While Taiwan owes a lot of its global success to its economic policies, this tiny democratic island has a lot more to offer the curious traveler than the "made in" stamps would have you think. With jaw-dropping scenery, a burgeoning art scene and some of the best street food in Asia, Taiwan travel is one of Asia's best-kept secrets. Travel to Taiwan to experience the country's majestic Buddhist temples, world-class shopping and awe-inspiring national parks.
Consult Travel + Leisure's Taiwan Travel Guide for the inside track around the island.
Things Not to Miss in Taiwan
• Teahouses – You can't leave Taiwan without visiting one of the country's beautiful teahouses. The now popular Bubble Tea and Pearl Milk Tea were first made at the teahouses in Taichung.
• National Parks – From the scenic peaks of Yushan to the beautiful beaches of Kenting, visiting one of Taiwan's eight national parks is a must.
• Temples– the old capital of Tainan is home to some of the Taiwan's most beautiful and historical temples.
• Night Markets – visit the night markets in any of Taiwan's cities for a sensory overload of bright colors, distinct aromas and to taste some of the "little eats" on offer.
• Festivals – The Dragon Boat Festival and Lantern Festival are just two of Taiwan's spectacular annual events. Catching a celebration by one of the island's aboriginal tribes is something to look forward to during a visit.
When to Go to Taiwan
Taiwan has a subtropical climate with wet, humid summers and short mild winters. With temperatures in the low '60s to early '70s, the autumn and winter are considered the most comfortable time of year to visit Taiwan. In general, the northern half of the island is cooler and wetter than the south, but the southeast monsoon season which begins in May and ends in late September can bring with it two or three typhoons a year. Most of the island shuts down for the week of Chinese New Year so check your calendar before booking a trip in late January or early February.