There are a total of 9 national parks in Taiwan, including two marine parks, making Taiwan a great place to visit for nature-loving tourists of all types. Let’s take a look at five landmarks in Taiwan that you don’t want to miss.
Taroko Gorge National Park
The national park is named after Taroko Gorge. The landmark is carved by the 57 km long river Liwu and is easily the main tourism attraction of this national park. The river has created a path in marble stone making this tropical high-altitude valley a sight of earth and heaven. It is best viewed by a road that runs along the river. So hopping on a tour bus in the nearby Hualien City tourism center or renting a scooter are great options to drive through the Tunnel of Nine Turns.
Due to Taiwan’s creation by forces of tectonic plate movement, there are twenty-seven peaks reaching over 3000 meters above sea level in the area. Many hiking paths start at the river Liwu and twist around the mountains that can take you to Eternal Spring Shrine, where a waterfall runs right under the shrine. Landmarks of Taroko Swallow Grotto are tourism destinations in the area. As the name implies – the surrounding cliffs are filled with swallow’s nest. For more adventurous trails head to Zhuilu Cliffs on a 6 hour 6.2 km trail alongside the steep mountains. And to spice things up – you will hold on to nothing but a rope.
These geysers are located in Yangmingshan National Park north of Taiwan’s capital city Taipei. This makes them an easy place to visit. This landmark is most enjoyable during spring and autumn when fields take colors of white cherry blossoms and golden autumn leaves. In the middle of the park stands Taiwan’s tallest dormant volcano named the Seven Star mountain. It reaches an altitude of 1,120 meters. There is a trail that leads up to peak open for tourism.
Yangmingshan landmark is a unique blend of sulfur crystals, landslide created valleys and fumaroles – spitting out clouds of sulfur dioxide. There are many well-marked trails in the national park. Most of them lead to hot springs of different sizes, that are the main tourism attraction in the area.
Fo Guang Shan Buddha
The world’s largest sitting Buddha depicting Sakyamuni Buddha is a place to visit for everyone. It is situated right outside Kaohsiung City in an active temple and monastery practicing humanistic Buddhism open for tourism. It is also a grand museum of arts with many famous sculptures, paintings, one stroke calligraphy, wooden and jade crafts.
Eight Pagodas line the pathway to the golden statue, each representing different ideas of Buddhism. On the eastern side of Fo Guang Shan is a separate landmark to visit called the Great Buddha Land. Here you can find the highest standing Buddha in Southeast Asia covered in gold. This tourism attraction measures 36 meters in height and is surrounded by 480 smaller golden Buddhas.
Kenting National Park
The most southern place to visit on the island and the next landmark not to be missed when exploring Taiwan is the Kenting National Park. It is the oldest of all national parks in Taiwan and is a popular tourism point because of its warm and sunny climate and luxurious white sand beaches with mountain scenery.
Take a look at Taiwan’s South Bay and Banana Bay from Cape Eluanbi’s lighthouse. Adventure through tourism trails with binoculars to witness vast fauna of 15 species of mammals, 310 species of birds, 59 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 216 species of butterflies.
Sun Moon Lake
Sun Moon Lake is the largest natural lake in Taiwan. It’s also arguably the most beautiful one and is located in central Taiwan. This landmark got it’s name from the island Lalu that divided the lake in two, before the creation of a dam. One part of the island looks like a moon and the other resembles the sun.
The island used to be habitable but now is open only for tourism. There are three ferries crossing the lake, connecting different towns and temples around the area. Aboriginal tribes lived in the area of Sun Moon Lake for thousands of years and have influenced the local culture and architecture. The lake and its surrounding countryside have been designated one of thirteen national scenic areas in Taiwan.
Taiwan has incredibly diverse and unique landmarks due to its exotic location and rich cultural history. It is hard to pick which mountain summit or which park to visit when there are more than 280 peaks over 3000m reaching for the sky in the land of earth and heaven. While Taiwan is rich with it’s mountains, it is also home to the most diverse tourism destinations due to its nature, culture, religion and incredible landmarks.