Traveling through western Taiwan on the country’s high speed rail line has been selected by the editors of National Geographic as one of its “Best Winter Trips 2013,” according to the US-based magazine’s Web site.
“Hop on a high-speed bullet train in Taipei to zip across western Taiwan’s valleys, plains, and Central Mountain Range foothills,” the magazine said, making the journey one of 10 trips it suggested for this winter.
It said the high speed rail’s southernmost stop in Greater Kaohsiung serves as a gateway to tropical Dapeng Bay National Scenic Area, Kenting National Park and Maolin National Scenic Area, home to four Aboriginal groups — the Rukai, Paiwan, Bunun and Tsou.
“A roundtrip western bullet train loop from Taipei and back is an easy day trip, getting travelers back in time to sample crispy salt and pepper chicken or mini soup dumplings at the city’s famous night markets,” it said.
The magazine particularly highlighted the 2013 Taiwan Lantern Festival, hosted in the neighborhood surrounding the high speed rail’s Hsinchu Station from Feb. 23 to March 10.
“During each night of the festival, thousands of soaring and animated lanterns illuminate the night skies of northern Taiwan’s oldest city,” the magazine said.
Western Taiwan was joined by the Harbin Ice Festival in China, Mesoamerican Reef in Belize, Ruaha National Park in Tanzania and the Cayman Islands as some of this winter’s top excursions.
The other destinations highlighted were Salvador, Brazil (for its carnival); Chena River State Recreation Area in Alaska; Salzburg, Austria; Yellowstone National Park in Montana and Toronto, Canada.