Eco-friendly travel guide to Taiwan advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Taiwan, Asia.
- Air quality: 2.0 / 5
- Bus connections: 3.5 / 5
- Train connections: 4.0 / 5
- Hitchhiking: 3.5 / 5
- National parks: 4.0 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.0 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.0 / 5
- Accommodation: US$20 - $100
- Budget per day: US$30 - $150
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 Regions
- 11 Cities
- 12 Getting There and Moving Around
- 13 Sustainable Shopping
- 14 Recycling
- 15 Work and Study Abroad
- 16 See Also
Taiwan is a country in East Asia and the Republic of China. Taiwan is originally an island located in the Pacific Ocean, off the southeastern coast of China. The ROC government has jurisdiction over 22 islands in Taiwan and 64 islands to the west in the P'eng-hu archipelago on the main island. At first, Taiwan was under the control of the Japanese, then in 1945, after Japan's defeat in WWII, Taiwan returned to Nationalist Chinese control. But later, in 1949, when the Chinese Communist armies defeated the Nationalist government, Taiwan separated from China. After that, in the 1990s, the Chinese government started maintaining jurisdiction over Taiwan.
Taiwan is filled with lush greenery and surrounded by incredible mountains. It includes several islands such as Green Island, Orchid Island, etc. The Islands' best thing is that they are mysterious and not yet damaged by mass tourism. But if you want to be surprised by Taiwan's ancient history, then the old villages located in these islands would be a great help. Taiwan is a fascinating and well-developed country, and as a responsible tourist, you must keep the country's beauty intact and help it develop its tourism even more. Well, here's how you can contribute to the country's tourism:
- Don't leave a negative mark on the country or its residents. Lookout at what you are doing and make a positive impact on Taiwan and the local people. For example, purchase locally produced products.
- Always give back when there is an opportunity. Participate in the volunteering programs, and you will see how amazing it feels to contribute at least something to someone in need.
- Be responsible and throw your trash into its designated places. The country offers you to enjoy its beauty, culture, and overall tourism, not permitting you to destroy its beauty.
- Ignore vehicles that do not have that much contribution to the country's economy at the same time that can produce lots of air pollutants. For instance, ride buses, metros of bicycles, instead of cars.
- Choose a sustainable tour planner and save a lot of money. Think this way; if you spend less money on accommodation, transportation, and dine-in, you can contribute more to the volunteering programs.
- When bargaining, know your limit and don't be so hard. While bargaining at the small local shops, remember, they are making their living through the money. So, be responsible.
Air Quality and Pollution
Due to the limited land and heavy economic growth, Taiwan has been an Environmental burden for many years. Factory density, Population density, Vehicle density, etc., are even higher than the US and Japan. Other than that, Taiwan's air pollution is also derived from domestic combustion, i.e., mostly burning fossil fuels. According to some recent reports, now the Air Quality Index of Taiwan is 115, which is quite unhealthy.
Respect the Culture
Traditional and Conservative are the best words to describe Taiwan's Culture, similar to most other Asian cultures but with much more diversity. As you all know or guessed, Taiwan's Culture is primarily Chinese, but it is also a mixture of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, mostly the outer forms of core beliefs.
Even though Taiwan has a complex in its cultural mix, people are very friendly here, and everyone participates in cultural celebrations of all kinds. The locals are mostly very shy, but not when it's about greeting you with the sweetest smile and the warmest handshake. You will see how the Taiwanese maintain their sense of hospitality, and it will take nearly no time to feel at home in Taiwan.
The official language here in Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese or Guoyu. On the other hand, the native Taiwanese language is Taiyu or Minnan Hua. Hakka Chinese and different aboriginal dialects are also spoken here.
Now, as a responsible tourist, you should show respect to such amazing people and their culture. Respecting a place's culture is also essential in order to connect to that place and learn about it. So you see, being a responsible tourist and fulfilling a few responsibilities is not that hard.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is full of vibrant cities and lively people. There are many beautiful old temples, delicious cuisines, incredible greenery, and many unique places to visit. Another impressive thing about Taiwan is, it's a hub of cultural diversity. In conclusion, that means you have to search for opportunities to fit everything into your trip. So, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for some amazing things in Taiwan.
