Home to winding coastlines, expansive stretches of mountains, countless waterways and other natural wonders, Taiwan has an unique geography that offers both locals and visitors a wide variety of outdoor activities to do around the island. Pop on your walking boots and gear up for these adventures at these delightful spots.
Located in Beimen, Tainan–one of the most important salt-making areas in Taiwan–the Beimen Center of the Outward Bound Taiwan offers a host of water activities at what were once an abandoned primary school and salt pans. The rather shallow pools are safe and ideal for stand-up paddle surfing, kayaking and canoeing. The center offers ecotours and other activities such as digging up oyster and barrel-roasting chicken as well. Advanced reservation (with a minimum of six people) is required. Visitors can also visit the Jingzijiao Salt Field nearby to experience raking and picking up salt first hand.
image via Eat & Travel Weekly
Among all the snorkeling spots in Taiwan, Shitiping–”stone steps” in Mandarin–tops the list. A small campground in Taiwan’s East Coast National Scenic Area sitting on a rocky beach, Shitiping is a beautiful snorkeling and diving spot with its clear water, coral reefs and tropical fish. Those looking for a challenge can try sea-jumping from the cliffs.
image via ARO
Yushan National Park has preserved several ancient passages and roadways. One of these, the Batongguan Historic Trail, is the first east-west cross rail in Taiwan and is credited as the first grade Class 1 Taiwan historical trail. It runs for 96 kilometres within the National Park, starting from the hot spring area in Tungpu and passes through the Fuzi Cliff with its 64 eight-feet wide stone steps. Climbers will discover a lot of breathtaking scenery along the way including the three-tier Yunlong Waterfall. Running up to 3,060 meters, Batongguan is a challenging but extremely rewarding hike. An entry permit is required; applications must be made to the Kushan National Park and local police department one to two months in advance.
Photo by richard0428
Running underneath National Freeway No. 3, the Pingtung Cycling Highway is the first and most complete national cycling highway in Taiwan. It starts at Jiuru, passes through Neipu, Zhutian and Nantou before arriving at Dapeng Bay. The cycling highway comprises four sub-paths, all of which are free from scooters or any motor vehicles. The Lanhuajue Biking Trail passes through the herbal fields, farms and a wetland, and cyclists can also stop for visits at the Liudui Hakka Cultural park and the Pomelo Ecological Farm while in the Changzhi-Linluo section.
image via wanpaoko.blogspot
Named by the Spanish in the 17th Century as San Loreno, Suao is a superb surfing location along the northeast coast, where the waves are faster and stronger than the thick and solid waves along the southern coast. While Honeymoon Bay and Wushi Harbor are also popular surfing spots, Wuwei Harbor is the insider’s choice. With a soft sand beach and clear water, the waves at Wuwei Harbor average one to three meters, making it stable for surfing. Surfers can also check out three Moai statues along the beach.
image via Eat & Travel Weekly
Beside its hot spring spots, Taichung’s Guguan is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The expansive waterways and the intense topography makes here a heaven for canyoneering. Also known as river trekking or tracing, canyoneering is a sport that involves exploring canyons by walking, rock climbing, roping, abseiling and swimming along a river in a mountain valley to its source. The seven mountains of Guguan are home to a wide range of tracks from the beginner-friendly Mountain Tangmadan to challengers’ favorites. River tracers can feast their eyes on the marble-walled canyons, diverse vegetation and wildlife and the magnificent untouched natural beauty of the mountains.
image via Mars Chen