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, there is a lot of wilderness. The most amazing wonders of Taiwan are:
- Hot springs – the diversity of hot springs here is surprising. Many hot springs have now been taken over by the health industry but quite a few are still in their pristine condition. A true wonder of the world is Guanziling Hot Spring which has had eternal (almost) flame above it for three centuries.
- Old growth forest and great trees. Taiwan has several unique species of trees and some species of conifers reach giant sizes. There are forests where hundreds of trees are millennia old.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Taiwan
Guanziling Hot Spring
This is a hot spring releasing methane that has been burning constantly for some three centuries.
Lisong hot springs
Hot springs of unusual beauty. Springs have formed a colorful, steam-filled canyon with deep green and blue spots on cliffs.
Wushanding and Yangnu Mud Volcanoes
Group of impressive mud volcanoes.
Sea cape with spectacular hoodoos and other interesting rock formations.
Penghu columnar basalt formations
Beautiful formations of columnar basalt. At high tide, most of the formation is covered by the sea.
Picturesque, 40 m wide, and some 20 m tall waterfall.
Approximately 100 m tall waterfall.
Approximately 80 m tall waterfall.
Spectacular, 50 m tall waterfall.
Jiao Lung Waterfall
The tallest measured waterfall in Taiwan, 600 m tall. Most likely there are taller waterfalls in Taiwan.
Xiaoyoukeng fumaroles of Seven Star Mountain
Impressive geothermal field with hot springs and fumaroles near the summit of an extinct volcano.
Holy Lake Taiwania Forest (Forest near Hsueshan Mountain)
Relict forest with giant, rare trees. Here have been found almost 300 Taiwania cryptomerioides trees that are millennia old. Trunks of 213 Taiwania trees have a diameter above 4 m, some trees are more than 70 m tall.
Juwu Bashen Mu (Cypress in Tai An)
The stoutest known specimen in species (Chamaecyparis formosensis), diameter 6.56 m, 55 m high.
Ssumakushi “Granddady tree” (Simakusi, Smangus)
Giant tree (Chamaecyparis formosensis), reportedly the seventh largest in the country. The height of the tree is reported to be 35 m and it has a circumference of 20.5 m.
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.
Chimei Stone Fish Trap (Double-Heart of Stacked Stones)
Ancient fish trap that has been very well maintained up to this day. The stone setting encloses two heart-shaped basins. There are numerous such fish traps on islands.
Beinan Neolithic Village
Site of a large Neolithic village that is 2,300 – 5,300 years old. The site contains numerous stone coffins.
Alishan Forest Railway
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.
Very tall (509 m) skyscraper with 101 floors, the tallest building in the world in 2004 – 2010.
Zushi Temple (Zishi Temple)
Taoist temple that was first constructed in 1767. During the reconstruction in 1947 was gained a unique stone-carving: no detail in it is repeated.
Tall pagoda on a large stone. It was built in 1387 as a navigational marker for ships.
Taiwan Confucian Temple
Temple-school that was built in 1665 in order to cultivate the intellectual potential in Taiwan.
National Palace Museum in Taipei
One of the largest collections of artifacts of Chinese civilization with nearly 700,000 items. Museum was evacuated from Beijing’s Forbidden City in 1933 in order to save it from the Japanese and moved to Taiwan in 1948 – 1949.
Dalongdong Baoan Temple
Ornate wooden temple of Taiwanese folk religion. Constructed in 1804.
Fort Santo Domingo
Dutch fortress (1644), initially built by the Spanish in 1628.
Until the early twentieth century, Taiwan was one of the wildest places in Asia. Its coastline was known as a mariners’ graveyard, the mountainous interior was the domain of headhunting tribes, while the lowlands were a frontier area where banditry, feuding, and revolts were a way of life. Formosan Odyssey captures the rich sweep of history through the eyes of Westerners who visited and lived on the island — from missionaries, adventurers, lighthouse keepers, and Second World War PoWs, to students coming to study martial arts.
Taiwan A to Z provides the essential information you need to know before you go to Taiwan. Whether you’re planning to be there a week or three years, this book is a must-read for any foreigner to Taiwan who wants to be successful there.