Photo Essay: Five Things to Do in Taiwan

The following is a guest post by Lauren, the solo female traveler behind the blog Never Ending Footsteps

Arriving in Taiwan for the first time, my original plan was to stay in Taipei for just a couple of days as a brief introduction to Asia. The second I arrived I fell in love with this incredible country and I ended up spending an entire month there.

Taiwan is still relatively unknown to the average tourist but is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited, with breathtaking scenery, exotic cultures and the friendliest people I've encountered.

These are my 5 favourite things to do in Taiwan:

Relax at Sun Moon Lake

In amongst the striking mountains of Nantou County, you can find the largest natural lake in Taiwan - the stunning Sun Moon Lake. Discovered by the Taiwanese aboriginals over 100 years ago, it gets its name from the fact that the eastern side of the lake is shaped like a sun, and the western side like a crescent moon.

At Sun Moon Lake you can explore Wen Wu temple, take a 2km long cable car ride over to an aboriginal village or just sit and admire the picturesque views of the lake.

Visit the themed restaurants of Taipei

Taipei is the land of themed restaurants. During a 10 day stay in the city, I managed to eat at a different themed restaurant every night, and there are many more that I didn't get a chance to visit.

From the hospital themed restaurant where waitresses in nurses outfits served you dinner on an operating table, to the classroom themed restaurant where you sit at school desks and raise your hand to order, this is a fun and unique way to spend your evenings in Taipei.

See the unique temples of Lotus Pond

Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung is an entirely man-made lake with over 20 bizarre looking temples surrounding the waterfront.

From the crazy Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, where you enter the temples via the mouth of the dragon, to the Spring and Autumn pavilions, which represent the transition from Spring to Autumn, this is the perfect relaxing getaway inside the bustling city of Kaohsiung.

Relax on the beaches on the south of the island

Most people think of Taiwan as being a small, busy island, mostly filled with electronic factories, however you can find a huge variety of tropical beaches, ranging from those with gorgeous powdery-white sand to the remote black sand beaches on some of the small islands.

Explore the stunning scenery of Taroko Gorge

The east coast is known as "Taiwan's last unspoiled land" and is a region of great natural beauty. Of this region, Taroko Gorge is easily the highlight. Stretching over a distance of 20 km, you could easily spend a week exploring the different trails and hikes that the park offers.

This was a guest post by Lauren, the solo female traveler behind the blog Never Ending Footsteps. She is a twenty-something physics graduate, who decided upon graduation to leave behind everyone and everything she knows and travel solo around the world indefinitely. Visit her blog to follow her on her adventures!