In this interview, one of my best friends in the travel blogging world, Matt Gibson, takes time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions regarding adventure travel in Taiwan. I’m sure his answers will inspire you to visit Formosa for an adventure of your own!
Q1) What are some adventure sports activities one could consider pursuing in Taiwan?
There are tons out outdoors activities in Taiwan. River tracing there is great. The surfing is also very good. There’s also mountain biking, hiking, snorkelling, and scuba diving. The windsurfing on Penghu, a small island in the Taiwan Strait, is said to be some of the best in the world.
Q2) What are your favorite off the beaten path destinations for outdoor activities?
I love the Philippines. It’s an exceptional country for both travel and outdoors activities. Most of the country has few tourists, so travel there feels authentic and exciting. They have excellent diving, several volcanoes to climb, as well as epic surf.
Q3) Where are some of the best places to go hiking in Taiwan?
Jade Mountain, which is said to be the tallest mountain in East Asia, is a great hike. Snow Mountain is also incredible. The most accessible, and some of the most beautiful, hikes, however, are in Taroko Gorge. This one was incredible.
Q4) What location outside of Taipei and other major cities would offer great opportunities for adventure sports?
Yamingshan Park near Taipei is gorgeous. So is the Yehliu Geographic Park (watch my website for a photoessay that I’ll be posting soon), which is filled with incredible rock formations. You can also surf in Jingshan, a village less than an hour from Taipei. The hills around Taipei are also fantastic for mountain biking.
Q5) What kind of employment opportunities exist in Taiwan for expats looking to stay long-term?
English teaching is the most common and lucrative form of employment. Many expats also work as writers, editors, and models.
Q6) If an adventurous backpacker only had one week to explore Taiwan what are some must see places and activities for them to pursue?
I recently helped to design an itinerary for a visiting journalist who was to visit for one week. I suggested Taroko Gorge, Yehliu Geographic Park, Tainan (the old capital and oldest city), Guanzling Mud Hotsprings, and Xiao Liuchiu.
Q7) This is slightly off topic but what about those with adventurous taste buds? What kind of street food could they try in Taiwan?
If you want adventurous food, Taiwan is a great place. Stinky tofu is a challenge for anyone. I think the name says it all. Pig’s blood cake (deep fried on a stick) is also surprisingly tasty, although frightening. Pig brain soup is also a good one. From what I understand, you can also drink snake blood in Taipei’s snake alley.
Q8) Finally, do you have any general travel tips for somebody visiting Taiwan for the first time?
Be prepared to use a lot of hand gestures. Although more and more people there are learning English, there are many places where people won’t be able to understand you and the signs will all be written in Chinese. This can make things difficult, but the friendliness and helpfulness of the Taiwanese more than compensates for it.
Bio: Matt Gibson is an adventure travel writer, photographer, and blogger. He used to live in Taiwan, but he now lives on the road. Learn more about him at http://www.matt-gibson.org.
Taiwan Adventure Travel For Outdoor Activity Enthusiasts
Taiwan is a popular destination for adventure travelers due to its diverse natural landscapes, unique culture, and range of exciting activities. The island offers a plethora of options that cater to different levels of physical abilities and interests, making it an ideal destination for adventure seekers.
One of the most popular activities for adventure travelers in Taiwan is hiking. The island is home to a vast network of hiking trails that offer various levels of difficulty, from easy walks through scenic forests to challenging treks up steep mountain peaks. The Taroko Gorge is one of the most popular hiking trails in Taiwan. Located in the east of the island, this trail offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and waterfalls. The Yushan National Park, which includes Taiwan’s highest peak, Mount Yushan, is also a popular destination for hikers. The park features well-maintained trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Climbing is another popular activity in Taiwan, with a number of mountains and cliffs that attract climbers from all over the world. Long Dong, located in the northeast of the island, is a particularly popular spot due to its varied terrain and stunning ocean views. Climbers can choose from a range of difficulty levels, from easy routes for beginners to challenging climbs for experienced climbers.
For water sports enthusiasts, Taiwan has a variety of options. Surfing is popular along the island’s eastern coast, with the town of Jinzun offering some of the best waves. Scuba diving is also a popular activity, with many sites offering opportunities to see colorful coral and exotic marine life. Snorkeling and sea kayaking are other water-based activities that are widely available.
Cycling is another popular way to explore Taiwan, with the island boasting a well-developed network of cycling paths and routes. One of the most famous routes is the Formosa Cycle Route, which takes riders around the entire island and offers stunning views of the coastline and mountains. The route is divided into several sections, each of which offers different challenges and scenery.
