Admiring the view from the
89th floor observatory of
the Taipei 101 tower.
Taiwan Travel Fast Facts
Getting there: regular flights from major cities to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
What to see: Taipei, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Northeast Coast Scenic Area, Guanyinshan National Scenic Area Currencies: New Taiwan dollar
Official language(s): Mandarin Chinese
Akin to mainland China, Taiwan is steeped in history and rich in natural beauty, while
its openness to the West has always afforded a bit more creature comfort and relaxed travel restrictions.
The capital, Taipei, is the center of superlatives.
It is not only the city over which towers one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, Taipei 101, but home to the the world's largest collection of Chinese art treasures at the breathtaking National Palace Museum.
Culinary treasure can also be discovered in the city's numberless and very fine restaurants. For more casual noshing on local delicacies, also don't miss the city's famous bustling night markets, an urban block party illumined by street lamps as locals and tourists rub shoulders on the hunt for a quick, cheap meal.
By day, don't miss other cultural highlights, including the lavishly decorated Longshan Temple or the sculptured beauty of Chinese landscaping at the Lin Family Garden.
Double pagodas stand guard at Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Along the southern coast lies Taiwan's second largest city, Kaohsiung, and it's where fresh seafood restaurants await. Other seafaring attractions around town include the old ChiHou Lighthouse, the historic TianHou Temple (dedicated to the Goddess of Sailors), and scenic Lotus Pond.
Mid-island, a mixture of water-based fun and marine ecology education is in store at Farglory Ocean Park, while nearby more naturally rugged attractions can be seen at spectacularly beautiful Taroko Gorge
• Need to update your Facebook status or send a quick email? No problem. There's free wifi everywhere you go in Taiwan, one of the first countries to offer free Internet on a mass scale.
• The Hello Kitty craze qualifies as major obsession in Taiwan, where you'll find Hello Kitty-themed restaurants, Hello Kitty-themed hotel rooms, and even Hello Kitty brand beer.
• Taiwan is big on 7-Eleven, and you'll find one of these convenience stores on practically every street corner in Taipei and elsewhere around the country.
• Bicycles are the transportation of choice for many Taiwanese. Rent a bike in Taiwan, and do like the locals do.
More about Taiwan travel & tourism around the Web:
Elsewhere on the Web, find out more - including guides to top resorts, historic sites, and hotels & restaurants - along with offbeat attractions, practical advice and expert tips on discovering the real Taiwan...
go2taiwan.net - Colorful online tour including feature travel stories, video presentations, seasonal event calendar, overviews of major cultural and historic attractions, do it yourself itineraries or online tour bookings, hotel guides.
Taipei travel guide - Wikitravel's extensive guide to the city including photos, metro maps and other ways to get around, background on history and culture, major attractions, annual festivals, suggested restaurants by cuisines, hotel guide, practical travel & safety tips.