While we were living in neighbouring Japan, we did a short trip to Taiwan in winter 2004. Although we couldn’t visit the higher mountains during that season, there was plenty to see. We liked the colourful traditional Chinese architecture and the remnants of indigenous culture. The nature was beautiful and Buddhist vegetarian food a real treat.
Northern Taiwan: Taipei and surroundings
Meat vendors at a market in Taipei
Traditional teahouse in the mountain town of Jiufen
Jiufen was an isolated village until in 1893 gold was discovered in the area. In 1989 it became the setting of a Taiwanese movie and the people were stunned by the nostalgic scenery of the town. Today it is a tourist spot with retro – Chinese style cafes and souvenir shops.
Around Tainan and Southern Taiwan
The Chihkan Tower in Tainan
The Chihkan Tower was originalla a “Western” building: the Dutch colonists built it as Fort Provintia in 1653.
The Matsu Tempel in Tainan
Matsu is the goddess of the sea who protects fishermen and sailors.
The Fire-Water-Cave at Guanziling
Guanziling is one of the most famous hot springs in Taiwan. The spring releases Methane, which immediately ignites and thus causes the impression of burning water. The spring has been burning constantly for almost 300 years.
We had recently started climbing and went to the area mostly to visit a climbing crag. On our way to the climbing routes in the mountains near Guanziling we passed the curious spring and this palm grove.
South of Tainan
In the Aboriginal Culture Park in Sandimen visitors can experience the tribal culture of Taiwan. As we had little knowledge of Taiwan’s older history, it was an unexpected highlight of our trip to Taiwan.
The beach at Kenting in the south of Taiwan
The Taroko Gorge, a must-see on any Taiwan trip
The Taroko National Park was established as early as 1937. At that time, Taiwan was part of the Empire of Japan. Both the Taroko gorge itself and the surrounding area are famous for their abundant supply of marble. Walking through the gorge, it looked like a giant luxury bathroom.