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Taiwan

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Mountain Treks In Taiwan : Some great destinations for mountain climbing in Taiwan are Yushan ( Jade Mountain ), highest peak in Northeast Asia; Syue Shan or Hsuehshan (Snow Mountain), second-highest peak in Taiwan; Daba Mountain, known as one of the most peculiar peaks in the world; and Hehuanshan, one of the few places in Taiwan where snowfall can be expected during winter. Yushan in particular, with its grand beauty and imposing main peak, is a favorite among mountaineers from around the world and is frequently challenged by foreign mountaineering groups. Hiking and mountain climbing are favorite pastimes in Taiwan. Popular trails can be reached by car very easily, while it requires only two to three days to reach altitudes higher than 3,000 meters.

Yushan ( Jade Mountain ) (玉山 ) : Yushan is the top trek in Taiwan. Situated in the Yushan National Park located in the Central Mountain Range, it soars to 3,952m ( 12,962 ft ) and has 11 peaks, of which the highest are the Main Peak and the North Peak, 3,858m ( 12,654 ft ) above sea level. The North Peak is the site of the highest building in Taiwan, the Central Weather Station. The mountain's height means that it offers a variety of climates that range from subtropical at the lowest levels through a warm and humid belt and then a cold and damp belt, and finally to a cold high altitude, with corresponding changes in trees from wide-leafed deciduous trees to needle-leafed alpine trees. At altitudes above 2,000m ( 6,562 ft ) the year has four distinct seasons, with accompanying changes in plant life.Among the 34 species of mammals that live within the environs of Yushan National Park are the Taiwan black bear, wild boar, water deer, long-haired mountain goat, flying squirrel, and monkey. About 151 species of birds and 228 types of butterflies, as well as several kinds of snakes, can also be seen on the mountain.

Syue Shan ( Snow Mountain ) : At 3886m, Snow Mountain is the 2nd highest mountain in Taiwan. The route up Snow Mountain is long but not overly arduous and should be attempted by those who reasonably fit. As in any mountain treks, adequate physical preparation is necessary for the avoidance of accidents. The Syue Shan trek can be combined with Dapajian Shan for 5-7 days of exciting walking through some of the most scenic parts of the Taiwan Central Mountain Range.

Dapajian Shan ( Big Chief Sharp Mountain ) : Mt. Dabajian ( or Tapachien ) is located in the Shei-Pa National Park; its peak, at 3,492 meters, is among the highest and most spectacular on Taiwan. This unique looking mountain peak, ncknamed the 'world's largest wine bucket' for its resemblance to a wine storage jar, is very steep and is likely Taiwan's most easily recognized peak. It is the most notable peak in the northern section of the Syue Shan ( Snow Mountain ) Range, and is surrounded by terrain almost as precipitous as itself. The mountain is sacred to the local Atayal tribe; in the past they tried to dissuade climbers from ascending the mountain, taking them only as far as the Dapa ridge. As the mountain is set in deep valleys on all sides and has only the ridge and a tower before the peak, most climbers were only able to get as far as the ridge, or as far as 140 meters up the tower, before returning down the mountain. A summit attempt will necessitate use of technical climbing gear. Unlike many of the mountainous areas in Taiwan, the top of the Dapa trail offered wide-open views of deep grasslands with valleys and peaks extending as far as the eye could see.

Taroko Gorge (太魯 閣) : Situated near the rocky east coast of Taiwan, Taroko Gorge rates as one of the island's biggest tourist attractions. A fantastic 19-km long canyon, the gorge is a breathtaking spectacle of craggy rocks and cascading water. The area is famous for its lofty mountains, impressive canyons, sheer precipices, waterfalls, and rapids. The rugged landscape and isolation have meant that the east coast has mostly escaped the industrialization and urbanization of other parts of the island. The area is largely unspoilted and offers visitors the chance to see an astonishing array of geological wonders, an abundance of flora and fauna indigenous to Taiwan, and fascinating aborgine culture. The sparsely-populated area surrounding the gorge, with its spectacular cliffs and white-water rapids, presents a startling contrast to north and west Taiwan. On the east coast, the mountains fall away sharply to the Pacific Ocean. Dramatic jagged rocks and towering cliffs jut out of the coastline. For nature lovers, Taroko Gorge offers visitors a fabulous opportunity to see nature at its best with numerous well-paved & sign-posted walking trails.

Night Markets : When it comes to food, Taiwan is the place that can satisfy all your needs, ranging from international dishes to traditional Chinese delicacies and authentic Taiwanese snacks. Finding something to eat in Taiwan is not only easy, eating itself proves to be a joy time and time again. Typical Taiwanese snacks are found everywhere, but Taiwan's night markets in particular are the places where these snacks can be found in abundance. Here, food is cheap and delicious, and trying out these snacks is an experience to be savoured by any visitor ... especially after a hard mountain trek !

Hot Springs : Taiwan is ranked among the world's top 15 hot spring sites, harboring a great variety of springs, including hot springs, cold springs, mud springs, and seabed hot springs. The island proudly regards itself as one of the regions with the highest concentration and greatest variety of hot springs in the world. More than one hundred hot springs have been discovered in Taiwan, located in different geological areas including plains, mountains, valleys, and oceans. With the exception of Changhua, Yunlin and Penghu counties, almost every city and county in Taiwan is equipped with hot springs, and so it is not strange that by some Taiwan is also called "the Hot Spring Kingdom". Wintertime is hot spring season in Taiwan. There's nothing quite like jumping into a pool of natural spring water for a long, hot soak while the fragrance of flowers wafts through on the nippy winter air.

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