Confucian temples of Tainan; Kenting National Park; Green Island reefs; marine landscapes of Kenting; rich underwater fauna of Orchid Island; sharks and turtles of the Penghu Islands.All Dive Centers in Taiwan (1)
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, and in the past Formosa which means «Beautiful Island", is an island in the Pacific Ocean, 150 kilometers off the eastern coast of mainland China, separated from it by the Taiwan Strait. Formally, Taiwan is an administrative unit of China. The largest city and the capital of the country is Taipei. The official language is Standard Chinese, also called Mandarin. The total area of Taiwan comprises around 36 thousand square kilometers; the population is more than 23 million people.
Five ranges of rugged mountains run from the northern to the southern tip of Taiwan; while the western part of the island is occupied by a plateau. The climate is marine tropical. The rainy season is in May and June. Typhoons are most common from July to September.
The national currency is the New Taiwan dollar (TWD). Currency can be exchanged at most banks and major hotels. Banks are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 12:00. All major credit cards are accepted in restaurants, stores and other large institutions, while small shops and stalls, especially outside the major cities, accept only cash. There are a lot of ways to get acquainted with Taiwan, for example, you can begin your journey around the island with its ''heart'' – the capital of Taiwan, Taipei, where you will see an amazing mix of various architectural styles and eras and will undoubtedly get charmed by extraordinary abundance of gardens and parks.
Then you can plunge into fantastic nature of the island in its national parks: Taroko National Park, featuring wonderful waterfalls, babbling streams, peaks, amazing valleys, and steep cliffs; Kenting National Park, where you will find stunning mountainous landscapes, tropical forests, beautiful coral reefs and paradise beaches; and Alishan National Scenic Area, the home of gorgeous sunrises, ocean of clouds and sacred trees. However, unforgettable nature beauties can be found not only in national parks of Taiwan. In Nantou County there is the picturesque Sun Moon Lake, which got its name for the shape – sun-like from one side and crescent moon-like from the other. Yangming Mountain, located near Taipei, boasts amazing volcanic sights, hot springs, serene valleys and abundant flora.
Those who like active leisure will be glad to go hang-gliding or paragliding in the Green Bay or go climbing Jade Mountain, the highest peak in North East Asia.
Connoisseurs of architecture can enjoy Confucian temple architecture in Tainan, the former capital and the oldest city of Taiwan, often called the 'City of 100 Temples'; or visit Lugang, an ancient sea port, where you can see traditional buildings and buy some authentic local crafts; or admire Chung Tai Chan Monastery, the tallest Buddhist temple in the world.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) serves Taipei and the northern part of the country.
Taipei Songshan Airport (TSA) situated in Songshan, Taipei
Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH), also called Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport, the third busiest Taiwanese airport
Taichung Airport (RMQ), located in Taichung
Diving in Taiwan
Although Taiwan is not such a popular diving destination as its neighbours: Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, its waters keep lots of interesting discoveries.
Off Green Island you will find many picturesque reefs inhabited by more than 300 fish species.
Kenting suggests perfect opportunities for shore diving. Here you will find about 50 dive sites. The visibility is great – up to 40 meters. The underwater cliffs, coral reefs and canyons create a fantastic marine landscape. Among marine inhabitants there are hawksbill turtles, huge lobsters and blue-spotted sting-rays.
Off Orchid Island you will find shallow reefs, picturesque walls and a lot of deep dives. The underwater fauna features sharks, manta rays, dogtooth tunas, sea snakes, hawksbill turtles, green turtles, puffer fish and lionfish.
Penghu Islands is an excellent place for drift driving, due to strong currents that draw in lots of big pelagic fish, sharks and even whales. Here you can also meet green turtles.
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