Taiwan is one of the most underrated destinations on the planet with few western visitors relative to it's neighbors. What most people don't know is, this small island nation has more to offer than just bubble tea. But rest assured there will be lots of bubble tea. Despite Taiwan's strong Chinese heritage, you will not find the same attitudes in Taiwan when it comes to personal space or assertiveness. Taiwan is top three for me when it comes to hospitality and helpfulness. Unlike it's other Asian neighbors you will find few hucksters or overly aggressive vendors during our visit.What makes Taiwan such an intriguing destination is its natural beauty. The national parks are top rate with unique landscapes to see and photograph.
The trails are well established and maintained. The Taiwanese also love to hike, and as a result they respect the trail and the environment so you won't find much liter (if any) on in the parks. Along with natural beauty, Taiwan's small towns are also wonderful places to visit with old temples and small shops. And not to mention the food. Always available, plentiful and delicious. On this trip you'll get a chance to do a lot of landscape photography, some serious macro work, long exposure and some urban photography.Traveling in March will optimize the chances of photographing both cherry blossoms and Calla Lillies while enjoying mild to cool weather.
Your Taiwan adventure begins with in the capital city of Taipei at the nightmarket right across the street from our hotel. The next day we will head out to of the city to the Wuji Tianyuan Temple and hopefully get the opportunity to photograph cherry blossoms! We'll finish the day in Taipei. Day 3-4 We'll south out of the city to Alishan National forest with a short stop at Rainbow village for some colorful photo ops. And we'll definitely stop at Chun Shui Tang Restaurant in Taichung - the home of bubble tea for lunch. We'll need to head to bed early on this night ask our day will begin with a 3am call time.
On day 4, we'll take a train for a short ride to the top of the mountain for an opportunity to photograph the sea of clouds. After which we'll take our time to hike down the mountain and take photographs along the way.
Day 5 We begin a long road trip to Taroko National park with an overnight stop at Sun Moon Lake. The road will be very winding so we'll take lots of breaks and hopefully get a chance to photograph monkeys and cherry blossoms along the way.
Day 6-8 Arrive at Taroko National Park. We'll make one scheduled stop for a short 1 hour hike before arriving at the lodge. If the sky is clear there will be a nice opportunity for some star gazing and photography as well. Our days here will be spent hiking the very well established trails and photographing the natural beauty of this magnificent park. For those who are a bit more adventurous arrangements will also be made to hike the Old Zhuliu Trail. This narrow and steep trail is not for the faint of heart so if you prefer you can hang out at the lodge for a quiet day or hike the trails close to the lodge as well.
Day 9-10 From Taroko we'll head north to the ancient town of Jiufen. A place that could not be more picturesque. With narrow streets and classic looking buildings nestled in the side of a mountain it's a you imagine in ferry tales. On Day 10 we'll head over to Ruifang and spend the day riding the train and stopping in the small villages along this old logging route.
Day 11-12 - We'll head back toward Taipei stoping at the Yehliu Geopark and other locations along the way. Our last full day will be spent Yangmingshan National Park – Zhuzihu. There will be Calla Lillies galore to photograph.
Day 13 Departure day. You will be provided with transportation back to the airport.
You will be responsible for all international transportation requirements. The photo tour will begin and end in Taipei (exact hotel and meeting location will be provided after registration). Once the photo tour begins, all internal transportation costs are included in the registration fee including airport transfers. We will be walking within city limits when possible. When moving between cities we will use a private van to get from city to city and there will be a couple of day trips on trains. All participants must be on the ground no later than Day 1.
You will be staying in local hotels with a 3-4 star western standard rating.
On your journey you will have the opportunity try lots of local foods. All breakfasts will be included. No beverages are included. Please note that a couple of breakfasts will not be available right away because we will be leaving too early in the morning. Please bring 2-3 of your favorite power bars to get you through 1-3 hours before we can find something!
Visa requirements for visiting Taiwan. Citizens of most western countries with a valid passport are not required to apply for an entry visa to Taiwan. Please contact your local embassy or consulate office to check your passport's visa requirements. You are responsible for fulfilling your own visa requirements. Registration does not include visa fees.