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Overview to Taiwan: Travel Guide and Tourist Information
Far from being a mini, industrial extension of its neighbor China, Taiwan boasts a (literally!) towering natural landscape of untouched mountains and intriguing high-tech metropolises. With the odd tropical-paradise beach thrown in, there’s more to it than many travelers expect.
At the heart of Taiwan’s backpacking appeal lies something of a contradiction. Though the ugly factories connected to the ‘Made in Taiwan’ image are certainly present, they are, in fact, fairly contained, leaving the rural interior gorgeously unspoilt.
Launching into Taiwan often requires an initial decision, since the country is basically split into three separate regions, each alone warranting weeks of exploration. Generally speaking, these three regions can be labeled the mountainous east, tropical south, and urban north.
Eastern Taiwan is largely cut off from the rest of the country by mountains. It is home to some quite unmatched natural landscapes, including the famous Taroko Gorge (and accompanying National Park) which is the site of the beautiful Eternal Spring Shrine.
In the north, the capital, Taipei, provides a departure from the East and is very much a center of the country’s Chinese cultural origins and current info-tech economy. Similarly, the nearby city of Hsinchu, whilst Taiwan’s oldest metropolis, lives very much in the new.
Finally, the tropical south – in particular the popular diving spot of Green Island – provides the kind of practically deserted coconut-and-palm tree paradise so rarely experienced. And, in the end, that’s what’s really so impressive about Taiwan: nobody shouts about it.