With Ma Ying-Jeou’s presidential win, Taiwan is likely to gradually open its doors to more and more tourists from mainland China. Where will these tourists go? Here are a couple of the top attractions in Taiwan:
National Palace Museum: When Chiang Kai-Shek retreated to Taiwan from mainland China in 1949 to escape from Communist Party troops, he also took the art collection built up over centuries by China’s emperors with him. As a result, the National Palace Museum in Taipei has an art collection that is widely acknowledged as the best collection of Chinese art in the world, better even than that contained in museums on mainland China.
Sun Moon Lake: Sun Moon Lake, at an altitude of 760 meters, is surrounded by beautiful green mountains. It is the largest lake in Taiwan, with a perimeter of 35 kilometers. The calm surface of the lake, clear water, and reflections of picturesque mountains, combine to produce a magical effect. The Lalu Hotel, at Sun Moon Lake, is a luxurious five-star resort with an Asian minimalist style that would satisfy even the most discerning global traveler.
Taroko Gorge: Taroko Gorge is a beautiful canyon, 19km long, near the eastern coast of Taiwan. The scenery along the gorge is breathtaking but the roads along the canyon can be very windy. If you get car sick, this may not be the best place for you. Besides the canyon itself, you can visit aboriginal tribes, take a dip in natural hot springs, or go hiking.
Alishan (Mount Ali): Alishan is a mountain range that averages 2,500 meters in altitude. Alishan is famous for its large Taiwanese red cypresses, some of which are very old. The flora of Alishan changes as you go up in altitude, from more tropical vegetation to tall, old forests at higher elevations. Alishan’s fame has been enhanced by an old folksong which tells the story of the ‘Alishan girl’.