Here at Black Tomato we love exploring new destinations, especially those that are a little off the beaten track, and we think we‘ve found an undiscovered gem in Taiwan. Head south to Taiwan’s harbour city, Kaohsiung, for a dose of cosmopolitan fun before hitting the beach at Kenting National Park and a fill up on culture at the ancient town of Tainan.
Skylines and buddhas in Kaohsiung
Stepping off the plane at Taoyuan Airport you’ll take the bullet train straight into the heart of Kaohsiung, the largest city in the south of Taiwan. Hole up at the Splendor Hotel located within Kaohsiung’s 85 Sky Tower, where you’ll be perfectly positioned to take in the pulsing energy of the city. Kaohsiung has it all: a magnificent harbour, fantastic views, city skylines and ocean sunsets, yet it still manages to retain a local and delightful charm. Spend your days visiting historic landmarks: Confucius Temple, Lotus Pond or the awe-inspiring sight of 480 golden Buddhas at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery. And as a harbour city, you simply can’t miss out on some local seafood treats over at Chi-Chin Peninsular. Seafood rice porridge, eel noodles and oyster omelettes and many more, you might just need to work it all off with a bike ride around the historic harbour.
Stunning sights, scuba-diving and snorkelling
Escape the hubbub of the city and retreat to the Kenting National Park. Known for its lush vegetation, long stretch of golden sand beaches, turquoise waters and breathtaking coral; it is a destination to rival any well-worn travel hot-spots in Asia.
Staying at the luxurious Caesar Park Hotel, rest you weary feet in your sea or mountain-view room and tuck into freshly-caught delicacies. Explore the array of natural wonders: slumping cliffs, serene lakes and isolated mountains, as well as the unique natural phenomenon of the gas fires at Cho-Huo, where you can sample hard-boiled eggs cooked by locals in the cracks in the mudstone.
Rather hit the beach? We can arrange scuba-diving, sailing, snorkelling, or even surfing. Or if that’s not your thing, simply lounge on the stunning shores, soaking up the rays. The air is clear, the atmosphere is laid back and the temperature is tropical.
Ancient temples and dutch forts
After some much needed relaxation, head straight to Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan. Here you will find modernity embraced and ancient traditions respected. Enlighten your soul in ancient temples. History buffs will appreciate a trip to the colonial 17th century Dutch Fort Zealandia. And culture vultures will love the traditional night markets selling an array of local delicacies. Sample papaya milk, marlin soup and rice cakes before calling it a night at your luxury abode, the Shangri-la Far- Eastern Plaza.
End your trip as you began, whizzing through the fascinating and varied Taiwanese terrain aboard the bullet train. Return home with stories and astounding photographs of this unexplored delight with its wonderful people and enthralling cultural history. And see it all before it becomes a well-trodden path on the tourist trail.