Taiwan is an island wedged between Japan, China and the Philippines. Taipei, the capital, is a modern metropolis with Japanese colonial influences, busy shopping streets and contemporary buildings. The skyline is crowned by the 509m-tall, bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper, with upscale shops at the base and a rapid elevator to an observatory near the top. Taipei is also known for its lively street-food scene and many night markets. Outside of Taipei you will discover why Taiwan was known as Ilha Formosa or “the beautiful island”. Mountains peaks rise to the clouds, black volcanic rock wrap the coastlines and waterfalls shroud themselves in mist. Highlights for the visitor are Toroko Gorge, one of the worlds great natural spectacles with sheer limestone and marble cliffs towering over a jade green river, and Sun Moon Lake in the foothills of Taiwan’s Central Mountain Range. It’s surrounded by forested peaks and has foot trails. East of the lake, the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is a theme park with a section devoted to re-created indigenous villages. Displays here include centuries-old carved lintel pieces, handicrafts and weapons.

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