In addition to adventure activities, Taiwan also offers a range of cultural experiences. Visitors can explore the island’s rich history and culture through activities such as food tours and traditional tea ceremonies. Taiwan’s cuisine is a unique blend of Chinese, Japanese, and indigenous influences, offering a wide range of flavors and dishes to try.
To fully enjoy Taiwan’s adventure activities, visitors should consider the weather and plan accordingly. Taiwan’s tropical climate can make outdoor activities challenging during the summer months when temperatures can be high and rainfall is common. The best time to visit for outdoor activities is during the fall and spring when temperatures are milder.
Taiwan offers a diverse range of activities for adventure travelers, including hiking, climbing, water sports, cycling, and cultural experiences. The island’s unique culture and natural landscapes provide visitors with an unforgettable experience. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture, Taiwan is a must-visit destination for adventure travelers.
Hiking And Trekking Options In Taiwan
Hiking is a popular outdoor activity for enthusiasts seeking to explore the natural beauty of Taiwan. With a diverse range of hiking trails, the island offers something for everyone, from beginners to experienced hikers. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of hiking in Taiwan, including trail options, gear preparation, weather considerations, safety precautions, and environmental concerns.
- Trail Options
Taiwan offers an extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks through scenic forests to challenging treks up steep mountain peaks. For beginners, easy trails such as the Xindian Creek Trail or the Elephant Mountain Trail in Taipei offer stunning views of the city and are relatively simple to complete. For intermediate hikers, trails such as the Taoyuan Valley Trail or the Lala Mountain Trail offer more challenging terrain with beautiful scenery. For experienced hikers, the Taroko Gorge Trail, the Yushan National Park Trail, or the Snow Mountain Trail are popular options, with steep elevations and stunning views.
- Gear Preparation
Proper gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable hike. The right hiking shoes are crucial, providing stability and comfort for long walks. A backpack with ample space for water, snacks, and extra clothing is necessary, along with a reusable water bottle. Adequate clothing for the weather conditions is also important, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent. For longer hikes, a map or GPS device can be useful for navigation.
- Weather Considerations
Taiwan’s weather can be unpredictable, making it essential to check the weather forecast before starting a hike. During the summer months, temperatures can be high, and rainfall is common, making outdoor activities challenging. Typhoons are also a concern during the summer season. The best time to hike in Taiwan is during the fall and spring when temperatures are milder.
- Safety Precautions
Hiking in Taiwan can be challenging, and it’s crucial to take precautions to stay safe. Always hike with a partner or a group, and let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Bring a first aid kit and a cell phone in case of an emergency. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for snakes, bugs, and other wildlife. It’s also essential to stay hydrated and take breaks as needed.
- Environmental Concerns
Taiwan’s natural beauty is a precious resource, and it’s essential to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles. Take your trash with you and dispose of it properly, stay on designated trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife or vegetation. It’s also important to minimize your impact by following sustainable practices such as reducing plastic use and conserving water.
In conclusion, hiking in Taiwan is a fantastic way to explore the island’s natural beauty and enjoy outdoor adventures. By choosing the right trail, preparing your gear, checking the weather, following trail markers, staying safe, and respecting the environment, hikers can have an unforgettable experience while also preserving the natural beauty of Taiwan’s hiking trails.
Rock Climbing in Taiwan For The Thrill Seekers
Rock climbing is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed by enthusiasts seeking adventure and exploration in Taiwan’s mountainous landscapes. Taiwan is home to a diverse range of climbing routes and destinations, offering a variety of challenges for climbers of all levels, from beginners to experienced climbers. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of rock climbing in Taiwan, including the different types of climbing, the various climbing destinations in Taiwan, the equipment required, safety considerations, and environmental concerns.
- Types of Rock Climbing
Rock climbing in Taiwan can be divided into three main types: bouldering, sport climbing, and traditional climbing. Bouldering involves climbing shorter, more difficult routes without ropes or harnesses, typically no higher than 20 feet. Sport climbing involves climbing routes with fixed bolts or anchors, while traditional climbing involves placing removable gear, such as cams and nuts, for protection while ascending a route.
- Climbing Destinations in Taiwan
Taiwan offers a variety of climbing destinations, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges. For beginners, indoor climbing gyms, such as Rocksports in Taipei or Monk Bouldering in Kaohsiung, provide a safe and controlled environment to learn climbing skills. Outdoor climbing destinations popular with beginners include the Da-tun Shan National Forest Recreation Area in Taipei and Longdong in New Taipei City. Intermediate and advanced climbers can challenge themselves on steep and challenging routes in Taroko Gorge in Hualien and Yushan National Park in Nantou County.
