Hear about travel to Eastern Taiwan as the Amateur Traveler talks to freelance travel writer Robert Kelly about a destination he literally wrote the book on.
Robert has been the author of the Taiwan Lonely Planet guidebook for the last 10 years and he takes us, in this episode, to the side of the island country with few people and a dramatic landscape.
“The area we are going to cover today is Eastern Taiwan. Most people when they think of Taiwan they think of the west, they think of Taipei. Basically from Taipei all the way down on the west side it is like Hong Kong, it’s dense, it’s crowded, it’s urban, it’s extremely interesting. There’s tons of great stuff to see.”
“You have 5 mountain ranges [in Taiwan]. The central mountain range goes through the center of the island and it reaches almost 4,000 meters which is over 12,000 feet. It just rises up very very fast. So you have these western plains where most people live and then you have this huge mountain range in the center which essentially acted as a barrier for most of Taiwan’s history to keep people from moving to the east coast. So the east coast is what the Chinese would call the ‘Land Across the Mountains’. Up until the end of the 19th century it was pretty much only aboriginal. When the Japanese came in 1895 they began to open up that area.”
“Going to Taiwan you have to choose. Am I going to stay in these urban areas? Am I going to explore temple culture and the night markets or am I going to go to this big beautiful east coast playground which has a population density like Costa Rica. It’s an incredibly stunning area. It has some of the highest sea cliffs in the world. It has gorges that are literally made out of marble. It has blue green rivers. It has this very old [20,000+ years] aboriginal culture with, in the summer time, lots of festivals, lots of music activities happening. You have gorgeous coastline. You have what they call a rift valley, which is this beautiful farming area. It is literally where the Philippines and the Eurasian tectonic plates meet. It has this really frontier feel to it which you don’t expect from Taiwan.”
Robert lays out a 10 days to 2 week itinerary that includes river tracing (hiking a river), sightseeing, cultural activities, visiting national parks and a bike trip. Come hear about a very different Taiwan than you thought you knew.
Robert Scott Kelly
East Rift Valley
Central Cross-Island Highway
Shei-pa National Park
Shei-Pa National Park
Taroko National Park
Cave of Water Curtain
East Coast National Scenic Area
East Rift Valley National Scenic Area
Taiwan Open of Surfing
The Golden Canyon
Marino’s Kitchen / Dulan Diner
Aboriginal Tours of Taiwanese
Just back from the rice terraces that we mentioned in Travel to the Philippines – Episode 475
Amateur Traveler Trip – Japan – June 2017 – 9 Days
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