Southern Taiwan is truly tropical, with warm balmy weather tempered by sea breezes, as well as fantastic beaches, and fruit and sugar cane plantations. Despite the presence of Taiwan!|s bustling second city of Kaohsiung this is still a place of great tradition and custom, with many of the island!|s finest temples!
Some highlights include:
The beautiful beaches and forests of Kenting were Taiwan!|s first National Park, gazetted in 1984. This tropical region makes for an excellent escape from winter in the mountains, but the heat is always eased by a constant, refreshing sea breeze.
The verdant forests of Sheting meet the sea in a long line of beaches, each one more beautiful than the next. The coastline is dotted with a wide range of hotels and resorts.
Kenting is a great place to relax, but there!|s also plenty to keep you active; Water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, SCUBA diving on the coast, as well as forest trails and bird watching inland. As soon as the sun goes down, the bars, clubs and pubs liven up the nights.
Kenting is easily accessed from nearby Kaohsiung.
Not far from Kaohsiung is Maolin- a picture postcard Chinese paradise of winding streams, high mountain passes and reclusive monasteries high in the hills.
This is ideal country for a quiet break, hiking, biking or bird watching.
Tainan is the heart of Taiwanese culture- a city with more than 200 temples. This traditional town is a frequent staging ground for elaborate processions and ceremonies, with fireworks displays, burning of "ghost money" tributes, music and open air banquets.
Famed temples here include Taiwan!|s oldest Confucian temple as well as the extremely active Tien Tan temple, and the huge, colorful Chuhsi temple.
Just outside Tainan is the Tsengwen Estuary- an excellent birding area and one of the best places to see the very rare Black-faced Spoonbill.
South Cross Island Highway
This cross country highway runs from Tainan on the West Coast to Taitung on the East Coast. A journey along this highway takes through a world of contrasts that offers a fascinating portrait of the face of Taiwan.
Spectacular mountain scenery and lush green forests alternate with small rural villages and farmlands as the highway winds its way through Southern Taiwan.
The trip can be completed in a single day by car or bus, or on foot as a 3-4 day hike stopping in villages along the way.