CHARMING: Taiwan is a nation blessed with unique sightseeing spots
Described as a land of divine beauty and warm hospitality, Taiwan provides a unique array of diverse pleasures from stunning beaches and pristine mountains, to bustling street markets, remarkably varied cuisines, and a lively arts scene that reinvents the traditional in contemporary terms.
As the centenary approaches in year 2011, Taiwan is bringing the celebration to another level. According to Janice Lai, director general of Taiwan Tourism Bureau, this year's Taiwan Tourism theme, aptly named "100 Best Travel Routes in Taiwan", aims to promote the favourite routes of the nation.
"We are a nation blessed with a unique landscape that allows us to provide visitors with a wide variety of recreational activities to choose from," said Lai. "A few years back, we have come up with 18 specialised tour routes to showcase Taiwan's main attractions. Now, we look forward to promote these select 100 travel routes to celebrate our 100 years of founding and also highlight the best sightseeing spots of Taiwan."
These 100 travel routes were proposed by the public and arranged based on the categories of Customs & Religion, Local Culture, Aborigines' Tribes, Hot-spring, Innovative Tours, Contemporary Culture, Hiking, Tracking Celebrities, Eco-Tour, and Biking.
Today, Taiwan boasts a high quality and convenient island-wide transportation network and telecommunications infrastructure, linking the country's bustling modern metropolises to every town and hamlet on the island.
Taiwan is starting to gain fame as one the best spots for travel wedding photography, making many soon-to-wed couples willing to travel abroad to have pictures taken that capture the romantic sentiments of two people in love.
Each hot spring has its own medicinal properties
Taiwan is also known as the 'Hot Spring Kingdom' as almost every city and county in Taiwan is equipped with hot springs. Taiwan has a great variety of springs, both hot and cold, each type with its own specific medicinal
A NT$399 (RM40) one-day hot spring season bus tour will be offered on weekdays during the festival period. Departing from Taipei, the tour includes a free hot spring soak and stops at Yeliu Geopark, Jinbaoli Old Street, Shimen Wedding Plaza, Baishawan, Gallery of Famous Sons in Sanzhi, Fude Waterwheel Park, and a pass-by of Danshui includes one free spring bath coupon.
The 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition is now on until April 25, 2011.
Taipei is the seventh city in Asia to host such a gardening expo, and this is a chance for Taiwan to show the world its commitment to outstanding gardening and the achievements it has made in the biotechnology sector.
Unlike suburban expositions held in Kunming, Hamanako, Chiang Mai and other cities, the 2010 Taipei International Flora Exposition takes place in the city centre as a response to people's desire for more urban green spaces.
The site plans and designs of this year's show incorporate urban renewal concepts, helping Taiwan share with the world its achievements in the areas of tourism, catering, gardening and biotechnology.
The 10 Must-See Outdoor Gardens
Global Garden Area: 35 unique gardens representing different cities and countries are presented by 29 national organisations across Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania.
Floral Tunnel: The Floral Tunnel (Light and Shadow) is an interweaving structure of trees and branches. Formed by a series of exhibition gardens, the Floral Tunnel (Bamboo Veranda) is a green tunnel connecting Xinsheng Park to Riverside Park's water gate.
Flower Base Under Trees: Over 95,000 potted plants will be used in each seasonal display and will eventually total 570,000 over the course of the Expo. The botanical exhibition changes with each season to reflect the diversity and vivaciousness of horticulture.
Sea of Flowers: Over 260,000 flowers are used in the Sea of Flowers during each phase bringing the total to 1.04 million flowers planted over the course of the Expo. Elevation molds were used to create a natural, undulating floral landscape that highlights the diversity and liveliness of horticulture.
Flora Rainbows: Over 210,000 plants are used in each seasonal display, for a total of 860,000 plants over the course of the expo. Different species of zinnia, mealy sage, globe amaranth, and painted nettle in a dizzying array of colours are used to represent change and diversity.
Fujian Style Garden: Inspired by the Daoism philosophy of nature, traditional craftsmen created the island's largest artificial mountain as a backdrop for tea trees, bamboo forests, and the Yuemei Pond. Water plants, ferns, and orchids accent the classic elegance and beauty of Fujian architecture.
Flower Landscape: The Flower Landscape is a vast, 9,323m² sea of flowers planted on a gentle hill. From blues and purples to reds and yellows to earth tones, the Flower Landscape will stay true to the simplicity and elegance of nature and visitors will be treated to a variety of landscapes throughout the Expo.
EXPO Orchard: EXPO Orchard is a joint venture between the Taipei International Flora Exposition and the Council of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Institute. Here you will see demonstration of the advanced cultivation technology used in the cultivation of fruit trees on the island of Taiwan.
Serenity Garden: The Serenity Garden concept was inspired by Eastern cultures and motif art. Three sculptures embodying the different aspects of Taiwan's spirit, - Unity, Hope and The Direction of Spring - can be found on the lawn. These sculptures highlight the open expanse of space found here and provide another meaning of Serenity.
Eco Pool: Ecological revitalisation is demonstrated in this aquatic environment.