penghu Archipelago generates an effect that squeezes every bit of the wind pressure, making it a spectacular place for sailing and boating.
Discover Taiwan – Discover Beauty!
Formosa is what the Portuguese called Taiwan when they came here in the 16th century and saw the verdant beauty of the island.
A geological marvel, Taiwan, is set at ocean’s edge and boasts an ancient culture, where the best of human endeavour has been stored up and lives on today. Taiwan is known for its towering mountains and, indeed, is spotted with numerous mountains peaks that rise over 3,000 meters. It is also the home of Northeast Asia’s tallest mountain, Yu Mountain (Yushan). Besides mountains, beautiful coastal scenes are part of Taiwan’s great natural assets.
There are several ways to discover Taiwan. For example, trekking in the magnificence of the cliffs of Taroko Gorge; taking ride on the Alishan Forest Railway and experiencing the breathtaking sunrise and sea of clouds; hiking up the summit of Northeast Asia’s highest Yu Mountain (Yushan). You can also soak up the sun in Kenting, Asia’s version of Hawaii; stand at the edge of Sun Moon Lake; wander through the East Rift Valley; or visit the offshore islands of Penghu. It’s fun in the capital letters as well as an awesome journey of natural discovery.
Traveling around the island to the east, you come to the scenic East Coast National Scenic Area and East Rift Valley National Scenic Area; go to the south, and you will come to the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area and then the Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area, blessed with sunshine and a tropical touch. Alongside the western edge of the Central Mountain Range is the Maolin National Scenic Area, where a lot of indigenous people live and place you can check out the world of butterflies, Rukai stone houses, and splendid natural scenes. Legendary tales depict the subtle beauty of the Alishan National Scenic Area, where you can enjoy relaxing scene of the sun rising over a sea of clouds. The incomparable natural setting of the Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area waits in the center of the island, and the Tri-Mountain National Scenic Area offers eagle-spotting at Bagua Mountain, the highland fruits of Lishan and the sacred Buddhist sanctuary of Lion’s Head Mountain.
The Penghu National Scenic Area encompasses ninety islets scattering in the Taiwan Strait. Flat landscapes make these islands much different from Taiwan itself.
Taiwan- A haven for shoppers
From north to south, Taiwan is dotted with large shopping centers and department chain stores. Combining diverse leisure and entertainment facilities, these venues offer designer clothing, lifestyle products, food outlets, bookstores, movie house, wholesale warehouses, amusement centers, and others, providing the ultimate shopping environment. Moreover, several theme streets have sprung up, exhibiting an exciting blend of history and style, including Taipei’s Ximenting and Kaohsiung’s New Juejiang commercial area, attracting different consumer groups. Other venues, including the weekend jade markets and computer lane in Taipei’s Guanghua commercial plaza, are very good places to find unexpected bargains. The area around the intersection of Zhongxiao and Dunhua South roads has become a major shopping area in Taipei’s east district thanks to its convenient location.
High-end boutiques are packed along Dunhua South Road between Xinyi and Zhongxiao East roads, presenting a tempting array of brand clothes, jewelry, shoes and leather items. The section between SOGO department store and Taipei Metro The Mall is an especially good bet for the fashionably acquisitive, with Cartier, Louis Vuitton, DKNY and other top brand boutiques to choose from.
The Xinyi Planning District is Taipei’s newest trend-setting commercial district, embracing dozens of fashionable malls, restaurants and hotels between Xinyi Road sections 4 and 5. Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store’s New Life Square and A4 branches, Novel Hall for Performing Arts, New York New York mall, View Show Cinemas, Grand Hyatt Taipei Hotel, and Taipei 101 are just a few of the many places where you can satisfy your consumer cravings.
By day, the Xinyi Planning District bustles with the fast-paced energy of business as Taipei’s commercial and financial center. But at night, the skyscrapers come alight with eye-catching displays of LED lights, setting the mood for evening fun.