The Other China
- 10 nights comfortable hotel on twin-share basis
- Tour Leader
- Private vehicle and driver throughout
- All entrance fees as listed
- Most meals
Days 1-2 | Taipei
On Day 1 people will be arriving throughout the day. We'll meet in the evening to get to know one another over dinner and have an introduction to the tour. The following day we take in some of the contrasting attractions of this modern city including Asia's tallest building, the Taipei 101, the fabulous Chinese art on display at the National Palace Museum and the culinary curiosities to be found at a traditional nightmarket.
Day 3 | Sun Moon Lake
Today we take the high-speed rail to Taichung where we transfer by road for the journey up to Sun Moon Lake. Sun Moon Lake's turquoise waters are surrounded by mountains, temples and pagodas and it is a great place to enjoy a relaxing boat trip.
Day 4 | Alishan
Alishan is a charming mountain village which is famed for its stunning sunrises, beautiful hiking trails, and its spring cherry blossom. Weather permitting we take an afternoon hike through the ancient forests.
Please note that due to the devastation caused by Typhoon Morakot in 2009, the famed Alishan Forest Train remains closed until further notice and until it re-opens we will be transferring from Sun Moon Lake by road.
Day 5 | Tainan
Today, we rise early to seek the "sea of clouds" and catch a glimpse of Taiwan's highest mountain, Yushan (Jade Mountain). After breakfast we'll cross the Tropic of Cancer on our drive to Tainan, the island's oldest city which showcases Taiwan's varied past through its lively temples, colonial remnants and traditional cuisine. Tainan is located at the heart of the south's rice, banana, coconut and pineapple belt and its balmy heat lends the city a relaxed atmosphere.
Day 6 | Foguangshan
This morning we take a walking tour of the old city of Tainan, wandering narrow lanes to brightly colored temples. In the afternoon we drive to Foguangshan, the island's largest Buddhist Monastery, recently voted by the Times Online as one of the world's 50 most relaxing escapes! We'll have the chance to fully explore the monastery's beautiful grounds and then spend a surprisingly comfortable night learning about monastic life in Taiwan.
Days 7-8 | Kenting
Continuing our journey south we drive via the aboriginal region of Sandimen to Taiwan's southernmost point, Kenting, deservedly famous for its fine beaches, national parks and nightmarket. Whilst in Kenting we'll take a hike through the national park where we'll try to spot local monkeys, birds and other wildlife, and we'll also have time to cycle, swim, snorkel or just to relax on the beach.
Day 9 | Zhiben
On Day 9 we drive across the mountainous interior of the island to Zhiben which was established as a hot spring resort by the Japanese. We'll take a hike through the lush national park and then have time to enjoy the hot springs – relax, rejuvenate, and soak away your aches and pains!
Day 10 | Green Island
After a short drive, today we take a boat out to Green Island. This volcanic island just off the east coast, once served as an exile for political prisoners, but these days is visited for its dramatic coastal scenery and the sublime pleasure of soaking in a saltwater hot spring on the seashore – one of only three places in the world you can do so.
Days 11 -12| Taroko Gorge
Today we continue north with a drive along the dramatic east coast to breathtaking Taroko Gorge which forges its way through the Central Mountain Range. Whether shrouded in mist or glowing in sunlight, this sheer marble gorge is a captivating sight. The following day we explore this incredible area by taking a gentle hike along a beautiful tributary gorge and then have the rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the beauty of this magnificent natural wonder.
Days 13 - 14 | Taipei
On Day 13 we make one last stunning drive, from Taroko north past the sheer beauty of the Cingshui Cliffs and then inland through the tea plantations of Pinglin and on to Taipei. On arrival we celebrate the end of our adventurous journey to this little visited part of the world with a delicious duck dinner. The tour ends after breakfast on Day 14.