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August, 26, 2016

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The Lunar New Year Holiday will begin on Jan. 24. This year there will be up to nine days for camera-wielding tourists and their families to take either a long or short trip around the island.
 > Penghu
On the trail of Taiwan's Confucius
Everyone in Taiwan knows the story of Koxinga (鄭成功), the Ming Dynasty loyalist who fled to the island from the Chinese mainland, and defeated the Dutchmen then ruling Tainan (台南) and its hinterland.
 > Tainan
Walking the Bamboo Shoot Path: Yuanliu Old Trail
Organic fruit, vegetables and what-not are so widely available these days that it's easy to forget that in days gone by, everything we ate was natural and pesticide--free, and that we didn't have to pay a premium for the privilege of eating the unadulterated stuff.
 > Taipei
The Mangrove Forest of Hongmaogang
The little Hsinchu (新竹) County settlement of Hongmaogang (紅毛港) consists of little more than a police station, a couple of houses and (on weekends) a line of snack stalls facing the Taiwan Strait.
 > Taoyuan
A gourmand's visit to Meinong
The lepidopteran inhabitants of the Yellow Butterfly Valley have yet to emerge, you already have a hand-painted oil-paper parasol, and disused tobacco-curing barns hold no interest for you.
Striking gold in Jin Gua Shi
Of all the 117 elements listed in the periodic table, gold is perhaps the most elusive and alluring compound of all, dazzling men and women alike throughout the ages.
 > Taipei
Dulishan and its amazing spiral railway
Just like that newer arrival on the scene in Taiwan, the High Speed Railway, Alishan(阿里山) Mountain Railway is as much a tourist attraction as a practical method of transport.
 > Chiayi
Bizitou: A botanical garden in Chiayi's backstreets
Bizitou Botanical Garden (埤仔頭植物園) isn't the only botanical garden in Chiayi City (嘉義市). There's another in the city's sprawling and eponymous park, some kilometers to the southeast.
 > Chiayi
The lost gold mines of Yangmingshan
In a remote spot deep in the northern slopes of Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園), bored into the steep, forest-covered slopes, is a black hole, half covered in a thick layer of ferns which thrive in this cool, often foggy environment.
 > Taipei
Hot springs and other diversions at Bei Tou
The transition from summer to cooler seasons like autumn and winter has always been something that I look forward to, particularly in Taiwan.
 > Taipei
Li Teng-fang House -- One of the finest surviving examples of a Hakka residence in Taiwan
Driving along the narrow, dead straight lane that leads through the fields from the town of Dasi  (大溪) to Lee Teng-fang House, the town's greatest historic relic, the countryside is strikingly quiet and soporific.
 > Taoyuan
The vast, bucolic East Rift Valley and environs
Having spent two months in the jungles of Thailand and Indonesia this summer, I recently felt the urge to be in a quiet corner of Taiwan that offered waterfalls, high mountains, few people, and the chance to be near wildlife.
 > Hualien
Jiayou Bike Path the best way to downtown Chiayi
The Jiayou Bicycle Trail (嘉油鐵馬道) is a worthy addition to Taiwan's fast-growing network of bike paths and tourist cycling routes.
 > Chiayi
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Small is beautiful at Meishan Grand Canyon1
Ever since seeing it marked one day on a local map, Meishan Da Xiagu (梅山大峽谷), nestling in a secluded corner in the far north of Chiayi (嘉義) County, has been high on my list of places to visit, for the simple reason that the Chinese name means 'grand canyon,' a name which conjures up images of awe inspiring cliffs and plunging precipices.
 > Chiayi
The monster trees of Taguanshan
Taguanshan (塔關山) is one of Taiwan's most accessible 3,000-plus-meter-high peaks. Located right beside the highest stretch of the Southern Cross-Island Highway (南部橫貫公路), it can be scaled in just under two hours.
Take a fishing raft to tour the Cigu Lagoon
I have had many boat tour experiences in Taiwan, but it was a new experience for me to have an educational and ecological raft tour in Cigu Lagoon (七股潟湖) in Tainan (台南), southern Taiwan.
 > Tainan
Hidden treasure: Shengmaoshu Waterfall
Taiwan's mountains aren't just extremely scenic, they're also a great natural rain maker. Triggering rain-bearing clouds to drop their load as they blow in from the east and rise on updrafts caused by the mountains, residents of Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung have the Central Mountain Range partly to thank for the excellent, relatively dry climate they enjoy year-round.
 > Yunlin
The Camphor Forests of Dongyanshan and a pit-stop in Fusing
Motoring our way up the mountain roads of Taoyuan (桃園) County, I noted with sadness that most of the mountainsides have been stripped of their original forest cover.
 > Taoyuan
Caoling Geopark — Nature at her most terrifying
Caoling Geopark is the kind of place that receives only the briefest of stops from most visitors, who pull into the car park, take a quick look at the destroyed hillside in front (now somewhat softened as Nature begins to reclaim the area), read the several short info boards nearby, and then leap back in the car in search of Caoling's more visually compelling attractions, of which there are a number.
 > Yunlin
Cycling to Caoling Tunnel
Fulong (福隆) has been well established as a weekend destination for both locals and expats for years, if not decades.
 > Taipei
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