While Taiwan may be most famous for its bustling cities and historic landmarks, it is also home to some incredible outdoor venues. From the Yangmingshan National Park to the tea-growing area of Maokong, these spots each showcase a unique side to the country.
Yangmingshan National Park
One of the most popular of Taiwan’s nine national parks, the Yangmingshan National Park can be found in between Taipei and New Taipei City, making it easy to access for those visiting the capital. The park is famous for its incredible natural beauty, as well as its rich biodiversity, and boasts everything from cherry blossoms to hot springs to hiking trails, and is even home to the Seven Star Mountain, which is the tallest dormant volcano in the country.
Sun Moon Lake
Located in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range, Sun Moon Lake is the largest body of water in the country, and has also become quite the tourist attraction. The lake itself surrounds a small island called Lalu, with the east side of the lake resembling the sun, and the west side resembling the moon, which is how the lake acquired its name. There are several festivals held here throughout the year, and these always draw in the crowds, but, at other times, the lake is still worth visiting for its astounding natural beauty. The area around the lake is filled with criss-crossing hiking trails, making this the perfect spot for some outdoor adventure.
Located near to the capital city, Maokong used to be the largest tea growing area in Taipei, and is a great place to go to learn more about the country’s tea culture. The area still produces tea, although not to the extent that it used to, and is famous for its tieguanyin tea, which can be sampled at one of the many local restaurants that you will find here. The area also features many intertwining footpaths and hiking trails, which visitors can use to explore the scenery, and, if you are visiting on a clear day, you will also be able to enjoy a stunning view of the entire city of Taipei.
Yehliu is another area that can easily be visited from Taipei, and its geopark is an experience that should not be missed. The landscape here was created completely naturally, through a combination of wind and waves, as well as from the unique layer of the earth’s crust that rises up from beneath the ocean. With honeycomb formations, rocks that look like miniature volcanoes, and wave-cut platforms that jut out over the water, the landscape that you will see here is unlike anything that you will see elsewhere on the planet. There is only one trail to follow within the geopark, and this stretches out for 1.7 kilometres, but, since it is the only one here, it can get quite crowded, so try to plan your visit out of peak hours.
Many visitors to Taiwan do not realize just how rich the country is in nature and unique geological features. From the rock formations of the Yehliu Geopark to the hiking trails that surround the Sun Moon Lake, these outdoor venues are guaranteed to impress.