Taiwan

by Steven Crook

Taiwan

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About this book

This new edition of Bradt's Taiwan continues to offer some of the most comprehensive coverage available and has been fully updated to reflect all the most recent developments on the ground. Author and long-term resident of Taiwan Steven Crook has been to every corner of the main island and every one of the outlying archipelagos. He has written about Taiwan's cultural and scenic attractions for international newspapers and inflight magazines and he has a keen understanding of what international visitors are likely to enjoy and what they need help with to appreciate.
This new edition includes an even greater emphasis on the Taiwanese favourite pastime of local food, as well as increased coverage of increasingly popular east Taiwan and expanded information about the new National Museum of Marine Science and Technology and National Palace Museum Southern Branch. Place names and other useful words and phrases (for ordering food and arranging transport) are presented in Chinese script for convenient communication.
Detailed coverage of the capital city Taipei is complemented by a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the rest of the country, from Hakka Country to Kaoshiung and Pingtung and the minor islands. More than 58% of Taiwan is covered by forest, making the country as interesting for its wildlife and outdoor activities as for its cities and towns. Taroko Gorge, Mount Jade, national parks, beaches and birdwatching, temples and monasteries, peaks and mountains are all covered, along with beguiling islands such as coral Little Liuqiu, saltwater hot springs, the East Rift Valley and popular Lugang.
Taiwan is often described as 'more Chinese than China', but in reality it's a complex blend of 18th-century China, ancient Austronesia and 20th-century Japan, with dabs of post-war Americana and an abiding passion for anything that tastes good, wherever it comes from. Bradt's Taiwan is the perfect companion for discovering all of this, written by an expert who knows the country inside out and is well versed in delivering exactly what you need for a successful trip.

About the author

Educated in the UK, Steven Crook was backpacking through Asia in 1991 when he decided to go to Taiwan. He was running out of money and needed a job. That wasn't the only reason, however. Taiwan was scarcely mentioned in his school books and nobody he knew had ever been there. The prospect of visiting such an unfamiliar island was tantalising. He wasn't disappointed; he extended his stay and took up hiking.
In 1996 Steven started writing about Taiwan's mountains, temples and museums for newspapers and magazines. By 2009, when he accepted Bradt's offer to write the first edition of this travel guide, he'd seen most of the country - but because new museums, trails and other attractions keep opening, his 'to do and see' list doesn't seem to be getting any shorter.
He has now been to every corner of the main island and every one of the outlying archipelagos and he has written about Taiwan's cultural and scenic attractions for international newspapers and inflight magazines. Steven has a keen understanding of what international visitors are likely to enjoy and what they need help with to appreciate.

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Contents

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Natural history, Conservation and environmental issues, Taiwan's history, Government, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tour operators, Tourist information, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Gay/lesbian travellers, Travelling with children, Disabled travellers, What to take, Electricity, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Arts and entertainment, Architecture, Sports and activities, Photography, Media and communications, Maps, Business, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively

PART 2 THE GUIDE
Chapter 3 Taipei
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Where to stay, Where to eat and drink, Shopping, Other practicalities, Entertainment, What to see and do, Taipei suburbs, Yangmingshan National Park
Chapter 4 North Taiwan
Taoyuan Airport, Taoyuan City, Sanxia and Yingge, Wulai, North Cross-Island Highway, Yilan County, The northeast, Keelung, The north coast, Tamsui
Chapter 5 Hakka Country
Hsinchu City, North of Hsinchu, East of Hsinchu, The aboriginal interior, Nanzhuang, Sanyi
Chapter 6 Central Taiwan
Taichung, Heading south, Lukang, Heading inland, Sun Moon Lake, Puli to Lishan, Shei-Pa National Park, Yushan National Park
Chapter 7 Southwest Taiwan
Tainan, Heading inland from Tainan, Tainan's coast, Chiayi City, Chiayi City to Shizhuo by Road 159A, Alishan National Scenic Area
Chapter 8 Kaoshiung and Pingtung
Kaohsiung, Heading north from Kaohsiung, Meinong, Maolin, South Cross-Island Highway, Heading east, Heading south, Kenting National Park
Chapter 9 East Taiwan
Hualien City, Taroko Gorge, The East Rift Valley, Highway 11: the coast road, Taitung City
Chapter 10 Minor Islands
Penghu County, Kinmen County, Matsu National Scenic Area, Little Liuqiu, Green Island, Orchid Island

Appendices
Language
Road and Street Names
Further Information
Index