On Your Radar: Taiwan

For those who thought the one issues to return out of Taiwan had been laptops, toys and bikes bearing the phrases ‘Made in Taiwan’, then suppose once more.

When 16th-century Portuguese sailors first got here throughout Taiwan’s dramatic sea cliffs and white sand Pacific seashores, they named it Ilha Formosa, or ‘Stunning Island’. This usually missed island has jaw-dropping nationwide parks, quiet surf seashores, a whole lot of miles of climbing trails and spherical island bike excursions, and a few of the most hospitable folks on the planet. They’re additionally a few of the most liberal in Asia, having simply legalized same-sex marriage.

Compact, numerous and with hidden gems nonetheless to uncover, right here’s why Taiwan ought to be in your journey radar.


It’s protected

In Might 2016, Tsai Ing-wen turned Taiwan’s first feminine president. An avid supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, office equality and feminine participation in politics, she’s helped to affect the nation’s social and political panorama. It’s partly right down to this contemporary and free-thinking local weather, mixed with a whole lot of years of historic traditions and hospitality, that Taiwan frequently ranks within the high ten friendliest nations on the planet. With a suggestion of assistance on just about each nook, it’s additionally a terrific vacation spot for solo and feminine vacationers.

It’s out and proud

On Might 24, 2019, Taiwan despatched a large rainbow-colored message to each its extra conservative Asian neighbors, and to the remainder of the world, by turning into the primary Asian nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The information was met with tears and celebrations by the LGBTQ+ neighborhood and its supporters, an enormous quantity of nationwide delight, and a rush for to tie the knot.

The capital, Taipei, additionally hosts one of many planet’s most well-known annual Delight parades, which occurs over 4 days every October.

It’s additionally camp

Taiwan is a tantalizingly numerous combine of recent and historic, man-made and pure. So in case your expectations are of steam-filled evening markets, thrilling karaoke bars, intricate temples and sky-scraping rooftop bars, you received’t be dissatisfied. Nonetheless, Taiwan can also be house to extra locations to remain than simply high-rise lodges. Primarily, its campsites.

Considerably sudden, however maybe not stunning on condition that a lot of the nation’s lush mountainous inside and rugged shoreline are devoted nationwide parks and nationwide scenic areas, Taiwan has greater than 1,700 campsites. From luxurious wilderness yurts, to riverside huts and roughing it beneath your two-person competition tent, Taiwan has seen a surge in tenting lately. For those who’re seeking to uncover the island’s nice open air, that is the way in which to do it.

It’s inexperienced

We’re not simply speaking about its vivid mountains, valleys and volcanoes, but additionally its initiatives. Well-known for manufacturing and exporting its bikes everywhere in the world, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Taiwan has some unbelievable biking. Which, mixed with its spectacular rail community, makes it a perfect vacation spot for eco-conscious vacationers.

The nation is ready up for cyclists. The roads are easy and well-maintained, drivers are respectful of motorbike lanes, and there’s even an initiative the place all of the police stations are Bike Support Stations if you have to cease for assist or instructions.

In 2009, the federal government additionally initiated a Bicycle Community Path Development Plan to encourage extra two-wheeled riders. There are at present 2,500 miles of cycle paths throughout the nation, with routes appropriate for all riders, from week-long difficult mountain trails to cross-island routes and coastal roads.
The route from Taipei to Kenting, which dissects stretches of untamed shoreline, dramatic gorges and sizzling springs, is likely one of the most well-known for knowledgeable bikers. Or when you want much more of a problem, the Formosa 900 – a 900-kilometer race that circumnavigates your entire island alongside Cycle Path 1 – takes place each November.

It’s beachy

Whereas Taiwan is now well-known for its nationwide parks and neon cities, it nonetheless doesn’t appear to rank on our seashore radars in the way in which that different Asian nations do. Time to alter that.

For a begin, it’s an island. And what do islands imply? Coastlines. Roughly 700 miles of shoreline, flanked by the year-round heat waters of the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea. There’s something for each beachcomber – surf seashores, luxurious seashores, rugged seashores, and a few enjoyable seaside cities to discover. Additionally, lots of its greatest seashores are only a metro journey from Taipei, so your metropolis stopover can simply embody some sandcastle constructing.

Snorkelers, kayakers and surfers ought to head to Ping Tung County, the island’s southernmost county. Subtropical in local weather, it’s house to Kenting Nationwide Park – Taiwan’s first nationwide park- with spring-like circumstances year-round. It’s a terrific place for wildlife, hen life and exploring on foot or bikes.

Surfers ought to positively take a look at Baishawan Seashore, Junshan Seashore in Yangmingshan Nationwide Park, Wushi Harbor and Taitung Seashore, which all have an honest native surf scene, nice waves and surf retailers.

For those who’re extra of a sunbather than boarder, attempt Dawan Seashore. Flanked by a luxurious resort, it’s each peaceable and pristine.

For a distinction to the modern skyscrapers of Taipei, photographers ought to head to Laomei Inexperienced Reef by taking the metro. The naturally carved stone troughs and vibrant inexperienced algae make for some gorgeous pictures.


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