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For a tourist destination with a difference, Taiwan ticks all the right boxes. A huge number of cultural attractions together with national parks, beaches, great dining, shopping and varied activities ensure tourists visiting Taiwan are never disappointed. An island situated in the East China Sea, Taiwan is less than 200 km from the shores of mainland China.
Taoyuan International Airport is north of Taipei and the main international gateway to the country with flights from major cities throughout the world. There are several direct flights a day from Bangkok and flying time is around four hours. The distance between Bangkok and Taiwan is 2,416 km. The best times to visit Taiwan are either March to May or mid-September to November.
No trip to Taiwan would be complete without spending a few days in Taipei. Temples such as the fabulous Baoan in Datong District, views of the city from the observation decks at Taipei 101, museums and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall are the highlights.
In the south of Taiwan, Kaohsiung is another exciting city where attractions include Liuhe Night Market, the seaside area at Sizihwan, Shinkuchan Shopping District, Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Dome of Light Formosa Boulevard, Dragon and E-Da Theme Park.
Restaurants and Bars
Taiwan is a delight for foodies. Must try items include lu rou fan (“pork over rice”), gua bao (“Taiwanese hamburger”), beef noodle soup, oyster omelettes and milkfish porridge. Taiwanese people love their food and visitors will find they are never far from street food stalls or a restaurant. Suggested dining destinations in Taipei are Shilin Night Market, Raohe Night Market and Ningxia Night Market. Taipei’s Ximending and Zhongshan districts plus the nightclubs of Xinyi are recommended nightlife choices.
Yangmingshan National Park is close to Taipei and features hot springs, Mt Seven Star, hiking paths and wildlife. A must for fans of natural beauty, Yushan is another national park and in the middle of the island. Opened in 2015, Cycle Route 1 is one of the best bike rides in Asia. It gives enthusiasts the chance of going round the coast of Taiwan in 12 days.
Taiwan excels in opportunities for shopping. There are lots of night markets, especially the Shilin Night Market, and modern shopping malls to choose from. International brand name footwear in particular is cheaper than in most other Asian cities. The wholesale clothing market Wufenpu is great, especially on Tuesdays when new stock enters the stores. Guanghua Market offers an enormous selection of electronics. Packaged tea leaves, pineapple cakes, crystal taro cakes and fruit jelly sweets enable tourists to take the tastes of Taiwan home with them.