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Taroko National Park & The East Coast
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Introducing Taroko National Park & The East Coast

Much is made of the old Portuguese name for Taiwan, Ilha Formosa, which translates as 'the Beautiful Isle'. Well, it's this part of the country that they gave it to, and this part to which it still applies best.

The eastern landscape is dominated by towering sea cliffs and marble gorges, rice fields and wooded mountain ranges. There are no bad views here, and if you spot a worried look on a traveller's face, it means 'I hope they don't ever ruin the east'.

The east is Taiwan's premier outdoor playground, and cyclists have discovered an ideal environment combining knockout scenery, good roads and plenty of cosy little B&Bs. Others find the high concentration of indigenous people gives the region an appealing distinction – and a less manic vibe than the west. Just look at the top speed limit: 70km/h! You don't rush through the east; you savour it.