The island nation of Taiwan is situated off the coast of mainland China and statistically is one of the most densely inhabited places. But don't let the crowds put you off, the local Taiwanese welcome visitors to their shore with genuine Asian hospitality. Most travelers to Taiwan fly into the country's capital, Taipei. When exploring this fascinating city, make sure you check out the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei 101 and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. After admiring the collections in the National Palace Museum and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, enjoy the beautiful parklands of the Botanical Gardens and the Daan Forest Park.
From Taipei, consider heading into the countryside to appreciate the breath-taking scenery. In particular, the Taroko Gorge stretches for 19 kilometers through a visually-stunning national park. On the journey along the canyon, keep an eye out for the 144 species of birds and the 251 species of butterflies. It's also common to see deer, bears and pigs.
On the other hand, check out Alishan, a mountain range where the highest peak is 2,663 meters high. The trails are particularly beautiful, many lined with giant Taiwanese red cypress trees - some of which are over 2,000 years old.