In pictures: Taiwan’s alluring Nantou County

Here is Taiwan’s best-kept secret. Source: Shutterstock.

AT the geographical heart of Taiwan is Nantou County, the second largest and the only landlocked county on the island. It is also the only county that does not border the coast.

Famed for its mountainous scenery and an undulating expanse of lush green, beautiful cascading waterfalls, as well as the enchanting Sun Moon Lake, a historical icon which has been a center of aboriginal life for thousands of years, Nantou is a popular destination for both locals and curious international travelers alike.

The destination also boasts Yushan, the highest mountain of Taiwan and the highest peak of Northeast Asia, which completes the county’s scenic tapestry.

Travelers seeking an escape from the conundrums of daily urban life and a breath of fresh air will appreciate Nantou for its abundance of mesmerizing natural beauty.

A journey through the heart of Nantou will afford you exhilarating adventures, rustic areas, family-friendly recreational farms, and agricultural products that will leave you spoilt for choice.

Fancy a hike along the mountain trails in Yushan National Park? Springtime brings a variety of animals and vibrant flowers, and a sweet scent of cherry blossoms which fills the cool air.

In the summer, be sure to get there early to catch the sunrise view, said to be the best in Taiwan. And when the night sky is clear, feast your eyes on the shining jewels in the dark.

Winter is also a special time because the snow-capped landscapes are guaranteed to enthrall you. Just be sure to layer on warm clothes as it will be very cold.

But Yushan National Park is not the only natural gem there is. Taiwan’s longest river, the Zhuoshui River, winds through the county and is a perfect resource for growing bountiful of crops, fruits, and vegetables.

In fact, word has it that the rice from Nantou is so good, locals have sung praises, calling it “rice the emperor”.

It is no wonder the Taiwanese believe that Nantou’s food quality is better than elsewhere in the country by leaps and bounds.

From top quality Angus prime beef to the tantalizing Baiyi cuisine, to sweet desserts your taste buds will not soon forget and the highly prized Kyoho grapes, there is a slew of reasons why you should arrive in Nantou hungry.

And do not forget to wash it down with a tummy-warming serving of Nantou’s Dong Ding (which means “frozen summit” or “icy peak”) tea, one of the most famous and high-quality oolong teas grown in Taiwan.