- Climbing Equipment
Proper climbing equipment is essential for a safe and enjoyable climb. Climbing shoes provide grip and precision for vertical climbs, while a harness and helmet protect climbers in case of a fall. A chalk bag, carabiners, and quickdraws are necessary for securing ropes and anchors. Adequate clothing for the weather conditions is important, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent. For longer climbs, a map or GPS device can be useful for navigation.
- Safety Considerations
Climbing in Taiwan can be challenging and dangerous, and it’s crucial to take precautions to stay safe. Climbing with a partner or a group is recommended, and it’s important to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Bring a first aid kit and a cell phone in case of an emergency. Be aware of your surroundings and watch out for loose rock or other hazards. It’s also essential to stay hydrated and take breaks as needed.
- Environmental Concerns
Taiwan’s natural beauty is a precious resource, and it’s important to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles. Avoid damaging vegetation or wildlife and stay on designated climbing routes. Minimizing impact by following sustainable practices such as reducing plastic use and conserving water is essential. It’s also important to be aware of any access restrictions or conservation efforts in place at climbing destinations.
In conclusion, rock climbing in Taiwan provides an exciting opportunity to explore the island’s natural beauty and enjoy outdoor adventures. By choosing the right type of climbing, selecting appropriate equipment, following safety protocols, and respecting the environment, climbers can have an unforgettable experience while also preserving the natural beauty of Taiwan’s climbing destinations.
Taiwan Water Sport Activities For Outdoors Adventurers
Taiwan is a renowned destination for adventure enthusiasts who enjoy engaging in water sports activities amidst its breathtaking natural scenery. The island is home to a wide range of water sports activities, including surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving, which cater to both beginners and experienced adventurers. This guide aims to provide an in-depth exploration of water sports in Taiwan, covering the various types of water sports, destinations for water sports, necessary equipment, safety considerations, and environmental concerns.
- Types of Water Sports
Taiwan’s water sports industry is diverse and inclusive, catering to all levels of experience and interest. Surfing is a popular water sport in Taiwan, and the country boasts excellent surfing spots for both beginners and advanced surfers. The renowned surfing locations in Taiwan include Jinshan Beach, Wushi Harbor, and Baishawan Beach. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are exciting water sports activities that require skill and technique, and the best locations for these sports in Taiwan are Nanwan, Jibei, and Qimei Island. Paddleboarding and kayaking are more relaxing water sports activities that allow adventurers to enjoy Taiwan’s beautiful scenery at their own pace. Popular destinations for these water sports include Sun Moon Lake, Kenting National Park, and the Dongshan River. Scuba diving and snorkeling are other popular water sports activities in Taiwan that provide an opportunity for adventurers to explore the country’s diverse marine life and coral reefs. Popular scuba diving spots in Taiwan include Green Island, Orchid Island, and the northeast coast of Taiwan.
- Water Sports Destinations in Taiwan
Taiwan has several destinations that offer ideal conditions for various water sports. The country’s beaches are well-known for their consistent waves and ideal wind conditions, which make them popular destinations for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. Jinshan Beach, located in northern Taiwan, is known for its long, consistent waves that make it a popular destination for surfers of all levels. Wushi Harbor and Baishawan Beach, located near Taipei, are also popular surfing spots. Nanwan and Jibei, located in southern Taiwan, offer excellent conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. For paddleboarding and kayaking enthusiasts, Sun Moon Lake and the Dongshan River are ideal destinations. The clear, warm waters around Green Island, Orchid Island, and the northeast coast of Taiwan provide ideal conditions for scuba diving and snorkeling.
- Water Sports Equipment
Appropriate water sports equipment is necessary for a safe and enjoyable water sports experience. Each water sport has its own specific equipment requirements. For surfing, a surfboard, wetsuit, and leash are necessary, while windsurfing and kitesurfing require boards, sails, and harnesses. Paddleboarding and kayaking require a paddle and a life jacket, while snorkeling and scuba diving require a mask, fins, and either a snorkel or scuba tank. It’s essential to select equipment that is suitable for your skill level and the water conditions.
- Safety Considerations
Safety should be a priority when engaging in any water sports activity. Water sports enthusiasts should always wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid and be aware of the weather conditions and potential hazards, such as strong currents, waves, or underwater obstacles. It is advisable to take lessons from certified instructors and follow the guidelines provided. Do not overestimate your abilities or take unnecessary risks. Always inform someone of your whereabouts and expected return time.
Cycling Guide: Outdoor Adventures in Taiwan
Cycling has become a popular activity in Taiwan, and it is a great way for visitors to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and natural beauty. This guide provides an overview of cycling in Taiwan for outdoor enthusiasts, including information on the best routes, equipment, and safety tips.
