Some people are quick to dismiss Taiwan as just another Chinese destination without much to offer. Those who think this way, though, are completely wrong. The country is a revelation and many often find themselves surprised at all the attractions in Taiwan.

There is so much more to the land once known as Formosa than its modern capital of Taipei. Beyond the high rises and modern living lie natural landscapes and a people waiting to show the world a genuine warmth and hospitality.

All visits to Taiwan will inevitably start in one of Asia’s most modern cities—Taipei. Most contemporary Taiwan attractions are concentrated within this sprawling metropolis, which is one of the most densely populated in the world, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

The sights and sounds across the city perfectly capture everything Taiwan once was—a failed Dutch outpost in the East Indies, a Japanese Colony—and what it is, a distinctly Chinese culture.

Get to know Taiwan with a visit to the National Palace Museum in the Shilin District. With well over 600,000 items in its collection, it houses the largest and most comprehensive exhibits that tell the story of China.

Another major Taiwan attraction is the Taipei 101 Tower, which is the tallest structure in the city. The observation decks on the 89th and 91st floors of the building feature 360-degree panoramic views and is an excellent way to see Taipei from a different point of view.

Beyond the Capital

Most tourists to the country think all the attractions in Taiwan are in the city. A look closer will reveal, however, that Taiwan has so much more in store.

White sand and crystal clear waters might not be an idea people immediately associate with Taiwan, but this is all bound to change the moment you set your eyes on Kenting National Park. Just a little over 2 hours from Taipei by high-speed train, the beaches here are perfect for surfers, divers, and the occasional beach bum.

Taroko George National Park is another of Taiwan’s attractions that does not get the attention it deserves. Home to some of the most beautiful landscapes (think waterfalls, lush forests, and snow in the winter), the park showcases the best of the island’s natural beauty and is a sight to behold.

Taiwan is a destination waiting to be discovered, and the journey is well worth taking.