- Kinmen Islands: Kinmen Islands are located just between Taiwan and China. The place is famous as a land of the battle of Communists and Nationalists in 1949. The islands are full of lovely sceneries, full of bright flowers, nature reserves, and forests. This is why sometimes the place is called 'The park in the sea.' Apart from the pleasure of vibrant sceneries, several Historic Buildings can be found in Kinmen. The architectural works of those Buildings are just astonishing. And of course, there are also several beaches. Last but not least, don't forget to try Kinmen's famous cuisine.
- Lukang: It is the second oldest town on the island of Taiwan. In a word, the place is mesmerizing. Lukang is primarily famous for its architecture and Cuisine. Once upon a time, this city was an important trading center and seaport. Today, even though the city is no longer a seaport or a trading center, the historic buildings are still intact, as well as old temples. Do you know that there are two hundred ancient temples in Lukang? Well, they are unique places to visit. Matzu and Longshan are the famous ones among them.
- Sun Moon Lake: Sun Moon Lake is the largest water body in Taiwan. Being one of the most popular destinations, several resorts and hotels are located along the lake's shore and a number of restaurants, bars, and shops. Apart from sailing on the lake, there are lots of outdoor activities available here. The lake has tranquil water and breathtaking scenery to offer, making it a great place to just look at the water and spend some time with your loved one. You can also visit the temples located around the lake or ride the cable car to enjoy the fantastic view of this place.
- Taipei: Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan, and several things are waiting here for you to explore. Taipei is the economic and political hub of Taiwan, but it is also the cultural hub of Taiwan, mainly because of its cultural scenes and lively arts. With stunning architecture and a fascinating mix of old and new, Taipei has some delicious foods to offer. Like any other famous city in Taiwan, Taipei also has multiple old temples, but the difference is that the temples are located in the middle of the skyscrapers. The Taipei 101 tower in the city is the third tallest building in the works, with 1667 feet in height. Being the capital city of Taiwan, Taipei does not have any lack of restaurants, bars, museums, and shops. The Botanical Garden, The Taipei Zoo, The famous temple of Hsing Tian Kong, The fun and colorful Raohe Street, etc., are famous tourist attractions here.
- Wulai: This place is very famous in Taiwan for its hot springs; hence, Wulai is now a tourist town, and people love to come here to enjoy hot water baths. Wulai is located in the south of New Taipei City. It is full of outdoor activity opportunities like hiking in the forests, fishing, and Wulai is a famous campsite. You will also find places that sell indigenous arts, Crafts, and some based on the local culture. This means you can even learn about the place's cultural history while enjoying the fantastic scenery.
- Kaohsiung: It's a unique, lively city in Taiwan where everyone has at least something to offer you that can cheer you up. Kaohsiung is the third most populous city in the region and the maritime and industrial hub of Taiwan. The city had everything a visitor would like about a city, such as great weather, several places for outdoor activities, lots of viewpoints, delicious cuisine, lots of historic sites, museums, temples and many more. A beautiful and substantial Buddhist Monastery is located here.
- Taichung: Taichung can be a little tricky to reach, but it's worth adding to the list of most visiting places in Taiwan. Taichung is fantastic for a day trip. There are many tourist attractions here, but you may find it hard to move around the city as the transportation system here is underdeveloped. People mostly visit Taichung in the attraction of the Rainbow Village. The Fengjia Night Market here is the biggest one in Taiwan. Taichung is also the creator of Bubble Tea. If you want Bubble Tea, you have to get to Siwei Street in Taichung and find Chun Shiu Tang's original bubble tea store.
- Hualien: Hualien is located on the East Coast of Taiwan. The city may not contribute much to the city's tourism, but it's a great destination to go to the east coast of Taiwan, one of the big attractions in the country. Hire a Scooter and get out of Hualien to explore the east coast; Nanbin Park, Beibin Park, and Four-Eight Highland. Hualien also has a great night market, Hualien night market, which you can explore joyously during your time in the city.
- Green Island: As mentioned before, there are several islands here in Taiwan. One of them is Green Island, which lies on Taiwan's southeast coast, and it's a volcanic island. You can easily reach Green Island by boat from Taitung or by plane from Taitung or Taipei airports. It will take two-three hours to explore the whole Island. There are several exciting beaches on this Island. There are also a few local villages that themselves have great historical value.
