Located off the south coast of China, It’s believed that all Polynesian cultures can trace their roots back to this mysterious island. With strong influences from Japan, China and a vibrant capital, Taipei: it’s easy to see why modern Taiwan is known as ‘the heart of Asia’. Home to a bounty of stunning natural wonders and warm welcoming people, Taiwan’s unique blend of nature, culture and history make for a thoroughly memorable adventure.
At the core of Imagine’s values, we strive not only to give our customers a great experience, but also to maintain positive relationships with local communities and their environment. Tourism can be a positive force by improving intercultural empathy, providing a means to support traditional and alternative lifestyles while preserving the natural environment. When people come to visit Taiwan they want to experience the rich tapestry that makes this diverse island so special, we want to make sure this is possible for future travellers too!
Bespoke adventure holidays
Home to some of East Asia’s highest mountains, pristine forests and plenty of geological wonders, Taiwan is a prime location for those with an adventurous spirit. On an Imagine tour, we provide informative guides whose aim is to provide you with a safe and exhilarating experience. Based on group preferences we create an itinerary with a healthy mix of adventure, sightseeing and chill out time that is always appreciated on holiday. We believe a holiday is made complete with a challenging adventure of some kind. Either via a long bike ride, climbing a mountain, river tracing or paragliding Taiwan’s rift valley, a good challenge is always the most memorable part of a journey. Your Taiwan adventure will leave you with a deeper knowledge of this fascinating part of the world.
Cultural & ecological tourism
Taiwan has 16 Aboriginal tribes and a history entwined with Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese culture – it’s certainly a lot to get your head around! Although Taiwan’s modern culture is clearly apparent in the buildings and clothing of tribal communities, it is still possible to experience the island’s unique indigenous culture. The remote and beautiful settings where these communities are based also provide a variety of opportunities for ecotourism. If you are interested in visiting some ancient forests, bathing in natural volcanic hot springs or making a contribution to a community-based project, we organise a range of trips and tours that explore these areas.
From the highest mountain in East Asia to the 84 surrounding islands, Taiwan fosters a variety of incredibly biodiverse habitats. With its many waterfalls, natural volcanic hot springs and aboriginal cultures, your time here is best spent out exploring. Based on your interests budget and preferences, our guides will be delighted to introduce you to the Taiwan we love. Here are just a few of our favourite experiences and activities to consider for your bespoke adventure.
With artefacts as old as China’s 5000 year history; an afternoon at the National Palace Museum is well worthwhile. Learn about the history of Chinese calligraphy, the original inscriptions that inspired it all (on the back of a tortoise shell!) and the jade treasures spanning China’s many dynasties.
Taipei is famous for its fusion foods and bustling night markets. Check out Raohe for a famous black pepper bun or, for something a little more novel, head over to one of Taiwan’s renowned shrimping restaurants and have a go catching and cooking your own dinner.
If you still have some energy to burn after that, take a stroll up Elephant Mountain for a view of Taipei at night or ride the second fastest elevator in the world to the top of the Taipei 101 tower.
Climbing Snow Mountain
Snow mountain is Taiwan’s second highest mountain with a peek of 3886m! On this 2 day hike ascending through the cloud forest you cannot help but notice the changing flora and fauna around you. Keep an eye out for Flying Squirrels, Serow and Macaques. Spend the night in a humble log cabin and set off early to reach the peak for spectacular sunrise.
Check into the Silks Palace Hotel. Complete with a rooftop pool and grounds surrounded by the incomparable marble gorge. It’s a perfect spot to recharge after a challenging hike.
With shrines and monasteries perched in the dense forest all along the winding ravine, this is one of Taiwan’s most dramatic landscapes. Absorb the sheer beauty of the mountains and discover the dramatic waterfalls and temples (such as the Eternal Spring Shrine).
Whale Watching and Turtle Island
Enjoy the coastal views as you wind your way North along Taiwan’s alluring Eastern fringes to the Wushi harbour. From here you will board a boat out to the ecological reserve of Turtle Island, Taiwan’s only active volcano.
The best time for whale watching is during the summer, as they migrate through the Pacific Ocean. Dolphins often escort the boat out to the island where you will have time to do further exploring. Spend the afternoon at your own leisure soaking in the natural hot springs in the Wellspring Hotel.
Sun Moon Lake
This is Taiwan’s largest body of fresh water and ancestral home of the Ita Taho tribe. With rolling hills of forest surrounding the lake, the best way to fully immerse yourself is with a boat tour. Perched on the coast of Sun Moon Lake is the Chinese palace style Wenwu temple. Wander around each of the three main halls each dedicated to Confucius and the gods of literature and war. For a different perspective of Sun Moon Lake, jump in a glass bottomed gondola for a ride above the forests, up the mountains.
Hot air ballooning or Paragliding
For those seeking out a bird’s eye view of the East coast should consider the exhilaration of seeing Taiwan from above. Accompany a professional pilot in a tandem paraglider and spend half an hour gliding along the coast with views out over Turtle Island and beyond. Float over the spectacular rift valley at sunrise in a hot air balloon.
Daytrip to Jiufen
Jiufen was an old mining town during the Japanese colonial period. More recently it is famed for its traditional teahouses and narrow, windy streets (that inspired the famous animated film Spirited Away). You will be pleasantly rewarded after a short hike to the pagoda on top of nearby Jilong Mountain with a great view over the historic town and Taiwan’s East coast.
Daytrip to Pinglin and Shifen Waterfall
Pinglin is a picturesque town most famous for its lantern festival where tourists and locals alike gather to release red lanterns full of wishes for the year ahead. Mosey along the streets and join in by setting your own lanterns free! This area is home to an impressive range of waterfalls such as the famous Shifen waterfall. Alternatively, challenge yourself to a day’s hike in the forest passing three other waterfalls.
Kayaking and River Tracing
For a uniquely Taiwanese adventure, there is the option of river tracing. Taiwan’s dense forest, stunning mountains and warm climate are begging to be explored from its rivers. Equipped with harnesses and professional guides, you will ascend the river with the option of cliff diving along the way. Interested but slightly intimidated? Kayaking this wonderful view is also an option!
Alishan National Park
Catch a ride on the 100-year-old steam railway train into the protected Alishan mountains. See how the locals cultivate tea fields and beetle-nut trees. The combination of the altitude and climate has created the perfect conditions for the world famous Alishan tea to grow. Enjoy the views from the comfort of your hotel or venture out to discover just what makes this area so unique.