Welcome to Taiwan
It’s a rare joy to discover a whole nation so tantalisingly off-radar as Taiwan. If you can’t find it on a map, you’re far from alone: for many people, it’s simply a name on a manufacturing label, a place surely dominated by factories and sprawling cities. But oh, how wrong they are.
Leaf through these pages to discover islands that are as rich in wildlife and tribal culture as they are in natural beauty – from the mighty peaks of the central highlands, to the jungles that surround every city.
The only thing that sprawls here is the beach: the long sandy shores in the south, overlooking pristine coral reefs; and the west’s California-style coast, with its rolling surf and sleepy fishing villages.
Taipei, the capital, is also ready and waiting to defy any stereotype you might have: it’s a bustling Asian financial hub, yes, but those bankers head for the hills every weekend, to the many hiking and biking trails within easy reach of the metropolis.
The further you venture, the more you’ll be rewarded with outdoor adventures: there are far-flung temples to explore, mountains to climb, rivers to raft, and indigenous tribes to meet on unforgettable homestays. But hurry, Taiwan won’t remain off-radar for long: last year saw the launch of the first direct flight from London to Taipei, making it easier to reach than ever. Go now, before the rest of the world realises what they’ve been missing too.