Jennifer Chen
July 29, 2011

Taiwan might not be on the radar fora lot of travelers, but it really should be. It has incredible cuisine, athriving artsand design scene, beautiful scenery and really friendly locals. Plus, there's agreat mix of Chinese and Japanese cultures.

Here’sanother reason: Since 2000, artists, developers, and government officials havebeen transforming abandoned warehouses, factories, etc. into art spaces,complete with studios and exhibition space. The trend has really gained momentumin recent years; for instance, there is a series of railway warehousesstretching from Taichung, near Taipei,to Taidong that have been turned into art spaces, which are especially popularamong locals on the weekend.

In Taipei,the controversial Treasure Hill area has finally been unveiled as an artistvillage. (Brief history on Treasure Hill: once an illegal settlement for KMTsoldiers, it became a squatters’ village and a flashpoint for gentrification.)On Taiwan’s gorgeous, little-visited east coast is Dulan Sugar Factory, acommunity of mostly aboriginal artists. Need I say more?

JenniferChen is Travel+ Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

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