Taiwan, historically called Formosa by the Spanish, is a beautiful island and an incredible travel destination. Though Taiwan is known for bumper-to-bumper traffic and the high-tech factories in the cities, Taiwan also has a lot to offer to nature-lovers. This small island’s popular natural sights are amazing and there are countless lesser-known destinations around the island. Here are 7 places that are perfect getaways for nature-lovers.
1. Taroko National Park
Located on the east coast of Taiwan, Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園) is best accessed from the city of Hualien. This huge park spans across Taichung, Nantou, and Hualien and is one of the nine national parks of the island. The main sight of the Taroko National Park is Taroko Gorge, after which the park was named. Taroko Gorge is famous for its abundant supply of marble, some of which were formed over 200 million years ago. Many visitors are left speechless due to the majesty of the gorge when they visit it for the first time.
2. Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) is in the Nantou County and is home to one of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan – the Thao tribe. This lake is named so because the east side of the lake resembles a sun and its west side resembles a moon. Many people come here during sunrise and sunset, as the views during these hours are breathtaking. There is also a beautiful bike route around the lake that allows cyclists to enjoy the view from different vantage points.
3. Qingshui Cliff
Qingshui Cliff (清水斷崖) spans 21 kilometres on the east coast of Taiwan, and it is the highest coastal cliff on the island. Its tallest peak is named the Qingshui Mountain, which measures 2,408 m above the Pacific Ocean. The way the cliff plunges into the Pacific Ocean is amazing, and Qingshui Cliff is a popular photo spot for many visitors.
Located in Nantou, Hehuanshan (合歡山), which literally means Joy Mountain, is in the Taroko Gorge National Park. At 3,416 metres high, it is the highest peak accessible by car. Due to its height, the temperature can drop below the freezing point in wintertime. Many Taiwanese make the journey here to get their first glimpse of snow.
5. Jibei Island
Jibei Island (吉贝岛) is a small island in the Taiwan Strait of the South China Sea. It is a short boat ride from Makong, Penghu’s main island. Its white sandy beaches and peaceful atmosphere make it the perfect island paradise. You can hear the sound of the waves crashing all over the island. Other than a scooter or two driving on the narrow roads that outline the island, you hardly see any vehicle on this island.
Jinguashi (金瓜石) is an old town in the New Taipei area. It is surrounded by the peaks of the Mount Keelung range, and although these mountains are not very tall, the cluster of peaks are very photogenic. There were rich seams of gold and copper mines in the hills around the town. During the Japanese rule, the Japanese set up residence here to mine the gold. You can still find many Japanese-style houses here, and some people even describe this place as “Japan outside of Japan”. During the World War II, Japanese used this town as a PoW camp.
7. Yuemeikeng Waterfall
A combination of steep terrain, hard rock, and heavy rainfall makes Taiwan a paradise for waterfall-lovers. Located in the Yilan County, the Yuemeikeng (月眉坑瀑布) Waterfall is a short day trip from Taipei. Until recently, this waterfall was very little known. The hike to the waterfall is around one hour and is itself an adventure. as you need wade to through a narrow gorge. However, the view of the waterfall is well worth the hike.
News source: (Sandra Chan)