Cycling Routes: Taiwan has a well-developed network of cycling routes that are suitable for riders of all levels, from leisurely coastal paths to challenging mountain climbs. The east coast of Taiwan is particularly popular among cyclists, as it offers stunning coastal scenery and well-maintained cycling paths. Some of the most popular routes on the east coast include the Suhua Highway and the Taroko Gorge National Park. The central mountain range is also a popular destination for cycling enthusiasts, offering a variety of routes with steep climbs and breathtaking views.
Equipment: For visitors who do not have their own cycling equipment, there are numerous bike rental shops throughout Taiwan. The cost of renting a bike varies depending on the quality of the bike and the length of the rental period. It is important for cyclists to wear a helmet and use lights or reflectors when cycling at night. Additionally, it is recommended that cyclists carry a repair kit, spare inner tubes, and a pump in case of a puncture or other mechanical issue.
Safety: While cycling in Taiwan is generally safe, it is important for riders to be aware of the rules of the road and to take precautions to avoid accidents. Cyclists should always ride on the right-hand side of the road and obey traffic signals. It is also recommended to wear bright or reflective clothing to increase visibility to other motorists. Additionally, riders should be aware of the weather conditions and avoid cycling during heavy rain or high winds.
Cycling Culture: Cycling has become a part of Taiwanese culture, and visitors can experience this firsthand by joining group rides or cycling events. There are numerous cycling clubs and organizations throughout Taiwan that organize group rides and races, providing visitors with a chance to meet local cyclists and experience Taiwan’s cycling culture. In addition, visitors can explore Taiwan’s bustling cities by bicycle, as many cities have well-developed cycling lanes and paths.
Conclusion: Cycling in Taiwan offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the country’s diverse landscapes and experience the local culture. With a variety of cycling routes available and equipment rental shops readily accessible, visitors can easily plan their own cycling adventure. However, it is important for cyclists to prioritize safety by wearing appropriate gear, obeying traffic rules, and staying alert to potential hazards.
Oh Taiwan! So much adventure to be had! Amazing, just gained a few spots on the ol’ bucket list!
Thanks Stephen! It’s an under-rated country to visit IMO 🙂
The National Palace Museum is a must see for anyone who likes artwork. I went there and its unbelievable. The art work is just incredible!
Interesting interview – and great tips and shares from Matt 🙂
Great tips! All the outdoor stuff sounds great. Would you recommend spending much time in the cities, though?
Adventure is in my blood. I always try to find out the place for adventure. I generally enjoy my vacation doing adventurous activities. I am wondering that Taiwan is also famous for adventurous activities. I will definitely try to visit Taiwan during my next vacation. Anyways thanks for sharing this useful information.
Thanks for sharing this. I was not aware that Taiwan has so much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts.
I think it has surprised many people!
Taiwan sounds great! I have a friend who lives there but had no idea there was so much for an outdoor enthusiast to explore!
I didn’t either until I arrived.
Hiking in Taiwan sounds excellent!
It sure does!
I think Taiwan is the one country I want to next visit in Asia that I haven’t been to yet. Everybody who has been there keeps going about how amazing it is. That and South Korea.
Both countries have a lot to offer! Hope you get to go soon Jarmo!
I would never have thought about Taiwan for hiking and had no idea that the highest mountain in Asia was in Taiwan.
I never thought Taiwan would be a hiking destination until I travelled there last spring. It’s a gorgeous country.
I would highly recommend the National Palace Museum. You cannot physically see it all in a day and some of the art is incredible. I saw a three piece round carved ivory set of globes, that represented three generations and had to be viewed through a microscope! Unbelievable. Safe Travels !!!
That does sound incredible!
Enjoyed the interview with Matt – always good to read what other travel writers recommend. I briefly visited Taiwan when I lived in Hong Kong many years ago – must admit the cuisine didn’t do it for me then! This article would tempt me back for the sights if not the food 😉 Boracay beach in the Philippines was one of my fav beaches anywhere – hope it’s still unspoilt.
When I was in Taiwan I didn’t eat at many restaurants but I found the night markets to be really good for street food.
Haven’t made it to Taiwan during the year I spent in China, I have many regrets from my time in Asia. The continent is so big I need to go back more often 😉
It sure is massive Angela! I’ve done two big trips in Asia and I feel as though I’ve just scratched the surface.
Taiwan sounds like it has a lot to offer the adventure traveller!
I was surprised to find as many adventure activities in Taiwan even though I was there for just a short visit.