Southern Taiwan, the part of the country with a strong cultural tendencies for timeless rituals and folk customs, is one of the areas to be in this part of East Asia. One of the places to see here is Hengchun, located at the southern tip of the peninsula of Pingtung County. Those interested to visit here can turn to Hengchun Airport, which lies about eight kilometers away from the city.
Opening in 2004, Hengchun Airport makes a convenient part of entry to the area. Established at 46 ft above mean sea level, airliners might find it challenging to fly here, but those going to this area will find the trip worth the effort and expense. It is the entrance to some of the highlights of the region and breathtaking landscapes. From here, tourists can enjoy themselves as soon as they land on the runway measuring 5,577 feet long.
Where to go
The eighth and newest national park in Taiwan, Taijiang National Park is one of the places to venture to. The area, a place with more than 50 sq kilometers of land can check out 340 sq kilometers of tidal flats, lagoons, mangrove swamps, and wetlands were various rare creatures live. From here, tourists can visit the Black-Faced Spoonbill Reserve, a small section of the wetlands on the west coast of Tainan. It is dedicated to protecting the rare black-faced spoonbill, which spends summers in Korea and northern China and then migrates to Tainan for the winter. High-powered binoculars are provided here, letting tourists see the birds from afar.
From here, tourists can move to Little Liuchiu Island, a pretty coral island that offers sea vistas, caves, sandy beaches, unique rock formations, and temples. The place is also a sanctuary for the corals and endangered green sea-turtles. Residents and visitors are not allowed at certain parts of the coast after dusk in the spawning season between May to July. There is also the Pingtung County to visit, where one can find beautiful beaches and fertile farmland, as well as experience great fishing and balmy weather.
Hiroshima, about two hours away, is one of the possible places to visit from Taipei. It is the world's first to experience an atomic bomb attack. Visit the Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park to commemorate the bombing with artifacts salvaged from the aftermath. Shukkei-en, modeled after West Lake in Hangzhou, China, was built in 1620 for the daimyo Asano Nagaakira. From here, one can move on to Hijiyama-koen, a hilly tree-filled park just outside the city center, and is a fine sight during spring and autumn, when the foliage is at its most beautiful.
Krakow, the old city of Poland, was said to be founded upon the defeat of a dragon. Those going here might just heed the story, as the Old Town contains splendid landmarks with the trappings of modern living, such as restaurants, clubs, and bars. The Royal Wawel Castle is an important symbol of national identity. It has become a museum with five separate sections, from Crown Treasury and Armoury and State Rooms, as well as the Royal Private Apartments, the Lost Wawel, and the Exhibition of Oriental Art.
From here, tourists can visit St Mary's Basilica, a striking brick church dominated by two towers of different heights. The first church here was built in the 1220s, with the construction of the basilica beginning after the old church's destruction in a Tatar raid. Those going inside here will find magnificent stained glass windows dating from the late 14th century to the altarpiece, which was intricately carved in lime wood, and then painted and gilded.
How to get out
Tourists going out via Hengchun Airport can visit other countries from a connecting flight with Taipei-Songshan Airport. Uni Air transports passengers from the region to this area near the capital. From here, airlines serving Taipei Songshan Airport include Air China, All Nippon Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Eastar Jet, EVA Air, Far Eastern Air Transport, Japan Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, TransAsia Airways, T'way Airlines, Uni Air, and Xiamen Airlines.
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