Filled with affable people, diverse Chinese culture, and unique charm, Taiwan sits off the east coast of China, between the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Small wonder that when the Portuguese explored the area in 1590 that they aptly named it Formosa, meaning “beautiful”. Centuries on, this island’s scenic sites remain spectacular—from rugged mountainous terrain laced with snowy peaks to verdant forests, and jagged coastlines with cliffs that plunge deep into the Pacific Ocean. Eight national parks, small fishing villages, magnificent beaches, and colourful festivals held throughout the year all form part of the Taiwan experience. Traditional Chinese massages and long soaks in volcanic hot spring baths at Beitou National Park and Yangmingshan National Park beckon.
In the effervescent capital Taipei, the National Palace Museum is considered one of the world’s four best museums, and the city’s diverse areas include its largest pedestrian zone and consumer district Ximending. Insatiable gourmands, the Taiwanese regal in the endless array of delicious street foods and other fare. Home to myriad markets, the expansive Shilin Night Market, filled with innumerable food stalls and shops, is not to be missed. A place to cultivate a true art de vivre—Taiwan.