Eco-tourism: Taiwan takes sustainability to a new level
Taipei, Sept 18 (IBNS): Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism.
Taiwan is the perfect destination for eco-tourism as it is distinguished for its steep mountains, beaches, national parks, lush forests and hot springs.
The country features a full range of climates and terrains from the tropical to the frigid. The variations in weather, geology, and elevation also give Taiwan a richness of flora and fauna.
Subsequently, Taiwan has embarked on an ambitious plan to become a green jewel for Asia. Today, Taiwan boasts one of the world’s highest recycling rates (45.49% in 2009), an efficient waste management system, and a wide range of wildlife refuges and national parks that help to attract millions of nature tourists each year.
Taiwan has some of the highest peaks in East Asia, which collectively have created a great network of hiking and skiing trails. Additional ecotourism activities for this versatile nation include bird watching, kayaking, whale watching, C, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Some top ecotourism sites include:
Alishan- Misty forests of giant cypresses and impressive sunrises at the center of the island; this area can only be reached by train
Kenting National Park- Located at the extreme southern tip of the island, this park is famous for its beaches and lush vegetation
Sun Moon Lake- Nestled at 2,500 feet in the mountains of Nantou County, this lake is famous for its clear sparkling blue water and picturesque mountain backdrop
Yushan (Jade Mountain)- At 12,966 feet, this is not only the highest mountain in Taiwan, but all of East Asia
Lalashan- Located in one of the natural protection zones in Taiwan, Lalashan is an area that contains divine trees, which range from 500-2800 years old, and the No. 5 divine tree is reputedly even older than Confucius. Lalashan is also known for its peach trees and peach season (July - August) is also a beautiful time to visit.
Taiwan's natural heritage is protected at 6 National Parks that are also popular for eco-tourism such as: Yangmingshan, Taroko Gorge, Shei-pa and Kinmen and 12 designated scenic areas.
In addition, a general sense of conservation has propelled many government programs to occur at once, including reforestation programs and wildlife protection programs that have set aside approximately 20% of its land for national parks, nature and forest reserves, and wildlife refuges.
Taiwan is a very safe, family-friendly and hospitable eco-destination that offers families a number of nature activities in a compact area. Children will enjoy what is considered to be some of the best food Asia has to offer as well as the excellent (and fast) public transportation options that easily take travelers to all points of the country.
Whether it’s exploring vibrant Taipei or observing the thousands of migratory birds that make the west coast of Taiwan their temporary home, Taiwan offers travelers a unique eco-experience.
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