Taiwan is an island of many riches of the greatest variety. At present, it is one of the world's great computer manufacturers, but centuries ago it was known as the "Granary of China," producing tea, camphor, and sugar cane.
The first time I read about Silver Stream Cave (銀河洞) in an old Chinese guidebook, I felt sure my shaky Chinese skills had translated the description of the place completely wrong.
It often seems to me that Taiwanese do not travel really to see places, but rather travel to various eateries to taste the local delicacies.
Anyone who's stood at the summit of Mount Jade on a clear morning will long remember the unbeatable panorama over the surrounding mountains from the roof of Taiwan.
I am floating in the steaming hot springs of the aboriginal mountain village of Chingchuan (清泉), an hour's ride from the foothills of Chutung (竹東), not far from Hsinchu (新竹) City. Outside, the air is chilly.
Taiwan's government is working hard to attract more foreign tourists to the island, and one market niche where progress is being made is bird-watching.
It's not surprising, considering that Taiwan has literally thousands of named hills, mountains and peaks, that some place names get used more than once to describe different summits, which can become a little confusing.
Ping Lin and Mao Kong are two place names inextricably linked with tea in the minds of many Taipei dwellers, but they're far from the only places around the capital where Taiwan's favorite brew is grown.