Some say the only true way to see a county is to travel around it on two wheels, the leg-powered variety, and what better place to do it than on this beautiful island of Ilha Formosa!
Although it's been open for less than a week, word has got around and we're far from the only ones enjoying the spectacular scenery as we return to the visitor center after our long walk.
Perhaps you've lived in Taipei for a while now. And perhaps there are times when you realize, "hmm, my life here isn't so different than it was back at home," and so in an attempt to soak up some atmosphere and culture, you hustle off to Danshui or Jiufen or any other small, mountainous village, only to realize that once you've been to one "lao jie" (old street), you've pretty much been to them all.
A red maple leaf fluttering in the air, dainty pavilions dotting tree-lined trails, sonorous waterfalls and tranquil ponds--these are the images of Yangmingshan (陽明山) that I hold very dear to my heart.
Guidebooks and maps are great ways to explore the countryside, but, as with so many things, some of the best discoveries are passed on through word of mouth.
The Lin Family Garden in Banciao (板橋林家花園) is the oldest example of a traditional Chinese garden in Taipei. The construction of the enormous complex began in 1847 when Lin Ping-hou, a rich rice merchant, started building Bi-Yi Hall at Banciao.
When it comes to scenic beauty, Taiwan offers everything from remote alpine summits that take a week's hard trekking to reach to grassy, roadside slopes made for a blanket picnic; a fantastic variety of natural beauty of a rare order can be found squashed into this small island if you know where to look.
It's neither a glittering landmark of the city, nor a big shopping mall sporting the biggest brands available, yet Taipei's Dihua (迪化) Street becomes a coveted destination for tourists and shopaholics alike prior to Chinese New Year (CNY)., 1 Comment
Many beautiful scenic spots and marvelous hiking discoveries appear in none of the mushrooming number of guidebooks covering the various regions of Taiwan, but exist simply as a humble dot and place name on larger-scale maps.
Feeling like you're in the mood for a combination of a history, science and nature lesson? The three-year-old Formosa Plastics Group Museum, located on the campus of Chang Gung University (長庚大學) in Kwei-shan (龜山), Taoyuan (桃園), offers just that.