By Joon Kim
CNN Travel enlisted several of Taiwan’s greatly magnifying features and destinations on Monday in “Destination Taiwan,” which have been strongly divided in travelers, between its natural landscapes, against its cities.
But this island’s diversity is what sets it apart from the world, says Maggie Hiufu Wong, of CNN. Some say that Taiwan is a haven for adventure and discovery, while others continue to appease at its futuristic modernity.
Laying the world’s most densely tall mountain ranges, Taiwan gives “us adventurers with endless places to hike, camp, river trace and more,” said Ryan Hevern, a co-founder of Taiwan Adventure Outings, to CNN.
Mr. Hevern, a former jungle guide at East Malaysia, left for Taiwan and joined Dustin Craft two years ago, to begin an eco-friendly tour company. Months after its foundation, they followed “an outdoor adventure group” to research new hike trails, mountains, and rivers. They wanted “to deal with the weekly grind of living in a city,” he said. The company now offers up to 20 “sustainability” routes.
“We aren’t city people, so we spend our free time in Taiwan’s outdoor,” said Hevern.
Even in Taipei City, Mr. Hevern could find “endless” outdoor adventures close by, within 20 minutes of range. “We love that about Taiwan,” he said.
Central Mountain Range
The Central Mountain Range, said Mr. Hevern, offers spectacular views and opportunities to see a “Sea of Clouds” at sunrise and sunset. Thai photographer Theesarak Saksritawee, who traveled to Taiwan a couple of times, agrees.
In May, Hehuanshuan would contain amazing nature, he said. Azalea flowers bloom on the mountaintops. He recommends waiting for a ‘sea of clouds’ and sunrise “to appear in your photo frame.”
Shuiyang resulted from a tragic natural outbreak but remains a top camping and hiking destination. Located within the Alishan National Forest and Sun Link Sea, the “little gem,” per Mr. Hevern, appeared after a massive earthquake in 1999.
The collapse of coniferous trees caused a river blockage, and a small lake formed, he said. “Now the sun bleached, dead tree sticks straight out of the water to paint an incredible scene. There is nothing like it in Taiwan.”
Mr. Saksritawee, on the other hand, was first drawn by Taiwan’s cityscape four years ago. He especially loves Taipei 101 as a background format. “Just find a new foreground around you,” he said. Visit the city, below fogs, with telephoto lens.
Step on top of a mountain from a nearby city for sightseeing, Mr. Wong writes.
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial is another monumental structure in Taipei City that Mr. Saksritawee has found to be a favorite of his. It’s beautiful and easily accessible, he said. “In the morning, you will see the soldiers with the Taiwan flag, birds, bicycles, people and the sunrise.”