Cheap Flights to Taiwan

A colorful center of culture and entertainment, Taiwan is an island nation sandwiched between mainland China and the Philippines. Lively festivals, lush forests, and high-tech modern cities provide a bustling backdrop for visitors.

Perhaps due to its economic success, there's a common misconception that Taiwan has little more to offer than overcrowded cities and electronics factories. In truth this island is also home to a thriving multicultural community and boasts no shortage of natural beauty spots. Get out of the cities and you'll be rewarded with eight national parks, hot spring resorts, and imposing mountain landscapes. The country is known for its friendly locals and delectable cuisine, which combines Chinese, Japanese, and aboriginal influences. From aboriginal culture to a seriously underrated surfing scene, there's far more to Taiwan than initially meets the eye.

Most international passengers will fly into the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, located 50km to the southwest of Taipei in the city of Taoyuan. However, another option is Kaohsiung international airport. You'll find nonstop flights between Taiwan and most major Chinese cities, including Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. There are also a number of airlines offering direct flights from Manila, including China Airlines and Cebu Pacific. A visitor's visa is required for all Philippines passport holders, except for those who also possess a valid visa or permanent residence certificate issued by Canada, Japan, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, or any Schengen Convention countries.

A good starting point for any visit to Taiwan is its capital city, Taipei. This vibrant metropolis is home to the world's fourth tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101. The National Palace Museum is also well worth a visit, with a well-organized rundown of Taiwan's history and culture. Don't miss a trip to the city's fragrant Shilin Night Market, where you can savory stews cooked in clay pots or fruit-studded shaved ice. Get out of town on a day trip to the traditional teahouses at Maokong, or pick up some souvenirs in the bustling Xinyi District, famous for its shopping.

Outside of Taipei, there's a slower pace that allows you to get out and admire some of the island's spectacular scenery. The traditional town of Lugang is well known for its classic architecture, gorgeous temples, and accomplished craftsmen, while the tranquil Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan is renowned for its perfect mountain setting and lakeside walking trails. Taroko National Park is the most-visited out of Taiwan's eight national parks, located on the isolated east coast of the island. The Taroko Gorge cuts through the park, creating dramatic stone cliffs to explore. The village of Hualien provides easy access to Taroko, and is also famous for its marble and dumplings.

Did You Know?

•There are over 150 hot springs in Taiwan, many of which are set in serene mountain landscapes or piped into hotels and bathhouses. The Beitou hot springs are easily accessible from Taipei and date back to the early 1900's.

•There are a number of offshore islands in Taiwan, each of which has its own unique culture. Penghu is one of the most frequently visited, with its ancient temples, traditional fishing villages, and remote beaches. Kinmen is worth a visit if you're interested in military history, with its imperial Chinese monuments and battlefields.

•The Hungry Ghost Festival takes place throughout the seventh month of the Chinese year. During this time period, Taiwanese offer an abundance of delicious delicacies to appease hungry spirits, while entertaining them with traditional puppet shows and Chinese opera performances.

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