Discover the fascinating island of Taiwan on this customizable itinerary that blends culture and history with a comprehensive exploration of Taiwan's varied landscapes. Enjoy city tours of Taipei and Kaohsiung; see stunning natural scenery as you visit a number of national parks; and visit museums, historic memorials and religious sites.
• Stay overnight at pristine Sun Moon Lake.
• Visit awe-inspiring Taroko Gorge on a full-day tour.
• This exclusively designed tour lets you explore Taiwan at your own pace.
Just across the Taiwan Strait from China, with Japan to the north and the Philippines to the south, Taiwan is a cultural and environmental treasure. Its unique geologic history has resulted in a variety of prodigious scenery - from majestic peaks and rolling hills and plains to scenic coastlines and mountain forests. The island also enjoys warm weather all year round, making it an ideal travel destination.
This comprehensive itinerary combines Taiwan's natural scenery with cultural exploration. The island has a rich and varied culture composed of elements taken from the indigenous peoples, the Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and Han Chinese (bringing traditions from China and creating their own in Taiwan). Delve into this cultural and historical mix in the capital city of Taipei. Accompanied by an English-speaking guide, learn about the influx of Chinese immigrants after World War II on visits to the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall and Martyrs’ Shrine. Go further back in time at the National Palace Museum, home to the finest collection of Chinese art in the world, extending back through 5,000 years of history. You'll also learn about Buddhism at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, Taiwan's most famous monastery, and enjoy visits to the lovely Wenwu Temple and Tse-En Pagoda.
Complement your cultural exploration with an exploration of Taiwan's equally varied landscapes. Breathe in the fresh mountain air at Sun Moon Lake National Scenic Area in the center of the island; soak up the sun in Kenting National Park in the south as you explore its splendid shoreline; see the unusual landforms in the East Coast National Scenic Area; and spend a full day at Taroko National Park, known for its lofty canyon landscapes and the spectacular Taroko Gorge. You'll also visit Kaohsiung City, Taiwan’s second largest city, where a city tour includes the Former British Consulate, Love River and the Lio Ho Night Market.
• 7 nights accommodations: 3 nights in Taipei, 1 night in Sun Moon Lake, 1 night in Kaohsiung, 1 night in Taitung and 1 night in Hualien
• Daily breakfast
• Accompanied by English-speaking guide, enjoy transportation and sightseeing by air-conditioned motor coach
• All admission fees as per itinerary
• Guided sightseeing includes: City tour of Taipei; tour of Sun Moon Lake scenic area; visit to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery; city tour of Kaohsiung; half-day tour of Kenting National Park; East Coast National Scenic Area tour; and full-day tour of Taroko National Park
• Round-trip airport transfers by private car
Day 1 - Arrive Taipei, Taiwan
Upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), you will be met and transferred to your hotel by private car (no guide on this day). The remainder of the day will be free.
Accommodation: Palais de Chine or similar - 2 nights
Day 2 - City Tour of Taipei
After breakfast, take a tour of Taipei which includes the impressive Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall; the National Palace Museum where 5,000 years of Chinese imperial arts and jade collections are exhibited; and Martyrs’ Shrine with its traditional architecture and changing of the Honor Guards. Also visit a local Taiwanese temple and Taipei Handicraft Center. The remainder of the day will be free to enjoy on your own.
Day 3 - Taipei / Sun Moon Lake
After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Sun Moon Lake located in the lofty mountains of central Taiwan 762 meters above sea level. Your tour includes a stop at the famous Wenwu Temple, or Literature Warrior Temple, dedicated to Confucius as Master of Pen and to Kuan Ti as Master of Sword. Also visit the Holy Monk Shrine and Tse-En Pagoda. Proceed to the hotel for check-in.
Accommodation: Fleur De Chine - 1 night
Day 4 - Sun Moon Lake / Fo Guang Shan Monastery / Kaohsiung
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Monastery, the most famous sacred Buddhist site in southern Taiwan. Here you will learn about Buddhism during the monastery walking tour. There will also be a chance to sample a Buddhist vegetarian lunch (at your own cost) and communicate with some of the monks and nuns during the visit to the Main Shrine, Great Buddha Land, where you will find a huge Buddha statue. After your tour, continue on to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan’s second largest city. A city tour will take you to Former British Consulate, Love River and Lio Ho Night Market.
Accommodation: Grand Hi-Lai Hotel - 1 night
Day 5 - Kaohsiung / Kenting / Taitung
Enjoy a morning tour of Kenting National Park located at Taiwan’s southern tip. Three sides of the park are comprised of 37 miles of coral-rimmed shoreline and are one of its main attractions. Stop at Oluanpi Lighthouse, Maopitou Coast Scenic Area and Kenting Forest Recreation Area. Arrive at your hotel in Taitung for check-in. The rest of the evening is free.
Accommodation: Naruwan Hotel - 1 night
Day 6 - Taitung / East Coast National Scenic Area / Hualien
After breakfast, embark on an exciting tour of the East Coast National Scenic Area which stretches 170 kilometers down the east coast of the island. Known as "Taiwan's last unspoiled land,” weathering, erosion and accumulation have produced a wide range of unusual landforms here. The tour will stop at Siaoyeliou, Sansientai, Stone Steps and Caves of the Eight Immortals. Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Silks Place Taroko - 1 night
Day 7 - Hualien / Taroko National Park / Taipei
After breakfast, spend a full day visiting Taroko National Park. One of the highlights is Taroko Gorge, an exceptionally beautiful, narrow ravine created by a river which has cut deep into the mountains of solid marble. A road carved into sheer walls of rock snakes its way past forested peaks and cliffs towering thousands of feet above it, while hundreds of feet below a river roars past gigantic marble boulders. Stops will also be made at Eternal Spring Shrine, Swallow Grotto, Nine Turns of Tunnel, Marble Bridge, Tienshiang and a marble factory. Return to Taipei via Su Hwa Highway, arriving around 7:00pm.
Accommodation: Palais de Chine or similar - 1 night
Day 8 - Depart Taipei
Enjoy a morning at leisure until check-out. You will be transferred by private car (no guide) to the airport for your return home.
*Prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to availability at time of booking, and may change without notice. Price given based on accommodations at Palais de Chine hotel in Taipei; rates for other Taipei hotels may be higher. Final price based on selected hotels, any additional sightseeing, dates of travel and currency fluctuations. Tour starts every Saturday or Sunday only with a seat-in-coach (SIC) itinerary. Not applicable during the following periods: Feb. 9-13, 2013 and Dec. 29-31, 2013. Single supplement may apply. Except for packages including air transportation, unless stated otherwise, airfare, taxes and government fees are not included. Offers valid for new bookings only. Member Benefits are per person and apply to first and second traveler only. Member Benefits are available only with advertised fare and are subject to change without notice. Your travel arrangements may be modified or canceled subject to the travel providers’ policies. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. We make every effort for accuracy at time of printing but reserve the right to correct errors. AAA Travel strongly recommends the purchase of trip protection insurance. Except for packages including air transportation, fares may not reflect additional fuel supplement or port charges and vary by provider.
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