- Jiufen: It's an ancient scenic town located at the east of the capital Taipei. If you have seen the film Spirited Away, you must know about this town, especially the town setting and bathhouse. It is said that Jiufen is a wonderful and special place to visit in an Asian country. It has an incredible history and a lot of ancient buildings. Jiufen is also the home of an old town with a maze of narrow alleyways and street-food shacks, teahouses, and lots of souvenir shops. The Shengping theatre here was established in the 1900s and later restored. The Gold Mine Museum here will teach you about the Town's interesting and fascinating history.
Taiwan can be a small country, but some of the large countries don't have such a large history and Population density. The number of things you can explore in Taiwan is just unlimited. With the largest tower to mesmerizing lakes, it's not a surprise that the number of tourists in Taiwan increases every year. Take a look at the following list and check out the unmissable parts of Taiwan.
Taiwan might be a city that never sleeps, but you can still find some places where you can take a break from the hustle-bustle and take a moment of your own. Taiwan has an impressive collection of beautiful green spaces and parks, which are just perfect for relaxing or spending some quality time with your loved ones. So, where should you go? Have a look:
- Youth Park: The park is located in Taipei city, and it is a hub of outdoor activities for the locals. It is a relatively large park, filled with lush greenery. There is also a sitting arrangement where you can sit and enjoy the light breeze and relax for as long as you want. Baseball field, Swimming Pool, Bicycle Paths, Golf driving range, and kids' playgrounds are attractions in the park.
- Dajia Riverside Park: The park lies alongside the Keelung River. It is an extensive green area, filled with several amenities which are enough to keep people of all ages busy. You will find tennis courts, baseball fields, a racetrack for radio-controlled cars, playgrounds, soccer pitched, etc. here. If you are looking for a place in Taiwan to spend some quality time with your kids and family, Dajia Riverside Park is the best option.
- Daan Forest Park: Daan is the largest park, located in Taipei, a popular destination for a lunch break or a weekend picnic in Taipei. There are beautiful breezy paths lined with trees, which are just perfect for blocking the busy city's noise. Inside the park, you will also find the city's most popular cafés and restaurants, and for an after-dinner stroll, this place is perfect. On special occasions and during festivals, events are held here, in the terrace music area.
- Taipei Expo Park: It is located in the Zhongshan District, and it is a combination of three famous park areas, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Yuanshan, and Xinsheng. Taipei Expo Park is a recreational park that can offer you lots of facilities to host different events. There's also a particular exhibition area surrounded by a 3D space, something you have to see.
- Dahu Park: Dahu Park is mainly famous for its scenic lake and water facilities. Located in Neihu District, Dahu Park is a green place with fantastic picture-perfect scenery. It's a perfect pick for a stroll around, fishing, picnic, or a photo shoot. But that's not all, and Dahu Park also has a swimming pool to offer. Overall, it's a perfect summer destination.
Rongxing Park, Bihu Park, 228 peace park, Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, Huashan 1915 Creative Park, etc., are some other worth-visit parks in Taiwan.
Taiwan is now one of the top tourist places globally, and the country has gained its recognition as a tourist destination quite fast. The country has beautifully preserved its flora and fauna as the face of national parks. Here are the top five of them:
- Kenting National Park: Kenting National Park is the region's first new National Park. Located at the southernmost part of the island, Kenting National Park houses several sandy beaches, caves, and mountains. There is a resort town located inside the park, which is the most popular attraction here. It's a small strip of restaurants, shops, bars, and hotels, surrounded by the coastline. Kenting National Park is also famous as a great holiday destination for its fantastic weather throughout the year.
- Taroko National Park: Taiwan's most famous national park, located in Hualien Country. Thousands of organized tours take place here, regularly. Taroko National Park is spread over 1200 square miles, and from the sea level, the park rises to 3700 meters as 90% of the park are mountains. There are Marble-walled canyons, mountainside temples, Grottos, scenic bridges, cliffs, and waterfalls. Over half of Taiwan's plant and animal species live here. You can say that Taroko National Park is the dream of photographers.
- Yangmingshan National Park: Yangmingshan is the closest national park to the Capital city, and it is located in the famous New Taipei city. The National Park is mostly renowned for its hot springs and incredible scenery. There are many hotels, B&Bs are located here, and those are perfect if you want to stay and explore the beautiful countryside. Yang Ming Shan is a dormant volcano, which is the main reason behind the hot springs. If you take a peek into Taiwan's history, you will see the Japanese planted a beautiful array of flora when used to rule over the island. Today they are extended and look even much more impressive.
