When to go
Taiwan is sub-tropical but the climate varies from hot and humid in the south to cooler in the north and inland mountainous region. All over the country sudden rain showers frequently occur, making rainwear an essential part of a visitor’s luggage. The driest time of year is autumn (September and October), which is followed by a short generally damp and chilly winter with snow on the island’s mountain peaks. Summer temperatures can reach 90ºF (35ºC) at the coast. Summer is also typhoon season.
Where to go
Taiwan is famous for its towering mountains, with dozens of peaks rising upwards of 3,000 meters and one, the scenic Yushan (Jade Mountain), reaching to nearly 4,000 meters, making it Northeast Asia’s highest peak. The geographical richness of Taiwan is especially evident in the mountain areas of the island with their unique landscapes and scenic charms
Visitors can also discover stunning scenic views on the beautiful coasts of Taiwan. The Northeast and Yilan Coast National Scenic Area and North Coast and Guanyinshan National Scenic Area stretch between green mountains and the deep blue sea. The mountainous Maolin National Scenic Area welcomes all into a world of aboriginal culture, butterflies, the stone houses of the Rukai and nature’s scenic beauty.
Head to Alishan to watch the sunrise over the celebrated ‘Sea of Clouds’ that rings Yushan (Mt. Jade) and visit The ‘Enchanting Sisters Ponds’ – two small pools, one with a wooden bridge and pavilion, named after two lovelorn aboriginal sisters who drowned themselves there. Other attractions include the ‘Three Generation Trees’, several temples, a cherry garden, deer farm and a small museum
Visit the largest Buddhist monastery in Southeast Asia – Fo Guang Shan. The complex consists of several large shrine halls surrounded by colonnades, pavilions and pagodas, bridges and footpaths, ponds and grottoes, and libraries and meditation halls. This monastery houses the largest Buddha image on the island at 32 metres high which is surrounded by almost 500 life-sized images of disciples.
One of the main national parks and in fact the largest natural park in Taiwan, is Sun Moon Lake which is surrounded by green mountains. The Eastern part of the lake is round like the sun, while the Western part is shaped like a crescent moon. In the middle of the lake (between the “sun” and the “moon”) is an island which has long been a sacred place for the Shao people. This island (Lalu) is off-limits to visitors; only the Shao people can go there to worship their ancestors. This is a place once visited you will never forget.