Start \ Regions and countries \ Asia \

Taiwan

Main attractions

Sunrise from Hehuanshan, Taiwan
Sunrise from Hehuanshan / Mark Kao, / CC BY 2.0

This tropical island in the past has served as a birthplace for Austronesian languages which are spoken now from Madagascar to Hawaii. Taiwan is one of the most advanced countries in the world but at the same time here are found lots of wilderness. Most impressive landmarks here are:

  • Hot springs - the diversity of hot springs here is surprising. Many hot springs now are taken over by health industry but quite a few are still in their pristine condition. True wonder of the world is Guanziling Hot Spring which has eternal (almost) flame above it for three centuries.
  • Old growth forests and great trees. Taiwan has several unique species of trees and some species of conifers reach giant size. There are forests where hundreds of trees are millenia old.

Natural landmarks

Yehliu hoodoos, Taiwan
Yehliu hoodoos / Bill So, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cliff formations

  • Penghu columnar basalt formations - Taiwan Province, Penghu Islands. Beautiful formations of columnar basalt. At high tide most of the formation is covered by the sea.
  • Yehliu hoodoos - New Taipei City. Sea cape with spectacular hoodoos and other interesting formations.
The eternal flame of Guanziling Hot Spring, Taiwan
The eternal flame of Guanziling Hot Spring / Alexander Synaptic, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Hot springs

  • Fumaroles of Seven Star Mountain - Taipei City. Impressive geothermal field with hot springs and fumaroles near the summit of extinct volcano.
  • Guanziling Hot Spring - Tainan City. This is a hot spring releasing methane, which has been burning constantly for some three centuries.
  • Lisong hot springs - Taiwan Province. Hot springs of unusual beauty. Springs have formed colourful, steam filled canyon with deep green and blue spots on cliffs.
  • Wushanding and Yangnu Mud Volcanoes - Kaohsiung City. Group of impressive mud volcanoes.

Waterfalls

Shifen Falls, Taiwan
Shifen Falls / Alexander Synaptic, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Jiao Lung Waterfall - Taiwan Province. Tallest measured waterfall in Taiwan, 600 m tall. Most likely there are taller waterfalls in Taiwan.
  • Maliguang Waterfall - Taiwan Province. Spectacular, 50 m tall waterfall.
  • Shifen Waterfall - New Taipei City. Picturesque, 40 m wide and some 20 m tall waterfall.
  • Taiyao Waterfall - Taiwan Province. Aproximately 100 m tall waterfall.
  • Wulai Waterfall - New Taipei City. Approximately 80 m tall waterfall.

Ecosystems

Ssumakushi Granddady tree, Taiwan
Ssumakushi "Granddady tree" / Peellden, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Holy Lake Taiwania Forest (Forest near Hsueshan Mountain) - Taiwan County. Relict forest with giant, rare trees. Here have been found almost 300 Taiwania cryptomerioides trees which are millenia old. Trunks of 213 Taiwania trees have a diameter above 4 m, some trees are more than 70 m tall.
  • Qilan Shan Mountain Cypress Forest - Taiwan County. Forest of the rare cypresses and other unique trees. Many trees have reached giant size and are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

Giant trees

  • Juwu Bashen Mu (Cypress in Tai An) - Taiwan County. Stoutest known specimen in species (Chamaecyparis formosensis Matsum. 1901), diameter 6.56 m, 55 m high.
  • Ssumakushi "Granddady tree" (Simakusi, Smangus) - Taiwan Province. Giant tree (Chamaecyparis formosensis), reportedly the fourth largest in the country. Height of the tree is reported to be 35 m tall and it has 20.5 m in circumference.

Man made landmarks

Archaeological heritage

  • Beinan Neolithic Village - Taiwan Province. Site of large Neolithic village which is 2,300 - 5,300 years old. Site contains numerous stone coffins.
  • Wansan Petroglyphs - Kaohsiung City. Group of mysterious petroglyphs of Wanshan people - engravings of diverse symbols, such as spirals, figures, human like characters etc. There are several sites but the most interesting is Kopaca'e.
Zushih Temple, Taiwan
Zushih Temple / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Temples

  • Dalongdong Baoan Temple - Taipei City. Ornate wooden temple of Taiwanese folk religion. Constructed in 1804.
  • Taiwan Confucian Temple - Tainan City. Temple - school which was built in 1665 in order to cultivate intellectual potential in Taiwan.
  • Wentai Pagoda - Fujian Province. Tall pagoda, built in 1387 as a navigational marker for ships.
  • Zushih Temple (Zishi Temple) - New Taipei City. Taoist temple, first built in 1767, but during the reconstruction in 1947 gained unique stonecarving in most details, where no detail is repeated.
Chimei Stone Fish Trap, Taiwan
Chimei Stone Fish Trap / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Other man made landmarks

  • Alishan Forest Railway - Taiwan Province. Very impressive montane railway, built in 1899 - 1914. This railway climbs from 30 m altitude to 2 216 in 71.4 km through 50 tunnels and over 77 wooden bridges. Unusual is the triple loop.
  • Chimei Stone Fish Trap (Double-Heart of Stacked Stones) - Taiwan Province, Penghu Islands. Ancient fish trap, which has been very well maintained. Stone setting encloses two heart shaped basins. There are numerous such fish traps in islands.
  • Fort Santo Domingo - New Taipei City. Dutch fortress (1644), initially built by Spanish in 1628.
  • Laochijia village - Taiwan Province. Traditional indigenous Paiwan village with almost 50 preserved structures from stone slabs. There are several more similar villages, such as Jiougulou, Jioulaiyi and Wangjia.
  • National Palace Museum - Taipei City. One of the largest collections of the artefacts of Chinese civilization, nearly 700,000 items. Museum was evacuated from Beijing's Forbidden City in 1933 in order to save it from Japanese and moved to Taiwan in 1948 - 1949.
  • Taipei 101 - Taipei City. Very tall (509 m) skyscraper with 101 floors, tallest building in the world in 2004 - 2010.

List of described attractions by administrative divisions

Taiwan here is divided in 2 provinces and 5 cities. Below they are listed in alphabetical order:

Fukien Province
Kaohsiung City
New Taipei City
ArrowWulai FallsWaterfalls
Taichung City
Tainan City
Taipei City
Taiwan Province

Map of Taiwan

Your thoughts?