- Shei-Pa National Park: Shei Pa is located near three countries, Hsinchu, Miaoli, and Taichung. In 1992, the area was first declared as a National Park. There are a number of mountains here, and overall, the site is perfect for pleasing you with its breathtaking scenery. Xueshan, the second largest peak in Taiwan, can be located here. In the first place, there stands Yushan.
- Yushan National Park: It is the perfect place for hikers, with more than thirty peaks and more than 3000 meters in height. As we mentioned before, Yushan, the highest peak in Taiwan, is located here at 3952 meters in height. The view you can get from the top of Yushan just cannot be described by words. Still, the sad part is, during the seasonal times, there remains no opportunity to register for the tracking as everyone shows their interest and the waiting just for the permit is quite long.
Among Asian countries, Taiwan may not be famous as a beach holiday destination, but there are several excellent beaches along with great seaside towns on this beautiful island. Here are some of the beaches:
- Wai'ao Beach
As you all know now, Taipei 101 is the most accurate example of Taiwanese architecture. It is truly fantastic to work, but on the other hand, it should not take all the credit. Taiwan has much more to offer. From museums to temples, there are plenty of historic landmarks in Taiwan.
- The High heel Wedding Church: This place is not built initially to worship, but since it hosts private wedding ceremonies, this giant shoe-shaped venue has gained popularity as the 'high-heel Church.' The church or the wedding venue is located in the fishing village of Budai. The building was created to attract visitors to the town and increase the local economy. The show's idea came as they wanted to commemorate the Blackfoot disease outbreak that suppressed the local female population.
- Dragon and Tiger Pagodas: It is a religious site located in Kaohsiung, by the Lotus pond's edge. The locals believe that the pagodas are good luck for those who enter through the Dragon's mouth and come out through the tiger's. The Pagodas are painted in vibrant colors and offer a beautiful broad view of the city's busiest recreational areas. If you want to witness the sunset from here, do visit the pagodas in the evening.
- Fort Zeelandia: Located in the Anping district of the southern city Tainan, Fort Zeelandia was built in 1624 by the Dutch East India Company. Once, the building served as the outpost for the Dutch East India Company, who were ruling almost the whole of western Taiwan. Today, it may not be that old defensive building, but it is a great symbol of Taiwan's past and a popular Landmark. This is one of the oldest buildings in Taiwan.
- National Taichung Theatre: National Taichung Theatre is one of a kind opera house on this Island. Located in the popular Taichung city, the National Theatre building was designed by a Japanese architect Toyo Ito. It was opened in 2016, and since then, it is a popular destination among opera lovers in the country. The building's amazing architecture includes curved and sloped walls that give the impression that you are walking through a vast coral reef. The fountain area compliments the unique architecture perfectly.
- Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall: This place is one of the most important monuments in Taiwan, which was built to commemorate the life and work of Chiang Kai Shek, the former president of the Republic of China. The building was finished in 1976, but it was opened to the public in 1980. The memorial hall is located in Taipei and built inside a walled complex, Liberty Square. The memorial hall is another amazing piece of architecture with beautifully landscaped ponds, gardens, and walkways. The Memorial Hall was overall built with white marble with an octagonal roof on top. Inside you will see a large bronze statue of Chiang Kai Shek.
- Alisan National Scenic Area: Located in Chianti country in the south of Taiwan, it's a mountain resort and a nature preserve, spread around 415 sq. km. The area includes wide mountains, villages, forest railway, waterfalls, high mountain Alisan tea, and wasabia plantations. Beautiful sunrise and sunset sceneries and a sea of clouds attract thousands of visitors. It is also a paradise for hikers.
- Rainbow Village: Rainbow Village is the hard work of an 86 years old Huang Yung-fu Over ten years ago. The Taiwanese government threatened to knock the village down as the older man was the last residence remaining, and there was absolutely no tourist value left. Now, in order to save his home, Huang started painting and eventually ended up painting the entire village with vibrant, rainbow colors. Now, Huang is known as the 'Rainbow Grandpa' who was initially Chinese and fought multiple wars for his land. Located in Taichung city today, Rainbow Village is a famous tourist spot where people capture as many pictures as possible. Don't forget to meet with our Hero Grandpa, who is now 97 years old.
