Tainan County has few mountains of significance, but hikers looking for a few hours of fresh air and exercise have plenty of options. For residents of Tainan City and Yongkang (永康), one of the most convenient paths is a few kilometers east of the small town Sinhua (新化).
Hidden away at the end of a spectacular mountain road, the tiny village of Duona (多納) is one of the loveliest gems of Kaohsiung County's Maolin National Scenic Area (茂林國家風景區), in an area blessed with many beautiful places.
A series of Austronesian wedding activities will be held in this weekend at the Aboriginal Cultural Park of Pingtung County, southern Taiwan.
Taiwan's newest national scenic area, the Siraya National Scenic Area (西拉雅國家風景區), is a region of hills, rivers, and traditional farming villages in the southern county of Tainan.
"Dude," a friend explained while my wife and I deliberated over our travel plans. "You're better off flying to Thailand than traveling from Taipei to Kenting (墾丁). It's easier to get to, it's cheaper, and it's better."
For my money, the South Cross-island Highway (national route 20) lacks the last ounce of drama and dramatic grandeur generated by its central Taiwan counterpart, which crosses the island from Taichung to Hualien.
Very few items of infrastructure in Taiwan predate the Japanese occupation. One is the Keelung-Taipei-Hsinchu stretch of the main west coast railroad; another is Hutoupi (虎頭埤), a small reservoir in Tainan County.
Taiwan's butterflies are notable for their beauty, variety, and near ubiquity. For these reasons - and also because it's an easy and inexpensive pastime for anyone who likes the outdoors - butterfly watching is becoming a popular hobby.
The best advice I ever received about Kenting (墾丁) was "When you get to Kenting, hire a scooter and leave. If you are after the most fabulous beaches on the West Coast of Taiwan, take this advice. The beaches in Kenting itself are owned by the hotels.
Taiwan has dozens of government-maintained forests where tourists can hike and appreciate nature, but few are located as close to major cities as Sinhua Arboretum (新化林場). This 373-hectare patch of mixed forest and bamboo is about five kilometers inland of the Tainan County town of Sinhua.