Taiwan has a lot to offer travelers—eight national parks, 13 national scenic areas, 18 national forest recreation areas, many cultural sights, hot springs, and a booming culinary scene. Recommend picked two tour operators with experiential itineraries that showcase Taiwan and its many wonders.
SITA World Tours’ 8-day Highlights of Taiwan itinerary takes travelers to Taipei to visit Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, the National Palace Museum, and the Martyrs’ Shrine of Traditional Architecture where they’ll witness the changing of the guards ceremony. While in Taipei, travelers also visit a local Taiwanese temple and the Taipei Handicraft Center. A drive to Sun Moon Lake allows guests to tour Wenwu Temple, Tehua Village, Tse-En Pagoda, and the Holy Monk Shrine—all while staying at the Fleur De Chine Hotel. Other points of interest include the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery where guests will learn about Buddhism and have the chance to chat with the monks and nuns, and a visit to Kaohsiung City where they’ll see the Love River and the Lio Ho Night Market. This itinerary is set for Saturday arrivals now through Dec. 15, 2015 with rates starting at $1,290 pp dbl and $2,160 sgl. Rates include accommodations, daily breakfast, transfers, sightseeing tours, an English-speaking guide, and entrance fees to monuments. Hotel choices include Palais de Chine in Taipei, Fleur De Chine Hotel in Sun Moon Lake, Grand Hi Lai Hotel in Kaohsiung, Hotel Royal Chihpen in Taitung, and Silks Place Taroko in Hualien.
If your clients are looking for a shorter visit to Taiwan, suggest the 4-day Taipei: Window to Taiwan itinerary, which immerses them in a city filled with stunning parks, deluxe shopping centers, interesting street markets, museums and restaurants. This tour includes a half-day city tour of Taipei, plus a day at leisure to explore at their own pace. Rates start at $420 pp dbl when staying at the Gala Hotel, $450 with accommodations at Taipei Garden Hotel, and $750 for Regent Taipei. For more information, call (800) 421-5643 or visit sitatours.com.
The island’s rising culinary scene pulls from the diversified cultures of the population, including traditional Taiwanese dishes, Hakka food, Hunan cuisine, and Sichuan dishes, as well as Japanese and Korean food. This melting pot of options has earned Taiwan the international reputation as a “culinary kingdom,” according to David W.J. Hsieh, director-general of the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
“I just recently travelled to Taiwan and found the country to be full of flavor. From wonderful 5-star experiences to tasty mouth-watering local treats in the many night markets in Taipai—Taiwan is a food lover’s dream. So very different from the Chinese cuisine, Taiwanese dishes have a freshness about them and are simply delicious,” says Maureen Atkinson, Goway Travel’s Asia product manager.
Goway Travel dives into the foodie scene with its 7-day Taste of Taiwan itinerary. Guests will have the opportunity to taste dishes such as oyster omelets, stewed beef noodles, and sweet stuffed pastries. Guests will also take a stab at making a Taiwanese dish during a cooking class and purchase the ingredients at a traditional market, sample unique food at Taipei’s Wuzhou Hwashi Night Market, ride on a high-speed bullet train, and travel to Sun Moon Lake. Rates start at $3,487 pp including accommodations, all transfers, an English-speaking guide, some meals, a bullet train ride from Kaohsiung to Taipei, and the cooking class. For more information, call (800) 557-2841 or visit goway.com.