Taiwan has a lot of history stored in it, hence several museums full of wonders. There are also a few famous art museums which you never want to miss. These are filled with breathtaking arts of some of the most talented artists worldwide, along with some locally renowned artists. Take a look at the top museums in Taiwan:
- National Palace Museum
- Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum
- Chimei Museum
- National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
- Lanyang Museum
- Taipei Fine Arts Museum
- Miniatures Museum of Taipei
Taiwan is a diverse country, both ethnically and culturally, and dining is the best way to connect with the local culture. Taiwanese Cuisine has many variations. The majority of the locally famous dishes are from Hoklo. There also lives indigenous Taiwanese people, Waishengren, Hakka, who created even more variation in the Taiwanese Cuisine. Local cuisine is also largely influenced by Japanese cuisine as well as Chinese cuisine.
The most striking fact about Taiwanese food is they are a lot cheaper than any other Asian country. Taiwanese people know precisely how to put lots of flavors and taste in food and take it to a high-quality level but still keep it affordable.
Here are some of the must-try preparations in Taiwan:
- Beef Noodles
- Minced Pork Rice
- Soup Dumplings
- Oyster Omelette
- Intestine and Oyster Vermicelli
- Stinky Tofu
- Bubble Tea
- Chicken Cutlet
- Pineapple Cake
- Shaved Ice
Traditional and Local Restaurants
Here are some of the most famous restaurants in Taiwan where you will find unique traditional and Local dishes:
- Smart Fish
- House of Crab
- Zhuxin Residence
- JL Studio
Vegetarian and Vegan
As a vegetarian, you must be thinking of how miserable your life could be, in Taiwan but that's not true! Taiwan has an impressive collection of vegetarian and vegan restaurants that will amaze you; have a look:
- Shang Ding Huang Jia Vegetarian Dumplings
- Jen Dow Vegetarian Restaurant
- Yang Shin Vegetarian Restaurant
- Xiu Yuan Vegetarian
- Yang Ayu Ting Loop Train Vegetarian Hot Pot
- Vegan Taipei
- Shuiwen Lauren Sushi Vegetarian Restaurant
- Da Ci Vegetarian
- Miss Green
Here are some of Taiwan's famous street foods you must try:
- Deep-fried chicken Cutlet
- Chòu Dòufu
- Fried Taro balls
- Pig's Intestine
- Savoury Rice Pudding
Today, Organic foods are much more than a trend. Once, Organic used to be a rare term, and today it's mainstream. But why? Because today people have started loving themselves and respecting their body. But finding an entirely organic place in a foreign country can be a little tricky. This is why we have made a small list of some of the some best organic cafes in Taiwan,
- SOUL R. VEGAN CAFE
- Ooh Cha Cha
- Blossom Rena Vegan Café
- Sugar Pea Cafe
Craft beer is recently becoming available throughout the country. This started when Taiwan joined the World Trade Organisation in 2002, and the Taiwanese government was nearly forced to allow private businesses like crafting beer and spirits. If you get an opportunity to connect with the recent businessmen of the craft beer movement, you will see how their story is similar to the recent years of craft brewing in North America.
However, here are some of the best breweries in Taiwan:
- Jim & Dudes Brewing Company
- Taihu Brewing
- Formosa Brewing Co
- ZhangMen Brewing Company
- Taiwan Head Brewers Brewing Co.
- 55th Street Craft Brewery
The most famous drinks in Taiwan are KQTea, Sharetea, Sugarcane Mama, Bubble Café Late, TP tea, Kaoliang (the most famous liquor in Taiwan). And if you are looking for bars, have a look at the following list:
- The Speakeasy Irish Bar
- Ruler Bar
- Ounce Taipei
The water supplied by Taiwan Water Corporation or TWC is completely safe. According to TWC, Taiwan's tap water is even safer when it is freshly released from treatment plants. But there may be contamination in the water supplied in homes and local pipes. According to locals, tap water here is not safe, mainly because they take the chlorine added to the water as a threat. So, for your own safety, you should carry bottled mineral water.
Taiwan is a beautiful island, and it is full of greenery, and biggest mountains, and also great water bodies. So, as you can guess, there are loads of outdoor activity opportunities waiting for you here. , this hidden paradise, full of outdoor potentials, attracts thousands of adventurous travelers around the world every year. Just like it's a heaven for trekkers and mountaineers, it also offers a range of activities like kayaking, surfing, paragliding, mountain biking, etc.
