11 October, 2016
Arching upwards to the pine-studded tops of Yushan and sprawling out with the skyscraper forests of Taipei, this fragment of East Asia is somewhere that's ready to enthrall and enchant. Where else can you gorge on soy-infused beef noodles and stinky tofu after meeting with venerable Taoist monks in long-lost monasteries in the mountains? These days, you can score nonstop cheap flights to Taiwan from Australia by searching for ticket deals on popular routes out of Brisbane and Sydney. Even better bargains, however, might come on connections that involve a stopover along the way, departing during shoulder seasons like spring and autumn.
Carving through the Taiwanese mountains for 11 miles, the great Taroko Gorge is the centrepiece of a park that's all salt-sprayed cliffs and misty waterfalls.
There are few cities as massive and as energetic as Taipei, a capital filled with striking museums and topped by the huge 101.
Aboriginal craft galleries, alpine woods, and vistas of green mountains converge on the idyllic Sun Moon Lake of Yuchi.