Where flashy glass-fronted skyscrapers overlook ancient temples, Taiwan’s beating heart, Taipei, pulses with the insatiable energy of one of Asia’s most dynamic capital cities. An array of foreign settlers dotted throughout the island’s history have forged an eclectic blend of cultures, with colonial European Dutch influences mingling with traditional Han Chinese and Japanese customs to forge the cultural melting pot that visitors enjoy today.
Since the end of martial law in the 1980’s, Taipei has reinvented itself as a clean, modern hub – and the perfect city in which to begin any Taiwan holiday – but it’s the incredible natural scenery outside of the capital that make Taiwan one of Asia’s most underrated hidden gems. The tiny island is dominated by the towering Central Mountain Range, and stunning natural parks abound including the jewel of Taiwan; remaining relatively undiscovered by mass tourism, Taiwan is as much a haven for nature lovers as it is for culture vultures.
Taiwan holidays can combine the country’s most iconic must-visits, with time spent straying from the beaten track for the stunning cliffs of Penghu, visits to the rural mountain communities of Wulai to find natural steaming, aquamarine hot springs and explorations of the Wen Wu Temple at Sun Moon Lake.