Here is the list of outdoor activities you might be interested in participating in:
- Hiking and Trekking
- Mountain Biking
- Mountain Climbing
- Whitewater rafting and kayaking
- Diving and snorkeling
- Cycle Tour
Yoga and Retreat
Taiwan is indeed a hub of Hundreds of cultural activities; it is also home to some genuinely relaxing spots. The fascinating national parks here offer you lots of opportunities to escape the city's chaos. On the other hand, the city also provides impressive retreats, and there is nothing like a retreat in a truly historic place. Here's some of the Yoga and Retreat; pick your favorite one:
- Origin Yoga and Wellness
- The One Nanyuan
- Ananda Suruci Eco-village
- Yoga Journey
- Marga Yoga and Detox Retreats
Taiwan offers its visitors a huge range of accommodations, from responsible green hotels to sustainable hostels and guest houses, and you will find all kinds of accommodations here. Now check out the following options, and choose the most suitable accommodation for your trip.
Here are some of the top green or eco-friendly hotels in Taiwan:
- Green Hotel
- Howard Green Bay Resort Hotel
- Green Yard Business Hotel
- Fengjia, Xitun
- Zhonghua Hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
Following is a list of the best hostels and guest houses in Taiwan:
- UZ Hostel
- Taipei Guest House
- D'Well Hostel
- Longantree Guest House
- Akari Guest House
- Mini Voyage Hostel
- Taiwan Youth Hostel and Capsule Hotel
Renting an apartment is a good idea you plan to stay in Taiwan for a longer period, but finding an apartment in Taiwan is not a piece of cake for visitors. It may give you quite a headache, especially when the boundary of language comes in the way. It's not that there is any lack of apartments in Taiwan to rent; the challenge is to find the right apartment at the right price. This is why you need to research thoroughly online and secure a trustworthy contact offline.
Couchsurfing is quite famous among youngsters and students. It's an excellent way for them to save a lot of money and stay on this beautiful island. There is an online community named couchsurfing.com. Here people from across the world gather and find their Couchsurfing companion. Log in to the website, and you will get your host in no time.
Staying in a luxurious hotel is just comfort, but getting out into Nature and spending nights under the beautiful sky is a whole different kind of experience. It's also a growing trend. This is why as soon as this business opportunity caught Taiwanese entrepreneurs' eye, several campsites started opening across the city. Check out the following list and pick your favorite:
- Wuling Farm Camping Ground
- Jingshan Camping Ground
- Liyu lake campground
- Baima Pavilion
- Shitiping Campground
- Lüshui Heliu Campground
The Republic of China, Taiwan, is a beautiful mountainous island nation in East Asia. You can locate Taiwan in the north of the Philippines and the south of the China Sea. At about 180 km off the southeast coast of China. The Taiwan Strait separates Taiwan.
Taiwan's region is based on the ancient administrative divisions. It is divided into two regions by the Central mountains and Zhuoshui River, four regions based on their locations in Taiwan, the central government divided Taiwan into five regions, and this division is used by Joint Service Centres and the Jurisdiction if High Court branches, and according to Japanese rule, Taiwan is divided into six regions.
|Northern Taiwan (Hsinchu, Hsinchu County, Keelung, New Taipei, Taipei, Taoyuan County, Yangmingshan National Park)|
the capital city, main airport and technology hub of the island
|Central Taiwan (Changhua County, Miaoli County, Nantou County, Sun Moon Lake and Taichung)|
scenic mountains and lakes and major national parks
|Eastern Taiwan (Hualien, Hualien County, Taitung County, Taroko Gorge, Taitung, Yilan County)|
Hualien and Taitung are cut off from the rest of the island by the central mountains; this is a region of great natural beauty
|Southern Taiwan (Chiayi County, Kaohsiung, Pingtung County, Tainan and Yunlin County)|
the tropics of Taiwan with beaches and palm trees and the second largest city
|Outlying Islands (Green Island, Kinmen, Matsu, Orchid Island, Penghu)|
A couple of small islands that are popular getaway destinations with the locals. Some of them very far offshore and near Mainland China.
Taiwan has many large cities and towns. Below is a list of ten of the most notable.
