By Mary Puglisi
One of the nine national parks in Taiwan, Taroko National Park holds the breathtaking sight of the Taroko Gorge, after which the park was named. This park is located on the east coast of Taiwan and spans across Taichung, Nantou and Hualien. If you visit this spot, you will most likely be left speechless by the majestic beauty of the gorge. Along with providing a must-see photogenic spot for visitors, this gorge is almost famous for its large supply of marble. Some of the marble in the gorge was formed over 200 million years ago. Mark Taroko National Park as a must-do for your list of activities when you visit Taiwan!
Sun Moon Lake located in Nantou County got its name due to the east side of the lake resembling a sun and the west side resembling a moon. While this is a popular spot for tourists and visitors all throughout the day, the most popular time to visit is during sunrise and sunset, due to the views being exceptionally breathtaking during these hours. If you and those you’re traveling with are up for a bike ride, there is a scenic bike route around the lake which lets you view the beauty from different points.
A word that means “Joy Mountain,” Hehuanshan is located in the Taroka Gorge National Park in Nantou. Its highest peak is accessible by car, making the view not just accessible by hiking alone. Due to its height, the temperature here can drop below freezing which brings many Taiwanese over to catch their first glimpse of snow in the winter.
Photo by Francisco Carin
Jibei Island is located in the Taiwan Strait of the South China Sea, just a short boat ride from Makong. It is a quiet, quaint island where you will hardly see any vehicles driving around, with the exception of a scooter or two on the narrow roads around the island. Come for the white sandy beaches and relaxing, peaceful atmosphere that make Jibei Island an island paradise for all who visit.
Photos by Carrie Kellenberger
While Jinguashi is not known for having the tallest mountains in Taiwan, it still has very photogenic mountains in the Mount Keelung mountain range. This old town located in the New Taipei area used to be a Japanese run PoW camp during WWII. During their rule in this town, the Japanese sought to mine the seams of gold that were once there. Because of this, some Japanese style houses can still be found here and the town has been called “Japan outside of Japan.”
Photo by Alexander Synaptic from Changhua, Taiwan
Taiwan is a hub for waterfalls due to the steep terrain, heavy rainfall and hard rock formations that are found around the island. Yeu Mei Keng Waterfall is located in Yilan County and is just a short day trip from Taipei. Since it is just recently gaining popularity, it may not be as crowded as other tourist areas just yet. The hike to get to the waterfall is an adventure since you will have to wade through a narrow gorge to reach the waterfall; however, the view of the waterfall destination is definitely worth it!
Photo by Stuart Dawson
Mary Puglisi is a 23-year-old with a passion for writing, adventure seeking and finding the beauty in the everyday things around us.