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5 Must-See Destinations In Taiwan

Taiwan is an island paradise with urban and rural national treasures waiting to be explored. See why your next travel destination should be Taiwan.

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1. Taipei

Steffany Cyr / Via

Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, and is often referred to as "The New York of Asia." In this city, there is something for everyone. Visit night markets and dine on Taiwanese delicacies or visit the Taipei 101 observation deck to get a view from one of the tallest structures in the world. In the region of Beitou, there are beautiful mountains and soothing hot baths, that make this a popular destination. Many of the nation's national parks are around Taipei and are easily accessible.

2. Kenting

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This small seaside village rings in second, because it is the most visually stunning area in the nation. Kenting lies at Taiwan's southern most point, with beautiful beaches and an eclectic array of bars and restaurants that also offer great international options. At night, take advantage of the main strip that turns into a giant night market. Kenting also boasts a beautiful national park with stunning views and bizarre rock formations. Head east and you will stumble upon vans converted into street bars, including a reggae van! The owner dresses like a Rastafarian and is very friendly, stop in for a quick drink at a great price.

3. Kaohsiung

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While the city is typically synonymous with industry, the port is also bustling with entertainment and amazing attractions. Check out Lotus lake if you would like to see traditional Taiwanese structures. The area hosts everything from temples and Buddhas, to a giant dragon where visitors walk through the body of the dragon viewing traditional art. Another wonder not to be missed is Fo Guang Shan Monastery and the Buddha memorial centre, with thousands of Buddhas of different sizes and shapes.

4. Taroko Gorge

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Taroko National Park is situated outside the city of Hualien. The park is simply referred to as Taroko Gorge by travellers and locals. The parks name is loosely translated to "The Marble Gorge," due to the abundance of marble in the park, created by millions of years of erosion. There are many iconic stop for stunning views, including but not limited to: Eternal Spring Shrine, a suspension bridge, and the Xiangde Temple Trail (pictured above). There are many beautiful walking trails and bike paths in the area to be explored. But be forewarned, biking in this area can be very dangerous as some paths must be accessed via the main road which is extremely narrow with hairpin turns.

5. Alishan

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The Alishan National Scenic Area, located in Chiayi County, is a mountainous natural preserve. The drive is not for the faint of heart, requiring a daring drive up steep winding roads. On the northern most side of the trek, there are cliffs that tower above, look south and gaze at the wonder of the tea fields. The journey is worth while once your gaze at the mountaintop views of Yushan National Park. The scenic area also has a forest railway that winds through the mountains, and during springtime, visitors are graced with the beauty of cherry blossoms throughout the area.

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