- Taipei (臺北 or 台北) is the seat of government of Taiwan ROC and its center of commerce and culture. Taipei is home to the world's second tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101.
- Hsinchu (新竹) is a center of hi-tech industry, and one of the world's leading manufacturers of hi-tech components. Hsinchu Science Park  is the home to many hi-tech companies.
- Hualien (花蓮) is located near Taroko Gorge, and is considered one of the most pleasant of Taiwan's cities.
- Jiufen (九份) - this former gold mining town located on the northeast coast is now a popular tourist destination.
- Kaohsiung (高雄) is the second-largest city on the island. It has one of the busiest sea ports (the Port of Kaohsiung) in the world and it has the island's second-largest airport, Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH) .
- Keelung (基隆) is the a center of transshipment in the north, and is located about a thirty minute drive or a twenty minute bicycle ride from downtown Taipei.
- New Taipei (新北) is the most populous city of Taiwan. The area includes a substantial stretch of Taiwan's northern coastline and surrounds the Taipei Basin.
- Puli (埔里) is located at the geographical center of the island, and it serves as a good base for exploring the central mountains and Sun Moon Lake.
- Taichung (臺中 or 台中) is the third largest city in Taiwan, and has an abundance of interesting cultural amenities and activities.
- Tainan (臺南 or 台南) is the oldest city in Taiwan and was the capital during imperial times. It is famous for its historic buildings.
Getting There and Moving Around
Taiwan is a well-developed city with well-developed transportation. It has some of the best cycling routes in the world and an impressive bus network, on the other hand, a convenient railway system. So you see, it's effortless to move around Taiwan.
Walk: Taiwan might be a small country, but it will take you a lot of time to go from one city to another in Taiwan. However, while visiting nearby locations or markets, nothing can be better than walking.
Bicycle: There are several cycling routes across the city, even the most convenient and cheap way to move around. According to some surveys, Taiwan has some of the best cycling infrastructures in the world. If you attempt to complete the round-the-country circular route by bike, it will take up to 10-12 days.
Electric Vehicles: Taiwan is an ideal nation for electric vehicles because of its high rate of urbanization and population density. Now, you might see a few Electronic Vehicles around the city, but within a few years, there will be several.
Public Bus: Moving Around by bus in Taiwan is even much cheaper than trains. The best bus companies in Taiwan have provided amazingly comfortable ac buses with large cost armchair style seats, along with onboard toilets and movies. However, it might be easy to travel around the city by bus while it's hard to reach mountain areas.
Tram, Train, and Subway: All the Taiwan cities are connected by the Taiwan Railway Administration network, consisting of local and express trains. After the opening of Taiwan High-Speed Rail in 2007, getting around Taiwan became even easier. Taipei Mass Rapid Transit or Taipei Metro servers Taipei, and New Taipei, Taiwan.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is the leading international airport in Taiwan, located 40km southeast of Taipei. There are direct flights from North America, Oceania, and Europe. The airport is connected to Taipei's city by Taoyuan Airport MRT and HSR Taoyuan Station. You can also catch a bus to reach your desired location in Taiwan. However, Hong Kong is the most convenient place to grab a direct flight to Taiwan.
Taiwan has an extensive bus network, and you can easily get around, but there is no way to reach Taiwan. So if you travel by bus, you may end up spending a lot of time traveling.
Taiwan has two train systems, Taiwan HSR and Taiwan Railway Administration. You can reach Taiwan by train from the neighboring countries.
It's easy to hitchhike to Taiwan, but it can be complicated and elaborated as Taiwan is an island. On the other hand, hitchhiking is not very popular among the locals, but really sometimes you may see people are trying to hitchhike while returning from the mountains and hitchhiking is completely free inside the country. As mentioned above, the local people of Taiwan are very friendly, and they are always happy to help.
Ferry services are available to Taiwan from some specific places, and the ferry services used to connect Taiwan and Japan were suspended in 2008. You can catch a ferry from Fuzhou to Matsu, then from Matsu to Keelung, Taiwan. There are also several ferries between Xiamen and Quanzhou. However, reaching Taiwan by boat can be a little complicated, and it is an easy way of transportation between the islands in Taiwan.
Sustainable Shopping is a great way to keep up with the duties of a responsible tourist. Just like staying in a green hotel ensures that you are not harming nature anyway, even helping it. Similarly, sustainable Shopping also means saving natural resources. Overall, Sustainable Shopping is relatively healthy for people, along with the entire planet.
