#01 Sun Moon Lake

One of the island’s most relaxing retreats, with nature walks, cool breezes, calming views and a shoreline brimming with cultural interest.

#01 Sun Moon Lake

#02 Kinmen

This island is the frontline between Taiwan and China – the latter is literally a stone’s throw away – and now an absorbing blend of former battlefields and well-preserved imperial Chinese monuments.

Things not to miss: The sunset at Cih Lake, Kinmen, Taiwan.© Philos Chen/Shutterstock 

#03 Hot springs

Taiwan has over 150 hot springs, most set among mountainous landscapes and piped into hotel resorts, ranging from the ultra-hip to the cheap and cheerful.

Things not to miss: Lisong Hot Springs, Taiwan.© totogo1015/Shutterstock 

#04 Kenting National Park

Studded with fine-sand beaches and rolling surf, this resort-fringed national park covers Taiwan’s southern tip and is a haven of snorkelling and diving.

Things not to miss: Coastline in the Kenting national park, Taiwan.© StephanScherhag/Shutterstock

#05 Taroko National Park

Taiwan’s most visited national park is sliced in half by narrow, deep-cut Taroko Gorge, one of Asia’s top natural wonders and an absolute must-see.

Things not to miss: Taroko National Park, Taiwan.© Watchara Tawongsa/Shutterstock 

#06 Lugang

Taiwan’s most attractive old town, with traditional architecture, beautiful temples, tasty snack food and shops stocked with the work of the island’s most accomplished craftsmen.

Things not to miss: Wen Wu Temple in Lugang, Taiwan.© chungphoto/Shutterstock

#07 Lanyu (Orchid Island)

Inhabited almost solely by the seafaring Tao tribe, whose traditional ways of life give this lush Pacific island an almost Polynesian flavour.

Things not to miss: Aboriginal Canoe, Lanyu, Taiwan.© weniliou/Shutterstock 

#08 Aboriginal culture

Taiwan’s indigenous peoples, divided into fourteen officially recognized tribes and several other distinct groups, have their own vibrant cultures quite separate from the Chinese majority.

Things not to miss in Taiwan: Aboriginal mask in Taiwan.© topimages/Shutterstock

#09 Tainan

The old capital of Taiwan remains an important stronghold of Taiwanese culture, its myriad temples the perfect places to absorb its complex religious traditions.

Things not to miss: Tainan park, used to call Zhong Shan Park, Tainan, Taiwan.© The HippoZoom/Shutterstock 

#10 Surfing

The island’s lengthy stretch of Pacific coastline has vastly underrated surfing, with countless breaks – and plenty of typhoon swell – to challenge both beginners and serious shredders.

Things not to miss: Surfing, beach, Qijin Kaohsiung, Taiwan.© Wayne0216/Shutterstock 

#11 Chung Tai Chan Monastery

Nothing else quite looks like this enormous Buddhist monastery, packed with artistic gems, elegant shrines and innovative architecture.

Things not to miss: Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Nantou, Taiwan.© Suchart Boonyavech/Shutterstock

#12 Alishan National Scenic Area

Gorgeous, rugged valleys, high mountain tea plantations and Tsou villages culminating in the misty forests of Alishan itself, home of the spectacular “sea of clouds”.

Things not to miss: Mountain view on sunset, Alishan, Taiwan.© NH/Shutterstock 

#13 National Palace Museum

View the former contents of Beijing’s Forbidden City in this world-famous museum, an extraordinary collection of Chinese art and historical artefacts.

#13 National Palace Museum

#14 Dajia Mazu Pilgrimage

One of the world’s biggest festivals involves thousands of pilgrims on an animated seven-day parade circuit between the revered Mazu temples in Dajia and Xingang.

Things not to miss in Taiwan: Dajia mazu temple is the one of bigger and oldest mazu temple in Taiwan.© Lewis Tse Pui Lung/Shutterstock

#15 Climbing Yushan

At 3952m, Yushan (Jade Mountain) is far and away northeast Asia’s highest peak, but a spectacular and well-trodden trail to the summit makes it surprisingly accessible.

Things not to miss: Jade mountain, Yushan National Park, Taiwan.© Kriangkrai Thitimakorn/Shutterstock 

#16 East Coast National Scenic Area

From the north’s towering cliffs to the south’s expansive beaches, the east coast is a feast for the eyes and is a hotbed of aboriginal cultures.

Things not to miss in Taiwan: Taiwan, Taitung, orchid island, blue sky, island and coastline clear beach panorama.© Chen Liang-Dao/Shutterstock

#17 Night markets

Taiwan’s night markets are the best and cheapest places to try a selection of the island’s famous “little eats”.

Things not to miss: Street food, Taipei, Taiwan.© Baiterek Media/Shutterstock

#18 Taipei 101

At 509m, East Asia’s tallest building dominates central Taipei, providing mind-blowing views of the surrounding area.

Things not to miss: Taipei, Taiwan.© Sean Hsu/Shutterstock 

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