The winner of the London Natural History Museum’s 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice award went to Ray Chin of Taiwan for his image of a humpback whale and her calf. Chin is Taiwan’s first professional underwater photographer specializing in dolphins and whales. The award is the best validation of years of efforts chasing these creatures under the sea.
Thanks to a documentary about Taiwan’s “plant hunters” that created an internet buzz in early November last year, it became widely known that Taiwan boasts the conservation center with the largest and richest collection of subtropical and tropical plants in the world.
After four years in front of the camera as a fashion model, Kengo Kobyashi decided to follow his passion for recording his life and get behind the lens as a photographer. Having first come to Taiwan a little more than two years ago, not only has he fallen in love with Taiwan’s cultural color and natural wonders, but the photos and writings he has shared online continue to surprise and delight people around the world with Taiwan’s beauty.
Nantou County Magistrate Lin Ming-chen, an outdoors enthusiast, first attempted to swim across Sun Moon Lake in 2017, finishing in three hours and six minutes to become Taiwan’s first county chief to complete the 3,000-meter swim. As enthusiastically as he embraces nature, he is similarly dedicated to raising Nantou’s visibility. Here, he generously shares his some of his favorite hideaways with travelers looking for an immersive experience of Nantou.
"People should not only see living things as vegetables and food, they must see the entire living ecosystem." Brooding over the devastating effects of climate change and difficulties in conservation, the farmer-artist had planted many indigenous Taiwanese plants in the garden. "Get to know them and they will continue to grow for you."
Sounds effect technician Hu Ting-yi, who was voted outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year at the 54th Golden Horse Awards in 2017, has practiced Foley, the art of using physical props to recreate everyday sound effects for film, for the past 42 years. During his professional career, Hu has witnessed several waves of high prestige for Taiwanese cinema. He has visited Nantou County in central Taiwan in his private and professional life many times, yet each trip still lifts his spirit and makes his heart beat faster.
Colin Chen became a chef in a radical career change that moved him from a life behind the camera into the social media limelight. Originally working as a print media photographer, Chen discovered his passion for cooking during a stint abroad as he craved the taste of home.
The Wanggong Fishing Harbor Festival of Lights, the Tianwei Sea of Flowers, the Fangyuan wetlands mangroves, Baguashan Sky Bridge, Qingshuiyan Hot Springs, Beidou meatballs, Xizhou lamb stew, and the historical sites of Lugang…these are just some of the many notable tourist attractions of Changhua County.
With traditional culture kept alive along the county’s coastline and in the mountains, four distinct seasons and a wealth of seasonal flowers and fruit, Miaoli has all it takes for developing slow tourism.
There are only two overwintering butterfly valleys in the world, one is in New Mexico, U.S.A. and the other one is in Maolin. Each year during autumn and winter seasons, millions of butterflies migrate to warm areas to cope with the cold.
The New Gangshan Hilltop Observation Deck (崗山之眼) was built as a sky cloister under a budget over NT$100 million. What is innovative about the observation deck is that it exhibits the beautiful landscape of Gangshan through the symbol of music, which conveys an image of melodic harmony.
Baolai hot spring is known for its crystal clear, transparent and odorless sodium-bicarbonate geothermal hot spring. The water is not only for bathing but also drinkable, making Baolai hot spring one of the most famous hot springs in Taiwan.
Kaohsiung City Dadong Arts Center is right next to the Kaohsiung MRT Dadong Station. It is one of Kaohsiung’s most prominent modern cultural landscapes. The unique design inspired by hot air balloons creates an artistic atmosphere that is both futuristic and welcoming.
Kungadavane Tribe is the final stop of the Maolin Scenic Area and also the very origin of local culture. Enter the tribe of Kungadavane and indulge yourself in the well-crafted stone houses, stone BBQ and rice cooked in bamboo tubes. The diverse characteristics of indigenous local life are great experience of five senses for visitors.
Houcihu, Daxi Tea Factory and Xiaowulai Waterfall, these are the spots you do not want to miss when visiting Taoyuan. With great tips from local travel expert Mu-chin Lee, these beautiful places are perfect last stops before taking off from Taoyuan International Airport.
“Daxi is a living old street. Here foreign visitors can experience local life. It is like a living museum,” says Mu-Chin Lee, a travel expert who assists the Taiwan Tourism Bureau with showing foreign visitors around Taiwan.
Heading towards the unknown can be challenging but also rewarding. The high and exciting Kungadavane suspension bridge is one of these kinds of challenges. This extremely beautiful bridge is located in Maolin, Kaohsiung, attracting adventurous travelers with magnificent scenery and remarkable experience.
From a labor-intensive family business to a half-automated manufacturer, the embroidery factory has witnessed Taiwan’s industrial shift. Read a microcosm of Taiwan's economy from the memories of the son of the factory's owner.
“The best way to explore Taiwan is by taking a train trip!” With new itineraries of round-island tours coming up for each season, Taiwan’s Cruise-Style Trains are offering seamless package trips that include transportation, accommodation, and food, especially the train-exclusive ‘bentos’ (便當, lunch boxes). No forced-shopping stops, no pre-planning required, all you have to do is to sit back, relax, and let the train take you on an in-depth island-tour.
Everyone should climb at least one 3,000-meter peak in their lifetime. The path is never easy in the high mountains. Set aside the familiar horizon at sea level and discover that no mountain is too high to climb.
When the South Penghu Marine National Park was established in late 2014, local fishermen feared for their livelihood due to restrictions on fishing and other conservation measures. Meanwhile, guided snorkeling and scuba-diving excursions are providing new sources of income, putting the area on the eco-tourism map.
An electronic engineer by training, Stanley Chien nonetheless went on to open a breakfast store because he loved food and drink. Inspired by a remark from a customer, Chien delved into coffee roasting, which turned into a real passion for the caffeinated beverage. He became such an expert at brewing coffee that he won the Taiwan Barista Championship in 2011, making a name for himself in the industry and making the promotion of coffee culture his mission.
As the autumn winds begin to blow, so come the migratory hawks. Head south to Kenting to glimpse them soaring magnificently across the sky, and enjoy a peaceful autumn afternoon soaking in a hot spring fit for a Japanese prince.
After Kyle Hsieh lovingly converted his old family home into a vacation rental, it quickly became a hit with travelers from Taiwan and abroad. Retro is now contemporary, and the past is the latest fashion.
In the course of a single day, this Kenting native may surf in the ocean and lecture on forest ecology in a national park, drawing his spiritual sustenance from the great outdoors along southern Taiwan's mountainous coast.
CommonWealth Magazine was recently granted an exclusive peek at Catcher Technology's highly secretive Apple production line, unveiling just how Taiwan's biggest maker of metal notebook computer casings struck gold.
Taiwan's people seem more smitten with Europe's streetscapes and Japan's culture than their country's own beauty. But CommonWealth Magazine has identified six major lures that overseas visitors have come to appreciate.
With its charming mix of old and new, its stunning scenery and mouth-watering food, Taiwan has become the insider's favorite travel destination in Asia. But are the Taiwanese themselves aware how beautiful their island is?