If you are searching for amazing Street foods in Taiwan, night markets are what you need to visit. Taiwan is famous for its night markets and the food here. The night markets remain open between the Sunset and sunrise.
Here are some of the famous night markets in Taiwan:
- Shilin Night Market
- Raohe Night Market
- Linjiang Night Market
- Keelung Temple Night Market
- Shira Night Market
- Tunghai Night Market
- Ruifeng Night Market
Here are some of the flea markets where locals love to shop:
- Fuhe Flea Market
- Gancheng Flea Market
- Tambakan Sa Kaohsiung
- Taichung Flea Market
- Zili Flea Market
Following are the top second-hand stores in Taiwan:
- Best Buy Second Hand Store
- Green Angel
- Q Shop
- Q.S. Vintage
- Nostalgic Future
- Niao Niao
As days are passing, along with being a more and more well-developed country, Taiwan is also leaning towards eco-friendly fashion. This is why you will find several eco fashion stores here; here are some of them:
- CELINE TAICHUNG FAR EASTERN
- Carhartt WIP Store Taipei
- GUCCI Taipei 101 store
- ZARA Tiger City Store
The pile of waste is growing not only in Taiwan but across the whole world. According to some past calculations, if the mountain of wastes in municipal areas continues to rise like this, then in 2050, it will raise around 3.4 billion! At the same time, tackling waste is really hard, and it is becoming even more challenging due to climate change. But today, Taiwan is able to boast and beat the rest of the world by increasing the recycling rate by 55%, and the daily disposal rate has decreased from 1.14 kg per person to 0.4 kilograms per person.
Such a significant change could only be possible because of an environmental group called Homemakers United. They started in 1987 as a small group of 10 Taiwanese women, and in just three decades, they turned impossible into possible.
Let's start at approximately 31 years ago. Taiwan has around 400 landfills, and each of them bursting with mountains of wastes. In 1979, local governments were collecting up to 8800 metric tons of solid waste daily, and by 1990, the number was 18,800 tonnes. In 1992, the number hit 21,900. Eventually, people used to call Taiwan "garbage island."
After much research and consultation and passing several laws, in 1998, the Waste Disposal Act was passed, and the Taiwanese government made recycling and waste reduction a priority. After that, they started a new program called the disappearance of Taiwan's public rubbish bins. Following the program, the public rubbish bins were taken away and replaced with scheduled rounds carried out by singing rubbish collection trucks, provided by every city's government. Alongside that, several waste management and recycling programs were hosted by the city's government, and responsible groups like Homemakers United were also beneficial.
Look at Taiwan today—Taiwan's recycling rate is one of the best in the world.
Work and Study Abroad
The number of international students interested in studying in Taiwan is growing every day. Taiwan is known to the world for its high-class tech industry, but it also offers terrific academic programs. Simultaneously, the tech subjects of Taiwan might be renowned in the whole world, but the country is doing a great job with other subjects. For instance, according to some reports, most international students in Taiwan chose business and management as their major subject. Also, language courses here are pretty popular. On the other, you will get several fantastic job prospects here, after learning such high-quality courses.
Here are the top universities in Taiwan:
- National Cheng Kung University
- National Chiao Tung University
- National Tsing Hua University
- National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Taiwanese government targets to reach 150,000 in 2020, and in order to achieve that target, Universities in Taiwan are rapidly increasing their degree courses that are taught partly or entirely in English and the number of exchange student programs. Alongside that, the government is also offering several scholarships for international students. Not only that but the Taiwanese government is also increasing the quality of the academic courses on a significantly higher level. The rich cultural environment and future job prospects are other main reasons to study in Taiwan. So you see, anybody would be lucky to have the opportunity to learn in Taiwan!
The concept is quite new in Taiwan. Taiwanese people are very friendly, but they are still confused with the idea of letting a stranger live in their own house. However, if you keep a local contact or research online, you can surely get in touch with some interested people.
There are many great opportunities for foreign volunteers in Taiwan. With the mix of modern and ancient culture and diverse landscapes, there are various volunteer projects available. Such as:
- WWOOFing in Taiwan
- Volunteer opportunities with UNA Exchange in Taiwan
- Work with AIESEC Australia in Taiwan
- Assist foreign tourists in outdoor activities
- Teach foreign languages